Gibson Public Speaking TournamentThe Gibson Public Speaking Tournament

FALL 2024

The Gibson Public Speaking Tournament (GPST) is an annual celebration of excellence for our COMM 1110 students. Since 2004, faculty have chosen the best speakers from their classes to compete and showcase what they have learned in our Public Speaking courses. For the fall 2024 tournament, students are presenting their Informative speeches before a blue-ribbon panel of judges composed of university and community leaders. Competitors are evaluated on overall content and quality of topic choice, use of credible sources, well-organized and logically consistent arguments, and excellence in delivery. The tournament is open to the campus and community, so feel free to come by and listen to these excellent speeches!


The Gibson Public Speaking Tournament is named after of Dr. Chester Gibson, who served in the Department of Mass Communications for about three decades, first as professor and then as chair of the department. Before arriving at the University of West Georgia, he coached debate at the University of Georgia, where former Georgia governor Roy Barnes was one of his top debaters. Under Dr. Gibson’s leadership, the UWG debate team qualified for the National Debate Tournament for 27 consecutive years and consistently ranked among the top teams in the nation. In 1995, Dr. Gibson was inducted into the Georgia Debate Coaches Hall of Fame. He was also named one of the top eight speech teachers in the nation.  

Communication Studies Advisory Committee

  • Dr. Melanie Conrad
  • Dr. Michael Hester
  • Dr. Amy Mendes
  • Dr. Misty Wilson

Previous Gibson Public Speaking Contest winners

  • MacKenzie Wilder, Spring 2024
  • HaLi Johnson, Fall 2023
  • Zoe LaBreche, 2022 (Amy Mendes, Advisor)
  • Zoe Giese, 2020 (Misty Wilson, Advisor)
  • Jessica Friedl, 2019 (Bruce Daniel, Advisor)
  • Esteban Vallejo, 2018 (Misty Wilson, Advisor)
  • Gershom Chan, 2017 (Michael Hester, Advisor)
  • Bode Brooks, Lucas Brock and Andrea Daniel, 2016
  • Tim Bergquist, 2015 (Bruce Daniel, Advisor)
  • Sydney Rae West, 2014 (Gail Reid, Advisor)
  • Daniel Garner, 2013 (Melanie Conrad, Advisor)
  • Christina DeMartina, 2012 (Bruce Daniel, Advisor)
  • Mandy Morris, 2011 (Gail Reid, Advisor)
  • Anthony Duffey 2010 (Gail Reid, Advisor)
  • Chelsie Wilson, 2009 (Bruce Daniel, Advisor)
  • Jennifer Joiner, 2008 
  • Cheryl Ann Frazier, 2007 
  • Katherine England, 2006 
  • Artisia Tinny, 2005 
  • Jim Martz, 2004 (Peggy Gauthier, Advisor)