Stanford Invitational Tournament

It's not too late to join us for summer 2017!  We still have space in many of our programs, however many sessions are close to maximum capacity--if you're planning to attend, we strongly suggest that you sign up soon!

View our 2017 programs schedule.  Not sure which program to choose?  Review our "How to pick the right program" guide.

Public Forum Debate

PROGRAM OVERVIEW

The SNFI treats Public Forum as the distinct event it is, and the program has its own dedicated instructional staff as well as a specific division director and a unique curriculum developed for Public Forum. The program is divided into sessions that are organized progressively to cater to students at all levels:

The Beginner's week is a special focus program for beginners and early-intermediate students only, which means these students will be tracked with peers at their own experience level allowing the whole group to accomplish rapid academic progress, yet as a result of the similar skill and experience of the students to move at a comfortable instructional pace and with a friendly and nurturing atmosphere.  After completing the Beginner's week, students will be ready to transition into the 2-Week Core program should they stay for the main session.

The 2-Week Core is the main session, which covers the main topics of the program.  We strongly suggest that all students who attend the SNFI Public Forum program build their experience around the 2-Week Core. 

The Intensive Practice Round Session is a supplemental program focused primarily on practice rounds. After completeing this week, a student will have had experience equivalent to several regular tournaments! In addition to practice rounds, several special topics appropriate for rising varsity level students shall be covered, such as advanced strategy and extensive consideration of advanced crossfire and cross-ex techniques.

CHOOSING THE RIGHT PROGRAMS

Students may do one week, two weeks, or all three weeks of the program.  A student who does the first two weeks can expect to leave the program significantly improved, having progressed significantly in their skill and ability.  Students may wish to do both the 2-Week Core and the Intensive Practice Round Session to get the added benefit of having complete the equivalent of two full tournaments of competition.  It is recommended that students who wish to attend the Intensive Practice Round Session also attend the 2-Week Core, as many of the materials covered in the second week will be used during the Intensive Practice Round Session.  The Intensive Practice Round Session can be attended independently of the other programs if and only if a student is highly motivated and is prepared to arrive at the program having completed significant independent preparatory work. Any student interested in only the Intensive Practice Round Session should contact us for more information (see menu bar and click "contact us").


2017 Public Forum Debate Staff Members Include:

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, and Extemporaneous Speaking. He has worked with teams from Hatboro-Horsham high school in PA (NSDA), UMBC and UMCP in MD (APDA), 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. This is his eighth year at SNFI.


Stanford National Forensic Institute - Bennett Brazelton (Public Forum Instructor)

Bennett Brazelton, Public Forum Instructor

Bennett is a rising sophomore at Tufts University studying Political Science with an emphasis on Critical Race and Queer theories. As a high school senior at West High School in Madison, WI, he received 4 bids to the Tournament of Champions, winning two semis bid tournaments (Middleton, Manchester-Essex), made quarterfinals at the Glenbrooks, and semifinals at West DM Valley. He ended up 5th seed at TOC and finished in octafinals. Since high school, he has worked as a private coach for multiple schools, qualifying 5 teams to the TOC (gold and silver). Bennett also worked as a Public Forum instructor (2016) and curriculum coordinator (2017) at the Northwestern Debate Institute. 


Stanford National Forensic Institute - Sara Beth Brooks (Public Forum Instructor)

Sara Beth Brooks, Public Forum Instructor

My name is Sara Beth Brooks, and I am from Sacramento, CA. As a competitor, I participated in policy debate and individual events. In policy I qualified twice to the NDT, appeared in elimination debates at nearly every major national tournament, and won multiple speaker awards. I have spent four years coaching high school policy debate and two years coaching high school public forum debate. My students have advanced to elimination debates at many major national high school tournaments and I have coached several teams to championships, including the 2017 Stanford Invitational champions in policy debate. I hold a B.A. in Communication Studies from the University of Nevada, Las Vegas and I coach for College Prep in Oakland, CA (policy) and BL Debate in Vancouver, BC (public forum).


