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Whitworth Forensic Team Makes History at the Western Washington University Online Tournament

February 1, 2021

The Whitworth University Forensics team made history this month by winning the Western Washington University online tournament on Jan. 22-24.

Each year, the Northwest Forensics Conference designates three regional tournaments and combines sweepstakes points for those championships. This is the first time Whitworth has won two of the three NFC-designated tournaments in a single season.

The Arguing Bucs took first place out of 18 teams from nine states in combined speech and debate. The Pirates defeated regional rivals including Carroll College, Lewis & Clark College, Oregon State University and Weber State University. 

Whitworth brought home 31 speech awards and 14 debate awards. Chauncella Koulibali ’22 earned top overall speaker in speech and was the undefeated debate champion.

In the season-long awards, Koulibali received the Brent Northup Award as the top speaker/debater across the NFC this season. Jericho Simone ’22 was the runner-up for this award.

Whitworth received another Gold Award as a top NFC program and was recognized as the top debate program in the NFC by the International Public Debate Association.

Guest judges for Whitworth included Elizabeth Jacobs Bone ’17, Jordan Bone ’18, Jacob Dunning ’20, Daniel Giorello ’20, Addy Koneval ’16 and Rebecca Korf ’15.   

The team’s next online tournament is sponsored by Bossier Parish Community College in Louisiana on Feb. 20 and 21.

The team is coached by Mike Ingram, director of forensics and professor of communication studies, Stephanie Gibbons ’15 and Lori Welch ’90. 

About Whitworth University:

Located in Spokane, Wash., Whitworth is a private liberal arts university affiliated with the Presbyterian church. The university, which has an enrollment of more than 3,000 students, offers more than 100 undergraduate and graduate degree programs.


Michael Ingram, professor of communication studies, director of forensics, Whitworth University, (509) 777-4428 or

Trisha Coder, media relations manager, Whitworth University, (509) 777-4703 or