Four students recently earned top honors among the 12 persuasive speakers who presented at the 16th 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.
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.
Earning first-place honors in this year's competition was Michael Doehring of Savoy, whose speech supporting Ronald McDonald House earned him a $500 scholarship. Emily Eastin of Tolono came in second, with her speech for the Crisis Nursery. She will receive $250. John Nicol of Urbana was third, with a speech asking the audience to support Cunningham Children’s Home. He will receive $100. The Finalist award of $50 went to Malea Misenheimer of Mahomet, who supported C.O.P.S. Ronald McDonald House, the organization represented by the first-place speaker, will also receive a $500 donation from the Communication Program faculty.
"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 associate professor and Communication program director.
Judges for the event's final round included Aaron Eades, morning show anchor/reporter for WCIA 3 News; Kimberlie Kranich, director of community content and engagement for Illinois Public Media; Kathie Spegal, coordinator for Illinois Radio Reader Service; Hilary Valentine, associate marketing director for Parkland College; and Tracy Wahlfeldt, executive director of the Parkland College Foundation.
The contest is sponsored by the Parkland College Communication Program, Parkland's Fine and Applied Arts department and donations made to the contest scholarships. The awards come from the David 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 the communication discipline and student enrichment.
[Top image: 2019 Jones Speech Contest winners, l to r, Malea Misenheimer, Michael Doehring, John Nicol, and Emily Eastin. Bottom image: Winners with Julie Weishar, l, and contest faculty coordinator Jody Littleton, r.]