Whitman Forensics Newsletter

Vol. 5, No. 2, May, 1999

Adam and Jessica smile after winning the 1999 CEDA National Championship. The two were also recognized as All-American debaters, continuing an eight year streak for Whitman College.

Adam and Jessica win CEDA Nationals!!!

††††††††††† For the first time in Whitman forensic history, one of our CEDA teams has won the national debate championship. The tournament took place in Carbondale Illinios, at Southern Illinios University.

††††††††††† Jessica and Adam won seven of their eight preliminary rounds, and advanced through triple, and double octafinals on 3-0 decisions. Right after the double-octafinals round, Jim paced for over an hour as he and the rest of the team nervously awaited the decision. After another 3-0 win in octa-finals, Jess and Adam defeated SIU on a 2-1 decision. In semifinals, they defeated Kansas 3-0, and in finals defeated West Georgia on a 6-3 decision. Jim finally relaxed and the team celebrated!

††††††††††† Jessica and Adamís case supported requiring health insurance companies to provide coverage for breast cancer treatments. The case was a fitting tribute to assistant Becky Galentine, who has been helping with the CEDA program for three years. Becky has been fighting breast cancer since 1995, and was unable to attend the tournament due to health reasons.

Debaters win prestigious Perry Scholarships

††††††††††† Adam Symonds, Jessica Clarke, Brian Simmonds, Emily Cordo, Todd Borden, and Nicholas Thomas all were awarded the Perry Scholarships this spring. The Perry Scholarship is designed for collaborative research between students and faculty. It provides a unique undergraduate opportunity for students to research under the guidance of faculty; in this case, with Jim! Students will work with Jim on policy argumentation concerning national efforts to increase student educational achievement.

Emily Cordo was one of six debaters who received a Perry Scholarship this year.

Nicholas Thomas thinks rhetoric is fun! In the background, Brian Simmonds will be taking rhetoric courses and Adam Symonds completed a minor.

Rhetoric Minor Growing in Popularity

††††††††††† This year there are two students graduating with a minor in Rhetoric and Public Address and another with concentration in rhetoric. Graduating seniors minoring in rhetoric include Adam Symonds and Chris Gregory. Senior Jeremy Engdahl-Johnson designed his own writing major, of which Rhetoric courses constituted a large part. First year student Nicholas Thomas is planning on designing a rhetoric major. Nicholas says, "I enjoy the interdisciplinary nature of the study of rhetoric, and I find that many of my interests come together in the study of rhetoric." The minor and student created major offered in Rhetoric encourages students to participate in public speaking while engaging in critical thinking and rhetorical criticism. New classes in the department include a seminar on the rhetorical theorist Kenneth Burke, and next year two classes covering the history of rhetoric from the Ancient Greek period to the present day.

Intramural Debate wins National Recognition

††††††††† At the CEDA national tournament, Whitmanís Intramural debate program was recognized as third in the nation for campus debate programs. Intramural Debate Coordinator Abby St. Lawrence said "itís excellent that our program has finally won the acclaim it so richly deserves." The program gets students involved in public speaking about both campus and national issues. Interest and participation in the IM program has increased substantially this year. Over 80 debates occurred during the year. At the Championship tournament, Aaron Perrine won the experienced division and Neil Kornze won the inexperienced division. The program increases discussion on important issues and raises interest in the forensic team and the rhetoric department.

Abby St. Lawrence smiles as she thinks up more ways to promote Intramural Debate.

Adam Symonds, Courtney Gardner and Natalie Havlina smile for the camera!

Bob Withycombe and Nicholas Thomas enjoy the strawberry shortcake at the President's dinner.


David Kearney, JP Lacy and Jessica Clarke say hi.

Brian Simmonds and Keola Whittaker speak with Henry Yaple, Penrose Head Librarian, Pat Keef, Dean of Faculty, and Keiko Pitter, Chief Executive of Whitman Technology Services. These three, along with Bob Withycombe and President Tom Cronin were saluted during the dinner for their outstanding support and contributions to the squad.


