SAN MARCOS — In a series of highly unusual competitions, held online due to COVID-19, the Speech & Debate Team at Palomar College brought home numerous awards during a virtual season that recently concluded with a national contest.

Through 10 virtual tournaments in the 2020-21 season, the team won 30 trophies and five sweepstakes—a noble feat under normal circumstances, and even more impressive given the unique demands placed on this year’s student competitors.

“All of these events have been experienced from these students’ homes—from their bedrooms, from their living rooms,” said Dewi Hokett, Director of Palomar’s Speech & Debate Team for some 20 years.

“Some teams actually stopped competing this year, but we had a mighty little team that kept going,” Hokett added. “We competed in tournaments this year, and did very well—including a good showing in the Phi Rho Pi national tournament, where there were over 250 students in competition.”

Results: Palomar College Speech & Debate Team

April 4–10, 2021 — Phi Rho Pi National Tournament

  • Palomar College Team — Gold Sweepstakes in Debate, Silver Sweepstakes Overall; Hindman Division
  • Raquel Parizeau — Bell Scroggins Award (Top Speaker, Parliamentary Debate)
  • Kateri Mouawad and Raquel Parizeau — Silver Medal, Parliamentary Debate
  • Ana Del-Zio — Bronze Medal, International Public Debate
  • Raquel Parizeau — Bronze Medal, Prose and Drama
  • Kateri Mouawad — Bronze Medal, Extemporaneous Speaking

March 10–14, 2021 — California Community College Forensics Association (CCCFA) State Championship Speech Tournament

  • Palomar College Team — 4th Place Sweepstakes; Limited Entry Division
  • Raquel Parizeau — Jim Wyman Debate Award (Top Speaker)
  • Kateri Mouawad and Raquel Parizeau — Gold Medal, Parliamentary Debate
  • Ana Del-Zio — Bronze Medal, International Public Debate
  • Cipriana Rodriguez — Silver Medal, Persuasive Speaking
  • Kateri Mouawad — Silver Medal, Extemporaneous Speaking

“During the last year, we have witnessed an incredible level of resilience throughout the college, and these students are great examples of how a group can come together and achieve their goals. I am absolutely thrilled for them,” said Interim Superintendent/President Dr. Jack Kahn.