Staff members from across campus delivered speeches in a poignant, memorable, and hilarious showcase all related to the topic The Ties that Bind. From understanding the importance of your grandmother in your life to the best methods to torture your siblings, these are all personal stories involving the people who shape our lives and destinies.

At the end of the program,  attendees voted for his or her favorite speech to select who won Speech of the Year. Plus, anyone who was present had a chance to win St. Louis Cardinals tickets!

Showcase Speakers in Alphabetical Order

Veleria Boaten
My Cousin Bubba
When a funeral brings her entire family together again, Veleria Boaten sees Bubba, a first cousin once removed, for the first time in 30 years. After figuring out what exactly a first cousin once removed is, she learns something else—her cousin Bubba likes to get up to hijinx, and take her along!

Mary Clemens – Winner!
On Being a Parent…The First 24 Years
For the last 24 years, Mary Clemens has been raising her four daughters, and she’s seen it all from infancy to teen angst here she discusses what the first 24 years have taught her and why being a mom is one of the toughest and greatest jobs you can have.

Leslie Gibson McCarthy
A Nuclear Family
In the fall of 1958, a young engaged couple, armed with a VA loan and a dream to build a family, bought a home in brand new subdivision in the north St. Louis county suburb of Florissant. The neighborhood was idyllic, as nearby were churches, schools, parks and a lovely little stream called Coldwater Creek. Nobody knew then but we know now: North St. Louis County was a Cold War battleground and Coldwater Creek its front line. Here’s one family’s story.

Danielle Patton
Halloween Sisterhood
Danielle Patton has always dreamed of going viral, and with a little help from her friends, she achieved her dream. How? By celebrating Halloween in style in New Orleans with her closest girlfriends.

Teisha Whitney
Her Namesake
Growing up, Teisha didn’t always understand or get along with her grandmother, a feisty woman who dished out tough love with her nurturing. Teisha was named for her, but often wasn’t sure if her grandmother even liked her. Now, Teisha sees what a huge impact her grandmother had on her and shares the lessons and the legacy of that amazing woman in this heartwarming speech.

Martin Yoakum
Proper Tactics for Tormenting Your Little Brother or Sister
If you have a younger sibling, you have probably engaged in the act of picking on/harassing/annoying him or her. But have you done it properly? Let’s look at the various ways to make your sibling’s life less peaceful.

Guest Speakers

Ashwin Jose and Yiqi Zhu
A Chindian Adventure
Yiqi Zhu is a PhD student at the Brown School and her friend Ashwin Jose is a user experience designer. One is into data (Yiqi) the other all about design (Ashwin). Yiqi is from China; Ashwin is from India. They don’t seem to have much in common except for a love of understanding different cultures, languages, and people. Their friendship is a testament to how cultural differences can be overcome and building bridges is a lot more fun than building walls.