Stanford Invitational Tournament

May 31st is the Preferred Enrollment Deadline.  We still have space in most of our programs, however we can't guarantee how long spaces will be available.  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.

Beginners' Introduction to Debate

This series of programs is designed to be the starting place for students who are just beginning their speech & debate career.  We offer a 1-Week Introduction to Argumentation & Debate which covers the fundamentals and basics of argumentation and debate so that students learn the bedrock skills necessary to enter into one of our debate format specific sessions (ex Lincoln-Douglas, Public Forum, Individual Events, Congressional Debate, etc) at a more advanced level.  This session will cover argument theory, basic debate research skills, "flowing" (note taking for debate), and other important topics.  In addition, there will be an introductory survey of the specific formats of competitive debate so that students can make an informed choice about which format to choose for their entry into forensics.

We realize that it is daunting to choose your debate format before you come to camp in the summer, so we 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:



2017 Beginners' Introduction to 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 (NFL), 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 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 seventh year at SNFI.


Stanford National Forensic Institute - Brian Manuel (Division Director, Policy Debate)

Brian Manuel, Division Director, Policy Debate

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.


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

Gia Karpouzis, Public Forum Instructor

Gia Karpouzis is a triple major at the University of La Verne, where she studies Philosophy, Speech Communication and Political Science. 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 is the first female in her University's history to be named Debater of the Year and is ranked 15th in the world in WUDC debate, where she competes with fellow SNFI coach Jake Riggs. She currently teaches debate at Flintridge Preparatory School in La Cañada Flintridge, along with the Westridge School for Girls in Pasadena.


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

Miranda Le, Public Forum Instructor

Miranda Le attended SNFI in 2012, and has been an instructor for the past 2 workshops. She competed in Public Forum for 4 years at Milpitas High School in California. During her 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. She is also the first girl/debater to win a championship for her high school. She has been coaching Middle School and High School public forum since her senior year in high school. Her debaters have received top speaker awards at numerous state and national level tournaments. Her teams have made it to late elimination rounds, and final rounds winning tournaments such as the Middle School National Champions in 2014, the CA Middle School State Tournament Co-Champions in 2016, and the Tournament of Champions finalists in 2016. Miranda coached at Mission San Jose High School for the past 2 years, and she will be the Public Forum coach at Holy Cross School in New Orleans for the upcoming school year. She is also teaching at Harvard Debate Council's Summer Workshop.


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 Beginners' Introduction to 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 (NFL), 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 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 seventh year at SNFI.


Stanford National Forensic Institute - Karina Momary (Division Director, Middle School Debate)

Karina Momary, Division Director, Middle School Debate

Karina has been the Director of Middle School Forensics at The Harker School in San Jose, California for the past six years.  Under Karina's leadership the team has been recognized by the National Speech and Debate Association as an Overall School of Excellence  for the past five years. In addition, her students were  the 2011 Lincoln Douglas National Champions, 2012 Congressional Debate National Champions, 2013 Public Forum National Champions, 2013 Congressional Debate National Champions, 2014 Policy Debate National Champions and 2014 Original Oratory National Champion. Karina is a Diamond Coach with the National Speech & Debate Association and her team was recognized by President Obama in 2015. 


Stanford National Forensic Institute - Bryan St. Amant (Division Director, Parliamentary)

Bryan St. Amant, Division Director, Parliamentary

Bryan St. Amant co-founded Windsor High School’s parliamentary debate program in 2007.  Under his leadership, Windsor has won or reached the final round of parliamentary debate at UOP, James Logan, Claremont, Bishop O’Dowd, Santa Clara Spring, the Windsor Invitational and the California State Championship.  In 2015 & 2016, five Windsor parliamentary debaters finished in the top-10 in of the NSDA's national ranking, including the 1st & 2nd ranked parli debaters in the nation.  Bryan's unique perspective on persuasion and argumentation draws from his distinguished career as a marketing executive/CEO in addition to his experience as a national-circuit policy debater -- winning the California State Championship for Damien High School and serving as captain of the UC Berkeley debate team.  Bryan holds a BS in Mechanical Engineering from UC Berkeley, an MS in Management from MIT, and is Founder & CEO of VinterActive LLC.


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 a triple major at the University of La Verne, where she studies Philosophy, Speech Communication and Political Science. 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 is the first female in her University's history to be named Debater of the Year and is ranked 15th in the world in WUDC debate, where she competes with fellow SNFI coach Jake Riggs. She currently teaches debate at Flintridge Preparatory School in La Cañada Flintridge, along with the Westridge School for Girls in Pasadena.



Upcoming Camps

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 natio...

2-Week Beginners' Flex Package

The 2-Week Beginners' Flex Package

2-Week Beginners' Parliamentary Program

The 2-Week Beginners' Parliamentary program

3-Week Beginners' Core Flex Package

The 3-Week Beginners' Core Flex Package

4-Week Beginners' Experience Flex Package

The  4-Week Beginners' Flex Package Experience