The University of Kentucky Speech and Debate Team honored the team members who made outstanding contributions throughout the year at the annual College of Communication and Information Student Awards Ceremony held March 23, 2018. These awards recognized the students who excelled competitively throughout the year, served the organization with distinction, and uniquely gave of themselves in support of their teammates. The awards and recipients for this year are:
Outstanding Competitor of the Year
This award is given to the competitor who has earned the most cumulative points across all public speaking and debate events throughout the season. Winning this award demonstrates the highest level of competitive success in all event categories. This year’s recipient won 36 individual awards this season including 11 event championships or first place finishes. This student was also recognized by the Kentucky Forensic Association with a Harlan Hamm award for service and contributions to our activity across the commonwealth. If all of that was not enough, this year’s recipient won only the second national championship in the team’s history at the 2018 Pi Kappa Delta national tournament. The 2017-2018 Outstanding Competitor of the Year is senior Matthew Karijolic.
Outstanding New Competitor of the Year
This award is given to the new competitor who has earned the most cumulative points across all public speaking and debate events throughout the season. To be eligible, a student must be in their first season of competition with the team, either as an incoming freshman or as a transfer student. This year’s recipient won 24 individual awards this season including 2 event championships or first place finishes, 2 placings in individual sweepstakes including runner up state champion at our state tournament, and 5 top novice awards. The 2017-2018 Outstanding New Competitor of the Year is freshman Rest Aliu.
Outstanding Service Award The outstanding service award is given to a team member who has shown tremendous dedication to the team over the past year through acts of incredible service. In addition to competing in a full slate of their own events, this year’s recipient has spent the past two seasons helping to setup and maintain our team research database. Speech and debate takes a lot of research and each week every team member is responsible for reading the news and filing the most important stories in our database. Two years ago, we moved to a new system that made the filing process easier for team members, but meant that we needed a point person to oversee the database. Thus, the team officer position of research coordinator was created and this year’s recipient was the inaugural person elected to that new position. They have played a crucial role in our team’s success over that time period. This person’s love of research has also carried them across the Atlantic as they are currently researching abroad at the University of Leuven in Belgium. For these contributions and more, the team recognizes Veronica Scott as this year’s outstanding service award winner.
Team Member of the Year
The team member of the year award is given to the competitor voted most supportive, generous, and helpful by their teammates. This year’s winner frequently went out of their way to provide support for their team including helping them to practice and memorize speeches, research topics, create debate cases, review resumes, brainstorm potential topics, and even offered transportation around Lexington when needed. They have worked tirelessly as an officer to grow and support the team. This person’s teammates said that the recipient personally made a tremendous difference in their lives this season and that their individual successes were in part due to his support. Director of the team, Timothy Bill noted that "It speaks volumes about his character and who he is as a person, that he is both the recipient of the competitor of the year award and this recognition. He is both good and good person." This year’s team member of the year is senior Matthew Karijolic.
The University of Kentucky Speech and Debate Team is committed to training the next generation of civic leaders who are passionate about effecting change in their communities. To foster these skills, the team takes part in competitions throughout the southeast region of the United States. The team’s final competition of the season will be the National Forensic Association National Tournament held April 19-23, 2018 at the University of Wisconsin – Oshkosh in Oshkosh, WI. UK Speech and Debate is a student organization in the School of Information Science in the College of Communication and Information. To find out more, please visit the team’s website www.ukforensics.com.