Campus: San Francisco State University -- April 24, 2002

Monterey Park resident named All-American in intercollegiate debate

SFSU senior Mary Salazar is one of six debaters statewide to earn honor

Monterey Park resident Mary Salazar, a member of San Francisco State University's Speech and Debate Team, was recently named an All-American.

Salazar is one of 30 intercollegiate debaters nationwide, and one of six from California, selected All-American by the Cross Examination Debate Association (CEDA) this year. She is the second SFSU student to earn the honor.

"I am honored that the debate community has recognized my achievements," said Salazar, a 23-year-old speech and communication studies senior who graduated from Alhambra High School in 1997.

The daughter of Elizabeth and Joaquin Salazar, she plans to join the Peace Corps after graduating from SFSU this fall and pursue a career in human rights advocacy.
"Debate is a superb skill to have, and I plan to use it to fight the good fight for human rights and justice," she said.

All-Americans were announced at CEDA's national tournament, held this month in Fullerton. More than 100 schools competed in the tournament, in which Salazar and her debate partner Kevin Rinker won four rounds and nearly advanced to the elimination rounds.

Salazar and Rinker also recently placed second in the Northern California Forensics Association championship. They have performed particularly well against Ivy League schools, defeating Dartmouth this year and Harvard last year.

"This is a great achievement, especially for someone who came to debate late in her academic career," said Shawn Whalen, SFSU forensics director. "She is being rewarded not only for her competitive success, but also for her contributions to the team and for being a fair competitor."
The SFSU Speech and Debate Team has won many debates and individual events over the years, including the 2001 National Forensics Association championship in duo oral interpretation.

NOTE: To obtain a photo of Salazar or arrange an interview with her, contact Matt Itelson of the SFSU Office of Public Affairs at (415) 338-1743 or

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