Recap of the Debate Teams Summer in Arizona

Recap of the Debate Team’s Summer in Arizona

Brandon Karkovice and Arielle Giordano of the University Debate Hawks competed in the Arizona Debate Institute at Arizona State University this summer. Karkovice said, “The debaters were almost as intense as the heat, but the week- long research was extremely beneficial.”

The program in Arizona prepared Karkovice and Giordano for the beginning of the 2011 debate season.

“I’m really excited and upset at the same time going into this year, because I realize now I’ve learned the things that have made me who I am at Monmouth, and now the following year is going to be icing on the cake, with maybe some cherries on top,” said Karkovice.

Karkovice said that one of his absolute favorite memories of belonging to the University community has been his time as a Debate Hawk.

“And now as captain, I can see that the scared and shy freshman I once was has grown into a strong, confident young man ready for law school,” he said.

Debate prepares students for vital professional skills, including picking apart arguments, criticizing papers, reading fast, and analyzing situations. Karkovice said that along the way, he met incredible people and the most influential teacher that has impacted his life, Dr. Joseph Patten.

Karkovice described that Patten has not only taught him about the discipline of political science, but about giving back to the community and helping others as well.

“With his approach to the Asbury Park High School debate community, he [Patten] has shown me that teaching others is one of the greatest things in life. He has proven to me that one person really does have the power to change the path of another,” said Karkovice. He said he loves working with the high school students and will look forward to further cooperation from the Asbury Debate program.

The Debate Hawks have been competing at the national level against debaters from some of our nation’s finest universities for four years now. The Hawks strive to make creative, unique arguments to respect the viewpoints of their opponents, and to look forward and prepare for leadership positions down the road.

“What I am most proud of about the Debate Hawks is that in addition to spending countless hours scrimmaging here on campus and competing across the country, our debaters are also committed to coaching debate for students at Asbury Park High School.”

Last year, the Debate Team started coaching a team at Asbury High School. Roughly 20 students were coached every Tuesday afternoon by Hawks. The younger students were given the opportunity to compete in three high school debate tournaments including a weekend tournament in Baltimore, Maryland. 

The Asbury High team won first place competing with 11 schools.

“We’re very excited we have received another generous grant from TD Bank to continue to build on last year’s success. We’re also proud that every graduating Asbury debater has gone on to college, and one Asbury student will now be debating at Monmouth,” Patten said.

The Debate Hawks will be hosting a national debate tournament at the University where approximately 15 colleges and universities from across the country will be attending.

“Debate has helped me so much in life and in all academic areas. I would absolutely recommend it to anyone, studying political science or not,” Karkovice said.

There is also a one credit debate class available to students.

Anyone interested in learning more about the Debate Hawks and getting involved should either stop by Dr. Patten’s office at 248 Bey Hall or e-mail him at jpatten

No experience is necessary.

PHOTO COURTESY of Kristen Gillette