Sterling College forensics and debate team recognized at Nationals

three students and a coach dressed nicely pose for photo
Thursday, March 21, 2024

The Sterling College Forensics and Debate team not only competed at the recent Pi Kappa Delta National Tournament and Convention held in Phoenix, Ariz., but was also recognized as being one of few colleges to have had an active team which has competed in the National PKD Tournament for over 100 years. 

Fifty-seven colleges and universities competed at PKD Nationals this year including Marshall University, Mississippi State, Texas State, Arizona State and Texas Christian. Collegiate Forensics and Debate make no designation for small versus large schools – schools of all sizes compete together. 

Sterling College senior Miquala Purscell, Hoisington, placed fifth in Interviewing and 18th in Persuasion. Freshman Peter Vessey, Columbia, S.C., was in the Top Ten for International Public Debate Association Debate as both competitor and speaker. Freshman Bailey Brewer, Hutchinson, also competed in IPDA Debate. 

Sterling College Forensics and Debate Coach Ken Troyer said of the nationals showing, “It was great to compete at a large national tournament. Our students really gained a sense of confidence as the tournament progressed, knowing that they could compete with anyone present.”

Next year’s tournament will be hosted by Ohio University. 

Purscell has qualified for the American Forensics Association National Speech Tournament in Eau Claire, Wis., in early April and the Interstate Oratorical Association National Tournament in Chicago, the end of April. 

Sterling College is a Christ-centered, four-year college located in Sterling, Kansas, with a mission to develop creative and thoughtful leaders who understand a maturing Christian faith. For more information, visit