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AlumNews: Talon Articles

iDebate offers training

Monday, April 21, 2008   (0 Comments)
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By Lindsay Blaze

Fox News, General Tommy Franks and Oklahoma Christian University partner for a high school debate program in August. National coverage of the debate will take place at Oklahoma Christian as 48 high school students gather on August 3 for a week of development and growth in leadership and communication.

"This will be the biggest media event that Oklahoma Christian has even been a part of," Vice President for Community Engagement Nathan Mellor said.

The event will be held in Hardeman Auditorium on August 3-8. Students will receive training throughout the week in a series of classes taught by the National Center for Policy Analysis's professional analysts, debate coaches, university professors and university debate students.

The week focuses on training in thinking, planning, communicating, teamwork and persuasion. High schools students that are the desired candidates are not necessarily expected to have the highest grades but rather the willingness to learn and to follow.

iDebate came to be when Oklahoma Christian and General Tommy Franks coupled on leadership and development.

"He revealed his passion, and it was that no one ever gets a good message. When you turn on the news you never get good news, it is slanted and untrue," Managing Director Christopher Malan said. "Using this debate to inform public about various issues, we put together a program for competitors to know the subject matter in and out so that they can debate."

There will be a single topic selected for the debate. The high school students will learn the proper way of going about a debate with assurance and communication.

General Tommy Franks and Oklahoma Christian hope to communicate to the students the parallel of leadership through debate and development.

"It is based on the idea that students will identify the problem, understand all of its constituents, develop a solution communicating back those constituents and finally achieve a positive outcome," Malan said.

The application process has already begun throughout the nation. A list of the biggest high schools was made, and it was narrowed down to 3,000. Brochures and application forms were sent out to the schools throughout the country, and 48 students will be chosen for the debate program.

"Each school will nominate one student," Assistant Director Jenn Gill said. "The application will help in deciphering communication skills."

Another part of the application is a video essay that must be submitted on An event page has been made on the facebook site for the high school students to use and submit their videos. The video must be about a problem they have found in their community or school and what their solution is.

If selected, high school students will pay a small fee of $75 and will be flown down by Oklahoma Christian through other sponsorships. There will also be university recruiters from around the nation here to watch the event.

Students at Oklahoma Christian are asked to come and watch this media event take place. The coverage will only advance the school as they will receive national recognition.

Marketing Director Piper Johnson said This will be a great opportunity for Oklahoma Christian to be seen throughout all 50 states.

"This is going to highlight the Oklahoma Christian campus through commercials," Mellor said, "It will showcase the best and brightest people of our time, and people will see that this is the type of place Oklahoma Christian really is." 

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