UA freshman proves most persuasive


Paige Dobbins, a freshman anthropology major at The University of Akron, captured first prize and $1,000 at the annual School of Communication Speech Competition April 23.

Paige Dobbins with her first-place award.

Dobbins, a Jackson High School for the Arts graduate, delivered a persuasive problem-solution speech titled "Removal of the Penny from Circulation" to a crowd of about 300 in the Grand Ball Room of Martin University Center. Dobbins was one of five speakers selected from 100 contestants in a preliminary contest held one week earlier at UA. 

Sponsored by Pearson Learning Solutions, the School of Communication and the Northeast Ohio Public Energy Council, the judges were Nikki Hawk, marketing director of the Akron Beacon Journal/; Jeff Kinzbach, talk show host for 97.5 WONE; Jeff Goldman, vice president of sales for Pearson Learning Solutions; and Russ Pry, Summit County executive. Dr. John Zipp, associate dean of UA's Buchtel College of Arts and Sciences, was master of ceremonies.

The other contestants were freshman Kathryn Russo from Clinton, who took second place and a prize of $750 with "Sitting is Killing Us;" freshman Natalie Monastra from Mentor, third place and $500 with "Work Out Without Working Hard;" sophomore Christy Hlavaty from Medina, fourth place and $250 with "The Obesity Epidemic;" and Wadsworth High School postsecondary student Krista Mathis, fifth place and $250 with "Personal Money Management."

"These are five very talented students who are all great speakers," said Bonnie Keiper, who coordinates the General Education Speech Program and organized the event. "It was a memorable evening."