Sunday, March 30, 2014

Idaho State Debate Doty and Ivanovic Finish 4-4 at the NDT; Reflections on One Debater's Experience with Rupp Debate. --Written by Roger Copenhaver

Doty and Ivanovic Prepare to Debate Round Seven at the National Debate Tournament. Instagram by Sarah T. Partlow Lefevre.
Idaho State DI just finished their NDT/CEDA run. They finished the NDT 4-4 with 14 ballots. They were 6-2 at CEDA, the 13th seed, and finished in the top 32. Matea and Kendra are some of the most fabulous people that I know. They had one of the most amazing years and deserve everything that they have accomplished and more. They are role models and examples of what it means to win humbly and to loose gracefully. Scott Odekirk once told me that your identity is not a debater but who you are as a debater should be defined by your identity. This is exactly what Matea and Kendra embody in every debate. I know that even though their careers as debaters are over, that they will go on to do amazing things and I look forward to watching their lives unfold.

This was also the last NDT/tournament for Idaho State’s involvement in policy debate for now. I could not be prouder to be a part of the ISU debate legacy as both a coach and a debater. Idaho State Debate has taught me so much. My experience on the team has helped me develop the skills necessary to express myself in new ways and to be comfortable being who I am.

Since I am staring an MA program at a school without debate next year, I am not sure where my place will be in the debate community after this year. However, I am so thankful for the experience I have been given. Debate means the world to me and I would not trade the last 8 years of my life for anything.

There are a few important people that I feel have been crucial in my collegiate debate experience so far.

Sarah has inspired me. She truly embodies what a good leader should be. She cares about her students. However, while she cares about competition and competitive success, she cares about more. She cares about how her students are doing and wants to make sure that they are thriving in their personal lives. She cares about how her students are doing academically and never hesitates to extend a helping hand. Working under the direction of Sarah this year has been an amazing experience and one day, and I one day hope to be as good of a leader as she is.

Sarah Patlow Lefevre Selfie on Instagram.
Scott has motivated me. Scott taught me how to think. He has motivated me to seek out knowledge. He has motivated me to be innovative. I would not have the academic goals and aspirations that I now have if it was not for Scott. He never let me be comfortable being average. Instead, Scott pushed me in new ways that inspired me to be excellent. 

Photo: Not at the NDT selfie
Scott Odekrik, Selfie.
Jim has taught me what a real competitor and what a real coach looks like. Jim always said that all you can do is beat the next team on the next pairing. Debate is about approaching each debate as a new space to achieve greatness and to work your hardest. When you let other things get in the way and become too worried about external things that you can not control, you loose your ability to reach greatness. Jim taught me the importance of this balance. 

Lindsay Vanluvanee, Jim Schultz, and Willie Johnson Panel Selfie, Round 4 at the NDT.
Lindsay has been an example of what true dedication looks like. She loves this community and is always willing to reach out to new people and to build community. Competitively, Lindsay was always researching and producing new evidence. I know that Lindsay will continue to be a great coach to all of her future debaters. 

Lindsay Vanluvanee at the NDT.  Photo by Sarah T. Partlow Lefevre.
Kendra has been so awesome this year. She really stepped up to the plate and proved that she would be able to keep up with some of the best teams in the nation. As only a 3rd year at Idaho State, Kendra accomplished a lot as a debater on the ISU squad. She is incredibly talented and passionate about what she does in debate and I think it reflects who she is as a person. 

Kendra Doty and Roger Copenhaver Prepping for Round 3.  Instagram by Sarah T Partlow Lefevre.

Lastly, Matea has been foundational to my success as a debater and a coach. I am not sure I have ever been able to express to her in words how important debating with her last year was. She helped me gain the skills and knowledge about debate and important theories leading to the success I was able to have and to who I now am as a coach. Matea helped transform me from a detached and boring debater into someone passionate about what I was doing. Matea pushed me to be better then I ever could be. We won and lost together. We beat some of the best teams in the country and lost to others. I can not thank her enough for the experience that she gave me. 

