Samford University

Samford University

Summer Debate Institute: Meet the Staff


Director – Dr. Ryan Galloway

Ryan Galloway                                                                    

 Dr. Galloway debated for George Mason University, and qualified for the National Debate Tournament three times, advancing to the elimination rounds as a junior and senior.  He received numerous top ten speaker awards at major national circuit tournaments including the top speaker award at the 1993 Kentucky Tournament. As a coach, Dr. Galloway has coached teams to the late elimination rounds of every major national   tournament in the country, including numerous teams to the deep elimination rounds of the National Debate Tournament.  In 2005, Dr. Galloway coached the National Debater of the Year.  He has judged the final round of the National Debate Tournament in 1997, 1998, 2002, and 2006, was named the fifth highest ranked judge in the country at the   2004 Wake Forest Debate Tournament, and was named the fifth best judge   in the country in the 2006 Debater's Choice Awards.  He has been the critic of the year for the Southeast CEDA region, the critic of the year for the North Central region, and was named the graduate student of the year for District Six in 2002.  Dr. Galloway also wrote the college topic paper for the winning 2006-2007 college debate resolution.  He is currently an assistant professor in the Communication Studies Department at Samford University.

Assistant Director - Sean Slattery

Slattery Camp PIC 1                                                                     

 Sean is currently an instructor for the Communication Studies Department and debate coach at Samford University. Sean debated at the University of Mary Washington as an undergraduate where he qualified for the National Debate Tournament in just three years of competition. He went on to attend graduate school and coach debate at Wake Forest University where he assisted the squad in earning three First Round At-Large bids in addition to an appearance at the Kentucky Round Robin. 

Policy Debate Faculty

Dan Bagwell - Policy Lab Leader

 Dan Bagwell 2013

Dan is a former Samford debater who attended the NDT for all four years of his college career. Dan's experience at the Samford Debate Institute led him to the octo-finals of the NDT and the finals at the Pittsburgh Round Robin. He is a graduate student and assistant coach at Wake Forest University.

Skip Coulter - Policy Lab Leader

Skip Coulter  

Skip Coulter has coached debate for forty years. His first twenty years were college coaching. Fifteen of Skip's Samford teams qualilfied for the National Debate Tournament over his ten years at there, with two making it to NDT semifinals. Skip then coached debate students for twenty years at Mountain Brook Junior High, many of whom went on to great careers in high school and college debate. The Alabama Forensic Eduators named Skip to the state coaching Hall of Fame in 2006. 

 Stephanie Garrett - Policy Lab Leader

Stephanie Garrett

Stephanie Garrett is the head debate coach at Kent Denver, her teams have appeared in the elimination rounds at Wake Forest, Iowa Caucus, Alta and finals of JV Glenbrooks this season. As a debater, Stephanie was a semi-finalist at the American Debate Association (ADA) national championship and two time National Debate Tournament (NDT) qualifier. Additionally, she won tournaments at Jame Madison University, University of Mary Washington, Clarion University, and Towson University. She also appeared in the finals at Vanderbilt University and received numerous speaker awards.

Logan Gramzinksi

Logan Gramzinski 2013  

Logan attended the Samford Debate Institute as a rising freshman in high school, eventually attending Samford for college to be coached by Galloway and debate with Bagwell. The skills originally instilled in Logan at the summer workshop at Samford were undeniably essential in Dan and Logan's success reaching the octa-finals of the NDT. He is completing his Master's degree in communication at Wake Forest and is headed to UGA in the fall to pursue a PhD and continue coaching debate.

Allison Harper - Policy Lab Leader

Allison Harper debated for George Mason University, where she reached the elimination rounds of every major national tournament, including the NDT. She is currently perusing her PhD in communication at George Mason. Allison has coached at GMU for 5 years. In this time, she has coached several NDT qualifiers, CEDA Nationals elimination round participants, 2 junior varsity national champions, and the top speaker at the American Debate Association National Tournament. This year, GMU is the top ranked program in both NDT and CEDA.

Erin Carley - Policy Lab Assistant

Erin Carley

Erin was a Policy Debater for 4 years at Hyde Park Academy in Chicago, IL. She started off in the beginers conference (a) and moved to the 2nd highest circuit by the end of my h.s. debate career (LCC). She is currently a varsity debater at Samford University. Her major is Psychology with a minor in Spanish, and a concentration of Pre-Law.

Davis Kimball - Policy Lab Assistant

Davis Kimball

Davis Kimball is a sophomore from Covington, Georgia. He is currently studying political science and economics. His hobbies include basketball, soccer, and video games. He is a two-time Samford camp tournament champion.

Josh Morrison-Alvarez  - Policy Lab Assistant

Josh Alvarez

Joshua Morrison-Alvarez has been a policy debater for 5 years for Houston County High School in Warner Robins, Georgia, and Samford University. In high school Joshua obtained four nationals bids and top speaker at the state tournament his sophomore year. Joshua has also participated in the Gonzaga debate institute for a year and the Samford debate institute for the last 3 years, two as a camper and one as a lab leader.

Matt Sessions  - Policy Lab Assistant

 Matt Sessions

Matt "Top Team" Sessions is a rising senior from rural Georgia. He is a history major who plans on attending law school after finishing his undergraduate degree. He is a total bro who enjoys reading postmodern, postcolonial, post-structural, and post-Foucauldian literature in his spare time. He also enjoys checking his yahoo email account which predates the dot-com bubble burst of the late 1990's.

Maggie Thomas - Policy Lab Assistant

 Maggie Thomas

I completed three years of high school debate - one in public forum and two in policy. My senior year I was the Missouri State Policy Debate champion and qualified to NFL Nationals. As a freshman on Samford's team I broke at a number of regional tournaments in JV and competed nationally on varsity my second semester. I'm excited to work with the camp again this summer!

Lincoln-Douglas Faculty

Jeff Roberts - LD Director

Jeff has spent the last twelve years working in speech and debate; and, while he is now retired from active coaching, Jeff still spends time helping debaters and new programs in his off time. He has taught every speech and debate event out there and has spent time working on both the national and local circuits. Jeff’s debaters have performed at the highest levels of competition finishing in the top ten of the NFL National Championship four straight years; qualifying to the TOC in all three debate events in 2009 and qualifying in Policy and/or LD debate in every year from 2008-2012. Jeff’s students won the Alabama State Championship Overall Team Sweepstakes three out of four years between 2009-2012 and his teams never lost a Debate State Championship from 2007- 2012! His students also won on the national circuit at events like Emory, Harvard, the Bronx Science New York City Invitational, and the Glenbrook’s where Jeff had teams finish in late elimination rounds and/or win their debate championship. Jeff is returning to Samford Debate Institute for the second time to help instruct Lincoln-Douglas debate.

Carter Bielen - LD Lab Leader

Carter debated for Mountain Brook High School in Alabama from 2006 to 2009. He won two state championships in Lincoln-Douglas and received three bids to the 2009 Tournament of Champions. He will graduate in May from Boston College with degrees in Economics and Philosophy.

Public Forum Faculty

Oliver Parker - PF Director 


Natalie Bennie - PF Lab Leader

Natalie Bennie

Natalie Bennie debated Public Forum and Congressional at Brentwood High School, winning the state and competing at the NFL national tournament her junior year. She came to the Samford debate team a novice to Policy debate and saw success throughout the year in Novice and Junior Varsity divisions, breaking to elimination rounds at nearly every tournament. At the D6/SEC tournament, she was given the title "Novice of the Year" for her district, won the JV division and won the top speaker position in JV. She is not sure if this is supposed to be in third person or not.