UT Tyler Office of News and Information

UT Tyler Debate Teams Awarded Honors During Season Opener

September 24, 2010

Media Contact:
Hannah Buchanan
Public Affairs Specialist
News and Information
The University of Texas at Tyler

The University of Texas at Tyler Debate Team finished in the top three at the debate season opener, Dr. Dennis Cali, Department of Communication chair, announced.

UT Tyler joined other colleges and universities from across the country to participate in first tournament of the collegiate debate season held at William Jewell College in Liberty, Mo.

Freshman English major Addison Gribbin of Ennis and freshman accounting major Michael Jones of Paris placed first in the junior varsity division. Gribbin and Jones went undefeated through the preliminary debates.

The junior varsity division is reserved for debaters who are either new to the activity or are in the first two years of competition.

“We were excited with how well we did. It’s a great thing to go undefeated and win the tournament. We can’t wait for the rest of the season,” said Gribbin.

In the varsity division, junior economics major Alex Warren of Tyler and junior political science/communications double major Travis Smith of Palestine went undefeated through the preliminary debates and finished third at the tournament. They defeated teams from William Jewell College, Texas Tech University, Southern Illinois University and McKendree University.

“We achieved two goals at this tournament,” Smith said. “First, we established a name for ourselves. People now see us and know they have to be on their A-game. Second, we set a tempo for the year. We believe we can be successful throughout the year.”

Smith and Warren also were selected as one of eight teams to participate in the prestigious University of Puget Sound Round Robin next month.

“The round robin is a big deal. It’s typically some of the best teams in the nation and to be selected is a way of saying that we have achieved a new level of recognition in the debate world,” Warren said.

The UT Tyler Debate Team participates in parliamentary debate and will travel to several tournaments throughout the fall semester. Their next tournament will be at Lonestar College in Kingwood, co-hosted by Rice University.

For more information about the debate program at UT Tyler, contact Dr. Charles Walts, director of forensics, 903.565.5627 or CWalts@uttyler.edu.

One of the 15 campuses of the UT System, UT Tyler offers excellence in teaching, research, artistic performance and community service. More than 80 undergraduate and graduate degrees are available at UT Tyler, which has an enrollment of more than 6,400 high-ability students at its campuses in Tyler, Longview and Palestine.

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 Last Published 1/7/11