TDC attracts some of the best senior staff and first-year instructors from around the country. We invest in the success and development of our faculty just as we do for our students. TDC is the only camp in the country that has a full-time Instructional Coordinator with the sole responsibility of observing lectures and labs and conducting professional development meetings with staff throughout camp. This is a unique aspect of the TDC experience for staff members and it provides accountability and a chance for growth as teachers. We take our teaching seriously because we believe that achieving our mission of giving everyone access to a competitive debate education requires the highest quality of teaching.
Here are the confirmed staff members for TDC 2017. Keep checking back for new additions!
Adam debated for Episcopal High School in Houston, Texas. As a debater, Adam qualified to TFA State twice, NSDA Nationals, and the TOC. Adam is currently a first-year student and prospective English and Sociology double major at Kenyon College. He coaches students from Montgomery, Klein Oak, and Earl Warren High School who, collectively, have been in late elims at every national tournament attended. Within debate, Adam enjoys researching and discussing continental philosophy, the role of the ballot/judge, methodology K’s, and theory and topicality. Outside of debate, Adam plays Ultimate Frisbee is a huge music nerd.
Emory University BA’19
Alex Yoakum graduated from Grapevine High School in 2015. In his senior year he qualified to the TOC, receiving his bids from Greenhill and Minneapple, as well as reaching several bid rounds throughout his debate career. He also participated in the Greenhill and Bronx Round Robins. Currently, Alex is a philosophy and comparative literature double major at Emory University. In addition to his academics, he has presented papers on Queer Theory in undergraduate literature and philosophy conferences. This will be Alex’s third year teaching at TDC, and he is looking forward to another great summer in Austin. His debate interests include Critical Race Theory, Queer Theory, Moral philosophy, postmodernism
Aysha debated for four years at Newtown High, the only CT school that competes on the national circuit, and has been team captain for 2 years. She cleared at all but one tournament in her senior year, won multiple speaker awards, and reached two career bid rounds. She was the champion of the first NSD Philadelphia Camp Tournament (then named NSD Northeast). In her free time, Aysha plays piano, reads, and eats sushi. Debate Interests: Judith Butler, Non-Topical/Performance Positions, and Theory.
PhD (candidate), Political Science, Yale University
BA, Political Science, Reed College
Becca is a coach for Lake Highland Prep as well for several independent students. As a debater for the Kinkaid School, she earned eleven career TOC bids, won Berkeley and was a finalist at TFA state tournament and the TOC. As a coach, she has coached 14 students to the TOC and 4 students to TOC outrounds. Her students have also excelled at local and regional competitions, winning two Florida State Championships and qualifying every year to both CFL Nationals and NSDA Nationals. She has taught a total of 10 top labs at TDC, NDF, and NSD. She has served as a board member and Director of Faculty Development at the Texas Debate Collective, a nonprofit debate institute committed to rectifying inequities in access to debate. Outside of debate, Becca is a PhD candidate at Yale University in political science, specializing in political theory. This will be her second summer with NSD.
Columbia University ’19 MA, American Studies
New York University’17 BA, Social and Cultural Analysis
Ben Koh debated for 4 years at Loyola High School in Los Angeles where he was the team captain his senior year. His junior year he qualified to Nationals in policy debate and to the TOC in LD his senior year. He was the Head LD Coach at Byram Hills High School for three years and coaches privately. He has coached finalists at Scarsdale, Yale, the Penn Round Robin, and TOC as well as champions at Walt Whitman, the Ohio State Tournament, and NCFL Nationals. In his three years of coaching, he’s coached 5 TOC outround appearances, 12 TOC qualifications, and TOC outround participants every year. He is on the planning committee for the Texas Debate collective and is the director for NSD Philadelphia. Additionally, he is ultimately responsible for any spelling errors on t his website.
Cameron McConway debated for three years at Cy-Fair HS in Houston, TX, qualifying to the TOC, TFA State, and NSDA nationals. She was a semifinalist and a top speaker at TFA, and was in the top 15 at NSDA nationals as a senior after being in outrounds as a junior. She was invited to numerous round robins and appeared in outrounds of many bid tournaments, recieving bids at Isidore Newman and Harvard Westlake. She actively judges at tournaments and coaches for Access Debate. Cameron now attends the University of Texas at Austin where she studies international relations and lobbies at the Capitol with University Democrats. Cameron is an active member of the UT Equestrian Team and enjoys spending time with her horse and competition partner of four years, Sebastian.
Cassandra graduated from the JBS Law Magnet having debated under the direction of Kris Wright for all 4 years and qualifying to the state tournament. She is a TDC alumni and dedicated volunteer for the Dallas Urban Debate League.
