“After attending the 2016 National Forensics Association championship, we established the goal of becoming a nationally competitive team in 2016-2017,” said Shane Semmler, the team’s coach and associate professor in the communication studies department. “In pursuit of that goal, we organized our schedule around several national tournaments where we competed against the country’s best teams. With that difficult schedule, we became more competitive in our region and won over 150 individual or team awards, including the Dakota’s championship.”

The team placed in the top 30 at this year’s NFA championship and eighth in its division. Semmler said they are already looking forward to next year.

“We proudly met our 2016-2017 goal of becoming a nationally competitive team. In 2017-2018, our goal is to build upon our successes and improve our performance at the NFA championship,” said Semmler.

The team was selected by the Board of Regents to be recognized for outstanding contributions to the academic environment.

The USD speech and debate team is sponsored by the Department of Communication Studies, the College of Arts & Science, the Student Government Association and generous endowments provided by Bob Frieberg, Elaine Miller, Dr. Harold Jordan and Frank E. Stephan.

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