Fullerton College Wins West Coast National Championship
The speech and debate season is the length of an entire academic year. It begins in August when this year’s topic, national health insurance, was officially announced and goes through national championship tournaments in March and April. During that time period, students research, practice and compete to be crowned a champion at the end of it all.
For Danielle Hyslop, every tournament was an opportunity to bring home victory for the Hornets. Hyslop, a philosophy major, has an impressive tournament record this season. She has competed in more than 40 debate rounds, winning nearly 80% of those debates. As a competitor, Hyslop is feared because she has head to head wins against San Francisco State University, CSU Fullerton, CSU Northridge, Monmouth University and Arizona State University.
“I joined debate to get more involved on campus and to use the skills for my future career path, practicing law”, says Hyslop. She continues, “Winning the Western Championship felt validating. My hard work paid off.”
Josh Kazarian, a virtual newcomer to the team, was Hyslop’s partner for the victory. Debate teams are pairs of two which compete against other pairs of two. The Western National Championship was Kazarian’s second tournament. “I joined debate after taking Communication Studies 135, Argumentation, with Professor Jeanette Rodriguez. It’s been a long time since I’ve been part of a team and I missed that feeling. I feel at home in debate,” said Kazarian who is a political science major with dreams of completing his degree at UC Berkeley.
Hyslop and Kazarian advanced to single elimination rounds as the second seed at the tournament. They beat very tough opponents from Weber State to win the championship. “It took a few day for the win to full set in”, said Karazian, “It is an honor to bring recognition to Fullerton College on the debate stage.” Hyslop offers this advice for those of you thinking about joining the team to pursue the next hornet championship, “You have to put in the work and want to win. Never give up.”
Additional Fullerton College speech and debate awards include fifth place junior varsity speaker Natalie Sutka; sixth place novice speaker Danielle Hyslop; seventh place novice speaker Jennifer Perry; eighth place novice speaker Evan Jensen; ninth place novice speaker Josh Kazarian; and quarter finalist novice team of Jensen and Perry.
The entire team resumes competition again on March 10 at the last national tournament of the season, the Novice Nationals Individual Events Tournament hosted by Suffolk University in Boston, Massachusetts. Students interested in joining the team may contact a coach to get started. There is still regional competition in April available for new members. The Fullerton College Speech and Debate team is coached by Jeanette Rodriguez, Toni Nielson, and Jeff Samano.