ANDREW EILOLA is the new Assistant Director of Forensics at GMU and could not be more excited about it! Originally from Minnesota, Andrew has been involved with forensics since 2004. He received BAs in sociology and communication from Concordia College in Moorhead, Minnesota. He has a master’s degree in health communication from George Mason University and is currently finishing his PhD in health communication. In competition, Andrew was a national finalist in persuasive speaking and had success in a variety of other events. Since arriving at Mason in 2012 as a graduate assistant, he’s had the privilege of coaching 9 national finalists, including a national champion in persuasion. Andrew has a passion for teaching and the educational value forensics has to offer to all who are a part of it. He is grateful to have found such a welcoming and positive environment at GMU and hopes to continue the legacy that started long before him.
PETER POBER (Professor of Communication, Director of Forensics and Distinguished Service Professor) is proud to continue the legacy of GMU forensics started in 1971 by Margaret Duffner and propelled by Bruce Manchester and Sheryl Friedley. Entering his 40th year in the forensic arts, Peter has been privileged to coach more than 50 individual and team national champions at both the high school and college levels. He has been awarded the Texas Intercollegiate Forensic Association Coach of the Year, the Texas Speech Communication Educator of the Year, the American Forensic Association District III Distinguished Service Award, the L.E. Norton Forensic Educator Award, the AFA-NIET National Distinguished Service Award, and the American Forensic Association National Distinguished Service Award. He is the National Chair of the American Forensic Association National Individual Events Tournament. Just this past June, Peter became the first college coach in 25 years to be inducted into the National Speech and Debate Association's Hall of Fame. His students mean the world to him and he is honored to call so many of them across the world his dear friends.
The job of a coach is to teach students to see vitality in themselves"
di & INFO coach
JON TYREE is a former GMU competitor turned coach. After graduating in 2014, he took a year off from forensics, but is very excited to be returning to the team. When not coaching, you can find Jon working hard in Alexandria with the Association of Consulting Foresters or whipping up something crazy in the kitchen for his awesome roommate Genevieve!
pers & poi coach
Karin is so excited to finally be coaching the George Mason team! After graduating from Gustavus Adolphus College in Minnesota in 2015, she headed down to Alabama and spend two years coaching the team there while attending graduate school. She received her M.A. in Communication Studies in May of 2017, and just a short month later moved to Virginia to join the Mason family. Karin is now coaching her all time favorite events: POI and Persuasion.
DUO & DI COACH
DEION HAWKINS comes to George Mason from Indianapolis, Indiana. He is a first year doctoral student studying health communication with a concentration in interpersonal HIV communication. He completed his BA at The Ohio State University in 2012 where he was the Vice President and Debate Captain of Ohio State's student run forensics team. Additionally, he completed his MA at Marshall University. Deion is thrilled to be coaching ADS and Duo this year and is humbled by the opportunity to work with such an amazing program.
ADS & POE COACH
This is GEORGE KUEPPERS' third year on the team and first year in the Master of Arts Program in Communication. He graduated from Concordia College in Moorhead, MN in 2015 with a BA in Political Science and Global Studies He is from Spicer, Minnesota. He is coaching Informative Speaking and Poetry Interpretation. His favorite TV shows include Breaking Bad, House of Cards and Game of Thrones. He likes sports, music and current events. He is an avid dog lover and sarcasm is his first language.
EXT & CA COACH
JOSEPH DINEEN earned his Bachelor's degree in International Relations from Saint Joseph's University. While studying for his Master's degree in Political Science at George Mason University (which he received in 2014), he spent two years working with the team. After a very long year away, Joe found that he missed this--all of this--too much. He will be coaching Extemp and Communication Analysis this year, and he is immensely privileged to be working and learning here once more.
PRO & DUO coach
MOLLY HOKE hails from the majestic hills of wild and wonderful West Virginia! After being with this family for 4 wonderful years, Molly is now continuing her academic journey as a second year M.A. student in the Women and Gender Studies program at GMU. In her free time you'll probably find her jamming out to The Beatles or watching a fantastic film. Wanna strike up a conversation? Comment on a good movie (Pulp Fiction is a good place to start). Molly is ecstatic to be coaching the events that make you laugh and cry: After Dinner Speaking and Dramatic Interpretation.
POE & POI COACH
Xavier Clark comes to George Mason from Austin, Texas. He is a second year Masters of Public Administration student concentration on homeland security, emergency management, and biodefense. He completed his BA in Political Communication at The University of Texas at Austin in 2016 where he was the officer of Texas Speech Team and Coach. He is coaching Program Oral Interpretation and Poetry Interpretation. His favorite celebrities shows include: Beyonce, Oprah, Michelle Obama, and Blue Ivy. He loves fashion, slick shade, art, and church.
