The Executive Committee of the International Public Debate Association is charged with serving as the permanent executive branch of governance for the organization. Composed of a President, Executive Secretary and Managing Director, they are charged with providing the vision for the day-to-day management and future growth of the IPDA.
Keith Milstead, President
Keith Milstead earned his B.A. at Louisiana State University in Shreveport, where he was a three-time captain of the team, competing in CEDA debate, Parliamentary debate, Individual Events, and IPDA debate. He also competed for four years in cross examination debate for the nationally recognized Caddo Magnet High School in Shreveport where he was a senior during the 1996-97 National Championship campaign. From 2008 to 2010, he served as the graduate assistant at the University of Arkansas at Monticello while earning his M.A. from the University of Arkansas at Little Rock. Milstead was elected to the National Council for Pi Kappa Delta, where he served from 2007 to 2009. From 2008 to 2009, Milstead also served on the IPDA Governing Board. While a competitor, he won three season-long National Championships in the Professional division in IPDA, winning the National Tournament in that division twice and finishing runner-up twice. In 2007, Milstead won the Pi Kappa Delta National Championship in the IPDA competition and represented Louisiana in the Interstate Oratory Competition after winning the state championship for Persuasion. In the fall of 2010, Milstead was hired as the Assistant Director of Debate and Forensics at UAM, where he is currently an instructor in the Speech department. Milstead served as IPDA’s Executive Secretary from 2011 to 2014 and as President from April 2014 to present.
“It is truly an honor to serve an organization such as IPDA given its fundamental aspiration for teaching the true art of persuasion through debate. I would like to tell anyone who is a current member of this community, or one who considering membership, that IPDA blends collegiate competition with debate and persuasion as well, if not better, than any other forum available. I do see very positive learning experiences in various other forms of debate, and have competed in many of them myself, but in overall value and education, I firmly believe that ours provides a more enhanced experience than any other. Members of this community, past and present, have all gained invaluable skills in real-world decision making and professionalism. I look forward to helping maintain an environment where these skills are at the foundation of our event and I am certain that everyone who partakes will have every opportunity to experience the value of this practice. I whole-heartedly believe in the principles of our organization and am thrilled to give back to something that has given so much to me. On behalf of the organization, I would like to welcome all those that are new to our organization and challenge current members and students to value the accessibility, community, and persuasion-based rhetoric that our event holds so dear. Please feel free to contact me at anytime with questions, comments, or concerns about our organization.” --KM
Jorji Jarzabek, Managing Director
Mary G. Jarzabek is an alumni of LSU-Shreveport, receiving her Bachelor of Degree in Communications in 1975. She received her Master of Arts from the Univ. Of Louisiana - Monroe (then known as Northeast Louisiana University) in Technical Theatre Arts in 1978. She is currently ABD in the doctoral program at the University of Southern Mississippi where she is pursuing a mass communications degree with advertising as her major field of study.
Ms. Jarzabek pursued a career in technical television production for 13 years before becoming an instructor at LSU-Shreveport. She served as Producer/Director at KNOE-TV in Monroe and KSLA-TV in Shreveport. She joined the faculty at LSU-Shreveport in 1990. She teaches classes in theatre, public speaking, television production, and media law. She currently is serving as Director of Electronic Media Journalism at LSU-Shreveport.
During her tenure at LSU-Shreveport she has served as the debate coach and is currently a member of the Executive Committee of the International Public Debate Association. She has also written an instructor’s manual to accompany the classroom text, The Challenge of Effective Speaking. She earned the LSUS Service Award in 1995 and again in 2005.
Most recently, Ms. Jarzabek has been named Associate Director for the LSUS Theatre Program. She has also been awarded the Dalton Cloud Professorship in the Communications Department.
