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Release: Immediate

UI student named top speaker at national debate tourney

IOWA CITY, Iowa -- For only the second time in 10 years, a University of Iowa debater has won the "Top Speaker" award at the nation's premiere debate tournament.

UI junior Corey Rayburn, a political science and philosophy major from Centreville, Va., received the honor during the 51st annual National Collegiate Debate Tournament, held last weekend at Liberty University in Lynchburg, Va. Rayburn was chosen from 150 debaters from across the country, all of whom had placed highly at regional or national-level competitions throughout the year.

David Hingstman, who has coached the UI team for almost 10 years and has led more than 40 teams to qualify for the national tournament, said Rayburn was likely chosen because of his direct approach to arguments.

"He is a very efficient speaker," Hingstman said. "He can get right to the core of an idea and express it in a very concise and expressive way."

Rayburn competed at the tournament with his teammate, Andy Peterson, a freshman global studies major from Ottumwa. The other UI team consisted of Jill Podgorski, a sophomore accounting major from Elk Grove, Ill. and Karen Scott, a junior political science major from Oak Park, Ill.

The university's debate team, which celebrated its 100th anniversary in 1993, is named after former UI Professor A. Craig Baird, who is widely known as the father of modern debate. During his 50-year career as a scholar, Baird founded the nation's first international debate program, authored and edited more than 100 books on speech, debate and communication, and taught thousands of students skills in these areas.


(EDITORS NOTE) Rayburn can be reached at (319)354-4776. The coach of the UI debate team, David Hingstman, can be reached at (319)335-0620.)