Mary Marcum and Hunter McFarland (WDI Scholars, 2015) Appear in Quarter Finals at UNLV

Hunter McFarland and Mary Marcum prepare to debate in the Quarters at UNLV, 2015

Hunter McFarland and Mary Marcum prepare to debate in the Quarters at UNLV, 2015

BY SARAH T. PARTLOW LEFEVRE

Join us in congratulating 2015 WDI Scholars Mary Marcum and Hunter McFarland for their recent quarter-finalist finish at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas.  Hunter and Mary debate for the University of Wyoming, (WDI University Supporter, 2015) and finished their preliminary debates with 6 wins or an 85.7% win record.

The duo defeated teams from Texas, Weber State, Gonzaga, and San Francisco State. At UNLV in prelims.  The debated on the affirmative and beat Texas HW in doubles on a 3-0 decision.  In Octos, they emerged victorious on a 2-1 over West Georgia CC.  Finally, they lost to Weber State GT in Quarters on a split decision.  Marcum also finished as the 11th speaker out of 120 debaters in open competition.

Kate Shuster, Advisor for the 2015 WDI Scholars, said. “It was clear from the first day of the Scholars lab that Mary and Hunter were exceptionally talented debaters with a bright future ahead of them. I’m excited to hear about this success and others yet to come.”Roblox HackBigo Live Beans HackYUGIOH DUEL LINKS HACKPokemon Duel HackRoblox HackPixel Gun 3d HackGrowtopia HackClash Royale Hackmy cafe recipes stories hackMobile Legends HackMobile Strike Hack

So far this year, the team has a 73.33% preliminary win percentage and a 66.67% elimination debate record. The WDI is looking forward to seeing great things from them as the season progresses.  Congratulations Mary and Hunter!

Partlow Lefevre is a Member of the WDI Board of Directors.  If you have alumni news, please let us know.  We’d love to hear from you!

WDI Board Member and Trans Debater Rhian Williams Wins Second Consecutive Debate Tournament at Vanderbilt.

Rhian Williams and Jenny Anton displaying their First Place trophy from Vanderbilt.
Rhian Williams and Jenny Anton displaying their First Place trophy from Vanderbilt.
BY SARAH T. PARTLOW LEFEVRE

Rhian Williams and his partner Jenny Anton, who debate for Wayne State University, recently won the Junior Varsity division at Vanderbilt.  They were the first seed after winning five preliminary debates. Williams and Anton were also recognized for their outstanding speaking as the 2nd (Anton) and 3rd (Williams) speakers in their division. This win is the Wayne AW’s second victory in a row. At the University of Kentucky, Anton took 1st speaker and Williams took 2nd speaker in the JV division.  Also at UK, they won their division, did not drop a single ballot, and were the first seed out of prelims.

According to his bio on the WDI website, “Rhian Williams is a trans guy dedicated to making debate a safe and accessible activity for all of its members . . . Williams is committed to promoting ethical and inclusive politics in and out of the debate space.”

Williams and Anton defeated Tolbert and Wheat from Louisville in the final round on a 2-1 decision.  After the debate, Rhian said of the opposition, “These debaters were the nicest, coolest people I’ve ever had the privilege of debating. The whole Louisville team is inclusive and awesome and sets an example that everyone in debate should aspire to.”

Rhian and Jenny drawing attention to the gender neutral restrooms at Vanderbilt.
Rhian and Jenny drawing attention to the gender neutral restrooms at Vanderbilt.

In addition to the competition, Vanderbilt is making real strides toward accessibility by installing permanent gender neutral restrooms.  Rhian praised Mary Bobbitt, Assistant Debate Coach at Wayne State, who was responsible for encouraging the change saying, “So Vandy was a double win- questions of accessibility were raised so they have now put in permanent gender neutral bathrooms!!!”

The WDI would like to thank Rhian and Jenny, Mary, Lousiville TW, and Vanderbilt for making debate a more welcoming and inclusive space.  It is great to see that debate success and inclusivity can coexist.  Congratulations!

