On November 17 and 18, 2017, the Yuba College Speech Team, medaled in all but 2 events out of sixteen in eight different categories at UC Berkeley for an invitational speech competition. Students : Ada Schmidt, Anthony Sunford, Roberto Arteaga, Devan Walsh, and Jason Kane also too home Best college or University team with fewer than 6 students, Best Community College Team, Best student of Oral Interpretation of Literature (Ada Schmidt) and Best Extemporaneous Speaker (Anthony Sunford).
All in the Speech Team came home with eighteen awards in a the competition but it may not have been possible if not for needing funding to help them travel to events for practice and skill building.
Below, Suzanne Ruckle, Speech Coach and Professor of Communication Studies at Yuba College, answers several questions about the experience. As you read through her answers remember you can attend the Speech Teams event this Monday evening to support them and see what the buzz is about.
Jodi Hernandez-Tell me about your wins in Berkeley
Suzanne Ruckle-Five members of the Yuba College Speech Team and Speech Club entered a speech competition at UC Berkeley with 9 other colleges and Universities November 17-18 2017. The students consisted of Ada Schmidt, Anthony Sunford, Roberto Arteaga, Devan Walsh, and Jason Kane. (Other members normally include Margaret Grover and Yvonne Madison but they could not attend this competition.)
This competition had two categories: Public Speaking Events: (Impromptu, Extemporaneous, Informative, Persuasive and Speaking to Entertain) and Performance of Literature events (Prose, Poetry, Drama and a mix of all genre called Oral Interpretations of Literature.) These five students entered a total of 16 events and won medals in 14 of the 16 events. The team won in most categories which included Extemporaneous, Impromptu, Informative, Speaking to Entertain and Prose, Poetry, Dramatic Interpretation and Oral Interpretation of Literature. These wins enabled Yuba College to earn four more medals for top honors in the competition which included: 1. Best College or University team with 6 or fewer members, 2.Best Community College, 3.Best Speaker in the Public Speaking Category (Anthony Sunford) and 4.Best Speaker in the Oral Interpretation Category (Ada Schmidt).
JH- What do you think was the biggest factor?
SR-Participating in more speech competitions this year has definitely made us more competitive. Our team recently attended the Delta College and University of the Pacific Speech Competitions Nov 3-5 with over 22 colleges and Universities from California and won seven medals total in speech and literature events in one of the most competitive tournaments of the year. This competition enabled us to see what we were doing well and areas we could improve. For the Berkeley competition, we added new events and improved the programs we already had.
JH-I heard about the funding you received was that a big part of being successful?
SR-We have been so fortunate to be sponsored by Student Equity which is a program designed to give Yuba College students an equal chance to participate in college and club-related events for students that would otherwise not be able to attend. Being able to attend more speech competitions definitely makes the team more competitive. We can see our competitors and try to adjust our programs to gain an advantage in the competition.
JH- How long have you been the adviser for Speech Team?
SR-I have been advising the Speech Team since 1995 when I was hired at Yuba College as the Director of Forensics and Speech Communication Professor. Intercollegiate Forensics is the name given to the practice of competitive Speech and Debate at Colleges and Universities. Yuba College is a Member of the Northern California Forensics Association and the Phi Rho Pi National Forensics Association.
JH- What kind of benefit do you think Speech team has for students who want
to get involved?
SR-The Speech Team gives students valuable tools for improving both their public speaking skills and learning how to perform literature in front of an audience. Employers have consistently rated the “Soft Skills” of Public and face-to-face communication as the Number-One skill needed in the workforce today. The Speech Team teaches students confidence and skills in these areas. Our Speech Team students often choose to earn degrees in Communication Studies, and also have gone go on to study and earn degrees in law, business, media, public relations, politics, and teaching. I would encourage students in any area of study at Yuba College to join the Speech Team or Speech Club to enhance their public communication skills.
JH- Tell me what we will see at the show on Monday
SR-The Speech Team will be performing Oral Interpretations of Literature on Monday December 11 at 7 p.m in our school Theater at Yuba College. We will be performing a variety of short stories, poetry programs and drama which reflect both social issues as well as classic Christmas literature. All ticket sales will go towards funding future speech competitions as well.
JH- Tell me about the blood, sweat and tears the performers put into their
performance as far as practice etc.
SR-The blood sweat and tears the team experiences relates to the research and constant improvement of all the speeches and literature programs they perform! It is a never-ending process of practice, revising and improving. The key to performing literature in particular, is finding a theme that speaks to the performer. Our Speech Team looks for poetry prose and drama that is not only engaging, but represents an issue that needs to be addressed. The hardest work comes in researching appropriate themes to explore in literature or public speaking. The next challenge is to have students analyze the literature and decide which “voices” to give to the pieces they present. Students must give every piece they perform a distinct character. With Public Speaking it is constant research, writing, and rehearsing to present a compelling performance.
The line up for the show this Monday, December 11, 2017 begins at 7pm in the Yuba College Theater. Tickets are $7 general admission and $5 for students.
Below is the program for the evenings performances:
Speech Night: Oral Interpretations of Literature
Presented by The Yuba College Speech Team
Monday December 11 2017: 7 p.m. Yuba College Theater
Welcome and Introductions: Professor Suzanne Ruckle
- Melissa Cleveland- Oral Interpretation: “Gratitude.”
- Roberto Arteaga- Prose: “The line in the Sand.” By Francisco Cantu
- Yvonne Madison-Poetry: “Surviving one day at a time.”
- Cynthia Chaney-Prose: “The gift of the Magi” by O. Henry
- Ada Schmidt– Drama: “The Bad Seed.” By Maxwell Anderson
- Margaret Grover– Poetry: “:The Scorpion and the Tortoise.” By David Rakoff
- Jason Kane– Prose: “Sam,me and Oscar.” By Eddie Hejka
- Anthony Sunford– Oral Interpretation: “For those who can’t be home for Christmas.”