Stanford Invitational Tournament

Thanks for joining us this summer!  Please return to our website later this fall to see the dates of our 2021 programs.

2-Week Core Lincoln Douglas Program

The Stanford National Forensic Institute offers national caliber summer debate programs for students of any level of experience. The Two Week Lincoln-Douglas program is open to all students and is a comprehensive preparation for the upcoming year of competitive debate. Each lab is carefully constructed to maximize student’s ability to accelerate their skills in a highly educational environment. A strong student to staff ratio (8:1) and a minimum of 10 expertly critiqued practice rounds are a core feature of the two-week camp. The Three Week program adds an additional week to the standard Two Week program. The Third Week focuses on technique and practice rounds, and gives students the chance to fully integrate the skills they have learned during the first two weeks of camp.

Quality Instructors

SNFI knows that generally speaking, the best instructors are not the youngest instructors. We focus on hiring the most experienced instructors, and the most successful coaches of competitors. Our faculty has coached competitors to outrounds and championships at the most prestigious tournaments around the country including NCFLs, NFLs, and TOC. Our instructors know how to create champions at every level of competition.

Carefully Crafted Curriculum

SNFI’s curriculum carefully balances lab time, practice rounds, mandatory lectures, and electives. All labs are led by our expert faculty with a special eye to balancing the skills of the instructors with the needs of each student. Each student will participate in a minimum of 10 critiqued practice rounds; most participate in more. Our lecture series focuses on providing students with solid foundations in both debate and philosophy. Labs then focus on implementation of those concepts so that students can see how to utilize each lecture. Our elective series allows students the freedom to choose an in-depth investigation of a skill or philosophy of their choosing.

Director's Note

What I love most about LD debate is that it is constantly in flux. Norms always shift. Practices constantly evolve. Argument angles are always new. In that way, debate is a living (and vibrant) activity. This is easily evidenced by watching the various styles that succeed across the country and reading the various defenses of styles and practices in places ranging from online message boards to published Rostrum articles.

That means that as much as SNFI is a great opportunity for students to learn from some of the best debate minds in the country, the styles that they prefer is equally a tremendous opportunity to help further the exchange of ideas. Students from Pennsylvania bring with them ideas that differ from those students from Alabama or Washington or Texas or California. All find a home at SNFI each summer. The result is, in my experience, unique. Where many camps seek to stylistically homogenize students, SNFI works to form labs in a way that not only pairs them with lab leaders that will meet their needs, but also in a way that maximizes each student's exposure to differing views on debate.

In this way SNFI is a tremendous place for students with ambitions that range from winning top level national competitions (which our alumni have done) to a desire to simply be able to better train the novices on their teams or even to start programs. The joy I get from running SNFI is not bragging about the tournaments our alumni have won or the accolades of the coaches that staff the camp. The real reward is the student from Any High School who sends an email after their first tournament to explain the joy they feel from their improved record, confidence, mastery of debate, or ability to improve their teammates.

SNFI is not like other debate camps. That's why I keep coming back! I hope you'll join us this summer in Palo Alto!

2020 2-Week Core Lincoln Douglas Program Staff Members Include:

Check back closer to the start of camp for details on our 2020 staff

We will continue to add additional staff members as enrollment and availability dictate. Details are posted on additional staff members as they are confirmed and as we have complete biographic information available. Staff listing may not be fully up to date or reflect all hires to date.

2019 2-Week Core Lincoln Douglas Program Staff Members Included:

Stanford National Forensic Institute - Brian Manuel (Debate Programs Coordinator)

Brian Manuel, Debate Programs Coordinator

Brian is the Director of Debate at Edgemont Jr./Sr. High School in New York and Director of Policy Debate at Stanford University, in addition to serving as a consultant for the National Speech & Debate Association. Widely recognized for his unrivaled talent in revitalizing traditional programs, Brian was named the 2008 Michael Bacon Coach of the Year and 2016 Val A. Browning Director of the Year. He has been coaching for nearly 20 years and was recently elected to the Executive Board of the National Debate Coaches Association.

Under his leadership, Edgemont’s debate program has flourished, winning five state championships and countless speaker awards, as well as presenting to the House Judiciary Committee on Capitol Hill. His students championed the 2015 Georgetown Day School Invitational and 2018 Mamaroneck Round Robin in Policy Debate; 2018 Harrison Round Robin and 2019 Newark Round Robin in Lincoln-Douglas Debate; and 2016 Lakeland Round Robin, 2016 Westchester Classic, 2018 University of Michigan High-School Tournament, and 2019 Lakeland Round Robin in Public Forum Debate. After past outround appearances in Policy and Lincoln-Douglas, Edgemont will be represented in all principal debate events at this year’s Tournament of Champions. Brian has enjoyed equal success at Stanford, where he coached its first team in two decades—and fourth team ever—to qualify for the National Debate Tournament, finishing in the top 30 in both 2013 and 2015.

