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Lander Students Awarded for Excellence in Speech, Theatre and Communication

Monique Sacay-Bagwell (left), professor of speech and theatre at Lander, presents Ryan Thornton with one of four awards won by Thornton at the South Carolina Speech and Theatre Association’s College Festival on Saturday, April 15. Photo by Sheridan Carpenter.

Lander University students won big during the South Carolina Speech and Theatre Association (SCSTA) College Festival, hosted by Lander’s Department of Media and Communication on the University’s Greenwood campus Saturday, April 15. In total, Lander took home five first-place awards for their performances in several of the festival’s competitions.

Sheridan Carpenter won first place in the Informative Speaking category; Graeme Simpson won first place in TV Broadcasting; Catherine Jordan won first place in the Animated Voiceover category; and Ryan Thornton won first place in both the Audition Monologues and Impromptu Speaking categories.

Thornton also placed second in the Poetry Interpretation category. His high-scoring performances earned him the association’s highly coveted Triathlon Award, which is awarded to one student who competed in at least three categories, and who earned the highest total combined score. This was the second year in a row that a Lander student has received the Triathlon Award. Meanwhile, Erynn Price took third place in the Informative Speaking category.

Lander students competed against peers from five other South Carolina institutions throughout the festival. SCSTA announced that next year’s festival will be held on the campus of Newberry College, and Monique Sacay-Bagwell, professor of speech and theatre at Lander, hopes Lander students will continue to build on the success of Lander’s performances over the last two years.

“All our students from Lander put their best into the events they entered,” said Sacay-Bagwell. “They practiced and came well prepared to compete. This was a wonderful experience for them.”