Jessalyn Johnson is a senior at Grand Canyon University, completing the final year of her BA in English Literature. Originally from Melbourne, FL, Jessalyn has come to enjoy living in the desert of Arizona. Since freshman year she has occupied several different positions on the editorial board of GCU’s literary review, StartleBloom, which is approaching its third volume. In her free time, Jessalyn enjoys creative writing, photography, writing music and participating in the plays and musicals put on by GCU’s Ethington Theatre.
English Major, College of Humanities and Social Sciences
GCU’s Speech and Debate Team is continuing to show its strengths, starting the 2017-18 academic year with a strong finish in their first tournament. The team came home from the Aztec Invitational with a top 8 finish. Under the leadership of new coach Michael Dvorak, the team is looking toward another successful season.
Student Victories at the Aztec Invitational
The Aztec Invitational took place at San Diego State University. Thirty-one colleges and universities competed in the tournament. While GCU’s team finished in the top 8, students in individual categories left the event with placements of their own. Tommee Gleeson took third place in persuasive speaking and second place in communication analysis. In addition, the interpretation team of Keliann Nash and Amanda Ostrem took second place in the overall tournament. These GCU students managed to beat out several schools that have ranked exceptionally well in the past, including San Diego State University, Cal-State Long Beach and Biola University.
Speech and Debate’s History of Success
As history has proven, performing well in competition is not something unknown to the team. The team was ranked in the top 20 in the parliamentary debate rankings last year; this year, they look to improve on that success. The second tournament of the season will take place at Cal-State Northridge during the first weekend of November, and the team hopes to take home high honors again.
The students on the team are thrilled to have such wonderful opportunities in these competitions, honing their skills and coming out of each tournament with improvements and the desire to keep going.
GCU has many clubs that students all over campus can get involved in. To learn more about student life on GCU’s campus, visit our website or contact us using the Request More Information button.