April 26, 2022

Sedalia, Missouri  April 26, 2022 – The State Fair Community College Speech and Debate team competed Phi Rho Pi’s “The Gateway to Gold” National Tournament in St. Charles from April 4-9. There were 41 community colleges competing.  

Phi Rho Pi is the National Community College Forensic Association and Honor Society. It is committed to increasing knowledge and appreciation of forensic arts at the community college level. It was founded in 1927 by Texan Sylvania Mariner and is one of the oldest forensics organizations.  

SFCC students who competed were sophomore Allyson Sampson of Quincy, Illinois, and freshman Joshua Kofahl of Jefferson City.  SFCC faculty Kaila Todd and Sarah Nail are the team’s coaches. 

The team competed in National Parliamentary Debate Association (NPDA) style debate. NPDA is a two-on-two limited preparation format of debate. Students are given a new topic each round and have 20 minutes to prepare their case.  

Sampson and Kofahl also competed in the International Public Debate Association (IPDA), which is a one-on-one limited preparation format in which students are given a new topic each round and have 30 minutes to prepare their case. Additionally, Sampson and Kofahl competed in individual forensics.  

Kofahl earned a National Championship by winning the Bell-Scroggins award, the Top NPDA speaker award. The team of Kofahl and Sampson earned National Championship by winning their Gold round in NPDA debate. 

In addition, the team earned the gold trophy in the Hindman Debate Sweepstakes division and the bronze trophy in the Hindman Overall Sweepstakes division.  

“As a team, we emphasize the real-world applicability of Forensics and Debate,” said Coach Todd. “Our coaching staff strives to help students learn how to use their voices to make an impact in the world, to empower students to advocate for the issues that matter to them.  

“We brought home several gold plaques, but more importantly, these plaques are indicative that Josh and Allyson are finding their voices. They will be able to leave the competitive debate circuit and make a difference in the world. As their coach, I could not be prouder of their hard work and dedication to the art of persuasion this competitive season.” 

The speech and debate team is open to all SFCC students. Those who want to learn more are encouraged to contact coaches Todd at (660) 596-7246 or ktodd4@sfccmo.edu or Nail at snail1@sfccmo.edu. 

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