Rothermel Finalist for Japan Tour

Dylan Rothermel, a junior economics major from Homewood, Ill., was recently selected as a finalist for the United States National Debate Team tour Japan. Rothermel was one of only eight undergraduate and graduate students nationwide chosen to compete for the two slots available for the tour. He is the first Truman State University student to be a finalist for the process, sponsored by the Committee on International Discussion and Debate of the National Communication Association (NCA). The students chosen for the two spots on the team were from Cornell University and Emory University.

“Simply being a finalist is a significant honor for Dylan,” noted Kevin Minch, associate professor of communication and director of forensics, “because most applicants for the international tours tend to be graduate students with significant debating and coaching experience.”

Rothermel brought his own stellar record to the competition. He was among the top 16 teams nationally in parliamentary debate in 2006 and has reached at least semifinals in three of the nation’s most prestigious round-robin tournaments.

As part of the try-out process, held at the NCA national office in Washington, D.C., Dec. 1-2, Rothermel presented a lecture on the history of militarism in Japan from the Tokugawa period through World War II, and participated in a policy-style debate over the question of whether the United States should support the full-scale rearmament of Japan.

The Committee on International Discussion and Debate has existed since 1922 and has sponsored debate team exchanges with Britain, Japan, New Zealand, Australia, Poland, Romania, Bulgaria, the Philippines, the Baltic Republics and the former USSR. Truman has a long tradition of participation in these exchanges, stretching-back to the early part of the 20th century. Truman has hosted teams on campus from Britain, Russia, Japan and Ireland as a part of the program.

Rothermel joins his teammates in the resumption of regular competitive travel in January with two tournaments in Seward, Neb., Jan. 18-22.
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