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Sources: Craig Brown, 785-313-2377, craigb@k-state.edu;
Bobby Imbody, 785-317-0035, bobby@k-state.edu;
and Jenna Surprenant, 507-829-3600, jlsurp@k-state.edu

Monday, April 11, 2011

WHEN IT COMES TO PERSUASIVE SPEAKING, K-STATE'S JENNA SURPRENANT IS TOPS IN THE NATION

MANHATTAN -- A junior in communication studies is Kansas State University's 28th national champion in forensics.

Jenna Surprenant, Marshall, Minn., won the national championship in persuasion at the American Forensics Association-National Individual Events Tournament, April 2-4, in Kearney, Neb. The tournament host was the University of Nebraska-Kearney.

Competing against more than 150 students from more than 80 colleges and universities across the nation, Surprenant placed first in the final round after advancing through three rounds of preliminary competition and three elimination rounds. Her speech was on the threat to First Amendment free speech rights posed by strategic lawsuits against public participation, also known as SLAPP suits.

Surprenant is K-State's eighth national champion in persuasion since the forensics team began in 1976.

The American Forensics Association-National Individual Events Tournament is the most prestigious overall forensics national tournament, requiring an extensive qualification procedure that limits the competition to only the nation’s best public speakers, said Craig Brown, director of K-State's forensics program and an instructor of communication studies.

Surprenant was joined in elimination rounds by teammate Brock Ingmire, a junior in communication studies from Manhattan, who advanced to quarterfinals in after dinner speaking and semifinals in informative speaking.