Thursday, November 18, 2010

2010 University of Texas Round Robin Participants

The University of Texas and the Texas Forensic Union will host the following Round Robin participants:

Westwood - Zofia Yellin and Jackie Chen - Judge: Chris Crowe, Jeremy Martin

Hendrickson - Hudson Davis and Maggie Solice - Judge: Risha Bhattacharjee

Hybrid - Chris Leonardi and Hank Stolte - Judge: Steven Murray

Mercedes - PJ Martinez and Leo Vela - Judge: Hector Rocha

Dulles - Faraz Hemani and Saad Khalid - Judge: Misael Gonzalez

Churchill - Adam Lipton and Max Birnbaum - Judge: JD Sanford

Kinkaid - Nikhil Bontha and Vivek Dathla - Judge: Claire McKinney

Some UTNIF announcements

For all you UTNIF alums out there, you may be wondering what has happened to the old names of the differing UTNIF program offerings (Marathon, Experienced, etc) in the 2011 program offerings. We decided to change the names for the sake of clarity. Too much ambiguity about skill level, curriculum emphasis, etc in the old naming convention made for confusion on the part of students, parents and coaches. The new naming convention, is just that, a new naming convention.

The curriculum for the two UTNIF mainstays (Marathon and Experienced) remains largely the same. What was formerly referred to as "The Marathon" (a reference, I believe, to the late Scott Deatherage's oft heard reminder that debate tournaments are a marathon, not a sprint, and also to the high number of practice debates guaranteed by the curriculum) now goes by the name "The Skills Intensive." What was formerly called "the Experienced Seminar" is now known as "The Topic Research Intensive."

Students in the Topic Research Intensive are typically more experienced than the majority of those students choosing to participate in the Skills Intensive, but the major difference between the two programs is the emphasis on topic research and argument construction strategy in the Topic Research Intensive. The Skills Intensive is appropriate for students across the board - even the most experienced debater will benefit from the tremendous practice experience. The Topic Research Intensive is appropriate for debaters who understand that to succeed at the highest levels of debate competition you've got to understand the topic better than your opponent. Writing and researching your own arguments is essential. The Topic Research Intensive will teach students how to do it.

We have had in past summers a growing number of students who choose to spend the ENTIRE SUMMER in Texas at the UTNIF. Some will choose to attend the Skills Intensive in one session and the Topic Research Intensive in the other. Other students have attended two sessions of the Topic Research Intensive. Still others have chosen to enroll in the 6 week Summer Survivors program. Whatever the division, contact us if you have questions about curriculum or need guidance in choosing what is right for you.

New UTNIF Program Offering

The Sophomore Select. June 24-July 14.

We are very excited to offer a new program in 2011 for rising sophomores!

Any debater entering their second year in the activity is at a crucial moment in their learning curve. Having conquered the basics, most students are hungry for success at the varsity level. It is essential for students at this stage to receive strong guidance that will help them develop good practice, speaking, and research habits. This program is designed with those needs especially in mind.

The Sophomore Select will be offered during Session 1 of the UTNIF only and will be led by Brian McBride of the University of Southern California and Nick Fiori of Damien. Students will work as a tight knit lab with McBride and Fiori to master foundational skills. Skill and tactical work will be the emphasis, but the lab also aims to ignite student interest in topic research and argument construction. Two of the best coaches from the high school and college debating world, McBride and Fiori will ensure students come away transformed into much, much, better debaters. Both instructors offer a strong background in policy and kritikal approaches to debating. Students will come out of this lab experience ahead of the pack because of the opportunity to work hard amongst their peers in an environment of constructive criticism that will encourage students' intellectual growth, while dispelling the myths that often hold young debaters back from success. Lectures by other UTNIF staff on select topics also will be offered.

The lab will have limited enrollment, acceptance by application only. Applications for this program are DUE by March 15, 2011. Applicants will receive notice of acceptance by April 1. Application to this program is free. More information on the program and the application process will be forthcoming on the UTNIF site -