Stanford National Forensic Institue: Staff
Rich Boltizar is the Director of Debate at Stanford University. Rich is a graduate of Stanford University, twice served as President of the Stanford Debate Society and served a one year term on the American Parliamentary Debate Association's Board of Trustees. Rich previously served as Executive Vice President and CTO of a major academic summer camp company.
While debating at Stanford, Rich competed in both APDA (American Parliamentary format) and British Parliamentary Debate, reaching elimination rounds at the World Universities Debating Championships and numerous tournaments on the APDA circuit. Rich debated for Capital High School in Boise, Idaho, clearing at many of the top Policy Debate tournaments in the country and competing at the Tournament of Champions.
Corey Turoff is the Administrative Director at SNFI covering all divisions. Corey coaches debate and teaches History at the Head Royce School in Oakland, California. While debating at the University of Southern California as an undergrad, Corey qualified for elimination rounds at every major national tournament including the quarterfinals at CEDA Nationals in 2002. After graduating, Corey taught at Damien High School in Glendora, California and Chaminade College Preparatory School with teams reaching the finals of Georgetown and octo-finals or better at USC, St. Marks, Greenhill, Berkeley, and the Tournament of Champions. Most recently, Corey’s team at Head Royce reached late elimination rounds at Scranton (finals), Gonzaga (Champions), the Barkley Forum (quarterfinals), Stanford (Champions), Berkeley (semi-finals), and the Tournament of Champions (quarterfinals). Corey has been teaching or directing SNFI since 2003.
Harry is a rising junior at Stanford. As an SDS debater, he was the top speaker and a finalist at the US Universities Championship, a semifinalist at American Parliamentary Nationals and the North American Championships, and a quarterfinalist at the World Championships. He also currently serves on the board of Stanford Debate Society and of the American Parliamentary Debate Association. Harry went to high school at Eton College in the UK, where he won the Oxford Schools Championship as a junior and made finals at every tournament he went to as a senior. He also ran Eton's debate society, mentoring new members and organising pairings weekly. This will be Harry's second year working at the Stanford National Forensic Institute.
Rob Glass is the incoming Director of Forensics at Mamaroneck High School in New York and was previously the Director of Policy Debate at the Beacon School and Stuyvesant High School in New York City. Rob has also coached for Binghamton University, the University of Rochester, and James Logan High School, and debated for Binghamton University. This is Rob's first year with SNFI.
Julian is an At-Camp Administrator at SNFI and is a rising Junior at the University of California, Berkeley. He debated for 2 years at Berkeley and 5 years at Pine Crest School in South Florida where he attended the Tournament of Champions Twice, reaching elimination rounds during his senior year. Julian was the top speaker at the Glenbrooks Invitational and collected speaker awards at almost every national tournament he attended. Additionally he reached the finals of the Stanford High School Debate Tournament.
Victoria Gurrola debated for four years at Claremont High School. Victoria graduated from Mills College with a BA in Political, Legal, and Economic Analysis in 2014 and her Masters in Public Policy in 2015.
Adrianna is an At-Camp Administrator for the first time at SNFI. She is entering her fourth and final year at California State University, Chico, where she is majoring in Communication Studies and minoring in Creative Writing. Adrianna's involvement on her university's campus includes interning at the Gender and Sexuality Equity Center as well as serving as treasurer and president of Chico State's chapter of Pi Kappa Delta, the national honor society for forensics. She will be going into her third year of forensics, where she competes in individual events, particularly oral interpretation and after-dinner speaking. She has qualified for both the American Forensics Association and National Forensics Association national tournaments, which she hopes to do again soon. When she isn't busy trying to memorize everything, Adrianna enjoys spending time with family, friends, and her corgi, as well as watch Parks and Recreation and 30 Rock over and over again. She hopes to help make this year's summer camp the best one yet!
Hello all, my name is Isaac Ruiz and I am one of the At-Camp Administrators. I am currently in between my Junior and Senior year at UC Berkeley where I am majoring in English. I've been competing in collegiate Forensics for two years and plan to go on to get my Master's degree so that I can become a Forensics coach myself! When I'm not doing homework or practicing my speeches, I like to workout, watch movies, read, or hang out with my fraternity brothers. I'm looking forward to a great summer camp with everyone!
With combined winning experience of over 40 years, Sarah Rosenberg and Luis Cardenas have coached students to hundreds of final rounds across the country. Their students have won DUO at CFL Nationals and have tied for 1st in DUO at NFL Nationals twice. They have had over 30 National Finalists at both CFL and NFL and have won countless State Championships in California, New York, Philadelphia and Florida. Current projects center on The Festival of New American Musicals and Future Fest, working with composers such as Stephen Schwartz, Jeff Marx, Jason Robert Brown and Stephen Sondheim. NYC credits include the Off-Broadway musicals Fools in Love and Tempest Toss'd, one a doo-wop re imagining of A Midsummer Nights Dream and the other, a re imagining of The Tempest. Both are designed to make watching Shakepeare a family event and have won rave reviews in major newspapers across the country. These musicals have also been showcased at BAM, The New York Musical Theater Festival, El Portal, Theatre Row in Hollywood, and The Wheeler Opera House in Aspen, CO. they also have a new professional theater company in New York City called Open Hydrant. This is the first Equity ensemble theater company in the Bronx serving under-served artists. Their work also can be seen in the new film, Shakespeare High Executive Produced by Kevin Spacey, which premiered at Robert DeNiro's Tribeca Film Festival in NYC and will premiere on Showtime this fall. Rosie/Lou have coached for Stuyvesant High School, Bronx High School of Science, Florida Forensic Institute, Bronx Prep, Holy Ghost Prep, San Marino High School, Cleveland High School, James Logan and The PUC Schools. For more info visit: www.shakespearehigh.org www.lafestival.org http://thepoint.org http://openhydrant.org
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.
Ryan had been part of speech and debate for over 20 years as a middle school, high school and college competitor and coach, an instructor at camps such as Interprod, FFI, GMIF, and UTNIF, a coach with various nationally recognized programs across the country (Logan High School, CA, Stuyvesant High School, NY and Holy Ghost Prep, PA), and as the Director of Forensics at Phoenix Country Day School, AZ. A former 3-time high school national finalist himself (Duo/OO), Ryan has had the privilege of working with and learning from some of the most interesting middle and high school students from a variety of backgrounds - culminating in over 25 national finalist and 4 NSDA High School National Champions and 4 NSDA Middle School National Champions. This past year (2016), Phoenix Country Day School was awarded a School of Excellence in Speech at NSDA High School Nationals and the Overall School of Excellence for Speech & Debate at the NSDA Middle School Nationals in only their 3rd year as a Middle and High School team. However, the accolades are not why we do this "sport," rather it is the moments of contemplation, the passionate researching, the character development, the voice coming to life, and the personal and meaningful message being delivered that continue to inspire Ryan - the students make speech and debate what it is! While building his program at Phoenix Country Day, Ryan also serves as the PCDS Director of Advancement in charge of school fundraising.
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.
Shawn Matson is the incoming Director of Speech & Debate at Presentation High School in California, holds a B.A. in Political Science from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, and is a former Jewish community non-profit professional. For six years, he was the head coach at Whitefish Bay HS in Wisconsin and has worked with other teams and students around the country. His students have won state championships and have advanced to late elimination rounds at Glenbrooks, Blake, Stanford, ASU, Harvard, Berkeley, UPenn, Dowling Catholic, NCFL, the TOC, and NSDA nationals.
With student successes in every Speech & Debate event, Shawn has focused on Public Forum, Congress, and Lincoln Douglas for the past 5 years and specializes in research & case position generation, European Union politics, and judge adaptation.
Shawn is a One Diamond coach, a member of the NSDA’s Lincoln Douglas Debate Wording Committee and Southern Wisconsin District Committee, and has served on the Board of Directors for both the Wisconsin Debate Coaches Association as its President, and for the Wisconsin Forensic Coaches Association.
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.
Toni Nielson has been a member of the debate community for 22 years, a college speech and debate coach for 12 years, and currently serves as the executive director at the Bay Area Urban Debate League. Toni has significant experience in Individual Events (Impromptu, Extemp, Original Oratory, Original Advocacy, Expository), Student Congress, and Debate (Team/Policy, Public Forum, LD, Parliamentary, World’s). Her teams have been the recipients of numerous awards including accommodations from the City of Garden Grove and the California House of Representatives. She is a Galentine Award recipient for excellence in coaching and is featured in the debate documentary “Resolved”. Known as the “Coach of Coaches”, Toni’s educational stance is largely based on an existentialist pedagogy where hands on application is the most effective means of learning debate.
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.
Faculty & Staff
Mujda Alamzai competed on the James Logan Forensics Team for four years, accumulating tournament titles in a number of events. She competed in Lincoln-Douglas for her first two years of high school and went on to compete in Public Forum for the remainder of her forensics career. She cleared at the NCFL Grand National Tournament both her junior and senior year and was awarded James Logan’s Public Forum award both those years. She also was an instructor last summer at SNFI last summer. She is studying bioengineering at Santa Clara University.
Alex Alifimoff debated Public Forum for four years at Canterbury High School in Fort Wayne, Indiana, where he was fully qualified to the Tournament of Champions in both Public Forum and Congressional Debate. Alex has been very involved in the Public Forum community and has worked with Dougherty Valley High School and The Harker School. Alex has broken at multiple national circuit tournaments including Princeton, Berkeley, and Lexington and has had multiple admirable speaker finishes (Top Speaker, Indiana States, Princeton). Alex was a National Finalist at Dallas Nationals 2011 in Congressional Debate and is currently the Captain of Parliamentary Debate for the Stanford Debate Society. Alex has been in elimination rounds at numerous American Parliamentary Debate Association tournaments.
