Bryan Headshot

Bryan Weber

Debate Program Director

  • Award-winning speech and debate coach with over 25 years of experience at the primary, secondary, and university levels.
  • Recipient of the National Speech and Debate Association’s Donus D. Roberts Coaching Excellence Award and recognized as Teacher of the Year in Houston, Texas
  • Coached teams to multiple championships and speaker awards at Harvard, Stanford, and Georgetown, top finishes at Yale, Princeton, and the China and US National Championships, and numerous other accolades.
  • Former director of the Houston and Minnesota Urban Debate Leagues, which produced both state and national champions and introduced hundreds of students to speech and debate
  • As a debater was the two-time Texas state silver medalist, a US national qualifier, and consistently finished in championship rounds of both speech and debate
  • Holds graduate and undergraduate degrees in International Affairs and Political Science

Our Talented Team

Connor Stewart Hunter
Bishal Podder
Gia-An Trinh
Gia-An Trinh
Reid Marcus
Osezele Okoruwa
Blake Meyer
Adrian Lask
Charlotte Gilby
Judy Jiang
Stephanie Chang
Brooks Howell
Ash Hulewicz
Diggory Waddle
Jade Zhong
Tina Yong
Tina Yong
Jackie Massey
Alex Gagne
Eliz Zhou
Katy Exton
Yash Parmar
Justin Whyte
Bobo Wong
Evelyn Kim
Evelyn Kim
Nathan Schwarz-Lee
Yuki Zhao
Alikhan Kazenov

Connor Stewart Hunter

  • Co-Founder of VDA
  • 6+ years of competitive debate experience
  • Represented UBC at World  universities Debating Championship (2016)
  • Training Director of the UBCDS (2015-2016)
  • coached the 2019 stanford champions as well as countless other awards

Adrian Lask

  • 7+ years competitive debate and coach experience
  • Former UBC Debate Society President
  • Coach for Team Mexico at the 2019 World Schools Debating Championship
  • Champion at Pan-American 2016 (Spanish stream); 6th best speaker
  • FINALIST at US Nationals 2015; 2nd best speaker
  • Coach for Team Mexico for 2019 World Universities Debating Championship
  • Semi Finalist at West Coast Novice Championship
  • Semi Finalists at the Seattle IV tournament 2019

Nathan Schwarz-Lee

  • 5 years of competitive debate and coaching experience
  • 2018-19 President of the UBC Debate society
  • Semi-Finalist at Seattle Intervarsity 2018
  • Semi-Finalist at UBC Intervarsity 2018
  • Semi-Finalist at Pacific Cup 2017

Jade Zhong

  • 3+ years of competitive debate and coaching experience
  • Semi-Finalist at Pacific Cup 2019; 7th Top Speaker
  • Quarter-Finalist at Seattle Intervarsity 2017; 1st place novice speaker
  • President & coach of the Gleneagle Debate Team (2017)
  • Champion and Top speaker at the Seattle IV tournament 2019

Ash Hulewicz

  • Bachelor of Arts in Environmental Studies, University of Alberta
  • 5+ years of competitive debate
  • pac cup finalist & 1st speaker (2020)
  • calgary proam 1st speaker (2020)
  • hugill cup finalist & 1st speaker (2019)
  • seattle iv finalist & 1st speaker (2019)
  • CA for Pacific Cup (2019)
  • W Regional Championship for Women & Gender Minorities Finalist & 1st Place Speaker (2018)
  • Debate Death Trudge Finalist & 1st Place Speaker (2018)

Katy Exton

  • 6+ years competitive debate and public speech experience
  • 4+ years debate coaching experience
  • Former UBC Debate Society Member
  • semi-Finalist at Pan American Championships (2017)(2017)

Charlotte Gilby

  • 7 years competitive debate & public speaking experience
  • 3+ years of coaching experience
  • UBC Debate Society diversity officer (2019-2020)
  • FORMER UBCDS VP Internal
  • Winner of Euroscala UK (2014)
  • finalist of European Youth Parliament (2014)

Alex Gagne

  • 5+ years of debate experience

  • Semi Finalists at the Seattle IV tournament 2019

  • Quarter-Finalist at US Nationals 2018
  • Semi-Finalist at Seattle Intervarsity 2018
  • Quarter-Finalist at Texas State Championship 2016

  • Octa-Finalist at Harvard Forensics 2016

Bobo Wong

  • 4+ years debate experience
  • West Coast Novice Championship finalist & 3rd TOP speaker (2019)
Tina Yong

