Ghalia has been involved in the Canadian speech and debate circuit for over seven years. She represented Alberta at national tournaments four times. At the university level, Ghalia has placed as a finalist team multiple times and been recognized as the top speaker. Ghalia was awarded the provincial Ann Bradley award for contributions to speech and debate in 2018 as well as the Borris Mrause award in 2020 for contributions to speech. Ghalia also launched the junior high competitive speech community in Edmonton. She has coached hundreds of junior high and high school students in both speech and debate. Many of her students have gone on to compete at provincial and national levels. The school she coached at, Grandview, was also recognized as the top junior high team in all of Alberta in 2018 and 2019.
Thadeus Smith has been involved with speech and debate since 2013. As a competitor he qualified to the Washington State Tournament four times in speech and twice in debate, competed at the National Individual Event Tournament of Champions, and placed tenth at the National Speech and Debate Tournament in 2019. As a coach, he’s worked at summer camps with Capitol Debate, after-school programs with Climb the Mountain Foundation, and been an assistant and head coach at schools in the Puget Sound area. He currently attends Pacific Lutheran University.
Harry is an incoming law student who will be studying at the University of Oxford in the fall of 2020. Harry started debating 6 years ago and has been coaching his school’s debating team for almost 3 years. He also took up Model United Nations (MUN) 4 years ago and was immediately named the most improved delegate in his first conference. He would then go on a small winning streak and snatch other awards such as “Outstanding Speaker”, “Outstanding Delegate”, and ultimately - “Best Delegate”. Harry has also “broke” (entering the knockout rounds) at several debate tournaments - most recently at Asia Debate Open (Guangzhou). He broke into the Quarter-Finals and his team was ranked 6th amongst all secondary school teams (and 11th overall with university teams included). He has been working with the juniors at his school to prepare them for different debate tournaments and MUN conferences down the years, where some of them were able to break (in debates) and win awards (in MUNs) at their first few competitions. Harry believes that the learning curve in debate/MUN is not as steep as some may believe - as long as there is someone guiding you along the way.
Muhammad Hassan Qaiser Khan is a recent BA-LLB graduate from the Lahore University of Management Sciences (LUMS), located in Pakistan. He has been involved in public speaking (both debates and MUNs) since the age of 14. He has participated in numerous local and international debating tournaments, reaching the Finals of 20+. Hassan’s most notable achievements include being member of the team that reached the semi-finals of WSDC 2015, winning EurOpen in Stuttgart, reaching the final of WKPDC 2013, and being coach of the Pakistan team that will participate in the first Online WSDC 2020. However, Hassan feels that the utility of public speaking is far greater than just participating in and winning tournaments. Good communication is an essential cornerstone of any meaningful conversation or relationship, based on one’s ability to articulate clearly and concisely. Public speaking teaches the importance of choosing the right words, emotions, and body language as a means of expressing oneself. The ability to understand and effectively employ logical argumentation is extremely helpful in establishing dialogue and developing self-confidence. Being an introvert, Hassan believes that he can help students access and unlock their true potential through public speaking, as he was able to do for himself.
Ameena is an Education Programmes Officer for an international education charity, leading debating programmes for disadvantaged students. She gained her BSc (Hons) in Biological Sciences from the University of Surrey and is currently studying an MA in Applied Linguistics and Communication at Birkbeck College, University of London. During her undergraduate degree, Ameena was the President/VP of Surrey Debating Society and was responsible for their training programmes and outreach work with other university departments. Ameena worked as a Senior Oracy Trainer for The English-Speaking Union for four years, teaching debating and public speaking programmes in the UK, Japan, Italy and Denmark. Ameena has an academic interest in transformative education and has published research papers on these topics. She is passionate about dialogic education as a means of radical social change.
Jad first entered the world of high school speech and debate as a sophomore in high school, and he quickly fell in love with the fast passed but rewarding activity. Throughout high school he regularly competed in Policy debate and Extemporaneous speaking, eventually ranking in the top 15 Policy Debaters, and the top 20 Extemporaneous speakers in the state California. On the local and national level, Jad became a two-time national congressional debate finalist, while also placing highly in a bevy of events including impromptu, Public Forum, and Parliamentary Debate. Throughout and after high school, Jad translated his passion for speech and debate by instructing novice classes for 100s of students in groups ranging anywhere from one debater to forty. After coaching for a year, he began creating and teaching his own curriculum for speech summer camps as well as virtual lessons with students around the world. Jad was born and raised in Los Angeles where he currently attends UCLA.
