Competitive Speech Team Gains Impressive Results

Photo ID: Competitive Speech Team: Back (L-R): Andy Rapp, Joshua Gammon, Kirk Longuski, Mark Marciniak; Front (L-R): Cherell Granger, Chene Kushmaul, McKenzie Terwillegar

Photo ID: Competitive Speech Team: Back (L-R): Andy Rapp, Joshua Gammon, Kirk Longuski, Mark Marciniak; Front (L-R): Cherell Granger, Chene Kushmaul, McKenzie Terwillegar


Northwood University’s Competitive Speech Team recently gained impressive wins at competitions hosted by Bowling Green State University (BGSU), Ohio University (OU) and Wayne State University (WSU).

In the initial phase of the first BGSU Debate & Rock ‘n Roll themed competition, the five-member group placed sixth. They then gained additional momentum the following day placing fourth in the university’s One for the ROADIE Tournament. All five members made it to finals, and received the following awards:




Debate & Rock ‘n Roll Competition

  • Joshua Gammon – 5th in Extemporaneous
  • Cherell Granger – 3rd in Programmed Oral Interpretation and 5th in Persuasion
  • Chene Kushmaul – 3rd in Novice Persuasion, (Sun.) Received Top Novice in Persuasion
  • Kirk Longuski – 2nd in Persuasion, 4th in Impromptu, and 5th in After Dinner Speaking
  • McKenzie Terwillegar – 4th in Programmed Oral Interpretation

One for the ROADIE Tournament

  • Joshua Gammon – 3rd in Extemporaneous
  • Cherell Granger – 2nd in Programmed Oral Interpretation, 3rd in Rhetorical Criticism and Persuasion and 1st in Individual Top Speaker Awards
  • Chene Kushmaul –Top Novice in Persuasion
  • Kirk Longuski – 1st in Impromptu, 3rd in After Dinner Speaking and 6th in Extemporaneous
  • McKenzie Terwillegar – 1st in Programmed Oral Interpretation, and 4th in Individual Top Speaker Awards

Continuing their success at the Pi Kappa Delta National Tournament hosted by OU, the group did well, placing 15th out of 54 as it competed against some of the nation’s most competitive and large teams. Unlike other national tournaments, the Pi Kappa Delta National tournament does not place schools in divisions according to size. Excellent awards are distributed to the top thirty percent of speakers in each category and the prestigious Superior awards are distributed to the top ten percent. At the award’s ceremony, the team received the following 14 awards:

  • Joshua Gammon – Excellent in Interviewing, Persuasion, Impromptu, and Extemporaneous
  • Cherell Granger – Excellent in Interviewing, Impromptu, and Rhetorical Criticism; Superior in Persuasion
  • Kirk Longuski – Excellent in Interviewing, After Dinner Speaking, and Impromptu; Superior in Persuasion
  • McKenzie Terwillegar – Excellent in Impromptu and Rhetorical Criticism

Gaining momentum, the team then went on to compete at the Michigan Intercollegiate Speech League (MISL) State Tournament hosted by WSU. After facing fierce competition while battling teams two or three times their size, the team increased their current standings to 114 wins and 55 losses, placing 3rd in the state with the following wins:

  • Joshua Gammon – 1st in Informative Speaking and prestigious title of Informative State Champion
  • Cherell Granger – 5th in Rhetorical Criticism, Persuasion, and Programmed Oral Interpretation
  • Kirk Longuski – 4th in Informative Speaking, 5th in Impromptu and After Dinner Speaking, and 6th in Extemporaneous Speaking
  • McKenzie Terwillegar – 6th in Programmed Oral Interpretation

The tournament also held special meaning for head coach Andy Rapp when the MISL honored him with a standing ovation and a retirement cake to celebrate his forensics career of more than twenty years. The Timberwolves will complete their season at the National Forensics Association national tournament, hosted by Ohio University on April 16th– 20th in Athens, Ohio.

About Northwood University

Northwood University is committed to the most personal attention to prepare students for success in their careers and in their communities; it promotes critical thinking skills, personal effectiveness, and the importance of ethics, individual freedom and responsibility.

Private, nonprofit, and accredited, Northwood University specializes in managerial and entrepreneurial education at a full-service, residential campus located in mid-Michigan. Adult Degree Programs are available in multiple states and online. The DeVos Graduate School offers accelerated, evening and weekend programming in Michigan and Texas. The Alden B. Dow Center for Creativity and Enterprise provides system-wide expertise in family enterprise, entrepreneurship, creativity and innovation, and new business development. International education is offered through study abroad and in Program Centers in China (Changchun and Wuxi), Malaysia and Sri Lanka.