Culture Influencer: Dr. Marie Mater

Dr. Marie A. Mater, Associate Professor and Program Coordinator of Speech Communication in the Department of English, Communication, Great Texts, and Modern Languages, was an invited judge at the online National Christian Forensics and Communications Association (NCFCA) Central Regions Mixer tournament from March 2-4, 2023.

Students from Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, Ohio, Oklahoma, Texas, and Wisconsin participated in this tournament. Dr. Mater judged the Digital Presentation Semifinals and the Extemporaneous Speech Finals with other judges from the Central Region. The Digital Presentation is an original ten-minute platform speech that informs or persuades and is accompanied by digital visual aids. The Extemporaneous Speech is a limited preparation speech in which the speaker is assigned a current event topic and given 20 minutes to analyze news and other sources while preparing a seven-minute, evidence-based speech.

NCFCA is an organization committed to training homeschooled high school students to address life issues in a manner that glorifies God, and ultimately prepares students to shape the culture and impact people for Christ. 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. 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-plus 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 the world as analysts, authors, business owners, doctors, educators, engineers, entrepreneurs, lawyers, nurses, pastors, and politicians. For more information, visit