Partlow Lefevre is a Member of the WDI Board of Directors.  If you have alumni news, please let us know. We’d love to hear from you!

WDI Board Member and Alumni Rhian Williams Wins First College Debate Tournament!

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Rhian and Jenny display their awards from the Kentucky College Tournament.

BY SARAH T. PARTLOW LEFEVRE

In their first college tournament, WDI Board Member Rhian Williams and his partner Jenny Anton won the JV division at the Kentucky College Tournament.  The duo, who represent Wayne State University, won the first (Jenny) and second (Rhian) speaker wards in the JV division.  Rhian and Jenny were debate partners in high school and are continuing that tradition in college.  According to Jenny Anton, the team “couldn’t be more appreciative” of their high school and college coaches.  The WDI is looking forward to seeing what these two first years do as they advance in their debate careers.  Congratulations on your outstanding success Rhian and Jenny!

Partlow Lefevre is a Member of the WDI Board of Directors.  If you have alumni news, please let us know. We’d love to hear from you!

WDI Board Member Brooke Kimbrough Wins Consecutive Debate Competitions!

Brooke and Geo display their First Place Trophy from the Mukai. Photo: Sharon Hopkins
Brooke and Geo display their First Place Trophy from the Mukai. Photo: Sharon Hopkins
BY SARAH T. PARTLOW LEFEVRE

WDI Board Member Brooke Kimbrough and her partner Geordano Liriano are celebrating multiple victories today.  Brooke and Geo won the Val A. Browning Round Robin at Weber State University and the Mukai invitational.  The team from the University of Iowa are both sophomores.   Coach Gabriel Murillo described the wins, “Independently both are great accomplishments, winning both is just really incredible.”

At the round robin, Brooke and Geo won 6 debates and were the 1st (Brooke) and Second (Geo) speakers in their pod.

At the Mukai, they posted a preliminary record of 7-1 and were the 3rd (Brooke) and 4th (Geo) speakers.  The team also appeared in the quarterfinals at the UMKC Baby Jo Memorial earlier this year.

Brooke & Geo holding their speaker awards. Photo: Sharon Hopkins.
Brooke & Geo holding their speaker awards. Photo: Sharon Hopkins.

Coach Sharon Hopkins said, “Geo takes his craft so seriously and is supremely dedicated to his next speech being better than the last. Brooke is a fire 2N making aff after aff disintegrate into dust. They did it all while being their authentic, silly selves.”

With such a great start, the WDI looks forward to following Brooke and Geo throughout the year.  Sharon Hopkins agrees, “I was happy I could be along for the ride to see their maturation from last year. The best is yet to come for these youngsters.”

Congratulations Brooke and Geo.  The WDI is so happy to see your success.  We are proud that you are finding ways to win while being true to your “authentic, silly selves.”

Partlow Lefevre is a Member of the WDI Board of Directors.  If you have alumni news, please let us know.  We’d love to hear from you!

WDI Alumni Ariel Olson Earns Her First TOC Bid.

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Ariel holding her award.

2015 WDI alumni and member of the Curriculum Committee Ariel Olson earned her 1st bid to the TOC recently.  She made it to the semifinal round at The Crestian in Lincoln Douglas. Olson had a record of 4-2 in preliminary debates coming back from a disappointing 2-2 on the first day. Ariel debates for Fort Lauderdale High School.

Olson was ecstatic upon receiving her 1st bid to the tournament of champions after beating Justin Yang from American Heritage. “Debate means a lot to me, I’m excited I received my first bid and I can’t wait till I get the next,” Olson stated.

Olson was also took part in The Crestian Round Robin and ran arguments centered around herself and her relation to the topic. Ariel is hoping that she can receive her next bid at The University of Florida’s Blue Key tournament at the end of this month. Ariel practices debate daily and always helps others.

Congratulations Ariel! The WDI is glad to see you winning and making debate a better place.  Way to go!

