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Winning Words

by Myra Saturen
November 15, 2011

l to r) Aaron Calhoun, Lori Trachta, Jaimie Leasure, Valerie Paul, Allison Hutterer, and Elizabeth Conte.

Six outstanding students in speech communication classes presented fascinating topics in a competition held at Northampton Community College on November 14 at NCC.  All the talks were accompanied by PowerPoint demonstrations. 

Elizabeth Conte described the history of dogs.  From the wolf to the poodle, she traced the animals' evolution through natural and artificial selection and discussed theories about their domestication. 

Jaimie Leasure talked about Model T Fords, their history, multiplicity of styles and their enduring popularity.  She described her own family's love for and ownership of several Model Ts through the years. 

Aaron Calhoun explained homeostastis and the human body, the body's mechanisms to maintain healthy, stable situations when faced with variables such as fluctuating temperature and bacteria. He illustrated how body systems work together to maintain balance.

Allison Hutterer discussed serial killers -- the four distinct types of serial killers and their difference from mass murderers.  She gave examples of notorious individuals.   

Valerie Paul followed the history of the pretzel, from its origin in an Italian monastery in the year 610 to its favored status as snack today.  Her talk revealed the historic symbolism and uses of the pretzel. 

Lori Trachta related the phenomenon of feral children, children raised by animals or in isolation.  Using two examples, she showed the mental, physical and social effects of this aberrant upbringing.

The winners were:

First Place: Aaron Calhoun
Second Place: Jaimie Leasure
Third place: Valerie Paul
Honorable Mention: Elizabeth Conte, Allison Huetter, Lori Trachta

Judges included Dr. Christine Pense, dean of humanities and social sciences; Katie Pascali, account manager for McGraw-Hill Companies; Dave Long, mathematics and physics teacher at Southern Lehigh High School and speech and debate coach; Dr. Javier Avila, associate professor of English and award-winning poet and writer; and Leslie Collins, attorney for the Pennsylvania State Education Association.  Timothy Molchany, assistant professor of communications/theatre moderated the event, and Jennifer Del Qaudro, assistant professor of communications/theatre coordinated it. 

Speech communication classes are required for every student in order to graduate. 

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