George Mason Institute of Forensics

GMIF 2011 Head Faculty

Peter Pober - GMIF Director
      Dr. Peter Pober is the only director in the history of the American Forensic Association to direct a top-ten team nationally for 21 consecutive years. Before moving to the college circuit, Peter coached more than 100 high school national finalists. While a Director of Forensics at both the University of Texas and George Mason, Peter's teams have garnered 20 AFA Individual Event National Championships, 3 AFA Individual Sweepstakes National Championships, 4 AFA Team Sweepstakes National Championships, and 10 consecutive AFA Overall National Program Championships in Speech and Debate. Peter was honored with the AFA National Distinguished Service Award in 1998.  Peter’s participation and passion for forensics are unrivaled in the country and he is thrilled to bring students from across the country and around the world to study the forensic arts in the Washington Metropolitan Area.

Jason Warren – GMIF Assistant Director and Director of Extemporaneous Speaking
     Jason currently serves as the Assistant Director of Forensics at George Mason University.  Recognized this year as GMU’s Professor of the Year in Communication, Jason also received the Coaching Excellence award in Extemporaneous Speaking in 2007 and the Outstanding New Coach Award from the American Forensics Association in 2008. As a college coach, Jason has coached over 15 national finalists in Persuasion, Extemp, Poetry, and Prose, including multiple national champions in extemporaneous speaking.  At the 2010 American Forensics Association National Individual Events Tournament, the top four speakers in Extemporaneous Speaking were coached by Jason.  He received his Bachelors of Science at Northwestern University, where we he graduated with an honors degree in Communication Studies and Political Science, and completed his Master’s degree at UT-Austin. While at Northwestern, Jason reached six final rounds in Extemporaneous and Impromptu Speaking, including 2 national titles in Extemp. During his tenure at Northwestern, Jason helped to establish and continues to support the Tournament of Champions in Extemporaneous Speaking. He hopes that his efforts both in the classroom and in forensics will continue to push students to better understand and question the world around them.

Stacy Endman - Co-Director of Interpretation
     Since 2005, Stacy has served as the head coach of Ben Davis High School in Indianapolis, Indiana. In 2009, her students were awarded the top four placings in Poetry at the IHSFA State Tournament. This Fall, she published first academic article in "Teachers of Color" about race, language and culture in the classroom. Stacy is a graduate of the Tisch School of the Arts, and spent four years coaching at Stuyvesant High School in New York where her students were CFL and NFL finalists in Original Oratory and Impromptu Speaking. A former competitor herself, Stacy was the 1997 NFL runner-up in Duo Interpretation.

Meg Howell - Co-Director of Interpretation
     Meg is the Director of Forensics at Mountain View High School in Mesa, AZ. While her students have excelled in all events, she has been fortunate to have 10 students reach NFL & CFL National Final rounds in LD Debate, Dramatic Interpretation, Student Congress, both Extemps, Impromptu and Poetry. Her teams have won numerous Team State Championships in both Arizona and New Mexico and the NFL Excellence in Speech Award. Her ability to help students choose dynamic literature for performance is only matched by her ability to accessorize a suit.

Michelle Hill - Director of Extension
     A graduate of Illinois State University, Michelle was a member of the 2005 American Forensics Association National Championship team and reached elimination rounds in all three genres of individual events. Before beginning her Master’s Degree in Theatre Education and Outreach at the University of New Mexico, she served as the Director of Forensics (and a member of the English department) at Albuquerque Academy. If you find yourself in her lab, you might just get a cake from her grandmother midway through camp. This is her twentieth institute.

Ryan Hubbell - Co-Director of Oratory
     Ryan is a former top speaker at the American Forensics Association's national collegiate speech tournament. He has coached multiple state champions, national qualifiers, Harvard and Glenbrooks Champions.  After a brief stint working as the Assistant Director of Forensics at Stuyvesant High School in New York City, he is back coaching at Desert Vista High School in Phoenix, Arizona where he helped the team to their sixth consecutive state title this past year.

