Who is at the Helm?

The Founders of the Helmsmen Institute are all champions in Stoa, with outstanding achievements in high school, and they went on to attend a University with a Forensic Program ranked in the top 10 in the Nation. The Founders of the Helmsmen Institute cumulatively have over 35 years of experience in competition or coaching Speech and Debate and are experienced in assisting debaters to become the best individuals and debaters they can be. The Helmsmen Institute Board of Directors consists of college and high school forensic coaches with over 85 years of experience altogether, and are present to guide staff and students alike through teaching and coaching. The Coaching Staff is handpicked to include the most elite and grounded individuals in Stoa, and are selected based on success, integrity, and their continued involvement with speech and debate. Every Helmsmen representative is among the nationally recognized for speech and debate skills, knowledge, coaching and competition.

 
 
 

DENISE SPRIMONT

President, Co-Founder and Leadership Team Member. Lincoln Douglas Lead Strategist, Apologetics Strategist, Original Oratory Strategist

Denise Sprimont competed in both speech and debate for 7 years in STOA and is now the debate coach of SCARLET, her home team, and she has enjoyed every moment. Throughout her high school career, Denise was blessed to compete in 9 speech events, and Lincoln Douglas and Parliamentary debate, and finished the season 10th in the nation in Lincoln Douglas. She went on to Concordia University Irvine, where she is a History/Political Thought major with a Law and Politics Minor and is going into her Junior year in the Fall. She now competes at the college level in Parliamentary Debate, and has received speaker awards, won a tournament, and competed at NPDA nationals. Denise feels truly grateful to have received not only the gift of debate but also of mentorship, friendship and is amazed by the way God shaped her life and faith through STOA.

 

DAVID VASQUEZ

Vice President, Leadership Team Member and Co-Founder. Team Policy Lead Strategist, Parliamentary Debate Lead Strategist and Extemporaneous Lead Strategist.

David Vasquez competed in both Team Policy Debate and Parliamentary Debate throughout high school. During his time in highschool, David won numerous 1st places in team policy debate and parliamentary debate, both in the speaker category and the debate category. Throughout his college career, David has been a valuable team member to the Concordia Debate program, aiding the Forensic club in placing in the top 10 debate programs for the past two years that David has been a competitor at Concordia University, Irvine.

 

MEGHAN GLEESON 

Helmsmen Contributer.

Meghan Gleeson has 10 years of experience in Speech and Debate. She competed in STOA Homeschool Speech and Debate for five years and now attends Concordia University Irvine, where she is entering her third year on the debate team. Meghan earned the 4th place Parliamentary speaker award at the National Round Robin of 2018 and was ranked in the 5th place team at the National Parliamentary Debate Association Championship Tournament of 2018. She has coached for elementary and high school students since her High School graduation and has successfully mentored over 13 tournament champions in varying leagues. Meghan strives to help students gain the skills garnered from speech and debate, while passionately serving Christ. She helped found the Helmsmen Institute with the goal of providing affordable and beneficial speech and debate education.

JOSIAH POPP 

Helmsmen Contributer.

Joe Popp has been coaching and competing in speech and debate for a decade, focusing primarily on parliamentary debate and team policy debate. By his final year in Stoa, he was ranked #1 team policy speaker, #1 parliamentary speaker, #1 team policy team, #1 parliamentary team in Washington State, and took the #2 national title for both parliamentary speaker and parliamentary debate. Joe has coached internationally, founding a speech and debate program at China's Peking University in 2014. In his most recent season of collegiate debate, he and his partner David Vasquez were undefeated in defending capitalism and refuting Marxist philosophy.

KAITLYN GLEESON

Helmsmen Contributer.

