Published on March 9, 2016 by Sean Flynt  
mock trial
Callie Nickles of Anderson, South Carolina, earned the Outstanding Witness honor

Samford University’s mock trial teams attended the American Mock Trial Association Regional competition at Bellarmine University in Louisville, Kentucky, Feb. 26–28.

Callie Nickles, a nutrition and dietetics major from Anderson, South Carolina, earned the Outstanding Witness honor for her performance. Political science department professor and team faculty adviser Marissa Grayson explained why it was so impressive that Nickles, a recent transfer student, earned that prestigious award. “Having only joined the team in January after transferring from Clemson University, Callie had to learn the case, witness role and how to work with her new teammates in just a few weeks,” Grayson said. “Her past experience in theatre and high school mock trial helped her successfully prepare her role as a witness. Her hard work certainly paid off.”

Grayson said team preparations for the regional competition have been a yearlong endeavor, with members developing case theories, witness characters and arguments, and practicing public speaking and critical thinking. That helped Samford’s two mock trial teams make strong overall showings at the competition.

The Samford team of Madison Cumby, Lexi Gilbert and Elle Olszewski of Brentwood, Tennessee; Nick Kromann of Huntsville, Alabama; Mitch Laing of Peachtree City, Georgia; Miranda Mason of Trussville, Alabama; and Kaitlin Mullen of Norcross, Georgia, beat teams from DePaul University, the University of Chicago and the the University of Cincinnati.

The Samford team of Kevin Aparicio of Enterprise, Alabama, Levi Blalock of Odenville, Alabama, Haillie Bowles of New Iberia, Louisiana, Marisa Connally of Ashville, Alabama, Natalie Marshal of McKinney, Texas, Callie Nickles of Anderson, South Carolina, and Sydney Schwitzerlett of Monroe, North Carolina, beat teams from the University of North Alabama and the University of Kentucky.

“This tournament was incredibly competitive, but our team definitely rose to the challenge,” said psychology major Lexi Gilbert. “We came together as a team, and came out as better competitors and closer friends.”

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About Samford University – Samford University is a premier nationally ranked private university deeply rooted in its Christian mission. Founded in 1841, Samford is the 87th oldest institution of higher education in the United States. U.S. News & World Report ranks Samford 4th among regional universities in the South. Samford enrolls 5,619 students from 44 states, the District of Columbia and 29 other countries in its 10 academic units: arts, arts and sciences, business, divinity, education, health professions, law, nursing, pharmacy, and public health. Samford also fields 17 NCAA Division I teams that compete in the tradition-rich Southern Conference.