SDI Faculty


Bill Batterman

Associate Director of Debate at Woodward Academy

Bill is one of high school debate’s most passionate coaches and summer workshop instructors. Returning for his third summer in East Lansing, he will once again be heading the Hoya-Spartan Scholars program. The founder of, Bill has been honored with the WDCA Coach of the Year Award, the NDCA Service Award, and the NDCA Educator of the Year and is currently a member of both the NDCA Board and the TOC Advisory Committee. Competitively, Bill has coached top speakers at many of the country’s most prestigious tournaments including Wake Forest, St. Mark’s, and Harvard and has coached students to the elimination rounds of every major national tournament. In less than two years at Woodward, Bill’s teams have already won the Georgia State Championship, reached the elimination rounds of the TOC, and won the Heart of Texas Invitational at St. Mark’s. Students that have worked with him during the summer celebrate his enthusiasm, work ethic, and dedication to their improvement. Bill will be teaching in the Hoya-Spartan program.

MaggieMaggie Berthiaume

Director of Debate at Woodward Academy

Maggie is joining us for the first time this summer. As debater for Dartmouth College, she reached the quarterfinals of the NDT and the semifinals of CEDA Nationals in 2005. She is a 2012 inductee to the Key Coaches of the Barkley Forum at Emory University and is a five year member of the NDCA Board. In 2011-2012, Maggie coached the NDCA National Champions, the champions of St. Mark's, UGA, and Vestavia, and the top speaker at the NDCA Championship and the Tournament of Champions. Her teams have twice won the Georgia State Championship. She is also the former Director of Debate at Chattahoochee and Lexington.


Bruce Najor

Debate Coach at Wayne State University

Bruce is the Associate Debate Coach at Wayne State University where he is in charge of strategy development and day-to-day coaching.  In the last 5 years, he's qualified 9 teams to the National Debate Tournament (NDT).  His teams have reached elimination rounds at every "major" collegiate tournament in the country, including the 9th seed at the NDT.  As a high school coach, Bruce revived national circuit travel at Brother Rice and qualified a team to the TOC with five bids in only two years.  As a debater Bruce won top 20 speaker awards and qualified for late elimination rounds at major collegiate tournaments and won the inaugural Big 10 championship tournament.




Ryan Galloway

Director of Debate at Samford University

Ryan debated for George Mason University, and qualified for the National Debate Tournament three times, advancing to the elimination rounds as a junior and senior. Ryan received numerous top ten speaker awards at major national circuit tournaments including the top speaker award at the 1993 Kentucky Tournament. As a coach, Ryan has coached teams to the late elimination rounds of every major national tournament in the country, including numerous teams to the deep elimination rounds of the National Debate Tournament. In 2005, Ryan coached the National Debater of the Year. Ryan is currently an associate professor in the Communication Studies Department at Samford University. He "enjoys" golf, but is not used to actually seeing the ball travel very far or go in the hole.



Jeremy Hammond

Head Debate Coach at Pine Crest High School

Jeremy Hammond is the Head Debate Coach for Pine Crest School in Fort Lauderdale Fl. Jeremy debated for Michigan State University from 2004-2008, where he was named a Co-Champion. Jeremy has coached numerous teams on the high school level including a quarterfinalist of the Tournament of Champions in 2007. During the 2010-2011 season Jeremy’s team reached late elimination rounds of every major high school tournament. At Pine Crest his teams have reached elimination rounds at every tournament attended (so far). Jeremy was also an assistant coach at Michigan State University from 2009-2011, where his accomplishments included coaching the 2009 National Debate Tournament champion and the 2010 Wayne State Tournament champions.


Kristiana BaezKristiana Baez

Coach at Baylor University

Kristiana Baez started her debate career at Norman High School where she competed for four years. She continued to debate at the University of Oklahoma, earning awards at multiple university competitions including the Cross Examination Debate Association national tournament. She received a BA in International Security Studies with a minor in Middle Eastern Studies. Kristiana is currently a Graduate Assistant at Baylor University and is coaching their debate team. She was previously an Assistant Coach for UTSA’s debate program and assisted in coaching students from Caddo Magnet High School. This year she coached Katy Taylor High School and Niles North High School.




