Summer Camp Program Assistants
Althea Turley is from Cape Cod, Massachusetts (the beachy part of the state!) and will be a senior at the University of Massachusetts Amherst. At University, she studies Public Health and Anthropology with a specific focus on children, culture, and community. Last summer, Althea went to Ghana, West Africa and volunteered for a local foundation teaching children topics related to Public Health. She has also traveled to the Republic of Georgia, Italy, and Canada to either teach or compete in MUN. Althea is a collegiate MUN delegate and President of her MUN club at school. Outside of university, she also is the Director-General of NHSMUN, the largest secondary school MUN conference in the world. Model UN inspired Althea to make a difference and have an impact in the world and she is very excited to help instruct a new group of students on what MUN is and how to excel with it. In addition to MUN, Althea enjoys traveling, playing sports, and listening to podcasts; at school she works in a pediatric health lab, enjoys exploring the scenery of Western Mass, and serves in student government.
Yasmine is a recent graduate of McGill University with a degree in Sociology and Middle Eastern Studies. She is the former President of the McGill Debating Union and has served on their executive for 3 years. Her recent debate accomplishments include: North American Women's Debate Championship Finalist 2018, North American University Debate Championships Semi-Finalist 2019, and Middlebury IV Finalist 2019.
Emily Falkowski is a rising Freshman at the Cooper Union in New York City, where she will study visual arts. This summer will mark her first year as a PA for Westfield Summer camp. She is excited to be coming on in the role of educator and facilitator after being a debater on the team for many years during her high-school career. During that period she placed first in two state wide competitions, and was a semifinalist for three years in the Youth in Law statewide competition.
Emily went on to use these advocacy skills in other fields, cultivating a love for spoken word poetry. She has placed top twenty in the world for spoken word poetry in the youth faction two years in a row and has spent the past three years mentoring youth poets and coaching several teams who have performed on semi final stages at Brave New Voices, the largest international youth poetry slam.
Her essays have been published in several literary magazines including the Manifest-Station, and she is currently the resident artist for Corporeal Writing, a literary workshop in Portland, Oregon hosted by best-selling author, Lidia Yuknavitch.
Emily took three years off before starting college to work in the academic field, both in public elementary schools and alternative educational settings. She has taught workshops on poetry and social advocacy at Yale, Uconn, The Greater Hartford Academy for the Arts, and ACT in Willimantic.
Currently Emily is working on a magical realism novel about feminine reclamations of joy that she hopes to have completed by the beginning of the fall semester.
She is very excited to help cultivate a love of social advocacy in her campers and believes that facilitating cultural and individualistic growth through empowering personal narratives is what makes the practice of debate and collaborative expression so vital. She is thrilled to be able to give back to the community that enabled her to find a voice.
Seamus Connor is from Woodstock, Connecticut, which unfortunately is not the famous Woodstock (that’s in New York). He is a rising sophomore at Williams College, where he studies all sorts of things in the hopes of figuring out which he likes best. He debated at Westfield throughout high school, where he helped lead Westfield’s IPPF team to victory in their first year, and is very excited to come back as a PA!
Kyle Cook is from Haddam, Connecticut, and is a rising sophomore at Tufts University, where he is studying International Relations and Economics. An alum of Westfield, he placed first team in the Yale Osterweis and CT Civics First State competition as a High School Senior, and first novice team at multiple college competitions this past year.
Last summer, he volunteered with Civics First, an organization promoting speech and advocacy across the state, helping to create educational materials, and write rules and topics for their competitions this past year. In addition to teaching at Westfield this summer, he is also volunteering with our state's public defenders office, helping people through one of the most trying times in their lives.
Summer Camp Photographer - Kris Santos
I'm Kris! I'm a current UConn student looking to get my degree in communications. I was born and raised in Connecticut. I have studied abroad in China and South Africa as well. My hope this summer is to capture the campers at their most exciting moments so that we may show others exactly what Westfield Academy is all about.
