Debate program earns spot among 16 best in Americas

Feb 5, 2014 | Liberal Arts

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The Louisiana Tech University Debate Team flexed its muscle as a debate powerhouse, earning a spot among the top 16 programs in North and South America, during the 2014 Pan American Debate Championship held January 24-26 at the University of Miami (Fla.)

The Pan American Championship is a tournament held to honor debate in the Americas, bringing together the best debaters from North and South America to compete. This year’s tournament was held on the campus of the University of Miami. 

“Like most international championships, there’s an added level of difficulty as a competitor to create advocacies that will be appealing across a broad spectrum of perspectives,” says Shane Puckett, instructor of speech and director of Louisiana Tech’s debate team.  “Understanding core beliefs of geo-politics for a judge from Venezuela will be completely different than a judge from Jamaica or Chile.

“Our team has had a significant presence on the national debate circuit throughout the season and I felt we were poised for success going into the championship.”

Hannah Schilling, a senior journalism and political science major, and Sam Hathorn, a sophomore education major, were victorious as quarterfinalist in the tournament.  This success catapulted Louisiana Tech’s debate program into a spot as one of the top 16 debate programs in North and South America.

“The Pan American Championship was a great experience,” said Hannah Vincent, a junior agriculture education major.  “Being able to meet other debaters from around the Americas was enlightening and eye-opening.  The whole trip was a success, not only with the competition, but also in helping us to hone our skills and gain valuable insights to world perspectives.”

“Earning the reputation and title as one of the top 16 programs in the western hemisphere and getting to intellectually engage with sharp minds from two continents, while representing Louisiana Tech and the U.S…what more can be asked for?,” said Hathorn.

With the competition season still in full swing, the Louisiana Tech team is still looking for new talent.  For more information, contact Shane Puckett at Written by Shane Puckett –