Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Speaker Snapshot

Photo: Ryan gives Cameron Logsdon advice before Poetry finals at AFA.

This week's Speaker Snapshot is a little different. Instead of highlighting one of our students, this post will feature Ryan Syrek, a volunteer UNO coach, who was honored at the Kansas in Nebraska tournament this past weekend.

Ryan Syrek has been active in the forensics community for over a decade. He competed for Creighton University and upon graduation was hired as an assistant coach at Creighton University, followed by the University of Nebraska at Lincoln. He now spends several hours each week and most weekends coaching for UNO. Ryan is a volunteer coach at UNO, donating his time editing speeches, cutting literature, coaching events, and traveling with the team to judge at tournaments. Why does he do this? For the love of the game, of course (the fact that his wife is the Director of Forensics at UNO might also have something to do with it!).

On Sunday, January 24th Directors of Forensics Aaron Duncan (UNL) and Craig Brown (KSU) honored Ryan with the Joe Black Distinguished Service Award. During the award presentation they thanked Ryan for being an "advocate for forensics." They also thanked him for writing insightful ballots to encourage competitor growth and for going above and beyond the call of duty as a behind-the-scenes coach. Congrats Ryan! We're lucky to have you.

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Kansas in Nebraska Swing

Photo: Stephanie Larsen, Jacki Miller, and Eastin Yates flashing a smile for the camera!

On January 23rd and 24th, the team traveled to Lincoln, NE to compete in the Kansas in Nebraska swing, co-hosted by UNL and K-State. Here are results:

Saturday, January 23rd:
Iven Mendoza: 1st in Duo with Cortney Griffith, 2nd in Poetry, 3rd in Prose, 3rd in POI. Iven also won individual sweepstakes.
Jacki Miller: 1st in Extemp, 4th in Impromptu. Jacki paced 3rd in individual sweepstakes.
Brian Robinson: 1st in Persuasion, 1st in ADS.
Jonna Rebensdorf: 2nd in DI, 4th in Duo with Stephanie Larsen, 6th in Prose
Tessie Stednitz: 5th in Informative
Eastin Yates: 4th in Poetry, 4th in POI
Cortney Griffith: 1st in duo with Iven Mendoza, 5th in DI
Danielle Steen: 2nd in Persuasion

UNO placed 1st as a team.

Sunday, January 24th:
Niveditha Rajagopalan: 1st in Communication Analysis, 4th in Persuasion
Iven Mendoza: 1st in POI, 5th in Prose
Jonna Rebensdorf: 4th in Duo with Stephanie Larsen, 5th in DI
Stephanie Larsen: 3rd in POI, 4th in Duo with Jonna Rebensdorf, 5th in Informative Speaking
Tessie Stednitz: 2nd in Informative Speaking
Brian Robinson: 2nd in Persuasion

UNO placed 3rd as a team on Sunday.
UNO placed 1st in combined team sweepstakes for the weekend.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Results from the Sleet & Sun Swing

On January 16th and 17th Coach Vanessa took Jonna, Jacki, Eastin, Stephanie, Blaine, Iven, Cortney and Danielle to the Sleet & Sun swing in Seward, NE. Here are the results:

Saturday, January 16th:
Blaine Miller placed 1st in Dramatic Interpretation, 2nd in Duo (with Danielle Steen), 2nd in Prose and 6th in Communication Analysis. Blaine also won individual sweepstakes.
Iven Mendoza placed 1st in Duo (with Cortney Griffith) and 2nd in Poetry.
Eastin Yates placed 4th in POI.
Cortney Griffith placed 1st in Duo with Iven.
Jacki Miller placed 6th in Extemporaneous Speaking.
Stephanie Miller and Jonna Rebensdorf placed 4th in Duo.

UNO placed 3rd as a team.

Sunday, January 17th:
Iven Mendoza placed 1st in Duo with Cortney Griffith, 2nd in Poetry, and 6th in Prose.
Eastin Yates placed 2nd in Prose, 3rd in POI, and 6th in Poetry.
Jonna Rebensdorf placed 4th in Prose.
Jacki Miller placed 4th in Extemp.
Stephanie Larsen placed 3rd in Informative Speaking.
Danielle Steen and Blaine Miller placed 4th in Duo.

Blaine Miller won overall individual sweepstakes (Saturday & Sunday combined). The team placed 3rd.

A Weekend in Texas: HFO Results

Photo: Tessie and Cameron on the UT campus.

The weekend of January 16th and 17th was a great one for UNO Forensics! We split squad. Allison, Brian, Cameron, Niveditha and Tessie went with Coach Abbie to Austin for the 11th annual Hell Froze Over (HFO) swing hosted by the University of Texas at Austin and Bradley University. There were 40 schools in attendance and nearly 100 competitors in each event. After two preliminary rounds, 12 competitors advance to semi-finals. Six advance from semis to finals. Here are results from HFO:

Saturday, January 16th:

Cameron Logsdon (junior Speech Communication major) broke all five of his events to semis including Dramatic Interpretation, Duo (with Allison Henri), Poetry, POI, Prose. He advanced three to finals and placed 1st in Poetry, 5th in Duo and 5th in POI. Cameron placed 4th in Overall Individual Sweepstakes.
Allison Henri (junior Speech Communication major) broke two events to semis including Duo (with Cameron Logsdon) and Poetry. She advanced both to finals and placed 2nd in Poetry and 5th in Duo.
Tessie Stednitz (sophomore Elementary Education major) broke two events to semis including Poetry and POI.

UNO placed 4th out of 40 schools.

Sunday, January 17th:
On Sunday, all five UNO students advanced to semis.

Allison Henri broke all five of her events to semis including After-Dinner Speaking (ADS), Duo (with Cameron), Informative Speaking, Poetry, and Prose. She advanced three to finals and placed 5th in Duo, 5th in Poetry and 6th in Prose.
Cameron Logsdon broke three events to semis. He advanced two to finals and placed 1st in POI and 5th in Duo.
Tessie Stednitz broke Poetry to semis and advanced to finals. She placed 2nd in the event.
Niveditha Rajagopalan (sophomore Biotechnology major) broke Impromptu and After-Dinner Speaking to semi-finals.
Brian Robinson (junior Political Science major ) broke impromptu to semi-finals.

UNO tied for fifth place.

Photo: Allison, Niveditha, and Tessie making final revisions to their
speeches before the tournament.

Speaker Snapshots

Blaine Miller is a sophomore on the UNO Forensics team majoring in Secondary Education with emphases in History and English. Blaine graduated in 2008 from Bellevue East High school where he served as a team captain for the forensics team.

During UNO's 2009-2010 season, Blaine has competed in five events including Dramatic Interpretation, Duo, Communication Analysis, Persuasion, and Prose. To give an example of Blaine's work, this year his persuasive speech analyzes the foreign and domestic implications of the ever-growing Evangelical influence in the United States military. As of January, 2010 Blaine has four of his five events qualified for the American Forensics Association-National Individual Events Tournament (AFA-NIET) to be held in April at the University of Wisconsin Eau Claire.

When he's not competing or memorizing dates and dialogue, Blaine spends his time relaxing at home with his roommates, two of which are also competitors on the UNO speech team. He also has a part-time job as a DJ at Skate City in Bellevue. Blaine has a particular interest in video and computer games and can rarely be found during downtime with out his laptop nearby.

-By Cameron Logsdon