Kaitlyn is currently a sophomore at Concordia University-Irvine, and debates on the Varsity Travel Debate Team. She participated in competitive speech and debate for seven years and has helped teach debate classes for three. Kaitlyn has received numerous awards throughout her debate and speech career, including placing 18th in Team Policy Speaks, 16th in Team Policy Debate, and 19th in Parliamentary Debate at NITOC. In Persuasive, she won 1st, 2nd, and 3rd place at multiple tournaments, and finished the year as 10th speaker in the nation. In this past year, she went undefeated at a tournament in her first year at Concordia, and received 3rd place speaker at CSU Long Beach. She is currently majoring in Humanities with an emphasis in Creative Writing as well as pursuing minors in English and Business Marketing. Kaitlyn enjoys spending time with her friends, drumming, and going to the beach.

JORDAN SMITH

Helmsmen Contributor. 

Jordan Smith competed in Stoa for four years. He competed in all types of debate and speech, including Team Policy debate, Lincoln Douglas debate, Parliamentary debate, Limited Preparation speeches, Platform, and Interpretive speeches. He was in a total of 23 finals rounds. If you were to ask him what his favorite event was and what the most important think Stoa taught him there would be a common denominator–Apologetics. On the side his major passions include classical piano, shooting guns, and ham radio. He welds for a living–a passion and dream come true. Now it is time for him to learn to communicate the good news and truth of Christ in the real world-exactly what Stoa strives to equip young adults to do.

MAGGIE TOPPER AMOS

Apologetics Lead Strategist and Mars Hill Lead Strategist.

Maggie Amos (formerly Maggie Topper) competed in STOA Speech and Debate for 6 years, and has gone on to continue coaching numerous students in competitive forensics. Maggie finished her final year in STOA, 2014-2015, ranked #4 in the nation in overall speech and debate rankings, as well as #1 in Apologetics after winning four 1st place trophies. She placed 2nd in Mars Hill Impromptu at the National Invitational Tournament of Champions. After graduating high school, Maggie knew she wanted to pour in to the community that had poured so much into her. She has since coached at a number of different speech and debate camps, hosted a few of her own, and taken on several private students. Maggie is so excited to be on the team of the Helmsman Institute as a new outlet to share her experience and give back to the speech and debate community.

DAVIS CULY

Lincoln Douglas Debate Strategist.

Since his first debate round, Davis Culy has been passionate about Lincoln Douglas Value Debate and the community that surrounds it. During his third and final year in Stoa, Davis was blessed with earning 1st place in Lincoln Douglas at the National Invitational Tournament of Champions(NITOC) and 4th place Lincoln Douglas speaker as well. Additionally, he had the unique opportunity of competing in the World Schools Debate league, where he was blessed with earning 1st place and several 3rd place ranks throughout the year. Davis’s competition in this league helped diversify his analytical and refutations skills from both national and global perspectives. He is passionate about sharing how to debate with a mix of analysis, logic, and evidence. Davis will be attending Colorado Christian University to further pursue his passion of following Jesus Christ and learning about political science.

AIDAN LONGRIDGE

Platform Strategist, Original Oratory Lead Strategist and Expository Lead Strategist.

Aidan Longridge has over 4 years of experience in Speech and Debate. He competed in STOA Homeschool Speech and Debate for two years and now is an assistant coach at Veritas CA, where he is entering his third year of helping students succeed.  Aidan earned the place of national 2nd place Original Oratory speaker in 2016 and has been decorated at the highest level in multiple public speaking competitions. He has coached students at every level of experience since his graduation and has mentored STOA platform speech champions for the past two years.   Aidan believes that Speech and Debate is the most helpful and productive activity that students can engage in, and strives to bring that passion to everything he does. He joined the Helmsmen Institute to further the cause of Christ by providing all students with skills they need to make the world a better place.

REBEKAH VEHRS

Lincoln Douglas Strategist.

