Meet the Coaches

Equality in Forensics is home to a large roster of qualified volunteer coaches from across the country and the world! These coaches are responsible for our team coaching sessions, free lectures & events, and many of our other free resources.

Nicholas Ostheimer

Nick has served as president of his debate team for 5 years, founded his high school team in freshman year, and has since led it to achieving NSDA charter chapter status. He was a finalist in the 2023 UK TOC and a 2023 NSDA National Finalist in Congressional Debate - House. He is currently ranked #1 in the country in congressional debate by NSDA points. Nick has coached students to finals of Middle School Harvard, UK TOC, and the FL state championship in congressional debate. Nick is also the founder and executive director of Equality in Forensics.

Arik Karim

Arik Karim is ranked #1 in Florida and top 10 nationally in World Schools Debate. He has placed at a number of major tournaments on the state, national, and international level, such as Florida States, Malaysia, Zimbabwe, UAE, and more. He has coached NSDA district teams and lectured for national teams throughout the years. Arik also serves as a director of Equality in Forensics.

Waleed Haider

Waleed Haider is a national circuit extemporaneous speaker from Austin, Texas. He has won tournaments like the Capitol City Round Robin, and won 3rd place in Extemporaneous Speaking at the Texas Forensic Association State. Waleed has also previously directed extemp camps for Equality in Forensics and Academy37. Waleed also serves as a director of Equality in Forensics.

C.J. Getting

C.J. Getting is ranked #1 in Illinois and top 50 nationally in Congressional Debate by NSDA points. He is also 1 of 31 members of USA Debate, where he competes for the World Schools Debate Education Program and is ranked #2 in Illinois for World Schools Debate. He has made semifinal rounds at tournaments like Yale and the TOC. C.J. was a coach for the EIF Pre-NSDA Camp in Congress, and serves as the Service Director of Equality in Forensics.

Athena Tian

Athena Tian has competition experience on the local, state, and national circuit in Congressional debate. With two years in competitive speech and debate she is ranked within the top 10 in Florida and top 70 nationwide in NSDA points for Congressional Debate. She has also earned qualification to the NSDA National Tournament, UK Tournament of Champions, and Florida State Championship. She has also competed in mock trial as part of a team which ranked top 10 in Connecticut. Athena also serves as a director of Equality in Forensics.

AmandaLesly Miranda

Amanda was the founder of her debate team at her school back in 2021, and has been involved in debate since 7th grade. She is a two-time NSDA National Qualifier in World Schools Debate, and is the World Schools coach at her school. She is also a writer and contributor for Equality in Forensics.

Alannah Zhou

Her debate club has a 100% success rate into getting into USA Debate. As a debater, she trained in World Schools and has topped 3 at multiple tournaments. As a coach, she helped gotten newbie debaters with less than a year of coaching beat national teams. Her 1+ year experience debaters have topped 3 at tournaments like Stanford, TOC, and multiple WSD tournaments. She enjoys bubble tea and has a special interest in teaching students with anxiety.

Robert Zhang

Robert has competed in extemporaneous speaking for over a year now, and is the extemp captain at his school. He has finaled the Texas Forensic Association state tournament in International Extemp, and placed second in UIL 6a Persuasive Speaking. He has also quarterfinaled the University of Kentucky Tournament of Champions and octofinaled the NSDA National Tournament in IX.

Brock Dodds

Brock has 5 years of competition and coaching experience in Lincoln-Douglas debate. He is a two-time NSDA qualifier, 2023 NSDA Nationals top speaker, state finalist, two-time all-state debater, and championed more tournaments than anyone else in Minnesota during the 2022-23 season. He directed team strategy for his high school team and spearheaded the development of speech and debate teams in local middle schools.

Evan Danek

Evan is a Worlds debater down in Texas. He is nationally ranked top 25, and has spent the last 2 years devoted to learning the format and helping others join in on the great opportunity. He has competed on local, state, and national circuits, placing 18th with his team at Nats 2023 and holding numerous trophies from local tournaments. Additionally, he serves as a Coach, Contributor, and Writer for Equality in Forensics.

