Debate Team Excels at Concordia University Tournament


MACON – Mercer University’s debate team had its best-ever showing at the Jannese Davidson Memorial Debate Tournament, which was held Jan. 26-27 at Concordia University in Irvine, California.

Seniors Cassie Malcolm and Garrett Williams reached the quarterfinal round in the varsity division.

Sophomores Cameron Dawkins and Yasmeen Hill reached the finals in the novice division, and Dawkins was named first-place novice speaker, while Hill was named fourth-place speaker.

“When I think of what it means to ‘Be the Bear,’ the most important aspect is the commitment to ‘pay it forward’ and to give back. I was touched when Jaz Buckley – former first-place speaker at nationals and NPDA champion – volunteered to give up a weekend from law school to help coach Yasmeen and Cameron while her former partner, Kyle Bligen, helped to coach Garrett and Cassie,” said Dr. Vasile Stanescu, director of debate.

“What makes Mercer special is that we do not win because of one or two exceptional students; Mercer continues to win because we are collectively building the best, and most diverse, debate program in the nation.”

The team has upcoming tournaments at the University of Georgia and in Utah.