"Welcome to IPDA. I am sure that you will be impressed with our format of debate. After teaching debate and public speaking for more than 20 years, I am convinced that public debate is the format that BEST prepares our students for communication in the real world. Since that has been my goal throughout my teaching career, I am confident that IPDA is a debate structure that will truly develop the thinking, listening, and speaking skills we all need to be better leaders, better citizens, and better people." -- MGJ
Web Drake, Executive Secretary
Dr. Web Drake has a long and varied history with debate and forensics. He received his B.A. from Mississippi College where he participated in CEDA and individual events. Drake won Mississippi state championships in extemporaneous, impromptu, and persuasive speaking. After receiving his M.A. from the University of North Texas and the Ph.D. from Louisiana State University, Drake returned to teach and coach at his alma mater where he served for 10 years. In 2008, he moved to Union University where he currently serves as Associate Professor of Communication Arts, Department Chair, and Debate Coach.
Drake has served on the IPDA Governing Board for 2 terms and as Chair for 3 years. He was added to the Executive Committee as Executive Secretary in 2014. In 2010, he was selected as the Bennett Strange Coach of the Year.
Drake’s teams have won the Founders’ Award and the Scholastic Sweepstakes Award, as well as the Professional, Varsity, and Novice Season-Long Sweepstakes Awards. They have also won the National Championship Tournament. He has had individual debaters win the season-long novice sweepstakes, the tournament varsity championship, and the tournament varsity top speaker award.
“IPDA is a unique organization. Its roots run deep in two often very different traditions— argumentation and rhetoric. Most of its coaches, indeed all of its founders, have and had extensive experience with a variety of debate styles and organizations. Thus, IPDA recognizes and teaches the theories, strategies, and arguments developed by our sister debate organizations. However, in a real world environment logic alone is rarely enough to win the day. So, to the rich history of our fellow debate organizations, IPDA adds the skills, nuances, and tactics of the rhetorical tradition, nurtured for years in public speaking classrooms and individual event extemporaneous speaking competitions. This unique blend of skill sets places IPDA in the perfect position to train its competitors for real-world exigencies. I teach my team that there are five pillars that make IPDA great: content that matters, logic that works, passion that moves, values that transcend, and a rhetor who cares. Come, join us!”--WD
Bob Steinmiller, Editor of the Journal of the International Public Debate Association
Bob Steinmiller earned his Ph.D. from The University of Iowa in Iowa City, his M.A. from Northern Illinois University in DeKalb, Illinois, and his B.A. from Carthage College in Kenosha Wisconsin. Bob received a fellowship from the School of Speech at Northwestern University in Evanston, Illinois. Bob taught English and speech courses for the Elgin Academy in Elgin, Illinois where he was chair of the English department and Director of Theater. He holds teaching licenses from Illinois, Iowa and Colorado. He directed a number of plays for school, college, and community theater programs. Bob and his wife Georgine came to Henderson State University in 1987. Georgine is Professor of Special Education for the Graduate School and Teachers College. Bob is Professor in the Communication, Mass Media and Theater Department where he teaches Argumentation and Debate, Debate Practicum, Interpersonal Communication, Nonverbal Communication, Organizational Communication, Oral Interpretation of Literature, Readers Theater, and Special Methods of Speech and Theater Education. He is coach of the Henderson State University Intercollegiate Debate team since 1994. Bob served on the Governing board of IPDA. The Henderson Intercollegiate Debate participation in IPDA goes back to the early days of the organization. Bob is currently editor of the Journal of the International Public Debate Association.
“The International Public Debate Association adds much value to the education of our participants. Debate is accessible and doable. Not only can one participate immediately, one learns to create and critique persuasion that benefits public discourse for a lifetime. Our future leaders and citizens are well served.”
