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October 28, 2011

British vs. Americans at ULM Speech and Debate Forum Nov. 22

The University of Louisiana at Monroe Department of Communication will feature two debaters from Great Britain against two ULM counterparts in the Bill and Linda Rambin Public Debate Forum Tuesday, Nov. 22 at ULM.

The two British debaters, Ben Jasper and Richard Robinson, will debate ULM students Jasmyne Beard and Marshall Edmund Shannon IV in parliamentary style from 6–8 p.m. in Stubbs Hall, Room 100.

At the event, which is open to the public, the four will debate the resolution: "This house would require all college students to earn credit in an Introduction to Communication Studies course to graduate."

Beard and Shannon are juniors in communication studies and are students in Dr. Lesli Pace's Argumentation and Debate class. They earned this opportunity through outstanding performances in class.

Also, on Monday, Nov. 21 from 9–10:30 a.m. in the Student Union Building Ballroom A, the guests will discuss their observations about education in the U.S. and the U.K.

Jasper and Robinson appear as part of a larger U.S. tour sponsored by the National Communication Association's Committee for International Discussion and Debate and the U.K. based English Speaking Union.

The tour includes multiple universities and emphasizes the value of effective communication generally and across cultures.

The practice of sponsoring international student debates began in 1922.

Since then students from Great Britain, Australia, New Zealand, India, Pakistan, the Philippines, and the Soviet Union have debated across the U.S. through this program.

For further information please contact Pace at or 318-342-1165.

More about the orators:

Robinson is a recent graduate from Manchester (home of Manchester United) University.

He was awarded a first class degree in law and will commence practice as commercial solicitor in 2013.

As he humorously related, despite his interest in law "he is a really fun guy who enjoys sports, debating and politics." He stated his goal "to be a successful businessman, ideally with [my] own helicopter and yacht!"

Jasper graduated from Wadham College, Oxford, with a first class degree in modern history and an M.Phil in politics.

He has just completed the Graduate Diploma in law and is due to start work as a lawyer at Clifford Chance next August.

Jasper said that at university, he was president of his college's radically liberal students union, head of coaching at the Oxford Union for three years, and tutored first year undergraduates. He related that he "doesn't have a favorite food as [I eat] pretty much everything."

He singled out his most embarrassing moment as a time he accidentally locked himself in an off limits area of a major company for three hours.

Beard served as a peer leader for two years and is a member of The National Society of Collegiate Scholars.

She called herself "a proud graduate" of Neville High School ('09) where she was a member of the award-winning Varsity Speech and Debate Squad under the direction of Pat Turner

Beard said, "It is [my] ambition to one day inspire others to…become the success that they're destined to be."

Shannon was born in Rochester, N.Y.

In addition to going to school full time, he works as a server and enjoys writing sports commentary, playing fantasy sports, reading science fiction, playing volleyball, and cooking.

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