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Debate Hawks Win Four Team and Individual Awards at Wake Forest University

The Monmouth Debate Team won four team and individual awards at the American Debate Association Fall Championship at Wake Forest University in Winston-Salem, North Carolina, held Nov 11-13. This year’s resolution is: “Resolved: The United States should Vest Legal rights and/or Duties in one or more of the following: artificial intelligence, nature, non-human species.”

Jocelyn Marsh and Alex Mykulun made it to the second round of the playoffs after going 4-2 in the six preliminary rounds. Mykulun (12th) and Marsh (16th) also won individual speaking awards in a division of 86 debaters. The debate team of Maria Ortega-Lopez and Alexa Zupka also made it into the playoff after compiling a 3-3 record in the six preliminary rounds.   

In total, 18 Monmouth debaters competed in person against debate teams from over 40 colleges and universities in a tournament that included approximately 260 debaters. The Monmouth team competed against George Mason University, James Madison University, University of Georgia, University of Indiana, New York University and many other schools from across the country. Co-captains Nicholas Yalch and Brianna Palmer, as well as Mariami Ramirez-Tsuladze and Julia Schaeferalso recorded victories in the upper division. 

In the novice division, the teams of Taylor Fenton and James Bellinger; Hannah Redrup and Jack Michael Bruno; Gianna Tandari and Michael Skrezyna; Ilaria Palella and Brendan Sheehan; Sofia Santiago and Taiphane Orangealso performed at a high level at the tournament, according to Joseph Patten, Ph.D., associate professor of political science and advisor of the Debate Team.

Patten expressed his thanks Monmouth debate team alumnae, Sabrina Saenger  (NY Law) and Julia Bialy (George Washington Law), for helping to coach the team and judge at the tournament.

Students who are interested in learning more about the debate team should contact Patten at No experience is necessary to join.