BA, Philosophy, Yale University
Devin debated for Westlake High School (Austin, TX). As a debater, he qualified twice to the Tournament of Champions and reached the semifinal round in the same year that he was champion and top speaker at the TFA State tournament. He placed 11th at NFL Nationals in 2009, and qualified to UIL 5A State as a sophomore, in 2007. He has coached for Stoneman Douglas High School, Marcus High School, and New Trier High School. His students have been in late outrounds of the Glenbrooks, St. Marks, Greenhill, Dowling Catholic, and the Tournament of Champions. Devin has also previously taught at the National Debate Forum (Boston, MA).
Dino De La O
University of Houston’20
Dino De La O debated locally and nationally for four years at Law Magnet in Dallas, Texas, graduating in 2016. As a competitor, Dino qualified to the TFA State Tournament and advanced to elimination rounds 3 years in a row. He also qualified to the TOC his junior and senior year, receiving 7 bids his senior year. Dino championed the University of Houston Tournament, was the top speaker and semifinalist at the Grapevine and Strake Jesuit tournaments, and advanced to the elimination rounds of every octos bid tournament he attended his senior year. As a coach, Dino has taught at major national summer camps such as NSD and TDC, and his students have received 7 bids, won the Sunvitational, and won top speaker awards at the UT Austin Invitational and the UH Invitational. Currently, Dino is studying anthropology at the University of Houston and enjoys reading a wide variety of philosophy.
Grant Brown debated for a year locally at Ralston High School and three years nationally at Millard North High School in Omaha, Nebraska. He is the team president and has accumulated twelve career bids while qualifying thrice to the Tournament of Champions, reaching quarterfinals his junior year, and twice to NSDA Nationals clearing to elimination rounds both years. Grant reached elimination rounds of numerous bid tournaments including Dowling, Iowa Caucus, Valley, Harvard, The Glenbrooks, Apple Valley, and Blake. Most notably Grant was a Nebraska State Champion, quarterfinalist twice at Valley and top speak his senior year, semifinalist at Apple Valley, and two time champion of Dowling Catholic. Grant plans to study Religion, Anthropology, and Sociology.
Debate Interests: Postmodernism, specifically Deleuze/Guattari and spirituality, nuanced philosophically influenced positions, and experimental performativity and aesthetics within academic debate.
JP is a Liberal Studies and Economics major at the University of Notre Dame where he has been a leader in the philosophy club and in a local middle school Great Books program. JP debated as President of the debate team at Strake Jesuit. He has worked as a private coach for a small group of students since graduation, with his two main debaters receiving a total of 8 bids to TOC. Since graduation he has led 8 labs at NSD’s Flagship Session, TDC, and Strake Jesuit’s middle school camp. Outside of debate JP enjoys swimming and reading classic works of fiction and intellectual history. His debate interests Aristotelian philosophy, competing accounts of practical reason, and criticisms of contemporary social science research.
Katherine debated for Stuyvesant High School for four years, and served as the team’s novice director and captain during her junior and senior year. She reached elimination rounds at Bronx, Scarsdale, Princeton, Harvard, Yale, Ridge, Columbia, Blake, Newark, Glenbrooks, and Sunvitational, and received speaker awards at Lexington, Scarsdale, Yale, Newark, Blake, and Glenbrooks. She was the champion of the Byram Hills Round Robin, and got to finals of the New York State Championship. Outside of debate, Katherine plays the violin and loves to cook.
Washington University St. Louis ’20
UT Austin, BA Government and Philosophy
UT Austin, MA Women and Gender Studies
Kris Wright has been coaching debate for thirteen years, the first ten of which were exclusively in LD. In the past three years, Kris has also begun coaching Policy debate. Currently, Kris is the head coach of the Judge Barefoot Sanders Law Magnet in Dallas, Texas, where he has coached students to qualify to the TOC in LD and Policy. Law Magnet students have reached outrounds of major national tournaments, including Greenhill, St. Marks, Mid-America Cup, Harvard, Glenbrooks, Harvard-Westlake, Emory, Sunvitational, Grapevine, Wake Forest, and Meadows. His students have also been invited to some of the nation’s most competitive round robins, including Greenhill (LD and Policy), College Prep (LD and Policy), Kandi King (LD), UT Austin (Policy), Voices (LD), University of Oklahoma (Policy), Sunvitational (LD), and Debate.LA. He has also coached multiple Law Magnet students to qualify to NSDA Nationals in both LD and Policy debate, and to outrounds of TFA State in both debate events. Kris has also taught camp at TDC, NDF, VBI, UTNIF, and Championship Group.
