Speaking Celebration 2024: Showcasing Student Speeches

Written by Charley Gilbert, a senior majoring in communication studies from Ham Lake, Minn.
BSU Student Speaking Celebration
L to R: Zoe Lennon, Aniya Rhodes, Aiden Domski, Pingva Lor, Heidi Ssempebwa

On April 17, students and staff gathered to hear presentations for the Bemidji State University Communication Scholars Society’s Speaking Celebration. This event gave students the opportunity to share their speeches from their spring semester public speaking courses.  

Dr. Donna Pawlowski, chair and professor of the communication studies department, spoke about how communication is a skillset used throughout your life. 

“These skill sets are important for students’ academic careers and also their future professional careers,” she said. “Why not be a communication major or minor? Every career needs people who are effective in communication.” 

Each student’s motivational or persuasive speech lasted around 10 minutes. 

Gift cards were awarded to all participants and some audience members. Aniya Rhodes, who was given top speech honors, spoke on the benefits of bringing back 90’s retro items such as the Polaroid camera and flip phone. 

“I learned so much,” she said. “All of my peers did so well, and it was really fun listening to everyone’s presentations.” 

Aniya Rhodes
Aniya Rhodes

Dr. John Perlich, communication studies professor and CSS advisor, gives credit to his colleagues and students for the great event. 

“This was such a fun and amazing event,” he said. “I am thankful for the contribution of my colleagues and students for making this possible.” 

History and communication studies major Matt Merkling spoke to the importance of highlighting student success as the event’s emcee.  

“We need to spend more time celebrating things,” he said. “This event created an amazing opportunity for us to connect as a community, which college campuses need now more than ever.” 


Communication Studies Society