MSU student named 2019-20 International Public Debate Association Debate Champion

Mia Robertson smiles for the camera while standing beneath a lamppost.
Mia Robertson (Submitted photo)

Contact: Sasha Steinberg

STARKVILLE, Miss.—A student in Mississippi State’s College of Arts and Sciences has won the university’s first individual national championship in debate.

Freshman Mia C. Robertson, a political science major from Starkville, was named overall season-long national champion in her International Public Debate Association division out of 305 qualified debaters from 84 schools. The 2020 IPDA National Championship Tournament and Convention and the organization’s annual Championship Banquet were canceled due to the COVID-19 pandemic, but the IPDA recently announced the full slate of season-long IPDA National Champions. For more, visit

Brett Harvey, MSU’s director of Title IX and EEO Programs who serves as the MSU Speech and Debate Council’s debate coach, said several other MSU debaters finished in the top 10 in their respective divisions. Overall, MSU ranked eighth in the country out of 128 schools, marking the speech and debate council’s highest final ranking in its five years of existence.

“We are extremely grateful to university administrators for their support and glad to bring some deserved accolades home to MSU,” Harvey said.

For more on MSU’s Speech and Debate Council, visit

MSU is Mississippi’s leading university, available online at

Group photo of speech and debate council
Mia Robertson of Starkville (front row, far left) and her MSU Speech and Debate Council teammates smile for a group photo while holding trophies from a recent tournament. Pictured with Robertson are (front row, far right) Alicia Brown of Petal; (middle row, l-r) Tyler Melvin of Pooler, Georgia; Mayukh Datta of Kosciusko; Josh McCoy of Hattiesburg; (back row, l-r) Doug Bedsaul of Starkville; and Avery Adams of Carthage. (Submitted photo)


Friday, April 3, 2020 - 3:37 pm