Freshman Alexandros Pandazis wins first prize in English department’s public speaking contest
April 20, 2017
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The English Department hosted its annual Public Speaking Contest in this past March in which students were encouraged to submit an original speech on the theme of “What does it mean to be a citizen?” The first place winner, Alexandros Pandazis is a freshman politics and philosophy major. He will be presenting his speech on the topic “What does it mean to be a citizen?” on April 28 during the Common Hour in Dana 1D.
Students Thomas Meal, Jarrod Solloway, Joe Smith, Tony Hemphill, Arya Thapa, Alexandros Pandazis, and Sheila Ramirez entered the contest. First, second, and third places won cash prizes of $300, $150, and $100 respectively.
The first place winner was Alexandros Pandazis; second place winner was Sean Connor; and the third place winner was Sheila Ramirez.
Carmen McClish of the English Department said that “[The college] had a contest for the college’s 125th anniversary in 2015, but only this year, with a gift from a Saint Anselm alumna, were we able to make this an annual contest.”
McClish continues, “Anne Botteri now sponsors the Public Speaking Contest. Ms. Botteri is a 1982 English major graduate who was co-editor of The Saint Anselm Crier with Michael Sheehan. She worked in many positions at Saint Anselm College for two decades. She was twice in charge of public relations at the college, director of the New Hampshire Institute of Politics, and a consummate visionary for the college.”
McClish said, “The theme felt current given the recent election and ongoing discussions about what it means to be a citizen in this country. We were hoping that students would reflect on what it means to be a citizen beyond a textbook definition. The students that participated did indeed embrace this theme creatively and discussed global citizenship, immigration, and shared personal stories of their families. It was a great event this year.”
There were three judges of this year’s Public Speaking Contest: Dr. Chani Marchiselli of the English department, Benjamin Horton, assistant director of the Academic Resource Center, and Dr. Carmen McClish of the English department.
As part of the criteria of the speeches, they were looking for “organized and dynamically presented speeches on this year’s theme. McClish says, “All of the presenters were excellent this year, as judges [they] felt that the top three winners had the best conceived and delivered speeches. Alexandros Pandazis’s speech is outstanding and [they] encourage faculty, staff, and students to attend his encore presentation.”
Students are invited to participate in next year’s contest, which will have a different theme, announced in the spring of 2018.