Modesto Junior College Speech & Debate Team Brings Home Trophies

(MODESTO, CA 9/23/19)—The Modesto Junior College Speech & Debate team ushered in the start of fall at the Golden Gate Opener tournament at San Francisco State University from September 20-22. Over three days, MJC students held their own against two-year and four-year institutions, including schools from Nevada and Oregon. At the end of the weekend, MJC students collected 7 awards.

L to R: Lenzy Reyes, Alex Ciprian, Samuel Garcia, Eman Ghaith, Alexis Gerardo, Matthew Kingdon, Troy Preston

The results from the tournament are as follows: In open Informative Speaking, first semester competitor Eman Ghaith—a novice competing against experienced competitors in a “collapsed” event–took a finalist award. Alex Ciprian, another first-semester competitor brought home a finalist award in novice Prose. Alexis Gerardo earned fourth place in open Persuasive speaking.

MJC students also tested their wit and critical thinking in debate. In Parliamentary Debate, students are recognized with Speaker Awards that are calculated separately from their win-loss records. Ciprian was recognized as the second place speaker and Ghaith was recognized as the first place speaker in the novice division. This partnership also took home Quarterfinalist awards in the novice division of debate. The partnership of Gerardo and Samuel Garcia took home Semifinalist awards in the junior division of debate.  “The members of the MJC Speech and Debate team have worked exceptionally hard to prepare for this season,” says MJC Communication Studies professor and Director of Forensics, Ryan Guy. “I suspect their success at this tournament will be just the first of many successes.” On October 4, the team will travel to Hayward, CA for another round of competition. For more information about the team including travel schedule and results, you can visit their website at

MJC Speech and Debate Students are National Champions

MJC Speech and Debate Students are National Champions

Phi Rho Pi Squad 2019(MODESTO, CA 04/15/2019)—The Modesto Junior College Speech and Debate team travelled to Reno, Nevada for Phi Rho Pi, the community college national championship tournament from April 8-13. Phi Rho Pi takes place every spring, with students traveling from across the United States to compete after a year’s worth of preparation.

Four Modesto students qualified to compete in the national championships this year: Alexis Gerardo, Gavin Gould, Sarah Landeros, and Kendra McKinley.

In Individual Events, McKinley earned the bronze award in Informative speaking, an event where students have 10 minutes to present a well-researched and memorized speech that seeks to help the audience understand new innovations, technological developments, and medical discoveries. McKinley’s speech was about a remarkable new form of self-healing concrete that can repair its own cracks through the use of a special fungus blended into the concrete mixture.

In parliamentary debate, Gould competed in a hybrid team with a partner from Solano College. This is a limited preparation event where competitors are given twenty minutes to prepare arguments on a given resolution. Gould and his partner talked their way through six tough preliminary rounds to make it to the finals, where they took home the bronze award.

For more information about the team including travel schedule and results, you can visit their website at