WKU Forensics Team shows off championship skills

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Members of the world champion Western Kentucky University Forensics Team showcased the verbal skills that made them world champions on May 6, 2007, at Garrett Conference Center on campus.

Students performed in categories such as parliamentary debates and impromptu speaking. One of those to compete, Western junior Natalie Sinteck has always had performing in her blood. Her journey to forensic speaking began by being what she said was a "smart-aleck" in high school.

"My teacher who was the debate coach, at the time, thought that I was amusing and I needed to be on the forensics team for my high school," she recalled.

Sinteck's love of communications brought her to Western along with other young communicators. She performs in no less than five events like Lincoln-Douglas debates and duo interpretation. Sinteck also said the amount of preparation it takes to compete in forensics is mind-boggling.

"You find your material, you study your research, you become very aware of what it is you're going to speak about," Sinteck said.

"Day in and day out, you'll find them up here practicing, honing their skills. Rewriting and oratory, making a debate argument, researching a new topic or idea, they're very committed to what they do," said Dr. Judy Woodring, longtime coach of WKU's Forensic Team.

Western senior Joelle Perry has competed all over the world as a part of the Forensics team, and according to Perry, competing with others who come from a different culture than you can be an eye-opening experience.

"I remember one national tournament, actually competing against some debaters who had literally just come to the United States from China, having lived there their entire lives," Perry said.

Sinteck said her ability to immerse herself into other ways of communication has even led to what she wants to do after college, which is become a cartoon voice-over artist.

"The voices that I learned how to do are because of Forensics. That passion of doing voices is a direct result of my time in Forensics," Sinteck said.

Dr. Woodring said the team competes all across the country and around the world from September to April every year.

WKU recently won its sixth NFA National Tournament Championship in debate as well as its fourth championship in individual events in April 2006 in Georgia.

To view the WKU forensics Web page visit www.wku.edu/forensics.