Our summer 2017 schedule is now available and registration is open!
3-Week Core Policy Program
Our approach each summer involves thinking of interesting ways to use the topic as a vehicle for teaching students how to compete successfully during the year. Our 3 Week program is designed to improve students’ critical thinking and strategy: taking well-reasoned argument and tying it to evidence researched by the students on any given topic, and enhancing that argument in later rebuttals with strong analysis and expert vision. Moreover, students should walk out of the SNFI experience with a confidence that they can compete in every debate round, regardless of the arguments being made, which in contrast to other institutes, involves working on both policy arguments and critical theory.
Core components of the 3 week curriculum include:
- A broad survey of the 2014-2015 resolution: This will include an in-depth topic analysis, extensive analysis of affirmative and negative position, and group based discussion about modern theoretical approaches to debate.
- Enhanced focus on skill development over evidence production: Stanford's 3 week pedagogy is centered on the student rather than the arguments. Even tho each student will dedicate a portion of their time to researching the topic, there will be a great emphasis on helping students understand argument and how they are developed rather than having students work endless on producing briefs.
- Commitment to debating: At Stanford your student will have many opportunities to practice their craft. We have committed a large chunk of time in our curriculum for allowing students the opportunity to have practice debates, speeches, constructive redo's of past speeches, and intense one-on-one discussions with their instructors to gain expert advice to help improve their technique and speaking style. During this year's camp we are looking to add a number of new programs to emphasize this, including a speakers workshop.
In addition to these core components, students will also have access to these other great options:
- Advanced research techniques used by top college and high school coaches
- How to use new paperless file creation and debate software (students will still have opportunity to opt-in to our traditional paper printed system of evidence, as well)
- Personal attention from instructors in other labs. At Stanford we attempt to create opportunities for every student to spend time developing professional relationships with each and every instructor on the staff. We feel this approach to debate enhances the overall experience your student will receive from our institute.
- End of Camp Tournament - each student will be able to display their talents against the rest of the camp in a culminating 3 day tournament to conclude the camp. The semi-final and final rounds are open to the each students families.
Instructional Staff for 2014 are listed in the right-hand sidebar.
2017 3-Week Core Policy Program Staff Members Include:
Check back closer to the start of camp for details on our 2017 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.
2016 3-Week Core Policy Program Staff Members Included:
Brian has been coaching debate for 17 years. He is widely recognized for unrivaled talent in creating and rebuilding programs from the bottom up. Brian is currently the Director of Policy Debate for the Stanford Debate Society at Stanford University, the Director of Debate for Edgemont Jr./Sr. High School in Scarsdale, NY, and a Tabroom.com support consultant for the National Speech and Debate Association.
While the Director of Policy Debate at Stanford, Brian has rebuilt the program and most recently coached teams to 3rd place at the Cross Examination Debate Association and elimination rounds at the National Debate Tournament. At Edgemont, Brian coached the 9th ranked policy debate in the country, four NY state championships in Policy Debate and Public Forum, established a middle school debate program, and introduced the school to the format of Lincoln Douglas Debate. In addition, he has had students compete on Capitol Hill in front of the House Judiciary Committee on the topic of Domestic Surveillance.
Prior to Stanford, Brian coached for Harvard University, Lakeland High School, Chattahoochee High School, Cathedral Preparatory School, and Scranton High School.
Brian’s teams have cleared at virtually every major natural tournament they’ve attended. He has coached the champions of the 2003 Big Bronx Invitational and 2008 Barkley Forum. Additionally, Brian has had multiple teams in the elimination rounds of the Tournament of Champions, NDCA, NCFL, and NSDA National Championships with finals finishes in 2007 and 2012. He has also coached the Phyllis Flory Barton top speaker in Policy Debate at NSDA Nationals in 2013. Along with his tremendous tournament successes, Brian’s students have attended every major national round robin in the United States.
During the summer Brian serves as the Policy Institute Director at the Stanford National Forensic Institute and has previously taught at the Kentucky National Debate Institute, with the Fellows program, Capitol Debate Summer Institutes, Millennial Institutes, and the Georgetown Debate Seminar.
Ian Beier is currently a PhD student and assistant coach at the University of Kansas and the College Preparatory School. In 2016, KU qualified three teams to the National Debate Tournament and made it to the finals of the tournament. From 2013-2015, he coached at Damien High School. During this time, the debate team remained competitively successful and cleared at several national tournaments. In 2015, Damien High School made it to finals of the National Forensics League tournament. Prior to his time at Damien, Ian was the Assistant Director of Debate at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas from 2010 to 2013. During that time, UNLV qualified six teams to the National Debate Tournament, qualifying with the top seed in the district in both 2012 and 2013.
Hunter is currently a Graduate Assistant at the University of Wyoming where she coaches policy debate and studies rhetoric. As a debater she qualified to both the 69th and 70th National Debate Tournament, cleared to elimination rounds at many regional and national tournaments, and recieved a handful of speaker awards. Hunter's senior year she was a quarter-finalist at CEDA and a double-octo-finalist at the NDT. She also recieved the All-American Debate Squad Award at CEDA in 2016.
Rishi is currently a graduate student at the University of Pittsburgh in the Department of Communication where he coaches policy debate for the William Pitt Debating Union. He also coaches at the high school level at Pittsburgh Central Catholic High School, qualifying a team to the TOC this past year. As a college debater, Rishi qualified to the 70th National Debate Tournament and cleared to elimination rounds at multiple regional tournaments. He has instructed in the past at the Nebraska Debate Institute, and is looking forward to his first experience teaching at SNFI.
Sydney Pasquinelli is a Visiting Instructor at the University of Pittsburgh, where she is also a PhD Candidate in the Department of Communication. She has spent the past 7 years studying communication topics at an advanced level, but came from a political science background at Wayne State University, where she also debated for four years and qualified to the National Debate Tournament twice. Sydney coached policy debate full-time at Wake Forest University from 2009-2011 and at University of Pittsburgh from 2011-2016, and has also coached part-time for Groves High School (MI), University of Oklahoma, and Edgemont High School (NY). She is excited to start coaching part-time for Stanford in the upcoming school year! Many of the teams Sydney has coached have achieved high levels of competitive success, both in regional and national circuits. She has instructed summer labs at the Spartan Debate Institute, the UMKC Summer Institute, and the Mean Green Workshops, but her favorite to work at is the Stanford National Forensic Institute!
jon sharp has been a debate coach for longer than you have been alive. He has coached for Emory, New Trier, West Georgia, the University of Southern California, and the University of Kentucky. He is currently the Director of Debate at the Georgetown Day School. As a college coach, jon has coached teams to the late elimination rounds of every major tournament in the country, including multiple CEDA National championships. As a newly minted high school coach, his teams have won Greenhill, the Greenhill Round Robin, and the Ohio Valley at the University of Kentucky. He has taught at more than 40 debate labs at the Bates, Berkeley, Emory, Kentucky, and Stanford debate institutes, including directing the Kentucky Fellows Program, the Berkeley Mentors, and the Stanford Swing Lab. His former lab students have won every national tournament on the schedule, including the TOC, and include multiple former TOC top speakers.