Debate Camp - Staff
Jayhawk Debate Institute Staff
The Jayhawk Debate Institute year after year has one of the finest staff of debate coaches and instructors you will find anywhere in the country. Here is a list of some of the great staff members at the 2021 JDI!
Camp Director - Dr. Scott Harris
Dr. Harris is entering his 31st year as the David B. Pittaway Director of Debate at the University of Kansas. He has won numerous debate coaching awards including: the Educator of the Year Award from the KSCA in 2019 and in 2018; the James J. Unger Coaching Award in 2018, the Ovid Davis Coaching Award in 2018, the Jeffrey W. Jarman Award in 2017; the David Brownlee Debate Coach of the Year Award in 2015; the Northwestern Debate Society Award for excellence in coaching in 2010; the Ovid Davis Coaching Award in 2009; the George Ziegelmueller Award for excellence in debate coaching in 2006; and the National Debate Coach of the Year Award in 2006. He served as President of the American Forensic Association 2012-2014 and President of the Cross Examination Debate Association 2018-19. He has taught at many debate camps including the University of Michigan, Michigan State University, Stanford University, the University of Iowa and Baylor University and has taught debate at Beijing Foreign Studies University in Beijing, China. He was recently voted as one of the top 5 coaches of the decade for the second consecutive decade and was voted the second best debate judge in the country for the last decade. As a debater he was a 4 time qualifier for the NDT, reached the elimination rounds 3 times including an Elite Eight and two Sweet 16s and was the 2nd speaker at the 1981 NDT.
Associate Camp Director - Alaina Walberg
Walberg (MA) is a PhD student in the Department of Communication Studies and an Assistant Debate Coach at the University of Kansas. has coached at Blue Valley North High School and The Barstow School, helping to coach teams to elimination rounds of countless tournaments, including a quarterfinals appearance at the Tournament of Champions. As a debater at Baylor University, was an NDT qualifier and appeared in elimination rounds at both local and national tournaments. was also the top speaker at the NSDA national tournament while debating for Olathe Northwest in high school. As an instructor and teacher, prioritizes inclusion, access, and reflexivity and emphasizes student-oriented instruction across classroom, Zoom, and debate environments.
Camp Instructor - Dr. Jacob Justice
Jacob Justice is the Director of Debate at the University of Mississippi. He has a PhD in Communication Studies with an emphasis in Rhetoric from the University of Kansas. He has been an Assistant Coach for the University of Kansas debate team since 2014 contributing greatly to the national success of the KU debate team. He debated at Wayne State University and qualified to the National Debate Tournament 3 times and reached the elimination rounds at multiple national tournaments including Georgia State University, Harvard, the University of Southern California, California State University Fullerton, Northwestern, and the University of Texas. He has taught at the Jayhawk Debate Institute for 6 years.
Camp Instructor - Talya Slaw
Talya Slaw is an Assistant Debate Coach at the University of Kansas and is completing a PhD in the Department of Communication Studies. Talya has an MA in Communication Studies. She has been a coach at KU since 2015 and has taught at multiple debate camps. Talya was a successful debater at Wayne State University as a multi-year qualifier for the National Debate Tournament and a qualifier for the elimination rounds at multiple national tournaments including Harvard, the University of Southern California, California State University Fullerton, Northwestern, and the University of Texas. She is also the Assistant Director of the Introductory Communication Course at the Univerity of Kansas.
Camp Instructor - Jesse Smith
Jesse Smith is an assistant debate coach at the University where he is working on a PhD in Communication Studies. He has an MA in Communication Studies from Baylor University. He has extensive coaching experience having coached at the University of Kansas, Baylor University and Binghamton University. He was a successful college debater at Binghamton University and has taught at multiple summer camps.
Camp Instructor - Julia Henry
Julia Henry is a graduate of the University of Kansas and will be joining the coaching staff at the University of Kansas pursuing an MA in Communication Studies next year. Julia was a two time member of the CEDA All American debate team and a two time member of the Academic All American team. Julia was Co-Winner of the 2020 Donn Parson Debater of the Year Award at KU. Julia won several college debate tournaments for KU and won numerous top speaker awards. She was the winner of the Texas Two-Step Championship this past season and was first or second speaker at four consecutive Texas swing tournaments over the past two years. Julia was a two time Vice-President of KU Forensics. Julia has experience coaching at Blue Valley North, Washburn Rural, Lawrence Free State, Blue Valley Southwest and the JDI.
Camp Instructor - Derek Hilligoss
Derek Hilligoss is an Assistan Debate Coach at the University of Kansas and is a graduate student working on his PhD at The University of Kansas. He has as MA from Wake Forest University in Communications and was an assistant coach at Wake Forest. He received his B.A. in Political Science at the University of Central Oklahoma, where, as a debater, he qualified to the National Debate Tournament 4 times and received a first round at large bid his senior year, indicating he was a top 16 team. Being a flex debater who read every style of argument from settlerism, plan affs, framework and the terror disad Derek is flexible enough to help students with any argument.