CaseyCasey Harrigan

Director of Debate at Michigan State University

Casey Harrigan joined the Honors College in July 2011. He received his MA in Communication from Wake Forest University in 2008 and BA in International Relations from Michigan State University in 2006, where he also won the National Debate Tournament as a member of MSU’s Debate Team. Before returning to MSU, Casey was the Associate Director of Debate at the University of Georgia and is originally from Holland, Michigan.



ScottEllen Zwarensteyn

Director of Debate and Forensics at the East Kentwood High School

Ellen Zwarensteyn has been in the forefront of Michigan debate for 20 years and is returning to the SDI this summer. She is currently the Director of Debate and Forensics at East Kentwood High School outside Grand Rapids, MI. Ellen coordinates numerous learning opportunities where she concentrates on enhancing community engagement in debate. Competitively, she has led numerous teams to state championships at the novice, junior-varsity, and varsity levels. Her teams have received several round robin invitations, clear at national tournaments, and receive top level speaker awards. Furthermore, she is a scholar of debate and debate instruction. Her thesis on policy debate and political learning concentrates on how and why debaters connect to their communities. This research is being used to construct frameworks for debate itself. She is passionate about inclusion and accessibility within debate. Students who have worked with Ellen recognize her energy, persistence, enthusiasm, and dedication to their personal growth. 



HakeemMaggie Solice

Debater at the Trinity University

Maggie attended Trinity University where she majored in Political Science and Human Communication. During her time on the Trinity Debate team she competed in the elimination rounds of most major national tournaments, attended the Kentucky and Pitt Round Robins, and qualified to the National Debate Tournament. In the past she has worked at the Dartmouth Debate Institute and as the assistant coach for Austin SFA High School.   


TimTim Mahoney

Debate Coach at the St. Marks School of Texas

Coach of the 2002 NFL National Champions and 2002 Tournament of Champion Finalists. As a college debater Tim advanced to the final round of 10 tournaments, winning seven of them. As a college coach his teams reached the elimination rounds at 9 consecutive CEDA National tournaments, and he qualified teams for the NDT every year after the merger. In his last year of college coaching, his top team was in the quarter finals of both the NDT and CEDA Nationals.



LeeEd Lee

Director of Debate at Emory University

Ed Lee, M.A., Director of Debate. Formerly Director of Debate and Department of Communications faculty at the University of Alabama, Lee has coached debate at Emory University since 2004. Widely considered one of the most innovative argument coaches in the nation, Lee won the Ovid L. Davis award as coach of the 2007 NDT champions and the James J. Unger award for coaching the 2010 Copeland winners, the number one team in the country entering the National Debate Tournament.  A highly preferred judge/critic, he has received the southeastern U.S. Critic of the Year Award an unprecedented five times. A former Director of San Francisco's Bay Area Urban Debate League, he works in various Urban Debate League programs in Atlanta. He has served on the NDT Committee, the CEDA topic committee, and has frequently participated in policy making at the National Communications Association academic conferences. A top national forensics institute faculty, Lee has worked at Michigan, Miami-Ohio, NYU, UMKC, Miami, and the inaugural faculty of the Jamaican Debate League. He has judged the finals of the National Debate Tournament twice and the finals of the Cross-Examination Debate Association National Tournament three times.

JonathanJonathan Paul

Director of Debate at Georgetown University

Jonathan is a 2002 NDT Champion. As a debate coach at Greenhill, he coached TOC champions in 2006 and 2008, leading his students to victory at every major invitational along the way. In his two years as an assistant coach at Northwestern and UC-Berkeley, he coached the 2003 and 2004 Copeland Award winners, the 2003 NDT Champions, and the 2004 NDT Top Speaker. As the Director of Debate at Georgetown University, the team of Richard Day and Andrew Markoff reached the octafinals of Harvard University's college tournament, the first all-freshman team to do so since 1992. At the California Swing, two teams of underclassmen cleared at both tournaments, a feat unmatched in Georgetown since the early 1990s. Jonathan will be teaching in the Hoya-Spartan program.



