Pitt Lands Stellar Recruiting Class

Shortly after the William Pitt Debating Union finished its competitive season out at the 2014 Cross Examination Debate Society's national tournament at the University of Indiana, the Panther's focus moved to the end of recruiting season. The Pitt staff are happy to welcome a talented and accomplished recruiting class joining the students on hand. With a returning group of students including Madeline Budny (class of 2017), Rishi Chebrolu (class of 2016), Michael Keefe (class of 2017), Benjanmin Wertkin (class of 2016), and Juliet Taylor (class of 2016), the Panthers are eager to welcome new recruits.

The incoming class boasts serious geographic diversity, hailing from America's breadbasket (Omaha, NE), the Midwest (Chicago, IL), and the South (Nashville, TN). Angel Le, hailing from Omaha, joins a long line of Pitt debaters coming from the state of Nebraska. She joins Tony Todero (class of 2003), Jane Munksgaard (class of 2006), Ian Lee (class of 2013), Ryan Markus (class of 2014), and Nathaniel Woodford (class of 2014) in the WPDU lineage of Huskers. Angel's impressive high school performances included a double octafinalist appearance at the prestigious West Des Moines Valley tournament, and she plans on studying political science while at Pitt.

Joining Angel is Matt Piekos, from New Trier high school in Winnetka, Illinois. Matt is coming off a solid senior year that saw him in the semifinals of the Ohio Valley Tournament at the University of Kentucky, along with numerous elimination round appearances at major national tournaments. Matt plans on studying X at Pitt, and is

Rounding out the class is Rahul Ramanna from Nashville, TN. A graduate of Montgomery Bell Academy, Rahul hails from the same high school at current Associate Director of Debate Paul Johnson. Rahul just completed a year that saw him appear in the octafinals of the highly competitive national tournament held by the National Debate Coaches Association. Rahul plans to focus on civil engineering while at Pitt, and is especially excited about the professional opportunities available in the city.

Of course, any group of debaters needs a strong coaching staff. In addition to the existing staff, including Director Shanara Reid-Brinkley (PhD, University of Georgia), Associate Director Paul Johnson (PhD, University of Iowa), graduate assistants Sydney Pasquinelli (MA, Wake Forest University), and Aaron Swanlek (MA, Wake Forest University), Pitt is happy to add both Sam Allen and Kaitlyn Haynal who both recently finished MA's from the University of Wyoming. These coaches and debaters are settling in for a summer of working hard on the upcoming topic, which addresses the decriminalization of various personal behaviors.