Jim Hanson Rhetoric Forensics Argument Speech Debate

Jim HansonJim Hanson
Rhetoric Studies
Former Director of Forensics
Debate Speech Rhetoric Argument Forensics

Jim Hanson came to Whitman College in 1992 and has been a champion of speech and debate ever since.

He led the Whitman Speech and Debate program for 21 years. During that time, the program had a record 167 teams qualify for the NPTE and NDT and advance to elimination rounds at the CEDA and NPDA National Championships. 5 of his teams advanced to the finals rounds of national championships including first place winners Jessica Clarke and Adam Symonds and national award winners Charles Olney, NDT Top Speaker, and Miranda Morton, NPTE Top Speaker.

Jim helped initiate paperless debating including setting up the first all electronic filing system for debate in the nation. He won an environmental award and was featured in the New York Times for his promotion of paperless debating.

Jim won a Mellon diversity grant working with Meghan Hughes and Robert Crenshaw to promote diversity and dialogue on campus.

Jim won 4 coaching awards including the Roy Buchanan award, the Lucy Keele award, the Washington State Forensics Association award, and the National Coach of the Year.

Jim coached dozens and dozens of women and underrepresented students to national success. He also was a strong advocate of novice and junior division debating and speaking--regularly fielding 4 to 6 young teams each year. Jim also led up efforts to involve 50 to 80 students each year in intramural debate despite Whitman's small size.

Jim's students regularly were awarded 25 to 50 individual events speaking awards each year. Over his time at Whitman, students won over 500 speaking awards.

While accomplishing great feats in forensics, Jim has served as an outstanding instructor. Highly rated, Jim has taught courses such as race, class, and gender; argument in the law and politics, public speaking, and political campaign rhetoric. Nearly every course he has taught has been overfull.

Jim worked tirelessly to build up the rhetoric department moving it from an extra-departmental teaching program to a highly respected major unto itself.



Jim Hanson

Speech Debate Rhetoric Argument Forensics