Culture Influencer: Marie A. Mater

Dr. Marie A. Mater, Associate Professor and Program Coordinator of Speech Communication in the Department of English, Modern Languages, and Communication, was an invited judge at the National Christian Forensics and Communications Association (NCFCA) online National Championship tournament from June 21-26, 2021. Students qualified for this tournament by accruing at-large points at a significant number of the 50 competitions that were held throughout the country this season. Dr. Mater judged the Informative Speech Semifinals and the Extemporaneous Speech Finals where the best students from across the United States met after a week of intense competition.

The formal speech and debate programs are designed to teach young people to communicate truth with both integrity and grace. Each speech event offers unique educational opportunities that promote critical thinking, research, literary analysis, and effective delivery. The Informative Speech is an original platform speech that explains a significant topic. The Extemporaneous Speech is a limited preparation speech in which the speaker is assigned a current event topic and given twenty minutes to analyze news and other sources while preparing a seven minute, evidence-based speech.

NCFCA is an organization committed to training homeschool, high school students to address life issues in a manner that glorifies God, and ultimately preparing students to shape the culture and impact people for Christ. Through regional and national competitions supported by exceptional training and an elite qualification system, NCFCA Speech and Debate provides a proven framework that challenges students to grow their communication skills.

NCFCA has a far-reaching impact on American society. There are 160+ clubs around the United States that meet to learn, prepare, and practice for the yearly competitive season. Thousands of students aged 12-18 participate in competitions, resulting in over 38,000 speeches and 14,000 debates delivered during the season nationwide. NCFCA graduates are influencing our world as analysts, authors, business owners, doctors, educators, engineers, entrepreneurs, lawyers, nurses, pastors, and politicians.