Ben Anderson is a sophomore at Stanford, originally from Liberty, Missouri. In high school, he competed in International Extemporaneous and Lincoln-Douglas debate with the Liberty High speech and debate team. He qualified to nationals three times, finishing in the top 30 of IX his junior year, on top of a third-place finish at State. Ben continues to debate in college with Stanford's Parliamentary Debate team. Though he hasn't figured out his major yet, Ben's interests include literature, politics, philosophy, math, and music. He plays in the Stanford orchestra and is involved in climate activism on campus. Ben is very excited to join SNFI as a Parli and LD instructor.
As a student at Bishop O' Dowd High School, Carey Appeldorn competed very successfully in both league and invitational parliamentary debate tournaments. He won trophies at every tournament he attended, ultimately winning the state tournament in 2010. Now a student at UCLA, he is pursuing a double major in Political Science and Middle Eastern and North African Studies. He remains involved with debate as a tutor and coach in Los Angeles.
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.
Nadia Arid is currently the head LD coach at Palo Alto High School in Palo Alto, CA and has been since 2009. She also coached Presentation High School in San Jose, CA from 2008 to 2009. She has coached students who have reached late outrounds at various circuit tournaments and who have qualified to the Tournament of Champions, the California State Tournament, and the NFL National Tournament. Committed to issues of educational inequality, Nadia co-founded the East Palo Alto Youth Court Connection in 2009 and has recently helped to start a new speech and debate program at Eastside College Prep in East Palo Alto, CA. In high school, Nadia was captain of the debate team at Presentation High School for two years and was the first from her school to qualify to the TOC. Nadia qualified to the California State Tournament her sophomore, junior, and senior year and qualified to both the TOC and the NFL National Tournament her senior year. She will be graduating from Stanford University this year (June 2012) with a Bachelors degree in International Relations and will be finishing a Masters in Sociology at Stanford University next year.
Ashley Artmann is an entering UCLA law student and Stanford University graduate class of 2012. She has self-published a Public Forum Manual, Beyond Resolved, and has taught at SNFI since 2009. While at Stanford she coached PF at St. Francis HS in Mountain View, CA where she helped coach teams to the TOC, National Tournament Top 20, as well as bid-rounds at many national tournaments. She was also a member of the Stanford Debate Society. In high school, she competed in Public Forum for three years at Green Valley High School in Las Vegas, receiving awards such as 7th at NFL Nationals in 2007, top 40 Nationals 2008, Berkeley Invitational Champion 2008, two-time Nevada State Champion, participant in 1st Annual PF Challenge, as well as many local and regional titles. Ashley also competed extensively in Extemp, earning 4th at NFL Nationals 2008 in Extemp Comm and reaching quarterfinals in 2006, 2008 Nevada State Champion in Extemp, 1st at La Costa Canyon, 2nd at Long Beach Invitational, as well as local titles.
Max Barnhart is an undergraduate majoring in Political Science and Philosophy at the University of Maryland-Baltimore County. Throughout his four years as a Public Forum debater for Walt Whitman High School in Bethesda, Maryland, Max attended the Kentucky National Debate Institute, the National Debate Forum and the Harvard Institute for Public Forum Debate. In his senior year, Max was a Public Forum Co-Captain at Whitman, was a Quarterfinalist at the Tournament of Champions, won the Blake Edie Invitational, was in finals at the Blake Round Robin, won the New York City Invitational Round Robin, was a Co-Champion at the New York City Invitational and was in finals at Harvard Invitational.
Emma Barton is a rising Sophomore at the University of California Berkeley majoring in Cognitive Science and minoring in Philosophy. Emma is a varsity debater for the Berkeley APDA team. In her first year at Berkeley she broke to varsity from novice at several tournaments. She was the 5th novice speaker and the 2nd novice team at the Stanford APDA tournament and 3rd place novice team at the Wellesley APDA tournament. She is going to be the tournament director for the Berkeley APDA team for the 2016-2017 year.
Sheelah Bearfoot graduated from Delta Charter HS in 2012 with 2,912 NFL points, where she competed in LD, Public Forum, Impromptu, and Extemp all four years and continues to assist in a wide range of IE and debate events. Her senior year, she founded the first competitive middle school forensics program in San Joaquin county, during which time she had students final in Novice HI at Stanford and take 1st place in the NJFL consolation event of “TV commercial”. She has finaled at the Stanford, MLK, Long Beach and Berkeley Invitationals in Extemp, which qualified her to TOC Extemp her senior year, where she placed 2nd in supplemental Impromptu. She finished 14th in California at the 2012 State Tournament in International Extemp and broke to the top 32 in Impromptu at the NFL 2012 Nationals. Sheelah is a Genetics and Plant Biology major at UC Berkeley and member of Cal’s NPDA and IE teams, on which she qualified to the 2013 AFA (collegiate IE nationals) in Extemp and Impromptu.
Hannah is a rising senior at Brown University. She is a political science concentrator with an additional focus in psychology and philosophy. Hannah competed in LD for three years and graduated in 2011. She qualified to the Arizona State Tournament all three years, placing 3rd her sophomore year, 2nd her junior year, and winning the championship her senior year. She qualified to nationals all three years and placed in the top 40 during her senior year. As captain of her debate team junior and senior year, Hannah was the sole coach of both the novice and varsity members of her team. After graduating from high school, Hannah went on to coach the Hamilton High School’s Debate team for one year, and then the Mountain View High School’s Debate team the following year. She was also hired by the NFL to write topic analyses and direct Skype session with LD debaters across the nation. She currently competes on the Parliamentary Debate team at Brown and was the novice coach of the team last year.
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.
Andrew is a rising sophomore at Stanford currently majoring in Management Science and Engineering. As a freshman competing for SDS, Andrew broke at multiple APDA tournaments and was crowned the nation's top novice speaker at the US Universities British Parliamentary National Championships. Andrew attended Evanston Township High School in Chicago where he competed in Congressional debate.
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.
Aracelis Biel is the Director of Debate at the Collegiate School in New York City. Her students frequently reach elimination rounds at regional and national tournaments, and her students have qualified for the Tournament of Champions in each of the last four years. She holds a BA with high honors from Smith College, where she double majored in English and Philosophy, and is undertaking graduate study at Columbia University. Her primary interest as a debate educator is to increase the research prowess and analytical skills of her students.
Taylor Blackburn is a graduate student at Loyola Marymount University in Los Angeles. A 2015 graduate of Bates College, she majored in Rhetoric and competed for the Brooks Quimby Debate Council in both British and American Parliamentary formats. She was champion of the Yale IV, Brandeis IV, and was the first American woman to win the United States Universities Debating Championship in 2014. She also proceeded to finals at the North American Universities Debating Championship, and twice to outrounds at the World University Debating Championship. While competing on the American Parliamentary Debate Association circuit, she received numerous team and speaker awards, including 4th place Team of the Year in 2014. Taylor is pursuing her MFA in Writing and Producing and Television. In her spare time she enjoys movies, hiking, and cooking.
Stephan Brooks had the honor and privilige of competing and coaching for nearby James Logan High School's nationally recognized forensics program from 2001-2011. As a competitor he was exposed to all of the competitive high school debate formats, and focused primarily on Public Forum and Parliamentary Debate just as both events were exploding in popularity all over California and the rest of the country. While coaching at Logan, Stephan's teams won both the 2007 & 2008 CA State Championship teams in Public Forum.
After leaving James Logan, Stephan became the Debate Director at Olive Children Foundation in neighboring Fremont, CA. At Olive, he built the middle school forensics program there that now currently ranks as the largest member school of the National Junior Forensics League (NJFL) and was one of three schools in the country to be awarded the "Overall School of Excellence" award for its performance in both speech and debate at the 2013 NJFL National Tournament.
Amanda Bryan debated for Coon Rapids High School in Minnesota from 2003-2007. Since then she has coached LD for Apple Valley, Robbinsdale Armstrong and Blaine High Schools. She is currently a fourth year Political Science PhD student at the University of Minnesota where she studies American politics, judicial politics and statistical methodology.
Isabella (Buddy) Burch is entering her sixth year of parliamentary debate. In four years of CHSSA debate, she competed in league tournaments, as well as major invitationals including the California Cup. Entering her second year of British Parliamentary debate at Claremont McKenna College, Buddy has had the opportunity to compete nationally and internationally, most notably at Cambridge University in England. In addition to competing, Buddy has judged in the World Schools, Middle School Public Debate Program and High School Public Debate Program formats. She is a potential government/philosophy double major who also enjoys time spent singing with her all-female a Capella group.
Judy Butler is one of the most experienced summer instructors in the nation, having taught at over 50 debate workshop sessions. Judy has coached debate at Emory University, Georgia State University, Spelman College, Woodward Academy, and August Prep. Her teams have won numerous college and high school tournaments. Judy has been coaching the University of West Georgia for the past three years and is currently assisting the debate program at Wheeler High School in Marietta, Georgia. Judy always gets rave reviews as a dynamic and thought-provoking educator.
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.
James debated for 4 years with Kent Denver School in Colorado and graduated in 2013. He is an alumn of the SNFI program. As captain of his team senior year, he taught younger debaters and debated very frequently on both the local and national circuits. James qualified for his state tournament all four years, placing in the top eight two years. He qualified for NFL nationals in LD sophomore, junior, and senior year. He also qualified to NFL nationals in Extemp three times and Senate once. James also qualified to the national Tournament of Champions his senior year. In addition, he made it into a number of late out rounds at many national and local tournaments and won the Alta tournament in Utah. Currently, James attends Middlebury College, where he was the Parliamentry Debate Society president as a sophomore, attended nationals as a freshman and sophomore, and was ranked in the top 25 debaters nationally in his first full year at the college. This will be his fourth year teaching at Stanford.
