Shruti Chaganti, Philosophy and Political Science
I have just finished my first year at the University of Virginia School of Law and am currently interning for the University of Virginia’s Supreme Court Litigation Clinic. I’ll continue to help out with the clinic next year and will be a member of the University of Virginia Law Review Editorial Board. I miss JMU though!
After graduating from JMU in 2010, I am currently pursuing a Master’s in Public Policy at the University of Maryland, College Park. My degree specialization is in International Security and Economic Policy and I have a particular interest in the East Asia region. My time with JMU Debate gave me the work ethic, critical thinking, and communication skills that are in demand both at grad school and interning with the federal government. I now look forward to every opportunity to give back as an alumni, whether it is coaching or judging the next generation of JMU Debaters.
Sohrab Najafabadi, Biology and Philosophy
After graduation I moved to San Francisco, CA to attend UC Hastings College of the Law. My first year of law school was smooth sailing, but I miss my friends on the East Coast. I have been interning at the San Diego Office of the Public Defender during my 1L summer. I aim to work as a public defender in California after I graduate. I love my work because it requires me to empathetic, creative, resourceful, and being a thorn in the side of the government is nice too. I have no doubt that my experience with policy debate at JMU honed the skills required in law school and criminal defense.
I graduated from JMU in May, 2011, majoring in Communication Studies with a concentration in public relations and a minor in art. After spending some time that following summer looking for jobs while living in the Outer Banks, I realized how much I missed my time and experience with JMU debate and so came back that fall to coach while applying to graduate school. I fell in love with coaching at JMU that year and am currently coaching debate and teaching public speaking while attending graduate school for Communication Studies at the University of Wyoming. Debate at JMU will always be family to me.
I graduated in May 2012 with a B.A. in English, Spanish and Philosophy. I am currently working in the Intellectual Property Law Department at Morrison & Foerster before attending law school. During this time, I also plan on visiting Spain and other European countries as well as publishing parts of my undergraduate honors thesis on Salman Rushdie’s novel Shame.
I graduated May 2012 as a double major in Economics and WRTC (Writing, Rhetoric and Technical Communication). I am starting a job in September as an Advisory Services Consultant for Grant Thornton, specifically for their Global Public Sector.I plan on working there for a few years and then hopefully going to grad school for economics. My experience with policy debate began late in high school and into my freshman year at JMU. While eventually I realized I wasn’t competitive enough to maintain a real commitment to the team, I loved everything I had learned from debate and the extraordinary people I met through it so much that I couldn’t leave it. Instead, I worked with Thomas Webb to create the Madison Debate Society (check it out!) and launched the new debate organization in the fall of my sophomore year. Debate made such a valuable impression on me that I would encourage anyone to find a way that’s right for them to participate.
After graduating from James Madison University in the spring of 2012 with a double major in political science and history I will be spending the next year in South Korea teaching debate and will then theoretically go to Cornell law afterwards. My experience with JMU has heavily impacted my life, one of my debate coaches actually got me the position in South Korea. I would encourage anyone interested in honing their critical thinking skills to give debate a try.
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