Six Parkland College students earned top honors among the 30 persuasive speakers who recently presented at the 10th annual David M. Jones Persuasive Speaking Contest. The contest spotlights the speaking styles and skills of students who have taken classes in the Parkland College Communication program.
The May 2 competition also gave students the opportunity to speak in support of their favorite charity. Local as well as national and international charities were represented. The contest is sponsored by Parkland’s Fine and Applied Arts department, with major support from the Illini After Five Rotary of Champaign (providing first-place prize and matching donation), Bedford St. Martin's (second-place prize), and community donations made to the contest scholarship.
Earning first-place honors in this year’s competition was Dustin Hoke of Champaign, whose speech supporting Habitat for Humanity earned him a $500 scholarship; Habitat for Humanity will also receive a $500 donation.
Emily Pawlicki of St. Joseph came in second with her speech for the American Cancer Society. She will receive $250. Eric Fann of Champaign was third, with a speech asking the audience to support Habitat for Humanity. He will receive $100. The fourth- through sixth-place awards of $50 each went to Bradley Gustafson of Urbana, who supported Salt & Light; Tiege Rice of Champaign, who spoke on behalf of Special Olympics; and Matt Malec of Champaign, who spoke in support of Scholarship America.
“This year’s competition demonstrated just how much Parkland students have to offer and how motivated they are to make a difference in our world,” said Julie Weishar, speech communication instructor and faculty advisor for the school’s debate team.
Judges for the event’s final round were Parkland College President Tom Ramage; Erika Hackman, director of the school’s Center for Excellence in Teaching and Learning; Sue Grey, president and CEO of United Way of Champaign County; Amy Snyder, communication specialist with C-U MTD and member of Illini After Five Rotary; and Ed Kelly, Parkland emeritus professor of speech.
The contest awards come through the David M. Jones Persuasive Speech Contest Scholarship Fund, created in honor of Jones, former chair of the Fine and Applied Arts department from 1988 until his death from cancer in 2002. The annual speech contest honors Dr. Jones’ commitment to speech communication and student enrichment.
Community contributions to the David M. Jones Persuasive Speech Contest Scholarship Fund may be made through the Parkland Foundation; all support is greatly appreciated.