The University of New Mexico Communication & Journalism Department recently hosted the Joe and Steve Mercer Memorial Scholarship Speech Tournament, which is open to all UNM students.
Tournament Director Judith Hendry said, "Although we only had 12 entries this year, much fewer than we normally have, the caliber of speeches was, I believe, the best we've ever had. It was a spectacular final round. It's always such a fun and exciting evening with lots of scholarship money to award."
The scholarship fund was endowed by JoAnn Mercer in memory of her late son and husband who were active in collegiate debate as students. Its purpose is to provide support for students interested and excelling in public speaking. Twelve student speakers entered the competition. The top six speakers from the preliminary round advanced to the final round. 
1st Place: Sageline LaBaze ($1,200)
Major: Biology
Speech topic: Medical Research Informed Consent
2nd Place: Stephanie Chavez ($900)
Major: Communication
Speech topic: Childhood Literacy in N.M.
3rd Place: Tarah Glenn ($500)
Major: English and Communication
Speech topic: Paving Rio Rancho
Finalist: Joshua Anolick ($250)
Major: Economics
Speech topic: Kirkland AFB Fuel Spill
Finalist: Christina Romero ($250)
Major: Latin American Studies
Speech topic: Colonias—the Lost Communities
Finalist: Amanda Clark ($250)
Major: Communication
Speech topic: Teachers’ Challenges