COM student wins novice division in debate tournament, team wins top community college award

Posted on: April 28, 2014

Battling students from four-year universities and community colleges, College of the Mainland student Samantha Burdick, of Texas City, won the novice division at the March 29 Lee College debate tournament.

In addition, College of the Mainland triumphed as the top community college and the third college overall.
“I’m still in shock. I began as number 13 in the octo-finals,” said Burdick, who debated topics from pop culture to politics. “I knocked out all the people above me.”
Burdick described her transformation from her first tournament, where she was 0-7, to this tournament, her nineth.
“The first tournament I was scared, but something clicked. I thought, ‘this is fun,’” recalled Burdick. “You learn so much and you get better each time. Debate helped with my job (in sales).”
After a decade out of competition after winning his final tournament in 2004, COM debate team coach Dr. Nakia Welch returned to compete in the professional division at his students’ urging and to fill an empty slot. He won the division after beating the debater who was then ranked number two in the nation in the professional division.
In the varsity division, Danielle Jacobo, of Texas City, advanced to the semi-finals because of her stellar speaking skills, which earned her recognition as the fourth-place speaker.

Burdick is excited about competing in future competitions.
“Four-year universities used to write us off, but not now,” said Burdick.

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