Over the course of his professional career, Brian has coached for Harvard University, College Preparatory School, Cathedral Preparatory School, Chattahoochee High School, Lakeland High School, and Scranton High School. His students have advanced to elimination rounds at every major national tournament, including NSDA, NDCA, NCFL, and CEDA Nationals. He also coached the champions of the 2003 Big Bronx Invitational, 2008 Barkley Forum, and 2012 Golden Desert Tournament in Policy Debate, along with the 2007 NCFL finalists, 2012 NSDA finalists, and 2013 Phyllis Flory Barton top speaker.

During the summer, Brian serves as the Academic Director at the Stanford National Forensic Institute. He previously taught workshops at the University of Kentucky, University of Michigan, Georgetown University, and Millennial Speech & Debate. Brian is looking forward to his eleventh summer at SNFI!

Stanford National Forensic Institute - Nate Graziano (Instructor)

Nate Graziano, Instructor

Nate has been involved with debate for the last decade - participating in many different types of debate including NDT/CEDA Policy at the University of Wyoming and even received a first-round bid to the NPTE while competiting on the Parlimentary Circuit for CSU-Pueblo. Currently a coach at Kent Denver School, Nate has coached numerous Policy and LD debaters including 4 different ToC appearances, A Glenbrooks Quarterfinalist, A Berkeley Quarterfinalist, an ASU Invitational Championship, and several HSImpact Coaches Poll showings. He has also been asked to judge elimination rounds at some of the largest tournaments around the country, including Semi-Finals at Berkeley, the ToC, and the NSDA Tournament. He most recently coached 2 teams to outrounds at the eTOC with semis and quarters apperances. Nate loves coaching and working with debaters of all skill levels looks forward to working with you again at SNFI this summer!  

Stanford National Forensic Institute - Jacob Koshak (Instructor)

Jacob Koshak, Instructor

Koshak is the current director of debate at Cypress Woods High School. He has coached multiple TOC, State, and Nationals qualifers and outround particpants throughout his career. His argumentation focus is mostly centered around high theory debate with an emphasis on authors such as Deleuze, Baudrillard, Bataille, and Derrida. 

Stanford National Forensic Institute - Mina Lee (Instructor)

Mina Lee, Instructor

No profile currently available

Stanford National Forensic Institute - Claudia Ribera (Instructor)

Claudia Ribera, Instructor

Claudia debated at Katy Taylor High School in LD and is a student at the University of Texas at Austin where she is majoring in International Relations and Global Studies. Claudia competed locally and nationally, having success on both circuits. She qualified for the TFA State tournament, NSDA Nationals twice in World Schools debate where she reached to quarterfinals her junior year, and competed in outrounds of many circuit tournaments. Claudia has experience coaching high school debaters in CX and LD. Her debaters have cleared at numerous national circuit tournaments, round robins, NSDA Nationals, TFA, and accumulate bids to TOC in LD and CX. 

Stanford National Forensic Institute - Bailey Rung (Instructor)

Bailey Rung, Instructor

Bailey is the former LD coach at Ridge HS (NJ), and assisted with policy. Bailey’s students placed highly at tournaments throughout the northeast, won multiple consecutive New Jersey state championships, attended the Tournament of Champions, and participated in deep out rounds at NSDA and NCFL including a 3rd place finish at each. Bailey competed in NFA-LD at Western Kentucky University, where he closed out the final rounds of the 2017 NFA and 2018 PKD national tournaments in addition to placing in several national final rounds of Extemp and Impromptu. Before that, he competed successfully at Blaine HS (MN) in Extemp and Congress, among other events. Bailey has focused primarily on debating simulated policy-making and continental philosophy while competing and coaching. Bailey graduated from WKU with B.A. in Communication Studies in May 2019 and will be staying there to pursue his M.A. in Social Responsibility & Sustainable Communities. He will also be the graduate assistant for WKU's debate team. In his free time, Bailey enjoys reading Hegel and watching old Science Fiction movies.

Stanford National Forensic Institute - Clay Stewart (Instructor)

Clay Stewart, Instructor

Clay has been involved in Speech & Debate for over a decade. As a high school debater in Georgia, he competed in Lincoln-Douglas debate, qualifying his senior year to the National Speech & Debate Association's National Championship.  Attending Georgia State University, Clay competed in intercollegiate policy debate for four years, reaching elimination debates at multiple regional competitions, a career that culminated in attending the National Debate Tournament his senior year. As an Instructor at the Stanford National Forensic Institute, he hopes to use his years of experience as a coach and competitor to help students achieve success, and maximize the benefit of the Institute. 

Upcoming Sessions
* Tentative and Subject to Change

No Sessions Currently Scheduled For This Camp