The 25th Annual Hurricane Debate Institute 2016

Summer Speech and Debate Camps
University of Miami, Coral Gables, Florida

June 13 - July 1, 2016

Questions? Please call 305-281-2705 or email

Drawn by HDI campers

The University of Miami Debate Team invites Middle School and High School students of all experience levels to participate in the 24th Hurricane Debate Institute offering instruction and practice in: Middle School Speech and Argument Skills, High School Speech and Argument Skills, Public Forum, Policy Debate, Student Congress, and Lincoln-Douglas.

The Hurricane Debate Institute is an official University of Miami program sponsored by the School of Communication.

The University of Miami Debate Team is currently ranked 4th in the American Debate Association (ADA) & 22nd in the Cross Examination Debate Association's (CEDA) national rankings!

The UM Debate Team won the Novice division at the Georgia State University Tournament, the University of Kentucky Tournament and the Indiana University Tournament. The Debate Team also won the Junior Varsity division at the Samford University Tournament and were Finalists at the Pan American Debating Championships.

UM Debate Team at the Naval Academy Tournament

Institute Philosophy

We believe that no other educational activity is as rewarding as participation in debate. Debate and competitive speaking are fun and exciting. Debaters learn best by debating. Speakers learn best by speaking. We work to create a comfortable environment where students can learn by doing, with the guidance of caring and experienced instructors. Our focus at the Hurricane Debate Institute is to engage personal development of logic, research abilities and independence that will create an effective debater and public speaker that can effectively communicate in any given situation.


Dates and Tuition

Week 1 - June 13-17
Week 2 - June 20-24
Week 3 - June 27-July 1

Times: 9:30am to 4:30pm

Tuition information can be found by clicking on the hyperlinked programs above. Tuition depends on the specific program the student is participating in.

Tuition includes quality instruction and materials that are unique to the Hurricane Debate Institute. Students will receive written assessments of their skills and areas for improvement. Students will also receive a t-shirt and certificate of completion. Lunch and snacks will be provided daily.

Application & Deposit


Applications can be emailed to They may be faxed to 305-284-5216. Applications and deposits can be mailed to:

Patrick Waldinger
P.O. Box 248127
Coral Gables, FL 33124

Registration is not complete until an application and non-refundable deposit of $100 has been received.


Checks: Please make all checks payable to UM Debate.

Credit Cards: We accept all major credit cards online at

Website instructions: Click on "Pay Now". On the first page, put in the STUDENT NAME on the payment form. On the second page, put in the credit card holder's information. Please remember to confirm payment. An email receipt will be sent as soon as the payment goes through.

If you have any issues completing the online payment, please email or call 305-281-2705.


David Steinberg, Founder of the Hurricane Debate Institute

Professor Steinberg is the Director of Debate for the award-winning UM Debate Team since 1990 and faculty advisor for Delta Sigma Rho - Tau Kappa Alpha National Honorary Society. Involved in competitive debate since 1971, Steinberg has coached debate at Middle Tennessee State University, University of Tennessee, Penn State University, George Mason University, and Towson State University. He is a past President of the Cross Examination Debate Association and co-author of the best-selling textbook Argumentation and Debate: Critical Thinking for Reasoned Decision Making, now in its 13th Edition. Steinberg has taught public speaking to university students as well as corporate managers for 30 years, and has been a Cub Scout den leader and YMCA sports coach.

Leandra Lopez, Co-Director and Instructor

Leandra Lopez is a debate coach for Carrollton School of the Sacred Heart, the only all-girls nationally competitive policy debate team in the country. She is the former debate coach at Ransom Everglades. Leandra has taught various styles of debate and speech including policy debate, public forum, Lincoln-Douglas, Congress and Extemp. As debater in college, Leandra qualified to the National Debate Tournament and was a Double-Octofinalist at the Cross Examination Debate Association's National Tournament. Leandra also won and was top speaker at the Liberty University debate tournament. Leandra has taught at debate institutes for the last four summers including the Speaking and Debating Academy, Harvard Debate Council Workshops, the Capitol Classic and the HDI.

