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UNT Briefs

Students prepare for debate tournament

Four University of North Texas students are preparing for this year’s National Debate Tournament, scheduled for March 28-April 1 at Weber State University in Ogden, Utah.

Students participating are Colin Quinn, a junior communication studies major from Glenview, Ill., who will partner with junior political science major Hunter McCullough from Joshua.

Shelby Pryor, a senior political science major from Grapevine, and Brian Kersch, a junior communication studies major from Austin, will make up the other team.

At least one team of two students from UNT’s Debate Team has represented the university at the tournament 28 times in the past 31 years.

Fifty-eight of the teams qualify for the tournament by placing among the top 10 teams in their district tournaments, while 16 teams receive at-large bids based on their performances at tournaments held throughout the academic year.

The topic for the 2013 National Debate Tournament, and all NDT-sanctioned tournaments this past academic year, is whether or not the U.S. government should substantially reduce restrictions on, or substantially increase financial incentives for, coal, crude oil, natural gas, nuclear power, solar power or wind power production. Students must argue both the positive and negative sides.

Quinn and McCullough qualified by placing fourth at the District Three Debate Tournament, which is open to college and university debate programs in Texas, Kansas, Louisiana, Missouri and Oklahoma.

Quinn, and McCullough also qualified for the 2013 Cross Examination Debate Association National Tournament, which will begin Monday and run through March 25 at Idaho State University and have the same topic as the National Debate Tournament.

Pryor and Kersch qualified for the National Debate Tournament by placing ninth at the District Three Debate Tournament.

The two are returning to the national tournament for a second straight year. During the 2012 tournament, they placed among the top 32 teams after reaching the elimination rounds. They also participated in the 2012 CEDA Tournament.

Quinn also participated in both the 2012 National Debate Tournament and the 2012 CEDA Tournament with another partner.

He placed among the top eight teams in the CEDA Tournament.

Student named finalist for Truman Scholarship

Katherine Lester, a senior geography major, is one of 199 college and university students in the nation to be selected as a finalist for a 2013 Harry S. Truman Scholarship.

She is the daughter of Marsha Lester of Richmond, Va., and a 2004 graduate of Mills E. Godwin High School in Richmond, Va.

The Harry S. Truman Foundation was established by Congress as the official federal memorial to honor the 33rd president. The foundation awards scholarships to students with exceptional leadership potential who are committed to careers in government, nonprofit or advocacy agencies, education or elsewhere in public service. Each Truman Scholar receives up to $30,000 for graduate study. Scholars also receive priority admission and supplemental financial aid at some premier graduate institutions, leadership training, career and graduate school counseling and special internship opportunities within the federal government 

Lester is one of nine students from Texas colleges and universities named as finalists for this year’s scholarships. Winners will be announced by April 11.

Students are nominated for Truman scholarships by their universities or colleges, after they apply during their junior or senior years. To be eligible for a Truman Scholarship, a student must have an extensive record of public and community service.


Conference to discuss bullying, hazing

Bullying, hazing, social media and other key issues of higher education will be discussed at this year’s 17th annual Texas Higher Education Law Conference at the University of North Texas.

The conference will be March 25-26 in UNT’s Gateway Center, 801 North Texas Blvd., and is sponsored by UNT’s Center for Higher Education and UNT’s College of Education, among others.

For conference fees and other information, visit .

The conference is aimed toward public and private college and university professionals, as well as attorneys who advise them.

Speakers focus on areas such as student legal issues, First Amendment rights, technology dangers, FERPA and free speech.

For more information, contact Marc Cutright at 940-369-7875 or . For registration questions, contact the Center for Achievement and Lifelong Learning at 940-369-7293 or .