Isha Chilukuri

Isha is entering her 4th year of congressional debate and 2nd year of coaching on her team. She is ranked 4th in Wisconsin by placement and 1st in Wisconsin by NSDA Points. She was a 2022 NSDA Nationals Quarterfinalist and a 2023 NSDA Nationals Finalist. Isha has received bids and placed at several national circuit tournaments, including Blake, Dowling Catholic, and Apple Valley. 

Nia Binoy

Nia Binoy was a 2023 NSDA National Finalist in Congressional Debate and was ranked second in Texas based on state points. She has been an assistant debate teacher for 3 years and has done a variety of events, ranging from debates to speeches to interps.

Owen Casey

Owen Casey has a wide variety of experience in speech and debate (Congress, PF, Parlimentary, Extemp, and more). In legislative writing, he was 1st at NSDA Nationals and New York States, top 3 at Harvard, and top 6 at Emory, all of which he reached far into elimination rounds at (among other tournaments). He believes congress is neither speech nor debate--simply raw argumentation. Owen is excited to be working with Equality in Forensics!

Sarah Yousif

Hi, my name is Sarah Yousif. I’ve competed in debate for a total of 6 years (congress for 3). I’ve won the Michigan State Tournament 3 times, placed 10th at Harvard twice,  2nd place PO at TOC, 10th at Emory, 7th at Sunvite, and finaled Glenbrooks. Along with this, I’ve made NSDA sems twice and TOC sems last year. In total, I’ve earned a total of 14 bids As captain of my school’s debate team, I’ve coached all levels from middle school to varsity, helping my team grow in a smaller congress state. Excited to work with you all!

Sasha Morel

Sasha is a seasoned extemper, congressional debater, and Public Forum debater, world schools enjoyer, and interp enjoyer. He’s a national qualifier in extemporaneous speaking and a TFA semifinalist. Sasha’s also a seasoned coach, having being trained by the Dallas Stars for over 3 years. He also serves as a lecturer for Equality in Forensics.

Zach Chen

Zach Chen is a senior from Boston Latin School serving as his team's president of congressional debate. He is ranked 24th nationally through NSDA points and 1st in Massachusetts. He has qualified to NSDA 3x, NCFL 2x, and TOC 2x. He was a finalist at UK Season Opener, Princeton, and most recently was a quarterfinalist at Harvard Worlds and at the 2023 NSDA tournament.

Theodore Gercken

Teddy competed in Extemp for four years and ended his career by placing 3rd at NSDA, 4th at MBA, winning the California State Championship, and finishing #1 in the country by Extemp NSDA points. He also accumulated 21 TOC bids (11 in his senior year, the most of any Extemper), was awarded All-American, All-State, Academic All-American, and the College Prep Julia Burke Award.

Valor Lekas

Valor is the current state champion for extemporaneous speaking and impromptu and has over 1,200 NSDA points. They have championed dozens of local tournaments and octafinaled at NSDA nationals in both USX and impromptu. They've been competing in a wide range of speech events for all four years of high school. Additionally, they have founded, coached, and captained two separate speech and debate programs as well as volunteer coaching other teams in the community and beyond.

Shelby Tang

Shelby is the Limited Prep Co-Captain for Taipei American School, a school recognized as the best international school competing on the national circuit by the NSDA. Competing at an international level, Shelby finaled at the IASAS Debate & Forensics competition for Impromptu speaking. Qualifying and competing at the NSDA National tournament since her freshman year, she double-broke in Extemp Commentary and Impromptu at the 2023 Phoenix/Mesa National tournament. She has coached NSDA district teams throughout the years.

Grant Kozisek

Hi! I'm Grant! I have competed in Speech and Debate for 3 years, am the president of speech at my school, and have competed at local, state, and national tournaments. I am a 2023 National Finalist and am proud to be a part of a Top 20 school in Speech. I am a coach, contributer, and lecturer at Equality in Forensics, and I hope to be able to help you with all your forensics needs!

Jiadong Gu

Jiadong is a recent sophomore and Congressional Debate captain of his school team. He is ranked #1 in his state, and has placed in a number of major state-level tournaments, including Mount Vernon and Seattle University, and qualified to the 2023 NSDA National tournament in his freshman year. In addition to Congressional Debate, he also does Informative and PF.