Program Officer for School Support

Marquis Bell-Ard occupies the role of Program Officer for School Support at Chicago Debates. In this role he is known as the CEO of outreach and support, centered around youth from diverse backgrounds. In addition to that, Marquis leads our student recruitment and retention efforts, as well as our student trainings throughout the year.

Coming from the West Side of Chicago, Marquis is very excited to share his expertise in debate with students across the city. For Marquis, Chicago debate provides an excellent platform to reach a diverse set of students, engaging them through research driven argumentation and fun, collaborative activities and events.

Marquis is considered one of the leading argument professionals in the country, having received a full-ride scholarship for debate from the University of Oklahoma where he received his B.A. in Political Science and African American Studies. During his debate career, Marquis was a two-time First Round at the Large Qualifier for the prestigious National Debate Tournament, where he also reached the elite 8, and placed in the top 10-speaker awards. In 2015, the Cross-Examination Debate Association named Marquis the top speaker in the country.

Since finishing his debate career, Marquis has worked with some of the country’s top university debate teams, facilitating research and argumentation at U.C. Berkeley, Georgetown University, Northwestern University, and Gonzaga University.

Outside of his role at Chicago Debates, you can also find Marquis coaching debate for the University of Michigan.