Lynn recently hosted, co-facilitated and placed in the Florida Intercollegiate Forensics Association (FIFA) 2019 State Championship. 

Though the Lynn debate team previously competed in the FIFA tournament, this was Lynn’s first time hosting the event. Competitors, volunteers and judges raved about the championship’s success, and the Lynn community showered the debate team with support. A total of 28 Lynn faculty members volunteered as judges, and Professor Paul Gormley provided food for the competitors. 

“This was the smoothest FIFA tournament I’ve ever seen,” said Jon Conway, director of speech at the University of Central Florida and FIFA president. 

In all, 97 competitors from 13 Florida schools attended the tournament. Lynn fielded four teams for parliamentary debate, two competitors for speech events and one competitor for Lincoln-Douglas style debate. For the first time, a Lynn team reached the quarterfinals in the state championship for parliamentary debate. 

“My fear of debating an American-style policy debate was conquered thanks to great support from the coaches and the team,” said Samo Nvota, freshman team member. 

Lynn’s competitors earned several accolades, ranging from 2nd-place speaker in Lincoln-Douglas to 5th-place parliamentary team. The team’s collective points earned it two sweepstakes awards – 2nd-place small school and 6th-place overall. In addition, Professor Eric Hamm was elected as the new vice president of FIFA. 

“The volunteer faculty, staff and students of the Lynn community came together to help the debate team put on the best state tournament in years,” said Hamm, Lynn’s director of forensics. “I am extremely grateful for everyone’s help, from the administrative support to the competitors themselves that worked in concert so well. I will work hard to keep Lynn Debate in the spotlight through my newly elected position.” 

The debate team looks forward to its future competitive endeavors, especially its first international tournament in Panama next month. For more information, please contact Hamm at Team meetings are held every Tuesday and Thursday at 5 p.m. in IBC 311. 

Shawn Johnson

Shawn Johnson, member of the 3.0 accelerated degree program, is a sophomore. Having grown up in Birmingham, Ala., Johnson established an unwavering love for college athletics in his youth. Wanting to connect his love for sports with his passion for writing, he has identified sports journalism as the ultimate goal of his academic endeavors at Lynn. As such, Johnson is a multimedia journalism major. Within his collegiate interests, he hopes to follow in the footsteps of former Fighting Knight and current ESPN reporter Lisa Kerney. Outside of iPulse, he was a contributing writer for the Palm Beach Post as well. In his second year, there is still much more in the tank for his career preparation at Lynn. All the while, he is immensely proud of the Alabama Crimson Tide for recently winning their 17th overall national championship. Thankful for the opportunities he has received thus far, Johnson is eager to grow alongside his peers in the College of Communication and Design.

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