Current Events

Edward Panetta has been the director of the Georgia Debate Union for nearly 30 years. During that period the University of Georgia has qualified forty teams for the National Debate Tournament (NDT). In the 1996-1997 season UGA became one of five debate programs in the sixty-two year history of the NDT to place two teams into the semi-finals (finalist and semi-finalist). Our 2003 team became the seventeenth team in the history of the NDT to compile a record of 8-0 in the preliminary rounds of the tournament. Our 2007 team was the 1st seed at the NDT and the winner of the Rex Copeland award. UGA debate has also been active in international debating during Panetta's tenure as director. Members of the Georgia Debate Union have been selected to represent the United States in Japan, Great Britain and Eastern Europe. Additionally, Dr. Panetta was selected to coach the U.S. team that visited Russia in 1997. In 2007, he was named the National Debate Coach of the Year.  Dr. Panetta is a Professor in and Head of the Department of Communication Studies at UGA.