Debate Team Becomes IAC Student Organization, Ianetta to Lead as Faculty Advisor

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The Georgia Tech Debate Team, founded in 2000, recently transitioned from a standard Registered Student Organization to a Departmental Registered Student Organization sponsored by the Ivan Allen College of Liberal Arts. As part of the change, the team named Melissa Ianetta, interim chair of the School of Literature, Media, and Communication (LMC) and executive director of the Writing and Communication Program, as their faculty advisor.

“We’re all excited to start this next chapter in our organization's existence and thrilled to have Dr. Ianetta as our advisor,” Andrew Dowdy, president of the Debate Team and a second-year computer science major, said. “As a nationally regarded writing and rhetoric scholar, her expertise will be of enormous benefit to the team as we work together to propel our team to new heights.”

Student organization faculty advisor roles are renewed annually. However, faculty advisors typically stay with organizations for five to 10 years, Dowdy said. Bianca Batti, a Marion L. Brittain Postdoctoral Fellow in the School of LMC, was the team’s former advisor.

“I was very excited when the Debate Team asked me to serve as their faculty advisor,” Ianetta said. “Not only because this seems like a natural extension of the Writing and Communication Program’s mission and my charge as the Class of 1958 Professor in Communication, but also because it gives me the opportunity to work beyond the classroom with a remarkable group of students.”

Debate Team at Georgia Tech competes in various forms of speech and debate, in addition to offering General Body Meetings which occasionally serve as forums for the discussion of ideas. The Writing and Communication Program (WCP) in the School of Literature, Media, and Communication (LMC) is a unit of the Ivan Allen College of Liberal Arts.


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