Tina Yong

  • 3+ years of debate and public speaking experience
  • 2+ years of debate coaching experience
  • President and coach of Fleetwood Park Debate/Model UN Club
  • Double octafinalist at Stanford Invitational 2018
  • Champion of UBC Falls HST 2018
  • Champion of FPSS Senior Speech Meet 2018

Yuki Zhao

  • 3+ years of debate and public speaking experiences at the high school level
  • 2+ years of debate coaching experience
  • Captain and Coach of Burnaby North Secondary Debate Club (2017-Present). Has coached:
    • 1st & 2nd Place Team at LME Regionals (2019)
    • 2nd Place Team at Law Foundation Cup Provincials (2019)
    • Finalist Team at British Columbia Nationals Qualifier (2018)
  • Awards won:
    • Champion at 33rd Stanford Invitational Debate Tournament (2019)
    • Champion & 2nd Top Speaker at SFU PF (2019)
    • Champion at UBC HST Spring (2018)
    • Double Octa Finalist at 32nd Stanford Invitational Debate Tournament (2018)

Stephanie Chang

  • 3+ years of debate experience
  • 2+ years of debate coaching experience
  • Captain of the Richmond Christian Secondary Debate Team
  • International Octa Finalist at 44th Annual Harvard National Forensics Tournament in PF (2018)
  • Champion at UBC Fall (2018)
  • 14th Top Speaker at UBC Summer (2018)
  • Best Speaker at Fraser Heights Invitational (2018)
  • Semi Finalist at UBC Summer (2017)

Judy Jiang

  • 5+ years of debate, speech, and model UN experience
  • 3+ years of coaching experience
  • Awards won:
    • 8th Top Speaker at LMN Regionals (2019)
    • Semi-Finalist & 5th Top Speaker at UBC Summer (2018)
    • 7th Top Speaker at SFU PF Tournament (2018)
    • 8th Place Team at Provincials (2018)
    • 4th Place Team at LMW Regionals (2018)
    • Best Diplomat Award at the University of Alberta High School Model United Nations (2017)
    • Gold Medalist for Poetry in the Provincial Speech Competition (2016)
    • Bronze Medalist at the United Nations Pilgrimage Speech and Debate Competition (2015)

Eliz Zhou

  • 3+ years of competitive debate experience
  • VP and Coach of Richmond Christian Secondary Debate Team
  • puget sound invitational quarter-finalist & 6th top speaker (2020)
  • Champion & 4th Top Speaker at Stanford Invitational Debate Tournament (2019)
  • lmw regionals 10th top speaker (2019)
  • 6th Top Speaker at NSDA Nationals in WUXI (2018)
  • Champion & Best Speaker at SFU PF (2018)

Reid Marcus

  • I’ve competed at numerous debate tournaments representing the UBC Debate Society (UBCDS):
    • Twice represented UBC at the World Universities Debating Championship (Berlin 2013, Kuala Lumpur 2015)
    • Semi-Finalist at the Canadian National British Parliamentary Debating Championship (University of Victoria 2015)
  • Vice President External of the UBCDS (2012-2013)
  • Training Director of the UBCDS (2014-2015)
  • Co-Director of the UBC Fall High School Tournament (2012, 2014)
  • Chief Adjudicator of the UBC Spring High School Tournament (2015)
Evelyn Kim

Evelyn Kim

  • 2nd year student at UBC; major in Psychology, minor in Law & Society
  • 2019-2020 VP Internal for UBC Debate Society
  • 2019 Seoul Open Quarterfinalist
  • 2019 USU Western Regional Championships 2nd Place Novice Team
  • 2018 Seattle IV 2nd Place Novice Team

Bishal Podder

  • 7+ Years of Debate experience
  • National Team Coach for WSDC Team Bangladesh (2020)
  • USC IV Champion Novice (2020)
  • Lord Discord Cup Novice Finalist (2020)
  • West Coast Novice Championship: Finalist & 2nd top Speaker (2019)
  • Hugill Cup: 2nd Top Novice Speaker (2019)
  • World Schools Debate Championship: Quarter-finalist (2018)
  • Asian-British Parliamentary: Finalist & 3rd Top Speaker (2018)
  • kolkata nat’l university of juridical sciences: quarter-finalist (2018)
Gia-An Trinh