Rebekah Vehrs competed in STOA Homeschool Speech and Debate for five years, and has coached for the past four years. Throughout her career in speech and debate, Rebekah won several tournaments in Extemporaneous speaking, Lincoln-Douglas debate, and Parliamentary debate. As a junior, she won the national championship in Parliamentary debate, received 2nd place speaker, and placed 2nd in Lincoln-Douglas debate. In her senior year, she placed 1st in Lincoln-Douglas debate at several tournaments before ending the year as 1st place speaker nationally. Rebekah has since coached Lincoln-Douglas, Parliamentary, and Extemporaneous for a very successful club and a fantastic group of students.

RACHEL COCHRANE 

Original Interpretation Lead Strategist.

Rachel Cochrane has 5 years of experience in Speech and Debate. She competed in STOA Homeschool Speech and Debate; spending five years in speech and four years in debate. She is attending Patrick Henry College where she plans to be involved in Model UN as well as Theater. Rachel was awarded 1st place speaker in Open Interpretation at the San Diego Epilogue Tournament 2018, and was ranked 5th in the nation for that event. She earned 6th place in Lincoln Douglas Debate at the National Invitation Tournament of the Champions 2018, and was 8th speaker in Lincoln Douglas Debate. Rachel strives to help students communicate God’s truth to the best of their abilities and is thrilled at the opportunity to give back to the STOA community.

SAMUEL LANG

Team Policy Strategist.

I competed in speech and debate for three years in high school. I was initially forced into the activity but
God used it to benefit me in ways I never expected. My most successful event was team policy debate. I
went to NITOC all three years, and my success peaked my final year collecting two first-place trophies
with my partner Joshua Jackson and achieving a third place at NITOC. In the fall I will start my freshman
year at Cal Poly in San Luis Obispo to study Architecture.

 

GRANT SMITH 

Lincoln Douglas Strategist.

Grant Smith competed in speech and debate in Stoa for 3 years in high school.  He did Lincoln Douglas debate, parliamentary debate, extemporaneous, apologetics, and expository.  In Lincoln Douglas debate, he has achieved four 6-0 records, placing 3rd, 4th, 5th, and 6th at several Stoa tournaments and 12th at NITOC in 2016.  He won the Concordia Challenge Lincoln Douglas 1st Speaker Award and the Inland Club Challenge Lincoln Douglas 1st Speaker Award in 2017.  He also took 4th in expository speaking at NITOC in 2016.  Grant currently attends Cal Poly in San Luis Obispo, where he is studying civil engineering.  He finds time to pursue his love for music in addition to serving in Cru and at his church.

DENISE SPRIMONT

President, Co-Founder and Leadership Team Member. Lincoln Douglas Lead Strategist, Apologetics Strategist, Original Oratory Strategist

Denise Sprimont competed in both speech and debate for 7 years in STOA and is now the debate coach of SCARLET, her home team, and she has enjoyed every moment. Throughout her high school career, Denise was blessed to compete in 9 speech events, and Lincoln Douglas and Parliamentary debate, and finished the season 10th in the nation in Lincoln Douglas. She went on to Concordia University Irvine, where she is a History/Political Thought major with a Law and Politics Minor and is going into her Junior year in the Fall. She now competes at the college level in Parliamentary Debate, and has received speaker awards, won a tournament, and competed at NPDA nationals. Denise feels truly grateful to have received not only the gift of debate but also of mentorship, friendship and is amazed by the way God shaped her life and faith through STOA.

 

DAVID VASQUEZ

Vice President, Leadership Team Member and Co-Founder. Team Policy Lead Strategist, Parliamentary Debate Lead Strategist and Extemporaneous Lead Strategist.

David Vasquez competed in both Team Policy Debate and Parliamentary Debate throughout high school. During his time in highschool, David won numerous 1st places in team policy debate and parliamentary debate, both in the speaker category and the debate category. Throughout his college career, David has been a valuable team member to the Concordia Debate program, aiding the Forensic club in placing in the top 10 debate programs for the past two years that David has been a competitor at Concordia University, Irvine.

 

MEGHAN GLEESON 

Helmsmen Contributer.

