2011 WDI Scholars

Guevara Scholar – Jovana Torres (California)

The Guevara Scholarship is sponsored by Omar and Veronica Guevara, in support of young women of Hispanic origin.  Omar and Veronica lead the Weber State University debate team.  Jovana is a policy debater in the LA Urban Debate League.  Jovana says, “Attending WDI was a memorable experience that has helped me grow as a debater, meet others that share the same passion, and learn strategic tips.  I was able to further learn about the activity I love the most, debate.”

McDougle Scholar – Eddie Garza (Texas)

The McDougle Scholarship honors the life and career in service of Reverend Gail McDougle, a champion Texas debater and minister in the United Church of Christ. Eddie is a policy debater and, after the WDI in August, Eddie was so inspired by debate that she returned to her hometown and began a community debate program for 7th grade girls.  Says Eddie, “The WDI was an experience I will never forget!”

India McCullough Scholar – Meybel Lopez-Flores (Massachusetts)

The India McCullough Scholarship is sponsored by Kali Kraum and Kelly Ross in honor of Kali’s grandmother.  Kelly debated for both Emporia State University, and Kansas State University.  Meybel is a policy debater in the Boston Urban Debate League.  Meybel says, “I’m so thankful that I got the chance to be part of the WDI and have this wonderful experience.  I learned so much in the last 2 days that I can’t wait to get to Boston and share all the knowledge that I have learned.”


O’ella Ross Scholar – Kimberly Mejia-Cuellar (California)

The O’ella Ross Scholarship is sponsored by Kelly Ross and Kali Kraum in honor of Kelly’s grandmother.  Kelly debated for both Emporia State University and Kansas State University.  Kimberly debates for the Bay Area Urban Debate League as a policy debater.  Kim says, “My time at camp was wonderful. This trip has been one of many firsts: my first debate camp, first time on a plane, first time canoeing and first time in a different state.  The WDI and the people I have met have tremendously helped me use my sex as a strength, not a disadvantage.”

Copper Tree Scholarship – Katalina Kimball-Linares (Arizona)

The Copper Tree Scholarship, sponsored by former Lewis and Clark debater Jared Hager, honors women who are raised by strong mothers and have a passion for debate.  Katalina embodies the passion we see every year at WDI, and she says “It was awesome to come to camp and meet so many people willing to help and so many other debaters excited to learn. I am so happy I get to go to camp, and I want to thank you for your giving me the chance to do something I love.”

University of Iowa Scholars – Samantha Srok (Wisconsin), Ashley Reid
(Illinois), and Alessandra Torres (Massachusetts)

The University of Iowa, led by Dr. David Hingstman, sponsored three full tuition scholarships to the 2011 WDI!  Our Scholars, all policy debaters, illustrate part of the incredibly diverse spectrum of women in the debate community.  Samantha was inspired by our attention to the role of women in debate: “I’ve really learned not only
more about basic policy debate, but specifically how my gender and sex plays into who I am as a debater.”  Ashley loved the diversity of other women at WDI: “I am used to being around lots of people from different environments, but meeting other girls who are all interested in debate is so much more cool.”  And Alessandra was just ready to start debating: “I learned so many new techniques and I can’t wait to share them with my debate team back home.”

Wake Forest University Scholar – Addison Koneval (California)

Wake Forest University is coached by Dr. Jarrod Atchison, a long-time supporter of the WDI.  The Wake Forest debate team is one of the top programs in the nation, including a semi-finals appearance at the 2010 National Debate Tournament.  Addison debates Lincoln-Douglas debate in California and says, “I can’t express how impactful this camp has been in shaping me as a young woman debater!”

 University of California, Berkeley Scholar – Jazmin Garcia (California)

The Berkeley debate team is led by Jonah Feldman.  In addition to producing some of the top debate teams in the country, Berkeley hosts a top-notch high school debate camp every summer.  Jazmin debates policy for the Bay Area Urban Debate League, and says, “The WDI was an amazing experience and it was by far the most fun debate camp I have ever been to.   The Berkeley debate program constantly inspires me to become a better debater.”

