Bloomfield, N.J. Student Receives First Place in Bailey Oratorical Contest

(Posted March 2, 2011)

HUNTINGDON, Pa. -- Jewel Daniels, a sophomore from Bloomfield, N.J. studying communication, received the first-place award last night in the annual Juniata College Bailey Oratorical Contest by persuasively arguing that global communication, rather than a single person, was the "idea of the year" for 2010.

Daniels, who received $1,000 for her award, and six other contestants were asked to address the topic: "Who would be your choice for person of the year in 2010 and why?" before three judges and a capacity crowd, Tuesday, March 1 in Rosenberger Auditorium in the Halbritter Center for the Performing Arts on the Juniata campus.

"Global Communication allows us to have compassionate connections with the world. Global Communication empowers us to share our sense of generosity, humanity and solidarity, which becomes more and more important for everyone as the world becomes more conn

Daniels turned the tables on the "person of the year" idea and convinced the audience and judges that "Global Communication allows us to have compassionate connections with the world. Global Communication empowers us to share our sense of generosity, humanity and solidarity, which becomes more and more important for everyone as the world becomes more connected."

Daniels cited three instances where global communication instantaneously put devastating or world-changing events on a world stage. She specified the Haiti earthquake in January 2010, the 33-day ordeal of the trapped Chilean miners and the solitary protest of a Tunisian merchant as crises that, "without the magnitude of the perpetual contact we have across the globe, these events would have played out much differently."

Bryan Aungst, a sophomore from Millerstown, Pa., earned the second-place prize, receiving $500. Ellen Santa Maria, a junior from Wallingford, Pa., was awarded the third-place prize, receiving $300.

In her first-place speech, Daniels connected the response at Juniata College, where a student committee to help Haiti was formed immediately, to the global relief effort, saying, "The morning after the earthquake the Red Cross had set up a system where people could text the word 'Haiti' to 90999 to donate $10. Over $30 million was donated from texts alone."

She further made her points by showing how the televised plight of the Chilean miners inspired a Pennsylvania businessman to offer help. "In Berlin, Pa., only two hours from here, Brandon Frasier and his company Crater Rock Inc. stepped up to take the challenge when they heard on the news the rescue would (take months). They realized their drill was the key to the rescue mission." She went on to talk of the miners' rescue, declaring, "In that moment, we had a shared sense of humanity with people we had never met."

Daniels concluded her speech by saying, "Only 10 years ago, in 2000, who knows when the images of protests and police actions would have reached the rest of the world. Thanks to Global Communication, enabled by leaps and bounds in technology, we are almost everywhere.'"

The remaining four finalists were: seniors Katrina Shughrue, of New Freedom, Pa.; Janelle Smith, of Huntingdon, Pa.; junior Maeve Neiswanger, of South Windsor, Conn.; and sophomore James Taylor, of Huntingdon, Pa.

Judges for the event were:

Betty Ann Cherry, professor emeritus of history at Juniata, who received the college's Beachley Award for Distinguished Academic Service in 1990 and received the Beachley Distinguished Professor Award in 1998. Cherry stays active at the Stone Church of the Brethren and also participates on the district and national level in ministry education. She started her academic career at Juniata in 1962 as an instructor. She was promoted to assistant professor in 1965, to associate professor in 1975, and to full professor in 1998.

Robin Podberesky, of Philadelphia, Pa., is a graduate of Temple University and owns The Outsource Video Group, a video company specializing in wedding and other event videos. She is currently enrolled in graduate classes in instructional media at West Chester University.

Andrew Krugh, of Camp Hill, Pa., is a 1996 graduate of Juniata. He went on to earn a master's degree in communication in 1998 from the University of Illinois, Champaign-Urbana and started his career in 2002 as case manager and then residential program administrator at Developmental Services Center in Champaign, Ill. He currently works as service director for home-based support and supported living programs for Impact Systems Inc. in Harrisburg, Pa.

The original Bailey Oratorical Award was established in 1915 by the Honorable Thomas F. Bailey, who served as president judge of Huntingdon County from 1916 to 1936. The oratorical contest has a long tradition at Juniata College, as students from all areas of study can compete for the monetary prize. In addition, the name of the winner will be permanently inscribed on an antique loving cup.

Contact John Wall at or (814) 641-3132 for more information.