Come train with Team USA!
The National Speech and Debate Association and the Harvard Debate Council are excited to announce that the USA Debate Team will train at the Harvard Debate Council Summer Workshops in the summer of 2024 for the WSDC World Championships to be held in Serbia. The USA Debate team won the World Championship in Hanoi, Vietnam in July of 2023. As part of this partnership, the Harvard Debate Council will also offer World Schools Debate at its summer workshop during the first session. Former and current coaches and members of the USA Debate team, in addition to some of the best coaches and trainers from the USA and around the world, will work with students who attend. Students who are new to the format and those vying for a position on their National Team will all have the opportunity to learn from this distinguished group of educators.
World Schools Debate
Learn Foundational Skills in Style, Content, and Strategy in World Schools Debate
World Schools debates use a format that is a combination of the British Parliamentary and Australian formats and utilizes topics “motions” that will balance prepared motions, as well as impromptu motions where students have no access to the internet, coaches, or external resources beyond an English dictionary and/or an almanac where they develop their cases in one hour for the next debate. The delivery style is conversational in nature and there is a focus on teamwork, active listening, and problem-solving about a variety of topics that impact their lives, and the world around them.
Each debate comprises a total of eight speeches delivered by two three-member teams (the Proposition and the Opposition). Each speaker delivers an eight-minute speech; then both teams deliver a "reply speech" lasting four minutes, with the last word being reserved for the Proposition. Between the end of the first and the beginning of the last minute of an eight-minute speech, the opposing party may offer "points of information (verbal interruptions during the opponent's speech)." The speaker may refuse these but should take at least one or two points during his or her speech. Our approach at Harvard is to meet students where they are and make sure they have the skills to be more informed thinkers, speakers, and problem solvers. Those attending this workshop will range in experience from those who have little to no experience, to those vying for a spot on their country's national team!
About the Program
The World Schools division of the Harvard Debate Council Summer Workshops was created to provide the best possible educational experience for students exploring this international format. Students will learn from former coaches of the USA Debate Team (the National Team of the National Speech and Debate Association, current coaches of the USA Debate Team, USA Debate alumni, and international trainers that coach the national teams of other nations, in addition to other coaches/trainers who activity work with the World Schools format. We have modeled the curriculum used by the Global Debate Symposium, created by current Harvard World Schools Director Aaron Timmons, for the last decade. Former USA Team members, National Champions, and last the World Champions have trained with Mr. Timmons and his staff. This summer, that curriculum and staff is coming to Harvard!
We believe that the best way to train our students is to tailor our instruction to meet the individual needs of all students. We teach the basics necessary to understand the unique form and content in the way that the World Schools is practiced in the United States, but also around the world.
Our pedagogical approach uses small lab groups designed to have similarly experienced students grouped together. Those students with extensive experience will be able to accelerate their growth with enrichment activities to have them stretch themselves academically. Students will have the ability to adjust their learning experience to emphasize the concepts they wish to focus on during their time at the workshop. We believe that students “learn from doing” so students will have multiple debates each day to allow students to build on strengths, as well as address areas of growth with extensive feedback from some of the best coaches/trainers/former debaters in the activity.
An additional aspect of the Harvard Debate World Schools workshop is our advisory/office hour program where any student can meet with instructors other than their assigned lab leaders to work on content/or skills that the student wishes to work on. We offer a workshop tournament to have students practice what they have learned in a competitive setting where they can try, with little risk, things they have learned in their two weeks at the workshop.Debate
The following is a sample of the World Schools Debate division of the Harvard Summer Debate Workshop:
8:00 am – 9:00 am – Breakfast
9:00 am – 10:00 am – Morning Lab Time
10:00 am – 12:00 pm – Electives
- Wealth and the State: Comparative Public Policies
- Buring and Beijing: Climate Policy in China’s World
- Advanced Motion Analysis/Strategy
- Impacting and Weighing
12:00 pm – 1:30 pm – Lunch
1:30 pm – 3:00 pm – Lab Session: Drills
3:00 pm – 4:00 pm – Speech redoes/feedback
4:00 pm – 6:00 pm – Impromptu Practice Round
6:00 pm – 7:30 pm – Dinner
7:30 pm – 9:00 pm – Evening Office Hours or Lab Time
- Students will learn best practices in navigating their time during the impromptu preparation period.