Mark Porrovecchio (PhD, University of Pittsburgh) is Director of Forensics and Assistant Professor of Rhetoric at Oregon State University in Corvallis, Ore. In the mid-1990s, Porrovecchio served as assistant coach to the Oregon State forensics team before transitioning into the assistant position at San Jose State University. His scholarly interests include the history of Speech Communication and the relationship between pragmatism and rhetoric. Porrovecchio is the editor of, and a contributing author to, Reengaging the Prospects of Rhetoric: Current Conversations and Contemporary Challenges (New York: Routledge, 2010). He is also the author of “Cracks in the Pragmatic Façade: F. C. S. Schiller and the Nature of Counter-Democratic Tendencies” (Pragmatism & Democracy, special issue of Etica & Politica, 2010); “Lost in the WTO Shuffle: Publics, Counterpublics, and the Individual” (Western Journal of Communication, 2007); “Flowers in the Desert: F. C. S. Schiller’s [Unpublished] Pragmatism Lecture” (William James Studies, 2008); and “Apocalypse Documented: An Audiovisual Representation of Sept. 11, 2001” (Media and the Apocalypse, Peter Lang Publishing, 2009). His next book, A Rebel’s Rhetoric: F. C. S. Schiller and the Dawn of Pragmatism, a rhetorical biography/intellectual history of Schiller (1864-1937), the foremost of first generation British pragmatists, is scheduled to be published in late 2011 by Lexington Books.
Joe Ganakos, Communications Director
Joe Ganakos earned his B.A. in Political Science and M.A. in Communication Arts from the University of West Florida in Pensacola, FL. Joe served as Interim Head Coach of the UWF Forensics Team in 1998, assuming the role of Head Coach in 1999 and eventually Director of Forensics in 2001. During his time at UWF, the program ranked nationally in Individual Events and various forms of Debate, including IPDA, as well as having state and national titles for his individual competitors while amassing over 700 awards and honors.
In 2006, Joe founded the Lee College Debate Team at Lee College in Baytown, TX. Upon his move to Texas, Joe was elected to the Governing Board of the IPDA, and hosted the IPDA National Championship & Convention in 2007. Upon completing his term as a member of the Governing Board, Joe was appointed as Communications Director for the IPDA in 2010. He was reelected to the Governing Board in 2014 when Lee College returned to full-time IPDA competition in 2013-2014. Lee College debaters have won fifteen team and individual national championships, as well as becoming the first community college to win the prestigious 2015 James Madison Cup hosted by James Madison University. Joe was named the 2016 Bennett Strange Coach of the Year.
Pat Richey, Historian
Patrick (Pat) Richey received his Ph.D. from the University of Southern Mississippi. He earned his M.A. from Stephen F. Austin State University and his B.A. from Louisiana College. He began his debate career in middle school and debated for Oak Park High School in Kansas City, Mo. He debated for Longview Community College before transferring and debating for Bennett Strange at Louisiana College. While in Iraq as a Civil Affairs Sgt. In 2002-2004, Pat participated in the email debate tournament. Upon his return he debated and was the Assistant Coach at Stephen F. Austin State University with Coach Stephen Jeffcoat. Pat is currently the Director of Forensics at Middle Tennessee State University. Pat has competed, coached, or judged IPDA, NPDA, Worlds Championship Debate, CX, LD, Public Forum, Student Congress, and multiple IEs for the past 20 years.
His capacities in IPDA include or have included; former IPDA Governing Board member, Founder and editor for the IPDA Journal for four years, tab room for two National Championships, published a chapter in the upcoming IPDA Textbook (2nd ed.) and is currently the IPDA Historian.
Pat’s academic interests include debate history and theory, especially ethos. As well as rhetoric, specifically post-modern thought, military rhetoric, and Islamic rhetoric. He has published multiple articles and book chapters including recently in the Louisiana Communication Journal and attended dozens of conferences. Pat is married to his former college debate partner, Rebecca (Becky) Joyce Teater, whom he met through debate and proposed to at The Worlds Championship Debate in Toronto, Canada. Pat and Becky have two children, Abigail Marie (4) and Robert Josef (4 months) as of August 2011.