Rashid was the top speaker at the 2014 National Debate Tournament. He became the first African-American to receive this award. At the same tournament he was also a semifinalist and the first seeded team. Throughout the year, Rashid cleared at nearly every national tournament and received his 2nd back to back First Round At Large Bid to the NDT. He was also a Finalist at the Cross Examination Debate Association debate tournament of 2014. In high school, Rashid debated for the Bay Area Urban Debate League at Skyline High School in Oakland, CA.
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.
Christine debated for four years at the Hockaday School in Dallas, TX. She qualified to the TOC as a junior and to TFA State three times. Her junior and senior years, she reached elimination rounds of every bid tournament she attended, including Greenhill, Blake, Harvard, and St. Marks, and was 2nd speaker at St. Marks. She also attended the Vassar, Lexington, Sunvitational, and Hockaday round robins and won the first ever "Top Smiler" award at the Lexington Round Robin. Christine will attend Stanford University in the fall.
Jakob competed in high school for the Windsor HS debate team. He had the best league record in Parli his sophomore and junior years and the best PF record his senior year. He competed for two years for Santa Rosa Junior College where he took the gold medal at the California state championship as well as the Phi Rho Pi national championship; he finished the season as the #43 ranked NPDA team. Jakob coached the Sonoma Academy debate team in the 2012-2013 school year where they finished third at the Stanford Invitational in Parli debate. Jakob now competes for the University of Nevada at Reno, a top 10 NPDA school.
Nick began his debate career at Cypress Ridge High School in Houston, Texas. During his time there, he was a two-time state champion in Domestic Extemporaneous Speaking, a two-time state finalist in Student Congress and a finalist at the MBA Round Robin. During his senior year, he placed 3rd at the 2009 NFL National Championship in Domestic Extemporaneous Speaking. Nick went on to graduate from Yale University with a degree in political science. While competing with the Yale Debate Association, he won 9 individual tournaments, was a finalist at the APDA National Championship in 2012 and a semi-finalist at the World University Debating Championship in 2011. During the 2014-15 season, Nick coached the Yale Debate Association, which won its 7th consecutive Club of the Year Award. He currently serves as a coach for the Stanford Debate Society.
Harshita debated for 3 years for Flower Mound High School in Dallas, Texas, competing both locally and nationally in LD and Extemp. Harshita qualified to Extemp TOC her sophomore and junior year and went to TFA State all 3 years, clearing her senior year. Harshita had winning records and reached late out-rounds at various TOC tournaments such as Grapevine, UT, Strake Jesuit, Greenhill, UPenn, and Berkeley, was a semi-finalist in the Hockaday Women’s Round Robin, and helped mentor her younger teammates throughout her senior year. Harshita attends the University of Texas at Austin.
Stacy competed for 3 years, from 2003-2006, at Lone Peak High School in Highland, UT doing policy debate and extemporaneous speech. While there she was president of her team and qualified for 5A State all 3 years. After high school she went on to get her B.S. in Philosophy & Political Science from Weber State University, where she competed in policy debate for another 4 years, recieving numerous 1st place awards for competition and speaking. She is an incredibly rare 4 time consecutive qualifier to the National Debate Tournament, where she ranked in the top 6th in the country.
After receiving her degree in 2010, she started coaching middle school students in the bay area at the Harker School Summer Programs and continues to do so. In addition, she also coaches Lincoln-Douglas, Public Forum, and various speech events at an after school program in Saratoga, CA called Young Genius Academy. Her students rank amongst the top in the region and nation, obtaining awards at every tournament they attend.
Allison competed in LD for four years at Ridge High School in New Jersey, where she won the NCFL National Championship and the NJ State Championship, received a bid to the Tournament of Champions, and advanced to elimination rounds at every national circuit tournament she attended her senior year. She continued debating with the Yale Debate Association, winning or finaling at several APDA tournaments and twice reaching semifinals of the BP National Championships. She coached LD for Ridge and served as the Yale Debate Association's Membership Director, where she led training for the team's novice class. Allison just graduated from Yale University with a degree in Philosophy, and will be returning to Yale Law School in the fall.
Max Dovala is a rising senior at Yale University, where he has been active in both American Parliamentary and British Parliamentary debate. Max is a three-time finalist at national championship tournaments: twice at the British Parliamentary National Championships (USU) in 2011 and 2012, and once at the American Parliamentary (APDA) Championships in 2011, where he and his partner became the only team of sophomores ever to reach the final round. Other highlights of his parliamentary debate career include 2nd place at the 2011 Harvard Debating Championships (APDA), 3rd place at the 2012 North American Championships, and ranking 6th out of more than 350 teams at the 2012 World Debate Championships. In addition to his debate experience, Max also worked as a coach for the parliamentary debate team at Choate Rosemary Hall in Connecticut. This will be Max’s first year working at the Stanford National Forensic Institute. He looks forward to returning to Yale this fall, where he will begin his 8th and final year of competitive debate.
Kate Falkenstien graduated from Yale University in May 2012 and is currently studying at Stanford Law School. During college, she debated in both American and British Parliamentary formats. She was the top speaker at the 2012 American Parliamentary Debate Association (APDA) national championships, as well as the 2011 and 2012 North American championships, making her the only American to win that award twice. She also appeared in the finals of both championships. Internationally, Kate has also competed in British Parliamentary debate, in which she was ranked 6th out of more than 350 teams at the 2012 World Debate Championships. In high school, Kate competed in policy and extemp, winning the Kansas state championships in both events.
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.
Ryan debated for four years at the Meadows School in Las Vegas. He attended the TOC 3 times and was top speaker at St. Marks and Golden Desert, was a semi-finalist at Berkeley, and won the NDCA national championship. He currently coaches The Harker school and coached a student from his alma mater to the octofinals of the TOC.
Daniel Foltz will be a freshman business student at Babson College in Massaschusetts where he plans on establishing a parliamentary team to continue his competitive career in college. He was a four-year parliamentary debater at Palos Verdes Peninsula HS, where he learned both traditional and progressive styles of parliamentary. Over his four years of competing, he won the Oxford Debates(twice), the Fullerton Invitational, and the Cypress College Invitational. He also reached semifinals at the Parliamentary Tournament of Champions, the Jack Howe Invitational, and the La Costa Winter Classic. He spent four months ranked #1 nationally in his junior year and ended his senior year as the NSDA's #3 individual, along with receiving awards for 1st speaker at Jack Howe and Oxford and 5th place speaker in Worlds Debate at the National Championships. As a SNFI alumnus, he is ecstatic to be returning as a coach and hopes to share all that he's learned over the years with all campers.
Ilya is the outgoing President of the Stanford Debate Society and the Varsity LD debate coach for the Mountain View-Los Altos team. Ilya was a member of the SDS for all four years of college, participating primarily in the BP and APDA parliamentary formats. His debate travels have taken him all over the world, capped by a deep run in the elimination rounds of the 2014 World Universities Debating Championship.
In his four years at MVLA, Ilya has coached students to championships at the MBA Round Robin in addition to the Meadows and CPS invitationals. His debaters have advanced to elimination rounds at the Tournament of Champions, the NDCA Championship, the Glenbrooks, Greenhill, Berkeley and many other circuit tournaments. Ilya has taught at camps including NSD, SNFI and NDF.
As an LD debater and senior year captain at Torrey Pines High School, Ilya qualified to the TOC twice and collected 8 career bids, winning Alta and advancing to late elimination rounds at tournaments including semifinals at Stanford, Berkeley and CPS.
Ilya graduated from Stanford University in 2014 with a B.A. in Public Policy. Ilya will begin work as an Analyst at Cornerstone Research in the fall.
Saloni Gangal is a graduate of St. Francis High School and currently attends the University of California, San Diego. During her four years of public forum debate, she amassed 8 bids to the Tournament of Champions along with numerous speaker awards. She advanced to the elimination rounds of several national tournaments, appearing in the octofinals of the 2012 Tournament of Champions and winning the 2011 Harker Tournament, the 2013 Arizona State University Invitational, and the 2013 College Preparatory School Round Robin. Since high school, she has coached at several debate camps around the country, and she hopes to help debaters reach their full potential.
Currently studying philosophy and computer science at the University of Utah, Oliver graduated from Lone Peak High School in Highland Utah where he competed in Lincoln Douglas debate. His senior year, he qualified to the TOC as well as NFL nationals where he placed in the top 25.
Christina started debating in 2009 for Los Gatos High School in Los Gatos, California. During her four years of debate, Christina competed extensively in Congressional Debate, Parliamentary Debate, and Impromptu Speaking. She was a two-time national finalist in Congressional Debate (Senate) placing 4th in 2012 and 2nd in 2013. Additionally, she was top speaker and champion the TOC for Parliamentary Debate in 2012, and won the California State Championship for Impromptu Speaking in 2013. She currently is the head coach of extemporaneous and impromptu speaking at Palo Alto High School. Christina is a rising sophomore at Stanford University, and is the President of the Stanford Debate Society.
Will debated for 4 years with Harvard-Westlake School in California and graduated in 2014. Throughout his debate career Will competed on the national circuit, clearing at Brophy, Golden Desert, Blake (twice), CPS, Berkeley (twice), Loyola, and the Voices Invitational. Will is currently pursuing a BA in Economics and Political Science at the University of Chicago.