Camp Instructor - Kenny Delph
Kenny Delph is the 2020 Brian Johnston National Debater of the Year. Kenny is an Assistant Debate Coacy at Wake Forest University. Kenny was the National runner up at the CEDA National Championship tournament in 2019 and won numerous college tournaments including tournaments at Harvard, Berkeley, and Pittsburgh. Kenny was a three time qualifier for the elimination rounds at the National Debate Tournament and a two time first round at large recipient. Kenny was a two time member of the CEDA All American team. Kenny was the co-winner of the 2020 Donn Parson Debater of the Year Award at KU. Kenny was a two time President of KU Forensics. Kenny has experience coaching at Little Rock Central, Shawnee Mission South and the JDI.
Camp Instructor - Azja Butler
Azja Butler is a three-time qualifier to the NDT. This prestigious JDI alum was the first Black woman to win First Speaker at the National Debate Tournament. In addition to being named 2021’s Debater of the Year, Azja has won the 2019 Harvard Tournament, and both halves of the 2020 California Swings. She’s been a CEDA Finalist, CEDA Semifinalist, and NDT Semifinalist. Azja coaches at Shawnee Mission South High School and New Trier High School. She has coached several TOC Qualifiers, and High school Tournament Champions.
She values students wherever they are in their debate journey, while also assisting students in cultivating a healthy relationship with the often exhausting activity that is debate.
Camp Instructor - Ned Gidley
Current KU Communication Studies MA student, Ned Gidley, debated for Wake Forest. While there, he won the prestigious Julia Burke Award for competitive success, commitment to the activity, and respect for competitors his senior year. He graduated in 2018 with Art History and History majors and has since become one of KU debate's foremost card-cutters and graduate coaches. Ned has also worked at both the Michigan and Wake Forest debate camps as well as has taught both in person and online at KU, bringing a variety of teaching and coaching skills to the JD
Camp Instructor - Lily Ottinger
Lily Ottinger is a senior KU debater studying mathematics and Russian. Lily was winner of the NJDDT National Championship Tournament in 2018. Lily was the 2020 winner of the Texas Two-Step Championship and has won multiple top speaker awards at college tournaments. Lily was named to the 2020 CEDA All Academic Debate Team. Lily is passionate about coaching, and last year worked with Mill Valley, Blue Valley Northwest, and the Asian Debate League. During high school at Shawnee Mission Northwest, Lily was a 6A state champion, two time EKNSDA regional champion, 11th at NSDA nationals, 5th at CFL nationals, and recipient of a bid to the TOC and also won a Kansas State Championship in Lincoln Douglas debate. Lily also enjoys painting and watching French movies.
Camp Instructor - Julian Kuffour
Julian Kuffour is a former Kansas high school debater who now studies Law, History, and Culture at the University of Southern California and is the Head Lincoln Douglas Coach at Peninsula High School. While debating for USC, Julian has accumulated a huge number of impressive accolades, including reaching the Octofinals of the National Debate Tournament, competing at the Harvard and Dartmouth Round Robins, and reaching the semifinals of CEDA as well as being the 13th speaker at the NDT and 4th speaker at CEDA. As a high school debater in Kansas he won a KSHSAA State Championship.
Camp Instructor - Nathan Davis
Nathan Davis is a recent UMKC graduate and incoming KU MA student. While debating for UMKC, Nathan was a two time qualifier to the National Debate Tournament, a CEDA Double-Octafinalist, and CEDA Academic All-American. Nathan has been coaching online since 2018 and has coached debaters ranging from incoming novices to nationally competitive debaters on the TOC circuit.
Camp Instructor - Jackson Hoffmann
Jackson Hoffmann is a senior debater at KU who has qualified for the elimination rounds of multiple national tournaments including the CEDA National Championship tournament and won the 2019 University of Texas-Dallas tournament. Jackson has coached for Kapaun Mt. Carmel, Wichita East and the Asian Debate League and the Jayhawk Debate Institute. As a high school debater at Kapaun Jackson was in finals of the NCFL tournament, placed 7th at NSDA, and qualified to the TOC.
Camp Instructor - Ross Fitzpatrick
Ross Fitzpatrick was a semifinalist at the 2021 National Debate Tournament and a First Round at large qualifier for the NDT. He has qualified for the late elimination rounds of multiple national tournaments including the CEDA National Championship tournament. Ross is a Summa Cum Laude member of the CEDA 2021 and 2020 All Academic Debate Team. Ross has coached at Barstow high school. As a high school debater at Barstow Ross was in the finals of the UTNIF tournament and won speaker awards at numerous regional and national tournaments.
