2000 – 2004, Walter Payton Debate Team
Graduated 2008, Northern Illinois University, B.A. Political Science
Graduated 2011, Olivet Nazarene University, M.A. Organizational Leadership in Business
Currently: Rideshare Program Coordinator at Pace Suburban Bus
I joined the Walter Payton Debate Team at its inception in 2000 at the behest of my (recently deceased) English teacher, Mrs. Gloria Hsu. From the first months of freshman year through my graduation in 2004, debate had a tremendous impact on my life. Not only did I learn to think critically, but I also developed a thirst for knowledge and learned to question everything. The concepts I learned in debate applied to so many things. Debate improved my confidence in public speaking; debate helped me pick my major in college; and debate gave me the necessary study habits and proactive research skills needed to achieve my academic goals.
After graduating from Payton in 2004, I pursued my Bachelor of Arts degree from Northern Illinois University, majoring in Political Science with specializations in public administration, local government, and transportation planning (with a minor in family and child studies in social policy). After doing graduate work with NIU in Public Administration in Urban Government, I obtained a Master’s Degree in Organizational Leadership in Business at Olivet Nazarene University in Bourbonnais, Illinois. I am currently the Rideshare Program Coordinator with Pace Suburban Bus in Arlington Heights. In that capacity, I work on business development, social media, and community outreach in evangelizing Northeastern Illinois’ Rideshare service.
During the past eight years, I have continued to be involved in debate, serving as a judge and assistant coach for Walter Payton’s team. I have had the pleasure of helping many of the debaters responsible for building our program, and assisting the team with public policy concerns and those pesky Topicality cards.
I have learned a great deal as a result of my 12-year involvement with the debate team; from gaining understanding about the issues, functions and processes of both domestic and foreign policy, to learning how decision makers in Congress impact our communities. Debate has taught me to learn more about the world around me and helped me become more informed than the average person. And debate has also led me to become a better teacher, leader, and student.