Elsa is currently a debater at Georgetown University and a student in their School of Foreign Service. Prior to Georgetown, Elsa debated for the College Preparatory School in Oakland, CA. In 2013, she was the Top Speaker and Semi-finalist at the National Forensic League National Championship, Third Speaker and Octafinalist at the Tournament of Champions, and Champion of the Golden Desert Tournament. In 2012, Elsa and her partner were finalists at the 2012 National Forensic League National Championship. In addition, to these successes Elsa has cleared and/or received a top 10 speaker award at every major national tournament she's attended. She is an alumnus of the Sophomore Scholars program at SNFI and this will be her second summer as an instructor.
Kelly Glass has worked with students in middle school through college to improve their public speaking and debate skills. She has taught at The Harker School, Gavilan College, and San Jose State. She has a bachelor and master's degree in Communication Studies from San Jose State. This is her second summer teaching at SNFI.
Sukhi Gulati debated at Governor Thomas Johnson High School in Frederick, Maryland. She consistently received speaker awards and cleared at national tournaments her senior year. She was in finals of the Capitol Classic and won the Lakeland Invitational, as well receiving the top speaker award. She has chosen to continue her debate career at Stanford University. This past season, she and her partner were the first policy team from Stanford to qualify for the National Debate Tournament (NDT) in 20 years. Sukhi and her partner also cleared at the NDT as the 22nd seed. She will be a sophomore at Stanford in the fall.
Jeremy Gutner is a junior at the George Washington University, where he is majoring in International Affairs with concentrations in Latin American Studies and International Politics. He is minoring in Spanish. In his free time, Jeremy manages the GW chapter of his fraternity, Lambda Chi Alpha, as the Social Chair and an Executive Board member.
Jeremy competed in Congressional Debate and Extemporaneous Speaking from his sophomore to senior year of high school. Jeremy has earned numerous debate accolades such as winning the Harvard National Congress in 2013 as well as placing 3rd at the Tournament of Champions that year and 8th at NSDA Nationals. He was also tremendously successful at the state level, earning 2nd and 4th in consecutive years at the Florida State Championships in Congress. He has been a district champion in both Congressional Debate and Extemporaneous Speaking.
Jeremy has also been a successful coach, having worked for Walt Whitman High School in the 2013-14 school year and has coached at different debate camps every summer since graduating, helping to produce national finalists and champions across the nation. He can't wait to produce even more at Stanford.
This is Tosh's third year at SNFI. He competed for the PUC Schools in Southern California. He has ranked at both the State and National Championships in DUO, HUMOR and STORYTELLING. He currently lives in New York City where he is an actor and a rising stand-up comic. He was just seen starring on the NY stage in, "FOOLS IN LOVE" and can be seen in the feature film, "SHAKESPEARE HIGH", Executive Produced by Kevin Spacey. As a stand-up, he has worked with Dane Cook, Paul Rodriguez, Paul Mooney, Tony Rock, Tim Allen, Tom Arnold and Bob Saget.For more info, please like his FACEBOOK page and visit: www.shakespearehigh.org or www.openhydrant.org
Jeff Hannan is the Director of Speech and Debate at Evanston Township HS in Illinois. He won the 2000 NSDA National Championship in Congressional Debate (House) and coached the 2012 NSDA National Champion in Congressional Debate (Senate).
As an instructor at the Florida Forensic Institute for the last fifteen years, Jeff has taught and learned from the very best Congressional Debate competitors in the nation. Many national Congressional Debate conventions got their start at FFI, where Jeff and others have played an instrumental role in the development of the event. His experience there helped him to author Introduction to Public Forum and Congressional Debate.
Jeff's broad experience as a competitor and coach (oratory, extemp, LD, PF, Parli, and Policy) and his extensive experience in Congressional Debate (he's coached Congress camps in five states) enable him to help every student find their voice in this activity.
Also, he has no professional-looking headshots, but enjoy this gem of a profile picture.
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John Hines is the Assistant Director of Debate at The College Preparatory School in Oakland, California. John has built a solid reputation for innovative argument design and commitment to excellence in instruction during two decades of involvement in high school and college debate. As a college debater at The University of North Texas he reached late elimination rounds of every major tournament including Finals of Harvard in 2000. He also competed at the prestigious Dartmouth and Kentucky Round Robins, reached out-rounds of both CEDA and the NDT multiple times, and was a First-Round at Large Bid recipient to the NDT. John has coached teams into late out-rounds of nearly every major high school and college tournament including Finals of the Tournament of Champions in 2002 and the Finals of CEDA Nationals in 2004. Since John’s arrival on the California high school debate scene 4 years ago, his teams at College Prep have either won or reached the final round of every major TOC bid tournament on the West Coast. In addition to his competitive accolades, John has distinguished himself as an outstanding classroom instructor, he was awarded the prestigious Fund for Teacher’s & Marcus Foster Education Fund Fellowship, and he has participated in field study in China as a sponsored guest of the Chinese Ministry of Education and the US Department of State.
Christie Ho is a 2013 Presentation High School graduate. During her four years at Presentation (2009-2013), she competed in both Lincoln-Douglas and Public Forum Debate and debated in both events on the local and national circuit. She's been in elimination rounds at several invitational tournaments all throughout her debate career. She currently attends Columbia University and is pursuing a BS in bio-medical engineering.
Tim Hogan attended Apple Valley High School from 2000-2004. He graduated from the University of Minnesota in 2008 with a BA in Political Science and Cultural Studies. As a competitor Tim was the runner-up at the TOC his senior year, and a quarter-finalist his junior year. Tim has coached students to late outrounds or championships at a variety of invitationals including Greenhill, Valley, St. Marks, Blake, Emory, Glenbrooks, Stanford, Berkeley, CPS, Princeton, Yale, Columbia, Harker, Logan, Santa Clara, and the Golden Desert. He has coached students to success at the MBA, Greenhill, and Iowa Round Robins. In post-season tournaments his students have also excelled. At the 2009 MN State tournament 3 of his students were in outrounds: a quarterfinalist, semi-finalist, and the eventual champion. He also coached the champion of the 2008 and 2009 TOC and a quarterfinalist of the 2006 TOC.
Katie Hughes debated for four years for Immaculate Heart High School in Los Angeles. She debated on the local, state, and national circuits, earning bids at Harvard Westlake, Alta, and Golden Desert her senior year. She cleared at all but one of the invitationals she attended her senior year and was in finals of Harvard Westlake. Katie attended the Lexington, Cal Berkeley, and Battle for Los Angeles Round Robins and qualified to State 3 years in a row and Nationals twice. She ended her career as 3rd at Nationals. She currently attends Stanford University and debates with the SDS team.
Matea has been debating for eight years, and will be coaching for the University of North Texas in the fall. She has received her BS in political science, with a minor in women's studies. She was a a 3 time NDT participant, the 11th speaker at the 2012 Harvard tournament, a Quarter-finalist at 2013 Kathyrn Klassic at USC-Fullerton, 1st Speaker and winner of the 2013 Jesuit Invitational and the Bob Mukhai Classic.
Viveka competed for Lynbrook High School, where she was LD captain, from 2009-2012. She reached elimination rounds at Apple Valley, Harker, Berkeley, Stanford, CPS, among others, particpated in the CPS Round Robin, and received a bid to the TOC her senior year at the Cal invitational. This will be her 5th summer teachign debate camp. She currently studies rhetoric at UC Berkeley.
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Donghun is currently a student at Carnegie Mellon University. Donghun participated in public speaking clubs and groups for about 5 years, primarily competing in Extemporaneous Speaking and Parliamentary Debate in high school. He is excited to teach students debate at camp this summer!
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.
Lyubov Kapko is a rising sophomore at Wellesley College. In high school, Lyubov competed for Tempe Preparatory Academy in Arizona competing primarily on Extemporaneous Speaking, Impromptu Speaking, Congressional Debate and Lincoln-Douglas Debate. She won a number of championships in both Extemporaneous and Impromptu speaking throughout her career. In addition, Lyubov placed 3rd in International Extemporaneous speaking at NSDA Nationals in 2013 and quarterfinaled in both Extemp and Impromptu in 2014. In her spare time, she enjoys leafing through the Economist and running.
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.
Rachel is going into her sophomore year at Colorado College where she is studying political science and economics. In high school, Rachel debated for The Head-Royce school where she was competitive on the national circuit, reaching elimination rounds at a number of tournaments. She was captain of the Head-Royce debate team during her senior year of high school and she enjoyed teaching the novice debaters on the team.
Maya Kaul debated locally and nationally for Presentation High School for four years. She competed in the elimination rounds in several invitational tournaments her between her junior and senior years and was a semi-finalist at the Crestian Invitational. She also competed in the Voices and Hockaday Round Robins her senior year. She will be attending Pomona College in the fall and will coach for Presentation.
Alex Kennedy competed in Lincoln-Douglas debate for four years at The College Preparatory School (Oakland, CA). She competed on the local and national circuits, qualifying twice to the Tournament of Champions. Alex is currently a student at Stanford University and coaches LD at Palo Alto High School.
Michelle Keohane debated for Apple Valley High School for four years and graduated in 2009. As a sophomore, she placed 6th at NFL Nationals, and as a senior she qualified for the TOC, finished in the top 12 at nationals, and was the Minnesota State Champion. Since graduating, Michelle has worked at various summer institutes, including SNFI, the Victory Briefs Institute, and the Institute for Debate Education in Minnesota. She is a rising senior at Kalamazoo College in Kalamazoo, MI, pursuing a BA in history.
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.
