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Speech and Debate Team Wins Phi Rho Pi National Speech Championship

Speech and debate teamAfter more than two years of online tournaments, the Cerritos College speech and debate team returned to in-person competition at the Phi Rho Pi national championship tournament in St. Charles, MO—and came home a national speech champion.

Angel Sanabria with awardsTeam president Angel Sanabria highlighted the team’s achievements with a gold award in extemporaneous speaking. Students have just 30 minutes to prepare a seven-minute researched speech on a current events-related topic in this event. Angel outspoke a field of 60 competitors en route to the final round, where he received the highest combined scores from three judges for his speech on trends in major stock indices. Angel is Cerritos College’s first national speech/debate champion in nearly a decade. 

Angel added to his speech accolades by winning a bronze national semifinalist award in International Public Debate. In addition, three other students qualified and competed at Phi Rho Pi Nationals:

  • Team vice president Madison Criollo qualified in impromptu speaking, prose interpretation, and persuasive speaking.
  • Nathaly Guerrero qualified in prose interpretation, dramatic interpretation, and program oral interpretation. 
  • Jose Gonzalez qualified in communication analysis, impromptu speaking, and extemporaneous speaking.

Phi Rho Pi, an honor society for community college speech and debate programs founded in 1927, annually hosts the United States’ foremost community college speech and debate competition. More than 200 students from 41 community colleges competed at the tournament this year.

The forensics team is recruiting new competitors for the 2022-2023 school year, and the 2023 Phi Rho Pi tournament will be held in suburban Washington, D.C. Students interested in competing with the team and pursuing a bid to nationals can contact Dr. Nick Matthews at nmatthews@cerritos.edu. Follow the team on Instagram! @cerritos.speechanddebate

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