NSDA Student of the Year Finalists

MNUDL Judge Nominated for NSDA 2021 Student of the Year

Cobin Szymanski, graduated senior at Saint Michael-Albertville High School, was nominated for the NSDA 2021 Student of the Year Award. These students were nominated by their districts for their commitment to the tenets of the Code of Honor: humility, equity, integrity, respect, leadership, and service. Cobin competed in Public Forum for three years, and then in Lincoln Douglas last year. They primarily competed on the national circuit and placed 2nd at MSHSL State in 2021.

Cobin was recognized for their work with Beyond Resolved, a student-led organization that advocates for all marginalized groups in high school speech and debate. Cobin served as the Research and Education Director.

Cobin will attend Yale University in the fall.

Find Cobin’s statement about volunteering with the MNUDL here:

I had heard about the MNUDL through work I did with Beyond Resolved, in addition to the many programs they host in Minneapolis. I then looked on the website, as I wanted to help out, and saw the volunteer opportunities available!

I think Spanish Debate is very, very important, not only because it allows students to participate in such an amazing activity in a way they feel comfortable with, but because it builds a strong community through mutual understanding and engagement.

I would honestly just say how proud I am of all of the students navigating the digital debate environment. Personally, I know it to be very difficult, and it takes much adaptation and perseverance.

The main benefit of speech & debate, besides general research skills and argumentation, is the connection it has to community advocacy. There’s a reason why so many debaters are involved in advocacy circles: because the skills we learn are so interchangeable and applicable to the real world unlike many other activities.


Let’s wish Cobin the best of luck at the National Speech & Debate Tournament this summer, where the NSDA Student of the Year will be announced!

We need debate judges all year round! If you’re interested in hearing about volunteer opportunities, please fill out this form: http://bit.ly/MNUDLJudgeSignup