Public speaking competition focuses on science communication


The University of Connecticut Department of Communication hosted the sixth annual UConn Public Speaking Competition last night with the theme of communication science in a modern society.

Jennifer Magnoli, a second-semester management major, took first place after speaking about science research communication and the difficulty of spreading science on social media.

“It was great to speak about a topic that was so important and I’m happy with the exposure it got,” Magnoli said.

Marlese Lessing, an eighth-semester animal science and journalism double major and the Daily Campus news editor, won second place.

“Science writing is something I hold close to my heart,” Lessing said. “Tonight I leave with some new ideas that are worth packing away, including a lot of compelling content.”

Amanda Pastore, a sixth-semester ecology and evolutionary biology major, won third place.

The competition was hosted by Steve Stifano, a UConn communication assistant professor, and Christine Gilbert, a communication doctoral student.

Anne Oeldorf-Hirsch, a UConn communication assistant professor, and Ben Goldman, an on-air news anchor for Fox 61, joined UConn communication assistant professor Rory McGloin in judging the competition.

“As a UConn [alumnus], it was exciting to come back talking about content in the real world,” Goldman said.

This was McGloin’s sixth year organizing the event, and his first year judging.

“In all the years I’ve organized and hosted this event, this was the best pool of talent I’ve seen,” McGloin said. “I was inspired and I’m left feeling hopeful.”

Ashley Anglisano is a staff writer for The Daily Campus. She can be reached by email at

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