Forrest Scene

March 2012 News Releases

Washburn Debate wins National Championship

Lauren Knoth and Josh Ramsey with their trophiesTopeka – Washburn University debate seniors Lauren Knoth, Independence, Mo., and Joshua Ramsey, Fort Scott, defeated a Texas Tech University team to win the championship round at the National Parliamentary Tournament of Excellence. The Knoth-Ramsey duo topped the nation’s best 64 intercollegiate parliamentary debate teams competing March 17-19 at Western Washington University, Bellingham, Wash. The other two teams in the NPTE Final Four, all top-ranked throughout the year, were both from Southern Illinois University at Carbondale.

Knoth also was crowned the Top Speaker at the NPTE from a field of 128 speakers, which also means the NPTE Top Speaker championship returned to Topeka for the second year as fellow Ichabod Joe Allen, Boise, Idaho, won the award in 2011. Ramsey won the NPTE Second Place Overall Speaker award. Allen also was recognized as the Top Preferred Judge at the 2012 NPTE tournament.

A few days later, March 21-24, Knoth and Ramsey were crowned national champions at the National Parliamentary Debate Association Tournament at Western Washington University, as the individual team champion over a team from Whitman College, Walla Walla, Wash. The entire Washburn squad also won the Top Squad Sweepstakes, edging out Whitman College, Walla Walla, Wash., by one win. The NPDA Tournament is open to all and 54 other colleges and universities competed, such as Texas Tech University, Lubbock, Texas; University of Colorado, Boulder; University of Oregon, Eugene, Ore.; University of Washington, Seattle, Wash.; University of California, Berkeley; and University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA).

Knoth also was named as a NPDA All-American, which recognizes graduating seniors who have excelled at school, debate and community service. Only one All-American is recognized from each of NPDA's ten districts plus three more at-large.

Knoth, who is majoring in sociology and criminal justice with an emphasis in security administration, is the daughter of Trish Boone and Joe Knoth and a graduate of Truman High School. Ramsey, a legal and corporate communication major, is the son of Laura and Joel Ramsey and graduate of Fort Scott High School.

For more information contact Kevin O’Leary, director of forensics, 785-670-2234 or Steve Doubledee, assistant director of forensics, 785-670-2336.


The four broad based topic areas from which individual resolutions were drawn for each of the debates at the 2012 NPTE were protection of marine national resources; sovereignty of European Union member states; United States tax policy; and humanitarian assistance and/or public health efforts in North Africa.

Across both National Parliamentary Debate Tournaments, Knoth and Ramsey debated every single round (28 rounds total), while never losing a single debate round at either tournament.

Their total ballot count in the elimination rounds at both National Tournaments was 49-9.

Washburn Debate has now won the Squad Championship at the NPDA twice (2012 and 2010) in the last three years and has been in the top two squads at the NPDA Championships for the last five years.

Washburn is now home to six different parliamentary debate championships for the last three years: 2010 NPDA Squad Champion; 2011 NPTE top speaker champion; 2012 NPTE top speaker champion; 2012 NPTE individual team champion; 2012 NPDA squad champion; and 2012 NPDA individual team champion.

Knoth and Ramsey also were awarded the 2012 Bellingham Cup, which celebrated the individual debate team with the most wins in Bellingham, tracking the two tournaments located there in January at the Mile High at Sea Level tournament (the biggest invitational of the year) as well as the two national tournaments this past week.

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Amanda Hughes, university relations, (785) 670-2153