Meghan Gleeson has 10 years of experience in Speech and Debate. She competed in STOA Homeschool Speech and Debate for five years and now attends Concordia University Irvine, where she is entering her third year on the debate team. Meghan earned the 4th place Parliamentary speaker award at the National Round Robin of 2018 and was ranked in the 5th place team at the National Parliamentary Debate Association Championship Tournament of 2018. She has coached for elementary and high school students since her High School graduation and has successfully mentored over 13 tournament champions in varying leagues. Meghan strives to help students gain the skills garnered from speech and debate, while passionately serving Christ. She helped found the Helmsmen Institute with the goal of providing affordable and beneficial speech and debate education.

JOSIAH POPP 

Helmsmen Contributer.

Joe Popp has been coaching and competing in speech and debate for a decade, focusing primarily on parliamentary debate and team policy debate. By his final year in Stoa, he was ranked #1 team policy speaker, #1 parliamentary speaker, #1 team policy team, #1 parliamentary team in Washington State, and took the #2 national title for both parliamentary speaker and parliamentary debate. Joe has coached internationally, founding a speech and debate program at China's Peking University in 2014. In his most recent season of collegiate debate, he and his partner David Vasquez were undefeated in defending capitalism and refuting Marxist philosophy.

KAITLYN GLEESON

Helmsmen Contributer.

Kaitlyn is currently a sophomore at Concordia University-Irvine, and debates on the Varsity Travel Debate Team. She participated in competitive speech and debate for seven years and has helped teach debate classes for three. Kaitlyn has received numerous awards throughout her debate and speech career, including placing 18th in Team Policy Speaks, 16th in Team Policy Debate, and 19th in Parliamentary Debate at NITOC. In Persuasive, she won 1st, 2nd, and 3rd place at multiple tournaments, and finished the year as 10th speaker in the nation. In this past year, she went undefeated at a tournament in her first year at Concordia, and received 3rd place speaker at CSU Long Beach. She is currently majoring in Humanities with an emphasis in Creative Writing as well as pursuing minors in English and Business Marketing. Kaitlyn enjoys spending time with her friends, drumming, and going to the beach.

JORDAN SMITH

Helmsmen Contributor. 

Jordan Smith competed in Stoa for four years. He competed in all types of debate and speech, including Team Policy debate, Lincoln Douglas debate, Parliamentary debate, Limited Preparation speeches, Platform, and Interpretive speeches. He was in a total of 23 finals rounds. If you were to ask him what his favorite event was and what the most important think Stoa taught him there would be a common denominator–Apologetics. On the side his major passions include classical piano, shooting guns, and ham radio. He welds for a living–a passion and dream come true. Now it is time for him to learn to communicate the good news and truth of Christ in the real world-exactly what Stoa strives to equip young adults to do.

MAGGIE TOPPER AMOS

Apologetics Lead Strategist and Mars Hill Lead Strategist.

Maggie Amos (formerly Maggie Topper) competed in STOA Speech and Debate for 6 years, and has gone on to continue coaching numerous students in competitive forensics. Maggie finished her final year in STOA, 2014-2015, ranked #4 in the nation in overall speech and debate rankings, as well as #1 in Apologetics after winning four 1st place trophies. She placed 2nd in Mars Hill Impromptu at the National Invitational Tournament of Champions. After graduating high school, Maggie knew she wanted to pour in to the community that had poured so much into her. She has since coached at a number of different speech and debate camps, hosted a few of her own, and taken on several private students. Maggie is so excited to be on the team of the Helmsman Institute as a new outlet to share her experience and give back to the speech and debate community.

DAVIS CULY

Lincoln Douglas Debate Strategist.

Since his first debate round, Davis Culy has been passionate about Lincoln Douglas Value Debate and the community that surrounds it. During his third and final year in Stoa, Davis was blessed with earning 1st place in Lincoln Douglas at the National Invitational Tournament of Champions(NITOC) and 4th place Lincoln Douglas speaker as well. Additionally, he had the unique opportunity of competing in the World Schools Debate league, where he was blessed with earning 1st place and several 3rd place ranks throughout the year. Davis’s competition in this league helped diversify his analytical and refutations skills from both national and global perspectives. He is passionate about sharing how to debate with a mix of analysis, logic, and evidence. Davis will be attending Colorado Christian University to further pursue his passion of following Jesus Christ and learning about political science.

