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Donna Graves, instructor of communication studies at East Central University, was recently presented the D.J. Nabors College Forensics Coach Award during the Oklahoma Speech Theatre Communication Association meeting held at ECU’s Chickasaw Business and Conference Center.

“I am honored to have received it on behalf of my students who work so hard to try to explore new areas and challenges,” said Graves.

Graves, who is also director of forensics and director of speech teacher certification at ECU, was recognized for her work with the National Communication Association Center for The Committee of International Discussion and Debate by hosting the British National Debate Team for four consecutive years.

ECU was one of 22 university stops by the British team which debated ECU’s Tiger Speech and Debate Team on Oct. 13. It was the only Oklahoma appearance for the British team this year.

“We have been fortunate to receive partial funding for their visit each year from the ECU Cultural Activities Committee,” Graves said. “We plan to apply again this year to bring a new team visit next year. My students have strengthened their debate skills as well as broadened their viewpoints by each of these visits. Many of the students involved are still connected to these debaters via Facebook and beyond. These connections are invaluable in today’s world.”

Graves was nominated anonymously for the award.

“Having recognition by fellow colleagues in the field is so wonderful,” said Graves.


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