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David M. Jones Speech Contest Winners for 2017

Five Parkland College students honored with scholarships

Friday, April 28, 2017
Five students earned top honors among the 26 persuasive speakers who recently presented at the 14th annual David Jones Persuasive Speaking Contest. The contest spotlights the speaking styles and skills of students who have taken a communication class at Parkland College. 2017 Jones Speech Contest Winners
The April 26 competition also gave students the opportunity to speak in support of their favorite charity. Local as well as national and international charities were represented.
Earning first-place honors in this year’s competition was Gabrielle Brownfield of Bloomington, whose speech supporting Living Alternatives Pregnancy Resource Center earned her a $500 scholarship. Ramy Akram-Ahmed of Champaign  came in second with his speech for Brain and Behavior Research Foundation. He will receive $250. Blake Bryan of Forsyth was third, with a speech asking the audience to support the American Cancer Society's Relay for Life. He will receive $100. The 4th- and 5th-place awards of $50 each went to Leon Lewis-Nicol of Freetown, Sierra Leone, who supported The Africa-America Institute; and Arsen Avagyan of Yerevan, Armenia, who spoke on behalf of the Eastern Illinois Foodbank.

Living Alternatives, the organization represented by the 1st-place speaker, will also receive a $500 donation from the Communication Program faculty. 
"I am inspired by these students," said Jody Littleton, Communication associate professor and master of ceremonies for the Contest. "It is a great way for them to learn about public speaking and help our community. I'm always impressed by their improvement in public speaking since the beginning of the semester." 

Judges for the event's final round included Les Schulte, corporate support associate for Illinois Public Media and Illini After 5 Rotary member; Brian Moline, morning edition host with WILL AM-FM Radio; Wendy Patriquin, Parkland College Humanities chair; Donna Tanner-Harold, Parkland College counselor; and Tim Wendt, Parkland College's director of enrollment management. The $500 first place award and the $500 to the charitable organization were donated by the Illini After Five Rotary.

[Image: 2017 David Jones Persuasive Speaking Contest winners are, l to r: Ramy Akram-Ahmed, Gabrielle Brownfield, Arsen Avagyan, Leon Lewis-Nicol, and Blake Bryan. Students are flanked by Fine and Applied Arts Chair Julie Weishar (l) and Communication professor and contest coordinator Jody Littleton.]

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