Debate is not something reserved for clubs or courtrooms. Ken will explain how proficiency at debate-in-the-everyday enables the effective sharing of our best ideas as well as mental defense against other’s dangerous ideas.
Ken Johnson is the Director of Forensics at the University of Rochester. The U of R Debate Program stands apart from other programs because of its focus on training students with little or no previous experience. U of R novices go on to compete at the highest levels of intercollegiate debate, with a number of students qualifying for the prestigious National Debate Tournament. During Ken’s tenure, the U of R team captured two national debating championships and several regional titles. This model of inclusivity enabled the University of Rochester to grow one of the largest debate programs in the United States, sending over 50 students a year to debate tournaments around the world. Ken is a faculty member in the English Department where he teaches courses in argumentation and interpersonal communication. Additionally, he co-founded a consulting firm that helps organizations solve dysfunctional communication habits by using debate-based techniques. He holds a graduate degree in communication.When he is not obsessing over the best ways for his students to win debates, Ken spends his time teaching his two daughters the secrets to semi-successful trout fishing. He enjoys discovering hidden hot springs in the mountains of Idaho, researching investment opportunities, rare book collecting, and traveling with his beautiful wife. Ken loves dogs, but his only pet is a gold fish named Picasso.