TCC Debate Team Named Top Oklahoma College at State Championship

Tulsa Community College Forensics and Debate Team

The Tulsa Community College Debate & Forensics Team brought home several awards last weekend, including State Champion Institute in Higher Education for 2023-2024, at the Oklahoma Intercollegiate Forensics Association (OIFA) State Championship Tournament. This marks the first time in more than 12 years TCC has claimed the State Champion title across all Oklahoma institutions of higher education participating in Debate and Forensics.

To claim the State Champion title, TCC defeated many four-year Oklahoma universities, including the University of Oklahoma, Oklahoma State University, Southeastern Oklahoma State University, Oklahoma City University, and Cameron University. Additionally, TCC took home the Top Community College Award.

Kenneth Butler
Kenneth Butler

Hosted for the second consecutive year last month at TCC’s Southeast Campus, the OIFA tournament welcomed participants from colleges, universities, and professional International Public Debate Association (IPDA) debaters across the region.

Individually, several TCC students earned top honors in the tournament:

  • Kenneth Butler earned the Top Oklahoma Student Award, earned state champion honors in Dramatic Interpretation, and was the top speaker in Junior Varsity IPDA.
  • Alex Bradford won the state championship in Persuasive Speaking and earned TCC’s first National Oratory Championship bid in more than 15 years.
  • Makayla Crownover earned state championships honors in Program of Oral Interpretation with a third-place finish.
  • Dylan Kirk placed second in Novice IPDA.

Bradford is a part-time student at TCC, and said when she’s not working or studying, she’s practicing for speech and debate.

“That I was able to leave the competition with a win and know my hard work was worth it is very rewarding. I’m glad that I’m able to represent TCC and prove that community colleges can compete on the same level as four-year universities,” said Bradford.

Alex Bradford
Alex Bradford

TCC Professor and Director of Forensics John Mikolajik was awarded Coach of the Year and will be the first name on the Traveling Coach of the Year Award from OIFA. Mikolajik is the current OIFA president and was nominated and voted OIFA president for the next two years.

“These accolades would not be possible without the support of our administration, support staff, and faculty here at Tulsa Community College,” said Mikolajcik. “Our team would like to thank all of the faculty who volunteered to judge, Christi Mullins for helping arrange purchasing, Jenny Beattie for helping us get everything set up, Ed Cizek for picking up the food and awards, Beth Thompson for volunteering her time to help run the tournament, and to everyone who has ever said a nice word to us in regard to what the students do.”

TCC’s next tournament is the National Online Forensics Championship followed by the Individual Public Debate Association National Championship Tournament.