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 2020 JDI!

Camp Director - Dr. Scott Harris

Dr. Harris is entering his 30th 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 and was the 2nd speaker at the 1981 NDT. 

Associate Camp Director - Benton Bajorek

Benton Bajorek is a PhD student in the Department of Communication Studies. He is an Assistant Debate Coach at the University of Kansas and Debate Coach at Bishop Seabury. He began his debate career at Arkansas State University where he competed in multiple forms of debate including Parliamentary, IPDA, Team IPDA, Lincoln-Douglas, and Public Forum.  During his time competing, he received several top speaker awards, won first place at multiple tournaments, and ended his senior season as a 2015 Team IPDA National Semifinalist. He has been a member of the University of Kansas debate coaching staff for 3 years.

Associate Camp Director - Alaina Walberg

Alaina Walberg has completed an MA and is a PhD student in the Department of Communication Studies. She is an Assistant Debate Coach at the University of Kansas. Alaina also coached at Blue Valley North, where she had teams in elimination rounds of countless tournaments, including a quarterfinals appearance at the Tournament of Champions. As a debater at Baylor University, she was an NDT qualifier and appeared in elimination rounds at both local and national tournaments. As a high school debater for Olathe Northwest, she was the top speaker at the NSDA national tournament. Alaina has taught at a number of debate camps over the last five years, including the JDI and the UMKC Summer Debate Institute.

Camp Instructor - Dr. Jacob Justice

Jacob Justice is a PhD in Communication Studies with an emphasis in Rhetoric. 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 5 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 just finished his 2nd year of his M.A. studies in Communication and Rhetoric at Wake Forest University and will continue with his PhD at The University of Kansas. 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 will be coaching debate at Wake Forest University next season. 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 debater at the University of Kansas. Azja was the national CEDA runner up in 2019 and is a two time qualifier for the National Debate Tournament. Azja and partner Kenny Delph were the 5th ranked team in the country in the NDT first round at large rankings this past season. Last year Azja won three tournaments including Harvard and both halves of the Texas Swing at the University of California Berkeley. Azja is an Assistant coach for Lansing High school and a returning instructor at the JDI.

Camp Instructor - Carolyn Hassett

Carolyn Hassett is a debater at the University of Kansas with going on 4 years of coaching experience at Shawnee Mission East, helping them qualify their first team in 5 years to the TOC. In college debate she won the 2018 National Junior Division National Championship Tournament for freshmen and sophomores and was named to the CEDA 2020 All Academic Debate Team. she has appeared in out-rounds for both local and national tournaments. She debated for Shawnee Mission East in high school and was the KSHAA 6A 2-speaker runner up in 2017. She is a double major in Data Analytics and Information Systems with a minor in National Security and Intelligence.

Camp Instructor - Lily Ottinger

Lily Ottinger is a 4th year KU debater studying mathematics and Russian. Lily was winner of the NJJDT National Championship Tournament in 2018. Lily was the 2020 winner of the Texas Two-Step Championship and won multiple top speaker awards this past season. 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 - Nicholas Massa

Nick Massa is a graduating senior majoring in Political Science and as a three year debater at KU qualified for the National Debate Tournament all three years. He won multiple tournaments during his college career including the D-3 Qualifying Championship Tournament in 2020, the Texas Two-Step Championship in 2019, and the University of Texas-Dallas tournament in 2018. He coached for Shawnee Mission East high school the last three years. Teams he coached won the CFL national tournament and qualified to the TOC.

Camp Instructor - Nathan Martin

Nate Martin is a senior debater at KU majoring in Chemical Engineering who has already qualified for the National Debate Tournament three times including reaching the Final Four of the NDT in 2019. He won the 2020 D-3 Qualifying Championship Tournament and was the top speaker at the Pittsburgh Round Robin.  He is a member of the CEDA 2020 All Academic Debate Team. He coaches for Lansing High School and Heritage Hall. In high school he won the DCI and reached elims at both CFL and NSDA.

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 - Gabriel Esquivel-Yglesias

Gabe Esquivel-Yglesias is a senior debater at KU who has qualified for the elimination rounds of multiple national tournaments including the CEDA National Championship tournament. Gabe has previously taught at the JDI and has played a central role in expanding debate internationally in Costa Rica. As a high school debater at Kapaun Jackson was in finals of the NCFL tournament, placed 7th at NSDA, qualified to the TOC, and was the 9th place individual speaker at NSDA nationals.

Camp Instructor - Ross Fitzpatrick

Ross Fitzpatrick is a senior debater at KU who 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 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. Jackson 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 sophomore debater for KU who was a semifinalist at the American Debate Association National Championship Tournament and qualified for the National Debate Tournament as a freshman. 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 is a sophomore debater for KU who qualified for the National Debate Tournament as a freshman. 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 sophomore debater who as a freshman won the George, RR Pflaum Debate Tournament, finished 2nd at the Baby Jo Invitational tournament, closed out a semifinal at the George Ziegelmueller Invitational tournament, 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 - Ethan Bastian

Ethan Bastian is a senior debater for the University of Kansas majoring in Mechanical Engineering who has reached the elimination rounds at multiple college tournaments. He has coached at Washburn Rural High School and The Harker School and has taught at the JDI two previous years. In high school he placed third at the State Tournament in Utah and qualified for the NSDA three times.

Camp Instructor - Nico Rodriguez Hanley

Nico Rodriguez-Hanley is a junior debater for KU who has qualified for the elimination rounds of numerous tournaments including a third place finish at the Mid America Debate Championship in 2019. Nico has coached for Shawnee Mission East. As a Debater at Shawnee Mission East he finished 4th in the State Tournament, and qualified for the DCI.

 

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 3 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. Dr. Bricker will be lecturing to the camp on debating the politics disadvantage in an election year.

Camp Lecturer - Jyleesa Hampton

Jyleesa Hampton is the Assistant Director of Debate at Presentation High School and an Assistant Debate Coach at the University of Kansas. She has an MA in Communication Studies and is nearing completion of a PhD in Public Administration with a emphasis in Public Affairs, Law and Society. Jyleesa won the 2015 Brian Johnston Award as the National Debater of the Year.  She took 2nd place at the 2015 Cross Examination Debate Association national tournament.  She was 2nd speaker at the CEDA national tournament and won numerous other speaker awards at national tournaments.  She was a first round at large recipient and elimination round participant at the 2015 National Debate Tournament.  She is the Chair of the Board  of the Women’s Debate Institute and the Director of Communications for the Association of Black Argument Scholars. Jyleesa was named a Woman of Distinction by the University of Kansas in 2016, and received a Diversity Leadership Award from KU in 2016. Jyleesa has taught at numerous summer debate camps including Berkeley, Gonzaga and the JDI. She has also coached at Barstow, Niles North, Blue Valley North, Shawnee Mission South and Juan Diego Catholic. Jyleesa will be lecturing to the camp on issues of race in policing which is the focal point of her research in her PhD program.


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Congratulations to Dr. Scott Harris @rockthechalk , the David B. Pittaway Director of Debate at KU, who has been sel… https://t.co/cC8E0FbUjL