Contact Us

Contact Us

Questions about/for the Bard Debate Union? Feel free to contact anyone listed below.

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.