AIDAN LONGRIDGE

Platform Strategist, Original Oratory Lead Strategist and Expository Lead Strategist.

Aidan Longridge has over 4 years of experience in Speech and Debate. He competed in STOA Homeschool Speech and Debate for two years and now is an assistant coach at Veritas CA, where he is entering his third year of helping students succeed.  Aidan earned the place of national 2nd place Original Oratory speaker in 2016 and has been decorated at the highest level in multiple public speaking competitions. He has coached students at every level of experience since his graduation and has mentored STOA platform speech champions for the past two years.   Aidan believes that Speech and Debate is the most helpful and productive activity that students can engage in, and strives to bring that passion to everything he does. He joined the Helmsmen Institute to further the cause of Christ by providing all students with skills they need to make the world a better place.

REBEKAH VEHRS

Helmsmen Contributer.

Rebekah Vehrs competed in STOA Homeschool Speech and Debate for five years, and has coached for the past four years. Throughout her career in speech and debate, Rebekah won several tournaments in Extemporaneous speaking, Lincoln-Douglas debate, and Parliamentary debate. As a junior, she won the national championship in Parliamentary debate, received 2nd place speaker, and placed 2nd in Lincoln-Douglas debate. In her senior year, she placed 1st in Lincoln-Douglas debate at several tournaments before ending the year as 1st place speaker nationally. Rebekah has since coached Lincoln-Douglas, Parliamentary, and Extemporaneous for a very successful club and a fantastic group of students.

RACHEL COCHRANE 

Original Interpretation Lead Strategist.

Rachel Cochrane has 5 years of experience in Speech and Debate. She competed in STOA Homeschool Speech and Debate; spending five years in speech and four years in debate. She is attending Patrick Henry College where she plans to be involved in Model UN as well as Theater. Rachel was awarded 1st place speaker in Open Interpretation at the San Diego Epilogue Tournament 2018, and was ranked 5th in the nation for that event. She earned 6th place in Lincoln Douglas Debate at the National Invitation Tournament of the Champions 2018, and was 8th speaker in Lincoln Douglas Debate. Rachel strives to help students communicate God’s truth to the best of their abilities and is thrilled at the opportunity to give back to the STOA community.

GRANT SMITH 

Lincoln Douglas Strategist.

Grant Smith competed in speech and debate in Stoa for 3 years in high school.  He did Lincoln Douglas debate, parliamentary debate, extemporaneous, apologetics, and expository.  In Lincoln Douglas debate, he has achieved four 6-0 records, placing 3rd, 4th, 5th, and 6th at several Stoa tournaments and 12th at NITOC in 2016.  He won the Concordia Challenge Lincoln Douglas 1st Speaker Award and the Inland Club Challenge Lincoln Douglas 1st Speaker Award in 2017.  He also took 4th in expository speaking at NITOC in 2016.  Grant currently attends Cal Poly in San Luis Obispo, where he is studying civil engineering.  He finds time to pursue his love for music in addition to serving in Cru and at his church.

SAMUEL LANG

Team Policy Strategist.

Samuel Lang competed in speech and debate for three years in high school. He was initially forced into the activity but God used it to benefit him in ways he never expected. His most successful event was Team Policy debate. He
went to NITOC all three years, and his success peaked his final year. His Senior year, he received two first-place trophies with his partner Joshua Jackson and achieved a third place title at NITOC. In the fall, he will start his freshman year at Cal Poly in San Luis Obispo to study Architecture.

 

MATTHEW EVANS

Team Policy Strategist.

