The American Debate Association honors debaters, coaches and alumni of the debate community every year at the National Tournament. The following awards are receiving nominations for the 2018-2019 academic year:

All nominations should include the name and school affiliation of the person making the nomination.

Excellence in Coaching Award – This award is to recognize the excellent performance of a coach, whether a director, assistant or graduate assistant at an American Debate Association school. Nominations should include information on the coach, examples of excellent performance, whether through anecdotes or debate records.

Past recipients:

2021 Fred Sternhagen, Concordia College

2020 Carly Wunderlich, Michigan State University

2019 Brian Delong, Indiana University

2018 David Cram Helwich, University of Minnesota

2017 Ken Strange, Wake Forest University

2016 Danielle O’Gorman, United States Naval Academy

2015 David Arnett, University of Kentucky

Founders Award for Service – This award is to recognize someone in the American Debate Association that goes above and beyond the requirements of their job – examples of potential recipients include outgoing president, retiring member of ADA, a coach who plays an active role in dealing with new programs, a grad student serving as treasurer, tab room staff, exceptional tournament hosts, etc. This award can also include alumni that are still active with the American Debate Association in some way. Nominations for this award should include the nominee’s name, debate history and your reasoning why they have gone above their job requirements, and their ADA school affiliation.


Joy Johnson, 2020 Award Winner

Past recipients:

2021 David Cram Helwich, University of Minnesota

2020 Joy Johnson, Julia Burke Foundation

2019 Danielle O’Gorman, United States Naval Academy

2018 Adrienne Brovero, University of Mary Washington

2017 Warren Decker, George Mason University

2016 Patrick Waldinger, University of Miami

2015 John Katsulas, Boston College

Distinguished Alumni Award – This award is designed to recognize a former member of the American Debate Association community that makes/made a significant contribution to society, their professional industry or a social movement. Nominations should the nominee’s name, debate history and their significant contribution.

Past recipients:

2017 Matthew Sullivan

2016 Timothy O’Donnell

2015 Daveed Gartenstein-Ross