Skip to main content

Melinda Walker wins spring Auburn Speaks competition

Melinda Walker holds the Philip Lutzenkirchen Excellence in Public Speaking Award

Neuroscience senior Melinda Walker was named the winner of the spring Auburn Speaks public speaking competition for her speech, “To Cuss or Not to Cuss.”

The final round included six finalists who competed for the Philip Lutzenkirchen Excellence in Public Speaking Award. The finals were held Thursday, April 6, at the Jay and Susie Gogue Performing Arts Center and were judged by Jacob Harris, Kelli Hitchman-Craig and Shey Knight. Zoe Stewart placed second with her speech titled “The Stonewall Rebellion,” and third place went to Natalie Ford for her speech, “Open Water Dive Scuba Certification.”

Walker said her curiosity for how people communicate in their day-to-day lives inspired her to participate in the program.

“It was the most amazing experience, and I recommend that every student takes a communication class," said Walker.

Auburn Speaks is held in memory of Auburn University graduate and former football player, Philip Lutzenkirchen, who passed away in 2014. The COMM 1000 program in the School of Communication and Journalism hosts the competition each semester to honor the former Auburn communication student. This spring was the 11th semester of the semiannual competition.

“One of the courses I taught Philip in was titled ‘Speaking Before Audiences.’ When I started brainstorming ways to honor Philip in our school through some type of scholarship or award bearing his name, I eventually settled on a public speaking competition,” said Director of Public Speaking Jennifer Johnson. “I reached out to the Lutzenkirchen family with the idea, and once they were on board, we worked together to create the Philip Lutzenkirchen Excellence in Public Speaking Award.”

For more information about the competition and Philip Lutzenkirchen, visit the Auburn University College of Liberal Arts website or contact Jennifer Johnson.

Tags: Students Communication and Journalism Psychological Sciences

Media Contact

Charlotte Tuggle, Director
News and Media Services
CLA Office of Communications and Marketing

Related Articles