TSU Forensic Team Captures Back-To-Back Wins

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (TSU News Service) – Members of the Tennessee State University Forensics team traveled to the bayou state recently to compete in the 39th Annual Red River Swing Debate and Forensic tournament in Shreveport, La.

Competing in their first International Public Debate Association tournament, the team competed in the event Nov. 8-10 at Louisiana State University-Shreveport and joined nearly 30 other programs, colleges and universities from around the country.

“Our debate team is off to a great start,” said Director of Forensics, Shaunte Caraballo. “I look forward to increasing the size and success of our newly added debate team.”

The teams competed in two separate tournaments involving 11 speaking and interpretive events, and one tournament involving three different debate formats over the three-day tournament.

TSU’s Artrisa Fulton, a Criminal Justice major, was the team’s big winner. The senior from West Palm Beach, Fla., was the Octafinalist in the IPDA. She also captured third place in the Dramatic Interpretation category. Michael Thomas, a senior Accounting major from Memphis, Tenn., won 6th place in the Persuasive Speaking category.

Building on their successes, the team traveled to Jefferson City, Tenn., a week later for the Tennessee Porch Swing at Carson Newman University Nov. 15-17.

First year team member, Michael Thomas won 1st place and Top Novice in Persuasive Speaking at the second half of the swing. Assistant Directors of Forensics, Adam Key and Jeremy Coffman jumped up and hugged each other when the award was announced.

“It is extremely rare for a novice to win such a high award,” said Key.

Thomas also won Top Novice in Programmed Oral Interpretation, along with Fulton, who took 4th place in Dramatic Interpretation. They are both just one win away from qualifying for the national tournament held at Arizona State University in Tempe, Ariz.

The Forensics team will next head to Ohio State University for the Holiday Frolic in December.




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With nearly 9,000 students, Tennessee State University is Nashville’s only public university, and is a comprehensive, urban, co-educational, land-grant university offering 38 undergraduate, 22 graduate and seven doctoral programs. TSU has earned a top 20 ranking for Historically Black Colleges and Universities according to U.S. News and World Report, and rated as one of the top universities in the country by Washington Monthly for social mobility, research and community service. Founded in 1912, Tennessee State University celebrated 100 years in Nashville during 2012. Visit the University online at tnstate.edu.