The University of Arkansas at Monticello Debate Team captured the Arkansas state championship and placed second overall in the Southern Regional Debate and Forensics Championship Tournament held recently at Louisiana State University-Shreveport.
Members of UAM’s state championship debate team, pictured above are, (front row, from left) Kyle Hargis, Gabrielle Swain, Luke Beatty, Grace Nash, Gauge Adkins, Nathan Bailey, (back row, from left) Reagan Dobbs, Cody Bijou, Jacob Chisom, Blake Adkins and Ben Graves.
The event attracted teams representing 22 colleges and universities from Arkansas, Louisiana, Texas and Mississippi.
Four UAM students were declared Arkansas state champions in their individual events. Jacob Chisom was state champion in the varsity division of extemporaneous speaking; Reagan Dobbs of Dayton, Texas was both the state and overall champion varsity speaker; Kyle Hargis of Warren was state champion in the novice division of impromptu speaking; and Gabrielle Swain of Monticello was state champion in novice persuasive speaking.
Other awards went to Kelly Brown of Siloam Springs (second place professional speaker), Cody Bijou of Crosby, Texas (fifth place varsity speaker and team semifinalist), Luke Beatty of Dermott (quarterfinalist in junior varsity debate); Ben Graves of Hot Springs (round of 16 in junior varsity debate); Gauge Adkins of Vilonia (third place speaker in the novice division and novice quarterfinalist); and Blake Adkins of Vilonia (round of 16 in novice debate).
Other UAM students participating were Nathan Bailey of Monticello and Grace Nash of Mount Holley.