Alexandra Sencer - Director of Congressional Debate
     Dr. Sencer is the founding Director of Forensics and Social Studies Department Chair at Lake Mary Preparatory School in Lake Mary, Florida. Her coaching specialties include Student Congress and Extemporaneous Speaking. Dr. Sencer's students have experienced tremendous success in Student Congress, including qualification to the NCFL Championship and the NFL Tournament as well as final round appearances at the Glenbrooks, the Harvard National Congress, the Crestian Classic, Florida Blue Key, the Wake Forest Early Bird, and the Barkely Forum for High Schools. In 2008, seven of her students qualified to the Tournament of Champions. Dr. Sencer earned a B.A. in History and International Affairs from Florida State University and has a Juris Doctor from the University of Miami School of Law.

Robert Sheard - Director of Public Forum Debate
     For the past four years, Robert has taught English and coached debate at Pinecrest High School in North Carolina. In that time, Pinecrest has sent more than 30 students to NFL Nationals, including the 2008 NFL national champions in Public Forum debate. Beginning in August, he will be the head speech and debate coach at Durham Academy, which just happened to have been the 2009 NFL national champions in Public Forum debate. So by the property of twisted association, he's going to claim credit for back-to-back national champions. (That's his story and he's sticking to it.) Robert is the best-selling author of two books on finance and 90% of a doctoral dissertation that never got finished. When he's not at debate tournaments, he spends a good deal of time cycling and following English football (the REAL football).

Katelyn Wood - Co-Director of Oratory
     As a competitor for Illinois State University, Katelyn was a member of the 2005 American Forensics Association National Championship Team and holds two national Duo Championships (with Kyle Schultz ’06 and Annie Kincade ’07).  Individually, she has reached four national final rounds of After Dinner and Informative Speaking.  For two years, Katelyn coached After Dinner Speaking, Dramatic Interpretation and Duo for the University of Texas at Austin while pursuing her Master’s Degree in Communication. This Fall, she will begin her second year of pursuing her PhD in Performance Studies, also from UT Austin. Katelyn is a fun coach. Don’t be afraid of her. That face just means she’s concentrating.

Senior Faculty

Tyler Fruge is a recent graduate of George Mason University. Having competed for the GMU Forensics Team, he is honored to pass on what he has learned from both his coaches and peers. After a two-year summer school hiatus, he is both eager and excited to return to the GMIF Faculty.

Tim Janas recently graduated from New York University with a major in Russian and French. He also completed his fourth and sadly, final year of coaching the Stuyvesant High School Speech Team in New York City. A former alumnus of the team, Tim has been engrossed in the world of speech for seven years and is proud to have been a part of GMIF since its inauguration. This being his final summer at GMIF, Tim is thrilled to be a Lab Leader and hopes to instill in his students a passion and appreciation for forensics. He will be attending Harvard Law School in the fall.

Adam Johnson is the Extemp coach at Montgomery Bell Academy in Nashville, where he created and directs the MBA Extemp Round Robin. Adam received an undergraduate degree in Political Science from Vanderbilt University and a Master's Degree in Political Science from the University of North Carolina - Chapel Hill. His students at MBA have won extemp tournaments at George Mason, Wake Forest and Vestavia Hills. They have been runners up at The MBA Extemp Round Robin, The Glenbrooks, Emory, and St. Marks. Adam has directed labs at 10 Extemp Institutes. As a competitor, Adam was an NFL Semifinalist in Extemp, the runner up at Wake Forest, St. Marks, The Glenbrooks, and Emory's Barkley Forum, and 3rd place at the MBA Round Robin.

Joseph Kennedy currently teaches mathematics at Fargo South HS in North Dakota. A National Board Certified Teacher in mathematics, he has also taught computer programming, public speaking, and media literacy classes at the college and high school levels. As a college coach at Concordia College in Minnesota, Joe has coached multiple events, and was the proud coach of a squad which advanced three extempers to national out-rounds. As a high school coach in Illinois, Joe coached students in all the individual events, including multiple state finalists.  His Bachelor of Science in Mathematics was earned at George Mason University, where he also earned graduate credits through the School of Education while teaching for the Communication Department and coaching for his alma mater. While a student at GMU, he earned several national out-round trophies and helped his team to four consecutive top-ten finishes. He continues to bring the investigative nature of forensics alive in his math classrooms, where students have learned to fear his one-word query: “Why?”

