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April 24, 2012

Delaney Speech Contest Winners Take Home $1,000 in Prize Money

With a four minute speech on Social Media and the Arab Spring, St. Francis junior Claudia Oddo ’13 took home first place and $500 in the Annual Delaney Speech Contest on April 24 at St. Francis. Oddo competed against more than 25 fellow students to reach the top spot.

The rules of the contest require each contestant make an extemporaneous speech in less than four minutes on any topic they choose. This year’s topics included the viral Joseph Kony 2012 video, the importance of the library and why we should all be motivated.

The $300 second place prize went to Zara Mahmud ’13 for her presentation on the St. Francis College Honor Society. Third place went to Lindsey Ellefson ’13 for her spirited defense of the power of Positive Thinking, which earned her $200.

The event is organized by St. Francis Communication Arts Professor Timothy Dugan, who judged the competition with three other Communications Professors, David Gewirtz, Scott Weiss and Christine Malfitano ‘07.

“No matter what you do and where you go in life, you will have to be able to present yourself in the best way possible,” said Dr. Dugan. “That’s the lesson Francis Delaney teaches us.”

Francis Delaney was a St. Francis College Speech Professor during the 1950’s and 60’s who made it his mission to “cure” St. Francis students of their Brooklyn accents to help them get ahead in their careers. Delaney donated money to the school to help keep alive the fading art of persuasive speech.

“While the contest is named after Delaney, we no longer try to cure students of their accents,” added Dr. Dugan. “Instead our focus is on turning our students into solid communicators, both orally and through the written word.”

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