Students from UWF Mock Trial Team win awards at regional competition

Students from UWF Mock Trial Team win awards at regional competition

By Alicia Adams Staff Writer The University of West Florida’s Mock Trial team returned this week from the Southeast Regional Mock Trial tournament at the University of Central Florida, where two students More »

Working to get a conversation started: Meet Joey the ‘sign guy’

Working to get a conversation started: Meet Joey the ‘sign guy’

By Shawna Moore Staff Writer Whether the day is warm and cloudless or cold and gloomy, one will usually find “Sign Guy” outside of the university’s library. “Sign Guy” has a purpose—to More »

Showcase your work at the upcoming Student Scholar Symposium

Showcase your work at the upcoming Student Scholar Symposium

By Alicia Adams Staff Writer No matter your major or area of interest, the annual Student Scholar Symposium on April 20 is a great place to showcase your research or creative projects and More »

Review: ‘Evita’ brings in largest attendance in 12 years

Review: ‘Evita’ brings in largest attendance in 12 years

By Allison Bew Staff Writer A full house attended the opening night of “Evita” on Feb. 17 — “the largest turnout in 12 years at UWF,” said Charles Houghton, chair of the More »

TED Talk speaker to visit UWF for Black History Month

TED Talk speaker to visit UWF for Black History Month

By Shawna Moore Staff Writer The University of West Florida will host nationally recognized speaker and TED Talk lecturer Clint Smith in honor of Black History Month. Smith will visit UWF to More »

 

Students from UWF Mock Trial Team win awards at regional competition

By Alicia Adams
Staff Writer

The University of West Florida’s Mock Trial team returned this week from the Southeast Regional Mock Trial tournament at the University of Central Florida, where two students from the Legal Studies program won awards.

Zachary Johnson earned an Outstanding Attorney Award, and Breanna North received an Outstanding Witness Award. These recognitions place them in the top 10 percent of all students who competed at this tournament – one of the largest regional American Mock Trial Association competitions in the country. Kimberly McCorkle, faculty sponsor and coach for the UWF Mock Trial Team, said this is “an amazing accomplishment.”

Johnson and North both joined the team at the start of Fall 2016. North is a freshman legal studies major, and Johnson is a junior legal studies major.

UWF students Zachary Johnson and Breanna North received awards at the Southeast Regional Mock Trial tournament. Photo courtesy of Kimberly McCorkle.

“[We practice] all the time, on the go,” North said. “If your attorney is there, you just run the questions back and forth as much as you can. We have practices every Sunday, which can last anywhere from two hours to four hours.”

North said that “bonding with everyone on the team” is her favorite part of being involved.

“I never thought I would be such close friends with every single person on the team,” North said, “but we’re all like this big mock trial family now.”

This is the third competition for the team this year, the first being the UWF Argo Invitational sponsored by Stetson University at UWF in early January 2017.

The UWF Mock Trial Team offers UWF students an opportunity to develop and enhance critical thinking skills and legal strategies in a realistic, on-campus courtroom setting. These high-impact experiences help team members going on to law or graduate school, and into their careers.

At this competition at UCF, 26 teams from the Southeast competed. The nine team members, led by McCorkle, have earned several individual awards for outstanding attorney and outstanding witness this year so far.

The Mock Trial Team is part of the College of Education and Professional Studies. However, students from any UWF college or department are welcome to join. McCorkle has been the coach for the team since 2002 and is a former prosecutor and a current UWF professor and the chair of the Department of Legal Studies, Public Administration and Sports Management.

Along with the skills the mock trial team teaches students for future endeavors, many involved also say it teaches respect and how to interact with others in a respectful and professional manner.

“For me, it’s so much fun to – in a civilized way – argue and debate, and look at evidence and try to find the truth of a situation,” Johnson said. “We can be in this battle with this other team, and then right when it’s over we are like, ‘You guys are the best.’ We can be professional, and yell and argue, but still be friends afterward.”