James McGraw is returning to GMIF as a coach for 4th time after a one-year hiatus. While a high school student at Loyola Blakefield in Maryland, James was the 2005 NCFL Champion in Original Oratory and the 2006 National Runner-Up. As a college competitor at Saint Joseph’s University, he competed in over 50 national elimination rounds, advanced to 10 national finals, and won 2 national championships—in Informative Speaking and Rhetorical Criticism. He also placed in the top 10 in individual sweepstakes 4 times, including placing 2nd overall at the 2010 NFA National Tournament. As a lab instructor and coach, James has coached students to final rounds in Oratory at national tournaments across the country such as Wake Forest, Yale, Blue Key, Villiger, Glenbrooks, George Mason, University of Texas, Crestian, Emory, Harvard (including the 2008 and 2009 champions), various state tournaments, and NCFL Nationals in just the past three years. He will begin a non-forensics career in the Fall but will continue to work as the Original Oratory coach at Trinity Prep in Orlando on the side.

Jeff Moscaritolo graduated from George Mason in 2009.  Over the course of his forensics career, he found himself in national final rounds of Prose Interpretation, Program Oral Interpretation, Poetry Interpretation, Informative Speaking, Communication Analysis and Humorous Interpretation.  He is continuing his work at GMU in the school's prestigious MFA program for creative writing.  He coaches the team at GMU and also coaches part-time at Walt Whitman high school in Bethesda, Maryland.

Colston Reid was the 2006 Virginia State Champion in Congressional Debate.  As a student at George Mason University, she was the 2010 NFA Runner Up in Extemporaneous Speaking as well as a two time AFA finalist in Impromptu Speaking.  This Fall, she will begin her graduate work at Seton Hall University in Diplomacy and International Relations.

Debbie Simon - According to the Book of Life: “The way we measure ourselves is not by the size of our bank accounts nor the numbers of toys we accumulate but in the number of lives we touch. “ For the past 36 years, Debbie Simon has been teaching and coaching forensics. Throughout her career, Debbie has touched thousands of lives. The forensics community has honored her, with many accolades including induction into the Massachusetts Hall of Fame (2005) and the National Forensic League Hall of Fame (2003). As an educator, Debbie believes in young people and knows how to motivate them to excellence. Her love of forensics is genuine, and she is excited to be joining the GMIF staff for her sixth summer.

David Tuck is a recent graduate of George Mason University, and will begin graduate studies in Communication at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln this fall, where he will continue to devote his energies to forensics through coaching. As a high school competitor, he was a multiple Virginia state champion in Prose, Poetry, and Humorous Interpretation, and an NCFL national finalist in Dramatic Performance. At the collegiate level, in addition to multiple national elimination rounds in Communication Analysis and Prose Interpretation, he is both an NFA and AFA national finalist in Persuasive Speaking, as well as an AFA national finalist in Program Oral Interpretation. He wants nothing more than for his students to question and understand the world around them and, through doing so, to understand themselves.

Mike Vigars is the Director of Debate at Trinity Preparatory School in Florida, winner of the 2010 Harvard National Congress sweepstakes award.  He has qualified many students to the Tournament of Champions in Congressional Debate and Public Forum Debate.  Mike’s public forum debaters have won the Crestian, the Glenbrooks, and the NCFL Grand National Tournament, and have reached late elimination rounds at the Yale Invitational, the New York City Invitational, Florida Blue Key, the George Mason Patriot Games Classic, and the Barkley Forum for High Schools.  During his tenure at Trinity and at Christian Brothers Academy (Albany, NY), Mike’s students in Congressional Debate reached final rounds at each tournament they attended, and were runners-up at the NFL National Tournament in the House in 2005 and 2009 and the Senate in 2005. Mike’s students are the reigning Champions of the Harvard National Congress and the Harvard Invitational’s JV Public Forum Division.  He has also coached champions of the New York State Tournament in Extemporaneous Speaking and Student Congress.  Through these successes and others along the way, he aims to provide students with the ability to think critically about current events and policy issues as they grow into future leaders of character and integrity.

Jessica Watkins is thrilled to be coming back to GMIF this summer!  Apart from teaching both acting and public speaking at the University of California, San Diego, she is proficient in Linklater Voicework, Anne Bogart's Viewpoints Method, both Cicely Berry and Edith Skinner's respective Speech Methods, both Charlie Oates' and Dominique Serrand's Movement Studies, and Eva Barnes' Dialect Approach.  Jessica holds a BFA in Acting from the University of Evansville, and graduated this past spring with her MFA in Acting from the University of California, San Diego.  A proud member of Actor's Equity, she is very excited to be moving to New York City in August to start her career.  This is her eighth institute.

