Miami University first-year student Tohru Kamiya of Japan took top honors at the Pearson COM 135 Speech Showcase held Wednesday, Dec. 7. His persuasive speech, "Why Everyone Should Use Chopsticks," bested seven other speakers in the department of communication's annual event.
Kamiya, an architecture major, won $575 for his speech and was recognized as the top speaker in Miami's COM 135: Public Expression and Critical Inquiry classes for fall semester by both the judging panel and the audience vote.
Eight speakers competed in the showcase. Sophomore finance major Bo Chen and sophomore communication and journalism double major Taylor Weese placed second and third, respectively. Chen earned $200 for her second-place speech on "Affirmative Action," and Weese's persuasive speech titled "Why the NCAA Should Not Pay College Football Players" won a $100 third-place prize.
David Beeder, sophomore business major; Sarah Shew, junior communication and Spanish double major; Kirtis Yurchak, first-year economics major; Ryan Wheeler, sophomore management major; and Meryl Small, sophomore marketing major, also competed in the showcase and earned honorable mention recognition and $25 each.
A panel of three communication faculty presided over the showcase and served as judges: Janice Gennaria, Ian Hopkins, 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. The $1,000 in prize money was donated by Pearson, a publishing company.