Matthew Evans participated in speech and debate for five years: five years of Team Policy, three years of Parliamentary, and one year of Extemporaneous. His debate highlights in Stoa were winning Team Policy at the Ready Response Tournament his fourth year with his incredible partner Sophia Holland; in addition, placing top ten at every tournament his fifth year with another incredible partner Jacob Hatcher. Matthew’s highlights in Extemp were winning the Blossom Festival, as well as placing fifth at NITOC. Currently, Matthew is majoring in finance and (most likely) computer science at the Franciscan University of Steubenville, Ohio. He enjoys helping people in debate, taking long hikes, petting dogs, and praising God (not in that order). 

MATTIS BELLONCLE 

Team Policy Strategist.

Mattis Belloncle first discovered a deep passion for debate in high school, during which he competed in Parliamentary Debate and Team Policy Debate alongside several speech events for three years. His senior year, he won four tournaments in Team Policy Debate, culminating in a second place finish at the National Invitational Tournament of Champions. He also won seven 1st place speaker awards in Team Policy debate. Mattis ended the year as the highest ranked team in Team Policy, the third highest ranked team in Parliamentary Debate, and the second highest ranked Team Policy speaker. He hopes to pass on his passion for debate to students, showing them why it is an activity worth learning, worth doing, and worth loving.

 

JEAN-LUC BELLONCLE

Team Policy Strategist.

Jean-Luc Belloncle competed in Stoa for three years, during which he participated in parliamentary debate, team policy debate, and numerous speech events. In Stoa during the 2016-2017 competition season, Jean-Luc was ranked 1st nationally in Team policy speaking, and won the national title for team policy speaking at the National Invitational Tournament of Champions. In 2018, Jean-Luc was ranked 1st nationally in Team Policy debate, 3rd nationally in Team Policy speaking, 7th nationally in parliamentary debate, and 10th in Extemporaneous speaking. At the moment, Jean-Luc is attending Hillsdale college in Michigan, where he plans to double major in politics and economics. Outside of debate, Jean-Luc enjoys owning cats, hiking, playing chess, and discussing politics.

JEFFREY PISTOR

Parliamentary Debate Strategist.

Jeffrey Pistor competed in STOA debate for 5 years and STOA speech for 2 years. During his Junior and Senior year, he also competed in the World Schools Debate league where he interacted with high school debaters from all over the world. Jeffrey enjoyed success in debate that he would have never dreamed of had it not been for several key mentors coming alongside and supporting him. Because of the influence they had on him, Jeffrey enjoys coaching and mentoring the next wave of orators and see them realize their potential. As a college student, he has become increasingly more appreciative of the value and potential high school forensics can have to equip one to conquer for Christ’s Kingdom. He is ecstatic to be a part of this team that will nurture future world changers.

 
 
 
 
 

NATHANIEL ARROYAVE

Lincoln Douglas Debate Strategist.

Nathaniel Arroyave has been speaking and debating competitively since 2008 and competed in Lincoln-Douglas and Parliamentary Debate for four years. He competed in Stoa for five years and was blessed to qualify for NITOC every year that he competed. Nathaniel is currently a Business major at Point Loma Nazarene University and a member of the debate team. He enjoys playing guitar and singing, as well as hiding from his responsibilities with a book and cup of coffee. In his final competitive season, Nathaniel was ranked 1st in Parliamentary Speaking in California, 4th in California and 9th in the country in Lincoln-Douglas Speaking, and 4th in California and 6th in the country in Lincoln-Douglas Debate. He is passionate about research and learning, and believes earnest, genuine, and polite debate is one of the best ways to seek the truth.

