SMSU Briefs for March 14

Forensics team members do well at state tournament

Southwest Minnesota State University forensics team member Kristen Barnhardt took first in her category to highlight the team’s efforts at the Feb. 16-18 State Forensics Tournament in St. Cloud.

Barnhardt won her title in After Dinner Speaking. In her humorous speech, she advocated for normalizing disability in everyday life. It is the first individual state championship for a forensics team member since 2014, when Nick Dorman won a category.

Barnhardt is a junior disability advocacy and new media major from Sioux Falls, S.D.

Crystal Enga, a junior early childhood education major from Marshall, placed sixth in the Informative Speaking category. Her speech focused on how understanding the history of autism can inform our modern mindset and policies about the mental disability.

It marks the fourth consecutive year a Mustang has been a state finalist in Informative Speaking.

Also competing for SMSU at the tournament were Laura Huebert, a junior public relations major from Fairmont, and Katelyn Toner, a junior public relations major from Apple Valley.

“I’m excited and really proud of our team this year, and of our competitors at the state tournament,” said SMSU forensics coach Ben Walker. “They really put in the work, and it showed.”

Walker was elected the executive secretary of the Minnesota Collegiate Forensics Association.

SMSU will host the state tournament in 2019, said Walker.

Poetry of Susan McLean reading today at SMSU

“The Poetry of Susan McLean,” a reading by SMSU faculty, staff, administrators and students, will be today from 12:30-1:20 p.m. in the Whipple Gallery, located in the SMSU McFarland Library (BA 291) on campus.

Readers will are Kristen Barnhardt, Pat Brace, Emily Errico, Connie Gores, Maria Kingsbury, Jan Loft, Susan McLean, Linda Nelson, Thalia Otero, Saara Myrene Raappana, Maureen Sander-Staudt, Aimee Shouse and Marianne Zarzana.

The reading is sponsored by the SMSU Women’s Studies Committee and is part of the Women’s History Month celebration.

The event is free and the public is invited to attend.