Program Overview

The Harvard-Westlake Summer Debate Fellowship Program is an invitation-only program that provides a unique opportunity to recent graduates and top-level debaters to be involved with curriculum development and teaching at one of the nation's most well-known and prestigious independent schools.

  • Teaching Fellows: Recent graduates with a desire to be involved with designing curriculum and to work closely with top-tiered debaters to create innovation in argumentation and strategies.

  • Candidate Fellows: Successful rising-junior or senior debaters with a desire to make a positive impact in the debate community. Must have achieved one of the following in Policy or Lincoln-Douglas debate: one bid to the TOC, elimination rounds at the NDCA, Qualified to NSDA Nationals.

Summer Fellowship Dates

Summer Fellows (Teaching and Candidate) must attend our 2-week Flagship Session, July 12-24.

Residential Fellows will stay at the Award Winning UCLA summer conference facilities.

Teaching Fellows FOR LD & Policy

  • Travis Fife - Asst at HW, TOC Qualifier, Philosophy Major;

  • Ryan Fink - Asst at Harker, 3-time TOC qualifier;

  • Shania Hunt - Asst at HW, Quarterfinalist at the TOC;

  • Ayush Midha - 2nd Speaker at St. Mark's, 3-time TOC qualifier in policy debate;

  • Pranav Reddy - NDCA Champion, Glenbrooks Champion

Teaching Fellows for MSPDP & World Schools

  • Sara Evall - Harvard-Westlake '15, Member of Team USA
  • Amelia Miller - Harvard-Westlake '15, Member of Team USA

Note: Although the Fellows have been separated here, they will work across all programs.

Program Description

Harvard-Westlake School is one of the nation's most recognized independent schools. Because of its commitment to putting learning and teaching first, HW is consistently rated among the very best in metrics ranging from college admissions to employee satisfaction.

In maintaining consistency with the school's commitment to excellence with a student-first curriculum and a community-building culture, we're offering The Harvard-Westlake Summer Debate Fellowship Program, which is designed to give recent graduates and top-level current debaters the opportunity to train to be leaders in our activity.

Whether these young adults will be go on to become lifelong coaches, occasional weekend judges, captains on their own teams, or just a visible debater whom younger debaters will admire, we want to help them become responsible, ethical and positive leaders in the debate community.

We are dedicated to providing a summer debate program that gives every student access to proven and experienced coaches. Each of these coaches cares deeply about the future of the activity and that is why we have created this program.

Young people play a crucial role in the future of the activity. Even more than experienced coaches, successful debaters and young assistants/judges are often the most visible role-models in our activity. That visibility requires responsibility that is learned through active teaching, self-reflection and exploring pedagogical approaches.

We have two fellowship types:

Teaching Fellows: Recent graduates who will work closely in curriculum design and implementation with our Senior Faculty, as well as collaborating with Candidate Fellows in their pursuit of excellence for the following season.

Teaching Fellows will be responsible for working closely with Candidate Fellows developing evening and weekend curriculum plans both for themselves as well as for other students interested in extending debate-training time during camp.

Candidate Fellows: Candidate Fellowships are given to current debaters who have shown not only their ability to be a top-level debater, but also their desire to make a positive impact in the debate community.

Candidate Fellows will spend significant time with our curriculum directors and Teaching Fellows developing their own skills in a variety of areas.

In addition to our Teaching Fellows, we have put together a faculty that will provide Candidate Fellows to work closely with a number of the most successful debate coaches in the country. There is a not a single program all summer that offers this level of access to all of these instructors, who on their own would be running a top lab.

  • Philosophy: Peter Van Elswyk, PhD. Candidate at Rutgers
  • Lincoln-Douglas: Scott Wheeler & Adam Torson
  • Policy Debate: Jenny Alme (coach of 5 TOC Champions) & Greg Achten (Coach of the NDT Copeland Award Winners)
  • Kritiks: Bill Neesen, Director of Debate at CSU Long Beach

Candidate Fellows will not only spend significant time learning from our Senior Faculty, but will spend time preparing and teaching short interactive seminars (along with Teaching Fellows) on topics that will force them to deconstruct their own methodology in order to convey it to beginning and intermediate debaters.

‘When compared to learners expecting a test, learners expecting to teach recalled more material correctly, they organized their recall more effectively, and they had better memory for especially important information,’ says John Nestojko, a researcher in psychology at Washington University in St. Louis.
— The Journal Memory & Cognition

Participation in the fellowship program is by application-only. To be a considered to be Candidate Fellow students must have achieved at least one of the following: one bid to the Tournament of Champions, elimination rounds of the NDCA, Qualified to NSDA Nationals or a strong letter of support from a coach.

Candidate Fellows must also have a GPA of 3.5 or higher and in good standing with their school.

How to Apply

1. Register for the two-week flagship program on the HW Summer Programs website.

2. Fill out the Acheivements Form. (below)

3. Ask your debate coach for a letter of recommendation speaking to your experience in leadership on the team and/or other involvement in the debate community. The letter of recommendation should also speak to the applicants grades. You do not need to submit any official transcript, but the coach should speak to this fact. Letters should be emailed to mbietz@hw.com.

The coach letter will be used to consider applicants in the awarding of financial aid.

Everything must be submitted by May 1, 2015. Applicants will be notified on a rolling basis.

If you have more questions (before or after you apply), please contact Mike Bietz - mbietz@hw.com