Patrick Waldinger, Co-Director and Instructor

Patrick was hired in 2013 to be The University of Miami's Assistant Director of Debate and a Lecturer in the School of Communication. Prior to joining the faculty at UM, Patrick served as the Debate Coach and Lecturer in Communication at Boston College for 8 years. During that time, his teams won twenty tournaments, including the 2009 Junior Varsity American Debate Association (ADA) National Tournament hosted at Vanderbilt University, and qualified seven teams to the National Debate Tournament (NDT). As a debater, Patrick won several tournaments including the 2003 Varsity ADA National Championship hosted at Boston College and was a two-time qualifier to the NDT. This past summer, he taught public speaking, policy debate and public forum at UM's own Hurricane Debate Institute (HDI) and the Harvard Debate Council Summer Workshop. In the past, Patrick has also taught at the Capitol Classic, the Wake Forest Debate Workshop and the Spartan Debate Institute. Patrick is currently the Topic Representative for the American Debate Association and is on the Board of Directors for Dade Debate, Inc.

Randall Martinez, Assistant Director and Instructor

Randall Martinez is currently a Ph.D student in Communication Studies at the University of Miami. Randall is a former debater from Christopher Columbus High School in Miami, Florida. He has coached several high school programs throughout the years including Christopher Columbus High School, Our Lady of Lourdes Academy, Lake Mary Preparatory, Monsignor Pace High School and Carrollton School of the Sacred Heart. As a high school coach he was recognized as a diamond coach by the National Forensic League, coached the Tournament of Champions winner of 2009, and was the assistant director of the Hurricane Debate Institute for the last six years. He also serves as the secretary for the forensics and argumentation division of the Southern States Communication Association.

Spencer George, Instructor

Spencer George is the former captain of the University of Miami Debate team and a recent graduate of the school. His debate career started in high school where he was a founding member of the Hagerty Debate team and placed in multiple events including Congress, Lincoln Douglas, and Public Form. In college, Spencer did policy debate, where he finished as 9th Novice speaker at Novice/JV CEDA nationals, won the District 6 JV Championship, and finished as a JV semifinalist in American Debate Association National Championship. In addition, he was a finalist for the Julia Burke Award, a prize given to policy debaters who are not only successful in debate competitively, but also focus on reaching out to others to help build the community. Spencer is attending Cornell Law School on a full scholarship.

Michael Fuentes, Instructor

Michael Fuentes is a Senior Debater at the University of Miami studying Business Law and Political Science. Michael is a former High School debater from Belen Jesuit Preparatory School in Miami, Florida. Michael debated 4 years in high school, competing in Public Forum, Extemp, and Student Congress. Michael now debates for the University of Miami British Parliamentary Team and has also participated in Policy while at the University. Being a former HDI participant, Michael is looking forward to working with the students as an instructor for his 3rd summer.

Anna Ivanova, Instructor

Anna Ivanova is a junior Neuroscience major at the University of Miami. She has competed in policy debate for two years and has some experience with the British Parliamentary format. She was a Novice Finalist at the 2014 American Debate Association National Tournament and the winner of the JV division at the 2014 Samford University Tournament. During the past year, Anna has judged at several high school debate tournaments, including the National Catholic Forensic League Grand Nationals.

Zac Cosner, Instructor

Zac is a former debater from Miami Palmetto Senior High School and has been competing in policy debate for the past 6 years. In 2013, he won the Silver Knight honorable mention for speech and debate. He is currently a junior at the University of Miami where he is pursuing a triple major in Biology, Ecosystem Science & Policy, and History and is a member of the University of Miami Policy Debate team. Zac is also a former student of the HDI.

Hui Zhong, Instructor

Hui is a senior at the University of Miami, majoring in Philosophy and Anthropology. Hui is currently a policy debater at University of Miami where she started debating as a junior and went to five tournaments in the past year. She also acted as a debate judge for high school debaters and contributed to the Miami debate community by helping organize debate events. She's always been enthusiastic about debate.


UM Debate Team in the School of Communication Courtyard

Questions? Please call 305-281-2705 or email