- Students will learn best practices in strategic case writing.
- Students will learn best practices in delivery.
- Students will learn best practices in the use of drills to improve their in-round debating.
- Students will have their content knowledge enhanced through short electives on motion areas frequently utilized by tournaments around the world.
- Students will learn best practices in the strategic creation and use of Points of Information in the World Schools format.
- Students will be taught best practices in research to minimize content gaps to be prepared regardless of the motion.
What Students and Parents Say
Aaron W. Timmons is an internationally acclaimed educator, debate coach, and program director. Aaron’s success as a debate coach/trainer is historic and unparalleled. He is the former Co-Head Coach of the USA Debate team that WON the World Schools Debating Championships in Hanoi, Vietnam in 2023. During his thirty-year tenure as Director of Debate at Greenhill School in Addison, Texas, he has worked to build one of the most successful speech and debate teams in the United States and is one of only two coaches in the United States whose students have one the NSDA National Championships in three separate debating categories.
He is recognized as a Hall of Fame member by the National Speech and Debate Association, the Tournament of Champions, and the Texas Forensic Association. Mr. Timmons also serves as an assistant debate coach for Harvard College.
Mr. Timmons has taught at schools, workshops, and summer programs across the world for decades across all ranges of skill levels. Thanks to the high demand for Aaron’s public speaking expertise, he has conducted debate and public speaking training in the United Arab Emirates, Slovenia, Mexico, and Qatar. As a co-coach of the USA National Debate Team, he has led students to international success in competition venues including Canada, Croatia, Germany, Indonesia, Mexico, Singapore, Slovenia, Taiwan, Vietnam, and Thailand. Aaron’s experiences with both international students and audiences allow him to teach communications with a particular eye to cultural differences and multiple worldviews.
Mr. Timmons has been an advocate of World Schools debate in the United States for over a decade and is excited about bringing World Schools to the Harvard summer debate programs.
Geordano debated from 2008 to 2014 for the New York Urban Debate League (Bronx Law) where he was named 2012 NY Junior Varsity State Champion, 2013 Tournament of Champion Double Octo finalist, 2014 NY Varsity Policy Debate State Champion and 2014 Nation Debate Coaches Association Quarter finalist. Geo debated for the A. Craig Baird Debate Forum at the University of Iowa from 2014 -2019. He and his partner were the only freshman-freshman team to clear at the 69th National Debate Tournament in 2015. In 2016 he was named champion of the Mukai invitational at Weber State University and Round Robin. Winner of the 2017 UMKC National Season Opener. In 2018 Geo was part of only a handful of Cross Examination Debate Association final round closeouts being named champion of the CEDA national championship. Geo was named the 2019 Brian Johnston Outstanding Debater of the Year and All American (2018-2019). Geo graduated with a dual degree in Political Science and Communication Studies with a minor in Latinx studies concentrating in Caribbean history. Geo is now completing a law degree and coaching varsity college debate at CSU Long Beach.
Harry Yu has been coaching Speech and Debate for nearly a decade and have been working at the HDCSW for the past 5 summers. As a competitor in High School, Harry focused on LD and Extemp., but transitioned to Policy Debate in college at Trinity University. Following in the footsteps of his coach, Harry became a Speech and Debate coach striving to provide opportunities that were given to him. As a coach, Harry has coached multiple finalists at the local, state and national levels in multiple events, including the NSDA National champion in Congressional Debate twice. Currently he is coaching at Memorial High School in Houston, TX with a focus on LD, PF and Policy debate. This year, he his team obtained 7 TOC bids in LD and Congress. Harry likes being ironic and collecting comic books. He hopes to pay it forward by inspiring someone to be a debate coach one day.
