Forensics Results


We finally resumed travel, heading out to the United States University Debating Championships (the USUDC), hosted by Hobart & William Smith College in upstate New York. Topics for debate included: Teach for America, Unions, Black Liberation Theology, the relationship between Russia and China, using machine learning to make decisions about prison sentences, and even the possibility of a world in which continental drift had never happened.


Covid continued to keep us centered in online debate formats. However, we were able to host an on-campus debate centered around the subject "Ring by Spring."


Due to Covid, all competitions went into an online format hosted via various platforms like Zoom or Yaatly.

Several of our students competed in Impromptu Speaking -- a model in which you are given only 7 minutes to both prepare and give the speech -- as well as Prose Interpretation.

Emily Meeuwsen was a finalist at the Linfield competition, which qualified her to be George Fox's first competitor at the National Forensics Association National Individual Events Tournament (NFA NIET) in recent memory.

More importantly, we kept using our weekly meetings as a way to de-stress from both politics and the pandemic.


We try to take one big trip each year, which had traditionally been to attend the national tournament (the USUDC). But this year, the tournament was scheduled for Chicago. Nothing against the Windy City, but visiting in April didn't really set our hearts afire.

So we decided to attend the Pan Pacific Debating Championships in Hawaii instead! We were very fortunate, as the tournament concluded just as Covid lockdowns were starting to happen.

Hawaii 2020

Joel Sigrist and Lane Kimbro made it to the Semifinal Round, Gatlin Cyrus and John Seegobin missed elimination rounds on a tie that had to be broken three levels into the procedure, and Molly Cox and Taryn La Lanne were right there in the hunt, too!
Definitely hoping to go back soon and often!


Justine Hostetler and Anna Gallagher started the year strong, winning top speaker awards at the Oregon State Penitentiary Tournament.

Our big trip in 2019 took us to Clemson and all of its Waffle House goodness.


Our major trip in 2018 took us to the USUDC in Stanford, one of the rare locations in which hotels are more expensive during the week than on the weekend (because of all of the Silicon Valley business trips).

It was also our first all-Uber, all-the-time trip, with mixed reviews.


Our big trip in 2017 took us back to Washington, DC for a tournament hosted by the French Embassy. The Lafayette Debates focus on large social issues that affect the entire globe. In this case, we debated about the best immigration policies, especially in terms of the needs of refugees. In addition to being a wonderful experience, the tournament also adds two powerful motivators to the mix: 1) the winners receive a traveling trophy of one of Lafayette's own maps from the Revolutionary War, and 2) the teams that make it to finals also get a trip to Paris.

Relatively new debaters Cayla Bleoaja and Anna Sovereign made it into elimination rounds, but fell short of the big prize. However, Fox alum Jen Newman made it to the final competing in Vanderbilt's graduate program!


We took part in another unique experience this year: NASA hosted a two-leg tournament--one at the University of Washington, one in Washington, DC--inviting collegiate debaters to debate the ethics of exploration. Specifically, we debated the possible implications of finding any kind of life on Mars, attempting to craft guidelines for future projects. The most interesting part of this event was that our judges were actual NASA astronauts and scientists. Folks, you haven't lived until you've debated in front of someone who has a Wikipedia page charting how long they've walked in space!

Panorama of NASA Debates, UW, 2014


Shannon Scott started his first year as Director of Forensics...and went to prison immediately.

Linfield's Director of Forensics runs a terrific outreach program in the Oregon State Penitentiary. The inmates take classes in debate, research, and critical thinking, then they welcome us in for a tournament each year. It's a fantastic learning experience, since debating topics like body cams on police officers gets a lot more real when you're debating with inmates in front of an audience of inmates.

We also attended the United States University Debating Championships, hosted in Anchorage, Alaska, Where Jen Newman and Kathryn Knight were the top-ranked team from Oregon.



On the weekend of Oct. 13-14, 2012, the George Fox University debate team took six British Parliamentary teams to a tournament at Lewis & Clark College in Portland, Oregon. This tournament was the largest regional tournament for BP competition the George Fox team has attended over the past four years; there were 52 teams (104 students) overall, from universities such as University of Denver, Portland State, Humboldt State and Willamette.

Out of the six George Fox teams, five broke into elimination rounds – a new record for the team. In fact, George Fox teams were represented in the final rounds of all three divisions of the tournament. Here are the final results:


AJ Mendoza and Luke Petach won their final round, making them tournament champions in the Novice Division. Also competing in the final round in Novice Division was Karina Ramirez and Kathryn Knight, who took third overall (and they were the top-ranked novice team going into the final round). It was Karina and Kathryn’s first time competing at a tournament, and AJ and Luke’s second time in competition.


In Junior Division, Patrick Campbell and Kaitlyn Elting qualified for the final round, and took third overall.


Landon Isabell and Jenny Newman are also eligible to compete in Junior Division, but they did so well in preliminary rounds that they broke into the competitive senior-level quarterfinals. Stephen Kenyon and Brice Ezell also qualified for senior quarterfinals, and ultimately advanced to the final round, where they took third overall.

The team also had two students who were recognized as Top Speakers at the tournament: Stephen Kenyon was ranked as the eighth-best speaker, and his partner, Brice Ezell, placed second overall with his speaker scores.

Northwest Forensics Conference

in 2012, George Fox's forensics team was recognized as a Bronze Medal Program in the Northwest Forensics Conference (NFC), a region encompassing Oregon, Washington, Idaho, Montana, Northern California and Alaska. Stephen Kenyon and Brize Ezell were recognized as top debaters in the NFC, each earning an honorable mention for the Coaches Commemorative Award. George Fox was also recognized as a Silver Medal Quality Program in the Northwest, an award that compares the number of awards won with the size of the team.

Regional Tournaments

George Fox also brought home awards from each of the four regional tournaments the team attended in 2011-12:

  • At the Lewis & Clark tournament in October, the squad earned the Bronze Medal in debate and followed that with a Gold Medal debate championship at the Linfield tournament in November. At Linfield, Ezell and Kenyon took first place in British Parliamentary debate, and Mary Lane was tournament champion in the Dramatic Interpretation speech event. George Fox ultimately won the Bronze Medal sweepstakes award at Linfield.
  • At the Lower Columbia tournament in November, George Fox brought home 10 awards total: Ezell and Kenyon took the Silver Medal in debate and earned the first- and third-place Top Speaker awards, respectively; Lane earned another Gold Medal in Dramatic Interpretation, and Pilar Beier, Larkin Madden, Traci Sirotiak and Karina Ramirez brought home six additional speaking awards between them.
  • In January, George Fox attended a tournament at Pacific University. Freshmen debaters Jenny Newman and Landon Isabell won third place, with Josiah Hotovec and Micah Hotovec taking fifth. Isabell and Josiah Hotovec were also recognized as Top Speakers, and Lane once again took the Gold Medal in Dramatic Interpretation. Overall, George Fox finished in second place at Pacific.

U.S. Universities National Debate Tournament

After significant and consistent regional success, the George Fox team completed its competitive season by taking 10 debaters to the 2012 United States Universities National Debate Tournament, held at Willamette University April 13-15. The team went head to head with almost 200 other teams from established debate programs across the world, including Yale, Cornell, UCLA, Stanford, and University of London, among others. The George Fox debaters ended up in the middle of the field – a worthy accomplishment for a small team that is relatively new to British Parliamentary style debate.