Wayne State University Speech & Debate Teams

A Motor City Tradition Since 1918

Directors and Coaches

Dr. Kelly M. Young, Director of Forensics, Associate Professor of Communication

Kelly did his undergraduate, masters work and was a policy debater at Ball State University (Muncie, IN). After leaving BSU, he was the Assistant Director of Debate at John Carroll University (Cleveland, OH) for three years. He came to Wayne State in 2001 to begin his Ph.D. and was an assistant debate coach. He has been the Director of Forensics since 2005, overseeing both the speech and debate teams and the program's many outreach efforts.

536 Manoogian Hall  313-577-2953 kelly.young@wayne.edu

Dr. Ronald Stevenson, Director of Debate, Senior Lecturer of Communication

Ron did his undergraduate and Ph.D. work at Wayne State and was a highly successful policy debater for WSU, reaching the quarterfinals of the NDT. Ron went to Baylor University (Waco, TX) for his M.A. work, where he coached several successful teams. Ron returned to Wayne for his Ph.D. work, where he's been Director of Debate since 2001. 

537 Manoogian Hall 313-577-2951 stevenson.ron@gmail.com

Dr. George W. Ziegelmueller, Retired Director of Forensics, Distinguished Professor

For 48 years, Dr. Ziegelmueller taught Wayne State students to debate with such success and national acclaim that the National Debate Tournament in 1999 named its Outstanding Director of Debate Award the George Ziegelmueller Award.  He has also received the National Communication Association?s Award for Outstanding Teaching in Higher Education. George coached 2 2nd place top speakers and two finalists at the National Debate Tournament. Additionally, he coached hundred of students that had highly successful forensics and professional careers. His books include Argumentation: Inquiry and Advocacy and Dimensions of Argument.

After suffering a stroke a few years ago, George now lives in Chicago near his son and his family. 


Graduate Assistant Coaches

Kevin Mardirosian

Tara McManus

Garrett Shum

Sarah Walker, Ph.D. Student

Sarah completed her undergraduate at Minnesota State University where she competed in and coached parliamentary debate. She completed her MA at South Dakota State University. She is a 1st year PhD student at Wayne.