Elijah Onik debated at Glen Rock High School for three years, and debated as an independent entry for Glen Rock BergenTech his senior year. In that time he amassed 6 bids to the Tournament of Champions and was ranked as high as 6th in the nation. Notable results include championing the Peninsula Invitational, Semifinals at TOC Digital Speech and Debate Series 1, and quarterfinals at James Logan and The UK Season Opener. As a coach, Elijah founded the GRHS Public Forum team, coaching students from beginners in novice to breaking at national tournaments.
Alex is a incoming Harvard student, one of the captains of and a returning member of Team USA, as well as a two-time NSDA national champion with the West Los Angeles Violets. Having competed in World Schools for three years, he championed the Vietnam World Schools Debating Championships as the alternate, the Harvard World Schools Invitational, Greenhill, UC Berkeley, Harvard-Westlake, Malaysia, Jack Howe, and Rato Bangala. He has reached late elimination rounds and earned top speaker awards at Pacific Schools, Hong Kong Invitational, Oldham Cup, Doxbridge, NDCA, Tufts, Damus, and UPenn. You can usually find him struggling through computer science assignments, playing with his archetypal Asian dog, or learning the newest Laufey song on the guitar. Whatever he’s up to, though, Alex cannot wait to meet everyone at Harvard Debate Council’s Summer Workshops!
Chelsea Hu is currently serving as a co-captain of the USA National Debate Team. She was also honored to represent the United States at the 2023 World Schools Debating Championships, where she and her teammates brought home the World Champion title for the first time in 29 years! There, she also placed 11th as an individual speaker. With Team USA, Chelsea has championed and top-spoke the highly prestigious Harvard World Schools Debating Invitational twice. She has also won or reached elimination rounds at over 25 international or national tournaments, including two installations of the Doxbridge tournament. Outside of debate, Chelsea is passionate about critical writing. She was one of six high-school students solicited for an internship with The Harvard Crimson. Her works have also gained commendation at multiple writing competitions, including the Scholastic Art and Writing Awards and the John Locke Essay Competition. Beyond that, Chelsea is also interested in studying economics, chemistry, and French, achieving national awards in all three activities. She is incredibly excited for a summer of debate and fun!
Christopher Vincent is the Director of Speech & Debate at Isidore Newman School in New Orleans, LA and has been involved in competitive speech & debate for almost 20 years. He has coached at both the high school and collegiate level where his students have won multiple state championships and reached notable success at almost every major national tournament, including the NSDA National Tournament and the Tournament of Champions. In 2021 he was awarded the Louisiana High School Speech League State Coach of the Year, currently serves on the Louisiana District Committee of the NSDA and is on the Executive Council for the LHSSL. He has taught and directed at several summer workshops including Indiana University, University of North Texas, and the Institute for Speech & Debate.
Michael Bole is excited to be joining the Harvard Debate Council this Summer. Formerly the Director of World Schools Debate at the Global Debate Symposium, he helped grow the largest World Schools Debate program in the country. He brings over five years of experience in designing and operating unforgettable debate programs. Michael is a proud alum of the USA Debate team. He was the first student from Florida to be selected for the National Team. As a debater, he won the Florida State Championship, made finals at multiple international tournaments, and placed third at the US National Tournament. In 2019, he was recognized by the National Speech and Debate Association as a finalist for the National Student of the Year award. A graduate of both Emory University and Dreyfoos School of the Arts, Michael now works in Deloitte’s Clients & Markets team to support the firm's operations and business generation.