Matea Ivanovic Prepping for Round 3 at the NDT.  Instagram by Sarah T, Partlow Lefevre.
Now time it's to watch and maybe judge elims at the NDT. Good luck to everyone that is still in!

Roger Copenhaver and Lindsay Vanluvanee Coach Kendra Doty Prior to Round 7 at the NDT.  Instagram by Sarah T. Partlow Lefevre.

Sunday, March 23, 2014

Kendra Doty and Matea Ivanovic Finish as Double Octo Finalists at the CEDA National Championship

Doty and Ivanovic Triples.  Photo by Sarah T. Partlow Lefevre.
Kendra Doty and Matea Ivanovic cleared to elimination debates as the 13th seed.  They won their debate against Kansas FG on a 3-0 in the triple octo-finals.  They advanced to the double octo-final debate where they debated a SFSU/Irvine AP hybrid team.  They lost on a 4-1 decision.  Ivanovic and Doty are both seniors.  But, they will have more debates this week as they head the the NDT.   Congratulations on a strong finish at CEDA!

Matea and Kendra, Double Octo-Finalists at CEDA 2014. Photo by Sarah T. Partlow Lefevre.
Ivanovic and Doty in Doubles. Photo by Sarah T. Partlow Lefevre.

Saturday, March 22, 2014

Matea Ivanovic and Kendra Doty Clear at CEDA Nationals

After two days of preliminary debates at Indiana University, Matea Ivanovic and Kendra Doty finished 8 preliminary debates with a record of 6-2.  Single elimination debates begin tomorrow. Good luck Matea and Kendra!

Kendra and Matea debating at Indiana University. Photo by Sarah T. Partlow Lefevre.

Matea Ivanovic debating at CEDA Nationals. Photo by Sarah T. Partlow Lefevre.
Kendra Doty debating at CEDA Nationals. Photo by Sarah T.Partlow Lefevre.

Friday, March 21, 2014

Matea Ivanovic and Kendra Doty Named National Debate Scholars

CEDA Trophies, 2014. Photo by Sarah T. Partlow Lefevre.
At the opening ceremony for the Cross Examination Debate Association National Tournament, Kendra Doty and Matea Ivanovic were recognized for their academic achievements and ability to balance the demands of debate and school.  Matea was named a National Debate Scholar Cum Laude while Kendra was named a National Debate Scholar Magna Cum Laude.  To qualify for these awards, students must not only debate at several tournaments, they also must excel in the academic arena.  According the the CEDA organization, these awards are intended to honor "Students who maintain strong academic records in addition to their competitive accomplishments."  Three hundred and forty students are debating at this year's CEDA National Championship.  However, the academic awards are based on cumulative academic performance and do not require attendance at the tournament.  Overall, 1,802 students have competed at one or more CEDA/NDT tournaments this year.  Twenty three students were named Cum Laude Scholars and thirty one students were named Magna Cum Laude Scholars.  Congratulations Kendra and Matea!

Matea Ivanovic and the Cum Laude National Debate Scholars. Photo by Sarah T. Partlow Lefevre.

Kendra Doty and the Magna Cum Laude National Debate Scholars. Photo by Sarah T. Partlow Lefevre.

Kendra Doty, Roger Copenhaver, Matea Ivanovic, Lindsay Vanluvanee, and Sarah Partlow Lefevre at CEDA Nationals, 2014.  Photo by Paul Mabrey.

Sunday, March 16, 2014

Congratulations to Idaho State Alumni Scott Oderkik and Tony Johnson and Their Teams

A long time coach at Idaho State, Scott Odekirk is now at Copper Hills High School in Utah.  His team finished 4th overall at the2014 State Championship Tournament in Utah.  They also swept the Original Oratory Division taking 1st, 2nd, and 3rd place.    

