Copper Mountain College Speech & Debate Team a Success at the Phi Rho Pi-National Championships in Illinois April 9-14th.

    April 20, 2012

    Five members of the Copper Mountain College (CMC) Speech and Debate team competed in the Phi Rho Pi- National Championships in Illinois. The prestigious, week-long tournament pitted the very best public speakers from over sixty colleges nationwide, against each other in thirteen individual and team events, to determine who the best in the country is.  “I am extremely proud of my Speech and Debate team for the success they have had this season, and all of the hard work it took to get this far,” says CMC speech professor and team coach Reyna Velarde.

    The national team included Amelia Dutt, Matt Evans, Dylan Tandoi, Krystina Noel Mason, and Alvin Primack. They were chosen as a result of their success at the tournaments leading up to the National Championship.  Alvin and Matt were only 1 point away from the semi-finals for their Informative Speeches, Al was 1 point away and Krystina was 2 points away from making Extemporaneous Speaking semis and Matt Evans 2 points from poetry semi-finals. These scores indicate they were in the top 30% in the nation for these events!  In Impromptu Speaking- Dylan Tandoi - with over 100 students entered - brought home the BRONZE!  Matt Evans, an honor student carrying 18 units, states, “It’s hard work to be able to deliver your speeches with precision, but it’s all worth it when you do well at a tournament”.


    This year marked the first time CMC sent a team to the National Event, which is a testament to the devotion and coaching skills of Professor Reyna Velarde, who was herself a champion forensicator for her alma mater, Cal State Long Beach and Cuyamaca College.  Ms. Velarde seems to have no limits when it comes to giving up her personal time to help her students and her team become the best they can be.

    The National’s trip would have been just a dream for the CMC speech and debate students if it wasn’t for the Copper Mountain College Foundation.  The Foundation sponsored the team by taking care of all the trip expenditures.  "Copper Mountain College Foundation funded over $6,000 to send the Speech and Debate Team to the National Championship because we strongly believe that learning doesn't stop outside the classroom”, Sandy Smith, Executive Director of the Foundation commented.  “CMC students need, and deserve, opportunities to stretch their limits, explore the world, challenge themselves mentally and the Foundation is proud to be able to use our donated dollars to profoundly change the lives of these five students."  

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