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Forensic Coaches

Program Director

 

Susan H. Johnson

Director - Forensics Program

Member of the American Mock Trial Association (AMTA) Board of Directors and has served as an AMTA Representative since 2012. Mrs. Johnson has authored and published several Mock Trial teaching resources and has authored, coauthored, and edited over a dozen Mock Trial cases. Additionally, Mrs. Johnson has been published in the North Carolina State Bar Journal and various newsletters. She brings more than a decade of experience in high school and collegiate Mock Trial and Debate to Patrick Henry College (PHC). Mrs. Johnson earned both her undergraduate and graduate degrees from the University of North Carolina, completed the Paralegal Program at Meredith College, and earned a certificate in Nonprofit Management from Duke University. She is a professionally skilled administrator and colleague of the late Dr. Guliuzza. PHC’s new director is a strong supporter of Patrick Henry College and its mission to raise up godly leaders who will lead the nation and shape the culture for Christ.

Head Coaches

 

Peter K. Kamakawiwoole

Head Coach – Moot Court

Patrick Henry College’s first Moot Court national champion along with his partner, Sarah Wilson, in 2005. He graduated in 2008 and went on to study law at Saint Louis University School of Law. Mr. Kamakawiwoole (Mr. K) has been a member of the litigation staff at the Home School Legal Defense Association since 2011. He has had the opportunity to represent homeschooling families before state and federal tribunals across the country. For the past eight years, Mr. K has played a major role in preparing PHC teams for national tournaments. He is incredibly grateful for an opportunity to give back to the PHC Moot Court program, which was so formative to both his college and professional life. Peter and his wife, Corrie, live in northern Virginia with their five children.

 

Christian Fernandez

Head Coach – Mock Trial

An alumnus of Patrick Henry College, Christian Fernandez holds a Bachelors of Arts in Literature and a Master of Letters in Shakespeare and Performance. He competed in Mock Trial all four years of college, leading several teams, earning multiple individual awards, and competing at the National Championship Tournament twice. During his Mock Trial career, Mr. Fernandez became especially known for his compelling closing statements. After the passing of Dr. Guliuzza, he stepped in as an assistant coach who, along with alumni James Compton and Sarah Geesaman, helped coach PHC to a 4th place finish in its bracket at the 2019 National Championship: the highest ranking in PHC Mock Trial history. Aside from Mock Trial, Mr. Fernandez has coached multiple high-school students to success on the national level in Lincoln-Douglas Debate and Moot Court. His studies focus on English literature, classical rhetoric, orations, and theatrical history. Mr. Fernandez intends to pursue a Ph.D. in English to continue teaching, directing, and coaching at the collegiate level.

 

Robert D. Snow

Head Coach – Debate

As senior coach of the nationally recognized PHC Debate team, Mr. Snow has led teams to championship titles at tournaments across the nation for the past nine years. He has also coached and traveled abroad with our students to compete at the international level. Mr. Snow graduated from Western Illinois University with a degree in Political Science in 1984 and then went on to pursue his J.D. at The John Marshall Law School in 2001. He has more than 32 years of legal experience in the private and public sectors. Since 2010, Mr. Snow has served as Counsel for the E-Discovery Group at the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation. Before entering the public arena, Mr. Snow worked in the private sector for over two decades, both as a senior legal assistant and later, an associate and counsel for multiple firms. Mr. Snow has been a senior coach for PHC since 2010 and has prepared many students thus far to be critical thinkers, articulate speakers, and excellent writers.

Assistant Coaches

 

Ben Sayre

Assistant Coach – Moot Court

Graduate of the self-proclaimed legendary class of 2010. A veteran of the PHC forensic teams, Mr. Sayre participated in Team Policy and Crossfire Debate, Mock Trial, and Moot Court. With a primary focus on Moot Court, Mr. Sayre qualified for the AMCA national tournament and advanced to the elimination rounds each of his 3 years on the team, and additionally won 1st place Petitioner Brief in the nation his sophomore year.  Mr. Sayre also helped coach high school Moot Court during PHC summer camps. A minority among his former teammates, Mr. Sayre was one of the few to forgo law school, and instead pursued a career as an intelligence analyst, currently working for the cybersecurity company FireEye. 

 

Mackenzi J. Ehrett                   

Assistant Coach – Mock Trial

Mrs. Ehrett graduated from Patrick Henry College in 2012 with a degree in Government – International Politics and Policy. She went on to earn her J.D. magna cum laude from the Antonin Scalia Law School at George Mason University. While at PHC, Mrs. Ehrett spent three years on the Mock Trial team, and was one of the team captains her junior and senior years. In 2012, Mrs. Ehrett’s team qualified to ORCs, marking the first time that PHC advanced two teams to the regional level. She was also a member of PHC’s Moot Court teams from 2009-2012, winning national and regional awards for both oral advocacy and brief writing. Since graduating from PHC, Mrs. Ehrett has coached a high school mock trial team to five Virginia state championships, five national appearances, and international runners-up. She has also served on mock trial case writing committees at the high school, collegiate, and law school level, and was a founding member of the of the NCFCA Moot Court committee. Mrs. Ehrett currently serves as Deputy Associate Counsel to the President of the United States in the White House Counsel’s Office.

