Duquesne Debating Society Wins Team, Individual Awards at National Competition

The Duquesne University Debating Society has continued its streak of success at the national level by winning four awards and seeing one team member named to the All-American Debate Team at the 2016 National Education Debate Association's (NEDA) National Championship held earlier this month in Fullerton, Calif.

Representing Duquesne in the competition were:

  • Senior Janae Stacier of Johnstown, political science major
  • Sophomore Mary Halyama of Cranberry Township, corporate communication major
  • Freshmen Noah Martens of Boiling Springs, Pa., double major in information systems management and management; Chloe Mortenson of Newark, Del., a double major in communication and international relations; and Edward Stumm of Cranberry Township, a double major in economics and pre-law.

Duquesne's final results from the championship included:

  • Stacier was named to the 2016 NEDA All-American Debate Team for her competitive results and leadership over the course of her debate career.
  • Stacier and Halyama won second place in the Open Policy division.
  • Stacier won first place and Halyama won third place for individual performances in the Open Policy division.
  • The five University students won third place overall in the Team Sweepstakes.

The topic for this year's tournament was "The United States federal government should significantly raise the minimum wage." Participants competed in six preliminary rounds of competition during which they had to argue both for and against the topic, switching tactics and arguments from one round to the next. The top teams after the preliminary rounds then competed to determine tournament champions in each division.

"Our students performed very well at NEDA nationals this year," said Dr. John Rief, visiting professor in the communication and rhetorical studies department and coach of the Debate Society. "They demonstrated that practice and collaboration can take you to the highest levels of competition."

In 2015, Duquesne had the top speaker in the Crossfire division, and in 2014, Duquesne won the national championship in the Open Policy division.

Duquesne University

Founded in 1878, Duquesne is consistently ranked among the nation's top Catholic universities for its award-winning faculty and tradition of academic excellence. Duquesne, a campus of nearly 9,500 graduate and undergraduate students, has been nationally recognized for its academic programs, community service and commitment to sustainability. Follow Duquesne University on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.