Austin Wright is the 2009 National Forensics Association National Champion in Extemporaneous and Persuasive Speaking and an eight-time national final round participant.  A recent Dean's Distinguished Graduate of the University of Texas at Austin, he holds degrees in Government, Sociology and Political Communication.  His research has been published on topics ranging from bacterial epidemics and government surveillance to Taiwanese, Macedonian, Brazilian and Georgian politics. Additionally, he is the recipient of numerous awards for his work on terrorism, including a Rapoport-King Fellowship, a George H. Mitchell Award, the William Jennings Bryan Prize in Government for Best Thesis of the Year and the Top Paper in the 2009 ICPSR National Research Paper competition.  In the Fall of 2010, Austin will begin his second year teaching high school mathematics in New Orleans as a member of Teach for America.

Other senior faculty includes: Duval Bodden, Rebekah Chatellier, Lydia Esslinger, Mickey Cox, Casey Garcia, Melody Carlisle.

Junior Faculty


Jacob Abraham is a rising senior of the GMU Forensics Team. In 2009 he was a national finalist at the AFA-NIET in Extemporaneous Speaking and has competed in elimination rounds in Interpretation, Limited Prep and Public Address on the national level in both college and high school. He is excited to continue coaching for his fourth year at GMIF.

Josh Aiken is from Phoenix, Arizona.  He is a 2-time State Champion, a Yale Invitational Champion in HI and Finalist in DI, a Harvard Finalist and 2-time Semifinalist, an ASU Champion and three-time finalist, and an Individual Tournament of Champions finalist.  Josh is also three-time national qualifier and in 2010 was named the Arizona NFL District Student of the Year.  He is beyond excited to coach at GMIF this summer and will a freshman at Washington University at St. Louis in the fall.

Nick Cox is a rising junior on George Mason’s Forensics Family and couldn’t be more excited to co-captain alongside Quincey Smith.  Nick is returning to coach his second year at GMIF, hoping to make just as many friends has he did last year.  Look out:  high levels of fun are on the way!

Tyler Dailey is originally from Missouri and just finished his freshman year at GMU and is positive that there could never be a better group of people! He is ecstatic to help in anyway he can and have fun!

Kate DeNardi is a rising junior on the George Mason speech team. In high school, she competed in Lincoln Douglas Debate but has since branched off into Extemp, Informative Speaking and Prose. A non-GMIF alumni, she is very excited to see what GMIF is all about and have fun coaching this summer.

Zach Eisenstein is a Sacred Heart High School graduate who proudly shares a hometown with the Pilgrims and Danielle Ohrenberger in Plymouth, Massachusetts. He is a two-time NFL National qualifier, advancing to quarterfinals at nationals in 2009 in Drama. Zach holds the current title of Massachusetts State Champion in Prose and has finaled at multiple national tournaments during the 2009-2010 season including Yale, Villiger, and The GMU Patriot Games, where he also took first in the Dramatic Performance Round Robin Invitational. He is extremely excited to join the George Mason Forensics family and cannot wait to begin his freshman year of college in lovely Fairfax!

Kevin Eaton was the 2008 Texas State Champion, 2008 TOC Runner-Up and NFL National Champion in Congressional Debate. Currently, he is a President's Scholar at Southern Methodist University (SMU) majoring in political science, economics, and public policy.  He was recently named the Al G. Hill Undergraduate Research Fellow by the Tower Center for Political Studies where he will be pursuing a two year fellowship examining the constitutional scope of executive power under Article II in light of the Executive's attempts at using presidential signing statements and the line-item veto.  He is very excited to return to GMIF this summer and looks forward to working with awesome students!

Regan Fallon is from Orange County, California.  In 2009, she was a semi-finalist in Prose Interpretation at the American Forensics Association National Tournament.  Entering her senior year as member of the forensics team, Regan loves GMU and feels privileged to be a part of this amazing program.

