State Collegiate Sweepstakes Award Named for Cindy Larson-Casselton

After dedicating two decades to leading the Minnesota Collegiate Forensics Association, Cindy Larson-Casselton, associate professor of communication studies and theatre art, decided to step aside as the organization’s executive director. What Larson-Casselton didn’t expect was the gratitude the organization would bestow on her by naming the Unlimited Sweepstakes Award at the state tournament in her honor.

“I was speechless,” Larson-Casselton says about the announcement that took place during the awards banquet.

Dr. Cynthia Carver, who coached alongside Larson-Casselton during her early years in forensics and is a colleague in the CSTA department, says it is a tremendous honor and quite rare for an award to be named in honor of a person. Carver also noted 20 years as the MCFA executive director wasn’t a common occurrence.

“It is really unusual to have that kind of longevity,” Carver says. “Cindy’s ability to treat everyone with objectivity is what resolved people to want her to stay in the position.”

Carver says part of the reason Larson-Casselton has been so successful is because she treated the students and coaches of MCFA the way she treat students in her courses.

“She is able to make every student she works with think that he or she is the most important person when she is with them,” Carver says. “She is absolutely focused on that person.” Getting to put her focus on an activity that she loved to coach has made the years sail by, Larson-Casselton says.

“I was able to give back to an activity that meant the world to me,” Larson-Casselton says. “It feels like a legacy.”

She knows that the organization will move forward, led by good people who are great colleagues and friends.

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