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Forensics elevates student's Whitworth experience

Meet Hannah Tweet, '16, a three-year member of Whitworth championship-winning forensics team. Last year she was a finalist in several competition events throughout the season.

"What I am most proud of is our team being recognized as the best IPDA (a style of debate) program in the Northwest Forensics Conference last season," Tweet says. "We also did well at national tournaments, taking first place at the NCCFA National Tournament and second place at the International Public Debate Association National Tournament."

Being involved in forensics has benefitted Tweet by pushing her beyond her comfort zone and challenging her to be bold, confident and deeply engaged with her surroundings. Tweet now employs these qualities in her academic pursuits as a double major in history and Spanish.

"When I came to Whitworth, I already knew I wanted to study history because it is a subject I thrive in," Tweet says. "It isn't just about good grades. History is a subject that always leaves me wanting to learn more and teaches me about myself. My love for the discipline has grown immensely throughout my time at Whitworth, thanks to incredible professors who challenge and encourage me."

Spanish, on the other hand, was an unexpected turn in Tweet's academic plans.

"I chose to add a Spanish major because I wanted to study abroad in Costa Rica," Tweet says. "One thing led to another, and now Spanish is an inseparable part of my college and academic experience."

Just as forensics has enhanced Tweet's academic studies, her studies have helped her flourish in forensics.

"It's exciting when I think of a perfect history example for a speech, or when my study abroad experience is relevant to a debate," Tweet says.

In addition to forensics' academic benefits, the program also encourages fostering relationships.

"Forensics has provided a family for me," Tweet says, "and the rich and supportive friendships that I have with my teammates and coach are a treasure."

As Tweet completes her final year in forensics and at Whitworth, she is considering applying to graduate programs to study Latin American history. To learn more about Whitworth Forensics, visit