Dr. Brian Lain, UNT Director of Debate
Dr. Brian Lain Associate Professor of Communication Studies and Director of Debate at the University of North Texas. Brian attended Wake Forest University on a Presidential Scholarship, where he earned a top-6 First Round At Large Bid to the National Debate Tournament in two consecutive years. Brian went on to earn his Master's degree at Wayne State University in Detroit and his Doctorate at the University of Iowa.
Having coached for Iowa, Wayne State, and Emory (where he coached the 1996 NDT Champions) and taught at workshops such as Wake and Dartmouth, Brian's proven track record of success are even more evident in the new direction of the UNT debate program. During his tenure at the University of North Texas, debaters have advanced to the late elimination rounds of the NDT and CEDA Nationals and captured Top Speaker at the National Debate Tournament. We are proud to offer Brian's skills at this summer's workshops.
Jason Sykes, M.Ed., Institute Director
Jason is the Associate Director of Debate at The Hockaday School in Dallas, Texas. He taught and coached at Grapevine High School for eight years, where he was Associate Director of Debate and UIL Academic Coordinator. He served on the TFA Executive Council from 2005 to 2009 and the Lone Star NFL District Committee from 2007 to 2009. He is a Ph.D. Candidate in Information Science at UNT, where he continues to assist UNT Debate.
Mr. Sykes has coached debate since 1997, and he worked at several summer institutes before establishing UNT's Mean Green Workshops. His students are highly decorated across several events. Their accomplishments include participation in late elimination rounds at major tournaments in Texas and across the country. At the St. Mark's tournament in 2006, Jason was presented with the Acolyte Award, which is given annually to the outstanding associate director of debate in the nation.
Jason competed in Policy Debate at the University of North Texas. He won several tournaments and speaker awards and advanced to the elimination rounds of more than two-dozen events, including the National Debate Tournament in 2002 and four CEDA National Championship tournaments, where he was honored as an All-American in 2002 and fifteenth speaker in 2000.
A native of Nacogdoches, Texas, Jason lives in Denton with his wife Naomi and their two children.