[eDebate] Topic Papers, Student Involvement, Independent Studies and Mike Maffie

Darren Elliott delliott
Tue Mar 20 13:47:37 CDT 2007

Congrats to Steve and Mike on what is a very good paper.  The model Steve describes is excellent and encouraging.  I think CEDA as an organization needs to begin to reward students who do such excellent work.  
Some preliminary thoughts I have (and others have had over the years) is to help students be more involved in all processes of CEDA as an organization.  This may include financial support to attend the Topic/Summer Meetings, CEDA, and NCA.  It should also include a commitment by the organization to offer a financial award to students writing academic papers.  We have such a process in place for papers at NCA.  I think we need to expand this and encourage students to follow the lead of their counterparts like Mike.  Dave has issued his support for such a venture in the past.  I think as officers we should now begin to formalize this process.
Again, nice work by Steve and Mike!
See many of you in Norman!
Darren Elliott
Director of Debate--KCKCC

>>> Steve Mancuso <Spmancuso at aol.com> 3/20/2007 11:49 AM >>>

Hi everyone,

I hope that you will have the chance sometime in the next few weeks  
to read the topic papers that have been written for next year?s  
controversy area ballot.  We have an unusually strong set of papers  
this year.  The ballot was recently published by Jeff Jarman.  The  
election runs the better part of the next four weeks.

Mike Maffie, a debater here at Miami, and I recently completed the  
paper on ?constructive engagement in the Middle East.?  Mike and I  
found the process of writing the controversy paper to be stimulating  
* and I think it turned out to be pretty comprehensive.  I believe  
Mike also gained a unique positive academic experience from the  
process as well.

I strongly recommend to any faculty member or student who is  
interested in the future in writing a paper that they consider using  
an independent study class at your school for that purpose.  At  
Miami, it proved to be very easy to set it up as a 3-credit hour course.

This model wasn?t my idea.  The credit for that belongs to Tim  
O?Donnell and Clint Woods from Mary Washington who used it to write a  
paper last year on IPR and the Court.  It made sense to me that we  
try something like that here.  By placing the paper in an academic  
context it regularized the process for us and created joint  
responsibility for both the student and supervising faculty member to  
complete it on time.

I want to be sure that everyone is aware of the high level of student  
involvement in writing the paper this way.  Mike did the majority of  
the research.  He was involved every step in designing the outline  
and structure of the paper.  He wrote several sections.  He went  
through every line of it with me at the end improving on the wording  
and analysis.  It was collaborative in the best sense.

We clearly should celebrate such a level of student involvement in  
our topic deliberations.  Realistically though, an effort like that  
is possible only by the independent study approach.  Mike used the  
project as a way to reduce his course load by one class, and we  
scheduled regular daytime hours during the week for us to work  
together on it.

Mike is interested in being elected as the Student Representative of  
the Topic Committee.  I?ve worked with outstanding students the past  
five years on the committee and know that Mike would be excellent  
were he to be elected.  Obviously he has the unique experience of  
writing this thorough paper.  Additionally, he traveled with me to  
Kansas City last summer and sat through and participated in all three  
days of the meeting.

Unfortunately, through no fault of his own, he will not be at the  
CEDA Nationals tournament himself for the election.  Gabe Murillo of  
Wayne State will be in Norman to nominate and be Mike?s stand-in at  
the meeting.

Steve Mancuso
eDebate mailing list
eDebate at www.ndtceda.com

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