Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Auditions for next season!

Photo: The team stopped for a quick shot while touring the campus at nationals. Do you want to be part of this crazy group? Then contact Coach Abbie (asyrek@unomaha.edu) for audition information.

Hi everyone. We speech folk hope that the first few weeks of summer are treating you well. What's going on with the team, you wonder? Glad you asked. On Saturday, June 12th the team will host our annual audition day as we prepare for the fall season. Anyone is welcome to audition, you just have to be an undergraduate student with plans to attend UNO this fall. For those of you who will be new to campus, let Coach Abbie know if you would like to meet with any other UNO groups, organizations, or academic departments. We're more than happy to help you make a day of it. Parents and friends are welcome to come along, just let Abbie know how many people you are planning to bring with you so we can order enough pizza.

If you're interested, contact Coach Abbie (asyrek@unomaha.edu) for more information. Hope to see you there!

Sunday, May 2, 2010

UNO Helps High School Students "Speak Up!"

Photo: Two East students approach Niveditha, Cameron, and Iven to ask questions about the college experience.

Way back in November, Shelley Molland, speech teacher at Sioux City's East High School, contacted Coach Abbie to arrange a collaborative workshop between East High and UNO. On April 30th, the project became reality! UNO students Iven Mendoza, Cameron Logsdon, and Niveditha Rajagopalan traveled with Abbie to East High to host "Speak Up," an all-day workshop focused on teaching minority students how to find their voice and use it to prepare for college and the professional world.

Photo: Niveditha delivers her After-Dinner speech about arranged marriages to the audience of East students.

The workshop began with Iven, Cameron, and Niveditha performing a variety of events they used in competition this year. After each performance, the 70 high school students in attendance pointed out their favorite aspects of each piece and discussed the social themes embedded within the selections. Then, 10 East students were given one-on-one coaching time with Cam, Iven, and Niv. After some practice time, these 10 students performed their selections as their peers applauded enthusiastically. Following this coaching session, Iven, Cam and Niv shared their personal stories of what brought them to UNO, how they finance college, and what keeps them motivated to keep working hard both in forensics, and in the classroom. They answered several questions from East students, and even exchanged contact information with some students and have since been communicating about college preparation and the processes involved with applications and scholarships.

Photo: Iven, Cameron, and Niveditha answered questions about the various campus activities students can get involved in at UNO.

In this wonderful activity of competitive speech, we often talk about the importance of getting into the community and using our skills to make a difference. Iven, Cameron, and Niveditha did just that on Friday. They spent the day mentoring 70 exceptional students. When it was all said and done, one student approached Niv and said, "Everyone around me was telling me not to go to college, but watching you three today taught me I have to follow my dreams." Another student told Abbie, "College always seemed so out of reach and a little too difficult. Now it seems cool and really fun. I can't wait!" It was a beautiful day.