HUNTINGTON, WV (WOWK) — The Thundering Word is headed to Tokyo, Japan to compete at the International Forensic Association Tournament.

According to a press release, the team will leave on March 9 and return on March 16.

The leader of the university’s speech and debate team, Director of Forensics for the Department of Communication Studies Clara Adkins, said this is a once-in-a-lifetime experience.

“When I received the invitation from the organization, I immediately went to Dr. Bookwalter, dean of the College of Liberal Arts; he looked at me and said let’s see what we can do,” Adkins said. “Sixty days later, I got an answer that through donations from supporters and the Maier Foundation, this once-in-a-lifetime-experience was going to happen.”

The team is looking for monetary help to put together the trip. The donations are accepted through the Marshall University Foundation (COLA-Debate Program).

The university says the speech and debate team competes in four areas.

  • Oral Interpretation of Literature
  • Prepared speeches
  • Limited preparation speeches
  • Debate

Here is the list of members that are qualified for the trip.

  • Ben Chambers, Athens
  • George Urling, Midkiff
  • Matthew Lebo, Vienna
  • Gabe Corbin, Point Pleasant
  • Bryson Connolly, Hilton Head Island, South Carolina
  • Mason Pomeroy, Nettie
  • Olivia Hindman, St. Albans
  • Liv Stockwin, Homer, New York
  • Kia Booth, Proctorville, Ohio
  • Adley Fry, Proctorville, Ohio
  • Lily Mays, Martinsburg
  • Ella Hiles, Sharonville, Ohio
  • Aaryn Bonyak, Huntington
  • Grace Stowers, Huntington
  • Zoe Davin, Huntington
  • Frances Harper, Huntington
  • Aayush Damai, Huntington

The team is coached and judged by Administrative Assistant Denise Parks, Graduate Assistant Austin Fry, Debate Instructor Michael Shirzadian, Assistant Director of Forensics/Instructor Nancy Jackson and Clara Adkins.