Varsity Lincoln Douglas Assistant
Beth Zhao is a rising junior studying Government and Chinese at Mason. During her time on the team she has won the Crowe Warken Debates at Navy twice, finaled at Cornell's Tournamant of Love and JMU's College Invitational, and cleared at multiple other tournaments. Beth has debated Lincoln Douglas in high school and is an alumni of GMDI's L-D varsity lab. This is her second year working at the institute and she is glad to be back.
Junior Varsity Policy Lab Assistant
Logan is a second year policy debater at GMU, majoring in Marketing. He's broken into elimination rounds at many tournaments in both the Junior Varsity and Novice divisions.This will be Logan's second year working the camp, and he is excited to return.
Novice Public Forum Lab Assistant
Ben has been a member of the George Mason Debate Team since coming to college in 2016. Since then, he has judged and participated in a large number of debate tournaments and emerged victorious at the District VII tournament in the JV division during his novice year. He worked the camp last year as an RA and is excited to be returning to work the camp this year.
Lincoln Douglas Novice Co-Leader
Habiba is part of our varsity squad at GMU. She has won several tournaments over the past two years, many top speaker awards and has been in deep elimination rounds of others. She is a rising junior and a Government major. She debated LD in high school and this will be her second year working at the camp.
Varsity Lincoln Douglas Lab Leader
Austin Oliver is a Senior at Mason, graduating in May 2018 with a B.A. in Communication. Some of Austin’s most notable successes since joining the team include qualifying to the National Debate Tournament. Winning the novice division of the JV/Novice Nationals tournament, clearing to elimination rounds at University of Missouri Kansas City and Georgia State University, and earning first place speaker at the American Debate Association National Championship. Austin competed in Lincoln Douglas debate during high school. This will be Austin's fifth year working at the institute.
Junior Varsity Policy Lab Leader
Colin is a coach for George Mason. He was in Texas high school debate for 3 years between Smithville High School and Kingwood High School. 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 his junior year, and a Cross Examination Debate Association National Championship octafinalist as a senior. This will be Colin’s sixth year working the camp.
Varsity Scholars Lab Assistant
Shannon is a rising junior at Mason, and was a member of one of our top varsity teams this year. She is a former debater at Perry High School in Ohio. During her first two years on the Mason Debate Team, Shannon reached elimination rounds at the George State University tournament, the finals round of the James Madison tournament, received speaker awards at multiple tournaments, and qualified for the National Debate Tournament. This will be Shannon's second year working the camp.
GMDI 2018 Summer Staff
Junior Varsity Public Forum Lab Assistant
Sean is a rising sophomore at George Mason University. He joined Mason Debate as a freshman walk-on last year. In high school, he competed in Public Forum in Texas. He has already championed one tournament in his short time on the team. This will be Sean's first year working the camp.
Congress Lab Assistant
Nick is a Junior majoring in Philosophy, with a minor in Intelligence Analysis. Nick is entering into his third year of debate at Mason. While in high school, he was the Vice President of his debate team. He has reached elimination rounds multiple times. He is excited to be returning for his second year at the camp.
Camp Director, Residential Dorm Director & 5-6 Grade Lab Leader
Jackie Poapst is the Assistant Director of Debate at George Mason, and is entering her seventh year on the coaching staff at Mason Debate. She is currently working on her doctoral dissertation, which she will be defending in December to receive her PhD in Communication. She debated for Liberty University, where she graduated with Bachelor of Sciences in Criminal Justice and Psychology. 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. Jackie has also taught elementary and middle school debate and public speaking at Ivy Christian College.
Head Residential Advisor
Emily is one of our debaters at Mason. She has won several speaker awards over her debate career, and locked out two tournaments. She also won the Front Royal Cup her first year. She is a rising junior with a business management major, and this is her second year working at the camp. She is also in charge of camp promotion, so you might notice her around your school!
Junior Varsity Public Forum Lab Leader
Seth is a rising sophomore at George Mason University. In high school, he ranked second in Massachusetts for Public Forum, championed several local tournaments, and advanced to late elimination rounds at Harvard, Yale, Wake Forest, GMU, NCFL nationals, and NSDA nationals. In addition, he qualified to compete at the Tournament of Champions as a junior and senior. This will be Seth's first year working at the camp, and he is very excited!
Assistant Director, Varsity Public Forum Lab Leader, & 7-8 Grade Lab Leader
Hannah is an Assistant Debate Coach at George Mason University. She holds a B.A. in Psychology and is pursuing a M.S. in Conflict Analysis and Resolution from GMU. This is her second year as the Assistant Director of the Institute. She competed at both Liberty and George Mason. As a debater, she championed several tournaments, including ADA Nationals in two divisions. She coaches Public Forum and Lincoln Douglas at George Mason High School. She has also worked at Middle School public speaking camps for four years. This will be her fifth year working the camp and her fourth year leading the Varsity Public Forum lab.
Novice Policy Lab Assistant
Pavan Reddy is a rising Varsity debater and Junior studying Neuroscience at George Mason University. Pavan first joined debate his freshman year as a Novice, and has since gone on to be in elimination rounds 13 times, with one tournament championship. This will be his first year working the camp.
Congress Lab Leader
Maddie is pursuing her M.A. in Rhetoric at Northwestern University. During her collegiate debate career at the University of Pittsburgh, Maddie qualified for the National Debate Tournament twice, was an elimination round participant at the Cross Examination Debate Association national debate tournament as well as multiple national tournaments. Maddie was also a two-time Pitt Round Robin participant. Maddie participated in Congressional debate during high school. This will be Maddie's second year working at GMDI.
Lincoln Douglas Novice Co-Leader& 7-8 Grade Lab Assistant
Ian is a senior at Mason, graduating in Fall of 2018. He is an economics major. Ian is in his fourth year debating for us, and is currently the Mason Debate Team's Coordinator. During his time on the team, Ian has won the JV/Novice Nationals tournament, received top speaker at the Rutgers tournament, and was nominated as the American Debate Association top debater in the Junior Varsity division. This will be Ian's second year working at the camp.
Novice Policy Lab Leader
Rob Wimberly is an assistant debate coach and a first year M.A. student in International Relations at Johns Hopkins University. Rob graduated from the University of Mary Washington with a B.A. in Political Science. During his time as a debater, he qualified to the National Debate Tournament. This will be his first year working the camp.
David Michael Alexander Woodward
Novice Public Forum Lab Leader
DM has a M.A. in Communication from Mason. He also graduated with a B.A. in History. While debating on the Mason Debate Team, DM reached elimination rounds at CEDA and also competed at the districts qualifying tournament. This will be his fourth year working the camp!
Varsity Scholars Lab Leader
Matt Struth is an Assistant Debate Coach at the University of Minnesota. He has been honored with the ADA Judge of the Year Award. Competitively, his college teams have been ranked top-5 in the country, won the ADA National Championship in the Varsity division, and reached the semis of the NDT. His high school teams have repeatedly reached the deep elimination rounds of the TOC. As a debater, he was in the quarters of the NDT and won the ADA National Championship in the Varsity division. This will be his second year working the camp!
Varsity Public Forum Lab Assistant
Mack is a first-year Junior Varsity debater at Mason majoring Conflict Analysis and Resolution. In high school Mack competed for four years, largely focusing in Public Forum. He was a top 50 Public Forum debater in the nation. He placed at NSDA nationals and was a competitor at a TOC level. He is an alumnus of the GMDI Varsity PF lab, and this will be his first year working the camp. He is extremely excited to be back in a new capacity.
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