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Esteemed Judges

Policy Esteemed Judge: Dr. Laura Sjoberg

Laura Sjoberg is Associate Professor of Political Science at the University of Florida. She holds a BA from the University of Chicago, a JD from Boston College, and PhD in International Relations from the University of Southern California. During those years she debated at Pensacola High School and the University of Chicago before co-founding the Boston Debate League. Dr. Sjoberg’s work has been published in more than three dozen journals in Political Science, Law, International Relations, Gender Studies, and Geography. She is author or editor of ten books, including, most recently, Gender, War, and Conflict (Polity, 2014) and Beyond Mothers, Monsters, Whores (with Caron Gentry, Zed Books, 2015). Her current projects include an edited volume on quantitative methods in critical and constructivist IR, Interpretive Quantification (with J. Samuel Barkin, forthcoming, University of Michigan Press), and a book on women’s perpetration of conflict sexual violence, Women as Wartime Rapists(2016, New York University Press).

Public Forum Esteemed Judge: C’Zar Bernstein

As a Public Forum debater, C’Zar and his partner won the Blue Key tournament twice (2009 and 2010), the Emory tournament (2011), the Harvard Round Robin (2011), and were semi-finalists at Glenbrooks and the Tournament of Champions. C’Zar recently graduated from the University of Oxford with a master’s degree in philosophy and has several publications in peer-reviewed applied/medical ethics and philosophy journals.

Public Forum Esteemed Judge: Robert Botkin

Robert Botkin was a Public Forum Debater from Seminole Ridge Community High School in Loxahatchee, FL. After high school, he attended Florida State University and majored in Economics, graduating in three years with honors. Currently, he is a second year law student at Wake Forest University and is focusing his studies on securities regulations. His philosophy on PFD: PF develops essential skills, such as: research, public speaking, and effectively disseminating of information to a lay audience. Therefore, emphasis should be placed on explaining why the research connect in a logical manner.

Public Forum Esteemed Judge: James Stage

James Stage competed in Public Forum debate over the course of three years at University School. He then competed at Florida State for an additional three years. He has coached at the National Debate Forum for 4 years and for high schools around the United States.

Public Forum Esteemed Judge: Dr. Michelle R. Darnell

Dr. Michelle R. Darnell is a lecturer in the Department of Management within UF’s Warrington College of Business, specializing in Business Ethics. She holds bachelor degrees in philosophy and biology from the University of San Diego, and earned an MA and PhD in philosophy from Purdue University. Dr. Darnell also completed a post-doctoral Bridge to Business program at UF, with a focus on the fields of management and marketing. Prior to joining the faculty at UF, she taught at Fayetteville State University and Methodist University.

Dr. Darnell’s primary interests are in: issues related to authenticity and good/bad faith in relationships; ethical implications of ontological assumptions about organizations; the pursuit of distributive, procedural and interactional justice within a capitalistic environment; the role of existential awareness in ethical development; and ethics pedagogy and training within organizations.

Public Forum Esteemed Judge – Dean Laura A. Rosenbury

UF Law Dean Laura A. Rosenbury, the Levin, Mabie & Levin Professor of Law, is an internationally renowned family law scholar. Her work has been published in the Michigan Law Review, University of Pennsylvania Law Review, Cornell Law Review, and Vanderbilt Law Review among many other journals and books. Rosenbury was elected to the American Law Institute in 2010 and was named a fellow of the American Bar Foundation in 2014. She received her A.B. summa cum laude in women’s studies from Harvard-Radcliffe College and her J.D. cum laude from Harvard Law School, where she served as a primary editor of the Harvard Law Review. Outside of work, Rosenbury enjoys gardening and traveling. If at all possible, she also completes the New York Times crossword puzzle every day.

Public Forum Esteemed Judge – Ethan Goldstein

Competing in Public Forum Debate, Ethan and his partner won NCFLs (2013), Wake Forest (2012), the Blue Key Round Robin (2011), and the Villager tournament twice (2011, 2012). They were runners up at the Emory tournament (2013), Sunvitational, and were semis finalists at Princeton (2012). Ethan was awarded the top speaker award at the 2012 Tournament of Champions. Ethan is currently a senior at the University of Florida, studying political science and business.