Local WTAMU student wins public speaking contest

QCS Reports

CANYON, Texas — Katy Hipps, a West Texas A&M freshman nursing major from Tucumcari was a finalist at the university’s Best Speaker competition on Dec. 2.

The event is sponsored each fall and spring semesters by the speech communication program in the University’s Department of Art, Communication and Theater.

Students competing in the contest were required to prepare a five-to seven-minute persuasive speech, citing at least five sources and delivering the speech unrehearsed. The competition is open to WTAMU students enrolled in the basic speech course or the business and professional communication course.

Hipps said she took a required public speaking course this semester and her professor asked her if she was interested in joining the WTAMU Speech and Debate Team. The professor then gave her information about the competition.

“I did my first speech and my professor wanted me to consider being on their team, she liked the way I spoke,” Hipps said. “She suggested I enter just to see if I had fun with it.”

Hipps, 19, was home schooled prior to attending WTAMU. She lived in Alabama later moving to Tucumcari where her father is a pastor at a local church. She used her experience of living on the other side of the country for the competition.

“I was trying to persuade my audience why the east was better to live in than the west,” Hipps said. “I think I got lots of laughs out my audience.”

Hipps is unsure whether she will join the team because of her hectic schedule as a nursing student. She said she was not nervous during her competition.

“Public speaking just comes naturally to me,” Hipps said. “I am pretty outgoing, so I come alive when I get on stage.”
Judges for the contest included members of Lambda Pi Eta, National Communication Honor Society. Dr. Trudy Hanson, professor of speech communication, served as the contest director.

Lisa Starr Chase, a junior English major from Canyon, was named Best Speaker and winner of the top prize.
Chase received a $200 first-place prize for her speech titled “Pottermania: The Good and Bad Qualities of Harry Potter.”

The $75 second-place prize went to Jessilin Quint, a freshman biochemistry major from Dalhart, for her speech about the importance of sleep.

Kala Weller, a freshman English education major from Amarillo, took the $50 third-place prize for her speech about the importance for 18- to 24-year-olds to vote.

Finalists in the competition included Hipps, Terri Richardson, a sophomore business education major from Vega and John McCord, a freshman political science major from Stinnett.