2019 Policy Faculty

Georgetown Debate Seminar Faculty


Dave Arnett

Director of Debate at the University of Kentucky

Dave is the Director of Debate at the University of Kentucky. Since 2010 his teams at Kentucky have consistently been ranked in the top twenty nationally. On 15 separate occasions his teams have been ranked in the top 16 and three times he has coached the top ranked team in the country. Dave was selected the Ross Smith National Coach of the Year in 2009 and voted runner-up for Coach of the Decade. He was voted the 2015 American Debate Association coach of the year.  He is the Director of five national college and high school tournaments including the Tournament of Champions. Before serving in his role at Kentucky, Dave was the Director of Debate at UC Berkeley for twelve years. He has over twenty years’ experience teaching and directing summer camps including Northwestern, Berkeley, Stanford, Kentucky, Gonzaga, and Emory.


Mikaela Malsin

Director of Debate at Georgetown University

Mikaela is the Director of Debate at Georgetown. She has previously coached nationally ranked college debate teams at Emory, the University of Georgia, and Wake Forest, and has worked with many successful high school teams including winners of the Tournament of Champions. Mikaela has also taught at the Dartmouth Debate Institute, the Emory National Debate Institute, and the Dallas Urban Debate Alliance. She received her Ph.D. in Communication Studies from the University of Georgia in 2016.

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Tim Mahoney

Debate Coach at the St. Marks School of Texas

Tim is the Director of Debate at the St. Mark’s School of Texas. As a college debater Tim advanced to the final round of 10 tournaments, winning seven of them. As a college coach his teams reached the elimination rounds at 9 consecutive CEDA National tournaments, and he qualified teams for the NDT every year after the merger. In his last year of college coaching, his top team was in the quarter finals of both the NDT and CEDA Nationals. His St. Mark’s teams have won or reached the final round of every major high school tournament including, Greenhill, Glenbrooks, Harvard, Berkeley, Westminster, TOC, NFL/NSDA, Emory, and the NDCA National Championships.

Amar Adam

Debate Coach at the University of Kentucky


Amar is the assistant debate coach at the University of Kentucky and an online debate tutor for the Millennial Speech and Debate program. He  debated at the University of Kentucky, where he received a First Round Bid and debated in the octafinals of  the National Debate Tournament.

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Danielle Verney O’Gorman

Director of Debate at the U.S. Naval Academy

Danielle has been the Director of Debate and professor of political science at the United States Naval Academy in Annapolis, Maryland for twelve years.  Her teams have reached elimination rounds and won speaker awards at all levels of debate.  She particularly enjoys working with younger debaters to help them understand argumentation and develop their potential.   She received the American Debate Association’s “Coaching Excellence Award” in 2016.  Prior to coming to Georgetown, she taught at the Gonzaga Debate Institute, the Capitol Classic Debate Institute, and the Liberty Debate Institute.

 Jon Sharp

jon sharp

Director of Debate at the Georgetown Day School

jon sharp returns for another summer at the Georgetown Debate Seminar as one of its most dedicated, accomplished, and well-liked instructors. At both college and high school levels, jon has coached teams to the late elimination rounds of every major tournament in the country, including multiple CEDA National championships and consistently impressive TOC performances. jon’s unmatched argumentative flexibility and commitment to empowering students has earned him the admiration of countless debaters and coaches.

Darcell Brown

Head Coach at University High School Academy (MI)


Darcell is from Detroit, Michigan and previously debated for Michigan State University from 2013-2016. He is the current head coach at University High School Academy in Southfield, Michigan. During the 2017-2018 debate season, he coached his team to the finals of the Detroit Urban Debate City Championship, JV State finals and the Octo-Finals of the National UDL tournament his first year as a coach. This will be Darcell’s fourth year working at the Georgetown Debate Seminar. He has worked at other camps as well including the Detroit Summer Institute, DC UDL Camp and the Spartan Debate Institute.

Hoya-Spartan Scholars Faculty


Bill Batterman 

Associate Director of Debate at Woodward Academy

Bill is one of high school debate’s most passionate coaches and summer workshop instructors. He has led the Hoya-Spartan Scholars program since its inception in 2012 and is returning to Georgetown for the seventh consecutive summer. Competitively, Bill has coached champions and top speakers at many of the country’s most prestigious tournaments. He has been honored with the WDCA Coach of the Year Award, the Acolyte Award, the NDCA Service Award, and the NDCA Educator of the Year Award and has served on the NDCA Board, the TOC Advisory Committee, and the boards of the WDCA and GFCA. He tries to coach debate like John Wooden coached basketball: by emphasizing hard work, preparation, character, and precise attention to the smallest details. Like Coach Wooden, he believes that “If you prepare properly, you may be outscored but you will never lose.” Students that have worked with him during the summer celebrate his enthusiasm, work ethic, topic knowledge, and complete dedication to their improvement.

Maggie Berthiaume

Director of Debate at Woodward Academy

This is Maggie’s fourth year working with the Hoya-Spartan Scholars. As debater for Dartmouth College, she reached the quarterfinals of the NDT, the semifinals of CEDA Nationals and received two first-round bids to the NDT. She is a 2012 inductee to the Key Coaches of the Barkley Forum at Emory University. Maggie has coached NDCA National Champions, the champions of numerous national tournaments including St. Mark’s, and the top speaker at the NDCA Championship and the Tournament of Champions. Her teams have twice won the Georgia State Championship. She is also the former Director of Debate at Chattahoochee and Lexington.

Will Repko

Head Debate Coach at Michigan State University

Will joined Michigan State University’s staff after coaching at East Lansing High School where his teams won several Michigan State Championships and the 1995 NCFL National Championship. Will’s success has continued in his college coaching career where he has catapaulted Michigan State to an era of national prominence and excellence,including national championships in 2004, 2006, and 2010. Will was named the 2000 College Coach of the Year.