This is the second time this year North has won an Outstanding Witness Award. She said being on the mock trial team has positively affected her public speaking ability.

“Every college student needs experience in public speaking,” North said. “That’s one of the most nerve-wracking things when you’re entering adulthood, and you have to be able to speak in front of people for mock trial. It gets easier every single time.”

Patrick Long, junior legal studies major, said, “I think one of the best aspects of mock trial – and this applies for people who aren’t just legal studies majors – is it kind of gets you out of your shell. It teaches you professional skills, like getting up and arguing in front of others. And after your trial is over, you learn a lot about professional conduct.

“I would highly recommend, no matter what your major is, come out and try it out.”

If you are interested in becoming involved with the UWF Mock Trial Team, visit the website or contact Kimberly McCorkle at kmccorkle@uwf.edu.

Working to get a conversation started: Meet Joey the ‘sign guy’

By Shawna Moore
Staff Writer

Whether the day is warm and cloudless or cold and gloomy, one will usually find “Sign Guy” outside of the university’s library. “Sign Guy” has a purpose—to start a conversation—and he has a name—Joey.

Showcase your work at the upcoming Student Scholar Symposium

By Alicia Adams
Staff Writer

No matter your major or area of interest, the annual Student Scholar Symposium on April 20 is a great place to showcase your research or creative projects and hone your presentation skills.

Dance club hosts Valentine’s Day-themed class

By William Watson
Staff Writer

UWF’s Salsa Dance Club, Pura Sabrosura, hosted a special dance class on Valentine’s Day, with the “bachata” being the themed dance for the special night.

UWF baseball starts out GSC play with 3-0 record after sweeping Mississippi College

By Brooke Weber
Staff Writer

The University of West Florida’s baseball team’s opening weekend of conference play ended Sunday after beating Mississippi College 11-3 at Jim Spooner Field.

Review: ‘Evita’ brings in largest attendance in 12 years

By Allison Bew
Staff Writer

A full house attended the opening night of “Evita” on Feb. 17 — “the largest turnout in 12 years at UWF,” said Charles Houghton, chair of the UWF Department of Theatre.

Opinion: Valentine’s Day is an overemphasized holiday

By Taylor Hall
Staff Writer

Roses, chocolates, and big stuffed bears. Valentine’s day is the kick in the head that makes you “prove” your love to your significant other. But is a date on the calendar really a reason to spoil one another?

TED Talk speaker to visit UWF for Black History Month

By Shawna Moore
Staff Writer

The University of West Florida will host nationally recognized speaker and TED Talk lecturer Clint Smith in honor of Black History Month.

Smith will visit UWF to speak on social issues and to promote open conversation. The appearance will take place at 6 p.m. on Feb. 23 in the UWF Commons Auditorium.  This event is free and open to the public.

UWF Miracle Week, Dance Marathon raises money for local hospital

By Alicia Adams
Staff Writer

UPDATE: The University of West Florida’s Dance Marathon surpassed their Miracle Week goal of $20,000 by more than double. They raised $43,748 for our local Children’s Miracle Network — The Studer Family Children’s Hospital at Sacred Heart. If you are interested in being involved with next year’s Dance Marathon, you can apply for the executive board through the University Commons and Student Involvement portal in Argopulse by midnight on Feb 28.

This week, the University of West Florida Division of Student Affairs and University Commons and Student Involvement (UCSI) hosted Miracle Week to raise money for the Children’s Miracle Network and the Studer Family Children’s Hospital at Sacred Heart.

Get ready for Pensacon: Journey to another dimension

By Tom Moore
Staff Writer

Pulling up to the parking lot of the Pensacola Grand Hotel on a sunny Friday afternoon in February seemed pretty ordinary. But after stepping out of the car, I was transported through a portal to another dimension.

Here, the heroes and villains of fantasies sprang to life in vivid technicolor. I know – it sounds like a twisted episode of “Star Trek” – but I was entering the alternative universe of Pensacola’s premiere science fiction convention: Pensacon.