Jessica has over twenty years of experience working in the nonprofit sector in both K12 education and the arts. She is passionate about speech and debate programming and committed to improving equity and access, and creating more opportunities for BIPOC. Prior to her work in Denver, she spent eight years working in speech and debate education with the New York Urban Debate League. She was the founding Program Director of the Brooklyn Debate Resource Center, where she provided full-time debate support for hundreds of middle school and high school debaters in Brooklyn. Jessica was a successful collegiate debater representing the University of New Mexico. Ms. Clark has also worked in publishing and literary representation. She holds an M.F.A. in Dramatic Writing from New York University’s Tisch School of the Arts. In addition to her debate dork life, Jessica is also a certified yoga teacher and has studied yoga and meditation at ashrams around the world. In her free time she enjoys hiking, creative writing, and spending time outdoors with her family.
Daniel Shatzkin (He/Him/They/Them) Programs and Operations Manager With over a decade of experience in coaching speech and debate, Daniel is a seasoned professional dedicated to nurturing the speaking, research and critical thinking skills of the next generation. His coaching expertise has consistently produced exceptional results. He has guided his students to late elimination rounds at prestigious national tournaments, and prior to his relocation to Denver, he achieved remarkable success in Florida by coaching state champions and multiple students to the Tournament of Champions and NSDA Nationals. In addition to his coaching, Daniel serves as the Editor-in-Chief for a Lincoln-Douglas brief, further demonstrating his commitment to the field of debate and his dedication to fostering informed, persuasive, and articulate communicators. He firmly believes that advocacy skills are integral to creating a better society and fostering good citizenship. He is passionate about expanding access to the unique platforms provided by speech and debate, empowering individuals to make their voices heard on critical issues. Beyond the world of debate, you'l often find Daniel exploring the great outdoors. He is an avid hiker, always seeking new trails and adventures. When he's not on a mountain path, he's at home with his loyal canine companion, Maggie.
Madison Alexander (she/her/hers) Community Outreach Coordinator
Madison Alexander is a Denver native and DUDL alumni, having competed in the league for all four years of high school. She is a student at Metropolitan State University of Denver, majoring in sociology. She is excited to be working with DUDL this year and ready for what this debate season may bring!
John McKiernan (he/him/his) Director Of Tabulations
John competed in debate and speech events throughout his high school and university education. He coached high school competitors while getting his Bachelors degree and coached university competitors while earning a Masters and Ph.D. in Communication. John served as the Director of Forensics at two universities where he directed debate tournaments annually for two decades. John coached numerous national champions in both competitive speech and debate, but he is more interested in what his broad variety of students learned and how they applied those skills in their education and professional lives than their competitive successes. Since moving to Denver, John has worked as a project manager (with various titles) for nonprofit and for-profit corporations. His longest service was with two tech firms, managing software implementations and use for people in the organizations' national and international service departments. He also volunteered with several nonprofits, including 20+ years of raising dogs (and money, and awareness) for a service dog organization. John began volunteering as a DUDL judge and tournament staff member several years ago.
University of Denver, Sturm College of Law. 2255 East Evans Avenue Suite 406, Denver, CO 80210
Executive Director, Jessica Clark JessicaClark@urbandebate.org Phone: 303-871-6575