Student Speech Competition

The Student Speech Competition is hosted by the Cultural Diversity Committee and open to any current University of Nevada, Reno student. To participate, an eligible student must submit an online entry form including an abstract answering the question, "what is your greatest challenge in regards to equity and diversity within higher education?"  The submissions obtained will be reviewed by the Cultural Diversity Committee and ten finalists will be selected to present their speeches in front of a panel of judges. The top three presenters will receive awards.
Winner awards:

  • First place: $300 and give the winning speech at the opening of the 2018 Northern Nevada Diversity Summit on April 12th, 2018
  • Second place: $150
  • Third place: $75

Speech competition timeline:

  • Entry form open for submissions: Monday, February 26th, 2018 at 8:00 am (PST) to Monday, March 5th, 2018 at 11:59 pm (PST)
  • Top ten finalists notified by email: Friday, March 9th 2018
  • Finalists compete for top three and winners announced: Tuesday, March 27th, 2018 at 3:00 pm

This year's speech topic:

What is your greatest challenge in regards to equity and diversity within higher education?

Participant eligibility and speech requirements:

Current University of Nevada, Reno undergraduate or graduate student enrolled in at least six credits. Speeches must be eight minutes or less to qualify for an award, and no visual aids are allowed for this competition. Only 1 entry per student may be submitted. 

Judging criteria:

A panel will judge each speech and decisions made by the judges are final. Speeches will be judged on the basis of topic relevance with regard to:

  • On topic and effectiveness
  • Originality and creativity qualities
  • Presentation
  • Logic

To enter:

Link to entry form


Bernice M. Hedrick Family Non-profit (A Native non-profit that supports leadership development, education, and career planning)

Contact information:

Questions about the competition should be directed to Matthew Aguirre at