Students to compete in public speaking contest

December 04, 2012

Six of the top students from the course, Communication Arts and Sciences 100A: Effective Speech, in fall semester will speak on issues of civic importance for a public audience and panel of judges at 7 p.m. on Monday, Dec. 10, in Business 110, on Penn State’s University Park campus.

The speakers are competing in the final round of the semi-annual Civic Engagement Public Speaking Contest, organized by the Department of Communication Arts and Sciences and the Center for Democratic Deliberation.

The competitive event is open to the public and held at the end of every semester to recognize the best public speakers in CAS 100A, who have been chosen by their own classmates as candidates to enter the contest. Winners will be awarded cash prizes from The New York Times and Pearson Learning Solutions at a reception immediately following the event.

The judges are Emily Rimland, Information Literacy Librarian at Penn State’s University Libraries; Elaine Meder-Wilgus, community coordinator and owner of Webster’s Bookstore Cafe; Christine Patterson from The New York Times; and Jeff Goldman of Pearson.

The finale student speakers were selected by panels of CAS 100A instructors during the preliminary and second rounds of the contest on Dec. 3. The topics and speakers for this final round will be revealed the night of the contest finale on Dec. 10.

Previous speakers have addressed such issues as: child soldiers’ rehabilitation; how individuals can impact recycling in their community; anabolic steroid use; depression as disease; disabilities and workers’ rights; social networking and privacy; modern slavery; puppy mills; fraud in for-profit schools; football head injuries; and domestic violence.

Contest sponsors are the Department of Communication Arts and Sciences, the Center for Democratic Deliberation, The New York Times, and Pearson. For more information, contact Holly Gates at

Last Updated December 11, 2012