James has been involved as a debater, coach and judge in the American and International debate communities for over 12 years. After graduating with degrees in philosophy from Seattle University (B.A.) and Loyola Marymount University (M.A.), he served as a Visiting Assistant Professor and Assistant Director of the Loyola Marymount University debate team from 2012-2014, during which time LMU placed in the USUDC finals twice, and won the Oxord IV along with over a dozen other regional and national tournaments. As a competitor, James reached the Grand Finals of the Cambridge IV twice, and was ranked as the top speaking debater from North America at the World University Debating Championship in 2009. James won over 15 tournaments in the APDA, NPDA, US BP formats, as well as the CUSID and IONA circuits, including the Stanford IV, the Claremont National Open, the Cork IV, the UBC IV, and America's Cup. James loves discussing philosophy, and helping debaters become deeper thinkers and more skilled speakers. He is currently a law student at the University of Chicago.
Kevin Klyman competed in Public Forum for Evanston Township High School in Illinois, and, as a senior, served as co-president of the team. Kevin won Glenbrooks, Middleton, and the Illinois State Championship, finaled at Blake, semifinaled at Harvard and Dowling, quarterfinaled at Apple Valley, and octafinaled at the Tournament of Champions and CFL nationals. He attended SNFI in 2013, and will attend UC Berkeley as a freshman in the fall.
Sanika Kulkarni debated for Presentation High School for four years on the local and national circuits. She reached elimination rounds at several invitational tournaments, and competed in the Voices and CPS Round Robins as well as the Tournament of Champions her senior year. She will be attending Cornell in the fall and will coach for Presentation.
Prianka currently attend the University of California, San Diego, and is double majoring in Neuroscience and Political science. Prianka previously attended Desert Vista High School in Phoenix, Arizona, and competed all four years of high school in public forum debate, extemporaneous speaking, and congressional debate. Prianka achieved success in all of these events on both the local and national level, was a 2-time state finalist in extemporaneous speaking, and in her senior year was crowned state champion. Prianka qualified to NSDA nationals in extemporaneous speaking my sophomore year and advanced to top 60 in the country. In congressional debate, she qualified two years in a row to the Tournament of Champions, advanced to the final round of the Harvard Invitational, and was a two-time National Finalist in the Senate, taking 8th and 3rd place at the national tournament. In her free time, Prianka enjoys writing, painting and spending time with the love of her life (her dog).
Graduating Magna cum Laude from ASU, Mike began his career in the Printing and Marketing industry where he immediately became a noted and featured speaker. Mike retired from business after owning and operating an independent film studio in Hollywood. Highly-sought after as a speaker, Mike regularly spoke at industry events around the country. Mike continues to consult, speak and present seminars and classes for his industry peers and clients. In the Spring of 2016, Mike was awarded the Alumni Select award for Business Innovation from Arizona State University. Mike currently coaches speech and debate at Nova 42. Mike both teaches competitive debate and speaking, as well as leadership and busines strategy. He shows the students how such rigorous training can pay off in real life situations, as well as accelerate and enhance their career paths and personal relationships. His students should come prepared to learn, participate, research and engage.
Jordan Lamothe attended The Meadows School between 2006 and 2010 and is currently a student at Washington University in St. Louis. As a debater, he reached the quarterfinals of the TOC his junior and senior years. He currently coaches for Presentation High School and his debaters have reached late outrounds at a variety of national tournaments and octafinals of the TOC.
Beginning as a highly successful high school and college debater, Ryan has been involved in the activity for over ten years, spending the last three as the Director of Forensics at Lynbrook High School in San Jose, CA. He has coached debaters to a myriad of accomplishments, including late outrounds at the California State Tournament, NFL Nationals, and the Tournament of Champions. He has extensive experience coaching debaters for both the "local" and "national" circuits and draws on experience in multiple debate events in order to take a well-rounded approach to both coaching and camp instruction.
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.
Sarah Lim founded the policy debate team at Interlake HS in Bellevue, WA where she debated for 3 years, clearing at every national tournament she attended and winning the 2014 Gonzaga tournament. Sarah was the top speaker at Stanford, Gonzaga, and the Washington state championships, 2nd speaker at Berkeley, and 7th speaker at Lexington. She will be attending Northwestern University in the fall, and coaching both Interlake and Whitney Young HS.
Thomas Lloyd coached Public Forum at the Bronx High School of Science -- one of the largest and most successful Public Forum teams in the nation -- for four years. As a debater, Thomas reached the late elimination rounds at most of the nation's strongest invitational tournaments. His students won the 2013 NDCA championship and reached late elimination rounds like quarterfinals at the Tournament of Champions, semifinals at Emory and Harvard, and finals at The Glenbrooks. Thomas is a recent graduate of Georgetown University, where he majored in Science, Technology, & International Affairs at the School of Foreign Service.
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Terrence debated for Lake Highland Prep for four years where he was a captain his senior year, and where he will continue on as a coach. He qualified for the TOC both his junior and senior years. Over his career he earned nine career bids at Crestian (4th), Emory, Bronx, Mineapple, Dowling (3rd), Sunvite, Berkeley (3rd) and Lexington, which he won. Terrence has been a top three speaker at the Crestian, Valley, Mineapple, Dowling, the Lexington and College Prep Round Robins, Sunvite, Walt Whitman and Emory. He was invited to participate in the Dowling, Bronx, Vassar, Lexington, Sunvite, College Prep, and Walt Whitman round robins, and won the Crestian Round Robin. Terrence will be pursuing degrees in Philosophy and Political Science as a University Fellow at the University of Alabama.
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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. Since graduating from James Logan High School in 2014, Mark has been teaching Parliamentary and Public Forum debate, as well as Impromptu speech, at various schools and debate programs. Mark is currently working at The Nueva School, and Basis independent Silicon Valley. Mark is not only excited too see what he has to offer to camp participants, but is also excited to see what he can take away from their positive experiences.
Urvashi Malhotra is a fourth year Political Science major at the University of California, Berkeley. An alumni of Saint Francis High School in the Bay Area, she was an avid Original Oratory competitor, consistently placing in the top ranks of her league. The season after she graduated SNFI, Urvashi placed third in the Coast Forensic League and made finals at both the James Logan and Cal Golden Bear Invitationals. After training extensively at the Lyceum for Oratory in Boston under prior National Forensics League champions, she captained her high school Speech team and mentored several students to compete and place at the local, state, and national levels. Urvashi has taught summer Speech camps for middle school students interested in NFL events. She has also competed with the Saint Francis and Berkeley Mock Trial teams for the past 6 years, winning high ranks for her Closing Arguments. She is very humbled to give back to the institution that helped propel her Oratory career, and she is excited to help you all excel next season!
Lizzette Marrero just completed her undergraduate career at the University of Texas at Austin, obtaining her degrees in Government and International Relations with a minor in Latin American Studies. Lizzette is continuing her education at George Washington University in the fall. She has been a Historian on the University of Texas Speech team for the 2014-2015 season. Lizzette is a two time national champion in Duo interpretation and has had multiple out-rounds appearances in After Dinner Speaking and Poetry interpretation. Before entering college she attended high school in Fort Worth, where she was a TFA state runner up in Congress. She is excited to work with the students at SNFI!
Shivani Mathur debated for four years at Oakwood High School in California. She founded her debate team, and debated at local tournaments as well as the national circuit. She qualified to state and nationals during her junior and senior years, and will be attending UC Berkeley in the Spring.
Mikendra is the coach at Clovis East High School, and with more than fifteen years in the field, Mikendra has coached a large number of students to the California State tournament, the TOC for speech (NIETOC) as well as debate, and the NFL national tournament. Additionally, Mikendra coached Chris Colfer, one of the stars of the television show Glee, in various interpretive events. The experience of working of her was so transformative that he nominated her for Time Magazine’s “Person of the Year,” and also asked her to play a role in his movie, “Struck by Lightening,” adapted from his high school Original Prose and Poetry piece.
Dave is the head debate coach at Valley High School in West Des Moines, Iowa. Dave’s students have reached the highest levels of debate success. Dave has qualified students to the TOC every year since 2000. He has coached students to the Top 10 at NFL nationals three times in eight years. His students have reached late elimination rounds at every major national tournament, including final round appearances at: Berkeley, Yale, Valley, Emory, and the Minnesota and California state debate tournaments, and tournament championships at: Apple Valley, Stanford, Cedar Rapids Washington, Omaha Westside, the Iowa state debate tournament, St. Mark’s, and the 2007 TOC. Dave also coached a finalist at the 2010 TOC.
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Christopher Medina is the Director of Forensics at Wiley College, made famous by the 2007 movie, The Great Debaters, starring Denzel Washington. Medina has over 25 years of experience in the world of forensics; having served 14 of those years as a Director of Forensics on both the high school and collegiate levels. Mr. Medina began his forensics career as a high school competitor, at San Gabriel High School, in California. Upon graduation, he immediately began coaching and was named Assistant Director of Forensics at Alhambra High School. It was in this position, at age 19, that Medina coached his first, of several, national champions.
After ten years of service as Director of Forensics for numerous high school programs around California, Medina was named Director of Forensics at the University of La Verne in California. During his tenure at La Verne, Medina's students advanced to the finals of the World University Debate Championships in Sydney, Australia; this was only the second American team to advance to the Grand Finals. In addition to over 100 national finalists, at both the high school and collegiate levels; Medina has had NSDA champions in Congressional Debate and International Extemp, as well as forty collegiate national and world champions.
