Students Display Public Speaking Skills at Betty Lou Balasi Public Speaking Contest

Melissa Martinez, a freshman Chemistry major from Chicago, IL, won the 2015 Betty Lou Balasi Public Speaking Contest. A panel of judges selected Melissa’s speech, entitled “Puerto Rico Should Not Become a State,” as the top speech delivered in the final round of the contest on April 28, 2015.

The annual event, sponsored by the Eastern Illinois University Department of Communication Studies, featured both provocative topics and excellent deliveries. Second place went to Thaija Evans, a freshman Journalism major from Chicago, IL. Third place was awarded to Mikayla Grant, a freshman Clinical Laboratory Science major from Mattoon, IL.

Attached photo, from left to right: Emily Schlitter, Thaija Evans, Mercury Bowen, Melissa Martinez, Mikayla Grant, Shaniyah Mayes.

Attached photo, from left to right: Emily Schlitter, Thaija Evans, Mercury Bowen, Melissa Martinez, Mikayla Grant, Shaniyah Mayes.

The other three students who competed in the event’s finals were:
  • Mercury Bowen (freshman, undecided major from Martinsville, IL) – Abortion is Wrong
  • Shaniyah Mayes (freshman, Psychology major from East Saint Louis, IL) – Student Involvement is Key for College Success
  • Emily Schlitter (freshman, Kinesiology and Sports Studies major from Bartlett, IL) – Women’s Sports Should be Valued as Much as Men’s Sports

The contest is named in memory of Betty Lou Balasi, a long time staff member in the E.I.U. Department of Communication Studies. Twenty-two students competed in the preliminary round of the competition on the Monday before the final round.

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