Debate

Drury debate team wins IPDA national title, individual and sweepstakes awards

SPRINGFIELD, Mo., March 29, 2017 — Drury University’s Debate Union has taken home three national titles in its first year of competition in the International Public Debate Association.

The Drury squad won the varsity competition title at the IPDA’s National Championship Tournament and Convention over the weekend in Russellville, Arkansas. It also took home the National Sweepstakes Award for having the most successful two-person teams in the tournament. In addition, sophomore Mallory Pinson won the individual Top Speaker Award at the event.

There were 56 teams in the varsity competition, representing universities from North Carolina to Seattle. Drury advanced three, two-person teams into the top 16 and then the quarterfinals. One Drury team lost in quarterfinals, while the two other teams were paired against each other. The team of Austin Cassity and Lindsay Duede stepped aside, advancing the team of Ameran Link and Kris Rose into the semifinal round. Link and Rose won both the semifinal and final rounds to go undefeated and win the national varsity title.

“Our success is due to the fact that the students attracted to the program are probably good at most things they do; they are hardworking achievers,” says Dr. Charles Deberry, the Debate Union coach. “Debate squads are highly competitive and, yet, know they need to be cooperative to be successful. I’m really proud of the esprit de corps that’s developed throughout this season of ups and downs. It’s thrilling to end this first year on such a high note.”

Bringing back a tradition at Drury that dates back to the late 1800s, the debate program was re-established in 2016 after a hiatus and quickly began making waves in its first season in the IPDA. Formed in 1997, the league emphasizes critical thinking, civil discourse, logic, creativity, and real-world persuasion skills. The IDPA has more than 120 member colleges in 28 states in the southeast, Midwest and west coast and continues to grow.

Each member of team is in his or her first year of college debate, and most are underclassmen. Members of the Drury squad include Mallory Pinson, Ameran Link, Kris Rose, Lindsay Duede, Austin Cassity, Jerrica Shine, Emily Collier, Kat Sittenauer, Erin Benedict, Ayesha Naqi and Haley Davis.

Final results for Drury from the IPDA National Championship:

  • Kris Rose and Lindsay Duede were varsity double octofinalists (6th place).
  • Lindsay Duede and Austin Cassity were quarterfinalists (4th place).
  • Mallory Pinson and Jerrica Shine were quarterfinalists (4th place).
  • Ameran Link and Kris Rose won the national title in team varsity competition.
  • Lindsay Duede was the 5th place speaker in varsity competition.
  • Mallory Pinson was the 1st place individual speaker in varsity competition.
  • Drury also ended the year in 3rd and 5th place, respectively, in season-long team and varsity rankings.

For more information on debate at Drury, visit http://drurydebateunion.org.

###

No argument: Drury’s debate program among the best in the nation

Drury University’s debate team is making national waves in its inaugural season.

Bringing back a tradition at Drury that dates back to the late 1800s, the debate program was re-established in 2016 after a hiatus as part of the university’s ongoing multi-faceted strategy to attract and retain great students.

The International Public Debate Association (IPDA) ranks individual debaters and university debate programs on a weekly basis.  As a program, Drury is currently ranked 1st in the nation for having more varsity team points than any of the other participating schools. Additionally, Drury has had “top five” finishers in both individual and team competition at most of its tournaments.

Though they are not all freshmen, all of Drury’s debaters are in their first year of college debate competition. The squad may be new, but it quickly formed a culture of high achievement, teamwork and trust in one another, says debate coach Dr. Charles Deberry.

DU Debate Union

“Chemistry is everything,” Deberry says. “We have a lot of diversity in terms of the students’ backgrounds and areas of study on the team. I think that’s been a key element in our success because the topics cover a wide spectrum, from international economics to whether the Patriots are the best team in the NFL, and you don’t know what the topic will be before going into the debate.”

Drury’s team participates in a relatively new debate league that stresses civil discourse rather than highly technical strategies and oral speed-reading seen in some collegiate leagues. Formed in 1997, the IDPA emphasizes critical thinking, civil discourse, logic, creativity, and real-world persuasion skills. The league is growing with more than 120 colleges in 28 states in the southeast, Midwest and west coast.

The IPDA’s format gives student debaters a list of five topics to choose from before the debate begins. The two individuals or teams take turns striking topics until one is left. A coin flip determines who takes a “pro” or “con” position. Each side has 20 minutes to prepare for the debates, which last about 30 minutes for individuals and an hour for teams.

“It’s really a great capstone for a liberal arts education,” Deberry says. “To be successful in this format you have a broad knowledge of a variety of topics and then be able to think critically and express yourself clearly.”

“The Debate Union provides a community for intelligent students to not only debate, but have an environment where they thrive, socially and intellectually,” says Austin Cassity, a senior from Springfield.

Lindsay Duede, a freshman from Ozark, says the opportunity to debate is what led her to make the decision to attend Drury over other schools on her list of choices.

“Debate was my everything in high school and it still is,” she says. “I applied to a lot of schools and was accepted at a lot of places. Not all of them had debate or the type of debate that interested me. When I met with Dr. Deberry and he told me what DU was up to, I immediately wanted to be a part of that action. Debate is why I am proud to be a Panther.”

Not all of the debaters are freshmen. Mallory Pinson is a sophomore from Liberty, Missouri, who says debate has helped her find niche at Drury.

