August 6, 2020

UMW Debate Takes Third at National Championship

University of Mary Washington Debate Team

University of Mary Washington Debate Team

The University of Mary Washington Debate Team has wrapped up its competitive season with a phenomenal third place finish at the American Debate Association’s National Championship. Senior John Huebler, junior Jo Misker, and first-year students Andrew Hudgins and Ainsley Rucker remained on campus for most of spring break in order to prepare to compete at the National Championship held at the University of Nevada-Las Vegas, March 6-8. The tournament fielded competitors from across the nation, including Harvard, University of California-Berkeley, and Dartmouth, as well as UMW’s frequent competitors from the region, including George Mason, Liberty and the U.S. Naval Academy.

Rucker and Huebler competed in varsity, with wins against an opponent from Indiana University and an opponent from the University of Michigan that reached the Sweet Sixteen. This was Huebler’s final competition as a member of UMW Debate, as all remaining competitions for the semester have been cancelled due to COVID-19.

Hudgins and Misker competed in the novice division and reached the Final Four at the championship, debating teams from Liberty, Monmouth, Emory, George Mason, Boston College, and Minnesota in the preliminary rounds. They finished the preliminary rounds as the 8th seed, with 4 wins and 2 losses. In the octafinals, they faced California State University-Long Beach, and won on a unanimous 3-0 decision. In the quarterfinals, they had a rematch with an opponent from the preliminary rounds, top-seeded George Mason. They won that debate on a 2-1 decision. In the semifinals, they had another rematch against Liberty, concluding with a 2-1 decision for Liberty.

“Jo and Andrew had their year of hard work produce competitive results. Each of these two highly talented individuals put in countless hours thinking, preparing, meeting and practicing, to achieve a semifinalist finish at the national tournament.  A remarkable achievement, every bit earned and deserved,” said Judd Kimball debate coach at UMW.

In addition to those accomplishments, Hudgins was awarded the 8th Speaker at the tournament, and Misker finished 11th. Adrienne Brovero, UMW’s Director of Debate, was recognized by the American Debate Association as the “Judge of the Year” based on student polling. Rucker was also recognized for having begun the season as a novice and moving up and competing in varsity for the second half of the season, which is a relatively rare feat.

Alumni coach Terrell Taylor (’11), summed up the experience, noting “Twelve years ago, I made it to the semifinals of the ADA novice division. It’s exciting to see a new generation playing the game with that level of heart and enthusiasm. Coaching is a labor of love, especially when the debaters bring both talent and effort to the table.”

The team, like many, is now gearing up for moving its operations online. The team is hoping to be able to host multiple virtual public debates later in the semester, which will be open to the public. Information about those events will be available via the team’s social media in later March.

To follow the team, follow @UMWDebate on Twitter & Instagram, and University of Mary Washington Debate on Facebook.

 

UMW Debate Team Starts the New Year with Big Win

UMW First-Year Ainsley Rucker (right) teamed up with U.S. Naval Academy student Matthew Pickard to win the novice championship against George Mason University at the Georgetown Debate Tournament, Jan. 3-5.

UMW First-Year Ainsley Rucker (right) teamed up with U.S. Naval Academy student Matthew Pickard to win the novice championship against George Mason University at the Georgetown Debate Tournament, Jan. 3-5.

The University of Mary Washington Debate Team started off the new year with a bang, winning the novice championship at the first tournament of the semester. Senior John Huebler, and first-year students Amanda Ciocca and Ainsley Rucker returned early from winter break to compete at the Georgetown Debate Tournament, January 3-5. The tournament fielded competitors from across the nation, including Harvard, University of California-Berkeley, and Dartmouth, as well as UMW’s frequent competitors from the region, including George Mason, Georgetown and the U.S. Naval Academy

Ciocca and Huebler competed in varsity, with wins against opponents from Georgetown and New York University. Rucker competed with a partner from another school – Matthew Pickard, from the Naval Academy in a combined junior varsity and novice division. They faced opponents from George Mason, Rochester, and New York University. In the novice final round, they were assigned to negate George Mason’s proposal to cooperate with China on space-based solar power. They defeated George Mason by a 2-1 decision of the judges.

