Chris Brown, Kelly Reed, Tanisha Smith, Breanna Taylor, (middle row) Kaitlyn Lybrand, Brittany Halley, Eddie Weaver, April Wright, (third row) Margaret Parrish, Hunter Barham, Justin Walker, and Coach Jim Evans.

Paced by Chris Brown and the debate team of Kelly Reed and Eddie Weaver, the University of Arkansas at Monticello finished eighth among 141 college and university debate teams at the International Public Debate Association’s national tournament and convention hosted last week by Middle Tennessee State University.

Awards were presented for both season-long performance and performance at the national tournament.

Brown, a graduate student from Siloam Springs, was a quarterfinalist in the professional division of the national tournament and received the first place speaker award in the professional division for season-long performance.

Reed, a senior political science and communication double major from Bella Vista, and Weaver, a sophomore physical education major from DeWitt, placed second in the season-long competition in IPDA debate. Reed captured three individual awards at the national tournament – second place varsity speaker, ninth place team speaker, and reached the round of 16 in varsity debate.

Justin Walker, a 2012 UAM graduate competing in the alumni division, was a professional semifinalist debate speaker while Brown was the ninth place professional speaker. Tanisha Smith, a junior political science major from Hamburg, reached the round of 16 three times in novice competition. April Wright, a sophomore political science and modern languages double major from Conway, reached the round of 16 in varsity debate and won a season-long award as the ninth place speaker in novice competition.

As a team, UAM won three season-long awards – third place in the professional division, fifth place in varsity debate, and sixth place in the Founders Cup competition.

Other students representing UAM at the competition were Breanna Taylor, a sophomore education major from North Little Rock, Kaitlyn Lybrand, a freshman psychology major from Sheridan, Brittany Halley, a junior communications major from Monticello, Hunter Barham, a sophomore forestry major from Sherwood, and Margaret Parrish, a senior psychology major from Pine Bluff.