Russell Michelson got hooked on debate when he joined his high school team. He participated in varsity Lincoln-Douglas and speech events all four years. In college, he developed a love for teaching during his four years at the university's Speaking Center. There, he tutored hundreds of students on effective presentation skills, created and gave workshops, and led a staff of other tutors. He continued his debate career in college, and in his free time, judged debate and public speaking competitions. Also in college, he honed his ability to think on his feet by joining the school's improv troupe and performing stand-up comedy regularly. After graduating, Russell became a senior instructor at Harvard Debate Council for a summer. He has a bachelor of arts degree in communication from the University of Mary Washington.
Ethan began his speech and debate career at Miramonte High School in Orinda, California in 2010, where he specialized in Congressional Debate and International Extemp. Ethan finished his senior year as a two-time finalist in Congress at the CHSSA State Championship (2nd and 4th), as well as ranking as the 7th place Senator at the NSDA/NFL National Championship and the Congress Champion of the 2014 UC Berkeley Invitational. In addition, Ethan was the 2014 International Extemp San Francisco Bay District Champion, and placed 10th and within the top 60 at the 2013 UC Berkeley Invitational and 2013 NSDA/NFL National Championship respectively in International Extemp. Ethan is currently a Freshman at the University of Michigan -- Ann Arbor, where he is pursuing a double major in Political Science and International Studies.
Sebastian Miller is a rising Sophomore at the University of California, Berkeley, who plans to major in history. He competed in parliamentary debate for Windsor High School all four years of his high school career, and taught at the Windsor Debate Institute for three years during the summer. His competitive successes include winning the 2012 UOP invitational, placing 5th at the 2015 State Championship, and being ranked as the top parliamentary debater by the National Speech and Debate Association for the 2014-2015 debate season. Additionally, during his senior year, he reached quarterfinals or better at every invitational he attended, including the Long Beach Invitational, the UOP Invitational, the Colt Classic, the Wolf Pack Invitational, the MLK Invitational, the Stanford Invitational, the 2015 Tournament of Champions, and the 2015 California State Championship, while also winning top speaker at MLK. He currently debates for Berkeley’s APDA debate team, and had competative successes at the University of Chicago Invitational (3rd place novice team and 5th place speaker) and the Stanford APDA Invitational (4th place novice team and 6th place speaker).
Caitlin is a rising Junior at the George Washington University. She is a Political Science major with a double minor in History and Psychology. She did LD debate for 4 years in high school, qualifying to the Oregon State Championship twice and to the NFL National Tournament as a Junior. She was captain of her debate team at Lake Oswego High School her junior and senior year and was also the LD coach for her team. In addition to competing on her local circuit, Caitlin has participated in tournaments across the west coast. She has been to SNFI two times and been a part of both the two week core camp and the intensive third week. In addition to being a SNFI camp alumni, she has returned for the past two summers as a counselor.
John Morgan is an up and coming coach in California, currently working with Palo Alto High School and 3P Speech. In 2013, he was a state finalist in National Extemp, and since then has helped other students acheive their own goals on both the state and national level in Extemp, Impromptu, and Original Oratory. He currently serves as the Parliamentary Debate Captain of Stanford Debate Society, where he competed his freshman year and placed in the top four novice teams in North America.
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Todd Newkirk is excited to return to SNFI this year. Todd coached San Dieguito Academy Speech and Debate from 2007-2011, where he was previously a competitor. Todd coached SDA to their first bids in both Policy and LD along with outround success at CSU Fullerton, Gonzaga, Stanford and the California State Championships. Todd has been the Director of Debate at Lynbrook High School since 2012, where he qualified 2 LD debaters to TOC
Mariah is currently entering her 7th year of competitive speech and debate. She debated for four years at Analy High School and two years in college. She is currently attending UC Berkeley and will continue to debate there for two more years. She mostly competes in Parliamentary debate but also has performed in persuasive and after dinner speaking as well as Lincoln Douglas debate. Mariah worked as the assistant debate coach at Analy High School for the past two years and has judged many high school tournaments. In college debate, she took a gold metal at the state tournament two years in a row and a gold metal at the national tournament two years in a row. She has been tournament champion at three large 4 year tournaments and is currently ranked as the number 43 team in the nation along with Jakob Christensen.
My name is Carlos Ochoa and I am a rising junior at American University in D.C. studying Communication, Law, Economics, and Government (CLEG). I was born in Moses Lake, Washington state; however, I've lived nearly my entire life in Phoenix, Arizona. I competed in Congress throughtout my high school career and I can honestly say it was one of the most formative experiences of my life. From competing in Harvard finals, to Glenbrooks finals, TOC, Nationals four years in a row, multiple local and regional tournaments, I had the pleasure and honor of growing as an individual and competitor. Now, on top of my college studies, I coach students of my own in Congress and regularly help coach at debate camps whenever possible. I am a sports fanatic, avid conversationalist, weightlifter, philosophy enthusiast, and everything in between! Looking forward to a great camp!
Eric is the Speech and Debate Coordinator for Niles Township High Schools and Teacher and Debate Coach at Niles West High School in Skokie, Illinois. This is his second year teaching at the Stanford National Forensic Institute. In only two years as a reestablished program, Niles West has reached the finals of tournaments such as Junior Varsity Glenbrooks, Novice Illinois State and Novice Ohio Valley. Niles West has also won the Novice division of four tournaments including Thomas Kelly, Iowa City West and the Lane Tech Warrior Open twice. This year Niles West were Novice State Champions, Novice Midwest Champions and Quarterfinalists at 1st/2nd Year Nationals, and in JV were Semifinalists of State, Semifinalists of the Midwest Championships and were Finalists at 1st/2nd Year Nationals.
Eric was an Assistant Debate Coach at New Trier Township High School in Winnekta, Illinois for nine years, and also debated at New Trier. During high school, Eric advanced to the late elimination rounds or won tournaments such as Berkeley, MBA, Ohio Valley, Greenhill, USC, and Georgetown. Eric also received numerous speaker awards throughout his time debating at New Trier.
Martin is in his second year coaching at Wake while he finishes his Master degree program and is a three-time qualifier to the NDT. He was top speaker and semi-finalist of the 2008 National Debate Tournament (NDT) and Cress Examination Debate Association (CEDA) Nationals, in addition to clearing at virtually ever major national tournament he's attended including Georgia State, Kentucky, Harvard, Wake Forest, both legs of the California Swing, Northwestern and was the top seed at Kentucky in 2006. He also has received top ten speaker awards at University of Southern California, Fullerton, University of Texas at Dallas, Georgia State, Wake Forest, and Kentucky, where he was awarded Top Speaker in 2007. Martin has previously worked at Kansas University Jayhawk Debate Institute, University of Missouri Kansas City Debate Institute, Missouri State Debate Institute, the Spartan Debate Institute and the University of Michigan 7 Week program.
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!
Les Phillips teaches speech and debate at The Nueva School. Les also directed debate at James Logan High School, and was director of forensics at Lexington High School (MA) for more than twenty years. Les has coached TOC, NFL and NCFL national champions and top speakers in policy and Lincoln-Douglas debate, and his public forum teams have qualified for the Tournament of Champions reached elimination rounds at major national invitationals. He has worked at more than twenty-five summer workshops (including Dartmouth, Texas, and Northwestern, as well as Stanford), is a six diamond NFL coach (an honor attained by less than 1% of all coaches), and served as a member of the NFL National Council during Public Forum's formative years. He has coached all styles of high school and collegiate debate, and has written and published two books and a number of articles on forensics. His breadth and depth of experience make him an ideal director for our public forum workshop.
Rocio is a Middle School Forensics Instructor/Coach in Los Angeles and the Co-President of the Speech and Debate team at Glendale Community College.
James Qian coaches speech and debate at Brophy College Preparatory and Phoenix Country Day School in Phoenix, Arizona. James has coached competitors to deep elimination rounds at NSDA nationals in both Extemporaneous and Impromptu, including the national runner up in Middle School Extemp in 2016. As a competitor for Arizona State University, James was the 2015 AFA college national champion in Impromptu speaking, and placed 3rd in Extemp at NFA nationals, completing his career with 3 finals in Extemp and 3 finals in Impromptu. He has also reached national elimination rounds in Persuasive Speaking, After Dinner, Informative, and Rhetorical Criticism. In High School, James competed for Tempe Preparatory Academy, where he reached NSDA outrounds in International Extemp and Congress, and won state championships in Public Forum and Extemp. He also qualified multiple events to the TOC and accumulated more than 2300 NFL points. James has previously been a staff member at UTNIF and GMIF, and is very excited to continue working at SNFI.
Dr. Shanara Reid-Brinkley is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Communication at the University of Pittsburgh, where she also serves as the Director of Debate for the William Pitt Debating Union. Dr. Reid-Brinkley teaches both undergraduate and graduate courses that cover critical theories, rhetoric of public policy and advocacy, social identity theory, with a specialization in African American history, theory, and culture. She is a national award winner for her published work on critical theory, black feminist theory, gender, and hip hop culture. Her dissertation work, completed at the University of Georgia, engaged in an in-depth analysis of non-traditional debate practices. Students in high school and college have cited Dr. Reid-Brinkley’s work in debate competition and she has become a recognized scholar in this field of research. Dr. Reid-Brinkley was a nationally successful debater in the mid-1990’s from the debate powerhouse at Emory University.
Arel is a rising junior on the University of Texas, where he is majoring in Finance and competing on the UT Speech Team. During his freshman year, Arel advanced to national final rounds in both Extemporaneous and Impromptu speaking, placing as national runner-up in Extemp. This was followed by two final round apperences in Extemporaneous speaking during his sophomore year. In high school, Arel was the two time United States Extemp NFL/NSDA National Champion, a four-time state champion in his home state of Oklahoma, and the champion of multiple nationally renowned tournaments such as St. Mark’s and Harvard. Arel is excited to be returning for his second year at SNFI.