David Kearney reads a philosophy book in preparation for his studies at the prestigious New School.

The 1999-2000 Staff

Director of Forensics, James Hanson; Assistant Director of Forensics, J.P. Lacy; Assistant Director of Forensics, David Kearney; Assistant, Policy Debate, Becky Galentine; Assistant, Parliamentary Debate, Dave Perry; Student Assistant and Intramural Debate Coordinator, Abby St. Lawrence; Chair, Department of Rhetoric and Public Address, Robert M. Withycombe; President, Whitman College, Thomas E. Cronin

Coaching staff

††††††††††† JP Lacy will be continuing for a third year as assistant director for CEDA/NDT debate and as a mastermind in the newly released Quake III! His keen insights and remarkable strategies have been a critical advantage this year.

††††††††††† David Kearney, assistant director for Parliamentary Debate and Individual Events, is leaving to pursue a Ph.D. in Philosophy at the New School in New York. His interests include Ancient Greek Philosophy, Phenomenology, Hermeneutics, Deconstruction, and Aesthetics.

††††††††††† Kevin Loomer, who competed on the team in the 1980s very successfully, has agreed to coach interpretation events for the 1999-2000 year. Kevin helped the squad before the Whitman tournament and even judged!

††††††††††† Becky Galentine continues to battle cancer. This year, she was recognized as outstanding coach of the year at the prestigious "Heart of America" tournament and she was the recipient of the new Women in debate award at the CEDA Nationals tournament.

††††††††††† Jim remains to begin his eighth year as Director. "I can hardly believe it has been that long. It's still a good trip to be traveling." Jim is excited by the large number of students continuing on the program and the great recruits arriving this coming fall.

Keola Whittaker and Courtney Gardner share good moments from the college tournament.

College Tournament

††††††††† Once again Whitman hosted a college forensics tournament attended by more than thirty colleges and universities from the northwest and beyond. The Whitman College tournament is a tournament designated by the Northwest Forensic Conference, and the results are critical in determining the yearlong sweepstakes award. Our squad wound up second in the conference.

††††††††††† This year, the Whitman tournament was not the only speech tournament on the Whitman campus over that weekend. Carroll College hosted the Dean McSloy Individual Event tournament, which was held on Friday morning and afternoon -- the Whitman tournament began Friday evening. The tournament honors Whitmanís former Director of Forensics Dean McSloy, who held the position from 1954 until 1970. Brent Northup, the director at Carroll and a Whitman alum, competed under Dean McSloy in the mid-sixties. The tournament provides an opportunity for competitors to accumulate qualifying legs to the National Individual Events Tournament, and also gives students the opportunity to practice their events before the Whitman tournament. Plans are in the works to make this a permanent part of the Whitman tournament.

Contributions to the Withycombe and Walker Funds are appreciated

Thanks for your contributions to these Speech Funds! Generous Winter and Spring donors include: Jared Phillips, Loan Lam, Janice Berman, David Kearney, Jim Hanson, Bob Withycombe, Jennifer Becker, and John Miller. Contributions to the Walker Fund or the Withycombe Fund should be sent to:

††††††††††† Annual Fund Office
††††††††††† Whitman College
††††††††††† Walla Walla WA 99362

Checks should be made to Whitman College with a note that says to place the contribution into the Walker or Withycombe Fund.

Fun Times

Fifteen debaters traveled this year to the Cal Swing in Los Angeles and Long Beach. The Swing consists of two tournaments, the first at USC, and the second at Cal State Long Beach. But the most exciting part of the trip happened at the end when the team went to Disneyland. Even Nicholas, the perpetual party-pooper, enjoyed himself (although he may not admit that now).

††††††††††† The team always has fun in California and continued the tradition at parliamentary nationals held in San Diego. The team visited Tijuana, where Jim bought a huge Barney piŮata! Jim was carrying it around the whole day, being a very conspicuous tourist. The team ate lunch at the Iguana Loco (a favorite), and team members bargained with shop owners to buy merchandise.

