Staff for MDAW 2015

2016 Minnesota Debate and Advocacy Workshop Faculty and Administrators

Dr. David Cram Helwich, Camp Director: Dave is the Director of Debate at the University of Minnesota. He has been actively involved in debate for over 20 years, including the last 15 as a full-time college coach, where he has cleared teams at almost every major intercollegiate tournament, including the NDT. He also has considerable high school and collegiate institute experience, including founding two high school debate workshops (MDAW and the Wyoming Forensics Institute) and serving as a lab leader for the past 15 summers.


Full Staff List to be updated soon.


Middle School Camp

Travis Ormsby, Camp Director: Travis is the Program Director of the Minnesota Urban Debate League.  Previously, he was a social studies teacher at Johnson High School and Central High School in St. Paul for 9 years.  He debated as a high school student and coached Central’s debate team last year, where he won the MNUDL’s Teacher-Coach of the Year award.  Travis’ major area of interest is how competitive policy debate can increase students’ engagement with school and build relationships between young people and caring adults.

Residential and Community Life

Alix Dahl,Head of Residential Life, Alix is an ESL-Education and Political Science major entering her Senior year at Hamline University. She debated for Roseville High School and has served as their Varsity coach over the past three years. Alix is also an alumni of MDAW and is excited to join the staff for her third year.

Full Staff List to be updated soon.

Administrative Staff

Amy Cram Helwich, Executive Director: Amy is the Executive Director of the Minnesota Urban Debate League, and the administrative director for camp. Amy is the person to talk to about scholarships, registration, and general questions about camp. During camp, Amy is the person to talk to you if you are having trouble reaching your child or if you want to take your child off campus for a dinner out or other appointment. This will be her sixth MDAW. Amy has over 13 years in non-profit management and youth development, prior experience including: Women’s Foundation of MN, Children’s Safety Centers, and Big Brothers Big Sisters. She holds a Master’s in Public Administration, a B.S. in Political Science, and debated in both high school and college.

Genesia Williams, Administrative & Program Assistant: Genesia, will be the main contact for questions and concerns about camp.

She can be reached at 612-330-1730 or at


Art of Persuasion

This unit will not be offered this year.