A former  Idaho State Debater, Tony Johnson is the coach at Juan Diego Catholic High School.  His team placed first at the 2014 State Championship Tournament in Utah for the fourth consecutive year. Current Idaho State debater Matea Ivanovic is an assistant coach for Juan Diego.

Scott, Tony, & Danielle Jennings With Awards From the 2009-2010 Season.  Photo by Sarah T. Partlow Lefevre

Debate. Work Harder. Be Smarter.

"Students need to know that smart is not just something that you are. Smart is something you can work hard to become."  -Barbara Jenkins

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Try New Things. Try Debate!

“Never be afraid to try something new. Remember that a lone amateur built the Ark. A large group of professionals built the Titanic.” - Dave Barry

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Debaters Competed at the College of Southern Idaho on March 8-9, 2014

The James M & Sharon E. Rupp debate society competed at the Pi Kappa Delta regional tournament hosted by the College of Southern Idaho on March 8-9.  The team competed in both NPDA style debate and in individual platform speaking events including communication analysis, extemporaneous, and impromptu.  This was the last competition of the 2013-2014 season for the NPDA debaters.  The policy team will compete twice more at the CEDA and NDT national tournaments at the end of March.

Highlights of the weekend included:   

* Anne Johnson and Robyn Nicole Hemmert having a winning record but missing clearing on points. Anne and Robyn won 75% of their debates and were the 5th seed.  Anne and Robyn have competed at several tournaments this year - always against much more experienced teams.  It was a great opportunity for them to see what they could do when pitted against teams with equal experience.  As Robyn stated, "This was an amazing way to finish up our college debate careers.  Anne Johnson you were the best debate partner ever!" Both Anne and Robyn are seniors.  While we are sad to see them go, we wish them luck and many future successes.  Also, a little bird said that the team might see Anne again in the role of assistant coach and/or judge.
Anne Johnson and Robyn Hemmert at CSI.

* Samantha Richardson was ranked as the first speaker in Round 2 of NPDA debate.  She was also ranked as the 12th speaker in her division of NPDA debate.  Sam gained valuable experience giving several platform speeches in both Extemporaneous and Impromptu.  Sam demonstrated enthusiasm, willingness to try everything, and a continually positive outlook.  Sam is a graduating senior.  She will be missed.  In a recent facebook post, Sam said, "I am more than thankful for the privilege of being able to be a part of Idaho State University - Parli Debate.  I'm sad to see the debate chapter of my life go, but I can't wait to utilize the concepts I've learned in life."

* Krystal Lynes was ranked first in Round 2 of Impromptu.  The judge noted, "I can't tell you how much I appreciate that you took the prompt and developed it into your own thesis.  You . . . gave the deepest analysis and the most original presentation."  She was also ranked as the 11th speaker in her division of NPDA debate. Krystal showed a willingness to step in at the last minute and to keep going even when facing adversity.  We are looking forward to seeing great things from Krystal next year.

Krystal Lynes and Samantha Richardson at CSI
* Cody Harrison and Samantha Bollinger were able to join the team for the last day of the tournament and to participate in Impromptu. The coaches were glad they took the time to drive out and spend time with the team on Sunday.  We are happy to have Samantha Bollinger back in the fall.
Anne Johnson, Cody Harrison, Robyn Hemmert, Samantha Bollinger, Krystal Lynes, and Samantha Richardson at CSI.

Anne Johnson, Dr. Sarah Partlow Lefevre, and Robyn Hemmert.

Samantha Richardson, Assistant Coach Ryan Barber, and Krystal Lines.

Sunday, March 9, 2014

Idaho State Debate Places Second at Qualifier; Prepares for National Championship Competitions

Kendra Doty and Matea Ivanovic Prepare for Nationals.  Photo by Sarah T. Partlow Lefevre.
Seniors Matea Ivanovic and Kendra Doty finished the regular season with a second place finish for the James M. & Sharon E. Rupp Debate Society.  At the District II qualifying tournament, the seniors bested 5 of 6 opponents.  The tournament hosted 14 teams from 5 western states and was hosted by at Idaho State University. Their second place finish secured a slot at the 68th National Debate Tournament (NDT) for Ivanovic and Doty.  The NDT will be hosted at Indiana University in Bloomington, March. In addition to their second place finish, Ivanovic earned another 1st place speaker award, while Doty was recognized as the 5th best speaker at the tournament.