††††††††††† Back in Walla Walla, with the season over, team members still have that competitive desire to win and so theyíre playing Quake, Tetris, a four person version of Chess, and Risk. People have also watched various movies together including Pulp Fiction and Shawshank Redemption. The team also tests its knowledge of trivia with the game "You Donít Know Jack." Those of a rather immoral caste also like to play high stakes cut-throat poker.

Jim is quite emphatic. "That pumpkin does not look like me!"

The team enjoys a meal at the Red Robin in Portland. You can see (counter-clockwise, starting on the right) Gabe McGuire, David Kearney, Ryan Hagemann (thanks for judging, Ryan!), Jim Hanson, Brett Pahler, Keola Whittaker, and Brian Danielson.

Matt Johnson, Jessica Clarke, Todd Borden, and Gary Vandenberg enjoy the new debate workspace.

Senior - Staff Dinner and End of the Year Party

††††††††††† Starting a new tradition, the team had a dinner honoring seniors and staff members for their contributions to the team over the course of their stay. The team ate at Paisanoís, an Italian restaurant that has some of the best food in town. Joined by professor Bob Withycombe, the team reminisced about the past yearís performance and talked about future goals.

††††††††††† Two nights later, the team had itís annual end of the year party. The theme was a Mexican Potluck, and the piŮata Jim bought in Tijuana came in handy. Everyone had a fun time -- except for Keola Whittaker, who wasn't feeling so well; the next day, he discovered he had Chicken Pox!


Rose Alappat, Brian Simmonds, Matt Johnson and J.P. Lacy enjoy time together at a special dinner with President Cronin.

Dovell Gose competition fierce

††††††††††† This year, the Dovell Gose speech competition was the best attended in recent memory. There were three contestants in the womenís division and seven in the menís division. Wanjiru Kamau won the competition with a speech on the roles of Western and African feminists in addressing female circumcision. Abby St. Lawrence urged the audience to support a Washington State House resolution requiring health insurance companies to fund womenís birth control. Jessica Clarke gave an enlightening presentation about the French philosopher Jacques Derridaís method of deconstruction, and its implications for feminism.

††††††††††† Nicholas Thomas and Neil Kornze tied for first place in the men's division. Nicholas argued for consistency in western philosophy and Neil argued that Whitman students are too capricious in matters of the heart. Winning third place was Gary VanDenBerg, who discussed ways to prevent dog bites. Brian Danielsonís speech argued that the we should not use certain fungi in an attempt to destroy marijuana plants. Gabe McGuire gave a presentation about terminator seeds, while James Kuwahara spoke about the influence of professional wrestling on American culture. Brian Simmonds advocated changing Oregonís testing of tenth graders.



Wanjiru (Carolyn) Kamau wowed the judges (Jim, David, and Bob) with her speech on Western versus African feminism.


The team gathered at President Tom Croninís house for a delicious salmon and asparagus dinner. You can see Henry Yaple (Penrose librarian), Keiko Pitter (Chief Technology Officer), Pat Keef (Dean of Faculty) on the left; Gabe McGuire, Bob Withycombe, Adam Symonds, Brian Simmonds, Brett Pahler, Nicholas Thomas, Mark Lanning, Sean Flammer, David Kearney, Gary Vandenberg and President Cronin on the upper right. In the second "row" there is Jessica Clarke, Tony Torres, Rose Alappat, Jim Hanson, and Keola Whittaker. In the front row is JP Lacy, Natalie Havlina, Courtney Gardner, Emily Cordo, Patty Bayley, Peter Stiffler, and Matt Johnson.