Aashia Bose is a third year Anthropology and Sociology student at McGill University in Montreal, Canada. She has a strong passion for debate and public speaking, having taken part in competitive debate, Model United Nations, and various other public speaking opportunities over the last six years. She was the President of Junior Debate and Vice President of Model United Nations in her high school, and currently serves as the Internal Tournaments Coordinator for the McGill Debating Union. She has attended various debate tournaments around Canada as a debater and judge, including Hart House IV and NAW*DC, as well as several debate and MUN Conferences in her hometown of Dubai, UAE. She has spent the last three years coaching debate in various styles, including British Parliamentary, Canadian Parliamentary, and Worlds Schools. She has coached debate to elementary school, middle school, high school and college students.
Abdullah Khan is a graduate student who finished his Master’s in Financial Economics in 2020. He split the last two years of his degree between the University of Sydney and the University of Freiburg. Currently, he is working in a start up in Heidelberg. His love for debates started as young as 11, when he was a small child in an oversized suit attending every Model United Nations conference he could access. The seventeen years that followed his first MUN resulted in him falling in love with public speaking at large. He spent five years speaking on the school parliamentary debate circuit, followed by another four years of speaking the University circuit in Pakistan. He then went on to speak in various European tournaments before moving on to speak the Australian parliamentary debate tournaments. In this time, he also spent seven years coaching Westminster College – his team went on to win the national championship three times and many of his students were selected to represent Pakistan team at the World Schools Debating Championship. He has also worked at Master’s Academy in Sydney as a debate instructor, teaching multiple schools simultaneously. Apart from the debates and work, he is an NBA fan who spends more time that he will ever admit watching highlights of the Lakers. He does branch out every now and then from basketball to play cricket (like every other child raised in the sub-continent) and spent much of his childhood apologizing for breaking his neighbours’ windows.
Jonathan considers coaching speakers and debaters to be his greatest pride in life. He strongly believes that the skills to construct arguments for effective representation of positions on specific issues, constructively analyze other positions on those issues with an open mind, critically evaluate sources of information to support one’s own beliefs and opinions, and speak publicly on one’s own beliefs and opinions in a persuasive manner are fundamental to young people’s aptitude for improving the world on all levels of organization from the local to the global. He is highly passionate about communicating such skills to his students for the betterment of their own lives as well as those of their communities. TalkMaze has enabled Jonathan to share his knowledge and experience with a much larger population of young people with similar interests and passions. It has also extended his reach into communities that are marginalized or otherwise outside of the scope of more traditional arenas for rhetorical and forensic instruction. Jonathan has always strived for the success of his students and peers alike. He has deliberated over several university organizations including but not limited to Phi Alpha Delta Pre-Law Fraternity International and Student Government at Seton Hall University. In 2012 Jonathan helped to create a chapter of Students for Liberty at Seton Hall University: A Libertarian political discourse organization with a focus on devoted public service and political activism but he remains open-minded about his political and economic beliefs. In 2017 Jonathan helped to coach one of his PF teams to Octo- finals at NCFL Grand Nationals. He has also coached introductory debaters for one of the most prestigious private debate clubs in the state of New Jersey: Bergen County Debate Club. Jonathan’s intellectual interests include but are not limited to economics, political science, philosophy of mind, philosophy of language, rhetoric, machine learning and computer programming, logic, psychology, sociology, and critical theory. Throughout his coaching career he has consistently participated in student competitions as an expert judge and he places a heavy emphasis on his students’ skills in judge/audience adaptation. His judge paradigm is a hybrid of game theory and policy-making with a heavy emphasis on logical reasoning and unique argumentation. When he is not coaching debaters or doing research Jonathan enjoys music, photography, reading, and traveling.
