Coaching Staff 2017 – 2018


Brady Fletcher

Director of Forensics

585 – 275 – 6293

Office: Dewey 1.208A

As an alum of the University (MA ’08), Brady is very proud to now be directing the University of Rochester Debate Union. He has taught and coached many different speech and debate activities for the past eight years at the University of Vermont, the University of Rochester, and at several high schools and middle schools in New York City and Long Island, NY. He began his debate career with competitive success as a varsity debater at the University of Vermont. In 2005 he won the Novice National Debate Tournament, and tied for top speaker. Brady believes in the value and importance of novice debate, while recognizing how rewarding it can be to advance to the highest competitive level. He wants to encourage all UR students to come on by and give debate a try, as he once did many years ago.

Bexley Brown

Assistant Director of Forensics

585 – 275 – 3873

Office: Dewey 1.208B

A high school policy competitor, bexley began Worlds style debating at intramural high school and collegiate tournaments her junior year. They went on to work with high school debaters in Germany before returning to Alaska to continue coaching high school speech & debate and begin their Worlds debate career at the University of Alaska Anchorage. They received numerous accolades before leaving competitive debate to lecture as a Fellow at the Beihang World Debate Academy and, later, at the North American Debate Academy, founding the first-ever high school debate camp in Alaska and a BP workshop series along the way. Now in their third year at the University of Rochester and their first as Assistant Director of the program, and pacifically armed with 8 years of debate teaching experience, bexley feels strongly that debate is a place for anyone to find a community and outlet for expression.


Jefferson Yahom

Assistant Debate Coach [Policy]

585 – 275 – 3873

Office: Dewey 1.208B

Jefferson, graduate of the University of Oklahoma, is a second-generation Cambodian American. He broke to the semifinals of CEDA Nationals and octofinals of the NDT in his senior year, discussing a combination of critical legal studies, black studies, film studies and philosophy. He is eager to expand the depth and rigor of thinking, working one-on-one with students, so that they can grow as individuals able to navigate institutions beyond any given paradigm.

Pam Axtman-Barker

Assistant Debate Coach [Worlds]

585 – 275 – 3873

Office: Dewey 1.208B

Pam Axtman-Barker has been involved in the debate community for over 10 years. At Pacific Lutheran University she competed in both NPDA and BP, choosing to specialize in BP Debate for her final two years of college.  After her competitive career wrapped up she coached BP and Extemp at Carroll College in Montana.  She then went on to Syracuse University to earn her Masters Degree in Communication and Rhetorical Studies where she taught public speaking courses.  Pam is excited to join the Rochester team and help students discover new skills and opportunities through debate.


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