Whitman Competitors are active on campus

††††††††††† Not only do students compete in speech and debate, they are active participants in the greater Whitman community. Todd Borden and Emily Cordo are reviving the Gastronomical Society, which helps students learn to cook gourmet foods. The Associated Students has recognized them and provided funding for food and cooking utensils. Keola Whittaker is the former president of Hui Aloha, a campus group consisting of people interested in Hawaiian tradition. He recently was master of ceremonies at the clubís annual Luau, a dinner with entertainment that celebrates Hawaiian culture. First year student Brian Simmonds is an active member in Club Latino, and next semester he will be living in the Mecca House, an interest house that promotes multicultural learning. The resident assistant of the Mecca House is Wanjiru Kamau, who has competed in individual events for the squad the past two years. Emily Cordo and Courtney Gardner are active in the Sexual Assault Prevention Educators, as well as the Womenís Center.

††††††††††† The team also has garnered many academic honors this semester. Aside from the Perry scholarships, seniors Matt Johnson and Peter Stiffler participated in the first annual Whitman Undergraduate Conference. Matt gave a presentation related to his thesis on the role of love in the writings of St. Augustine; Peterís presentation was a comparison of gay gentrification patterns in San Francisco and Seattle. Matt and Peter were also elected to Phi Beta Kappa this spring. Matt and Adam Symonds will be graduating with honors Philosophy and Politics respectively, while Peter will be graduating summa cum laude with a degree in economics. Peter will be in an Urban Planning graduate program at Portland State University, while Matt will be studying to join the ministry at Meadville/Lombard in Chicago. Matt also won the Eugene Marx award for leadership on campus.

32 Spring Competitors

The team is big! "It makes our travel budget tight but it also means our program is giving the forensics experience to more students."

Competitors, Whitman Forensics, Spring 1999; Adam Symonds, Anthony Eames, Brett Pahler, Brian Danielson, Brian Simmonds, Carrie Mitchell, Courtney Gardner, Emily Cordo, Emma Zavala, Gabe McGuire, Gary VanDenBerg, Heather Fife, James Kuwahara, Jason Liu, Jennifer Anaya, Jessica Clarke, John Barbara, Kelly Schultz, Keola Whittaker, Mark Lanning, Matt Johnson, Natalie Havlina, Neil Schafer, Nicholas Thomas, Patricia Bayley, Peter Stiffler, Rose Alappat, Samir Hasan, Sean Flammer, Todd Borden, Tony Torres, Wanjiru Kamau

Rose Alappat had a very successful year. Despite being a virtual beginner, she and partner Brian Danielson went 6-2 in preliminary rounds at the NPDA National Championship Tournament.

Adam, national champion, is up to his typical shanigans. Watch out--he may throw that at you!

Team Awards

Weíve done exceptionally well this year. Some highlights include, of course, winning CEDA Nationals; the Utah-West Georgia weekend when all seven of our teams were in elimination rounds; Matt and Gary winning the Lewis and Clark and Whitman- NFC tournaments; and all four of our junior teams advancing to elimination rounds at the University of Southern California. Jim says "the thing Iím most proud of is not any particular trophy but the significant improvement in speaking and argumentation that I saw this year."



Policy CEDA-NDT Awards

JP Lacy had a lot to smile about this year. In addition to coaching the national champions, he also watched Adam and Jess take first place at Long Beach and the Northwest CEDA Championship.

Overall 2nd, Lewis and Clark; 2nd Western Scrimmage; 1st, U Oregon; 2nd, U So. California; 1st, Long Beach; 2nd, U Utah; 1st, Whitman; 1st, NW CEDA Champs; 6th, CEDA Nats

Jessica Clarke and Adam Symonds

4th, Western Scrimmage; 3rd, Lewis & Clark; 3rd Emporia; 3rd, Oregon; 9th, Wake Forest; 9th, U of So. Cal.; 1st, Long Beach State; 5th, West Georgia; 3rd, Northwestern; 17th, Heart; 1st, NW CEDA Champs; 1st, CEDA Nats; 9th, NDT

Courtney Gardner and Emily Cordo

10th, Western Scrimmage; 3rd, Oregon; 5th, NW CEDA Champs; 1st, U. So. California; 3rd, U. Utah

Brian Simmonds and Todd Borden

9th, NW CEDA Champs; 3rd, Lewis and Clark; 1st, U. Oregon; 3rd, U. So. California; 1st, U. Utah

