Miami first-year student Lauren DeJute took home top honors at the Pearson COM 135 Speech Showcase held Wednesday, Dec. 8. Her persuasive speech, "Starvation in Zimbabwe," bested seven other speakers in the department of communication's annual event.
DeJute, an education major, won $575 for her efforts and was recognized as the top speaker in Miami's Public Expression and Critical Inquiry classes for fall semester by both the judging panel and the audience vote.
Eight speakers competed in the showcase and, in addition to DeJute's first-place finish, sophomore business major Evan Swhear and sophomore communication and journalism major Emily Glaser placed second and third, respectively.
Swhear earned $200 for his second-place speech on "Revisiting Aversive Therapy," and Swhear's persuasive speech titled "Why You Should be an Informed Voter" took home a $100 third-place prize.
Raeann Harry, first-year family studies major; Kelsey Dauw, sophomore business major; Alex Frey, first-year business major; Jeremy Myeroff, sophomore business major; and Paul Niekamp, first-year finance major, also competed in the showcase and earned honorable mention recognition.
A panel of three communication faculty presided over the showcase and served as judges: Elizabeth Bayley, Janice Gennaria, and Carol Shulman. Marjorie Keeshan Nadler, professor in communication and the course director for COM 135, organized the event.
The COM 135 Showcase is designed as an opportunity to recognize the university's outstanding and talented speakers developed through COM 135 classes. The eight speakers selected to participate in the event were chosen by their peers and COM 135 instructors out of a pool of the best speakers in each section this fall.