In November 2009, The Franklin Debating Society competed at Morgan State University.
Members of the Randolph-Macon College Franklin Debating Society participated in
the Collegiate Forensic Association (CFA) “At the Beach” tournament in Ocean City,
Maryland March 5 - 6, 2010.
The team of Jonathan Schmeelk ’10 and Jessee Perry ’11 won 1st place in debate with
an undefeated 4-0 record. The team of Samantha Bradshaw ’11 and Crystal Thomas ’13
was 2nd, the team of Becky Johnsen ’10 and Hayley Williamson ’13 was 4th, and the
team of Bobby Thomas ’11 and Ethan Franz ’12 was 5th. Johnsen was the top individual
debater in the tournament followed by Bobby Thomas in 2nd, Bradshaw in 3rd and Crystal
Thomas in 4th.
Crystal Thomas won 3rd in “pentathlon” with 2nd in prose interpretation, 2nd in
communication analysis, 5th in extemporaneous speaking, and 6th in informative speaking.
Schmeelk won 4th in “pentathlon” with 2nd in persuasive speaking, 2nd in extemporaneous
speaking and 3rd in impromptu speaking.
Schmeelk and Nicole Smith ’10 were 6th in the dramatic duo category, and Smith by
herself was 3rd in poetry interpretation.
Johnsen and Michelle Nieporte ’13 were 5th in the dramatic duo category. Johnsen
by herself was 1st in impromptu speaking and Nieporte by herself was 6th in dramatic
Perry was 5th in both informative and after-dinner (i.e. humorous) speaking. Bradshaw
was 4th in after-dinner speaking and Franz was 4th in dramatic interpretation.
The Collegiate Forensic Association gives year-long awards. Schmeelk won the year-long
Best Debater award and Perry won the year-long Best Informative Speaker award.
R-MC finished 2nd overall at the tournament, just as it had at the previous three.
R-MC was the runner-up for the Welch-Strine Trophy, which is given to the top school
in the league.
R-MC Professor Ted Sheckels, the A.G. Ingram Professor of English, coaches the R-MC
Franklin Debating Society students. Sheckels is a communications studies and English
professor and the director of speaking for the Higgins Academic Center. He is assisted
by part-time communication studies instructor John Mingus.