Debate coaches next generation

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Director of Debate and Forensics Ken Troyer believes in giving back, and he is teaching his students to do the same. This summer, Troyer and his debate team member, Nolan Chaney of South Hutchinson, Kan., had the opportunity to serve together at the Heart of America Debate Institute.

Co-hosted by Sterling College and Kansas Wesleyan University, the Heart of America Debate Institute took place July 8-21. Campers attended lectures on theory arguments and topics specific to the current high school debate topic of transportation infrastructure. Afternoons and evenings were spent researching and working on specific skill drills. Several collegiate debaters offered a demonstration debate, and the camp concluded with a debate tournament for all camp participants. Winners of the tournament received scholarships to both Sterling College and Kansas Wesleyan University.

“I feel it is vital to contribute or give back to the organizations, activities and individuals that helped us accomplish our goals and reach our current place in life,” said Troyer. “If someone hadn't done that for me, I would be a shell of who I am today.”

Troyer serves at camps in several states throughout the summer, but the Heart of America Debate Institute was a highlight because Troyer was joined by one of the debaters from his own team.

Chaney, a senior at Sterling College, said, “I was thrilled to have the opportunity to help. I attended this camp when I was in high school, so it was great to be able to share some of what I know with current students. This is a great chance for us to promote Sterling College and also further an activity we love.”

“The camp was very successful,” said Troyer. “A highlight for me was listening to Nolan Chaney deliver a lecture on kritiks, [a type of argument], and their application to current affirmative cases to a group of coaches. Anytime you see coaches sitting and listening to a student lecture, you can be assured of the value of the content.”

This was the sixth year that Sterling College and Kansas Wesleyan University co-hosted this event.