“I came here before Drury had the debate program in full operation, therefore it was not a big motivator for my coming to Drury, but it is definitely what will keep me here,” she says. “I knew that I wanted to continue the activity. I am so happy to be able to be able to participate the Drury Debate Union.”

The 2016-17 Drury debate team members include Mallory Pinson, Ameran Link, Kris Rose, Lindsay Duede, Austin Cassity, Jerrica Shine, Emily Collier, Kat Sittenauer, Erin Benedict, Ayesha Naqi and Haley Davis.

###

Drury hosts Stoa national homeschool debate tournament May 22-28

SPRINGFIELD, Mo., May 20, 2016 — Drury University will welcome thousands of young debaters and their families to Springfield next week, as it hosts the 2016 Stoa National Invitational Tournament of Champions.

Stoa is a speech and debate organization for Christian homeschooling families. The national event is expected to bring about 3,000 high school and junior high students, parents, coaches and spectators to Springfield beginning today through May 28. The tournament’s biggest days will be Monday and Tuesday, when nearly every building and room on the Drury campus will be in use by Stoa. Central High School, located on Benton Avenue just west of Drury, will also host portions of the event.

The Springfield Convention and Visitors Bureau expects the city to be bustling with families staying at hotels, shopping, dining and visiting attractions when they’re not busy at the tournament. The CVB estimates spending of about $125 per person per day, which means a potential economic impact of several million dollars.

And a generous scholarship offer from Drury will make a potential impact on these students’ college education. The University is offering over $4 million dollars in potential scholarship money to participants who choose to attend Drury in the future. All participants will receive a $1,000 scholarship. Those who advance to subsequent rounds will receive $2,500 and $5,000 scholarships, and overall winners will receive a $10,000 scholarship to Drury.

“Drury is extremely pleased to host this event,” said Rob Fridge, Drury’s chief financial officer. “We’re excited to help bring this group of high-achieving students and their families to town. We can’t wait to show them what Drury and Springfield have to offer.”

An opening ceremony will be held at 5 p.m., Sunday, May 22 at the O’Reilly Family Event Center on the Drury campus. Competitions begin at 8 a.m. Monday through Saturday and continue into the early evening hours each day. NITOC features four speech categories (Interpretive, Limited Preparation, Platform and Wild Card) and three debate categories (Lincoln-Douglas, Team Policy and Parliamentary).

For more information on the tournament, visit http://www.stoausa.org/nitoc-2016.

###

Media Contacts: Mike Brothers, Drury Director of Media Relations – (417) 873-7390 or mbrothers@drury.edu; and Rob Fridge, Drury Chief Financial Officers and event co-organizer – (417) 873-7527 or rfrdige@drury.edu.

Drury will host national home school debate tournament in 2016

SPRINGFIELD, Mo., June 3, 2015 — The Springfield Convention & Visitors Bureau announced today that Stoa, a speech and debate organization for Christian homeschooling families, selected Springfield for its 2016 National Invitational Tournament of Champions.

The event is expected to bring about 3,000 high school and junior high students, parents, coaches and spectators to the city May 20-28, 2016, said Mark Russell, president elect of Stoa. The championships will take place on the Drury University campus.

The CVB expects the city to be bustling with families staying at hotels, shopping, dining and visiting attractions when they’re not busy at the tournament. The CVB estimates spending of about $125 per person per day.

Russell said Springfield was a natural choice for the annual tournament, which rotates to the east, west and central parts of the country.

“Springfield truly has a strong reputation with homeschoolers with the National Christian Homeschool basketball tournament,” Russell said.

That tournament brings more than 8,000 people to the city and is the largest annual group event in Springfield. The city also hosts the National Christian Homeschool Spring Basketball Nationals, Fall Basketball Nationals, Fall Volleyball Nationals and Fall Tip-Off Basketball Tournament.

“This is a great event for Springfield made possible by the collaboration and cooperation of Drury University – a key in Stoa’s selection process,” said Tracy Kimberlin, president/CEO of the CVB.

“Drury is extremely pleased to play host to the 2016 Stoa national tournament,” said Rob Fridge, Drury’s chief financial officer. “We’re excited to help bring this group of high-achieving students and their families to Springfield, and we expect nearly every room on our campus to be bustling with activity over the course of eight days next spring.”

###

Drury Senior Allyson Strickland wins national debate tournament

SPRINGFIELD, Mo., April 26, 2012 — Allyson Strickland, a 2008 graduate of Glendale High School, has been named the National Forensic Association (NFA) National Champion in Lincoln-Douglas Debate. The national tournament was held at Ohio University in Athens, Ohio, April 18-22.

Strickland after her victory

Strickland, a senior speech communication and political science major, has been a member of the Drury University team throughout all four years of her education.  In order to be eligible to compete at the national tournament, students had to qualify by excelling at various tournaments throughout the year. Strickland was one of three students from Drury to qualify for the tournament.

Over the course of the five day tournament, Strickland had to compete against schools, such as: Rice University, Truman State University, Hillsdale College, Ohio State University and Central Michigan University.

“Allyson’s accomplishments are a testament to how far hard work, practice, and a good attitude can get you,” said Sheena Walters, debate program director.  “Allyson showed everyone what a liberal arts education at Drury can prepare you to do: think critically, research and communicate about global issues.”

###