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Sarah Partlow Lefevre

Sarah Partlow Lefevre

Professor & Director, James M. & Sharon E. Rupp Debate Society

Office: Frazier 407

(208) 282-5962


BA, English, University of Utah; MA, Communication Studies, University of Kansas; PhD, Communication Studies, University of Kansas


Rhetoric & Debate

Courses Taught:

CMP2205: Argumentation; CMP3305: Intercollegiate Debate; CMP4404: Gender and Communication; CMP6630: Drama of Human Symbol Use

Sarah Partlow Lefevre, Ph.D., is a Professor in the Department of Communication, Media, and Persuasion and has been the Director of Debate at Idaho State University since 2001. Dr. Partlow Lefevre began her involvement in debate in 1991 at the University of Utah where she completed her undergraduate degree. She then pursued both her M.A. and Ph.D. in Communication Studies at the University of Kansas where she was an Assistant Debate Coach. Coaching highlights from her time at ISU include: two 3rd place finishes in Public Forum Debate at Pi Kappa Delta Nationals, First Place in British Parliamentary Debate at Pi Kappa Delta Nationals, multiple First Round At Large Bids to the National Debate Tournament, 3rd Place at Cross Examination Debate Association Nationals, Second Speaker at both the NDT and CEDA national tournaments among hundreds of other awards and acclamations. She was a member of the NDT Committee for several years and served as President of the Cross Examination Debate Association. Dr. Partlow Lefevre is currently the Director of the National Debate Tournament and serves on the Board of the Women’s Debate Institute.

Rupp Debate Society

Rupp Debate Blog

Selected Publications:

Partlow Lefevre, S. T. (2018) Recovering the Potential of Argument in the Public Sphere: Moms Demand Action and Threats of Gendered Violence in the Gun Control Debate. In (ed.) Randall A. Lake . Routledge.

Eckstein, J., & Partlow Lefevre, S. T. (2017). Since Sandy Hook: Strategic Maneuvering in the Gun Control Debate. Western Journal of Communication81(2), 225-242.

Partlow-Lefevre, S. T. (2015) Obama on the Affirmative: Sequester arguments as policy debate. In (ed.) Catherine Helen Palczewski. Routledge: Taylor and Francis Group. 

Awards & Honors:

The George Ziegelmueller Award honoring  a faculty member who has distinguished himself or herself in the communication profession while coaching teams to competitive success at the National Debate Tournament

The Lucy Keele Award for outstanding service to the debate community

The Rebecca Galentine Award recognizing debate service, community building, and competitive success.

The Rupp Debate Society has won hundreds of awards with Dr. Partlow Lefevre at the helm, including: 3rd place Overall Division II at Pi Kappa Delta National Comprehensive Tournament, 3rd Place Debate Division I at Pi Kappa Delta National Comprehensive Tournament, 3rd Place Public Forum Pi Kappa Delta National Comprehensive Tournament, 3rd Place Public Forum Pi Kappa Delta National Comprehensive Tournament, 1st Place British Parliamentary Pi Kappa Delta National Comprehensive Tournament, Second Speaker CEDA Nationals, 2nd Speaker NDT Nationals, 3rd Place CEDA Nationals.