“Ainsley and her colleague from Navy debated very well all weekend in a very tough division that included junior varsity teams. It was great to start the semester off with a strong win. The spring semester tournament schedule is intense and starting off the semester with a tournament win gives our squad momentum,” said Adrienne Brovero, director of debate at UMW.

The team is now gearing up for tournaments at the Naval Academy and Liberty in January, and hosting and competing in the District VII National Debate Tournament Qualifier in February. The team is also preparing to host multiple debates on campus during the semester, which will be open to the public. Information about those events will be available via the team’s social media in later January.

To follow the team, follow @UMWDebate on Twitter & Instagram, and University of Mary Washington Debate on Facebook.

UMW Student Recognized with Debate Award

University of Mary Washington senior Mariah Young was awarded the Julia Burke Award for Character and Excellence at the American Debate Association Nationals. She is the fourth UMW student to receive the award.   Senior Mariah Young Established in 2002, the award recognizes the college policy debater who displays passion for debate, a commitment to helping others, love and respect for the American Debate Association policy debate community and dedication to maintaining friendships in the face of competition. The recipient is recognized with a personal trophy and a $2,000 donation to the charity of choice. Young selected the nonprofit She Should Run, aimed at getting more women involved in politics and public leadership. “The award serves as recognition that our debaters have shown character and goodwill in the heat of competition,” said Adrienne Brovero, director of UMW’s Debate Team. “Mariah exemplifies all those qualities.” A political science and journalism double major from Chesapeake, Va., Young has been a member of the debate team for all four years of her education at UMW. In addition to participating in dozens of public debates, she has participated in the Madison Cup Debates and the Randolph-Macon Washington-Franklin Cup Debates. In 2013, Young represented UMW in a public debate on the presidential war powers sponsored by George Washington University and the Miller Center for Public Affairs of the University of Virginia. “She is a leader and a mentor among her teammates,” said Brovero. “The compassion, friendliness and selflessness she has exhibited with her teammates and her competitors provided our squad and others with an excellent example to model.” Young also is managing editor with the Blue and Gray Press student newspaper and is a lead consultant for UMW’s speaking center.  After graduation, she will take a role as graduate assistant for the debate team and will pursue a master’s degree in communications at George Mason University. According to Young, UMW’s debate team has enhanced her life in more ways than one. “Without a doubt, the team has not only made me a better student and debater, but has helped me become a better person,” said Young. The team has seen several successes in recent years, most notably:
  • 2014 American Debate Association National Champion
  • 2014 National Debate Tournament 6th Ranked Team
  • 2014 Washington-Franklin Cup Champions
  • 2013 National Debate Tournament 5th Ranked Team
  • 2013 Elysee Treaty Debate Semi-Finalists
For more information about the award, visit http://juliaburkefoundation.com/ada-award.php.

UMW to Host British National Debate Team, Oct. 23

The University of Mary Washington Debate Team will host the British National Team for a public debate on Thursday, October 23. The debate will take place at 7:30 p.m. in Monroe Hall, Room 116. The event is free and open to the public, and audience participation is welcomed.   Tom Pacheco and Mariah Young The topic for the debate will be “This House regrets the rise of the Tea Party.” UMW will be represented by Mariah Young (’15, Chesapeake) and Thomas Pacheco (’14, Baltimore), who will debate British National Team members Kate Brooks and Alice Coombs Huntley. The British debaters will affirm the resolution, while the UMW debaters will negate. The event is part of the 2014 British Debate Tour sponsored by the National Communication Association and the Committee on International Discussion and Debate. The University of Mary Washington was one of the host institutions selected to participate in the eight week fall tour. Other hosts include George Washington University, Pennsylvania State University, University of Pittsburgh and Cornell University. The debate will be the third one sponsored by UMW this semester, following an intercollegiate tournament and an additional public debate. The team also has completed tournament competitions in Georgia, Kentucky, Virginia and Washington, D.C. After this week’s debate, the UMW Debate Team will wrap up competition for the fall semester with tournaments at Liberty University and Wake Forest University. Additionally, the team will be sponsoring another public debate in late November. For more information on the debate, please contact Adrienne Brovero, Director of Debate, at adri.debate@gmail.com or (540) 654-2128.