Catherine Flatley is a rising sophomore at the University of Notre Dame. She competed in high school forensics and is currently active on the college circuit. Catherine does not quite know how she found speech because she has never actually had a team. However she super loves competing, pretending she is a member of every team and the incredible fun filled learning experiences that arise from dressing up in a suit and heading out for weekend adventures. Pandas are also pretty okay.

Joseph Geoghan attended GMIF for three years and is excited to join the staff this summer. As a competitor for Holy Ghost Prep, he finaled at many tournaments in DI, HI, OI, and Duo. His proudest accomplishments include two first-place finishes at the Emory Barkley Forum in 2008 and 2009 and a first-place finish at the 2010 Harvard Tournament in Duo.  He was also the NCFL 2010 Duo champion with his partner, Dan Marcel.  Joseph will attend NYU this fall in order to properly foster his inner hipster.

Colby Hankey attended GMIF this past summer and is enthusiastic to work at the camp.  Regarding GMU as his home away from home, he is ecstatic to be back at GMU once again.  Throughout this forensics season, Colby has been fortunate enough to compete in final rounds at Yale, Blue Key, GMU, Crestian, Emory, and was a double finalist at the Florida State Championship tournament.  As well, he has competed in elimination rounds at Glenbrooks and Harvard.  Colby cannot wait to join the GMU forensics team in the fall!

Greg Hietala is an incoming freshman from Desert Vista High School in Phoenix, Arizona.  Over his three-year career Greg has qualified to the NFL tournament three times, and to the Tournament of Champions twice.  In his senior year, Greg was in the final round of student congress at Wake Forest, The Glenbrooks, Stanford, and the TOC.  As a public forum debater, Greg qualified to the NFL tournament this year and won state.  As an extemporaneous speaker, Greg was the runner up at the ASU Southwest Championship tournament, and was the champion of IX at the NFL Qualifier.  Greg also created and led the congressional debate program at Desert Vista.  He is excited for GMIF, and hopes to have the opportunity to help every competitor strive for success.

Sam Hopkins just finished his sophomore year at Mason. He loves his team and is excited to coach at GMIF for the second time.

Caroline Kitchener recently graduated from a little convent on a hill in Greenwich, Connecticut. Throughout high school, she advanced to various original oratory out-rounds at CFL's, Harvard, Villiger and Columbia. Feel free to marvel at her laugh. She knows it's her most charming feature.

Kenny Lau is a former GMIF oratory student and a recent graduate from Chantilly High School in Chantilly, Virginia. In his 4 years competing, Kenny reached either semifinal or final rounds at Yale, Harvard, Villiger, GMU Patriot Games, the Tournament of Champions, and the NCFL Tournament. He loves coaching and helping out other campers in any way he can. Kenny is pumped for the NFL National Tournament this summer, but is even more excited to be a part of GMIF 2010.

Aaron Lutkowitz is a recent graduate of Montgomery Bell Academy in Tennessee.   A former GMIF camper, he has been in the final rounds of the GMU Patriot Games Tournament, the Yale Invitational, the GMU Round Robin, the Southern Bell Forum and the Barkley Forum at Emory.   This fall, he will be a freshman at UNC Chapel Hill.

Pat Mahoney (Men's Dorm Director), a rising senior at George Mason University, is privileged to have been under the tutelage of Professors Jason Warren and Peter Pober, and is thrilled to be entering his final year of competition with the ever-growing family of Mason Forensics.  Beyond just being able to expand one's horizons, learning, and becoming competitively successful, this environment is truly wonderful and welcoming."

Conler Mandt is a former camper who just finished his freshman year on the GMU team.  In high school, he was a double finalist at the University of Pennsylvania's Liberty Bell Classic, a finalist At the GMU Patriot Games Tournament, Virginia State Champion in Humorous Interpretation and Metropolitan Area champion in Oral Interpretation.  Additionally, he is the 2009 NCFL Champion in Oral Interpretation.  Conler is super pumped to be coming back to camp this summer as he just loves GMIF so much it hurts.

Katie Miller is a rising senior on GMU's speech team who has competed in:  poetry, prose, duo, drama, communication analysis and program oral interpretation.  She has been in out rounds at national tournaments since her freshman year on the team. A former GMIF alum, Katie is excited to return to GMIF for her fourth year on staff.

