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OCC Speech Team Wins Nationals
Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Coast Scores Gold at Phi Rho Pi National Tournament

The Orange Coast College Speech, Debate and Theater Team brought home a national championship this week after competing at the 2013 Phi Rho Pi Community College National Forensics Tournament held from April 7-13 in Denver, CO.

OCC scored more the most points in “individual events,” winning the top gold medal in the large-school division. Approximately 60 community colleges were in Denver to compete in the week-long event.

OCC also had a fourth place showing in combined speech and debate sweepstakes, one of two silver medals in the overall sweepstakes large-school division.

The parliamentary debate team of Austin Funk (Huntington Beach) and David Miller (Huntington Beach) were voted by their peers as the winners of the Bossard-Twohy Parliamentary Debate Award, recognizing them as the top debate team at the tournament. Last year, Funk was recognized as the top debater in a different category of debate, NFA Lincoln Douglas. He is one of only two students in the history of the national tournament to be voted as the top debater in two different categories.

Coast also won a gold medal in Interpreters Theater where students present a staged and memorized show using oral interpretation techniques.

OCC sent 14 students to the national competition. Eleven students returned home with medals, including seven gold medals, two silver medals and nine bronze medals. Several team members won more than one medal. It was the first national competition for 11 OCC students.

OCC Forensics Director Christopher DeSurra and Director of Debate, Sherana Polk coach the team with part-time faculty members Erin Harris, Das Nugent, Shaw Davari, Nichole Barta, Dana-Jean Smith, Sean Conner and Bryan Malinis.

Orange Coast College, founded in 1947, is one of the nation's top transfer schools. With a student population of 22,000, OCC provides exemplary programs leading to Associate degrees and 145 career programs. The college's 164-acre campus is located in the heart of Costa Mesa.