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.
Nick Robinson has over a decade of debate experience as a coach and competitor in LD, public forum, and parliamentary formats. He coached the Whitman College parliamentary debate team from 2009 to 2011, winning two NPDA season sweepstakes championships. In 2011, Whitman placed first or second at 10 different tournaments, qualified a record six teams to the National Parliamentary Tournament of Excellence and placed three teams in the top 10. As a competitor at Willamette University, he won 17 major speaking awards and finished his career ranked fourth in the country. In the fall, he will pursue a masters degree in political communication. He enjoys basketball, Calvin and Hobbes comic strips, and travelling.
John Rosenberg is a popular assistant Speech coach, helping strengthen speech programs across the nation since graduating from UC Berkeley. His students have won numerous state and national awards in Interpretative Events. John is also a noted playwright and director who runs Hella Fresh Theater, an independent theater company devoted to producing new works. He has written and produced award-winning plays that have won rave reviews in New York City, Philadelphia, Los Angeles and San Francisco.
With combined winning experience of over 40 years, Sarah Rosenberg and Luis Cardenas have coached students to hundreds of final rounds across the country. Their students have won DUO at CFL Nationals and have tied for 1st in DUO at NFL Nationals twice. They have had over 30 National Finalists at both CFL and NFL and have won countless State Championships in California, New York, Philadelphia and Florida. Current projects center on The Festival of New American Musicals and Future Fest, working with composers such as Stephen Schwartz, Jeff Marx, Jason Robert Brown and Stephen Sondheim. NYC credits include the Off-Broadway musicals Fools in Love and Tempest Toss'd, one a doo-wop re imagining of A Midsummer Nights Dream and the other, a re imagining of The Tempest. Both are designed to make watching Shakepeare a family event and have won rave reviews in major newspapers across the country. These musicals have also been showcased at BAM, The New York Musical Theater Festival, El Portal, Theatre Row in Hollywood, and The Wheeler Opera House in Aspen, CO. Their work also can be seen in the new film, Shakespeare High Executive Produced by Kevin Spacey, which premiered at Robert DeNiro's Tribeca Film Festival in NYC and will premiere on Showtime this fall. Rosie/Lou have coached for Stuyvesant High School, Bronx High School of Science, Florida Forensic Institute, Bronx Prep, Holy Ghost Prep, San Marino High School, Cleveland High School, James Logan and The PUC Schools. For more info visit: www.shakespearehigh.org. www.lafestival.org.
Zach Rosenthal debated at The Kinkaid School in Houston, Texas for four years. He qualified to the TOC as a sophomore, was an octofinalist as a junior, and a semifinalist as a senior. Zach will be a freshman at Stanford University in the fall.
Brittany Russo just graduated from The Pennsylvania State University with a major in English and a minor in Spanish. Brittany competed in Public Forum debate all four years at Green Valley High School in Las Vegas, NV, and served as captain of the Public Forum debate team. In high school, she excelled in numerous events and achieved accolades spanning local and national titles including 7th at NFL Nationals in 2007, top 40 Nationals 2008, Berkeley Invitational Champion 2008, two-time Nevada State Champion, and a participant in 1st Annual PF Challenge. Since high school, she has worked with high school students in Public Forum and aided them in their debate aspirations. This is Brittany's third summer at SNFI working with Public Forum debaters.
Sam Safari is an incoming freshman at Columbia University. He was an adamant competitor in speech and debate placing 3rd at the California State Championship in Oratorical Interpretation, 5th at the Yale invitational in Dramatic Interpretation, double finaling both the University of Pacific invitational and the Santa Clara University invitational, championing the former in Original Oratory. He has qualified for and competed in the National Individual Events Tournament of Champions for OO and DI, and the TOC for Parliamentary Debate. He has also competed at the NSDA National Championship in both OO and DI. He is excited to bring his love for speech and debate to the Stanford National Forensic Institute!
Phil Samuels is currently a debate coach for the University of Kansas and assistant coach for College Prep in Oakland, CA. Phil previously worked as the Assistant Director of Debate at the University of Minnesota. Phil has coached successful teams at Minnesota including qualifying teams to the NDT. At the University of Kansas Phil coached the 2008 CEDA Nationals finalist team, the 2009 NDT Champion team, and the 2012 NDT Quarterfinalists and 5th place team in the Copeland Award race. Phil has decades of experience in debate and has worked at numerous camps throughout his long career including Michigan State, Gonzaga, and Kansas.
Joey competed on the national circuit in congressional and Lincoln-Douglas debate for three years at Evanston Township High School in Illinois. Joey qualified to the TOC twice; in congress as a junior and in Lincoln-Douglas as a senior. He also won the Illinois State tournament (twice), the NCFL Grand National Tournament, and the NSDA National Tournament (in Extemporaneous Debate). Joey is currently a sophmore studying international affairs at the George Washington University. He is an assistant coach at Thomas Jefferson High School in Alexandria, VA and competes in parliamentary debate for GW on the American Parliamentary Debate Association circuit.
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Zoe graduated from Academic Magnet High School (SC) in 2013 where she was the captain of her team and competed in public forum. During her senior year she advanced to semifinals at the Blake tournament, octofinals of Blue Key, qualified to the Tournament of Champions, won the South Carolina District tournament, placed 2nd at the SC state tournament and finally finished 7th at NFL nationals. She is now a rising junior at Bates College in Maine where she studies English and women's and gender studies. In college, she competes in parliamentary debate, where she was a semifinalist at the 2015 national championship and advanced to elimination rounds at the Worlds University Debating Championship in 2015.
Daniel Selman debated for 4 years at Vestavia Hills High School in Alabama. He debated on the local circuit for his first three years, and debated on the national circuit his senior year. He received 2 bids his senior year, winning Isadore Newman and reaching semi’s of Emory, ending his career with a winning record at the TOC. He also cleared at almost every national circuit tournament he attended his senior year. He will be attending the University of Alabama where he plans to study Political Science.
Laith debated for four years at Leland High School in San Jose, California. He qualified to the California State Tournament three years in a row, in both Lincoln-Douglas Debate and International Extemp, reaching outrounds each time. He has also reached elimination rounds at several debate invitationals, including the Martin Luther King Invitational, and is the defending co-champion of the Jon Schamber Invitational. Laith capped off his career by winning the 2013 NFL National championship in LD debate. He will be attending American University in the fall.
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.
Dylan Slinger coaches at San Marino High School and works with his alma mater, Lakeville South and privately in the Philadelphia area. His students have made it to the final rounds of the Minnesota and Pennsylvania state tournaments, to the NFL and NCFL National Tournament, Berkeley semifinals and a Harvard quarterfinals. He is currently a student at the University of Pennsylvania, Wharton School of Business where he is studying finance and management. As a competitor, Dylan is the only person to ever win the Final Round of NFL Nationals in both Domestic and International Extemp. He was the runner-up in Domestic his junior year and captured the International Extemp Championship his senior year. He is also the back-to-back, two time NCFL national champion and two time Minnesota state champion. Dylan also secured a victory at the Glenbrooks Invitational and appeared in the final round of the George Mason Patriot games and the Tournament of Champions.
Elijah Smith currently debates for Rutgers-Newark and is entering his 8th year of participation in the activity. He is a two-time First Round At-Large qualifier to the NDT, was named the CEDA Baby-Jo Debater of the Year, and received a Top 20 speaker award at every tournament he attended in 2014. Elijah has been named Top Speaker multiple times at tournaments like Wake, USC, and CEDA Nationals. In 2013, while attending Emporia State University, Elijah and his partner became the first team to "Unite the Crowns" of college policy debate by winning both CEDA nationals and the NDT in the same year.
Kyla Sommers is the Director of Debate at Woodrow Wilson High School and the assistant coach at George Washington University. She is also pursuing a PhD in history at GW focusing on 20th century American racism. Previously, Kyla debated for GW, qualifying to the NDT in 2013 and breaking at several national tournaments.
Mike is a former SNFI LD student and demonstration round participant. He is also a graduate of University of Chicago and is attending University of Southern California Law School. Throughout his four years of debate, he collected a total of 11 bids to the TOC, finishing in octafinals his senior year at the TOC. During his senior year, he was the champion of Berkeley. As a coach, Mike has qualified students every year to the TOC. More impressive, every year Mike has coached a student into outrounds at the TOC. His students have made three different appearances in the quarterfinals of TOC. Mike returns to SNFI for the fifth time as an instructor this summer.
Orion is an attorney, college professor and debate coach. Orion is currently the Director of Forensics (Debate) at the University of San Francisco. In 2012, Orion began teaching college Public Speaking courses at San Francisco State University and now regularly teaches public speaking at every major college in San Francisco. In addition, Orion taught several sections of High School public speaking while coaching debate at St. Vincent de Paul High School, and has taught at workshops for the Bay Area Urban Debate League.
In 2015, Orion began assisting the debate team at University of San Francisco and became the Director of Forensics at the University of San Francisco in January 2016. Orion is currently a member of the TriForce Debate Cooperative, sharing coaching resources between SFSU, CCSF and USF. In the Fall of 2013, Orion became the varsity travel team coach for the Bay Area Urban Debate League and asssumed assistant coaching duties at San Francisco State University. In the Fall of 2011, Orion became an argumentation coach at St. Vincent de Paul High School and qualified a team to the Tournament of Champions for the first time. Orion was an assistant debate coach and graduate student for California State University at Fullerton from 2009-2011. Orion worked as an assistant debate coach at the University of Redlands and at San Francisco State University while in Law School from 2005-2008.