Gia-An Trin

  • 2+ years of debating experience
  • 1+ years of coaching experience
  • Co-Captain and Head Coach of Richmond Secondary School Debate Team (2018-2019)
  • Finalist at West Coast Novice Championship 2019
Diggory Waddle

Diggory Waddle

  • Bachelor of Arts in Criminology, Simon Fraser University
  • 3+ years of debate experience
  • Champion, 2020 Monash University Open
  • Deputy Chief adjudicator: pac cup & sfu worlds (2020)
  • SFU IV champion (2019)
  • Gary Gillespie CUP finalist (2019)
  • Hugill Cup Semi-finalist, 3rd TOP Speaker (2019)
  • seattle iv finalist (2019)

Yashwant Parmar

  • UBC undergraduate planning on obtaining a dual degree with both astronomy and economics.
    • 7 years of competitive debate and have been coaching debate since spring 2016
    • Finalist at California Lutheran University Invitational (2013), Semi-Finalist at Santa Clara University (2014), and twice qualified to compete at the California High School Speech Association State Tournament (2012, 2013)
    • Top Novice Team at Edmonton Open (2015), and competed at Fall Open (2014), University of Victoria Intervarsity (2015)
  • Operations Director of the UBC Debate Society (2016-2017)
  • Tournament Director of UBC Intervarsity (2015), Tabulations Director for Pacific Cup (2016), UBC High School Tournament (HST) Spring (2016), UBC HST Fall (2017), UBC HST Summer (2017), and Fraser Heights’ Pacific Championships (2017)

Osezele Okoruwa

  • Dartmouth College undergraduate student majoring in Biomedical Engineering
  • 5+years of competitive debate experience
  • Awards
    • 2015 Glenbrooks Semifinalist
    • 2016 Pinecrest Open Champion
    • 2016 Cumberland Polytechnical High School Forensics Champion
    • 2016 Yale University Semifinalist
    • 2016 NSDA National House Semifinalist
    • 2016 NSDA National Preliminary House Best Presiding Officer
    • 2016 NSDA National Semifinals House Best Presiding Officer
    • 2017 North Mecklenburg Jimmy K. Poole Viking Classic Champion
    • 2017 Dogwood Debate League Points Race Winner (Top performer in local debate league)
    • 2017 Harvard Congressional Debate Semifinalist
    • 2017 Harvard Congressional Debate Leadership Award

Brooks Howell

  • Sophomore studying political science at New York University
  • 4 Years of Debate Experience
  • 1+ Year of Coaching Experience
  • Qualified to NCFL Nationals, NSDA Nationals, and the Gold TOC
  • Awards:
    • Semifinalist at Princeton in Varsity PF
    • Semifinalist at Lexington Invitational in Varsity PF
    • Octofinalist at Yale in Varsity PF
    • 3rd Speaker Award at Emory in PF

Jackie Massey

  • Highly decorated debate coach with almost four decades of experience.
  • Founder and former director of the University of Oklahoma debate program, where his teams won four national championships, multiple top speaker awards, and numerous other top finishes.
  • Coached at the University of Vermont and Eastern New Mexico University, where his team won the national championship.
  • Experienced in a wide variety of debate formats, including Public Forum, British Parliamentary, Lincoln Douglas, and Cross-Examination.
  • Author of the critical debaters handbook.
  • Holds graduate and undergraduate degrees in communications.



Justin Whyte

  • 20 years + coach experience
  • Coached novice, varsity, and collegiate students across the US including both the Houston Urban Debate League and Debate Kansas City programs.
  • 7+ years of experience as a competitive cross-examination debater and public speaker
  • in university, qualified for US national debate tournament and the cross-examination debate association national tournament


Alikhan Kazenov

  • 4 years + coach experience
  • Head debate coach for several international debate associations, including South Korea, China, Central Asia
  • Coached teams to win multiple tournaments including the 2019 Euro-Open and 2020 Asian BP championship.
  • Champion of multiple international debate tournaments: 2018 MSLA Open Cup, Central European Open 2020
  • Has been the chief adjudicator for numerous tournaments since 2017

Blake Meyer

  • Bachelors Degree in Political Science from the University of Florida
  • Attending Georgetown University working on a Master’s degree
  • 3+ years of Coaching experience
  • Coached teams to winning prestigious state and national tournaments
  • Debate awards:
    • 2nd place at University of California Berkeley (2014)
    • 1st Place at the Braddock Invitational in 2015 and 2016
    • 1st place at the Flying L Invitational (2016)
    • 10th Best Speaker at the University of Florida’s Debate Tournament