 

TOM SPRIMONT

Executive Board Member

Mr. Sprimont’s career spans thirty-seven years with positions in Fortune 1000 companies such as Boeing, HP, General Motors, and Gould, and with SMBs as Haskell, Rogerson Aircraft, and CMD Technology. He held executive leadership roles with startups. He has consulted on large scale systems engineering projects for the Air Force, DARPA, the Navy, EDS, BDM, and Bechtel. His expertise includes building IT and software development organizations, the application of technology to business, strategic planning, and innovation through Six Sigma principles. Mr. Sprimont has taught classes at UCLA and delivered keynote speeches and technical papers on topics such as integrated databases, computer-aided engineering and design, and the application of technology. He has judged Stoa speech and debate events for six years, and is the Tournament Director for The Big Whig, and advises Stoa leadership on updating software requirements to include the evolving needs of competition.

FORREST MCFARLAND

Humorous Interpretation Lead Strategist.

Forrest McFarland has been involved in forensics for 13 years. Growing up as a timer, he went on to compete in STOA from the time of its creation until his graduation in 2015. during that time he became a national champion in duo interpretation qualifying six events to final rounds at NITOC during his career. He finished his senior year 1st in the Nation in Duo Interpretation and 3rd in the Nation in Humorous Interpretation. He now attends Concordia University Irvine where he is entering his third year on the speech team. So far, Forrest has qualified on the college national circuit every year he has competed. He was the tournament champion of the National Jannese Davidson Tournament where he placed 1st in Open Dramatic Interpretation, 2nd in After Dinner Speaking, 3rd in Prose Interpretation, and 4th in Impromptu. He has coached STOA competitors to national rankings at NITOC and is passionate about employing forensics as a platform to further the Kingdom of God.

 

DEETTE SPRIMONT

Executive Board Member

DeEtte Sprimont has been involved in Stoa since 2010, as a parent, coach, club camp director, and co-director of a debate tournament. Prior to homeschooling her three children, she was a public school teacher for 14 years, where she was also a director of student activities, a yearbook advisor, and a marathon running coach. As the West Coast Director of a mentoring program for three years, her work included customizing the mentoring programs and training manuals, recruiting and training the mentors for each school, and serving as a consultant once the programs were launched. She is overwhelmed by the grace and mercy of God, and her greatest joy is to glorify and honor Him in her daily life.

YAW KYEREMATENG

Executive Board Member

Originally from Ghana, Yaw (pronounced Yeow) earned a BA in Environmental Health Science/French and an MA in Communication with an emphasis in Health and Performance Studies, both from the University of Northern Iowa. While in Ghana, Yaw competed in British Parliamentary debate and switched to Speech and Model UN at the University of Northern Iowa. As a graduate student, he coached he UNI Speech team for 2years. Currently, Yaw is the Director of Forensics at Concordia University Irvine, where he’s been coaching since 2014. Yaw is passionate about helping students find their utmost passion within their respective speech topics and events. "Public speaking is a subject of great trepidation and uncertainty for many people. My zeal for the craft also urges me to assist students to overcome that fear and worry."

AMANDA OZAKI-LAUGHON

Executive Board Member

Amanda is the Director of Debate at Concordia University Irvine and has a cumulative 11 years of experience competing in and coaching debate. She graduated from Concordia University Irvine in 2015, and debated on CUI's debate team for four years, during which time they won the 2013 and 2015 NPDA Sweepstakes National Championship awards. During her time as Director of Debate, Amanda has been awarded Coach of the Year by Washburn University and Assistant Coach of the Year by the National Parliamentary Tournament of Excellence. In addition to coaching collegiate debate, Amanda was the assistant and head coach at the Apollos Debate Club from 2014-2015, during which time an Apollos team won the NITOC championship in Team Policy. When she isn't coaching, she is usually eating churros in Disneyland.

KONRAD HACK

Executive Board Member

Konrad Hack is an Assistant Professor of Communication Studies at Concordia University Irvine. For 10 years, Konrad served as the founding director of Concordia's forensics team. During his tenure, the squad captured the 2013 and 2015 NPDA National tournament sweepstakes championship, and placed second in 2014, 2016, and 2017. A member of the Board of Elders at his church, Light of Christ Lutheran, Konrad is the proud father of two adorable boys.

 
 
 
 
 

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