Matthew is a debater and coach from Montreal, Canada. He is a member of Team Canada Debate and will be one of five high school debaters from the national team to represent Canada at the World Schools Debating Championship this summer. His debating accomplishments include placing Top Speaker and Champion of the Saskatoon World Schools Debating Championship 2020, Top Speaker at the Quebec Provincial Debating Championship for three consecutive years, Champion of the Harvard World Schools Invitational 2020, one of three Champions at the Doxbridge Online Open 2020 (university tournament jointly run by students of Durham, Oxford and Cambridge), and 2nd Speaker and Semifinalist at the Argo Open 2018 in Romania. Matthew has also been the recipient of several Public Speaking Awards in both English and French. Matthew has experience in just about every debating format and speaker position. He has also coached at his high school debate club and judged at Canadian tournaments. Matthew loves the intellectual exercise of debating — he believes that the activity brings students to think analytically, strategically and creatively, and offers them a unique challenge they would not otherwise experience in school or elsewhere. He is thrilled to have the opportunity to share his passion with students on TalkMaze.
A Brazilian debate aficionado and lawyer, Giovanni Begossi graduated summa cum laude in law at Federal University of Rio Grande do Norte (UFRN). For exceptional academic performance, he received an international scholarship to study abroad at the University of Coimbra, where he fell for debating. Once back in Brazil, he founded and presided UFRN’s debate team, which in its 3rd year of existence already had won +20 titles as well as history’s biggest tournament held in Portuguese in both open and novice categories. Chief-Judge of +15 debating competitions, including several international ones both in Portuguese and Spanish, Giovanni was the chair for the 2019 World Universities Debating Championship in Portuguese’s Grand Final. With +20 breaks as a debater, he was champion and/or best speaker of 8 debate competitions in the Brazilian circuit, and finalist in other 9, holding a record of 10 tournaments in a row among the top 3 speakers (including Brazil’s National Championship). Two-time Brazilian Public Speaking Champion (2018, 2019), Giovanni is the only person to win the competition since its first edition. Always in search of new challenges, more recently he became the first Brazilian to break in Spanish both as a debater and as a judge.
Jeremiah Kobby Sekyi is an international award-winning public speaker and debater of Ghanaian nationality. From high school through college, Jeremiah has amassed six years of experience in debating, public speaking and speech evaluation, with a specialty in British Parliamentary Debate and Impromptu Speaking. During this period, he has won the Public Speaking Championship at the World Universities Debate Championship, the Best Judge award at the Pan-African Universities Debate Championship and several speaker and judge awards in over 25 debating competitions around the world. As a Pharmacy major in the University of Ghana, Jeremiah also served as the 6th President of the University of Ghana Debate Society and received the Student Leader of the Year Award at the end of his tenure. With a deep appreciation of the contribution of communication and analytical skills in personal, professional and societal development, Jeremiah has also been actively involved in coaching high school and college students in different formats of debate and public speaking for the past three years. Applying acquired strategies, patience and good- humour, Jeremiah focuses on a holistic development of the confidence and abilities in coaching and mentorship. Beyond the stage, Jeremiah’s interests lie in ancient philosophy, African literature and global affairs.
Passionate about debate, Alikhan is a lifelong member of the Debate Club Parassat (Astana, Kazakhstan) and alumni of the Learning Leaders Fellowship program. He started his debating journey as a freshman at the university without any previous experience in competitive debates. During 5 years of speaking in BP format, he became the top speaker and the winner of more than 20 competitions all around CIS states (Kazakhstan, Russia, Kyrgyzstan) in English, Russian and Kazakh languages. In the international arena, he reached open semifinal on Riga IV and EFL Final on Central European open as well as represented Kazakhstan team at the World Universities Debating Championship. Alikhan always wants to share his experience and knowledge with students. Therefore, he got to be the head coach of Debate Club Parassat in Astana. Then he ran the Training of trainers program organized by the International Debate Education Association to develop coaching skills among students in different regions of Central Asia. Finally, he worked as a coach at one of the most prestigious learning centers in the world named Learning Leaders (Shanghai, China). In that period, students of LL won the EurOpen and Shanghai Schools Open.
Trisha Mapacpac has more than six years of debate and public speaking experience. She started participating and winning in debate tournaments and public speaking contests since she was in high school. She has a background in Asian Parliamentary, British Parliamentary, and Oxford-Oregon debate formats. In college, she represented her university, University of the Philippines Los Banos, to numerous regional, national, and international debate and public speaking tournaments. A few of her notable awards include Third Best Speaker of the Philippines and Sixth Best Debate Team in Asia, during 2019. During college, she traveled all over the Philippines to teach debate and public speaking to different high schools, colleges, and universities. She also coached debaters and public speakers who have won numerous awards in regional, national, and international tournaments. Aside from coaching, debating, and public speaking, she is also a debate and public speaking judge. She travels all over the Philippines and Asia to judge various debate and public speaking formats. She was elected to be the Co-Chief Adjudicator for the National Debate Championship of the Philippines in 2020.