Stanford National Forensic Institute - Chris Fielder (Public Forum Instructor)

Chris Fielder, Public Forum Instructor

Chris Fielder, a SNFI 2009 alumnus, will be an English teacher and direct Public Forum and Extemporaneous Speaking at Delbarton School this fall. He graduated in 2012 from Rockhurst High School (Kansas City) where he was successful on a highly competitive Missouri circuit. He qualified twice for the NCFL national tournament (Congress, PF) and twice for NFL Nationals (PF). Chris graduated in December 2015 with a political science degree from Seton Hall University. There, he qualified a total of 17 entries to the National Individual Events Tournament with a semifinal in Impromptu Speaking. Chris much prefers coaching to competing. His students at Ridge, Palos Verdes Peninsula, and Delbarton have collectively achieved: 3 NCFL quarterfinals, 2 semifinals, and 2 finals; 8 NSDA National qualifiers, 8 NSDA Nationals elimination round appearances, and 2 Top 14 finishes; countless late elimination rounds at national circuit tournaments. Most importantly, Chris is a vicious fan of the World Champion Kansas City Royals.


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

Gia Karpouzis, Public Forum Instructor

Gia Karpouzis is the head debate coach at the Westridge School for Girls in Pasadena, as well as the debate coach for Flintridge Preparatory School in La Cañada Flintridge. 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. She competed with Redlands High School, placing 10th in Parliamentary Debate at CHSSA State, winning 2nd in Impromptu at CHSSA State, and Semi-Finaling in Impromptu at NSDA Nationals. 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 also the first female in the University of La Verne's history to be named Debater of the Year. This will be her fourth year as a Public Forum instructor at SNFI. 


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 - Mark Mabie (Public Forum Instructor)

Mark Mabie, Public Forum Instructor

Mark Mabie has been a follower, competitor, and instructor of speech and debate for most of his memorable life. Even before ever competing in high school, Mark had been immersed in the world of speech and debate by proxy of his brother and parents. Since graduating from James Logan High School in 2014, Mark has been teaching Circuit Parliamentary and Public Forum debate, as well as Impromptu speech and recently Lincoln Douglas at various schools and debate programs.  Mark is currently working at and fostering the success of students at The Nueva School, and Basis independent Silicon Valley, and as well as middle schoolers through The Goldenstate Academy. His coaching season of 2016/2017 has lead students to winning results in multiple various debate events at invitational, state, national and the TOC level, and hopefully securing the middle school state championship for the 3rd year in a row.


Stanford National Forensic Institute - Jake Riggs (Public Forum Instructor)

Jake Riggs, Public Forum Instructor

Jake Riggs is an incoming junior at the University of La Verne, where he will return for his second year of international debate. In 2014 Jake received the speech and debate scholarship at the University of La Verne and competed in the seasons at tournaments like Oxford, World’s hosted in Malaysia, and tournaments across the US and Europe. Jake and his partner Gia Karouzis, another of the PF summer instructors, are ranked in the top 100 debaters for their event worldwide. Jake also debated four years in high school, and became the debate team captain his sophomore year. Jake competed, made finals, and won tournaments throughout California after making the transition to public Forum his senior year. Jake will be happily returning to and eagerly awaiting the SNFI public forum camp.


Stanford National Forensic Institute - Jon Williamson (Public Forum Instructor)

Jon Williamson, Public Forum Instructor

Jon Williamson is a former policy debater for Gonzaga and national quarter-finalist in parliamentary debate for Cal State Long Beach who has been coaching since 2006. Jon has been recognized as a diamond coach by the NSDA and is the Assistant Director of Forensics at Nova High School in Florida. Jon has a bachelor's degree in political science from Gonzaga University and a master's degree in political science from California State University, Los Angeles. Jon has coached a state champion in policy debate, a national champion in congressional debate, state finalists in parliamentary debate, and TOC/NSDA Octo-finalists in public forum debate. Jon's public forum debaters have championed tournaments including the California Round Robin, Cal State Fullerton, Cal State Long Beach, the Cypress Bay Round Robin, Cypress Bay, La Costa Canyon, and the Nova Titan,


Stanford National Forensic Institute - Tiffany Yuan (Public Forum Instructor)

Tiffany Yuan, Public Forum Instructor

Tiffany Yuan is a rising sophomore at Johns Hopkins University, studying public health, psychology, and social policy. She competed in Public Forum for Princeton High School for 4 years, serving as PF captain her senior year, and was ranked as high as 6th in the country on Debaterankings. Tiffany qualified to the TOC twice, qualified and broke at NSDA nationals, and competed at NCFLs 2016. She was also a semifinalist at New Jersey states, a quarterfinalist at the Yale Invitational, and won a number of other titles. In college, Tiffany competes on the Johns Hopkins Parliamentary Debate Council (APDA), serving as the tournament director. She was named the 2017 APDA US Novice of the Year, through winning 1st place novice speaker awards at Harvard, American, Brandeis, and George Washington, and other speaker awards at Yale, Georgetown, William and Mary, Williams, and more. She has also cleared to multiple elimination rounds on both the novice and varsity level, and is excited to join the SNFI staff for the first time this summer!


