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Future physician claims forensics is a key to success

Alex Hoffman stands with two other students holding a trophy. They look up and smile.Alex Hoffmann, '16, competes in five main events with Whitworth's forensics team. In February, the team won a historic victory at the Western Washington University Speech and Debate Tournament, in Bellingham. Whitworth took first place among 29 higher-education institutions from six states, and took home 51 trophies and three sweepstakes awards. Whitworth defeated teams from schools including the University of Oregon, the University of Washington, Seattle Pacific University and Utah State University.

"I think the driving force behind the team's success is twofold," says Hoffman. "First, we have an amazing coach, Dr. Mike Ingram. He has been involved in forensics his whole life, and his teaching and coaching philosophies have clearly made our speakers stand out." Hoffmann continues, "Second, the breadth and depth of the intellectual diversity on our team is astonishing. I have the pleasure of being on a team with people I sincerely believe have the capabilities and personalities to change the world."

Hoffmann is grateful for his studies on the Whitworth campus, saying he feels extremely prepared to embark into the real world after graduation from the university. He explains that his education in the liberal arts has given him a comprehensive, well-rounded approach when it comes to understanding the world around him.

"The education I'm receiving at Whitworth is so important to me," he says, "and I feel the forensics team has given me the extra tools needed to convey the value of that education to the world beyond campus."

As a biology major, Hoffmann plans to become a physician and finds his experience with forensics applicable to his career goals.

"I think it's most important that my time on the forensics team has equipped me with outstanding communication abilities," Hoffmann says, pointing to this as a critical need for successful physicians. "I believe wholeheartedly that the best medical care comes when a complete and open dialogue is established between a doctor and a patient."

After graduation, Hoffmann plans to attend medical school. He plans to specialize in infectious disease and epidemiology.