Meghana Kandarpa is a rising college freshman who has been debating since her sophomore year in high school. She's grown a lot since her first debate, including having won and placed in over twenty conferences for debate in both team and speaker awards. Meghana has also recently begun exploring MUN, having recently gone to her first conference and receiving Outstanding Delegate. Her love for debate led her to found and lead her high school’s Debate and Model UN team. Her passion for advocacy and educational access led her to co found a Non Profit Organization to benefit school kids in India, and has raised over $150,000. Meghana will be going to the University of Rochester for her freshman year before going to Cornell University’s Industrial Labor Relations school to study law. She hopes she can continue being a part of the Westfield community throughout her college career and can not wait to continue to learn through debate and MUN.
Shiyun Tang, aka Sharon Tang, is a rising freshman at Harvard University planning to concentrate in Economics or Government. She has debated at Westfield Academy throughout high school, participating in numerous CDA and APDA tournaments. In high school, Sharon was the President of her school’s Debate and Model UN teams, coaching and teaching her team members. This will be her first year teaching at camp and she’s very excited to get to know you all!
Some of her debate and model UN accomplishments include: Yale Osterweis First Speaker, International Public Policy Forum 2017 International Champion and 2018 Elite Eight, World Affairs Council MUN Best Delegation, Choate, MUN Best Delegate, and HopMUN Honorable Delegate. She has also moderated and chaired many Model UN conferences such as the World Affairs Council.
Emily Bruggeman is a rising sophomore at the University of Vermont as a double major in Political Science and Economics. She debated at Westfield Academy throughout high school, placing at numerous CDA and DENAIS competitions. Emily won the Parliamentary Competition at the University of Pennsylvania her senior year, the Civics First competition which ranked her and her partner as first in the state for 2016, and first place team and speaker at the Deerfield Parliamentary Competition in 2016. At UVM, Emily has continued debate in the British Parliamentary Circuit. In her first semester, Emily broke at the Cornell Invitational, received second place team at the Women’s National Debate Championship in Vancouver, and won first place team and speaker at the Kings competition in New York City. In addition to debating at the University of Vermont, Emily has worked with the Amnesty International group on campus to advocate for human rights both in Burlington and across the globe by petitioning the President of UVM and lobbying at the U.N. embassy in New York. After finishing camp, Emily will be interning with the Chris Mattei gubernatorial campaign as a voter analyst and policy developer before returning to UVM in the fall.
Max F. Neuman is a six-year veteran of debate and Model United Nations, and is so excited to contribute to this summer’s Model UN experience at Westfield. Max is a junior at Columbia University, where he studies political science and history when not preparing for his next competition. Max's summer program focuses on using Model UN as a tool to cultivate empathy, advocacy, and knowledge about a range of global challenges and the institutions that solve them. The program will also blend accessibility and difficulty to provide an enjoyable experience for students regardless of their level of experience in the activity. Max first became involved in Model UN as a high school delegate, winning top honors at conferences hosted by George Washington University and the University of Pennsylvania. He has since transitioned to running entertaining committees at both Bard College and Columbia University. Outside of Model UN, Max is a board member of both the American Parliamentary Debate Association and the Columbia Debate Society.
Tyler Sheldon just graduated from college in Vermont where he studied, among other things, computer science. He's not entirely sure what he'll do with that knowledge, but next year Tyler will be studying math with kids at a high school in Cape Cod. Tyler loves to hike, swim, and chew the juicy end of grass stems. Once he caught a fish with his bare hands; it was a bit of an accident (sounds like a story you should ask him about.) He's lived most of his life on an island off the coast of Seattle. It's wet, but more cloudy than wet. He enjoys making scrambled eggs with vegetables.
Tim Lewis has been involved in debate as a student, coach, and teacher for 15 years, and is eager to join the Westfield community. He was bit by the bug in 2003 as a shy but headstrong sophomore in high school, and has stayed with debate ever since. Tim's students have won awards at tournaments hosted by the National Speech and Debate Association, the Connecticut Debate Association, DANEIS, the New York City Urban Debate League, and the Boston Debate League. As a coach at the Kurt Hahn School, his students won awards at every tournament of the New York City Urban Debate League this year. As the Academic Director of the National High School Debate League Championship, his students won the National Championship in China and placed 2nd in the International Division at Harvard. He also worked with coaches and teachers around the country to build their debate programs, and co-edited a textbook, Speak Up: Debating in the Public Forum Style. Tim was the founder of the Bard College Parliamentary Debate Team and the first captain of the Joel Barlow High School Debate Team. In college, he broke to quarterfinals of the Northeastern Regional Championship in 2008 and 2009, and the semifinals in 2010. In high school, he qualified three years in a row for the state championship, and would later coach students who won the 2008 and 2009 state championships.
