Ethan Kurtz and Jacob Swanson with their 2023 Speech and Debate awards and trophy

Pictured: Ethan Kurtz, left, and Jacob Swanson, right

ABERDEEN, S.D. – The Northern State University Speech and Debate Team made it to the national quarterfinals, with two students tying for fifth place in the nation.

Ethan Kurtz and Jacob Swanson finished as national quarterfinalists at the Pi Kappa Delta National Speech and Debate Tournament, tying for fifth place nationwide.

This tournament, held March 15-19 in Philadelphia, Pa., is the largest comprehensive speech and debate tournament in the country, said Dr. Justin Gus Foote, NSU Assistant Professor of Communication Studies/Director of Forensics.

Kurtz is a senior from Sioux Falls, and Swanson is a senior from South St. Paul, Minn.

The students’ success earned the Northern team enough points to finish in fourth place overall in Debate Sweepstakes (Limited Entry) and second place for the Quality Award, Foote said.

“This year the Speech and Debate embodied what makes Northern special. We rallied around each other when needed and worked to advance our best work,” Foote said. “Ethan and Jake were the students who received the recognition at nationals, but this would not have been accomplished without all the students on the team helping us prepare and have a successful season overall.”

The following students are also members of the NSU Speech and Debate Team: Alex Arndt, Elinor Sayers, Darius Swanson, Trent Shuey and Natalia Szybinska.

About Northern State University  

Northern State University is a student-centered institution that provides an outstanding educational experience, preparing students through the liberal arts and professional education for their future endeavors. A regional university, Northern offers rigorous academics; diverse civic, social and cultural opportunities; and a commitment to building an inclusive environment for all points of view. Northern also offers a broad-based athletics program, sponsoring 15 NCAA Division II intercollegiate varsity sports that compete in the Northern Sun Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (NSIC). The university strives to enrich the community through partnerships such as its Educational Impact Campaign, which opened a new South Dakota School for the Blind and Visually Impaired; new athletic and recreation fields; and an on-campus regional sports complex. With the $55 million campaign, NSU has been the recipient of more than $150 million in privately funded building projects and scholarships within a decade. To learn more, visit NSU Admissions.