NAME: Jim Welty (Co-Captain)
MAJOR: Government & International Politics
HOMETOWN: Phoniex, AZ
FAVORITE EVENTS: EXT, DI
Jim is incredibly excited for his senior year on the team and to be participating in a vast array of equally exciting events. He is also thrilled to spend another year in Virginia as his home state of Arizona has no water.
NAME: Alekhya Tallapaka (Co-Captain)
MAJOR: Global Affairs
HOMETOWN: Rosemount, MN
FAVORITE EVENTS: PERS, CA, INFO
Alekhya is so excited to be at George Mason University for its 46th season! Originally from the frozen tundra (AKA Minnesota), Alekhya is majoring in Global Affairs while concentrating on International Development. While not doing speech, Alekhya can be found making tofu, reading novels about the Indian-American diaspora, and obsessively tweeting about Zayn Malik and Narendra Modi. She could not be more excited about the upcoming speech season with her wonderful family.
NAME: Mernine Ameris (Historian/Webmistress)
MAJOR: Public Administration
HOMETOWN: Planet Mars, NJ
FAVORITE EVENTS: PRO, Duo, DI
Mernine Ameris is a rising junior on the Maosn team. When she isn't doing speech, she loves and enjoys smoothies, the 1995 sleeper hit Clueless, competitive badminton, getting annoyed by Faizaan, and making this website. Her life goal is to star in a Legally Blonde remake, appropriately retitled "Legally Black" with Drake playing her love interest.
NAME: John Henry
HOMETOWN: Bensalem, PA
FAVORITE EVENTS: PERS, IMP
John Henry is a junior studying History and Legal Studies. He comes from Bensalem, PA where he competed for Holy Ghost Prep Forensics. He can't be more excited to compete in his third year in college with Mason! In addition to being an Eagle Scout, John loves Wawa, Philly cheesesteaks, and cracking open a cold one with the boys.
NAME: Parker Roth (Alumni Liasion)
MAJOR: Communication | Government & International Politics & Jazz Studies minor
HOMETOWN: Maple Plain, MN
FAVORITE EVENT: DI
Parker is a life-size human person on the George Mason Forensics Team. The Mason family is his love and his life, and he couldn't be more excited for his third year on the circuit. He likes Zara, the saxophone, Jim Welty, almond butter, the Disney Channel Original Movie "Lemonade Mouth", his dog Jasper, and Mernine Ameris, the original snake. Catch him at the Norton smiling through the crushing weight of existentialist thought. GMU, You Know.
NAME: Edward Kunkle
MAJOR: Communication with a focus in Political Communication
HOMETOWN: East Los Angeles, CA
FAVORITE EVENTS: ADS, POI, CA
Edward is an incoming Junior who travelled all the way from California to join the family! (I don't know what else to put. I'll leave it to your discretion.) After almost 6 years of competition, Eddie cannot express how excited he is to join the Mason Family!
NAME: Erin Phillips
MAJOR: Integrative Studies | Social Innovation & Enterprise Concentration | Consciousness & Transformation Minor
HOMETOWN: Chelmsford, MA
FAVORITE EVENT: CA
Erin is a rising junior at GMU from the great state of Massachusetts. In her spare time she's the treasurer of Mason's Planned Parenthood activism group, writes and performs her own poetry and is a passionate advocate for climate justice. She loves travel, cooking, yoga, and reading. She's very excited for all this season has to offer and can't wait to spend another year with her awesome teammates!
NAME: Regan Copple (Historian)
MAJOR: Government & International Politics with a concentraion in Political Communication
HOMETOWN: Des Moines, IA
FAVORITE EVENTS: ADS, PERS
Regan Copple is a sophomore at Mason hailing from Des Moines, Iowa. l. She is majoring in government and international politics, and will probably minor in international security. Her ultimate dream is to live in Washington DC and work for a think tank (this might sound a little stereotypical for an extemper, but it's true). In her free time, she loves to travel and simply unwind with friends. She's excited for her upcoming season and can't wait to be part of such an amazing team!
NAME: Chloe Zatorski (Tournament Director)
HOMETOWN: Munster, IN
FAVORITE EVENTS: Poe & Duo
Chloe is a rising sophomore at George Mason who couldn’t be more humbled and excited to join the Legacy class of 2020. If she isn’t doing speech things, you might find Chloe re-reading Perks of Being a Wallflower for the 12th time or perhaps online shopping with money she doesn’t have. Also, food. Everyone loves food. Especially, Chloe.
NAME: David Encarnacao
MAJOR: Government & International Politics
HOMETOWN: Elizabeth, NJ
FAVORITE EVENTS: POI, POE
David is super excited to join the legacy! After competing on the college circuit for year, he made the decision to join his new family and he could not be more excited. He enjoys Parks and Rec, reading the news and being a Facebook mom.