Outside of debate, Tim is a high school history teacher and comedy performer who loves to run and hike in state parks.
Past SUMMER CAMP PROGRAM ASSISTANTS
Allen Haugh - Allen is a rising college freshman who will be studying philosophy, politics, and economics at the University of Oxford in the fall. He has been captain of Farmington High School’s Debate and Model UN teams for the past two years. In that time, he served as President of Connecticut World Affairs Council MUN in 2016 and ended his high school debate career as the 3rd place varsity speaker in the CDA’s state final. Besides Debate and MUN, Allen led a team to first place in the Harvard Pre-Collegiate Economics Challenge. He enjoys baking and taking trips on trains.
James Ward is a rising junior at McGill University studying history and English literature. He continues to debate at McGill after debating with Westfield through high school and has been competitively successful, breaking at some of the largest university tournaments in North America and representing McGill at the 2017 World University Debate Championship in the Netherlands. James passionately pursues social change through writing and political activism, and has been interviewed about youth political engagement on NPR. He enjoys a great many things, including garlic and napping in the grass.
Delaney Hurley - Delaney is a rising college freshman who began debating in seventh grade. She's grown a lot since her days of arguing with her fellow middle schoolers: her high school debate career has been met with success at multiple statewide and national tournaments. In addition to traditional debate, Delaney is an avid participant in Model United Nations and Youth & Government. Her experience in these activities has ignited a passion for speechwriting and advocacy for marginalized groups, from the LGBTQ+ community to Syrian refugees. Despite how much she loves her academic pursuits, she loves travel and foreign languages even more. So, she will be taking a gap year in Bulgaria before beginning her studies at Harvard University in 2018. She hopes she can continue being a part of the Westfield community throughout her college career.
Nathaniel Mione is a rising junior at the Worcester Polytechnic Institute where he is double majoring in physics and robotics engineering and double minoring in business and philosophy. Nathaniel debated with Westfield throughout high school and is now the captain of WPI’s debate team. In addition to debate, Nathaniel founded two nonprofit organizations (one in his freshmen year and one in his software year), researches black hole thermodynamics and general relativity, guidance counsels students from nearby high schools, and designed a modular shelter for homeless families in South Africa that is currently being phased into the population there. His nonprofits — SwipeShare and the Worcester Poverty Stoplight Initiative — seek to donate unused meal swipes from college dining halls to local food shelters and redefine poverty from its purely income based definition, respectively. Nathaniel was recently granted transfer admission to MIT and after finishing camp he will likely be interning at SpaceX.
Dan DeDomenico - Dan is entering his sophomore year at the University of Vermont where he studies philosophy and plant biology. He has a long history with competitive debate, dating back to his freshman year in high school when he joined the Amity Debate Team, at Amity High School. Dan rose through the ranks of his team and was elected captain his senior year. He also won finalist trophies in many of the CDA’s competitions, and with his partner, won the 5th best varsity team in the state award at the end of his senior year. Dan enjoys reading about and researching various fringe topics and produces extensive matter files for the Lawrence Debate Union. He also has established an LDU book club. Outside of debate, he likes to draw, write poetry and spend time outdoors whether in a hammock or on a hike.
Sophie Kruger is a sophomore in the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania. In high school, she was involved in both debate and Model UN, competing on local, national, and international stages. At Penn, she is the Spring Tournament Director of Penn for Youth Debate. Sophie coaches debate in a middle school twice a week and organized a tournament for Philadelphia middle and high school students. She is also the Legislative Coordinator for the Penn Israel Public Affairs Committee and a Wharton Ambassador. She practices her debate and public speaking skills everyday as she lobbies members of Congress and gives info sessions. Sophie also loves to cook and ride her bike.