ErikErik Mathis

Debate Coach at Emory University

Debated for Georgia State and qualified twice for National Debate Tournament and twice advanced to the elimination rounds at the Cross Examination Debate Association Nationals.  Currently, Erik coaches debate for Emory University and serves as the Director of the Debate Ambassadors program for the AUDL in Atlanta, Georgia. He has previously taught at the Emory National Debate Institute from 1996-2004 and again in 2014. Before coming to Emory, he worked as a coach for Georgia State University and helped to coach teams to the NDT in 2012. Erik will be teaching in the Hoya-Spartan program.




WillWill Repko

Michigan State University Head Debate Coach

Will is the founder of the SDI. He joined Michigan State University's staff after coaching at East Lansing High School where his teams won several Michigan State Championships and the 1995 NCFL National Championship. Will's success has continued in his college coaching career where he has catapaulted Michigan State to an era of national prominence and excellence,including national championships in 2004, 2006, and 2010. Will was named the 2000 College Coach of the Year. Will will be teaching in the Hoya-Spartan program at the Georgetown half and in the Sophomore program at the SDI.




AbbyAbby Schirmer

Director of Debate at Stratford Academy

Abby Schirmer is the director of debate at Stratford Academy where she has coached teams to the late elimination rounds of many national tournaments in the country including; Wake Forest, Greenhill, St. Marks, the Glenbrooks, MBA, Emory, Harvard and the NDCA. This past year, her team won the Woodward tournament and was one of the youngest teams to qualify for the Tournament of Champions In 2011, Abby was named Rising Star by the NDCA, an award given to the top debate coach in the country in their first through third years of coaching. Prior to coaching high school, Abby debated for four years at Michigan State University.


DaveDave Strauss

Michigan State University Assistant Debate Coach

Dave is currently an assistant coach at MSU and was part of one of the most successful two-person debate teams in history. As a sophomore, Dave and his partner became the youngest of only four teams to ever reach the "final four" of both CEDA and NDT in the same year. As a senior, he was part of the only team in the 58 year history of the National Debate Tournament to advance to the elimination rounds of the NDT four times as an intact pair. He won four tournaments in 2004, including the National Debate Tournament.




HaydenHayden Uihlein

Coach at Portage Northern HS

Hayden Uihlein is the head debate coach at Portage Northern high school in Michigan where he has coached since 2012. During that time, Portage Northern has taken home a MIFA novice state championship, an MSU novice championship and the Wayne State novice, jv and varsity championships. Hayden is an alumnus of Kalamazoo College with a degree in philosophy and critical theory where he studied the trajectory of French and German thought from the 19th century to the present. Post-graduation his philosophical focus has shifted to non-western ancient metaphysics and logics.





Tyler Thur

Debater at Michigan State University

Tyler will be a junior in the fall at Michigan State University, where he is majoring in International Relations with a specialization in Science, Technology and Environmental Public Policy. In college debate, he has made it to the Quarterfinals of Wake Forest, participated in the double octo-finals of many other college tournaments, debated at the University of Kentucky Round Robin and qualified to the National Debate Tournament. Prior to college, he attended Marquette University High School in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, where he was a two-time State Champion, three-time National Qualifier, and a participant at the 2012 Tournament of Champions.


CarlyCarly Wunderlich

Michigan State University Program/Events Coordiantor

Carly Wunderlich is currently a Debate Coach at Michigan State University where, as a student in 2010, she also won the National Debate Tournament. She has previously worked at the Spartan Debate Institute and the Georgia Debate Institutes. 




AnthonyAnthony Ogbuli

Debater at the University of Texas at Dallas

Anthony Ogbuli recently graduated from University of Texas at Dallas with a double degree in Political Science and Public/Nonprofit Management. In college, he qualified for the National Debate Tournament several times, and was in elimination rounds of CEDA, three years in a row. He has previously worked at the Georgetown Debate Institute, and the Stanford National Debate Institute.



JohnJohn Lawson

Director of Debate at Groves High School

John directs the debate program at Groves High School in Birmingham, Michigan. He coached a National Catholic Forensic League Champion in 1998, five Class A Michigan Debate Champions and four Michigan Novice State Champions. His teams regularly reach late elimination rounds at major Michigan and regional invitationals. John has directed coaches seminars at the SDI, MNDI and the Michigan Classic. He debated in both high school and college, and now has 42 years of high school coaching experience, including teaching at the SDI and MNDI.