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 Public Forum Debate Staff Members Included:

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, and Extemporaneous Speaking. He has worked with teams from Hatboro-Horsham high school in PA (NSDA), UMBC and UMCP in MD (APDA), 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. This is his eighth year at SNFI.


Stanford National Forensic Institute - Vilma Arceo (Public Forum Instructor)

Vilma Arceo, Public Forum Instructor

Alyssa is a proud SNFI alum. She debated for four years with DeBakey High School in Houston, Texas during which she won numerous regional tournaments. She and her partner first qualified for nationals as sophomores. In their senior year, they double-qualified for Texas Forensic Association state where they were ranked in the top 15 of 100+ teams. As her school's Team Captain and PF coach, she helped teams to regional wins, TOC bids, and NSDA nationals. She attends American University in Washington D.C. where she majors in International Studies and minors in Economics.


Stanford National Forensic Institute - Patrick Berger (PF Instructor)

Patrick Berger, PF Instructor

Patrick Berger teaches economics at The Nueva School. As a policy debater for James Logan High School, Patrick won 2nd at the 2009 NFL National Championship in addition to qualifying to multiple TOCs. In the past year of assisting the Nueva public forum program, the team qualified six students to the TOC, won Bronx Science, closed out Berkeley, finaled at Stanford, and closed out Harker. This will be Patrick's third summer returning to the SNFI public forum program.


Stanford National Forensic Institute - Chris Fielder (Public Forum Instructor)

Chris Fielder, Public Forum Instructor

Chris Fielder, a SNFI 2009 alumnus, will be an English teacher and direct Public Forum and Extemporaneous Speaking at Delbarton School this fall. He graduated in 2012 from Rockhurst High School (Kansas City) where he was successful on a highly competitive Missouri circuit. He qualified twice for the NCFL national tournament (Congress, PF) and twice for NFL Nationals (PF). Chris graduated in December 2015 with a political science degree from Seton Hall University. There, he qualified a total of 17 entries to the National Individual Events Tournament with a semifinal in Impromptu Speaking. Chris much prefers coaching to competing. His students at Ridge, Palos Verdes Peninsula, and Delbarton have collectively achieved: 3 NCFL quarterfinals, 2 semifinals, and 2 finals; 8 NSDA National qualifiers, 8 NSDA Nationals elimination round appearances, and 2 Top 14 finishes; countless late elimination rounds at national circuit tournaments. Most importantly, Chris is a vicious fan of the World Champion Kansas City Royals.


Stanford National Forensic Institute - Kathryn Kao (Public Forum Instructor)

Kathryn Kao, Public Forum Instructor

Kathryn Kao is a 6th grade English Language Arts and Social Studies teacher in Redwood City, CA.  Before moving to California, she was the assistant director of debate at Harrison High School in New York. She was a highly competitive policy and Lincoln-Douglas debater at Lexington High School in Massachusetts, and has coached Lincoln-Douglas and Public Forum debate for over a decade. Her students have consistently reached late elimination rounds at regional and national tourmanents. Ms. Kao holds a BA in Ancient History from Brandeis University, and a master's degree from the Bank Street College of Education. She is particularly well known for her success with beginning debaters.


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

Gia Karpouzis, Public Forum Instructor

Gia Karpouzis is the head debate coach at the Westridge School for Girls in Pasadena, as well as the debate coach for Flintridge Preparatory School in La Cañada Flintridge. 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. She competed with Redlands High School, placing 10th in Parliamentary Debate at CHSSA State, winning 2nd in Impromptu at CHSSA State, and Semi-Finaling in Impromptu at NSDA Nationals. 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 also the first female in the University of La Verne's history to be named Debater of the Year. This will be her fourth year as a Public Forum instructor at SNFI. 


