We are still accepting new enrollments, on the basis of space available!
If you are not offered a spot in the program of your choice, the $250 deposit is refundable.
Confirmed 2020 Staff Members!
SunHee Simon, LD Curriculum Director
SunHee Simon is the Lincoln Douglas curriculum director for the UTNIF. She is a graduate of Stanford University, with a B.A. in African and African American Studies and a M.A. Sociology. She was also the captain of the Stanford Policy Debate Team during her time there. SunHee’s impressive academic and debate background came together in her recent master’s thesis, “A qualitative and quantitative study on the efficacy of mandatory debate classes on urban students’ empowerment in the classroom”. SunHee has been a successful coach and leader in the Lincoln Douglas Debate community for the last 5 years. Her coaching accomplishments include the prestigious Dukes & Bailey Award Winner (2017-2018), qualifying multiple participants to the Tournament of Champions every year and appearances in the late elimination rounds of every major national tournament including Greenhill, the Barkley Forum, University of California at Berkley, the Glenbrooks and the TOC. As a debater in college SunHee advanced to the semifinals of the National Championship Tournament (CEDA). In high school Sunhee was the winner of the highly competitive and prestigious Greenhill tournament and University of California at Berkley tournament.
Will Coltzer, Senior Staff Member
William Coltzer is a rising third year at the Unuversity of Texas at Austin. Will studies government and has competed for UT the past two years. As a college debater, he has qualified to the National Debate Tournament (NDT) twice and was invited to the Pitt Round Robin. In highshool, he competed for Winston Churchill (Tx) in both LD and Policy. His senior year he was in the quarters of Greenhill, Emory, Grapevine, and the TFA state tournament. He attended the UTNIF as a high schooler and worked the camp last year as an RA/lab assistant.
Our approach to Lincoln Douglas Debate at the UTNIF
The UTNIF Lincoln Douglas (UTNIF LD) Summer Program brings together an extremely accomplished and experienced staff of instructors and lab leaders from all over the great State of Texas. With a 100% dedication to offering student-centered instruction and curriculum, UTNIF LD offers a student to instructor ratio of 8:1. This ratio allows mentors to adapt their teaching styles to the strengths, weaknesses, and priorities of individual students and work directly with them throughout the camp experience. We are committed to helping every student maximize their potential; ensuring that there are always instructors around to offer guidance and support. All of our students will have the opportunity to participate in faculty and guest lectures, work in small lab group settings, chose from a variety of after-hour electives, access to one-on-one guidance during office hours, compete in practice debate rounds and the camp tournament, and spectate mock debate rounds from some of the best current and former competitors in the State.
Students will have unparalleled access to some of the top coaches, instructors, lab leaders, former competitors, and current competitors from all over Texas. Each student will also be assigned and paired with a mentor on our staff. Mentors will check in regularly with their assigned students to stay updated on their progress and provide guidance whenever needed. Several practice rounds will be held during the camp, followed by sessions for teachers to analyze and give advice for how students can improve their skills. During our office hours, students will have access to any of our instructors (even if they are not their assigned mentor) so that students can have a variety of guidance and support available to them.
Upon arrival at UTNIF LD, students will be assigned and placed into a lab group based on their experience, skill level, and debating style. Our lab groups are designed to best accommodate and suite the needs of our students so that they can maximize their potential. Those who are newer to debate will practice the fundamentals they need to become skilled speakers and debaters, while more experienced students study in advanced groups to improve their communication and maximize their potential. Our labs are structured around small group settings to make sure that every student received the individualized attention that they need and deserve.
Uniquely, we here at UTNIF LD feel that coach input is important and valued prior to the beginning of our summer program. A student’s teacher and coach at their school (which they attend) may know them best and will have valuable insights to offer to our program regarding the student. We provide the opportunity for our students to have their teacher/coach provide input so that we can best understand the needs and abilities of the student.
At UTNIF LD, we strongly believe that feedback and input is not a one-way street. Upon the completion of our summer UTNIF LD session, our instructors and mentors will provide feedback and recommendations to the student’s coach/teacher for the upcoming school year. Many other debate camps are only concerned about the progress of the student during their time at that camp. However, we want our students to be set up for success during their competitive debate season – so we strive to provide important and relevant feedback to the student’s coach/teacher on not only what occurred during our summer session, but also our outlook and recommendations for the student going into the school year. In addition, as a result of attending the UTNIF LD camp, students join a community of teachers and debaters around the country that they can rely on for help and support during the debate season.
Regardless of the experience level coming into our UTNIF LD program, our objective is to help your student reach their fullest potential during their time with us. We hope they can practice and implement their skills and knowledge from our summer program during the competitive debate season.
LD Program Highlights
100% Student Centered Instruction and Curriculum
- 8:1 Student to Instructor Ratio – Ensuring students get the individualized attention they deserve
- Accomplished and experienced instructors who have vast experiences coaching both small school and big school programs
- Abundance of practice debate rounds to practice the newly learned skills and strategies
- Full Camp LD Debate Tournament – judged by some of the most reputable and experienced judges in the State (added bonus: these judges regularly judge every weekend at tournaments)
- Unparalleled access to seek support and guidance from some of the top coaches, instructors, lab leaders, former and current competitors.
- Access to one-on-one guidance from any mentor during office hours, along with the mentor assigned to each student.
- Student Choice on After-Hour Electives – Allowing students to choose and selected their electives based on their interests
- Small Lab Groups – matching and grouping students with peers who are of similar experience, skill level, debating style, and interests. And providing the best mentors suited for each Small Lab Group.
- Consultation and analysis of coach/teacher provided input prior to the beginning of our summer session. As well as, providing post-summer feedback to the coach/teacher regarding the student’s progress, recommendations, and future outlook for the school year.