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by Tawny Aguayo, Student Contributor

Public SpeakingThe 22nd Annual James V. Mongiardo Public Speaking Contest was held on February 25, 2014, at the Campbell Arts Center. This competition was established by the Mongiardo family in honor of the late James V. Mongiardo, who graduated from Alice Lloyd College in 1934 and was a faithful supporter of the College over the years.

This year’s theme was “Building a New Future in Appalachia,” which is currently a hot topic in the region. This topic has been amplified by fresh prospects of economic change brought about by programs such as SOAR: Shaping Our Appalachian Region and the recently named Promise Zones.” Participants were asked to address several questions related to the possible directions in which the future of Appalachia could head and what can be done to help improve the area.

Three competitors discussed various ideas to help shape Appalachia’s future: Kelsie Jacobs, sophomore Nursing major; Jacob Williams, freshman biology major; and Ryan Wells, senior Social Studies Education major. Several subjects were discussed, including student leadership, work ethic, mountaintop removal, the coal industry, and expansion of industry and tourism.

The speeches were judged by three Alice Lloyd College faculty members: Dr. Patrick Greene, Assistant Professor of Mathematics; Tara Reynolds, June Buchanan School guidance counselor and adjunct professor; and Keri Stevenson, Instructor of English.

The winners, who will be announced at Alice Lloyd College’s Honors Day convocation on April 15, 2014, will receive cash prizes.

We would like to thank Megan Burnett, Assistant Professor of Speech and Theater, for organizing the competition, our wonderful judges, and our participants for having the courage to share their opinions with us!