Current Team Members | Communication Studies | SIU

Southern Illinois University



College of Liberal Arts

2016-17 season debate team

Current Team Members

Coaching Staff

Todd GrahamDr. Todd Graham, Director of Debate, has three degrees in communication, all with different areas of emphasis. His Ph.D. is from Arizona State University in Interpersonal Communication. His Master’s Degree in Rhetoric was awarded by Kansas State University, and his Bachelor’s Degree with a major in Broadcasting was from Missouri Southern State University.

Todd has been the Director of Debate at Southern Illinois University since the fall of 2000, and is also a CNN contributor on presidential debates. Previously, Todd directed the debate program at Northwestern State University for seven years from 1990-1997.

Several coaching awards that stand out during the entirety of Todd's career are the 1994 Overall Sweepstakes CEDA (Cross Examination Debate Association) National Championship, the 2008, 2013, and 2015 NPTE (National Parliamentary Tournament of Excellence) National Championships, the 2013 and 2014 NPDA (National Parliamentary Debate Association) National Championship, the 1995 Ross K. Smith National Debate Coach of the Year Award (presented by Emory University/South Carolina University/Wake Forest University), the 2013 Debate Coach of the Year Award (presented by the Washburn Debating Union), the Quintilian Award (presented by Point Loma Nazarene University) for his many years of service and dedication in academics, and the 2016 National Debate Coach of the Year (presented by William Jewell College).


Curriculum Vitae - Short Version (PDF)

Curriculum Vitae - Long Version(PDF)

Zach SchneiderZach Schneider is an assistant coach of the SIU debate team. He is an SIU alumnus, graduating in 2015 with a degree in computer science and a minor in cheesy jokes. As a debater for SIU, Zach won the 2015 National Parliamentary Tournament of Excellence along with partner Josh Rivera.

Zach is a web developer and a politics junkie; he worked as director of technology for the Bernie 2016 presidential campaign. He grew up in Maryland, an upbringing which instilled deeply held values such as an addiction to Old Bay and an appreciation for a quality crabcake. In his spare time, Zach enjoys writing code, making fun of his fellow Zach, and pretending to be a wine connoisseur.

Zach MossZach Moss is an assistant debate coach and PhD student at SIU.  Before arriving in Carbondale Zach received a B.A. in history from Concordia University, Irvine, and an M.A. in Communication & Journalism from the University of Wyoming. During their debate career Zach had a number of accomplishments including winning the Richard Rieke overall top speaker award at the University of Utah in 2013, and a number of tournament wins. In their graduate studies Zach has focused on how race is manifested and represented through mediated communication, and is currently working on a paper about Missy Elliot and Afrofuturism. Zach’s personal interests include watching terrible movies, making pasta, and eating candy.


Arielle StephensonArielle Stephenson is a transfer student from Southern California and now senior at SIU. During her time at her former school El Camino Community College, she competed in parliamentary debate and advanced farther into elimination rounds at the National Parliamentary Tournament of Excellence than any other community college debater. This past year competing at SIU, she earned overall 2nd place in the nation.

She is the team’s self-appointed French fry dilettante and spends most of her spare time excessively Snapchatting, using her Nespresso machine, and crafting witty puns for the team to enjoy. She is studying Business Economics and plans to pursue law school after her time at SIU.