Naveen is a formidable individual within the Intervarsity debating circuit. With half a decade of experience, his achievements in debating range from his time representing Malaysia at the World Schools Debating Championship (WSDC) in 2017, whereby Naveen was an open octo-finalist, as well as one of the top 50 open speakers in the world. Fast forward to his varsity debating career, Naveen has broken twice in the open category of the World Universities Debating Championship (2019-2020). In 2018, he also became an Asian semi-finalist on his first attempt, where he also was ranked as Asia’s 11 th best speaker. As a judge, Naveen has been invited to be a judge in numerous international tournaments in countries such as China, and Korea, and he has served on the adjudication core of some of Malaysia’s largest debating championships, as well as numerous international tournaments. He also currently serves as a trainer at the Malaysian Institute For Debate And Public Speaking (MIDP), and has also been part of the selections committee for the Malaysian National Debating team.
Born and raised in the suburbs of Montréal, Eric Sader is one of our coaches here at TalkMaze. Currently pursuing a Bachelor of Arts at McGill University in Montréal, he is majoring in Economics and minoring in both History and Mathematics. His interest lies mostly in international trade and development, with a particular focus on the Middle East and Lebanon. For the past four years, Eric has competed on the North American Model UN Circuit, travelling as far as Panama to debate with and compete against incredibly talented speakers, negotiators, and policy creators. Specializing in crisis committees, where delegates are often called on to inhabit people instead of countries, he has won multiple awards at some of the most difficult conferences on the circuit. At FCMUN this year he personified Lyndon B. Johnson while navigating the Cuban Missile Crisis, landing him a Best Delegate award. Eric has also been active in training the new generation of Model UN Competitors, both at the College and University level, and helping McGIll University rank 13th on the Best Delegate World Rankings, a 5 spot climb from the previous year. He combines this expertise with countless staffing experiences at some of the highest ranked high school and University level conferences. Some of his favourites include his 2019 Star Wars Committee at the Secondary Schools’ United Nations Symposium (SSUNS), and his 2020 McGill Model United Nations (McMUN) Committee on the topic of Space Exploration and Colonization. For Eric, a good delegate demonstrates integrity, passion, and an ability to always negotiate and secure one concession further than what would be reasonable. When he isn’t busy arguing about Directives, Eric often spends his time drumming to some Blink-182, guiding his friends through his latest Dungeons and Dragons Campaign, or trying to figure out if a hot dog is indeed a sandwich (he is quite convinced it’s best classified as a panini).
Petra is a postgraduate student at the London School of Economics and Political Science – Department of Media and Communications. She has a strong background in competitive debate all over Europe – with 5+ years as a coach in Karl Popper, World Schools and British Parliamentary, as well as the experience of working with the Croatian National Debate Team for the World Schools Debating Championship. Besides formal competitive debate, her experiences include 5+ years of Model United Nations (MUN), 5+ years of European Youth Parliament (EYP). As a debate, MUN and EYP trainer, she has visited over 15 and coached students from more than 30 different countries. She has adjudicated some of the biggest debate tournaments in the world, as well as participated in the biggest annual MUN conference – NHSMUN. Her students have won dozens of medals and trophies from national and international tournaments, along with awards for outstanding delegates and outstanding resolutions – whereas, she has received several awards for outstanding mentorship. As a Communications professional, she has held several corporate workshops on public speaking, non-verbal communication, leadership, presentation skills and many more. As a BA Teaching Assistant, she has presented university classes on non-verbal communication, political communication, visual communication and rhetoric.
