SF State Speech and Debate Student Wins Top Award
April 20, 2005 6:55 PM
SF State speech and debate team member Robert Hawkins, 21, won the national championship in oral interpretation of drama at the 2005 American Forensic Association National Individual Events Tournament on April 2.
The tournament, hosted at Kansas State University in Manhattan, Kan., also garnered Hawkins second place in a drama duo and an eleventh-place finish as overall speaker.
“I’ve been doing speech for seven years,” said Hawkins, “I’ve been competing since high school.”
“I got the script and prepared for ten months,” said Hawkins.
In the dramatic duo competition, Hawkins and Nathan Feingersh received second place for their performance in “Racial Superheroes.” The piece, an original script written by Feingersh with brainstorming help from Hawkins, illustrated two superheroes that fight off two villains who want to divide the world into two equal halves, black and white.
“We were the only team to get a standing ovation,” said Feingersh.
Hawkins had another second-place finish during the quarterfinals in the dramatic duo category.
Hawkins and Kevin Brianceso performed a piece entitled “Thumb War.” The title is a metaphor for war and the people involved, like the characters they modeled after Hawkins’s brother, who is currently a soldier in Iraq, and Pat Tillman, a former NFL player who was killed in combat in Iraq.
“It was a very moving and powerful piece,” Hawkins said.
Hawkins graduated from Logan High School in Union City, where he was on the speech and debate team, in 2002. As an English literature major, Hawkins became involved in the speech and debate team after his freshman year.
“I needed a break,” said Hawkins, explaining why he did not continue debating immediately after high school.
Hawkins said that after joining the speech and debate team he found it to be unique and exciting.
“It is a wonderful and creative outlet,” said Hawkins, “This is SF State’s best-kept secret.”
After he completes his senior year this summer, Hawkins plans to start his teaching credential. He will be returning to Logan High School as the director of forensics and head coach of the speech and debate team. He said he also plans on attending graduate school for speech and communication.
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