October 06, 2008

Media Advisory -- Debate Expert Available

Seventy million viewers tuned in nationwide for the highly anticipated vice-presidential debate. Interest may be at an all-time high coming into Tuesday’s debate, the second of three between presidential candidates Barack Obama and John McCain. The debate, like the others preceding it, will be analyzed and fact-checked and there will be those who debate the debate. 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 following the presidential candidate debates, and in the days following the debates. Arrangements can be made for a live appearance with 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 spot in individual awards at the second national championship, the National Parliamentary Debate Association national championship 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.

In addition to tomorrow’s presidential candidate debate, a final debate is set for Oct. 15.

Graham can be reached at 314/495-7278 or 618/453-2291 or at tgraham@siu.edu.