While in law school at UC Hastings, Orion participated as a member (and coach) of the moot court team, winning awards for his rebuttal speeches in Maritime Law. In college, Orion participated in policy debate at the University of Redlands for 4 years, finishing as a quarter-finalist at the 2004 NDT and as a quarter-finalist and the 16th individual speaker at the 2005 NDT. Orion participated in policy debate for 3 years at Millard West High School in Omaha, Nebraska, and attended the Tournament of Champions.
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.
Theja Talla debated for James Logan High School, reaching the elimination rounds at most regional and national tournaments. In the past, he has taught at Logan’s summer academy, teaching a variety of speech and debate events to students of all skill levels. Currently, Theja attends the University of California, Irvine, where has has worked as an assistant to Professor Sameer Ashar of the UC-Irvine Law School. He is also a debate instructor at an up-and-coming middle school academy, Hoyah, which has won numerous awards this past debate season. His energetic, personable teaching style make him a great addition to this summer's Public Forum staff.
Kimberly Tan debated for four years at Lynbrook High School in San Jose, California. She was President of her 200-member debate team and competed both in local tournaments and on the national circuit. She reached elimination rounds in almost every tournament she competed in her junior and senior year, was a semi-finalist at the Voices Invitational, and was invited to the Hockaday Round Robin. She is attending Stanford University in the fall.
Christian Tarsney debated for two years at St. Louis Park High School in Minnesota. In his second year, he finished 4-3 at the TOC and placed 7th at NFL Nationals. Since graduating in 2005, he has coached students to final rounds at Emory, Valley, VBT and the Bronx Round Robin as well as championships at the Dowling Catholic Paradigm, Iowa Caucus, Alta Silver & Black, Blake, Stanford, the Stanford Round Robin, Greenhill, the Minneapple and the TOC. He is currently pursuing a PhD in philosophy at the University of Maryland, and coaching for St. Louis Park.
Chris Theis competed in LD for four years for Apple Valley High School in Minnesota, graduating in 2009. As a competitor he was a semi finalist at Greenhill and the Glenbrooks, a finalist at Berkley, the champion of Blake and Emory, and twice participated in the demonstration round of the Montgomery Bell Academy Round Robin. He was also the two-time winner of the Iowa Round Robin, Greenhill Round Robin, St. Marks, and the Tournament of Champions.
Chris currently coaches for his alma mater, Apple Valley, and Palos Verdes Peninsula High School in California. As a coach his students have participated in late elimination rounds of nearly every tournament they have attended including: Greenhill, St. Marks, Valley, The Glenbrooks, CPS, USC, VBT, Harvard and the Minnesota State Tournament.. Multiple students he has coached have reached elimination rounds at the Tournament of Champions and have placed in the top 12 (semi-finals) of the NFL National Tournament.
Norberto is a junior at Pace University and coaches at Bronx Prep and Democracy Prep Public Schools in New York. He competed in Speech & Debate in high school, being a finalist at various national invitationals such as Stanford, Columbia, Yale and GMU, holding two State Championships in Duo and Impromptu, taking 2nd in the nation in Dramatic Performance and winning the Pace University Collegiate Amateur Night Competition. He is also a member of the Actors Equity Association and as a founding member of Open Hydrant Theater Company has performed at the Manhattan Ensemble Theater, The Michael Schimmel Theater, Lincoln Center, 54 Below and the New York International Fringe Festival
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Sam will be a sophomore debater for the University of Texas - Dallas. In high school, Sam debated for Chattahoochee High School before transferring to Glenbrook South. She was an extremely competitive national circuit debater, reaching elimination rounds at many of the tournament she attended along with qualifying for the Tournament of Champions twice. Sam is currently majoring in finance and a UT-Dallas Debate Scholarship recipient.
With two degrees from Stanford University, including a M.A. in Communication, Matt Vassar has spent all of his adult life teaching debate and public speaking. As a coach, he trained winners to some of the largest parliamentary debate invitationals, including the Marty Cronin Invitational, the Martin Luther King Jr. Invitational, and the Santa Clara University Invitational. He has also trained parliamentary teams to the semi-final round of the elite International Tournament of Champions (sponsored by the International Debate Education Association [IDEA]), the semi-final round of the North American Debating Championships, and the semi-final round of the California State Championship. Matt previously served as president of the now-defunct National Parliamentary Debate League, and currently serves as a lecturer under the Technical Communication Program at Stanford's School of Engineering. This is Matt's sixth year at the Stanford National Forensic Institute, and his fourth year serving as the director of the parliamentary debate program.
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Nick is in his first year coaching at Harvard University, where his teams have cleared at every national tournament they've attended. In college, he was an extremely successful debater at the University of Oklahoma. Nick and his partner won the Cross Examination Debate Association (CEDA) National Tournament in back to back years (2009 & 2010). Nick was also awarded the Top Speaker award at the 2010 CEDA National Championship. In addition, he has cleared at and received speaker awards at every national tournament he competed at his senior and was very clearly one of the top debaters in the country. Previously, Nick has taught at the Kansas University Jayhawk Debate Institute and University of Oklahoma Sooner Debate Workshop.
David Weston is a co-director of Speech and Debate at New Trier Township High School just outside of Chicago, Illinois. He is a full time debate educator who has dedicated his career to working with youth involved in the activity. Prior to become a full time head coach at New Trier, David was an Assistant Coach and graduate student earning his teacher certification. In the 2012-2013 season, New Trier students debated in the elimination rounds of most major tournaments. In total New Trier qualified 3 policy teams to the Tournament of Champions this year. Before moving to the Chicago area, David was the Director of Debate and head coach at Cathedral Preparatory School in Erie, Pennsylvania for four years. David debated at the University of Pittsburgh where he made it to the elimination rounds of several tournaments and received a variety speaker awards. In years as Cathedral Prep’s director, the policy debate teams have been in the elimination rounds of almost every national tournament in the country including: Wake Forest’s Early Bird, Georgetown Day School, Bronx High School of Science, St. Mark’s Heart of Texas Invitational, University of Michigan, Ohio Valley Invitational, The Southern Bell Forum at Montgomery Bell Academy, Lexington Winter Invitational, the Grand National Catholic Forensic League Tournament and the National Forensic League National Tournament. Cathedral Prep’s teams have qualified twice for the Tournament of Champions in David’s four years and have been crowned Pennsylvania’s High School Speech League policy debate state champions (2010) and state runner up (2011).
Since 1975, Chris has had the pleasure of being involved in speech and/or debate as a contestant, judge &/or coach/teacher. He was an active member of high school, (Shawnee Mission North, KS) and college (Johnson Co CC, Auburn and Kansas State Universities.) speech and debate teams. College coaching experiences at Wake Forest, Arizona and Georgia State Universities helped prepare Chris for his subsequent high school coaching and teaching career at Pace Academy, (Atlanta, GA) and Aspen High School (Aspen, CO). At Pace, Chris had the opportunity of coaching multiple State and National Champions and have been named as the Coach of the Year in three (3) states and the "Outstanding Coach of the Last 50 Years" by the Barkley Forum for High Schools at Emory University. He also enjoyed the pleasure of working with some of the finest talent and individuals ever seen in the activity. Chris just completed his twenty-third year as a high school classroom teacher, primarily in the areas of social studies and language arts. Additionally, Chris has been a staff member &/or administrator at many high school speech and debate workshops, including University of Arizona, Bates College, Emory University, Kansas State University and The University of Texas in addition to Urban Debate League workshops in multiple U.S. cities.
Deborah Witherspoon is a senior at Gustavus Adolphus College. Deb graduated from James Logan High school in 2013. She was the 2012-2013 California State Champion in Duo Interpretation along with her duo partner, Sarah Dahdouh. She has also won 5 National titles in the Duo and Duet catagories (three NIETOC titles, one CFL title and one NFL title.) Deb also has experience with the Dramatic, Humorous, Prose, and Poetry events as well as most of the public speaking events. In addition to her many speech titles Deb has also been a huge part of the Theatre and Dance Department at her college and has been an integral part of most of the main stage plays in her college career. Recently, Deb studied abroad in London, England which gave her new insight to the acting world. She returned with inspired ideas and techniques that she is excited to share with her students and colleagues. Her many accolades and experiences have given her the opportunity to learn from the best and she hopes to return the favor by being a creative, dedicated, and encouraging coach and mentor.
Edwin Zhang recently graduated from Yale University, where he majored in Applied Mathematics and Ethics, Politics, & Economics, and will be working as a consultant at Redstone Strategy Group. He has been involved in debate since his sophomore year of high school, competing primarily in Lincoln-Douglas debate. As a parliamentary debater in college, he broke at the World championship, was a runner-up at the North American championship, and won the US Universities Debating Championship. In his spare time, he enjoys singing and basketball, interests sparked by his favorite movie, High School Musical, which he first watched on January 21st, 2006. His favorite restaurant is Olive Garden, and he recommends the unlimited soup, salad, and breadsticks combo.
Jake Ziering was a top-ranked national debater during high school, winning multiple national championships at Glenbrook North, including the 2004 Tournament of Champions, CFL Grand National Tournament, and Semifinalist at the NFL National Tournament. During Jake's senior year his squad managed to win the Triple Crown of Debate, winning the TOC, CFL & NFL National Tournament. This is an unprecedented feat matched by very few in history. Following his successful high school career he attended the University of Redlands, where he had some success as a critical and performance debater. His approach to debate emphasizes communication skills and game theories. His dog, Asha, (also pictured) is a prominent scholar of post-coloniality, from whom he borrows many ideas.