Kansas State University Scholar and WDI Policy Scholar – Sonia Larbi (Missouri)

The Kansas State University debate team is led by Justin Green and Sarah Snider-Green, and is the alma mater of WDI Board member Sarah Glaser and WDI staff member Beth Mendenhall.  KSU has a strong debate tradition, exemplified most recently by wining the 2011 CEDA Nationals championship.  In addition to being a successful high school policy debater, Sonia was recently selected to represent the United States at the World Debate Championship in South Africa this coming year.  Sonia has attended the WDI for the past two years, and she says, “I had a great year after going to the WDI last year and I was honored to be a scholar this year.    The WDI has always been a place where I could be myself.”

James Madison University Scholar – Catherine Cho (North Dakota)

James Madison University is led by Dr. Michael Davis and coached by Paul Mabrey.  The JMU debate team is a force for leadership and diversity in the community of Harrisonburg, Virginia, and has a strong tradition of debate.  Catherine participates in Lincoln-Douglas debate, forensics, and Student Congress.  She says, “I know that my experience at WDI will positively influence my debate career but in my life as well, which is why I plan on coming back next year.”

The University of Missouri, Kansas City Scholar – Tequilla Wilbourn-Little (Michigan)

UMKC, led by coach Matt Vega, has been incredible supporters of the WDI.  Former UMKC coach Linda Collier is a founding member of our staff, and UMKC has produced national champions in policy debate for decades.  Tequilla debates for the Detroit Urban Debate League, and she says, “The WDI was an amazing opportunity.  It really has made a difference.  I am a better debater – stronger, wiser, and well-educated!”

Leonard, Street and Deinard Scholars – Lillie Ouellette-Howitz (Minnesota)
and Gabrielle Onikoro-Arkell (Minnesota)

Leonard, Street, and Deinard is a law firm in Minneapolis, next-door to the home of the WDI at Koinonia Retreat Center.  The WDI Executive Director, Aleava Sayre, is an associate.  As advocates of promoting women in the field of law, they are also strong supporters of the mission of the WDI and of the women in their communities.  Lillie plans to go to law school, and she says “I am so grateful for this experience to connect to other women in debate.  It has been truly amazing. The fact that a law firm in the city I live in gave me a scholarship to go to a debate camp has really made my aspirations more believable and made me feel as if I can make them come true.”  Gabi adds, “I have learned a lot about women in debate and have made many new friends. It has been a wonderful opportunity to learn about debate in a community of women.”

Kalajarvi, Chuzi, Newman and Fitch Scholar – Heaven Reda (Massachusetts)

Kalajarvi, Chuzi, Newman and Fitch is a DC-based law firm, at which Tracy Gonos, former UMKC debater, practices law.  KCN&F provided a travel stipend to bring Heaven to the WDI this summer.  Heaven, a policy debater in the Boston Urban Debate League, says “Throughout my experience at the WDI, I’ve made some awesome friends from all over the country, learned how to swim, built my confidence as a debater and discovered some tactics to win a debate round.  WDI was the highlight of my summer and helped me find a community where I feel completely comfortable.”

WDI Lincoln-Douglas Scholars – Megan Trayers (Minnesota) and Courtney Bye (Minnesota)

Megan and Courtney, our two LD Scholars, were invited to attend the WDI as mentors for younger students and tasked with putting on a demonstration LD debate.

Megan is a senior with an excellent record of debate throughout her high school career, and she says, “Part of what made my time at WDI so special was being able to enjoy the beauty of Minnesota in summertime and partake in many outdoor activities.”  Courtney is also an incredibly successful and passionate debater, and she says, “I am honored to be able to attend WDI before the start of my last season.  [WDI] helps girls find her place in the debate community.”

WDI Policy Scholars – Rebecca Han (Illinois) and Sonia Larbi (Missouri)

Our policy scholars were chosen for the leadership ability, dedication to debate, and excellence in competition. Rebecca and Sonia demonstrated a debate on this year’s topic to other policy debaters at camp.  Sonia was also our Kansas State University Scholar (see above).  Rebecca is a senior, and she says, “WDI gave me such a great pool of great female debaters to lean on and connect with during this camp. Unlike other camps, it really focused on community.”

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