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A Way with Words

by Myra Saturen
November 21, 2013

In words, images and actions, students in Northampton Community College's fall 2013 speech contest explored a wide range of fascinating topics on November 19. Aaron Calhoun, Kailyn Liedig, Hannah Boyanski, Josh Nierere, Kelly Palazzo, Mitch Williams, Belle Endres, and Professor Jennifer Del Quadro

Using a doll as a prop, Hannah Boyanski demonstrated the basics of CPR, how it works and saves lives in instances of heart failure, doubling survival rate of people having heart attacks.  "CPR is one of the most important things you can learn," she said.  "Don't let a life slip away because you didn't know it." 

Mitch Williams compared elephants to humans, showing how both elephants and humans experience joy and sadness and have intelligence.  And yet, he pointed out, elephants are commonly poisoned for their tusks, which are used for ornamental purposes such as jewelry.  "It's up to you to decide who's more human than who?" he asked. 

Kaitlyn Liedig tied her talk about bees to Thanksgiving.  Foods like cranberry sauce and pumpkin pie could not be possible without bees' pollination of flowers.  She described the perils bees face, from colony collapse disorder to pesticides to global warming and loss of habitat and talked about possible solutions being investigated by scientists. 

Belle Endres illuminated the ways cooking at home is good for the mind, body and wallet.  A cook since she was seven, Endres said that home cooking allows one to control nutritional value, save money and enjoy relaxation and happiness.  Her 3-ingredient, homemade peanut butter cookies on the refreshment table illustrated her points. 

Kelly Palazzo talked about Semper Fido, a program that unites wounded warriors suffering with post-traumatic stress disorder with homeless, rescue shelter dogs.  A great source of emotional support, the dogs help veterans with PSTD enhance their communication skills, rediscover trust and elevate their well-being.  She recommended three organizations that provide these dogs-Paws for Purple Hearts, Soldier's Best Friend and Dog T.A.G.

Josh Nierer discussed Parkour, a practice designed to help people avoid physical and mental obstacles.  Invented in the 1980s, Parkour conditions people to overcome fear and jump over barriers, scale challenging surfaces and do daunting manoeuvers.  He said that the motions teach the body natural movement and how to apply it to daily life guided by safety, repetition, progression and control.    

Judges included Dr. Melissa Koberlein, professor, communications/theatre; Dr. Denise François-Seeny, dean of business and technology at NCC; Sherri Jones, vice president for institutional advancement at NCC; David Long, math and physics teacher at Southern Lehigh High School and coach of competitive speech and debate; and John G. Thomas III, professor of law and paralegal studies at NCC.  The NCC Division of Humanities and Social Sciences and the Communications Department sponsored the event. 

Winners of the contest were:

First Prize: Hannah Boyanski

Second Prize: Kaitlin Liedig

Third Prize: Josh Nierer

Semi-finalists: Belle Endres, Kelly Palazzo, and Mitch Williams. 

Each contestant received a specially designed paper weight, and the winners won gift certificates to the campus bookstore.  All students at NCC must take speech/communications courses in order to graduate, and out of 80 classes of 27 students, 25 were chosen for the competition, a number that was then narrowed to six.  

 


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