Camp Instructor - Ryan Snow
Ryan is a political science major and junior debater for KU who was a 2020 Semifinalist at the American Debate Association National Championship Tournament, winner and top speaker of the 2020 NJDDT National Championship Tournament and finished 2nd at the 2020 Mid-America Championship Tournament. Ryan attended Arapahoe High School in Colorado where he qualified to both the state tournament and NSDA, he also came to the JDI twice as a camper.
Camp Instructor - Jacob Thomas
Jacob Thomas is a senior debater at KU who has qualified for the elimination rounds of multiple national tournaments including the CEDA National Championship tournament. Jacob has taught for two years at the Jayhawk Debate Institute. Jake was a successful debater at Shawnee Mission Northwest qualifying for the NSDA National tournament.
Camp Instructor - Michael Scott
Michael Scott is a two time qualifier for the National Debate Tournament reaching the Sweet 16 in 2021. He was a semifinalist at the American Debate Association National Championship Tournament. He won the George Ziegelmueller Invitational Tournament and has reached the elimination rounds of multiple college tournaments. He is an assistant debate coach at the Pine Crest School in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. He was the captain of the Illinois All-State Debate Team and was ranked top 10 nationally in high school and was a National Speech and Debate Association All American.
Camp Instructor - Michael McMahon
Mickey McMahon iis a two time qualifier for the National Debate Tournament reaching the Sweet 16 in 2021. He won the George Ziegelmueller Invitational Tournament and has reached the elimination rounds of multiple college tournaments. As a debater at Blue Valley North he took 4th place at the NSDA National Championship Tournament, was a quarterfinalist at the TOC, fished 2nd at the 6A State Championship and won numerous speaker awards including 1st at BVSW, 2nd at the DCI Round Robin, and 9th at NSDA Nationals.
Camp Instructor - Jimin Park
Jimin Park is a junio debater at KU who has won multiple college tournaments and reached the elimination rounds of several national tournaments. As a debater at Washburn Rural Jimin won the 2019 NSDA National Championship, and a 6A Kansas State Championship.
Camp Instructor - Raina Peter
Raina is a KU debater majoring in Economics and Political Science. As a high school debater at Washburn Rural Hign School she won the 2019 NSDA national tournament, received 12 bids to the TOC and NDCA, She was in the top 4 individual speakers at BVSW, St. Marks, Glenbrooks RR, Dowling, MBA, Colleyville, Pine Crest, and the Pine Crest RR. As a college debater she has already won a tournament and reached the elimination of multiple college tournaments.
Camp Instructor - Maddie PIeropan
Maddie Pieropan is a KU sophomore double majoring in American Studies and Native Studies and was a Double-Octofinalist at the Owen L. Coon Memorial Invitational this past year. While coaching this year, Maddie coached two sophomores to a winning record at the TOC as well as helped two additional teams qualify to the TOC.
Camp Instructor - Miles Luce
Miles Luce is a WGSS and Art History major who debated at the Barstow School. While debating for KU this past season, Miles was in elimination rounds of the Wayne State tournament and was the 9th speaker at the tournament. Debating with a variety of partners and in a variety of styles, Miles also picked up some big wins over top 20 teams as only a first-year.
Camp Instructor - Will Soper
Will Soper is a former JDI attendee and rising sophomore at KU studying Classical Languages and Education. While debating for KU this year, Will won both the Joe C. Jackson tournament at the University of Central Oklahoma and the Hoosier Invitational, and was a Quarterfinalist at Wayne State as well as was a Double Octofinalist at CEDA Nationals, ADA Nationals, and the Owen L Coon Memorial Invitational at Northwestern.
Camp Lecturer - Dr. Brett Bricker
Dr. Brett Bricker has been the Associate Director of Debate at the University of Kansas since 2010. As a coach he has has haeped lead KU to 4 NDT Final Fours including a National Championship in 2018. He was the winner of the Ovid Davis Award for coaching the top ranked team in the country in 2018. As a debater Brett has the most wins in the history of the University of Kansas debate program. He won the National Debate Tournament in 2009. He won multiple other tournaments including Harvard, the University of Southern California, West Georgia and the Kentucky Round Robin. He was a four time qualifier for the National Debate Tournament and a three time qualifier for the elimination rounds. He received three first round at large bids to the NDT including a 2nd place ranking in 2009 and a 3rd place ranking in 2008. He was 2nd speaker at the NDT in 2009 and 3rd speaker in 2008. He was Top Speaker at numerous tournaments including Georgia State, Harvard, the University of Southern California, West Georgia, the Kentucky Round Robin and twice at the Dartmouth Round Robin. He is also a debate coach at Carrollton School of the Sacred Heart and has taught at numerous summer debate institutes including the University of Michigan. He has even taught debate in Shanghai China.