Aleha started her debate journey 5 years ago. Across this journey, she has managed to win over 20 best speakers at national tournaments (including being titled the best Under-19 speaker in Pakistan), and ranked as the 7 th best ESL speaker at the World Schools Debate Championship. Her achievements are the culmination of a long and challenging personal and intellectual journey and reaffirms our belief in parliamentary debate empowering young people to take charge of their intellectual growth. At the same time, it has been inspiring to see that Aleha has consistently used their position on the Pakistani debate circuit to create more inclusive spaces for female speakers, and redefine the norms of success in debating that have for so long been dominated by men. It is heartening to see them serve as an inspiration to young female debaters across Pakistan. As a coach, Aleha focuses on ensuring every student has their individual strengths catered to. Through covering a variety of debate ideologies and maximizing avenues of information, she strives for an environment where debating is accessible to everyone.
Humza Nadeem Jami is a Pakistani Debate and Model UN Coach. He is one of the few individuals in the region that are specialists at both Model UN and at Parliamentary Debating. He is a graduate of the Lahore University of Management Sciences (LUMS). Jami, as he likes to be known, has been involved in Model UN since 2011. Over the past decade, he has claimed Diplomacy awards at multiple conferences of note including the Harvard WorldMUN Conference, the LUMS Model UN Conference (LUMUN) and the Harvard Model UN Conference Boston. He has been credited with creating Pakistan’s first authentic Joint Crisis Cabinet simulations at the 2016 LUMUN Conference as a Committee Director for Harry Truman’s US National Security Council and Joseph Stalin’s Politburo. This cabinet laid the foundation for crisis committees in Pakistan and their simulation. He also has served as the Secretary General for Karachi, Pakistan’s largest and most prestigious conference for the past two years – the Rotaract Model UN Conferences. He is an alum of the Lyceum School in Karachi, where he currently coaches the Model UN team – which is one of the most prestigious in the entire continent. The Lyceum was ranked twice on BestDelegate.com’s list of the Best International Model UN High School Teams. Under Jami, the Lyceum team has proudly kept up its best traditions of international excellence. He is also one of Pakistan’s top parliamentary debaters and debate coaches. As a debater, he was part of Pakistan’s first breaking team at the United Asians Debating Championship 2016 from LUMS, which set the foundations for future success of the institution on international platforms. He has spoken more than 17 finals over the past 5 years as a debater, and has judged more than 50+ debate competitions, serving as a Chief Adjudicator at more than 20 of them domestically. He is also the most successful Pakistani Judge on international debating platforms, with Judge Breaks at the United Asians Debating Championships and the Australasian Debating Championships. He is currently in process of Adjudicating at the prestigious World Schools Debating Championship 2020. As a coach, Jami’s students are some of the best in the region, with 4 out of 6 of his students being shortlisted for the Pakistan National Team Selection Camp in 2020, in the process of which they also reached more than 10 finals in their season. He has also served as Selector for the Pakistan WSDC Team in the past, which is one of the most competitive in the entire world.
Micaela is entering her final year of her BSc in Biology at McGill University in Montreal, Canada. Entering her 10th year of competitive debating, she has amassed 30+ breaks and numerous speaker awards in her university debating career alone. This year, she advanced to the elimination rounds of the World Championships and was crowned top speaker at one of the world’s most elite tournaments, the Hart House IV. Micaela also enjoys judging and coaching, having been on adjudication cores for several large tournaments and coached for upwards of five years. Currently, she coaches at the competitively renowned Selwyn House School, where her students have made the national team in back-to-back years. Additionally, she has worked as a teacher at Speechtopia, an international speech and debate teaching hub, as well as Debate Camp Canada, a debate-oriented summer camp. At her university, Micaela has been deeply involved in the Debating Union, where she acted as President. Beyond debating, Micaela volunteers in a herpetology lab and has co-authored a journal article on amphibian decline. You can find Micaela spending most of her time at the Redpath Museum of Natural History, where she occasionally tour guides and does speaking events.
For the past 15 years, John has competed, coached and privately tutored nearly every area of speech and debate. He has worked with aspiring speakers as young as five and as old as sixty-five. He enjoys tailoring his coaching to each individual aspiring speaker and he takes pride in the belief that no two speakers are alike. Throughout the years, John has had many opportunities to practice his passion. He has coached debate teams ranging from twenty to sixty students, many of whom with international backgrounds. He has coached intensive summer programs that focused on preparing debaters for the upcoming school year. He has worked with private clients through a company he started in Manhattan. He has even worked with fellow teachers when preparing for professional presentations. John has a passion for helping any aspiring speaker find their voice.