Buel Wins 2012 Outstanding New Forensics Coach Award

At a meeting of the AFA-NIET committee in Orlando last week, UNI Director of Individual Events Rebecca Buel was awarded the 2012 AFA-NIET Outstanding New Forensics Coach Award. The award will be given at the national tournament in spring 2013, but the selection happened at this year's National Communication Association conference.

The award recognizes "A graduate student, assistant coach or team director of an AFA-NIET affiliated team who is in his/her first seven years of coaching; Leadership in innovations in forensics; [and] Qualities as a forensic educator."

Buel's award nomination focused one her team's rapid rise in national competitive success, her innovative coaching pedagogy, her
leadership in administering tournaments, and her commitment to educating the whole student. Speech team assistants Josh Hamzehee and Sarah Taylor who did the bulk of the work organizing the nomination packet.  They contacted alumni and professionals at other schools for testimonials and compiled the awards Rebecca and the UNI team have amassed.  They also drafted the nomination letter. 

Buel is in her fifth year as Director of Individual Events at UNI, and has compiled an impressive record.  In the 2011-12 season, the UNI Speech Team ended with a record performance at the AFA-NIET National Tournament, hosted by Texas State University-San Marcos. UNI Forensics sent 6 students with 24 events to the tournament. All six students who qualified to the tournament made it to elimination rounds. Overall, the team took 10th in Team Sweepstakes, improving on the previous year's result of 13th.