2013 PROJECTED FACULTY
Daniel Fitzmier, PhD, is the Director of Debate at Northwestern University. He is a member of the faculty in Northwestern's School of Communication, and is the Director of the Northwestern Debate Institute. Over the course of his career, Dan has coached six different teams in the Finals of the National Debate Tournament, including the National Champions in 2000, 2002, 2003, and 2005; he most recently coached the Finalists of the 2010 N.D.T. He has coached four Copeland Award winning teams - the award given to the team with the top overall performance each debate season - and was named as the first annual Unger Award winner for coaching Northwestern's Copeland winners in 2009. He has coached either the 1st or 2nd place team in the race for the Copeland Award in each of the last three seasons. Dan has coached fifteen First Round-at-Large teams to qualify for the National Debate Tournament, and the 2011 Northwestern Debate Institute will be the 22nd summer debate workshop that he has taught at.
Chris Lundberg, PhD, is an Assistant Professor of Rhetoric at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. He is a former debate coach at Northwestern and Emory and has coached multiple NDT champions. Chris debated for Redlands University and reached the quarterfinals at the NDT. Chris is known for his engaging and innovative teaching style that instructs debaters how to successfully confront all styles of argumentation. Chris is consistently rated among the top lecturers at the institute and will teach you to build the “house of theory” from the ground up.
Garrett Abelkop is the director of Debate at Chatahoochee High School where he has led Hooch to top national finishes including winning the 2012 Michigan and Ohio Valley tournaments with undefeated records. This year his team has also reached the finals of Greenhill and semifinals of the Glenbrooks. Before coming to Chatahoochee, Garrett coached the University of Kentucky debate team to the quarterfinals of the NDT. Garrett debated for Michigan State in college, where he was a frequent top-five speaker, a first round NDT debater, and a three-time NDT elim participant. In high school, he debated for Chatahoochee finishing in second place at the TOC.
Stephanie Spies is an assistant coach for Northwestern University and a Research Assistant at the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS) in Washington D.C. In 2012, Stephanie coached the Copeland Award winners, NDT finalists, and TOC finalists. As a debater for Northwestern, she was the Champion and Top Speaker at the 2011 NDT, a Finalist in 2010, consistently received top five speaker awards, and placed in the top three teams at every major college tournament she attended. In high school, Stephanie won the 2007 TOC and NFL for Glenbrook North. This will be Stephanie’s sixth summer teaching at the Northwestern Debate Institute.
John Warden is a Northwestern assistant coach and is a research assistant at the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS). In his first year of coaching John helped coach Northwestern to the final round of the NDT. He is the 2009 Copeland winner and NDT semi-finalist and 7th speaker at the 2009 NDT. He is the 2008 Wake Forest and Kentucky tournament champion, runner-up at the 2008 Kentucky Round Robin and Harvard Tournaments. In 2009, John and partner were champions of the Dartmouth Round Robin. John cleared at virtually every college tournament in his career. In high school John was a TOC Finalist at Chattahoochee. He has previously taught at the Northwestern Debate Institute and at the Berkeley Summer Institute. John is famous for his strategic argument planning, love of all things Atlanta, and being a founding member of the John Wall fan club Washington DC branch.
Ryan Beiermeister is a debater at Northwestern who just completed an impressive Junior campaign, topped off with a Semifinals appearance at the NDT. Ryan and her partner advanced undefeated to elimination rounds. Ryan also reached the semifinals of Harvard and Georgia State. Ryan was a successful debater for the Kinkaid School in high school including finals appearances at the Glenbrooks and multiple Top Speaker awards. Ryan is considered one of the best 2A’s in the country and can teach you how to read more politics cards in the block than are in your file.
Layne Kirshon is a freshman debater at Northwestern in the middle of one of the most impressive freshman campaigns in Northwestern debate history. Layne has cleared at every college tournament he has attended. Layne and his partner have reached the semifinals of Harvard and Georgia State. Layne completed a successful high school career at the Kinkaid school by appearing in the final round at NDCA and reaching the semifinals of the TOC. Layne’s passion and energy for debate is infectious and we are happy he will be joining the teaching staff for his first year.
Peyton Lee is a Sophomore Northwestern Debater who has reached the finals at the University of Nevada Las Vegas tournaments and reached elimination rounds at the NDT. Peyton was a highly successful high school debater at Pace Academy. Peyton won St. Mark's, reached the quartefinals of the TOC and was named Top Speaker at St. Marks and the Glenbrooks. She currently serves as an assistant coach at Glenbrook North. This will be Peyton's second summer teaching at Northwestern.
Tripp Rebrovick is currently a PhD student in political science at Johns Hopkins University. 2013 will be Tripp's 8th summer leading a lab at Northwestern. He debated at Montgomery Bell Academy in high school, where he was the top speaker at the TOC and the winner of NFL Nationals in 2005. In college, he debated at Harvard, where he received 3 first-round bids to the NDT, was a four-time NDT elimination round participant, and the 5th speaker in both 2008 and 2009. He was an assistant coach at Harvard from 2009-2011.
