Individual Fellowships

WDI Fellows

O’ella Ross and India McCollough Fellowships
Two fellowships are available to students who debate in Kansas or the Kansas City area. We especially encourage students who are members of DEBATE- Kansas City to apply! Kelly Ross, former Kansas State University debater, and Kali Kraum, also a native Kansan, sponsor these fellowships in honor of their grandmothers. Kelly and Kali have long been supporters of the WDI, and we are proud to partner with them to increase opportunities for women in Kansas.

Gail McDougle Fellowship
The Gail McDougle Fellowship is supported by Dr. Cullen Hendrix in honor of his mother, Rev. Gail McDougle. Gail debated at Sam Houston High School in Houston, TX, where she won the Texas State Championship in policy debate. She is currently the pastor of First Congregational United Church of Christ in Salem, Oregon. Gail’s debate skills have made her an inspirational and truly unique minister. She has also an unwavering commitment to social justice, and was awarded the 2009 Salem Peacemaker’s Award for her advocacy of peace in the community. This fellowship and travel stipend is open to any debater living in the state of Texas.

Copper Tree Fellowship
The Copper Tree Fellowship was created by Jared Hager to honor the women of Lewis & Clark College debate.  This fellowship and travel stipend is especially intended to help young debaters.

Cabada-Leman Fellowship
The Gloria Cabada-Leman Fellowship honors a great inspiration for women debaters. She was only the second woman ever to be named the top speaker at the National Debate Tournament. The first had been named over 30 years earlier. It would be more than twenty more years before the third female was named top speaker at the NDT. 

Sandra Shuster Fellowship
The Sandra Shuster Fellowship honors the mother of Kate Shuster, a successful policydebater for the Albuquerque Academy in high school who won the 1996 National Debate Tournament for Emory University. Sandy, as she was known to friends, was a great supporter of Kate’s career as a debater and as a coach and educator.  Sandy passed away in the fall of 2012.

Gini Shaw Fellowship
The Gini Shaw Fellowship honors the mother of Jeff Shaw, who debated Lincoln-Douglas for Canby (Ore.) High School and competed in policy debate for Lewis & Clark College in Portland. Gini supported Jeff’s debate career in numerous ways, and her hard work and sacrifice as a single mom inspired him to continue with debate — and to co-found the Women’s Debate Institute. Gini is a nurse in Salem, Ore.

The Kyla Sommers Fellowship
The Kyla Sommers Fellowship is donated in Kyla’s honor by Kevin Bertrand. Kyla is a senior debater at George Washington University. Kyla exemplifies what student-debaters should strive to achieve. She is a top student, a talented debater, and an incredibly hard working individuals. In addition to excelling at school and debate, Kyla is also a scholarship track athlete.  But most importantly, Kyla’s personal values and passion for social justice issues are what make her special. She is the type of person who strives not just to win debate rounds, but also to promote a social conscience and sense of social responsibility in the debate community.