This year, we’re fortunate to welcome back some excellent lecturers for our Free Debate Workshop Series as well as introduce some new faces! If you were on the fence about attending our free workshops August 24 and September 7, we’re certain you can’t turn down a chance to hear from this impressive group!
Louie is the Assistant Director of Debate at the University of North Texas. Louie previously coached at Missouri State University where he earned his Master’s in Communication Studies. He debated at William Jewell College where he won several speaker awards and elimination rounds as a collegiate debater. Coach of 2008 National Debate Tournament and Cross Examination Debate Association National Tournament Semifinalist, Louie has established himself as one of the nation’s top rising collegiate coaches. He has coached three teams to a First Round At Large Bids to the National Debate Tournament as well as the Top Speaker at the 2008 and 2009 National Debate Tournament, 2008 CEDA National Tournament, the 2008 and 2009 University of Kentucky Tournament, and the 2009 Wake Forest University Tournament. Louie has immense experience working with high school students. He has taught at the University of North Texas (Mean Green Workshops), the University of Texas-Dallas (Comet Debate Institute), University of Kansas Jayhawk Debate Institute, Michigan State University (Spartan Debate Institute), Missouri State University Debate Institute, and University of Missouri Kansas City Summer Debate Institute. He currently serves as an assistant coach of the Glenbrook North debate team, the 2013 Tournament of Champions (TOC) Finalist and the National Forensic League (NFL) Champions. Before coaching at Glenbrook North, Louie assisted at the Woodward Academy, Blue Springs High School, and Carrollton of the Sacred Heart.
Formerly a coach at Kansas State University, Scott Herndon has been at The University of Texas at Dallas since 2002. In that time, UT Dallas has qualified for the National Debate Tournament (NDT) seven years in a row, received invitations to the Kentucky and the Dartmouth Round Robin competitions, reached the quarterfinals of the NDT in 2010 and the elimination debates of Cross Examination Debate Association (CEDA) nationals for eight consecutive years. An experienced instructor and judge, he has been a debate camp instructor at the World Debate Institute, Baylor University, International Debate Education Association Conference and the University of Kansas. Herndon was recognized as the CEDA Southwest Region Critic of the Year in 2004 and 2009.
Kris Wright is a Teach for America alumnus and currently the Director of Forensics at the Judge Barefoot Sanders Law Magnet. Kris graduated from the University of Texas at Austin with a B.A. in Philosophy and Government, and a M.A. in Gender Studies. He has a decade of experience successfully coaching LD debate on the local and national circuits, having previously coached LD at Southlake, Westlake, and Marcus High Schools. His LDers have reached the finals of 5A UIL State, semi-finals of TFA state (’06, ’07, ’08, ’11), and one of his students was the 2009 TFA State Champion & Top Speaker. Ten of Kris’ students have qualified to the Tournament of Champions, including a bubble-round contestant, a quarterfinalist, and a semifinalist. And he has qualified 7 students to NFL Nationals in LD, including two eleventh-place finishes. Kris is the co-founder, co-director, and an instructor at the Texas Debate Collective.
Dr. Brian Lain is an Associate Professor and Director of Debate at the University of North Texas (UNT) in Denton, Texas. Dr. Lain has served as Director of Debate at UNT since 2002. During that time he has coached teams to elimination rounds at nearly every policy debate tournament in the United States. UNT debaters under Dr. Lain’s direction have been awarded second in the 2004 Cross Examination Debate Association (CEDA) National Competition, top speaker in the 2009 National Debate Tournament (NDT), ninth place in the NDT in 2009 and 2004, fifth place in the CEDA National Tournament in 2010, District III Champions in 2003, semifinals in the Northwestern University 2004, second place in the National Junior Division Debate Tournament 2010, champion in the National Junior Division Debate Tournament 2011. The program has consistently been ranked in the top 30 programs by NDT points rankings, and was named one of the top 50 programs in the last 50 years. Before working at UNT, Dr. Lain served as a debate coach at The University of Iowa, Emory University, Pace Academy High School, Wayne State University, and the Charlotte Latin School. He coached the 1995 NDT champion form Emory, and has twice coached the NDT top speaker (Iowa and UNT). Dr. Lain has served as the policy director for the Mean Green Workshops high school debate camp since 2003. The Mean Green Workshops are the largest high school debate camp in Texas. Dr. Lain teaches in Rhetorical Studies in the Department of Communication Studies at UNT. Dr. Lain’s research traces the impact of ethnic memorials on national identity in the United States and his dissertation, Remembering Internment, won the 2005 dissertation award from the National Communication Association’s Critical/Cultural Studies Division. Dr. Lain currently serves as chair of the Committee on International Discussion and Debate for the National Communication Association. He participated in the 1995 tour of Japan by U.S. debaters supported by the Japan Debate Association, and has presented at the first, second, and third Tokyo Conferences on Argumentation.
Jason is the Associate Director of Debate at The Hockaday School in Dallas, Texas, the Director of UNT’s Mean Green Debate Workshops, and Co-Owner of PFDebate.com. He taught and coached at Grapevine High School for eight years, where he was Associate Director of Debate and UIL Academic Coordinator. He served on the TFA Executive Council from 2005 to 2009 and the Lone Star NFL District Committee from 2007 to 2009. He is a Ph.D. Candidate in Information Science at UNT, where he continues to assist UNT Debate. Mr. Sykes has coached debate since 1997, and he worked at several summer institutes before establishing UNT’s Mean Green Workshops. His students are highly decorated across several events. Their accomplishments include participation in late elimination rounds at major tournaments in Texas and across the country. At the St. Mark’s tournament in 2006, Jason was presented with the Acolyte Award, which is given annually to the outstanding associate director of debate in the nation. Jason competed in Policy Debate at the University of North Texas. He won several tournaments and speaker awards and advanced to the elimination rounds of more than two-dozen events, including the National Debate Tournament in 2002 and four CEDA National Championship tournaments, where he was honored as an All-American in 2002 and fifteenth speaker in 2000. A native of Nacogdoches, Texas, Jason lives in Denton with his wife Naomi and their two children.