CORVALLIS, Ore. - Oregon State University's forensics team and senior Kyle Bidwell ended the season on a high note, competing at the International Public Debate Association's National Championship Tournament at Stephen F. Austin State University in Texas on April 8-10.

The tournament traditionally brings together more than 20 schools from across the southern U.S., including Sam Houston State University, the University of Arkansas at Monticello, and Louisiana State University in Baton Rouge.

 "This is our first year attending this national tournament," said Mark Porrovecchio, director of the team.  "This region was gracious in welcoming us and Bidwell did a wonderful job of representing OSU and the Northwest."

Bidwell, of Sumner, Wash., was ranked ninth coming out of the preliminary rounds. He advanced to elimination rounds and was recognized as a semifinalist in varsity International Public Debate Association (IDPA) debate, beating out many of the region's top speakers.

In addition, Porrovecchio was chosen by the IPDA's Executive Council as the Northwest Regional Director, charged with facilitating the growth of IPDA debate in the region.

"It is humbling when an organization like the IPDA places their trust in me and, by extension, validates OSU's approach to forensics," Porrovecchio said. "But the real treat was watching Kyle cap off a successful career in debate with an impressive win."

The travel squad was rounded out by Daniel Meiwes of Corvallis and graduate coaching assistant Forest Ledbetter of Sheridan.

Celebrating its 118th season, OSU Forensics is one of the oldest clubs on campus. For more information on the team, contact Porrovecchio at

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Mark Porrovecchio, 541-737-8230