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Benjamin Koh, Director of NSD Philadelphia

New York University BA, Social and Cultural Analysis

Ben Koh debated for 4 years at Loyola High School in Los Angeles where he was the team captain his senior year. His junior year he qualified to Nationals in policy debate and to the TOC in LD his senior year. He was the Head LD Coach at Byram Hills High School for three years and coaches privately. He has coached finalists at Scarsdale, Yale, the Penn Round Robin, and TOC as well as champions at Walt Whitman, the Ohio State Tournament, and NCFL Nationals. In his three years of coaching, he's coached 5 TOC outround appearances, 12 TOC qualifications, and TOC outround participants every year. He is also on the planning committee for the Texas Debate collective and is the director for NSD Philadelphia. 

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Terrence Lonam

University of Alabama, BA

Terrence is a coach for his alma mater, Lake Highland Prep as well for several independent students. As a debater, he earned nine career TOC bids, won Lexington and was a team captain. In three years as a coach, he has coached 13 students to the TOC and 3 students to TOC outrounds. At invitational tournaments, his students have accumulated 39 TOC bids and have reached semifinals or finals at Apple Valley, Bronx Science, Emory, Glenbrooks, Harvard, Valley, Lexington, Sunvitational, Yale, Blue Key, Scarsdale, Crestian and Badgerland. In addition to his responsibilities at NSD, he has served as a senior staff member and Director of Faculty Development at the Texas Debate Collective, a nonprofit debate institute committed to rectifying inequities in access to debate. This will be his fourth summer with NSD.

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Sam Azbel

Bowdoin College'18

Sam is the Head Lincoln-Douglas Debate Coach at Byram Hills High School in New York. In This is Sam’s 7th summer at NSD. Sam debated 1 year at Trinity Prep and the following 3 years at Lake Highland Prep in Orlando Florida. During his time at Lake Highland, Sam amassed a total of five bids and qualified to the TOC his senior year. During his senior year, Sam most notably Semi’d at the Dowling Catholic tournament, Octa’d at Minneaple, Semi’d at the Beltway tournament, and got to finals of the Crestian Classic. Sam also received many speaker awards at tournaments such as Crestian, Sunvite, Berkeley, Minneaple, Glenbrooks, Beltway, Dowling Catholic, and many more. In his first two years of coaching, Sam’s students acquired a total of 34 bids. Sam is also one of the co-hosts of NSD's podcast, Hutt Up or Shut Up located here.  Sam will continue to study philosophy and education at Bowdoin College.

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JP Stuckert

University of Notre Dame'18

JP is a Liberal Studies and Economics major at the University of Notre Dame where he has been a leader in the philosophy club and in a local middle school Great Books program. JP debated as President of the debate team at Strake Jesuit. He has worked as a private coach for a small group of students since graduation, with his two main debaters receiving a total of 8 bids to TOC. Since graduation he has led 8 labs at NSD’s Flagship Session, TDC, and Strake Jesuit’s middle school camp. Outside of debate JP enjoys swimming and reading classic works of fiction and intellectual history. 

His debate interests Aristotelian philosophy, competing accounts of practical reason, and criticisms of contemporary social science research.

First Year Out Staff

Grant Brown

Grant Brown debated for a year locally at Ralston High School and three years nationally at Millard North High School in Omaha, Nebraska. He is the team president and has accumulated twelve career bids while qualifying thrice to the Tournament of Champions, reaching quarterfinals his junior year, and twice to NSDA Nationals clearing to elimination rounds both years. Grant reached elimination rounds of numerous bid tournaments including Dowling, Iowa Caucus, Valley, Harvard, The Glenbrooks, Apple Valley, and Blake. Most notably Grant was a Nebraska State Champion, quarterfinalist twice at Valley and top speak his senior year, semifinalist at Apple Valley, and two time champion of Dowling Catholic. Grant plans to study Religion, Anthropology, and Sociology.

Debate Interests: Postmodernism, specifically Deleuze/Guattari and spirituality, nuanced philosophically influenced positions, and experimental performativity and aesthetics within academic debate.  

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Katherine Fennell

Katherine debated for Stuyvesant High School for four years, and served as the team’s novice director and captain during her junior and senior year. She reached elimination rounds at Bronx, Scarsdale, Princeton, Harvard, Yale, Ridge, Columbia, Blake, Newark, Glenbrooks, and Sunvitational, and received speaker awards at Lexington, Scarsdale, Yale, Newark, Blake, and Glenbrooks. She was the champion of the Byram Hills Round Robin, and got to finals of the New York State Championship. Outside of debate, Katherine plays the violin and loves to cook.

Debate Interests: Deleuze, Identity Politics, and Topicality

Aysha Hafiz

Aysha debated for four years at Newtown High, the only CT school that competes on the national circuit, and has been team captain for 2 years. She cleared at all but one tournament in her senior year, won multiple speaker awards, and reached two career bid rounds. She was the champion of the first NSD Philadelphia Camp Tournament (then named NSD Northeast). In her free time, Aysha plays piano, reads, and eats sushi. 

Debate Interests: Judith Butler, Non-Topical/Performance Positions, and Theory.