Nicholas Aranda is currently an instructor and debate coach at Colorado Academy in Denver, where he teaches Honors courses on US history, military history, security studies, and foreign policy. He has extensive experience as a debate coach, including his role as a member of the Greenhill coaching staff, coaching the 2022 Texas State Champions in World Schools Debate, 2022 NDCA WSD National Champions, and the 2023 NSDA national semi-finalists. In 2021, Aranda was recognized with the Volunteer of the Year award by the Denver Urban Debate League. Similarly, Aranda has been a presenter and official at numerous debate conferences and has also taught at debate initiatives around the world, including workshops and seminars at An-Najah National Palestinian University, the Stanford National Forensics Institute, Baylor University, & the Global Debate Symposium. Aranda holds dual undergraduate degrees in Philosophy and Peace Studies from Regis University and an MA from the A.Q. Miller School of Media, Communication, & Journalism at Kansas State University. Aranda has written works and presented at National and International academic conferences on topics related to Argumentation and Debate, Race, Gender, Conflict, Political Philosophy, & Affect Theory.
Ollie Braden is a freshman at Princeton University with a prospective major in philosophy and minor in computer science. They were a member of Team USA in the 2022 academic year, and were incredibly honored to be part of the team that championed WSDC Vietnam in 2023. They are now a member of the Princeton Debate Panel, competing primarily in BP, which has been a lot of fun. They’re very excited to help out this year!
Sophia is a returning member of USA Debate and co-captain of the team. With the USA Debate Team, she placed 3rd at the Pacific Schools Open Tournament, championed the Greenhill Fall Classic, and placed 5th at Hong Kong WSDC International. As captain of her school’s World Schools team, she placed third at TFA State, reached octafinals twice at NSDA Nationals, finaled UT Austin’s Longhorn Classic, championed tournaments including the Coppell Classic, Plano West tournament, and the Grapevine Classic, and reached elimination rounds in the Stanford Invitational and NDCA, among many others. Sophia is currently ranked second in the nation for World Schools Debate. Outside of debate, Sophia is an avid writer with a strong focus on U.S.-China politics. Her articles have been featured in six international publications, totaling 25 published pieces across over 12 nations and garnering over 50,000 views. She is also the youngest staff writer for a startup journalism publication and Executive Editor of her school's print publication. Sophia's passion for writing about U.S.-China politics earned her the National Gold Medal and three National Gold Keys in the Scholastics Art and Writing Awards, America’s longest running and most prestigious scholarship program for young writers, and an invitation to the Carnegie Hall National Award Ceremony. On top of conducting public policy research for UC Irvine, she has spent over 300 hours volunteering, either with an English class she founded for students in China or in the debate camp she founded at Wesley Rankin Community Center. In her free time, Sophia finds joy in making sushi and hanging out with friends. She is excited to be joining Harvard's World Schools Workshop this year!
Courtney is the Director of Debate at Northland Christian School in Houston, TX and serves as one of the coaches for Team Texas. Over her twelve years as head coach, her students have qualified to TFA State, the TOC, and NSDA Nationals in a variety of events. She coached the 2017 TFA State Champion in Foreign Extemporaneous Speaking, the 2018 National Champions in World Schools Debate, and the 2020 TFA State Champions in World Schools Debate. Courtney has spent over fifteen years teaching at summer institutes, and she is very excited to be joining the Harvard Debate Council Summer Workshops this summer; she brings experience from the Global Debate Symposium, Mean Green Workshops, and several winter institutes. When she was a student, Courtney debated for three years on the local and national circuits for Northland Christian School. She values both traditional and national circuit debate and looks forward to working with students over the summer!
Rosalyn Foster is the Director of Speech and Debate at Sage Hill School in Newport Coast, CA. She has coached WSD for the last four years and had students break into elimination rounds at Harvard WSD, Damus, Harvard Westlake and NSDA Nationals as part of the Southern California team. She has helped coach some of the Southern California teams for the last four years as well. She has been working in education since 2006 and has also coached Mock Trial and Academic Decathlon. Rosalyn has spent summers coaching middle school students and her debate students. She is excited to be part of the Harvard Debate Council’s program this summer.
