Sophomore Select

The Sophomore Select program is for students making the leap from novice policy debate to junior-varsity or open divisions. The curriculum is designed with the student in mind. Each session will review core concepts to make sure students are on the same page before developing those ideas with examples from the upcoming criminal justice reform topic. Students will also work together to research and write a new affirmative and negative position to build on the starter pack evidence set. At the end of the camp session, the students in the lab will compete against each other in an intra-lab round robin tournament. The goal is for students to leave their time at the UTNIF feeling confident they understand the fundamentals of policy debate and the core controversies within the issues of federal government statutes over forensic science, policing, and sentencing policy.

Most who enroll are participating in a summer institute for the first time and are still adapting to the activity and the expectations of a summer institute. The Sophomore Select lab allows students to experience a summer institute for the first time with students of a similar skill-set and background knowledge so everyone is on even footing. In that way, we can target our examples and instruction to a younger teenage audience with activities to keep students on track and engaged. In three years, when this summer’s Sophomore Select students graduate, we want them to reflect back on their high school career’s and remember their time with the UTNIF as when they fell in love with policy debate.

The UTNIF’s instructors are uniquely prepared to cater to the needs of students that are navigating the transition from novice to more experienced divisions. Dr. Chase and Mr. Beier worked together for several years as graduate teaching assistants at the University of Kansas. As graduate students, they collectively taught over 25 course sections at KU (including several sections online), coached the overall first-ranked policy debate team in the nation and policy debate national champions in 2018, and spent several summers as senior staff members of the Jayhawk Debate Institute. Dr. Chase also directed the JDI for four summers while completing her PhD. She has since become the Assistant Director of Debate at the University of Pittsburgh, where she also teaches Argumentation. Ian is currently the Director of Debate at The College Preparatory School in the Bay Area. As CPS’ director, Mr. Beier is responsible for the coaching and supervision of close to one hundred students.

2020 Sophomore Select Instructors:

Dr. Allie Chase

Dr. Allie Chase is currently the Associate Director of the William Pitt Debating Union at the University of Pittsburgh. She has almost a decade of debate coaching experience, including five years at the University of Kansas where she coached teams to elimination rounds at every national tournament as well as countless regional tournaments. She has coached the Rex Copeland Award recipients, NDT champions, and an NDT top speaker. Allie also has extensive high school coaching experience including coaching NSDA National Tournament and CFL National Tournament champions and TOC finalists. She has directed and instructed at summer debate institutes for the past six years. In addition to the competitive aspects of debate, Allie believes deeply in the transformative potential of argument for personal growth, education, and socio-political change.

Ian Beier

Ian is the Director of Debate at College Preparatory School in Oakland and a PhD student in the Department of Communication Studies at the University of Kansas. In 2017, CPS qualified four teams to the TOC and the squad has cleared at the tournament multiple times during his time working with the program. He has been an assistant coach at the University of Kansas for five years. He was formerly Assistant Coach at Damien High School. In 2015, his squad was in finals of the NSDA tournament. Prior to his time at Damien, he was the Assistant Director of Debate at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas.