Our Speech & Debate Club Faculty

National Debate Champions. White House Awardees. Two Gates Millennium Scholars. College Professors. High School Teachers. Middle School Teachers. Elementary School Teachers. A collective count of 1000+ national, state and local debate titles.  Founder of New York's high school and middle school scholastic debate league. Our team includes some of the top debate educators, debaters and nonprofit leaders in the city and country.  

Erik Fogel, Lead Teacher 

Erik has been a public school teacher for ten years with the New York City Department of Education and currently serves as Adjunct Professor at Baruch College in the Communications Studies Department. He received his B.A. from U.C Berkeley, J.D. from Hastings College of Law, and M.S. in Education at Pace University.  He started the South Bronx’s first nationally competitive debate team and built one of the largest and most successful Title I debate teams in New York with over 100 students. His students went on to win Semifinalists at the Middle School National Championships, #1 ranked high school team in the nation, and #1 ranked debater at the national college championships.   In 2011, Erik founded the New York City Urban Debate League with the mission that every middle school and high school should have a debate team. Erik served as Executive Director from 2011-2020 building the league into the largest urban debate league in the nation, serving thousands of students every year.  In 2020, Erik moved on to start the city’s first elementary school speech and debate league. Erik is the recipient of numerous awards in education including: We are the Bronx Fellowship Award, Presidential Youth Award in the Arts and Humanities by the National Endowment for the Humanities, National Endowment for the Arts, National Institute of Museum and Library Studies and the White House Commission on the Arts and Humanities, United States Supreme Court Summer Institute for Teachers Fellowship, Fund for Teachers Fellowship, Plank Foundation Fellowship, Points of Light Civic Incubator Award, Robin Hood's GRIT, and Teach for America Innovation Award Finalist.

Erika Marte, Guest Instructor

Erika Marte is a champion middle school, high school, and college debater and first Latina to win top speaker at the New York State High School Debate Championships. Erika was recognized as a Gates Millennium Scholar which provided a full scholarship for both undergraduate and graduate school. Erika is currently working on her doctorate degree in education at New York University and serving as an adjunct Professor. She is founding board member of the NYC Elementary School Speech and Debate League. 

Sorangel Liriano, Tournament Director

Sorangel Liriano is an award winning middle school and high school debater. She graduated from Columbia University on multiple scholarships including the Gates Millennium Scholarship, Coca Cola Scholarship, New York Times Scholarship, Ronald McDonald Scholarship, and a Dell Scholarship. Sorangel has started debate programs at the middle school and high school grade levels, manages debate tournaments every month and is one of the most passionate supporters for debate in NYC. Sorangel serves as Founding Board Member. 

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