Chuck Walts, PhD
Dr. Chuck Walts is the current Director of Debate at The Hockaday School in Dallas, Texas. Dr. Walts holds a PhD in communication from Southern Illinois University where he focused on the relationship between political rhetoric, terrorism, and ideology. He has been involved in debate for over 25 years as a competitor, assistant coach, and director of policy, parliamentary, public forum, and Lincoln Douglas debate formats and has coached students on the high school and collegiate level. His students have been finalists in numerous tournaments and the state championship. In 2023, Dr. Walts’ students were in the final round of the International Public Policy Forum and the top speaker at the International Public Policy Forum along with finalists at the Texas Forensic Association’s State tournament. Dr. Walts enjoys the collaborative and positive environment of World Schools Debate.
Advika is a prospective Stanford student, a member of the USA debate team, and has been involved in competitive debate for five years, competing primarily in World Schools. She was a 2022-2023 member of the national development team and a 2021-22 member of Team Texas. Throughout her debate career, she has gained recognition at international and national tournaments, championing the University of Pennsylvania World Schools Debate Invitational, Stanford Invitational, Harvard-Westlake debates, and Blake Tournament, and has reached late elimination rounds at Harvard, the International Competition for Youth Debaters, Oxford WSDC, WHO, Pacific Schools Open, and Asia Pacific WSDC. In her free time, Advika loves meeting new people, unsuccessfully recreating recipes, and spending time with her little sister. She is incredibly honored and excited to work with Harvard’s World Schools workshop this summer!
Cameron is a member of Team USA. Her most notable achievements in World Schools include championing NSDA Nationals, Stanford, and Harvard-Westlake. In Parliamentary, she ranked third in the nation for her cumulative performance, championing NPDL Nationals, Cal Parli, and the New York Parliamentary Invitationals. Outside of debate, she is passionate about journalism, pediatric cancer reform, and her Goldendoodle. She is incredibly excited to join the Harvard Debate Council’s Summer Workshops!
David Peterson, PhD
David has a PhD in Sociology from the University of California, Irvine. He has been involved in debate for more than 20 years as a debater, coach, and researcher. Daviud has coached students of all ages throughout the United States and around the world in multiple formats including policy debate, Public Forum, WSDC, and BP. David has also coached multiple teams to the WSDC Grand Finals of the High School WSDC Division at NSDA Nationals, and has coached three teams to the Middle School Championship in the WSDC division of NSDA Nationals. David’s students have also won the world championships as part of Team China WSDC in 2018. David has also served on the Board of Directors for the World Schools Debating Championships.
Deeps Kumar is a trailblazer in the global debating circuit. She made history as the first person of color from an Asian institution in over 20 years to be awarded Overall Best Debater at the prestigious Australasians Debating Championship in 2020. Recently, she was the Overall Best Speaker and Grand Finalist at the Shanghai International Debate Open in 2023. Deeps has broken thrice in the Open category at the World Universities Debating Championship (WUDC) and earned the 3rd Best ESL Speaker award at the Korea WUDC 2020. Beyond her personal triumphs, she's a full-time WSDC and BP coach in Shanghai for students who have excelled in numerous international competitions worldwide, including the reigning champions of the US Nationals 2023. Over the past decade, she has also served as a Core Adjudicator and debate trainer for over 30 tournaments and camps across Asia and Europe.
Joshua Timmons has been competing in Speech and Debate activities for 11 years and is currently attending Bradley University in Illinois as a member of the Speech and Debate Team. Competitively in High School, Joshua championed the Tournament of Champions (Program Oral Interpretation and OralInterpretation), the National Individual Events Tournament of Champions (POI), as well as championing the NSDA title twice (Middle School and High School) in Poetry Interpretation. Joshua was a two-time Texas Forensic Association State Champion (Prose and POI) in addition to winning a variety of invitationals including Emory, and others. In World Schools, Joshua was a part of a team that won the Global Debate Symposium Workshops tournament as well as the Blake tournament. In college, he competed in IPDA and had competitive success there as well winning top speaker awards at the Collegiate State Championship of Illinois. All this being said, says Joshua, “this activity is so much more than the accolades. Speech and Debate have given me so much and I hope to help give a fraction of that back to this community and the next generation of artists. I am excited to be able to work with everyone at the Harvard Debate Council Summer Workshop”!