Southeast Debate Team Crowned National Champions for Third Straight Year


The Southeast Missouri State University debate team was crowned the 2018 national champion for the third consecutive year at the national Education Debate Association’s (NEDA) National Debate Tournament March 23-24 hosted by Duquesne University.

Southeast was represented by four teams competing in the public forum debate. Students debated if the U.S. federal government should provide free college tuition to all its citizens. The teams brought home awards for two first-place finishes.

“I am continually impressed with everyone on the team. The students are all incredibly talented and their success is a testament to their hard work and dedication they spend in our weekly meetings,” said Dr. Avery Henry, director of SEMO Debate. “SEMO Debate has had a team compete in finals at every single tournament this season. We were able to build on our successes and cap off the season with two teams earning national championships in their respective divisions.”

The team of junior Jasmine Jones of Florissant, Missouri, and freshman Sarah Mullinix of Wildwood, Missouri, won the novice division in public forum debate.

Junior Greg Johnson of Bolingbrook, Illinois, defended his individual championship by winning first place in the varsity division of public forum debate for the third straight year.

On top of the impressive team success, Johnson won second place speaker honors, and junior Grace Lester of Wildwood, Missouri, won seventh place speaker.

For more information about the Southeast debate team, visit