Contact Us

Ruth Zisman
Associate Dean of Academic Affairs
Term Assistant Professor of Social Studies
Co-Director, Bard Debate Union

zisman@bard.edu
Ruth Zisman has been coaching debate since 2004 when she founded the Bard Debate Union and served as the team’s first coach. From 2004-2008, Ruth worked to establish a strong debate presence at Bard and to lead the team to great national success. Ruth rejoined the Bard Debate Union in Fall 2011 after spending three years doing full-time graduate work at New York University, where she earned her Ph. D. in German Studies. Ruth has organized and taught at debate workshops and institutes in the United States, Serbia, Slovenia, Hungary, and Russia. Ruth oversees the team’s public debates and events, tournament hosting, outreach projects, travel calendar and logistics. Ruth also teaches courses in Philosophy and Human Rights.

David Register
Instructor, Bard Learning Commons
Faculty Fellow, Bard Prison Initiative
Co-Director, Bard Debate Union

dregiste@bard.edu
David Register has been coaching debate since 2004 when he began coaching the University of North Texas debate team while pursuing his Master’s degree in Communication Studies. From 2006-2012 David was the head debate coach at the University of Vermont where he coached top teams in both policy and parliamentary debate formats. He has also taught at debate workshops and institutes in the United States, Germany, Serbia, and Slovenia. David is a top/breaking judge at nearly every tournament he attends and has won several coaching awards. David joined the Bard Debate Union in Fall 2012. David oversees the team’s skill/research development and tournament travel, in addition to teaching courses public speaking and debate. David also founded and coaches the world-renowned Bard Prison Initiative Debate Union.

Nathaniel Carlsen ’18
Tutor Coordinator Intern, Bard Learning Commons
Assistant Coach, Bard Debate Union
ncarlsen@bard.edu
Nathaniel graduated Bard in 2018 with a degree in History and Political Studies. While a student, he worked as a Peer Counselor, a Learning Commons Tutor, and a Golf Cart Driver. Nathaniel now works for the Bard Learning Commons as the Tutor Coordinator Intern. He debated throughout all four years of his time as an undergraduate, during which he was the champion and 9th place speaker at The University of Rochester Open Debate Championship, an octo-finalist at the United States Universities Debating Championship at Stanford University, and debated in the 2016 World Universities Debating Championship in the Hague, Netherlands. Nathaniel is also an avid bicyclist and apple pie baker.

Hannah Hutchinson ’19
Team Captain
hh1236@bard.edu
Hannah is a senior and a double-major in Historical Studies and Film Production. Hannah is an active member of the student body, employed in both the Film Equipment Room and the Photography Dark Room. Additionally, she plays on an intramural soccer team and regularly collaborates with other filmmakers on projects. Since joining the debate team last fall, Hannah has established a competitive record; She was the champion and 5th place speaker at The University of Rochester Open Debate Championship, a semi-finalist at the Cornell University Open Debate Tournament, the champion of The University of Vermont Women’s and Gender Minorities Debate Championship, and an octo-finalist at the United States Universities Debating Championship at Stanford University.

Estrella Frankenfeld ’20
Club Captain
ef1848@bard.edu
Estrella is a junior, studying written arts and history. She works on campus as a Peer Counselor, at the Bard Nursery school, and at the Center for Curatorial Studies Library. During the 2017-2018 year, Estrella’s first year of debate, she advanced to elimination rounds at several tournaments including the novice finals of UVM, finals of the St. Petersburg Open, and quarterfinals of the North American Women’s and Gender Minorities Debate Championship. In addition to competing in various tournaments and helping out with the public debates and outreach programs, she also traveled to Saint Petersburg, Russia with her debate partner in March 2018 to represent Bard Annandale at the 2nd Bard Network debate conference.