Before coaching and teaching full-time at the Law Magnet, Kris exclusively coached LD at Westlake (Austin), University School (Florida), Southlake, and Marcus High Schools. Kris’ debaters have consistently succeed on the local and national circuits. His students have reached finals of many TOC tournaments, won TFA State, reached semis of TFA State four other times, earned 2nd place at 5A UIL State, and placed 11th at NSDA Nationals multiple times. He has also coached multiple students to outrounds of the TOC. Kris’ LDers were also invited to the nation’s most competitive round robins: Greenhill, Stanford (2nd place), VBI (1st place), MBA, Bronx, Kandi King, and Harvard.
L’Aunjanee Carriere started her debate career as a freshman at the School of Government Law and Law Enforcement at the Yvonne A. Ewell Townview Magnet Center. Under the instruction of Kris Wright,she frequently broke at local tournaments and held state points. The summer post-high school graduation, she participated in Worlds Debate and competed against people from different states as well as different countries. Currently she is obtaining her undergraduate degree in International Policial Economy with a minor in Economics. She is a member of Club Improv and is the event coordinator for UTD’s Black Student Alliance. She looks forward to teaching and is excited for the experience.
Michael debated 4 Years at Lake Highland Preparatory School in Orlando, Florida. Qualified to TOC both his Junior and Senior years and was co-captain his senior year. Cleared to semi-finals of Bronx, Octofinals of Mineapple, Emory, and Blake, and cleared to Double octo-finals of Yale and Valley. Michael has earned 6 career bids (Bronx, Mineapple, Valley, Emory, Blue Key, Berkley) and got to octas of TOC his senior year.
Northwestern University ’21
Nelson has debated for 2 years and reached a great level of success in a short period of time. In his first year competing, he qualified for the Texas Forensics Association state tournament (where he cleared to double octas and received the 7th speaker award). He also qualified for NSDA in congressional debate and the National Individual Events Tournament of Champions in Original Oratory. In his second and final year of high school debate, Nelson qualified to the Tournament of Champions receiving bids at Greenhill and the University of Houston tournament, TFA State in both Policy and LD, and NSDA Nationals in LD. So far this year Nelson has cleared at every national tournament he’s been too. He was the 4th speaker at the Greenhill Fall Classic, 7th speaker at the Strake Jesuit Debate Tournament, and 5th speaker at the University of Houston cougar classic. Nelson was also invited to the Newark Science Round Robin and the Strake Jesuit Round Robin. Nelson will be attending Northwestern University in the fall where he plans on doing policy debate. Three Debate Interests: Critical Race Theory, Deleuze and Guattari, Post modern philosophy.
Richard debated for four years at Strake Jesuit, qualifying for both the TOC and TFA three times. During his senior year, he won St. Marks and UT. He won the top speaker award at both St. Marks and Grapevine, while also winning speaker awards at Greenhill, Glenbrooks, and Apple Valley. Throughout his debate career, he has earned bids at Apple Valley, St. Marks, Greenhill, Emory, Valley, UT, and Grapevine. Outside of debate, he enjoys playing tennis and chess.
University of Alabama BA’17
Terrence is a coach for his alma mater, Lake Highland Prep, where he debated for four years. Over the course of his career he earned nine bids, won Lexington and the Crestian Round Robin, was Top Speaker of the Sunvitational, twice finished with winning records at the TOC and was a team captain his senior year. In two years as a coach, he has coached five students to the TOCs and to numerous finals and outrounds appearances, including a finals close out of the Collegiate Round Robin. Terrence is pursuing a degrees in Interdisciplinary Studies as a University Fellow at the University of Alabama, and is the current president of The Mallet Assembly, the University’s oldest continuously running honors organization. This is his third summer with TDC.
Swarthmore College, BA
University of Chicago, MA
Tom debated for four years for Lincoln Southeast High School in Nebraska. Tom twice cleared to elimination rounds at the Tournament of Champions. His senior year, he was a state champion and finalist at the TOC.
Tom has coached debate at the Hockaday School (TX), University School (FL), Oxbridge Academy (FL), and La Jolla (CA). Tom’s students have cleared to elimination rounds at the Tournament of Champions thirteen times, including four quarterfinalists and two semifinalists. Tom has also coached two students to championships and one to finals at NFL/NSDA Nationals. In addition, Tom’s students have reached finals or won championships at Apple Valley, Blake, Bronx, the Bronx round robin, Emory, Greenhill, the Greenhill round robin, Harvard, Stanford, Valley, and Yale.
Tyler graduated from the University of Texas at Austin with degrees in English and Philosophy. Before that, he debated for four years at Salado High School in Texas, and attended the TOC his senior year (2011). He has coached students at Judge Barefoot Sanders Law Magnet, Salado, and Westlake to success on the local and national level. Several of his students qualified to the Texas state tournament, many of whom reached out-rounds. His students have also been invited to prominent Round Robins and have qualified to the TOC.