11th annual Honors Speech Contest

This year around 150 students attended the Honors Speech contest organized by the Communication department, Professor of Communication Neil Patten, and hosted by last year’s winner Allegra Babiarz.

The first finalist, Hannah Wilkins opened the evening with her informative speech about why we kiss, where kissing stems from developmentally, and what happens in our brains during these intimate exchanges. Wayne Bersano delivered a passionate call-to-action, imploring everyone in the room to help end bullying. Gaylord, MI was the home to both Claude Shannon, mathematician and founder of Information Theory, and finalist Kathleen Lucas who shared the importance of Shannon’s legacy as the most famous person from her hometown. Aaron Zebolsky explained the workings of an invention that can restore sight to the blind in his First-Prize-winning speech.

First Place includes a $100 prize and custom honors messenger bag. The speeches were judged by Provost Fritz Erickson, Assistant Professor of Biology Anne Spain, and Adjunct Professor of Communication Paul Zube. This annual event rewards students in COMH 121 for excellence in their work, all of the finalists displayed confidence, clarity, brilliant use of appeal and novelty in their topics. The evening was enjoyed by students, faculty and staff.