Arjun Vellayappan is a sophomore debater at Northwestern. This year, Arjun and his partner Peyton Lee have won the Kentucky, Harvard and Wake tournaments as well as placed second at the Kentucky Round Robin. As a freshman, Arjun won the Wake and UNLV tournaments and reached the quarterfinals of the National Debate Tournament. In addition, he was a highly successful high school debater at Lexington, reaching finals of the Tournament of Champions and winning the Harvard Round Robin as a senior. He currently works as an assistant coach at Lexington and this will be his second summer teaching at the Northwestern Debate Institute.
Dave Arnett is Head coach at the University of Kentucky. Before this year Dave was the Director of Debate at the University of California, Berkeley for twelve years where he coached 12 teams to first rounds. He has coached two NDT finalists, one CEDA national championship team, three Copeland Award winners, and the winners of almost every major college tournament including: Harvard, The Dartmouth Robin, Wake Forest, Kentucky, Northwestern, USC, Fullerton, and Gonzaga. Dave was selected the Ross Smith National Coach of the Year Award in 2009 and voted runner-up for Coach of the Decade.
Andrea Reed is the Director of Debate at the University of Kentucky. Andrea is truly one of the rising stars in the college debate world. Prior to arriving at Kentucky, she was an assistant coach at Berkeley and Wake Forest. She coached the 2008 NDT Champion and 2008 Second place team. She debated in college at Michigan State, reaching the elimination rounds of the NDT and CEDA national tournaments, and in high school at Highland Park, TX, where she reached the semi-finals of the TOC.
Jeff Buntin is a debate coach at Northwestern University. In his four years at NU, the Wildcats have won the NDT, reached the final round twice, and the semifinals once; won every major invitational tournament; and twice won the Dartmouth Round Robin. Jeff is widely considered one of the best researchers and argument coaches in college debate, and in the past he has overseen the Institute's research curriculum. There is no one better from whom to learn the craft of argument development and execution.
Eric Oddo is the Speech and Debate Coordinator for Niles Township High Schools and Teacher and Debate Coach at Niles West High School in Skokie, Illinois. This is his first year teaching at the Northwestern Debate Institute. In only three years as a reestablished program, Niles West has qualified a team to the NFL Nationals Tournament and the Tournament of Champions. His teams have won speaker awards at several varsity tournaments such as Wake Forest, Dowling Catholic, Ohio Valley, the Pine Crest Round Robin, the University of Michigan Juniors Round Robin and the IHSA Illinois Varsity state tournament. His novice and junior varsity debaters have cleared at multiple tournaments and have won tournaments such as Dowling Catholic and Ohio Valley. In the past two years, Niles West was Novice State Champions, Novice Midwest Champions and Quarterfinalists at 1st/2nd Year Nationals, and in JV were Semifinalists of State, Semifinalists of the Midwest Championships and were Finalists at 1st/2nd Year Nationals.
Eric was an Assistant Debate Coach at New Trier Township High School in Winnekta, Illinois for nine years, and also debated at New Trier. During high school, Eric advanced to the late elimination rounds or won tournaments such as Berkeley, MBA, Ohio Valley, Greenhill, USC, and Georgetown. Eric also received numerous speaker awards throughout his time debating at New Trier.
Eli Anders is a graduate student at Johns Hopkins. For the past three years, he has coached at Harvard. As a debater at Harvard, he received the third ranked first-round bid to the National Debate Tournament, which he attended all four years of college. In high school, Eli debated for the College Preparatory School, where he reached the finals of the TOC twice, winning in 2003. This will be Eli’s first summer at the Northwestern Debate Institute.
Tara Tate is the Director of Debate at Glenbrook South High School. She is a highly successful coach and has taught at numerous Institutes including Michigan, Michigan State, North Texas, and Miami (OH). Tara has coached TOC finalists, TOC Top Speakers, and NFL Champions. Tara is known for her excellent teaching skills and work with young debaters. This will be Tara's third year working with the NU Debate Institute and coordinating the Sophomore program.
Matt Fisher is a Senior Northwestern debater and along with his partner Stephanie Spies was named the 2010 champions of the Harvard tournament where Matt was also Top Speaker. Matt’s junior season was spectacular reaching the finals at the NDT and was the runner up for the 2010 Copeland Award. He was also the champion of the Gonzaga, Wake Forest and both halves of the Berkeley Swing. In addition, he reached the finals at Texas where he was Top Speaker. He was a semifinalist at the 2009 NDT, and was the 2009 Copeland award winner. Matt has reached elimination rounds at the NDT as a Freshman, Sophomore and Junior. He is a TOC champion, TOC top speaker, and NFL champion for Glenbrook North High School. He has previously taught at the Northwestern Debate Institute, and at the Berkeley Summer Institute.