Posted April 23, 2014
Professor Sarah T. Partlow Lefevre, director of the Idaho State University James M. and Sharon E. Rupp Debate, has been named the recipient of the 2014 Lucy Keele Award for Service to the debate community.
Partlow Lefevre holds the unique distinction of being the only woman to receive both the Keele Award and the George Ziegelmueller Award, which she received in 2008.
According to William Southworth, longtime director of forensics at Redlands College, the Keele Award is designed to demonstrate the debate community’s “respect, and appreciation for those individuals who have devoted so much time and effort into making the forensic community a more enjoyable and productive experience for so many students.”
The Keele Award winner is chosen by the National Debate Tournament (NDT) Board of Trustees. The award recognizes an NDT debate coach who has provided outstanding service to the debate community.
“I was very surprised and pleased to be this year’s recipient,” Partlow Lefevre said. “It is a tremendous honor to be recognized alongside such accomplished coaches like George Ziegelmueller, Donn W. Parson, and Al Louden – all legendary in debate.”
Partlow Lefevre has been a part of the NDT community for 23 years. She began her association with the NDT as an undergraduate debating at the University of Utah from 1991 to 1995. She then served as an assistant coach and graduate teaching assistant at the University of Kansas from 1995 to 2001 where she worked with Robert Rowland, Scott Harris and Donn W. Parson. Since 2001, Partlow Lefevre has been the director of the ISU Rupp Debate Society.
“I think the coaches are amazing,” said Robyn Hemmert, ISU debate team member. “They have shown passion and knowledge and love of debate that is contagious. I will forever be grateful to Sarah for giving me the opportunity to be an ISU debater.”
Professor Partlow Lefevre has been actively serving the debate and forensics community for many years. Highlights include her service as president of the Cross Examination Debate Association (CEDA) in the 2012-2013 academic year, hosting the CEDA National Championship in 2009 and 2013, more than 10 years of service on the NDT committee, service on multiple NDT sub committees including as District Bid Allocation Chair for eight years, and her recent appointment as co-editor of the Journal of Contemporary Argumentation and Debate, a peer reviewed journal sponsored by the CEDA.
Partlow Lefevre has also spent several years on the CEDA Executive Committee where she served on the awards committee, the nominating committee, the topic committee, and other sub committees. Finally, she serves on the finance committee for the American Forensics Association (AFA).
A full list of past Keele Award can be found at idahostateu.com/keelewinners winners.
Partlow Lefevre is the only woman and one of six people to receive both the Lucy Keele Award and the George Ziegelmueller Award for excellence as a forensic educator. The other five to win both are Ziegelmueller, Wayne State University; Allan Louden, Wake Forest University; Donn W. Parson, the University of Kansas; Bill Southworth, Redlands; and Tim O’Donnell, University of Mary Washington.
The George Ziegelmueller Award is named for George Ziegelmueller who was the director of debate at Wayne State University in Detroit for 30-plus years. According to Southworth, the Ziegelmueller award honors “a faculty member who has distinguished himself or herself in the communication profession while coaching teams to competitive success at the NDT.”
To win both awards demonstrates lasting commitment to intercollegiate debate as an activity and consistent competitive success. According to tabroom.com in 2013-2014 there were 1,361 active judges in the NDT/CEDA debate circuit and 159 participating institutions. Partlow Lefevre also won the Galentine Coaching Award in 2010 and the Val A. Browning Coach of the Year Award in 2008.