Boyertown grad takes first place in New York Times College Civic Engagement Public Speaking Contest

Kris Stauffer
Kris Stauffer

The New York Times College Civic Engagement Public Speaking Contest, Penn State University, University Park, Pa., was held on April 22.

The New York Times has been integrated into course CAS100A, Effective Speech, in the Department of Communication Arts and Sciences. Bi-Annually, the Department of Communication Arts and Sciences, The New York Times in College, and Pearson Learning Solutions co-sponsor the Civic Engagement Public Speaking contest.

On April 22, six Penn State CAS100A, Effective Speech students competed in the Civic Engagement Public Speaking Contest. More than 1700 students per semester who are enrolled in the Effective Speech course contend for a spot in the contest. Each section of CAS100A, Effective Speech, selected one student to represent that section for a chance to compete in the contest. During the preliminary and semifinal rounds, Penn State speech instructors and faculty narrowed the group of sixty students to six finalists.

Each finalist delivered a persuasive speech, advocating a policy solution to a significant civic issue or social problem. During the final round a panel of judges-composed of representatives from the university, the community, Pearson Learning Solutions, and The New York Times- ranks the best speakers among the six finalists.


First place winner, Kris Stauffer, entitled his speech: “Death to Pennies: A How-to”. Kris is a 2012 graduate of Boyertown Area Senior High School, and in the fall will be a sophomore at Penn State University in University Park, PA where he is a secondary education, chemistry, major. His speech is on the website of The New York Times and will be published in a textbook that Penn State University is producing. Watch a video of the winning speech at:

Stauffer is the son of Ron and Merced Stauffer, Montgomery Avenue, Boyertown.

Article submitted by the Stauffer family.