Craig Hennigan reflects on director of forensics position

Director of Forensics Craig Hennigan is leaving at the end of the 2022 summer term. Hennigan has worked in this position for two years and has been a communications professor at Truman State University for seven years.

Hennigan will be the interim director of debate at the University of Nevada-Las Vegas.

When Hennigan first took the position of director of forensics at Truman, he didn’t have an assistant director. He said he recalls being stressed as he had to work with both speech and debate, the former being something he hadn’t coached in a stretch of time.

“My goals when I first took over were to stay afloat,” Hennigan said.

Hennigan said he values the connections he has been able to make with students during his time as director.

According to Hennigan, his competitive spirit has often pushed students to do their best in competitions.

“I don’t really have to foster a competitive spirit,” Hennigan said. “It doesn’t matter if you win or lose but the activity is always more fun when you win.”

The forensics team had nationals which began April 12. It’s the last major competition for Hennigan as Truman’s director of forensics.

Sophomore Megan Ford, a member of the forensics team, said Hennigan’s departure was mildly expected.

“I was really happy for him [when hearing of his departure],” Ford said. “This was something he’d been looking for, a place where he can just grow differently as an academic.”

Sophomore Alicia Stout, another member of the forensics team, said she is very thankful for Hennigan’s leadership throughout her time on the team.

According to her, though he may not foster a competitive spirit among students, his own competitive nature affects students and pushes her to be a better debater.

“The coaches I’ve had before him I didn’t click with nearly as much as I had with him,” Stout said. “I think he is responsible for a lot of my personal success in my relationship with debate, in a positive manner.”

Hennigan’s dissertation is about urban issues which is a part of the reason why he is excited about the opportunity to teach in Las Vegas.

Hennigan said he is thankful for Truman and the students he has interacted with throughout his time here.

“I’ll miss the ambitiousness of a lot of the students,” Hennigan said. “A lot of the students are very high performing and things like that.”