INSTITUTE FACULTY

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Featured Speakers

Griffith Vertican Esq.
is a licensed Attorney, the Director of NIHD, and one of the most successful Coaches in Stoa. His students include the 2013 National Parli Champions and Top Speaker, the 2013 #1 ranked TP Team and Speaker, the 2015 #1 ranked LD Debater, and the 2015 overall NITOC Tournament Champion. He won our nation’s largest collegiate debate tournament the NPDA with a perfect 14-0 record! His first book will be The Case for Moral Excellence (May 2017).

Konrad Hack is back!
Konrad is the Director of Forensics (Speech & Debate) at Concordia University Irvine. He has been recognized for coaching excellence, receiving the NPDA Distinguished Service Award, the Jack Howe Award from PSCFA, and the Quintilian award from Point Loma Nazarene University. He is currently pursuing a PhD from Loughborough University. His squads have won 4 NPDA team national titles.

Julie Fritz
started a novice speech program for new students and parents through Mars Hill Speech and Debate two years ago. She enjoyed working with 30 novice students this past fall and teaching their parents how to coach competitive speech. She is a former professional public speaker and performer with a decade of experience directing and teaching after-school programs and summer camps in speech, drama, and musical theater. A
fun-loving homeschool mom of two teens, Julie is thrilled to be sharing her skills with students this summer.

Eric Garcia
Coach Garcia has been the policy coach for Veritas since Fall of 2006. As a former collegiate coach, he also qualified multiple teams to the NPTE for both Irvine Valley College and Biola University. His personal competitive background includes twice qualifying for the NDT in 1992 and 1993. He also placed 13th at the California state championship tournament his senior year of high school LD.

Isaiah McPeak
is the co-founder of Ethos Debate Publications LLC. He has consulted and coached Fortune 500 executives, politicians, authors, keynote speakers, and students since 2003. He has coached several first place national champion debaters in parliamentary, policy debate, value debate, moot court, and persuasive speaking. His book Upside Down Debate is a five-star book on Amazon.

Gabe Waddell
Once a homeschool debater (back in the dark ages), is a graduate of Oak Brook College of Law, much of which he paid for with speech competition scholarships. Gabe is certified as a specialist in bankruptcy law by the State Bar of California and currently practices law in Fresno, California, where he was one of the founding partners of the firm Fear Waddell, PC. He specializes in complex consumer bankruptcies and bankruptcy litigation, representing debtors and trustees. In addition to legal work, Gabe is active in humanitarian work locally and abroad, including serving on the Board of Directors for the Ronald McDonald House Charities of the Central Valley, and the Board of Directors of Remember, an organization devoted to caring for the widows and orphans of Christian martyrs across the globe. As a part of that work, Gabe regularly travels all over the world to minister to Christians in need. When he's not at the office or traveling, you might find Gabe searching for scenic views to photograph, reading a wide variety of literature, or cooking for friends.

Staff NIHD & Stoa Alumni

Joseph Abell
after a freak accident in a game of Twister, Joseph sustained a concussion that halted his path toward an athletic career. A week later, he chose to drop sports and pursue forensics to the fullest. Joseph is the only competitor to win the biggest award at Nationals in two leagues - NITOC Tournament Champion in 2015, and NCFCA Sweepstakes Champion in 2016. He finished his career as the highest ranked debate speaker in either league's history. Joseph has coached speech and debate for the past 3 years, and loves encouraging others to pursue excellence.

Matthew Calderwood
is a sophomore at GCU majoring in Government with an Emphasis in Legal Studies. Years of experience and expertise in leading, mentoring and engaging in fast-paced team environments in multiple capacities. Matthew competes for the nationally ranked and accredited debate program for Grand Canyon University. As a freshman, he has tied the most competitive rank by any previous performing competitor and received many accolades for being the top speaker at tournaments in addition to being invited to the National Parliamentary Debate Associations national circuit tournament.

Abigail Ford
Abigail's family has been involved in Stoa for nearly ten years, competing herself for seven. She is an advocate for the importance of all the different speech and debate events, having qualified all of them to nationals as some point in her career. She has won first place awards in interps, limited preps, platforms, LD, TP, Parli, and debate speaking. In 2016 she set a new record for most events competed in at NITOC (11 events), and broke her record in 2017 (competing in 13 events).

Adrian Ford
is one of the head coaches for Kairos Speech and Debate located in Tucson Arizona. Adrian competed in STOA for seven years earning many titles and awards. His proudest achievement is gaining the title of "Hall of Fame" in both Duo interpretation and Dramatic interpretation at NITOC. In his senior year of debate Adrian and his TP partner, Kai McAlister, were the top speaking team at NITOC. Adrian is excited to share his experiences with the NIHD campers.

Audrie Ford
is a English and Communication major at the University of Arizona and has been training the next generation of communicators ever since she claimed the National Champion and Sweepstakes Champion titles in the Stoa Speech and Debate League in 2014. Her passion for speech has branched into a company, Titan Resources, that she runs with her siblings. As a coach at Kairos in Tucson, Audrie has helped her students reach their full potential as communicators so that they can achieve their goals and impact the world for Christ. Under her tutelage, students have gone from novices to champions in a season. When she isn't running her blog or coaching, Audrie can be found taking too many pictures of her cat, Titan.

Daniel Hutchinson
competed for 4 years in Stoa, and had blast along the way. He competed in Team Policy, Parli, and Lincoln Douglas, plus speech events, and it changed so much about the way he thinks, works, and relates to people. Daniel is currently a sophomore at Pepperdine, where he studies business administration. In his free time, he like to drive, listen to music and spend time with friends. He is looking forward to getting to know you! Some of the best debaters he knows got their training at NIHD and you just might be one of them!

