Meet the Team
Come and say Hi!
Grant is currently an associate at H.I.G. Capital, a private equity investment firm where he specializes in investing in, professionalizing and supporting the growth of emerging businesses.
Grant graduated from the Stern School of Business at New York University with a B.S. in Business and a minor in Mathematics. Grant debated at NYU for a year and a half and then transitioned to become an assistant debate coach at the Ransom Everglades School in Miami, FL. Grant helped a team from Ransom Everglades qualify to the Tournament of Champions.
Grant started off as a debater at Foothill High School in Henderson, NV and then transferred to Green Valley High School in Henderson, NV. At Green Valley, Grant qualified to the Tournament of Champions and was ranked as one of the top 25 teams in the country in the HS Impact Coaches Poll.
Kelly graduated from the University of Chicago with a B.A. in Political Science and a minor in East Asian studies. Kelly became interested and started participating in debate in college. She mainly competed in the British Parliamentary style, receiving regional and national success.
Kelly has extensive non-profit building experience. During college, Kelly worked in legal content development for Shakti, a non-profit providing information and resources to survivors of domestic violence in India through chatbots. She worked to aid the development and expansion of the organization, assisted with budget allocation, executed growth strategies and helped secure funding through grant applications. Prior to Shakti, Kelly was a program development intern for the African Peacebuilding Network at the Social Science Research Council where she was responsible for outreach and social media management.
Inaugural Regional Director (2022-2023)
Gordon has consistently helped underserved populations bridge the "Achievement Gap." He assisted the National Speech & Debate Association in China and coached the most successful High School & Collegiate Debate Teams in the Intermountain West (achieving national rankings in all Debate events for NDCA, NSDA, and NPDA). He also solicited support from high net-worth individuals for Forensics funding, won National awards for Civics Teaching and African American Inclusion, directed multiple Collegiate Debate Camps (Weber State Debate Institute & Beehive Forensic Institute at the University of Utah), and created successful International programs for Elementary/Middle/High School Debate.
With his experience at the National Debate Office and his time at the pinnacle of Rural Debate Coaching, Gordon is excited to serve as RuDI’s Inaugural Director.
Regional Outreach Ambassador
Dr. Ann Schulte
Dr. Ann Schulte is an Education Professor Emerita and the Director of Civic Engagement at California State University, Chico. Her work focuses on developing civic-minded students through university-community partnerships, with a special interest in rural education. Her most recent publication is as co-author of Teaching in Rural Places: Thriving in Classrooms, Schools, and Communities.
Previous to graduate school, Dr. Schulte taught middle school and coached high school forensics in South Dakota. In Mitchell, SD, she ran the George McGovern Debate Tournament and qualified several students for the National Forensic League Tournament.
She looks forward to being an outreach ambassador for RuDI.
Regional Head Coach
Joe participated in policy debate for 4 years at St. Edward High School and 3 years at John Carroll University. Joe reached the top 64 teams at the CEDA National Tournament as a senior in College, and was the full time coach for Queen’s College while pursuing his Masters degree. He currently coaches at Wooster High School in Ohio.
Joe has 29 years of teaching experience as an adjunct faculty member at Ashland University, North Central State College, Lakeland Community College, the Ohio State University, and Franklin University. There are only a handful of schools in Ohio with a policy debate program and Joe looks forward to reviving policy debate in Ohio through this new partnership.
Program Intern (Summer 2023)
Keshav is currently a 12th grade student who plans on attending UC Davis to major in Political Science. His debate career began at the start of high school, where he competed in Parliamentary Debate, Lincoln Douglas, Original Advocacy, but mainly Original Oratory. During his time debating, he was able to reach the state and national level.
Keshav has also accumulated an impressive resume of volunteer experience. He volunteered for Home of Hope, a non-profit organization that focuses on providing aid to underprivileged students in India. Keshav's responsibility was to focus on outreach and connect students in America with children in India who need educational services. Additionally, he taught a public speaking class to a rural village. With Keshav's experiences in debate and outreach, he is excited to intern at RuDI.
Writing Intern (Summer 2023)
Grace is an incoming senior at the University of Michigan working towards her B.A. in English with a minor in History. Next spring, she will participate in the Capstone Program in Creative Writing. She is also a member of the Michigan Marching Band, where she plays horn.
While not a debater herself, she is very familiar with the benefits that extracurricular programs can provide from her experience in music and theatre programs, and is excited to help spread that opportunity to more students. She will be primarily responsible for drafting grant applications and curating the Teacher Profile seires. She looks forward to working with the team this summer!
Program Intern (Summer 2023)
Jared is a rising sophomore at Emory University majoring in political science. An avid high school debater, Jared participated in policy debate all 4 years of high school, where he championed the California State Tournament, placed second at the NSDA National Championship, and reached the quarterfinals of the Tournament of Champions.
Now at Emory, he has continued to compete with Emory’s nationally competitive team while simultaneously volunteering with the Atlanta Urban Debate League and working as an Assistant Debate Coach. Jared is excited to work with the Rural Debate Initiative as a Program Development intern to expand access to debate nationwide.