Jackie Poapst, Camp Director & Congressional Debate Lab Leader
Jackie Poapst is the Assistant Director of Debate at George Mason. She debated for Liberty University, where she graduated with Bachelor of Sciences in Criminal Justice and Psychology. During her debate career, Jackie excelled at numerous tournaments, including winning the Navy and West Point tournaments, reaching semi-finals at the American Debate Association Nationals tournament and elimination rounds multiple times at the Cross Examination Debate Association Nationals tournament. Jackie has been teaching at the George Mason Debate Institute for six years, and became Director in 2015. During her first year as Director, the institute became the largest debate institute in Virginia. 

Deion Hawkins, Lincoln Douglas Scholars Lab Leader
Deion is a George Mason doctoral student studying health communication. He completed his BA at The Ohio State University in 2012, where he was the Vice President and Debate Captain of Ohio State's student run forensics team. Additionally, he completed his MA at Marshall University. Deion has coaches numerous champion Lincoln Douglas debaters, and looks forward to his first year working with the GMDI.

Hannah Call, Assistant Director and Public Forum Scholars Lab Leader

Hannah is a former debater for Liberty, and most recently, Mason. She is a currently a senior studying Developmental Psychology.  She is also a Public Forum coach for The Potomac School. Some of her most notable debate successes include winning the American Debate Association (ADA) tournament twice, JV/Novice Nationals in both divisions, and receiving multiple top five speaker awards in all three levels of debate. This will be her fourth year working at the camp.​

Dan Stanfield, Novice Policy Lab
Dan Stanfield started as a college novice and had a successful debate career clearing to elimination rounds at most major national tournaments, as well as being a pioneer in the development of disability arguments and improvement in access within debate.  In 2013 he was a member of the coaching staff of the winners of the Tournament of Champions (TOC). He has also coached several teams to qualify for the TOC since then.  In college he has coached several teams to qualify for the National Debate Tournament (NDT), including one to a First Round at large bid. Dan is currently a coach for the University of West Georgia, and this is his first year working with the camp.

 Austin Oliver, Novice Lincoln Douglas Lab Leader
Austin Oliver is a junior studying Communication at Mason. Some of Austin’s most notable successes since joining the team include winning the novice division of the JV/Novice Nationals tournament, clearing to elimination rounds at the University of Missouri Kansas City tournament, and earning first place speaker at the American Debate Association National Championship. This will be Austin's third year working at the institute.

Colin Dailey, Policy JV Lab Assistant
Colin is a fifth-year senior and varsity debater at Mason. He was in Texas high school debate for 3 years between Smithville High School and Kingwood High School, making this his eighth year of debate. Colin has seen a variety of successes during his college debate career, including being a JV finalist at ADA Nationals his freshman year, a National Debate Tournament qualifier last season, and a Cross Examination Debate Association National Championship octafinalist this past season. Additionally, he has been an assistant Public Forum coach at the Potomac School. This will be Colin’s fourth year working the camp.

 Luke Melton, Middle School Debate Lab Leader
Luke is a senior studying Government and International Politics at Mason. Luke’s notable successes include being top speaker and two time finalist at the American Debate Association National Tournament. Luke also reached the sweet 16 at the 2016 Cross Examination Debate Association Nationals tournament. This will be Luke's fifth year working at the camp.


Rich Kaye, Public Forum Junior Varsity Lab Leader
Rich is a 3rd year policy debater studying Government and International Politics. His greatest successes include being a Champion in both divisions in the JV/Novice nationals tournament in consecutive years, Qualifying to the National Debate Tournament, and taking first speaker at multiple tournaments in his first two years. This will be Rich's third year at the camp.

Nick Lepp, Junior Varsity Lab Leader

Nick has just finished his fourth year of varsity collegiate debate at James Madison University after debating at Broad Run High School for four years in high school. During his collegiate debate career Nick has qualified for the National Debate Tournament three times and been an octafinalist at the Cross Examination Debate Association national debate tournament, as well as the winner of numerous regional tournaments.  As the assistant debate coach at Turner Ashby high school, Nick has successfully coached the policy debate team to win the Virginia state tournament twice, and has also coached a TOC bid qualifying team. 

Gerrit Hansen, Lincoln Douglas Scholars Debate Lab Assistant

Gerrit is currently a junior at George Mason, and one of our varsity debaters. He is currently pursuing a double major in Philosophy and Communication. Gerrit has won several different debate tournaments while at GMU, including the James Madison University tournament and the United States Military Academy tournament. Gerrit debated for Briar Woods HS before coming to Mason, and hopes to help more Virginia middle school and high school debaters become successful in debate. 

Besides our awesome lab staff, the institute will also be bringing in some amazing dorm staff this year:

Laura Youngquist, Activities Coordinator & Residential Adviser

Brandon Attiliis, Residential Adviser

Lottye Lockhart, Residential Adviser

Julia Poapst, Residential Adviser

Aaron Clarke, Residential Adviser

Ian Lowery, Resident Adviser


GMDI 2016 Summer Staff