Stanford Invitational Tournament

May 25th is the Preferred Enrollment Deadline.  We still have space in most of our programs, however some sessions are approaching maximum capacity--if you're planning to attend, we strongly suggest that you sign up soon!

View our 2019 programs schedule.  Not sure which program to choose?  Review our "How to pick the right program" guide.

1-Week Introduction to Argumention & Debate

Speech & debate is a very powerful activity which teaches students many skills which are in high demand in the contemporary world: public speaking, research skills, writing and logical thinking!  Students in this session will learn the bedrock theories and methods necessary to enter the world of competitive speech & debate.  There will also be a brief introduction to the major standardized formats of competitive debate which are offered at high schools around the nation.

The goal of this session is to cover some of the foundational basics which normally require a sizeable portion of time for beginning students during one of our 2-Week Core sessions.  While these are critical skills to learn, the time that's necessary to learn these skills restricts the amount of progress that beginning students can make in our other programs.  After completing this session a student will be prepared to enter any of our subsequent debate sessions at a level beyond novice/beginner and will be prepared to make a more informed choice about which type of debate would be the best fit for their academic and competitive interests.  

This program represents a great opportunity for students to try debate and to learn the necessary skills without committing to a particular type or format for multiple weeks.  Students in the 1-Week Introduction to Argument & Debate are prepared to continue onto the 2-Week Core Public Forum Program, the 2-Week Core Lincoln Douglas Program, or the 2-Week Core Congressional Debate Program immediately after the conclusion of the session.

For students interested in competitive speech events rather than debate events, please see the information on our 1-Week Introduction to Competitive Speech program.

We also offer several longer Beginners’/Intro Flex Packages which allow students to continue into the specific debate format of their choice immediately after completing the survey component of the 1-Week Introduction to Argumentation & Debate session:

 

For students interested in competitive speech events rather than debate events, please see the information on our 1-Week Introduction to Competitive Speech program.


2019 1-Week Introduction to Argumention & Debate Staff Members Include:

Stanford National Forensic Institute - Brian Manuel (SNFI Curriculum Coordinator & Division Director, Policy & LD Debate)

Brian Manuel, SNFI Curriculum Coordinator & Division Director, Policy & LD Debate

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 - Natalie Polanco (Public Forum Instructor)

Natalie Polanco, Public Forum Instructor

Natalie is the Director of Forensics at the Packer Collegiate Institute in Brooklyn, New York. With a wide range of experience in the activity, she has overseen the growth of Packer’s first-ever Speech & Debate Team to include 14 active competitors in only its second year of existence. Her students were co-champions in Varsity Public Forum, finalists and quarterfinalists in Junior Varsity Public Forum, and octafinalists in Novice Public Forum at the 2019 Westchester Classic, earning a total of five speaker awards. In addition to qualifying for this year’s Tournament of Champions and NCFL Grand Nationals, her students advanced to elimination rounds at Harvard, Stanford, Georgetown, and Bronx Science. Natalie represented student interests as a member of the NSDA’s Public Forum Ad Hoc Committee, which was tasked with evaluating a number of proposed changes to the event, and currently serves on the Public Forum Wording Committee. She looks forward to spending another summer at SNFI!


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.


2018 1-Week Introduction to Argumention & Debate Staff Members Included:

Stanford National Forensic Institute - Gia Karpouzis (Public Forum Instructor)

Gia Karpouzis, Public Forum Instructor

Gia has been a part of the NSDA community since her freshman year of high school, accruing over 100 titles at the local, state, and national level in both speech and debate. In college Gia competed in WUDC debate, where as a freshman she semi-finaled at Nationals. In 2015 she was ranked 15th at the Worlds Universities Debating Championships in Malaysia, where she competed with fellow SNFI coach Jake Riggs. Gia was the first female in her University's 100-year debate history to be named Debater of the Year. She currently teaches debate at the Westridge School for Girls in Pasadena, and coaches debate at Flintridge Preparatory School in La Cañada Flintridge. This will be Gia's fifth year as a Public Forum instructor at SNFI.


