OCC Forensics Take Gold in Nationals for 13th Time

OCC Marketing & Public Relations
Apr 21, 2023
  • News Release
  • Featured

OCC's Forensic team holding awardsThe Orange Coast College Forensics team won the National Championship title on April 15, at the Phi Rho Pi National Tournament. This is the 13th National title for the program. 

The team of 14 students won by 40 points over their competitors from schools nationwide. All 14 members of the OCC team had at least one event in the final round of competition. Overall, the team scored 282.5 points, making them the winningest team in community college forensics history.

“I am so honored and humbled by all your work,” OCC President Angelica Suarez said. “Thank you for bringing this honor to Orange Coast College.”

Top awards went to River Mishow and Campbell Gorlinski, who tied for first place for the Bovero Award, which celebrates the top speaker in the nation. This was the team's first time in the 60-year history that teammates have tied for this title.

“I am looking over here at how many of the coaches have been in my classes, and that is incredibly gratifying,” Kat Carrol said. “Congratulations to you and to your coaches.”

This forensics team was led to victory by a coaching team of 6 former OCC Pirates; Director of Forensics Shauhin Davari, Director of Debate Hannah Haghighat, and OCC Speech and Debate team coaches Alissa Duong, Christiaan Pipion, Sean Connor, and Jimmy Gomez. 

Phi Rho Pi, the National Junior and Community College Forensic Association and Honor Society, is a non-profit organization committed to increasing knowledge and appreciation of the forensic arts at the junior and community college level. Phi Rho Pi offers community college and junior college students the only full-service national tournament in the United States with 11 individual events, three forms of debate, and interpreters' theatre.


Phi Rho Pi 2023 Full Awards List

Bronze Award Winners

  • Melanie Montegani - Dramatic Interpretation
  • Melanie Montegani - Informative Speaking
  • Nataly Arzate - Dramatic Interpretation
  • Sydney Do - Prose Interpretation
  • Sydney Do – Poetry Interpretation
  • Cydney Izabal – Poetry Interpretation
  • Emma Peterson – Speech to Entertain
  • River Mishow – Speech to Entertain
  • Chelsey Barrera – Speech to Entertain
  • Victoria Tran – Programmed Oral Interpretation
  • Charles Dherlin - Programmed Oral Interpretation
  • Campbell Gorlinski – Extemporaneous Speaking
  • Nataly Arzate – Poetry Interpretation

Silver Award Winners

  • David Ekelem – Informative Speaking
  • Emma Peterson – Prose Interpretation
  • David Ekelem – IPDA Debate
  • Charles Dherlin, Victoria Tran, Sydney Do - Heirlooms – Interpreters Theater

Gold Award Winners

  • Kyle Rivkin – Persuasive Speaking
  • David Ekelem – Dramatic Interpretation
  • Campbell Gorlinski – Impromptu Speaking
  • River Mishow – Impromptu Speaking
  • Charles Dherlin – Dramatic Interpretation
  • Campbell Gorlinski – IPDA Debate
  • River Mishow – IPDA Debate
  • Nina Menzagopian – IPDA Debate
  • Nina Menzagopian and River Mishow – Parliamentary Debate
  • Karina Richardson and Campbell Gorlinski – Parliamentary Debate
  • Kyle Rivkin, Emma Peterson, Cydney Izabal - Don’t Blame Me – Interpreters Theater
  • Melanie Montegani, Nataly Arzate, Chelsey Barrera - I Am – Interpreters Theater

Individual Debate Speaker Awards

  • Earned by judge rankings in preliminary rounds.
  • Campbell Gorlinski - 3rd Place Speaker in Parliamentary Debate
  • River Mishow - Top Speaker Overall in Parliamentary Debate
  • Campbell Gorlinski - Top Speaker in IPDA

Individual Overall Awards –

They are earned by combining all points earned by a single speaker across all their events.

David Ekelem - 5th Place – 25 points

Bovero Award – Top Speaker in the Country- Campbell Gorlinski and River Mishow – 35 points

Overall Sweeps Awards

Debate Sweepstakes – Earned by combining all points earned in debate events- Gold

Individual Events Sweeps – Earned by combining all points earned in Individual events - Gold

Overall Sweepstakes – Earned by combining all points earned at the tournament - Champions