Brett Pahler and Nicholas Thomas; 5th, Lewis and Clark; 5th, U. So. California; 5th, U. Utah

Natalie Havlina and Keola Whittaker; 5th, U Oregon

Jason Liu and Peter Stiffler; 9th, U. So. California; 1st, Lewis and Clark; 1st, U OREGON

Brett Pahler and Keola Whittaker; 1st, Western Scrimmage 

Matt Johnson and Gary Vandenberg; 2nd, Western Scrimmage

Patty Bayley and Bobby deGrouchy; 2nd, Lewis and Clark 

Julie Miller and Gabe McGuire; 3rd, Western Scrimmage

Brett Pahler and Todd Borden; 1st, Whitman

Adam Symonds and Emily Cordo; 1st, Whitman

Nicholas Thomas and Brian Simmonds; 3rd, Whitman

Lisa Beyl and Patty Bayley; 2nd, U Oregon

Parliamentary Awards

The Parli Team poses at the 1999 NPDA National Championship where they took sixth overall. From the right, you can see Nicholas, Brett, Gary, David, Keola, Jim, Gabe, Dave, Brian and in the front Matt and Rose.

Overall; 2nd, Lewis & Clark; 2nd, Whitman; 6th, Parli Nats

Matt Johnson and Gary VanDenBerg; 1st, Lewis & Clark; 2nd, U of Utah; 9th, WSCA; 1st, Whitman; 17th, Parli Nats

Rose Alappat and Brian Danielson ; 17th, Point Loma; 5th, Willamette; 33rd, Parli Nats; 5th, U of Oregon; 5th, WSCA

Emma Zavala and Kelly Schultz; 3rd, Whitman

Gabe McGuire and Peter Stiffler; 9th, Whitman

Patty Bayley and Natalie Havlina; 9th, Whitman

Sean Flammer and Mark Lanning; 1st, Whitman

Brian Danielson and Gabe McGuire; 3rd, U of Utah

Rose Alappat and Keola Whittaker; 5th, U of Utah

Keola Whittaker and Gabe McGuire; 9th, WSCA; 9th Willamette

Nicholas Thomas and Brett Pahler; 9th, WSCA

Julie Miller and Gabe McGuire; 5th, Lewis & Clark

Individual Events Awards

Nicholas, Adam, and Matt pose outside of Hunter. The three were part of a near close out of Extemporaneous finals at the NFC at Whitman College tournament; five of the six competitors in finals were from Whitman.

Adam Symonds, Junior Extemp: 4th, Whitman

Brain Danielson, Junior Impromptu: 3rd, WSCA

Carolyne Kamau, Junior Poetry: 3rd, U Oregon

Carrie Mitchell and Jennifer Anaya , Junior Duo: Finalist, U Oregon; 4th, Whitman

Emily Cordo, Junior Extemp-LD: 3rd, Whitman

Gabe McGuire, Junior Extemp: 5th, WSCA; 5th, Whitman; Junior Impromptu: Finalist, Lewis & Clark

Gary VanDenBerg, Junior Extemp: Finalist, Lewis & Clark

Jason Liu, Senior Extemp-LD: 3rd, Whitman

Jessica Clarke, Novice Prose: 4th, U Oregon

Julie Miller, Junior Impromptu: 3rd, Lewis & Clark

Kelly Schultz, Novice Informative: 3rd, Lewis & Clark

Mark Lanning, Novice Informative: Finalist, U Oregon; 3rd, Whitman

Matt Johnson, Junior Extemp: 6th, Whitman; Junior Impromptu: 1st, Lewis & Clark, Finalist, U Oregon

Nicholas Thomas , Junior Impromptu: 4th, U Oregon; 2nd, WSCA; Finalist, Whitman

Nicholas Thomas, Junior Extemp: 2nd, U Oregon; 3rd, Whitman; 2nd, WSCA

Rose Alappat, Novice Extemp: 3rd, U Oregon

Todd Borden, Junior Extemp-LD: 1st, Whitman