Stanford National Forensic Institute - Brian Manuel (SNFI Curriculum Coordinator & Division Director, Policy & LD Debate)

Brian Manuel, SNFI Curriculum Coordinator & Division Director, Policy & LD Debate

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 - Cayman Giordano (Division Director, Public Forum)

Cayman Giordano, Division Director, Public Forum

Cayman Giordano has been involved in competitive debate since the late 1990s; he has competed or coached successfully on a national level in Public Forum, Parliamentary, Policy, Lincoln Douglas, Worlds Schools, and Extemporaneous Speaking.  He has coached more than a dozen national champions across four debate events (the plurality in public forum).  He has worked with teams from Hatboro-Horsham high school in PA (NSDA), UMBC and UMCP in MD (APDA), Learning Leaders (WSDC) and is currently coaching for and traveling with several public middle and high schools throughout Howard County, MD (NCFL/NJFL).Cayman has previously taught at Capitol Debate workshops around Washington DC, the Capitol Classic summer institute at Loyola, and was an instructor at the James Logan Debate Academy. 2018 will be his ninth year teaching at SNFI and his third year as division director.


Stanford National Forensic Institute - Miranda Le (Public Forum Instructor)

Miranda Le, Public Forum Instructor

Miranda Le attended SNFI in 2012. Additionally, she has been an instructor for the past 3 workshops as well as an instructor at the Harvard Debate Council's Summer Workshop in 2016. During her high school debate career, she was invited to and attended multiple round robins including the California Round Robin, the Holy Cross Round Robin, and the Millard North Round Robin. Miranda was the first female to win a championship for her high school. She has been coaching Middle School and High School Public Forum debate since her senior year. Her debaters have accrued numerous top speaker awards at state and national level tournaments, and her debaters have advanced to late elimination rounds and final rounds, winning prestigious tournaments such as the Middle School National Champions in 2014, the CA Middle School State Tournament Co-Champions in 2016, the Tournament of Champions finalists in 2016, etc. Miranda has coached at Mission San Jose High School and the Holy Cross School in New Orleans. She will be the Public Forum Debate Coach at Presentation High School in the upcoming school year. 


Stanford National Forensic Institute - Natalie Polanco (Public Forum Instructor)

Natalie Polanco, Public Forum Instructor

Natalie is the Director of Forensics at the Packer Collegiate Institute in Brooklyn, New York. With a wide range of experience in the activity, she has overseen the growth of Packer’s first-ever Speech & Debate Team to include 14 active competitors in only its second year of existence. Her students were co-champions in Varsity Public Forum, finalists and quarterfinalists in Junior Varsity Public Forum, and octafinalists in Novice Public Forum at the 2019 Westchester Classic, earning a total of five speaker awards. In addition to qualifying for this year’s Tournament of Champions and NCFL Grand Nationals, her students advanced to elimination rounds at Harvard, Stanford, Georgetown, and Bronx Science. Natalie represented student interests as a member of the NSDA’s Public Forum Ad Hoc Committee, which was tasked with evaluating a number of proposed changes to the event, and currently serves on the Public Forum Wording Committee. She looks forward to spending another summer at SNFI!


Stanford National Forensic Institute - Eli Smith (Policy Instructor)

Eli Smith, Policy Instructor

Eli most recently coached the winners of the 2018 NDCA National Championship and the TOC in LD Debate. He has coached multiple students to the elimination rounds of the TOC and NDCA in LD. As a college debater, he "United the Crowns" as a member of the first team to win the CEDA and NDT national championships in the same year.  He has experience coacihng PF, LD, CX, and some international debate formats.  He is excited to get to work with you this summer!




Upcoming Sessions
* Tentative and Subject to Change

Session Grade Location Price Range  
Jul 14th - Jul 20th 9th-12th Stanford University $1,495.00 – $1,795.00
Pricing Options