Home News #FOCUSCLIMATECHANGE: Dannis B. Eaton Speech Competition Crowns Winner of Best ‘My Earth’ Speech

#FOCUSCLIMATECHANGE: Dannis B. Eaton Speech Competition Crowns Winner of Best ‘My Earth’ Speech

by Drew Mumich

The remaining five competitors of the Dannis B. Eaton speech competition presented their final takes on the topic of “My Earth,” tackling climate change and how to make a difference.

Sam Carliner’s, “My Earth isn’t My Earth,” won the first place $300 prize, the second place $200 dollar prize went to Giovanna Da Silva Pagungue’s, “Trash Talk,” and the third-place $100 prize went to Kenny Slaymen’s, “Don’t Go Green, Go Vote.”

The speech competition was held in the School of Communication and Media’s Presentation Hall on Monday, Nov. 9, from 6:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. The competition’s audio was also broadcasted live over 90.3 WMSC radio.

Each competitor was given five to seven minutes to deliver a well-researched speech on their topic, and each speech was judged by different speech professors.


Dr. Marylou Naumoff introduces the Dannis B. Eaton Speech Competition in Presentation Hall in the School of Communication and Media on Monday.
Kristoffer Fernandes | The Montclarion

Dr. Marylou Naumoff, the coordinator for the speech competition, explained what made the winning speeches stand out.

“The speeches that stood out were surprising or took us in a direction that we weren’t expected to go,” Naumoff said. “Their oral and nonverbal delivery [was] strong, those were the kind of things we were looking for to select those top three.”


Sam Carliner presents his speech “My Earth isn’t My Earth.”
Kristoffer Fernandes | The Montclarion

Carliner talked about how land ownership has shaped the world for the worst. He referenced himself renting an apartment and how society has metal spikes on benches so that homeless people cannot sleep on them.

“What I hope, at least from my speech,” Carliner explains. “Is that people who saw it are going to leave here and even if they don’t agree with me, that they think differently than when they came in here.”

Courtney Thomas, a freshman justice studies major, gave her opinion on one of the speeches.

“I really liked Giovanna,” Thomas said. “She’s already doing stuff to change her actions to make a better impact on the world, and she was inspiring us to be like her and do that.”


Giovanna Da Silva Pagungue presents her speech on taking simple steps to reduce waste.
Kristoffer Fernandes | The Montclarion

Second place winner Giovanna da Silva Pagungue talked about how she changed her lifestyle to only have to throw out her trash once every two weeks: refuse, reduce, reuse, recycle and rot.

“I’m so happy,” Pagungue said. “As I said, this is so close to my heart that just being here and being able to talk and share with people what I’m doing is already a win for me.”


Kenny Slaman presents his speech on voting for the change people want to see.
Kristoffer Fernandes | The Montclarion

However, timing would have freshman Kenny Slaymen, sophomore humanities major, present his exact opposite opinion right after Pagungue.

In his speech, Slaymen explained that it is not up to the everyday citizen to change the climate, but up to the government; so instead of using reusable straws to save the Earth, people should get out and vote.

“I knew [Pagungue] was giving that kind of speech, I didn’t know she would be right before me,” Slaymen said. “I felt a little bad, but at the same time I’m saying what I think and I think she’s wrong, plain and simple.”


Dr. Marylou Naumoff put each finalist in alphabetical order in order to keep the competition fair.
Kristoffer Fernandes | The Montclarion

“I had the speakers present in alphabetical order,” Naumoff explains. “That was just kind of the fair way to do it, and I was thinking as Kenny was giving his speech that it was amazing that he went right after Giovanna, and I thought [the speech] wouldn’t have been interesting if it had been reversed.”

“I feel like both of all opinions have to take place,” Pagungue said. “I feel if we follow his advice and mine at the same time, we are going to affect real change and I am really happy he covered that aspect too.”


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