We don’t get paid: no salaries, no wages, no stipends. All our staff volunteer their time because we’re passionate about teaching debate. That helps us offer a stellar experience for a lower cost than other camps.

11535882_10207037199547478_6918341744907575474_nCelisia Stanton, Co-Director: Celisia debated for four years at Robbinsdale Cooper High School. She placed at various invitational tournaments and qualified to the Minnesota State Tournament twice. She took third at the MSHSL Section 4 tournament in 2011 and 2013.

She took third place at the 2013 NFL National Tournament in Birmingham, Alabama.

Celisia coaches at Armstrong High School. She has helped coach two novice semifinalists at JV/Novice State, as well as five MSHSL state qualifiers. In 2016, she coached the champion of the JV State Tournament.

Outside debate, Celisia works as the Events Associate at Friends of the Hennepin County Library, and as a wedding and portrait photographer. She enjoys exploring Minneapolis, hanging out with friends, and binge watching Netflix.

Photo of Andrew. Credit to Sarah Karnas from the U of M's Institute on the Environment.Andrew Urevig, Co-Director: Andrew debated for Robbinsdale Armstrong High School, where he won many invitationals and qualified to the MSHSL Minnesota State Tournament three times. He was the MSHSL Section 4 Champion in both 2013 and 2014. At the State Tournament he was the first debater in MSHSL history to reach the final round three times. He was the runner-up as a sophomore, and the State Champion as both a junior and a senior.

Andrew has taught debate to both middle and high school students, and now coaches at Cooper High School. In 2015, one of his debaters became the first novice to ever qualify to the National Tournament from the Southern Minnesota NSDA District. In 2017, he coached two students to the Minnesota state tournament, a quarterfinalist and a semifinalist.

Andrew is a writer and journalist. He attends the University of Minnesota, where he’s pursuing a self-designed B.S. in Scientific Interpretation and Communication — in large part because dinosaurs. His non-debate interests include bees, politics, and chicken fingers.

Picture of MDI instructor Hayley Pierce-RamsdellHayley Pierce-Ramsdell, Instructor: Over fours years as a debater at Blaine High School, Hayley placed at many local tournaments and qualified for the MSHSL State Tournament three times. In her senior year, Hayley was the Section 5 Champion in LD. At the 2015 MSHSL State Tournament, she made it to the semifinal round and lost on a 3-2 decision to that year’s State Champion. Having also qualified out of the Central Minnesota NSDA District she competed at the 2015 NSDA National Tournament her senior year.

This past year, Hayley started school at the University of Minnesota where she is pursuing a B.S. in Special Education and a B.S. in Speech-Language-Hearing Sciences. Upon fulfilling her undergrad, she hopes to pursue her master’s degree in Speech Pathology.

Hayley also started coaching varsity public forum debate at Edina High School. In her free time Hayley enjoys watching documentaries on Netflix, reading, and competing in parliamentary debate at the U.

kendrick-staffKendrick Walton, Instructor: Kendrick attended Champlin Park High School and debated there for three years. In that time he placed at numerous invitational tournaments and qualified to the state tournament twice, in both LD and PF.

Kendrick attends South Dakota State University, majoring in History and Spanish. He also participates in parliamentary debate at SDSU and has won numerous tournaments with his partner. In addition, he coaches high school debate. In his free time, Kendrick enjoys writing spoken word poetry, watching Dragon Ball Z, and runnin’ through the six with his woes.

Harley Pierce-Ramsdell, Instructor: Harley debated at Blaine High School for 4 years and qualified the MSHSL State tournament in LD her senior year. She did well at numerous local tournaments and competed in the National Speech and Debate Association her junior and senior year in congressional debate.

Harley will be coaching at Apple Valley High School as a Public Forum, Congressional, and Speech coach. She will be attending the University of Minnesota Twin Cities starting in the Fall of 2016, to become a Surgeon or a Veterinarian.

In her free time she enjoys long walks on the beach and spending time with her family and friends.


Each year at MDI, we also book guests — both debate coaches and topic experts — to give lectures and participate in panel discussions.

Our 2015 guests were Dr. Dan Griffin (Professor of Geography, Environment and Society; University of Minnesota), Ellen Anderson (Executive Director, University of Minnesota’s Energy Transition Lab), Dr. Jay Coggins (Professor of Applied Economics, University of Minnesota), DJ Brynteson (Head Coach, Robbinsdale), and Trevor Martinez (Head Coach, Hopkins).

Our 2014 guest lecturers were DJ Brynteson (Head Coach, Robbinsdale), Trevor Martinez (Head Coach, Hopkins), Danny Bordwell (Head Coach, Andover), and Jonathan Heathcote (Senior Research Economist, Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis). We’ll assemble a great slate of guests for 2016, too!