Carson grad to represent U.S. in debate |

Carson grad to represent U.S. in debate

Nevada Appeal Staff Report

They called him “Mumbly Matt.” Now, the National Parliamentary Debate Association has chosen Carson High School graduate and University of Nevada, Reno senior Matt Hogan as one of three college students in the nation to represent the U.S. on March 19 in the annual “United States vs. Irish Debate.”

“They used to make fun of me because I was mumbly, quiet and shy,” Hogan said. “So, I took my first debate class as an elective in high school to prove to myself that I could communicate better. Now, people can’t get me to shut up.”

Hogan said he is a “first-generation, low-income” college student, who has worked full-time while attending UNR, maintaining a 3.86 grade point average. The McNair Scholar also took one year off after graduating from Carson High to work and save some money for college.

“Matt’s very personable and has real charm,” said Phil Sharp, director of Nevada’s debate program. “He’s going to be a crowd favorite. His debate style is oriented toward a public audience.”

Because of this, Sharp likes the United States’ chances of upsetting the Irish this year, since the winning team is chosen by a crowd vote, not judges. Usually, the Irish debaters are more entertaining and are “graduate and Ph.D. students with about 10 years of college-debating experience,” according to Sharp.

The U.S. debaters are always undergraduates, usually seniors, chosen by the NPDA based on three criteria: sportsmanship and diplomacy, forensic and academic achievement, and effectiveness in public debate.

The U.S.-Irish debate is held each year at the beginning of the NPDA’s Championship Tournament, which is always held around St. Patrick’s Day and is being hosted by Texas Tech in Lubbock this year.

In addition to participating in the U.S.-Irish debate, Hogan will be teaming up with Nevada junior Max Alderman to compete in the regular portion of the NPDA Championship Tournament, one of the two major national collegiate debate tournaments held annually.

Alderman and Hogan will also represent Nevada at the other national tournament a week later, the National Parliamentary Tournament of Excellence held at Azusa Pacific University in California.

Four other Nevada debaters will be joining Alderman and Hogan at the first tournament, and two others will be joining them at the second tournament.

Those wanting to wish Hogan and the other Nevada debaters good luck are invited to a a send-off celebration at 9:45 a.m. Friday at the University’s Mathewson-IGT Knowledge Center, in the Rotunda Lounge.