Our Staff

Our debate camps are staffed by New York City's top high school and college debaters, coaches and teachers.  Their passion for debate and sharing their knowledge to all students of New York City are without equal.  We are incredibly honored to have such an amazing faculty to provide the best debate and speech opportunities to all New Yorkers!  If interested in joining our faculty please contact us at nycudl@gmail.com or 917-455-1079.

Aubrey Semple Aubrey Semple is the Program Director of the New York City Urban Debate League.  Aubrey is also an alumni of the NYCUDL and has been an award winning NYCUDL student debater, coach, volunteer, tabroom director, and Director of our High School Summer Debate Institute.  As Program Director, Aubrey is responsible for all day to day programming, tournaments, outreach, summer camps and everything else to to provide the best debate education opportunities for NYC youth and teachers! Aubrey was the former debate coach at Brooklyn Technical High School and has been coaching for over seven years at various high schools throughout New York City. Aubrey has coached several championship caliber policy debate teams including New York State Debate Coaches Association (NYSDCA) State Champions in Novice (2014) and Junior Varsity (2012) and Co-Champions in Varsity Policy Debate (2013). As a coach, his debaters qualified for elimination rounds in nearly every national circuit tournament including Champions of the New York Invitational at Bronx Science (2013), Quarterfinals at the Harvard Invitational (2013) and qualifying a team to the Tournament of Champions (2014) at the University of Kentucky.  Aubrey received his B.A. from City University of New York in United States History with a concentration in American History and Urban Studies.

Erik Fogel

Erik Fogel is Director of the New York City Urban Debate League and has been a school teacher and debate coach for 10 years in the South Bronx. He was his high school's first policy debater at James Logan in California, and competed for four years in Policy Debate, Extemp, and Student Congress. He received his B.A. from U.C. Berkeley, J.D. from Hastings College of Law, M.A. from Pace University and is enrolled in Baruch College's Masters in Public Administration & Nonprofit Administration.

Loretta Brady

Loretta Brady competed in and coached policy debate, public forum debate and speech events, including her favorite, impromptu.  She has been on Brown University's National Faculty Staff, and has helped consult at overseas schools, too, in South America and Sub-Saharan Africa.  Debate, by far, has shown students and schools grow smarter faster out of all other educational activities she has assisted.

Betty Mahmud

Betty is a college student at Hunter College and champion high school debater winning multiple titles in middle school and high school.

William Cheung

William Cheung debates for the City University of New York and coaches for the Urban Debate League. As debater, he has multiple tournament championships and speaker awards under his belt focusing largely on critical argumentation. As a coach, his debaters have won numerous awards and have made it to elimination rounds in every national tournament they have attended. By working with debaters, William hopes to foster research, public speaking, and critical thinking skills among students.

Star Arroyo

Star Arroyo is a champion high school debater from the Bronx School for Law, Government and Justice. Selected to represent the New York City Urban Debate in receiving the White House award for top program in the arts and humanities, Starr delivered a powerful speech at the White House. She has been teaching debate for over three years to elementary, middle and high school students.

Isabella Klingoffer

Isabelle Klinghoffer is a junior at New York University where she studies Politics, History and East Asian Studies. She regularly competes on the American Parliamentary Debate circuit and is the 2013 and 2014 Bickel & Brewer Global Debate Champion. Fluent in 5 languages, she looks forward to helping all bilingual BALI and NYCUDL students become not only comfortable but passionate about debate.

Jessica Cotto

Jessica Cotto has been involved within the New York City Urban Debate League since her freshmen year in High school. Her drive to keep herself involved in the debate community is due to the lack of recognition given to women in debate. She currently attends the University at Albany with a major in Criminal Justice and minor in education. In the future, she hopes for a job in a field in law where she can demonstrate the skill the NYCUDL has taught her.

Tommye Weddington

Tommye Weddington is a former debater from the University of Rochester where he debated policy format for four years. Though he had no debate experience prior to college, he achieved substantial success in his senior year, making out-round appearances at every regional tournament. As an undergraduate, he specialized in definitional and philosophical debate. He began coaching debate as a senior at Rochester and continues to coach with the NYC Urban Debate League and CUNY Debate program.

Leighton Braunstein

Leighton is a senior at The Dalton School. She has been competing in Public Forum Debate tournaments for three years and has really enjoyed the experience. She was a part of Urban Debate League camp last year and is looking forward to another great summer!