Alpha Tau Alpha wins awards at national level

Lindsay Calvert

Alpha Tau Alpha took home first place in the debate contest and top secretary for the parliamentary procedure contest at the 2010 National Alpha Tau Alpha Conclave in Indianapolis.

Alpha Tau Alpha is a national professional honorary agricultural education organization. The organization promotes the highest standards of agricultural education and helps create a network among those who have chosen agricultural education as a profession.

The debate team including Michael Koenig, Holden Nyhus, Brittany Jurgemeyer and Tiffany Hopp competed against six other universities from around the nation. Koenig, Nyhus and Hopp are students in agriculture and life sciences education.

The topic debated was if the current model of secondary agricultural education meets the needs of today’s students.

The team gave an affirmative and negative statement, cross examination and rebuttal. 

“This contest definitely helped me learn to think on my feet and broadened my horizons,” said Brittany Jurgemeyer, sophomore in public service and administration in agriculture.

Kaye Strohbehn, undeclared graduate, received the award for top secretary in the parliamentary contest. Alpha Tau Alpha only recognizes two top individuals in the national competition.

“This is a huge honor, and I’m very excited to represent Iowa State as the top secretary. Our parliamentary procedure team worked hard preparing for this contest,” Strohbehn said. “We were really excited to return to Iowa State with several awards.”

The parliamentary procedure contest had three scored parts including a written test, timed demonstrations of news business at a meeting and minutes recorded by the secretary. The team demonstrated their knowledge of Parliamentary Law by conducting the business meeting.

Strohbehn and team members Nathan Fritz, senior in animal science; Sabrina Leahy, freshman in agriculture and life sciences education; Jacob Hunter and Danielle Hamilton, both juniors in agriculture and life sciences education, competed against 15 other universities.

“It was really intimidating going against teams that have traditionally won the contest because you can get called out when you do something incorrect,” Hunter said.

Hunter participated in parliamentary procedure contests when he was in high school.

“Competing in a contest nationally for Alpha Tau Alpha as a floor member really helped me understand how to use parliamentary procedure in a real meeting,” Hunter said.

This is Alpha Tau Alpha’s first time participating in the National Alpha Tau Alpha Conclave in many years.

“We really want to catapult off our success this year to become more involved at the national level for future years to come,” Hunter said.