Stanford National Forensic Institute - Liya Khan (Public Forum Instructor)

Liya Khan, Public Forum Instructor

Liya Khan attended SNFI in 2012 and graduated in 2015 from Dougherty Valley High School in San Ramon, California, and headed their Public Forum team for two years. As a sophomore she finished in the top 32 at the California State Championship, and broke at all the national tournaments she competed at that year, including the Stanford and Berkeley Invitationals. She was a semifinalist at the 2015 La Costa Canyon Winter Classic Invitational, an octafinalist at the Golden Desert Invitational, and was fourth Varsity PF Speaker at the Stanford Invitational.  She has competed at the California Round Robin and received a total of three bids to the Tournament of Champions. At the 2015 NSDA National Tournament in Dallas, Liya finished in Second Place in PF. This past year she coached the first ever Dougherty Valley team to qualify to the Tournament of Champions, helping them earn three bids, and plans to help coach for Coleyville Heritage High School next year. She is a Public Policy major at the University of Chicago and competes for the Chicago Debate Society in American Parliamentary Debate.


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 - Mark Mabie (Public Forum Instructor)

Mark Mabie, Public Forum Instructor

Mark Mabie has been a follower, competitor, and instructor of speech and debate for most of his memorable life. Even before ever competing in high school, Mark had been immersed in the world of speech and debate by proxy of his brother and parents. Since graduating from James Logan High School in 2014, Mark has been teaching Circuit Parliamentary and Public Forum debate, as well as Impromptu speech and recently Lincoln Douglas at various schools and debate programs.  Mark is currently working at and fostering the success of students at The Nueva School, and Basis independent Silicon Valley, and as well as middle schoolers through The Goldenstate Academy. His coaching season of 2016/2017 has lead students to winning results in multiple various debate events at invitational, state, national and the TOC level, and hopefully securing the middle school state championship for the 3rd year in a row.


Stanford National Forensic Institute - Jake Riggs (Public Forum Instructor)

Jake Riggs, Public Forum Instructor

Jake Riggs is an incoming junior at the University of La Verne, where he will return for his second year of international debate. In 2014 Jake received the speech and debate scholarship at the University of La Verne and competed in the seasons at tournaments like Oxford, World’s hosted in Malaysia, and tournaments across the US and Europe. Jake and his partner Gia Karouzis, another of the PF summer instructors, are ranked in the top 100 debaters for their event worldwide. Jake also debated four years in high school, and became the debate team captain his sophomore year. Jake competed, made finals, and won tournaments throughout California after making the transition to public Forum his senior year. Jake will be happily returning to and eagerly awaiting the SNFI public forum camp.


Stanford National Forensic Institute - Austin Taggart (Public Forum Instructor)

Austin Taggart, Public Forum Instructor

I am a rising junior at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. I am a double major in public policy and psychology. I competed in public forum in high school with senior year accomplishments including quarter finals at George Mason and Laird Lewis, qualifying for NFL nationals, and clearing to top 16 at the tournament of champions.



Upcoming Camps

1-Week Public Forum Workout

The 1-Week Public Forum Workout is designed for students who don't have the time to complete the full 2-Week Core Public Forum Program.  We recommend that students who are able choose to attend the 2-Week Core Public Forum Program or the 3-Week Public Forum Experience.  Based on past requests, we recognize that some students are unable to fit the full program into their summer and offer this shortened program to allow more students to sharpen their Public Forum skills over...

2-Week Core Public Forum Program

The Core Program for Public Forum is designed for students from intermediate through advanced level. Students will be grouped by experience and competitive success within teaching groups so that each lab can progress as a unit as rapidly as possible.

Given the focus of this program on skill building, this program offers students with little to no experienced coaching at their schools the opportunity to develop the necessary skills to actually coach themselves.

This...

3-Week Public Forum Experience

The 3-Week Complete Public Forum Experience combines our 2-Week Core Public Forum Program and our Intensive Practice Round Public Forum Session.  For more information on both programs, please visit their respective pages.

Beginner Public Forum Program

**This is a legacy camp which we no longer offer as a standalone session.  We have combined this session with the concurrently running 1-Week Introduction to Argumentation & Debate session to improve the experience of students beginning their career in competitive debate.**

A special session which is specially targeted towards novice public forum competitors. Students begin with the fundamentals and progress t...

Public Forum Intensive Practice Round Session

This session emphasizes practice rounds and improvement through in-depth critiques as the central theme of the program. Students will receive several practice rounds per day on average, and by the end of the week will have literally completed the equivalent of several tournaments worth of practice--all with extensive feedback. Several special topics are covered during the program, including:

  • Crossfire techniques: A specially designed practicum on how to make the most...