Brennan Morris spent three years at Randolph-Macon Academy, a military boarding school. Though, the accommodations were less than charming (similar to a minimum security jail), he was given the wonderful opportunity to compete in Speech and Debate. During his time at Randolph-Macon he competed in over 150 competitions and earned more points in his novice year than anyone in the 80 year history of the National Forensics League. He would go on to finals at nationals and championships at dozens of tournaments including Yale, The University of Pennsylvania, Duke and Princeton. Yet, as a former captain of his high school team Brennan learned that Speech and Debate is not about just himself, but making an impact for something greater than yourself and benefiting those around you.

Alie Murru is from Ft. Lauderdale, Florida. She has advanced to elimination rounds at many national tournaments, including:  Emory, Harvard, Yale, and CFL Nationals. She will be a freshman at GMU, and is excited to join the team as well as the GMIF staff.

Danielle Ohrenberger is originally from Plymouth Massachusetts. She will be a sophomore at GMU this fall and is wicked excited for her second year with her Mason family! Danielle was blessed to have an fun and amazing freshman year. She loved coaching at GMIF last summer, and is even more excited for round two and to come back to her home in Fairfax.

Hoke Pittman is a two-time NCFL and NFL National Qualifier. Hoke competed in almost every event but his focus was on Speech/Interp events. He qualified in OI to NCFLs his sophomore year and in DUO his Junior year where he broke to Quarterfinals. He double qualified to NFLs in DI and Duo his junior year and took DUO and advanced to Octafinals and qualified in OO his Senior year.  He will be a freshman at GMU this fall and is very excited to be joining the GMU Forensics Team.

Jenny Questell has attended GMIF the past two summers. This year, she was a Wake Forest finalist, and has been fortunate enough to be in out-rounds at Yale, Blue Key, the Laird Lewis, and GMU. In addition, she is the 2010 North Carolina State Champion in Humorous Interpretation and is a four-year CFL qualifier and a three year NFL qualifier. Jenny is ecstatic to be at GMIF.

Quincey Smith is excited to once again be surrounded by amazingly talented and inspirational individuals at GMIF that remind why he is about to start his eight competitive season in the activity. He is going to be a senior at GMU where he is the co-captain of the forensic team. Forensics has given him incredible relationships across the country that he is eternally grateful for. He has coached oratory for the past two years and is thrilled to be under Ryan and Katelyn's fearless leadership and direction yet again. It is easy to engage in a conversation with Quincey by dropping the line, "did you watch last night's episode of Glee?" or "so I was listening to my iPod on shuffle and all of a sudden Hanson came on."

Jon Tyree is a recent graduate of Plymouth High School in Plymouth, Indiana. He is a two-time NFL qualifier and a four time NCFL qualifier. He has been in out rounds of the Indiana State Tournament, The Glenbrooks, The Minneapple, GMU Patriot Games, and NCFL nationals. He is very excited to not only join the GMU team this year, but also join the GMIF staff.

Elizabeth Valucci recently graduated from Gwynedd Mercy Academy in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania where she participated in forensics for four years and served as president her senior year. She attended GMIF '08 as an interp major and GMIF '09 as an oratory major and is thrilled to be joining the staff for GMIF '10!  She was a finalist at UPenn, the GMU Patriot Games, Villiger, the Pennsylvania State Tournament, and CFL nationals. Elizabeth is excited to compete at NFL nationals in Kansas City this summer and is looking forward to her freshman year at The George Washington University in the fall!

Rob Warchol is a rising sophomore at GMU majoring in Government and International Politics. While in high school at Cardinal Mooney, he competed in extemp and was a national semi-finalist at both the NFL and NCFL national tournaments. During his freshman year at GMU, along with 3 of his teammates, placed 1-4 in the extemp final round at the AFA 2010 National Tournament in Wisconsin. He's looking forward to helping those who love extemp as much as he does.

Jenna Whisler is from Salem, Virginia and is very excited to join the GMU forensics team as a freshman in the fall.  As a camper, Jenna had a wonderful experience at GMIF and can't wait be a part of the staff this summer

Other Junior Faculty includes: Gabriela Barahona, Mike Lynch, Mike Dahlgren, Sean O’Brien, Gavin Mease, Dylan Johnson, Sam Sapienza.

*Faculty Subject to Change