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Ariel with her Assistant Coach Mrs. Stickna

2015 WDI Faculty Member LaToya Green Wins Coach of the Year Award!

BY SARAH T. PARTLOW LEFEVRE

2015 WDI faculty member LaToya Green was named coach of the year at the 19th annual Val. A. Browning Round Robin in Ogden, Utah. LaToya coaches at the California State University-Fullteron.

LaToya was honored to receive the award.  She wrote, “I can think of a million and one coaches who deserve this award, so to know that there are people who actually voted for me to receive this honor is truly humbling.”

She also thanked her students, “To my girls, Berenice and Gabriela there is NO coaching award without a hardworking team to coach so thank you for being brilliant in the moments its time to make magic and resilient in the moments where things don’t always go as we planned.”

The WDI is inspired by LaToya’s accomplishments.  Congratulations Toya!

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LaToya holding her award.
Partlow Lefevre is a Member of the WDI Board of Directors.  If you have alumni news, please let us know.  We’d love to hear from you!

Congratulations to WDI Board Member Nicole Nave for Winning UMKC!

Congratulations to WDI Board Member Nicole Nave and her partner, Devane Murphy, for Winning UMKC!

“The Rutgers University-Newark (RU-N) debate team starts the 2015-16 season ranked number one in the country among more than 75 collegiate policy debate programs after its victory at the Baby Jo Memorial Debate Tournament. On a 2-1 decision during the final round against a team from the University of California, Berkeley, the duo of Nicole Nave (a junior from Ferguson, Missouri, who currently resides in South Orange, New Jersey) and Devane Murphy (a junior from Newark, New Jersey) garnered RU-N’s first championship honor at a national level. Nave and Murphy also received top-20 speaker awards, sixth and 11th place, respectively.

“The powerful logic and compelling presentations of our Rutgers University-Newark debaters are clear evidence of their potential to become lifelong intellectual leaders in the public sphere. This extraordinary team will honor our investments in their education many times over for many years,” states Marc Holzer, founding dean of Rutgers School of Public Affairs and Administration (SPAA).” (Source: http://www.newark.rutgers.edu/news/ru-n-debate-team-tops-nation)

To read the whole article, click here.

Congrats to all the ladies on their success this season!

Round of applause for all the girls rocking it out at both the collegial and high school levels these past view weekends. Heres some updates on the great weekends WDI alums, staff and Collegiate scholars are having locally and nationally!

At the high school level:

  • Lornex Rono debated maverick, was named 3rd speaker and champion at first tournament of the year in the Boston Debate League
  • Haley Uttley had a great showing at her first tournament of the year going 5-0 at Blue Valley SouthWest
  • Mary Floreani received 3rd place in Cross-Examination debate at the SDO TFA tournament and debating with a new partner this past weekend earned 3rd place at the Judson Invitational
  • Tamara Morrison won the Detroit Urban Debate League tournament, following qualifying for the Tournament of Champions

At the collegiate level:

  • Jyleesa Hampton was 4th speaker and a semifinalist at UNLV
  • Brooke Kimbrough advanced to quarters of the UNLV tournament after ending prelims 4-3
  • Maddie Langr earned 7th speaker and was a quarterfinalist at the Kentucky tournament
  • Miranda Elrich fresh off the round robin ended prelims at 7-1, earned 19th speaker and an appearance in the octos of Kentucky
  • Marlene Anderson earned the 14th seed at UNLV after a strong prelims and advanced to octos
  • Nicole Nave upset the 5th seed and advanced to octos at UNLV
  • Haley Larsen was 18th speaker and made an appearance in Double octos

Stay tuned for more updates on WDI attendees seasons, awards and tournaments.

 

WDI students make the US Worlds Debate Team

Sonia Larbi will be representing the United States at the World Schools Debating Championship in South Africa. Two other WDI alumni,  Catherine Cho and Miriam Pritchett, earned places on the developmental team and would be strong contenders for the top team in the coming years.