David Johnson
competed in LD for four years, and Parliamentary for three years. In his all-too-short Stoa career, God greatly blessed him with several notable achievements, including a 7-0 LD victory at the Cactus Clash 2014, first-place LD speaker at ICC 2015, and second-place LD at Concordia in 2016. He also enjoyed speech events, winning Apologetics at the 2016 Concordia Challenge, and 2nd place in an Expository speech about statistics during NITOC 2016. David completed his freshman year as a computer science major at UCLA. He is also an administrator and writer for Fiat Lux UCLA, an online journal he co-founded with two other students featuring articles about Christian truth and apologetics for UCLA students. We are glad to have David returning to NIHD.

Luke Mcconnell
did speech and debate for four years. He ranked in the top five in two Speech Events during his Senior Year and won several tournaments in those events respectively. Luke is currently a Sophomore in college and taking a Paralegal Certification Program through Oakbrook College of Law in Northern California. His plans are to study Law after attending Colorado Christian University for three years beginning Fall of 2018. The most memorable LD experience was finishing 9th in the nation at NITOC 2017. Luke looks forward to what the Lord has planned for the future, and is definitely excited about all the fun experiences at NIHD 2017!

Arik Schneider
competed in Stoa for 5 years, and was in Speech and Debate for a total of 7 years. He qualified for NITOC throughout his debate career, and finished in the top 5% his senior year. Counting this camp, he will have attended NIHD first as a student, then as a lecturer, a total of 7 times, and has loved every second of it.

Denise Sprimont
competed in both speech and debate for 7 years in Stoa, and is now the debate coach of SCARLET, her home team. Throughout high school, Denise competed in 9 speech events, and Lincoln Douglas and Parliamentary debate. After finishing 10th in the nation in 2016, she went on to Concordia University, Irvine, where she is a Presidential Honors Scholar as a Chemical Research and History/Political Thought double major. She now competes at the college level in Parliamentary Debate, where her success has continued. Denise is grateful for the way that God used the mentorships, friendships, and competition in STOA to shape her life. She has enjoyed every moment as a competitor, and now as a coach, and she can't wait for NIHD!

Sabrina Stedman
is a four year STOA alumni who has had the opportunity to participate in Team Policy and Parliamentary Debate as well as eleven different speech events during her time in STOA. She qualified for NITOC each year she competed and enjoyed various successes in both speech and debate including 1st place Parliamentary Debate (with an awesome partner) and 1st Place Parli and TP speaker awards. As the current co-coach for Apollos Speech and Debate club, Sabrina is passionate about debate and excited to help the students understand the value of this event and the life changing impact it can have. NIHD is where Sabrina got her start, so she is looking forward to being there this summer!

Lexi Stefani
competed in Stoa four years, in eight speech events, Lincoln Douglas and Parliamentary Debate (and she loved every minute). Lexi is thankful for placing well at tournaments including winning Parliamentary Debate with a 9-0 record at the Concordia Challenge; she is most in awe of how God used the entire process to strengthen her faith and character. Lexi is passionate about sharing what she has learned and helping students thrive in the speech and debate community. In the fall, Lexi will be a sophomore at Biola University in the Torrey Honors Program. Her major is Political Science. Currently, Lexi debates in college with Biola and recently took first place speaker winning Christian Nationals in Parliamentary debate with her partner, fellow NIHD alumni, Josh Tey.

Priscilla Stranak
is a freshman at Arizona Christian University majoring in education with an emphasis in deaf education. In STOA, she competed in Team Policy, Lincoln Douglas, Parliamentary debate and speech events. Priscilla's experience helps her in every day life with experiences on the job and communicating effectively with others in a godly manner. Being involved in speech and debate has not only allowed her to grow as an individual, but has allowed her to develop ideas and use them for Christ.

Michael Tant
is an IP (Individual Policy) National Champion and has competed in Academic School Speech and Debate for 8 years in both STOA, NCFCA, and numerous Collegiate leagues. Debate was always his favorite thing and he has competed in all events possible LD, TP, Parliamentary, Individual policy, IPDA, Team IPDA, Moot Court, Public Forum, and even Mock Congress. In both 2015 and 2016 he was ranked in the top 3 in Parliamentary debate in the nation going into NITOC and has won numerous tournaments in all kinds of debate events. He is also currently ranked in the top 5 teams in Parli in the nation for collegiate debate, and he is the 2017 IPDA Professional National Champion.

David Vasquez
David competed in speech and debate for 5 years in STOA, and is now a part-time coach for SCARLET. Throughout his STOA career, David qualified in every event he competed to NITOC in the 4 years he qualified for nationals. David Finished his last two years of TP ranked 5th and 4th nationally for the 2014/2015 and 2015/2016 season, respectively. David is currently double majoring in History and Political Science/Economics at Concordia University Irvine, where he also competes in parliamentary debate, where Concordia placed 2nd at the NDPA debate Nationals in 2017. David is excited to share what he has learned from debate, and how that can be used to train students to be better debaters and Christians and is excited for NIHD!

Brandon Winchel
is a current debate coach at Magnet Learning Academy and a speech and debate alumni with over seven years of experience competing in both high school and collegiate level debate circuits. Brandon was first introduced to debate at the 2nd Annual NIHD camp eight years ago. Since then, he has won numerous debate awards both nationally and internationally, including earning 1st Place in Parliamentary Debate at NITOC 2013, 1st Place NPDA Debate Program with Concordia University Irvine at the 2015 NPDA Nationals, and 1st Place in British Parliamentary Debate at the US-China Friendship Tournaments hosted at Beijing Foreign Studies University and the Xi’an International Studies University. Brandon has served as a debate coach at NIHD debate camps around the country since 2012.

Additional Case Book Staff

Luke Marvin: Editor – Team Policy Case Book