Beyond URDU

It is no secret that the University of Rochester Debate Union has some exceptionally talented debaters. The accomplishments of URDU members, however, extend far beyond the realm of debate — our team is full of students who excel at their various majors and minors, publish research, participate in numerous other campus organizations, win awards and recognition from the University, and more. We are proud to recognize the hard work and talents of our members in the University and in their lives.

– Tobi Abubakare, outgoing president, receives an NIH Fellowship

– Bienfait Mugenza (’21) receives a Davis Projects for Peace grant!

– Courtney Otto (’19) receives a Dean’s Award for her research on the Meiji Ishin Revolution

– Niki Linganur (’20), URDU President, wins International Student of the Year 2018

– URDU’s Bienfait Mungenza (’21), Pech Chhun (’21), and President Tobi Abubakare (’18) receive Student Life Awards – (03/2018)

– URDU Alumni Aleem on Race, Identity, and the Legacy of MLK for UR Communications – (02/2018)

– URDU’s Kate Zheng featured as Take Five Scholar! – (02/2018)

– URDU President Tobi Abubakare in first publication! – (12/2017)

– URDU’s Boguang Yang travels to Russia for Stanford US-Russia Forum – (11/2017)

– URDU’s Jose Fernandez participates in Gun Control Debate with College Democrats and Republicans – (11/2017)

– URDU’s Anthony Pericolo(’20) and Marcos Dos Santos(’20) receive O’Brien Book Award – (11/2017)

– URDU’s Kelvin Ferreiras (’20), Courtney Otto (’19), Tobi Abubakare (’18), and Azmayeen Fayeque (’19) featured as Cover Photo for the University of Rochester Center for Education Abroad  – (07/2017)

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– URDU Alum Steve Torrisi (’16) earns Department of Energy Fellowship at Harvard – (06/2017)

– URDU’s Gabby Stillman (’20) and Bri Terrell (’20) featured on Student Stories – (06/2017)

Rochester TS kicks ass.PNG

– URDU’s Bri Terrell (’20) featured as Handler Scholar – (06/2017)

– URDU’s President Miriam Kohn (’17) publishes Senior Honors Thesis on Gendered Presentation in British Parliamentary Debate – (05/2017)

– URDU’s Reefat Aziz (KEY’17) presents research on Foot Controlled Injection Devices and Neural Blockades – (04/2017)


– URDU’s Graeme McGuire earns Take Five Scholarship on The History of Nationalism & the Nation-State – (04/2017)

– URDU’s President Miriam Kohn (’17) earns Fulbright Scholarship to study in Laos – (04/2017)

– URDU’s President Miriam Kohn (’17) and member Sarah Hofmann (’17) elected to the Honors Society, Phi Betta Kappa – (04/2017)

– URDU’s Kelvin Ferreiras (’20), Courtney Otto (’19), Tobi Abubakare (’18), and Azmayeen Fayeque (’19) earn Evams Lam scholarships for Study Abroad program in Hong Kong – (03/2017)

– URDU’s Gabby Stillman (’20) featured as a Woman in Computing – (03/2017)

– URDU’s Graeme McGuire (T5’19) and Bri Terrell (’20) accepted as Urban Fellows for the summer of 2017 – (03/2017)

– URDU’s President Miriam Kohn (’17) wins Fannie Bigelow prize as part of the 2017 Susan B. Anthony Legacy Awards – (02/2017)

– URDU sends team to compete in Google Games – (02/2017)

Nick Heitsch (’17), Chris Perkins (’17), Andres Ollarvez (’19), Kelvin Ferreiras (’20), and Gabby Stillman (’20) put together a team to compete in programming tasks such as coding, graph making, and solving puzzles.

– URDU’s Boguang Yang (’19) wins Suzanne J. O’Brien Book Award – (11/2016)

– URDU’s Reefat Aziz (KEY’17) admitted into Ain Center for Entrepreneurship’s NSF-iCORPS program – (Fall 2016)

They were provided with $3000 for developing customer discovery interviews to ultimately transition a medical device into the marketplace.

– URDU’s Reefat Aziz (KEY’17) wins Charles and Janet Forbes Entrepreneurial Award- (04/2016)

– URDU’s Reefat Aziz (KEY’17) featured for Biomedical Engineering Project – (04/2016)

– URDU’s Reefat Aziz (KEY’17) presents research to the American Society of Anesthesiology in Chicago – (08/2016);jsessionid=371572AA9694E12B6B9AAEB197153B4E?year=2016&index=12&absnum=5292

– URDU’s Graeme McGuire (T5’19) selected for Fulbright UK Summer Institute in Wales – (04/2016)

– URDU’s Derrick Murekezi (’19) receives Davis Project for Peace Grant – (03/2016)

– URDU’s Tobi Abubakare (’18) presents on Disability Access Within Policy Debate – (03/2016)

On a panel to officials for the Cross Examination Debate Association (CEDA), including the organization’s president, Tobi presented on a panel providing explicit instructions for how to make Policy Debate Tournaments more accessible (for example: quiet rooms). Following the panel, CEDA mandated that all policy tournaments provide a disability/accessibility form prior to the tournament.

– URDU’s Reefat Aziz earns Kaufmann Entrepreneurial Year (KEY) for East High Debate Program – (03/2015)

– URDU’s Miriam Kohn (’17) wins Iota Book Award – (12/2014)

– URDU’s Seth Schober (’16) earns grant to study at at the University of Kaiserslautern in Northeast Germany – (06/2014)