June 29nd-July 11th, 2017
UTNIF Public Forum workshops are designed for students of all skill levels. Students will be placed into the appropriate instructional group at the discretion of the Public Forum Curriculum Director. Students participating at the Novice and Intermediate level will be introduced to the foundations of argument construction, presentation and speaking, tournament preparation, and in round strategy. Students with greater experience in PF competition and ready to advance to the next level, will finely hone debating skills and work with the unique structure of the PF activity to develop strategic approaches to contest round victory.All students will give many practice speeches, have practice debates, rebuttal re-dos as well as stop/start speeches and debates.
Students attending UTNIF debate camps must be in High School or Middle School. We do not offer a curriculum serving elementary school students. In rare circumstances, we have accepted students who will be entering the 7th grade, although this requires permission from the camp director. Students must be at least 13 years of age to stay as residents in the dorm. Students entering the 7th grade who are not 13, may be able to attend as commuters, with prior permission from the camp director.
The Curriculum Director for our 2016 Public Forum workshop is Joseph Uhler of Westlake High School in Austin, Texas. Joseph was the Director of Forensics at Anderson for twelve years before coaching at Westlake. His students at Anderson reached elimination rounds at TFA State, UIL State, NFL/NSDA Nationals, and the Tournament of Champions. In 2010, Joseph’s students Haydn Forrest and Shaan Heng-Devan, advanced to the final round of the Tournament of Champions in Extemporaneous Speaking. In 2011, Joseph’s student, David Engleman, won TFA State in Congressional Debate (House). In 2015, Joseph’s student, Nikki Dargahi, won TFA State in Original Oratory. Anderson consistently finished in the top five overall sweepstakes at the UT Longhorn Classic, and, finished in the top ten in overall sweepstakes at TFA State five of the past seven years. In 2015, Joseph’s Public Forum team of Lucy Tiblier and Finley Patterson was invited to the Harvard Round Robin.
All students will participate in experience appropriate discussions and background seminars on rotating PF topics. Students will engage in skills development through practice debates, re-do speeches, and stop/start instruction. The goal is to train students to seamlessly incorporate sound argument and persuasion skills into contest round performance. Students will learn to how to incorporate evidence into their speeches without becoming dependent upon it. All students will receive the individualized criticism, encouragement and instruction they need to come away from the workshop much improved. Participants in UTNIF PF will have the chance to be heard and critiqued by judges and coaches from within the PF field as well as across the forensics spectrum. Students looking for a more challenging experience are welcome to attend both sessions of instruction.