Speech and Debate Summer

Big Red program goes on the road, hosts international students
Mayoral Scholarship Recipients
Tuesday, August 22, 2017

With stops in China, South Korea, South Africa, Central America and the United Arab Emirates, the Cornell Speech and Debate Program has been having a bit of a world tour this summer.

In July in Beijing, Sam Nelson, ILR senior lecturer and debate program director, spent two days taping as a judge for the China Central Television “Star of Outlook” televised English-language competition.

Think “American Idol-esque,” Nelson said, describing a show format that tests contestants’ general knowledge, language and debate skills amid a flashy stage show of celebrities, smoke, explosions and lasers.

Nelson was part of a panel of judges from the University of Pennsylvania, Vanderbilt University, the College of William and Mary and the University of Edinburgh.

The segment is slated to be broadcast later this year.

Nelson and members of the debate staff spent a week in June in Johannesburg, South Africa, where they coached students at the Pearson Institute of Higher Education in argumentation and debate. ILR students Lauren Kelly ’18 and David Rooney ’18 assisted.

Later in June, Big Red debate staff traveled to Dubai, United Arab Emirates, to lead a persuasive communication workshop hosted by Pearson Education and SAE International.

Cornell’s Spanish Worlds Debate program sent two teams to compete in the Spanish Worlds Debate Championships in July in Guatemala City. The team led by Brittany Garcia ’19 advanced to the semifinals. It is the first U.S. team to advance that far in the tournament.

Also in July, Nelson and debate program staff traveled to the Cornell-Yonsei Debate Invitational in Seoul, South Korea. It is organized and hosted by Daniel Yoon A&S ’17, MILR ’20, who is an alum of the Big Red debate program.

Back in Ithaca, the Cornell International Summer Debate Camp attracted 100 middle and high school students from around the world for a week of learning and advancing their argumentation, debate, persuasive communication and public speaking skills.

Throughout the summer, debate program staff and college debaters continued volunteering at the Auburn Correctional Facility and MacCormick Secure Center.