Miami sophomore Sierra Hollopeter took home top honors in front of an audience close to 500 people at the Pearson COM 135 Speech Showcase held Wednesday, Dec. 5. Her speech, "The Importance of Laughter," bested seven other speakers in the department of communication's annual event.
Hollopeter, an undecided business major, won $575 for her speech 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, in addition to Hollopeter's first-place and audience choice award finish, senior economics major Adam Walker and sophomore strategic communication and psychology double major Trevor Jordan placed second and third, respectively. Walker earned $200 for his second-place speech on "Vote out the Electoral College." Jordan's speech titled "Down with the Drinking Age" took home a $100 third-place prize.
Kathryn Altizer, first year accounting major; Marshall Newman, sophomore supply chain management major; Nick Szappano, first year diplomacy and global politics major; Emily Grunder, first year marketing major; and Jake Ganger, first year university studies 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: Carol Shulman, Christe McKittrick, and Dan Behnke. 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.