Author Topic: Deadline Extended to May 1 - Debate Graduate Assistant Positions at Fresno State  (Read 4661 times)

Kevin J. Macy-Ayotte

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The deadline for applying for a graduate debate assistant coaching position at Fresno State has been extended to May 1, 2011.

The Department of Communication at the California State University, Fresno, is seeking applicants for the Master of Arts program in Communication interested in graduate assistant debate coaching positions, to begin in the fall 2011 semester.  Graduate Teaching Associates who serve as assistant debate coaches will teach one class per semester and assist with the policy debate team through coaching, travel to tournaments, research, and other activities as determined by the Director of Debate, Dr. Kevin Kuswa.  Assistance with the public debate program may be part of the required duties as well.  California State University, Fresno, is a federally designated Hispanic-serving institution and is an EEO/Affirmative Action employer.

Admission to graduate study at the California State University, Fresno, occurs at two levels.  First, you must be admitted to the Division of Graduate Studies at the University; second you must be admitted to the Departmental Program.  It is important you complete both sets of admission procedures.  Applications are reviewed when all required materials are complete.  The deadline for applications is May 1.

The application process is detailed on the Division of Graduate Studies website at

University (Division of Graduate Studies) Admission – Required Elements

• Online application to the Division of Graduate Studies for California State University, Fresno, at  Be sure to indicate in your online application that you are interested in the Department of Communication’s M.A. program.
• Official GRE scores.  To expedite application processing, request an unofficial score report when you take the test and send that, followed later by the official scores.
• One official transcript, in a sealed envelope, from each college or university you previously attended and/or are currently attending.
• International Students must also submit their TOEFL scores.
• $55.00 application fee

Transcripts and test scores should be forwarded to:

Office of University Admissions - Graduate/Post-baccalaureate
5150 North Maple, M/S JA 57
Fresno, CA 93740-8026

Department (Program) Admission – Required Elements

• A statement of purpose (outlining your reasons for pursuing graduate study in Communication), if you did not submit one with the online University application at
• Three letters of recommendation from individuals who can attest to your preparation for graduate study (these letters may be included in the application sent by you, or may be mailed separately).  Letters from professors familiar with your work are preferred; at least one letter must be from a debate coach who has supervised your work to be considered for a graduate assistant debate coach position.
• A sample of your writing (upper division academic paper, project proposal, etc.), preferably a research paper that demonstrates your preparation for graduate-level writing in the form of an extended argument supported by substantial references
• An application for a teaching assistantship, if you wish to be considered for one.  Be sure to include the TA application form (found at, list “Teaching Associate – Assistant Debate Coach” under “Position Sought”), the completed SC-1 form attached to this call, and a curriculum vitae (minimum contents are listed on the back of the SC-1 form).  The cv should include details regarding your policy debate experience as a competitor as well as any coaching you have done.

Department (Program) application materials should be sent directly to:

Graduate Coordinator
Department of Communication
California State University, Fresno
5201 N. Maple Avenue, M/S SA46
Fresno, CA  93740-8027

Please direct any questions regarding the graduate assistant debate coaching positions or application procedures to Kevin Ayotte, by email at <> or phone: 559-278-4086.

You are also welcome to contact Dr. Kevin Kuswa at <> with questions regarding his vision for the Fresno State debate team, duties of graduate assistant coaches, etc.

kevin kuswa

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This is really a good opportunity.  The Fresno Communication Studies Department is full of some great scholars and they are very open to working with new students. (Take a look:  Dr. Kevin Ayotte, as only one example, not only has very strong connections to debate and worked with Gordon Mitchell out at Pitt, he is one of a handful of young scholars shaping the "critical and cultural" area of Rhetoric.  Dr. Marnel Niles, another example of the top faculty in the department, just published a very well-received collection called Still Searching for Our Mothers’ Gardens: Experiences of New, Tenure-Track Women of Color at ‘Majority’ Institutions.  Come work with these folks and more! 

The teaching experience and coaching experience you would earn at Fresno would really set you up to attend a top PhD program after earning your Master's or to go directly into the work force.  Despite California's budget issues, CSU Fresno is fully committed to debate and our current ample resources will only be increasing.  There are a number of exciting opportunities for hosting public debates, working with high schools in the area, and developing a competitive varsity team, let alone the research and teaching experience you would earn through the pursuit of an M.A..

If you enjoy debate and are interested in staying in the activity, this is a wonderful first step to take after graduating.  It does not hurt that you would get to live in California close to Yosemite and Sequoia National Park.  The Bay Area and LA are accessible within two or three hours, but Fresno does not have the same congestion and the cost of living is more reasonable.

Re-starting Fresno State Debate will be an exciting and fruitful opportunity--we would love to have you join us!  Feel free to contact me with any questions (kevindkuswa @

Have a good one,