[eDebate] Pittsburgh welcomes Shanara Reid

gordonm+ at pitt.edu gordonm+
Mon Mar 19 13:54:38 CDT 2007

Pittsburgh is a city of confluences. Its picturesque skyline unfolds
around merging rivers, and now, four current and former Directors of
Debate come together in the city's most storied university to form an
argumentation and debate dream team.

This exciting development results from the University of Pittsburgh's
appointment of Shanara Reid as its newest faculty member in the Department
of Communication. Reid comes aboard as a tenure-steam Assistant Professor
and Director of Debate, with responsibility for steering Pittsburgh's
intercollegiate policy debate team and developing her groundbreaking
scholarly research program. Joining Reid on the debate coaching staff is
Associate Professor Gordon Mitchell, who will focus on public debate,
debate outreach, publicity and development in his new role as Director of
the William Pitt Debating Union.

Pittsburgh's current Department Chair, Barbara Warnick, was formerly
Director of Debate at Tulane University, while Professor John Lyne headed
up the University of Iowa's debate program before joining the Pittsburgh
faculty in the mid-1990s. The Pittsburgh quartet of Reid, Mitchell, Lyne
and Warnick marks a convergence of debate program leadership and scholarly
expertise in argumentation unsurpassed in the academy. Details on the
roster of Pittsburgh's argumentation and debate dream team follow below
the fold.

* * *

Shanara Reid
Assistant Professor
Director of Debate (2007-present)
  Reid's University of Georgia doctoral dissertation explores how debaters
use innovative forms of argumentation, such as hip hop music, to
challenge prevailing norms of argument practice and press for a more
racially inclusive intercollegiate policy debate community. She holds an
M.A. in Communication from the University of Alabama and a B.A. in
Political Science from Emory University. As one of the first generation
of students to participate in the U.S. Urban Debate League program, Reid
starred for Therrell High School in Atlanta, GA. While debating for
Emory as an undergraduate student, she qualified for the elimination
rounds and won individual speaking awards at many major national
tournaments, reaching the quarterfinals of the Cross Examination Debate
Association's national championship. Her numerous debate honors include
Baylor's Debater of the Year Award and the Southeastern Regional Debate
Critic of the Year Award. Reid's research on the rhetorical, cultural
and political dimensions of hip hop music has been presented at national
conferences and selected competitively for inclusion in the "New Voices"
panel sponsored by the Critical/Cultural Studies Division at the
National Communication Association (NCA). She has been recognized as one
of the field's top young scholars, being invited to attend the NCA
Doctoral Honors Seminar. This remarkable level of research achievement
is matched in classroom excellence; Reid received the S.P.A.R.K.S.
Teaching Award and the Outstanding Teaching Assistant Award while at the
University of Georgia.

Gordon Mitchell
Associate Professor
Director of the William Pitt Debating Union (2007-presnt)
Director of Debate, University of Pittsburgh (1995-2006)
  A Pittsburgh native, Mitchell first cut his debate chops at Quaker
Valley High School in Edgeworth, PA. As a college debater at
Northwestern University he earned three NDT first-round bids, won top
speaker at the NDT, and reached the final round of 14 major national
tournaments. In 11 years as Director of Debate at the University of
Pittsburgh, Mitchell guided teams to elimination rounds at major
national tournaments including the NDT, CEDA Nationals, Towson Novice
Nationals, Northwestern Novice Nationals, Northwestern, Wake Forest,
Kentucky, and others. He also convened over 100 public debates and
designed curriculum for multiple debate outreach programs, including
those administered by the U.S. Department of State. Mitchell's research
program specializes in public address and argument, rhetoric of science,
and critical pedagogy. His book on the public argumentation surrounding
the U.S. missile defense program won the NCA Winans-Wichelns Award for
Distinguished Scholarship in Public Address. He edited the Proceedings
of the First Diversity Recruitment and Retention in Debate Ideafest and
has published numerous field-shaping articles on argumentation in The
Quarterly Journal of Speech, Argumentation & Advocacy, Social
Epistemology, Controversia, and The Rostrum. The University of
Pittsburgh recognized Mitchell's work on public debate and debate
outreach with the Bellet Award for Excellence in Undergraduate Teaching
and the Chancellor's Award for Distinguished Teaching.

John Lyne
Director of Debate, University of Iowa (1985-1991)
  As a debater for University High School in Bowling Green, KY and then
Western Kentucky University, Lyne honed a command of argumentation
helped make his paper on the semiotic dimensions of argument a key
contribution to the inaugural 1981 Alta Argumentation Conference. For
the next quarter century, Lyne's scholarly leadership helped shape the
field. Building on his experience as co-founder of the University of
Iowa's Project on the Rhetoric of Inquiry (POROI), Lyne published
"Social Epistemology as a Rhetoric of Inquiry" in Argumentation and
"Argument in the Human Sciences" in the influential anthology,
Perspectives on Argumentation. His research excellence in argumentation
was recognized with the American Forensic Association's 1985 Daniel
Rohrer Award; a distinction paralleled in intercollegiate policy debate
by his team's second place finish at the National Debate Tournament.
Also at Iowa, Lyne breathed life into the argumentation as a liberal art
by teaching "Theory and Practice of Argument," a large undergraduate
course that met a general education requirement. Most recently, Lyne
used the lens of argumentation to reframe rhetoric of science's research
trajectory in "Science, Common Sense, and the Third Culture," an article
published in Argumentation & Advocacy.

Barbara Warnick
Professor and Chair
Director of Debate, Tulane University (1977-1980)
  Warnick, former editor of the Quarterly Journal of Speech, is one of the
field's leading argumentation theorists and co-author of the acclaimed
textbook, Critical Thinking and Communication: The Use of Reason in
Argument. In articles for Communication Quarterly and Argumentation &
Advocacy, Warnick used the conceptual scaffolding of argument schemes to
inform critique of presidential addresses and analysis of practical
reasoning. Her resourceful deployment of argumentation analysis to
elucidate wide-ranging phenomena is also evident in articles on
cross-cultural discourse and artificial intelligence for the
Amsterdam-based journal Argumentation. Warnick has reviewed Jonsen and
Toulmin's Abuse of Casuistry for Philosophy and Rhetoric, and
contributed a groundbreaking treatment of Lucie Olbrechts-Tyteca's role
in developing the theory of argumentation advanced in The New Rhetoric.
Much of Warnick's most recent work focuses on rhetorical dynamics of
online discourse. Her lead review essay for Argumentation & Advocacy
entitled, "Analogues to Argument: New Media and Literacy in a Posthuman
Era," explored how contemporary trends in online communication implicate
the research agenda for argumentation studies. Following her stint
leading Tulane's debate program, Warnick published an analysis of value
debate propositions in The Journal of the American Forensics

* * *

Gordon R. Mitchell
Associate Professor of Communication / Director of Debate
University of Pittsburgh
CL 1117, 4200 Fifth Ave.
Pittsburgh, PA 15260
Phone: (412) 624-8531
Fax: (412) 624-1878

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