The team compromised of the two seniors has had one of the strongest seasonal showings in years. They won both the Gonzaga University and Weber State University tournaments. They were also in elimination debates at other major tournaments such as Wake Forest University and The University of North Texas.
Kendra Doty and Matea Ivanovic Prepare to Debate at the University of North Texas.
The seniors have proven to be a force to be recognized because they have one of the highest seasonal win percentages in the nation. At 71.7%, Ivanovic and Doty have the 12th highest win percentage in the nation according to  Their elimination debate percentage of 81.8% is the 6th highest in the nation, also according to  This places them above teams from Georgetown, George Mason, the University of Michigan, the United States Military Academy, James Madison, Wake Forest, Emory and many others.  Overall, the NDT-CEDA debate circuit boasts 159 participating institutions and 1,813 students competing in 71 tournaments so far in the 2013-2014 debate season. 

“These two women work so hard. They have had so much success this season and I could not be more proud,” said assistant coach Roger Copenhaver. “Their success at districts this weekend only highlights a small piece of excellence that these two women continue to exemplify.”  

Matea Ivanovic & Kendra Doty on the Idaho State Campus.  Photo by Sarah T. Partlow Lefevre.
Director of the James M. & Sharon E. Rupp Debate Society, Sarah T. Partlow Lefevre said, “This team’s competitive success is a direct result of the massive effort they have invested into debate activities.  I am proud to see them develop such sharp strategic vision and stellar research skills.”  

While other Idaho State students are looking forward to spring break, Ivanovic and Doty are getting ready to attend nationals.  Over the course of twelve days, the team will debate at both the largest intercollegiate policy debate championship (CEDA) and at the qualification only intercollegiate national championship (The NDT). Both tournaments are hosted by the University of Indiana, Bloomington.  During spring break most students will get the chance to relax and take a break from school. This is not the case for the seniors representing Idaho State Debate. Ivanovic and Doty will be competing during 12 to 14 hour days as they seek the ultimate prize, a national championship. 

According to Partlow Lefevre, ISU previously took third place at the CEDA Championship (2006).  ISU has also claimed speaker awards as high as second at both the NDT (2007) and CEDA (2007) in the past.  Partlow Lefevre said, “Talent alone can’t ensure a big win at nationals.  It also requires a certain amount of luck.  But, this team certainly has the necessary talent.”  

Matea Ivanovic & Kendra Doty. Photo by Sarah T. Patlow Lefevre.

Wednesday, March 5, 2014

Debaters Present at Academic Conference.

Robyn Hemmert presenting at the conference.
Photo by Anne Johnson, debate team member.
ISU debaters Matea Ivanovič, Kendra Doty, Roger Copenhaver, and Robyn Hemmert all presented at the Janet C. Anderson Center's 10th Annual Gender and Sexuality Conference. Director of Debate, Sarah T. Partlow Lefevre also participated in the conference. 
  • Kendra Doty presented a paper titled Do Stereotypes Regarding Pregnant and Parenting Teenagers Change with an Increase in Education?
  • Matea Ivanovic was on a student panel discussing Gender Performance in American Literature.
  • Roger Copenhaver presented a paper titled Queering Education: Challenging the Epistemic Privilege Given to Heteronormativity in the Classroom.
  • Robyn Hemmert presented a paper titled Moms Rising to Equality: A Movement's Rhetorical Strategies in Context.  
  • Sarah T. Partlow Lefevre presented a paper titled (Im)perfecting Princesses: Entelechy and the Comic Corrective in Audience Depictions of Disney Princesses.  
Dr. Partlow Lefevre & Roger Copenhaver after their presentations.