September 24, 2008

Media Advisory -- Debate Expert Available

When the dust settles after the scheduled debates between presidential candidates Barack Obama and John McCain, the usual sources will give their interpretations -- but what does a debate expert say about such niceties as delivery, speaking style and argument strategy?

Todd Graham, director of debate at Southern Illinois University Carbondale, is available for non-partisan comment immediately after the candidates’ debates, and in the days following the debates. Arrangements can be made for a live appearance with television or radio broadcast media.

As director of debate, Graham formulates argumentative strategies with his team. Graham’s team includes the current national champion winners of the National Parliamentary Tournament of Excellence, held in March at the University of Puget Sound in Tacoma, Wash. In addition, one of Graham’s debaters in that national champion duo also won the top individual award at the second national championship, the National Parliamentary Debate Association tournament held at the United States Air Force Academy in Colorado Springs, Colo.

Before coming to SIUC, Graham was assistant debate coach at Arizona State University and director of debate at Northwestern State University in Natchitoches, La. Under his leadership, the Northwestern State team scored more wins than any other school in the country.

The debates are set for: Sept. 26, Oct. 7, and Oct. 15, with a vice-presidential candidate debate set for Oct. 2.

Graham can be reached at 314/495-7278 or 618/453-2291, or at