Forensics competitors know how to settle a debate

The Concordia Courier

Forensics team posts season-ending victories.

By Anna Welsh | 10/6/2023

What is Forensics? Professor Konrad Hack, director of Forensics for Concordia, describes Forensics as “an oral argument, whether it’s in the form of speech or in a debate event… a well-organized and well-delivered presentation.”

Hack has been involved with Forensics since he was in junior high and attended his first speech competition in 1987. He has been a professor on our campus for 17 years and has served as an essential part of the Speech and Debate Team for 14 years.

The Forensics team has come in second place in the Christian College Nationals the past two years in a row and is looking forward to this year’s season. Having lost some exceptional seniors last spring, they are excited to see the new talent that this year’s team is bringing. “We had a lot of power graduate last year, but we also have some really great young folks,” said Hack.

“The three things that I look for in somebody are do they have a work ethic? Are they competitive? And are they curious?” Hack said. If you are mentally checking these boxes in your head right now, then Forensics may just be for you.

Hack is especially excited for this year’s season because of the incredible and dedicated coaching staff. “If somebody works hard and they’re curious and they’re competitive, they’re going to win because we have the coaches to get them there,” Hack said.

Sean Nowlan, a Concordia alum, has returned to the school and traded in his books for an office in the Forensics Department as the Director of Debate. Nowlan recounted that a day in the life of a forensics student is pretty typical aside from a few weekly activities. One of these activities involves file research. “We will research different ongoing political topics… and write arguments about them. We also have practice rounds where debaters will debate against each other in front of their coach for feedback,” said Nowlan.

Both Nowlan and Hack are feeling good about their upcoming all-squad event at Point Loma on the weekend of Oct. 22. “All of the progress that our students have made so far has been fantastic. I feel really confident that they are self-motivated and self-driven,” Nowlan said .

Just as any successful sports team does, the Forensics team has set a few goals as they continue into their season. While the big national event is not until March, Hack said that “we would like to win a couple of tournament sweepstakes trophies in the fall.”

The Forensics team also prides themselves on being a close-knit environment. “A lot of peoplemon the Forensics team usually end up being friends for life… the people here will probably still be talking to each other years from now,” Nowlan said, speaking as a former student who is still friends with his team members.

Hack is always on the lookout for new prospects. “Just send me an email!” he said. “We would love to be a bigger team.” No background in speech or debate is required, so if Forensics is something that intrigues you, then make sure to reach out and email Professor Hack at



About Anna Welsh

More articles by Anna Welsh

Related Stories