Carly Watson Named Next Director of MSU Debate

February 17, 2021

MSU Debate is thrilled to announce that Carly Watson is the new director of the MSU Debate Program. Watson takes on this new role after spending nearly ten years at the Debate Team Project and Events Coordinator.

Watson has a long history with the MSU Debate Team. She attended the Spartan Debate Institute (SDI) – a youth program hosted by the Debate Team – as a high school student. After high school, Watson joined the MSU Debate Team as an undergraduate student at MSU and ultimately won the National Debate Tournament as a debater for MSU.

“I’ve been involved with MSU Debate in some way or another since the summer of 2003 as a student at the Spartan Debate Institute,” Watson said. “I’ve been a student at the SDI, an SDI employee, an MSU Debater, a Debate Team employee and now I’m excited to take on a leadership role with the team.”

After graduating with a Bachelor of Arts degree in chemistry from MSU in 2010, Watson served as an assistant coach at Gonzaga University where she helped coach a team ranked in the top ten nationally.

Watson says, “I learned a lot about coaching and running a debate team from my time at Gonzaga. I was young and had never been on the coaching side before so it was a crash-course in what was involved.”

Since summer of 2010 Watson has been the MSU Debate Team Project and Events Coordinator spearheading outreach efforts at MSU and in the community to build the profile of MSU Debate.

Among a long list of public events, Watson coordinated public debates with the Environmental Protection Agency, CitizenDetroit, and Project 60/50.

Watson has also been instrumental in MSU Debate’s efforts to promote access to debate through online debate competition and instruction.

Even before COVID-19 forced programs online, Watson was working with Will Repko, MSU Debate Head Coach, to provide online programming at the SDI.

“Carly has always worked tirelessly to support MSU Debate but she’s also worked hard to make sure that we were innovating the way things are done,” Repko said.

In her new role, Watson will work to continue MSU Debate’s history of competitive excellence while furthering initiatives in online debate and outreach.

“When I applied to MSU as a high schooler, I wrote my personal essay about feeling at home at MSU,” Watson said. “I’m so thrilled that I’m able to continue my work with MSU Debate at a place that’s so special to me.”  

MSU Debate is part of the Honors College at Michigan State.