 

Tyson C. Langhofer

Assistant Coach – Debate

Mr. Langhofer serves as senior counsel and director of the Center for Academic Freedom with Alliance Defending Freedom. Langhofer has represented college students and student organizations throughout the country in defending their freedom of speech, freedom of association, and free exercise of religion. Before joining ADF, Langhofer was a partner with Stinson Leonard Street LLP, where he worked as a commercial litigation attorney for 15 years and earned Martindale-Hubbell’s AV Preeminent rating. Numerous media outlets have interviewed or featured Langhofer, including The Washington Post, The Washington Times, Townhall, The Federalist, and The Daily Wire, among others.  Langhofer earned his Juris Doctor from Regent University of Law, where he graduated cum laude in 1999.  He obtained a B.A. in international business with a minor in economics from Wichita State University in 1996.

 

 

Melika W. McKinnis                   

Assistant Coach – Debate

With experience in political communications, competitive forensics, and political philosophy, Ms. McKinnis brings a wealth of real world experience to the competition she loves. Most recently, she served at the US Department of State as the Special Assistant to Ambassador at Large for International Religious Freedom Sam Brownback, where she twice spearheaded public diplomacy efforts for the Ministerials to Advance Religious Freedom. Prior to joining the State Department, Ms. McKinnis served as Communications Director and Press Secretary for then Kansas Governor Sam Brownback. Her duties included advising on message development, political strategy, and governance. She was responsible for speechwriting, media preparation, digital communications, grassroots engagement, and leading a multi-agency communications team. Ms. McKinnis competed and coached in the NCFCA. She was named a 2016 Publius Fellow by the Claremont Institute, a 2014 George Washington Fellow by Hillsdale College, and in 2014 earned the Edward Everett Prize in Oratory. She holds a B.A. in Politics with honors from Hillsdale College.

Student Coaches

 

Kyle Ziemnick

Student Coach – Mock Trial

A senior All-American witness in Mock Trial and national quarterfinalist in Moot Court. He co-captained his mock trial team for two years and won the 2018 Mid-South Regional moot court tournament at Liberty University. Kyle competed in policy and parliamentary debate in high school for three years. He’s now a Political Journalism major and a Resident Assistant at Patrick Henry College.  

 

Blake Toman

Student Coach Debate

A senior at Patrick Henry College with over 10 years of forensics experience. Blake competed in NCFCA Team Policy debate for 6 years, placing as the tenth overall speaker his senior year of high school.  He also competed in STOA Parliamentary debate in high school, placing fourth in the nation in 2014.  Blake competed in collegiate British Parliamentary Debate for three years, placing third at the Novice National Championship in 2017. His previous coaching background, includes working with Ethos publications under former PHC alum Isaiah McPeak while still in high school. Blake is passionate about working with students to develop and hone their communication skills in a way that furthers the ethos of the college and a Christian worldview.

 

Noah Farley

Student Coach – Debate

A rising junior at PHC looking to major in political philosophy. Noah enjoys reading great books, listening to podcasts, hiking, and biking all over Virginia. He has been involved in debate for five years, beginning in STOA and continuing into college.  Noah has coached two high school clubs over the last couple years.  He won the novice division at a tournament last year and has broken to out-rounds multiple times. Noah plans to attend law school in the future and hopes to prove some lawyer stereotypes wrong. 

 

Emma Randall

Student Coach – Debate

Emma  is a sophomore at Patrick Henry College, where she is pursuing her B.A. in Economics and Business Analytics. She debated for five years in high school, competing in Team Policy and Parliamentary debate. Holds the record for most parliamentary rounds won in a season. Emma has taught and managed multiple independent summer debate classes for middle school and high school students. She has also served as the assistant coach and research lead for teams, as well as a writer, lecturer, and group leader for National Institute for Homeschool Debate) NIHD debate camps. She is a varsity member of Patrick Henry College’s moot court and debate teams

Guliuzza

Dr. Frank Guliuzza's Legacy Page

Dr. Guliuzza "Dr. G" left an indelible legacy with the Patrick Henry College community. During his time at the College, he co-coached ten American Moot Court Association national championship teams (2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2016,  2017, 2018, and 2019).  He was the immediate past President of the American Mock Trial Association, and was the past President of the American Moot Court Association. Dr. G also coached nineteen mock trial teams into national competition.  He was a former President of the Western Association of Pre-Law Advisors and the Pre-Law Advisors’ National Council.  His pre-law students have earned admission, typically with scholarship or other financial support, at dozens of top tier law schools including Harvard, Colombia, and Yale. Dr. G passed away in his sleep on February 26th, 2019. In the words of PHC President Jack Haye, "At this moment, he is in the presence of the LORD and probably reflecting on his Sunday’s Comin’ sermon. Sunday did come for 'Dr. G.' Hopes beyond hopes fulfilled. A life fully lived for God’s Glory."  Click here to visit his legacy page.

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