WUDL Prepares for 3rd Annual Summer Debate Institute


The National Urban Debate Conference is over, and the 3rd annual Matthew H Ornstein Washington Summer Debate Institute is rapidly approaching. Funded by a generous grant from the Matthew H. Ornstein Foundation every year, the summer debate institute is the biggest single program of the WUDL.

  • In 2015, the Institute served 38 students over the course of a week.

  • In 2016, the Institute served 77 students over the course of a week, and had a waiting list over 30 students long.

In 2017, we have some ambitious changes in store that reflect the maturation of the WUDL and the growth of our students. This year, we'll offer 112 seats, AND offer a two week program for returning students. About 55 returning students will make up our two JV labs and our Varsity lab, while our Novice labs are, as usual, over-capacity with a large waiting list. We couldn't be happier at the growth of the league, or at the expansion of the summer camp.

The WUDL Summer Debate Institute has one of the best staffs that can be hired from around the nation. We pride ourselves on our national talent search, with the goal of bringing the best instructors to work with our students. We value experience working with students (especially as a teacher), experience with both middle and high school students, and experience working with our partner Urban Debate Leagues.

This year, we're excited to bring back all of our lab leaders from last year (and several other staff members), and supplement them both with some local talent, and with some outstanding newcomers to the WUDL community.

Novice Lab #1:

Reka Fink--University of Minnesota Law Student, Coach at the 2016 Baker Cup Champions, The Blake School, alum of the UNT and Harvard debate institutes and MNUDL Volunteer.

Jonathan Gonzalez--Recent graduate of William and Mary Law School, former debater at the University of South Florida, co-director of their debate institute, and frequent WUDL Volunteer

Selah Bey--Debate Coach and English Teacher at Washington Latin PCS, formerly of the BUDL. Her 6th graders made it to Junior Varsity this year, and Washington Latin has the largest contingent of any school at camp this year.

Novice Lab #2

Rachel Stevens--Founder of Debatehelp.org, and former director of Debate Central through the National Youth Policy Center. Rachel is working at several institutes this summer across the mid-west.

Wayne Young--Alumni of the BUDL and Coach/Tab Director of the Elementary/Middle School Programs

Conor Cameron--Math Teacher and Debate Coach at Solario Academy in Chicago (Chicago UDL). His teams qualified to NAUDL nationals this year

Novice Lab #3

Kevin Whitley--CEDA Champion and BUDL Alum, Kevin is a graduate assistant at Wake Forest, where he coaches the policy debate team

Taylor Allums--All American Debater and captain of the University of Florida Debate Team, and coach at Oak Hall Academy (and a former student of mine). Taylor specializes in disability and ableism studies.

Kate Scolaro--Taylor's debate partner, and the new debate captain of the University of Florida Debate Team, Kate is the other coach at Oak Hall.

Junior Varsity Lab #1

Tommye Weddington--Tommye is a PHD student who debated for the University of Rochester. He has coached and worked at debate camps in the NYCUDL

Hunter McCullough--Former program director of the Houston UDL, Hunter now coaches at Highland Park in Dallas, Texas

Nate Nys--A former student of Reka's, Nate is now a champion debater at the University of Wake Forest. He's working at their summer institute this summer.

Junior Varsity Lab #2

Natalie Bennie--Natalie is a Fulbright Scholar just returned from teaching english and debate in Germany. Part of one of the first all female teams to advance at the NDT out of Samford University, she was part of the USA Debate Travel Team, and a coach, instructor, and volunteer at the Birmingham UDL.

David Trigaux--WUDL Director

Jazmine Pickens--Debater at the University of Oklahoma, Jazmine coaches multiple high school teams and has worked at both Facebook and the BAUDL

Varsity Lab

Dr. Nick Sciullo--Professor and Debate Coach at Illinois College, Nick won the Garrison award for best new college program this year. Nick has previously coached champion teams at Georgia State, the University of Richmond, and at several high schools in northern Virginia.

Richard Day--Former Baker Cup winner and Georgetown debater, Richard is a board member of the WUDL, coaches the travel team, and does judge training for the league.

Khalil Lee--A DC native, Khalil debated under legendary debate coach "Tuna" Snyder at the University of Vermont, and is now a graduate assistant at Wake Forest, where he coaches the policy debate team.

Jon Alfuth--Former debate coach and program director of the Memphis UDL, Jon works for the US Department of Education, but will be transferring to Senate Minority Whip Durbin's office in the fall.

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