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.

Owen Casey

Owen is a Junoir at Packer and is super excited to be the head of coaching at Equality in Forensics! Most notably, he championed Yale, finalled Harvard, t6ed other bid tournaments, is undefeated on the NYC circuit, and reached far into elimination rounds at Emory, NSDA Senate, Bronx (2x), Princeton (2x), Harvard (2x), and more. He has ranked at the top of the TOC scoreboard, with 8 bids in his first year alone. He has additionally been invited to the Durham and Harvard Round Robins. As a coach he helps students find their unique voices in debate rounds and in real life. Outside of debate, Owen can be found spending time with friends, going on walks, watching SNL weekend updates, leading Earth Club and Model UN, and editing for his school newspaper.

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. Nick has also champed natcirc tournaments such as the UK Season Opener (twice), Blue Key (twice), Nova Titan, and Sunvite. 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.

Helios Lung

Helios Lung is a retired interper turned congressional debater. After fumbling sems at the California state tournament in HI freshman year, he switched events out of shame, and has since championed Stanford 2023, placed 5th at Glenbrooks 2023, 4th at Berkeley 2023, and 5th at the 2023 California state tournament. He's looking forward to competing at the Harvard Round Robin later this season. Outside of debate, he studies cuisines of the world with gastronomy connoisseur Devarsh Borah.

Sarah Yousif

Sarah has been involved in debate for six years, competing in Congressional Debate for 3. They have 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. They are a TOC semifinalist and two-time NSDA semifinalist, earning a total of 14 bids. As captain of their school’s debate team, Sarah has coached all levels from middle school to varsity, helping their team grow in a smaller Congress state. Sarah is excited to be working with Equality in Forensics!

Arik Karim

Arik Karim has been involved in competitive debate for the last six years, competing in Congressional, British Parliamentary, and World Schools Debate formats, and serves as the captain of his school team and coach of the Moroccan National World Schools Debate Team. Arik is currently ranked #1 in the United States overall across all speech & debate events by NSDA points. He is an invitee of the Harvard and Blue Key Round Robins and made elimination rounds at Harvard, Yale, Stanford, Emory, Nova Southeastern, University of Florida, Florida States, and more. 

Carter McDonald

Carter has been involved with Speech & Debate for the past seven years as a competitor and coach. He was president of his high school debate team for three years and now works as an assistant volunteer coach for the team while in college. While competing in Congressional debate and Extemp, Carter made finals at TOC 2023 and Semifinals at NSDA Nationals in 2022 + 2023 in addition to making finals at NIETOC 2023, Harvard 2023, Blue Key 2022, and winning back-to-back Colorado state congressional debate title.

Nia Binoy

Nia 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.

Ethan Maher

Ethan Maher has competed in Congress for 4 years, competing in speech and debate for the past 6. As a junior in high school, his accolades include being Virginia's Congress state champion, a runner-up at Princeton University, and third place at the University of Florida Blue Key. He has semifinaled at both NSDA Nationals and Tournament of Champions and is in the top 25 in NSDA's rankings, as well as top 10 in the nation for Congress. In his spare time, he is an enthusiastic soccer fan who loves watching sports and traveling.

Helen Liang

Helen has almost five years of experience with Congressional Debate. Currently one of the captains of her debate team, she has achieved results on both the state and national level. She is the current Illinois state champion, a Harvard finalist and Harvard Round Robin invitee, and has achieved semifinal results at several national tournaments, including TOC and NSDA.

Samuel Berlin

Samuel has been in Speech and Debate for 4 years on both the Cleveland and National circuits, notably, Placing 6th at Yale, 5th at the New York City Invitational, 2nd at Apple Valley, UKTOC Semifinalist, 2x State Runner-Up, and Championed many state wide tournaments. Now, Samuel is ranked #1 in Ohio and #9 in the nation by NSDA points. As for style, Samuel typically falls on the more technical and flow side of congress, but competes on a very lay local circuit. Samuel has coached for 2 years, including coaching the Middle School State Champion in Congressional Debate, along with 3rd Place Finisher at the 2023 NSDA National Middle School Tournament.

C.J. Getting

C.J. 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.

Cris Melendez

Cris has been involved in debate for 4 years, competing in both congressional debate and extemporaneous speaking. In Congress, he was a Texas Forensic State finalist and just recently placed 3rd at the Texas UIL state tournament. He automatically qualified for the TOC this year and placed top 10 at every national tournament he has competed in this year, placing 4th at Glenbrooks and 6th at the Longhorn classic. As the president of my debate team, he has coached at multiple levels and multiple state qualifiers.


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.