Gwen Whidden - Gwen is a rising sophomore at Bates College in Lewiston, Maine. She is an alumna of the Brearley School in New York, New York. In high school, she was involved in Model Congress for four years, competing on local and national levels. She received an award for her public speaking and debate skills in committee at Princeton Model Congress national tournament in Washington, D.C. her senior year. She was also awarded the Upper School History Writing prize her junior year for a research paper on Islamic influence in the origins and development of Swahili culture and civilization, and received community recognition for her senior year independent project, a self-published interpretive photographic portrait study exploring ideas of female perfection. As well as being a member of the Bates Quimby Debate Council, she is the financial officer for the Bates Feminist Collective, and was selected to be a member of the Bates Civic Action Team, a program through which she tutors immigrant English language learners in the Lewiston public elementary schools. Gwen recently traveled with a Bates French program to Rwanda to create short documentaries on the role of women in post-genocide reconstruction. Outside of school and debate, Gwen is an avid photographer and coffee and tea enthusiast, and enjoys running, hiking, skiing, and riding. Gwen is joining Westfield Academy Debate Camp this summer for her first year as a Program Assistant.
Maeghan Glidden is a rising sophomore at Middlebury College. She founded her high school’s ethics bowl competition team during her sophomore year of high school and competed for three years with the team. In 2014, Maeghan’s team was crowned co-champions of the regional Ethics Bowl, and in 2015 the team was the first-runner-up. Maeghan still attends Ethics Bowl meetings whenever possible and was proud to watch the team earn a spot at nationals this year. Maeghan was also a four-year Varsity Softball manager, SGA President, National Honor Society officer, morning announcement member, violinist/cellist, and occasional cast member in high school theatre productions. In college, Maeghan is the current Treasurer and former Vice President of the Middlebury Debate Society and has also been tasked with convening the North American Debate Championship at Middlebury. In her novice year, Maeghan debated at eight American Parliamentary tournaments in addition to the North American Debate Championship and the Brandeis IV, in North American Parliamentary and British Parliamentary respectively. Maeghan had the opportunity to judge at three tournaments, including American Parliamentary Debate Nationals and the Pan-American Debate Championship, where she was paired into the top room based on judge-feedback forms. Outside of debate at Middlebury, Maeghan is actively involved in the SGA, where she was appointed Deputy Director of Student Organizations for the upcoming school year, and is also a member of the American Sign Language Club. In her free time, Maeghan enjoys casual arguments, tea, baking, and spontaneous adventures. Meaghan is thrilled to take part in the Westfield Academy this year and cannot wait to meet students who love debate as much as she does!
Areesha Irfan is a rising sophomore at New York University and is pursuing a double major in Politics and Middle Eastern and Islamic Studies. She attended Kingswood Oxford School in West Hartford and did both Debate and Model Un throughout high school. She served as a debate officer and head delegate for her high school Model UN team. She has continued to compete on NYU’s travel team and served as a Crisis Director for their college conference. She has received an Honorable Mention at both Georgetown’s and U Chicago’s conference, a book award at McGill’s conference, an Outstanding Delegate award at BU’s conference, a Best Delegate Award at UVA’s conference, and a Verbal Commendation at Harvard’s conference. Outside of MUN and debate, Areesha enjoys singing, reading, and exploring New York City. She also is extremely interested in languages and hopes to speak ten by age thirty five (she’s halfway there with five, but has a long way to go).
Rowen Price is a rising sophomore at Middlebury College. She debated in high school at Worcester Academy and has since started Model UN in college. She has won a verbal commendation at the Brown University Crisis Simulation and placed in the top three fourteen times (with several first-place awards) in Worcester Academy's Dexter Prize speaking competition. Her love for public speaking has translated into other languages; she placed third in the Confucius Institute's Chinese Bridge speech contest, a national competition that drew applicants from all fifty states and invited them to write and present speeches in Chinese. Outside of MUN and public speaking, Rowen is a member of the Middlebury varsity swim team and enjoys drawing and reading.