Our Dinos

Debaters lovingly refer to alumni as “dinos,” short for “dinosaurs.”

Keith Barry


Keith Barry ’13
Hometown: Braintree, Massachusetts
Major: Politics & Philosophy
Fun Fact: Keith Barry was the drummer of his band during high school


Kim Bouchard-Chaimowiz
Hometown:  Boca Raton, Florida
Major/Minor:  Anthropology & HSSP / Classics
Fun Fact: Kim has an identical twin sister.

Elijah Cho

Elijah Cho ’13
Hometown:  Flushing, New York
Major/Minor:  American Studies / Legal Studies
Fun Fact: Elijah once gained 13 pounds in the course of 3 days, then lost 7 on the 4th day.

Alex Self

Alex Self ’13
Hometown:  Seekonk, Massachusetts
Major:  Political Science & History
Fun Fact: Alex was hit by a bike during a marathon, breaking his shoulder. He then proceeded to get up and run another 2 miles before being nearly physically dragged out of the race by his family.

Rena Singer

Rena Singer ’13
Hometown:  Seattle, Washington
Major:  Philosophy
Fun Fact: Rena Singer has studied abroad in Israel

Rich Weisbach

Rich Weisbach ’13
Hometown:  Bexley, Ohio
Major:  History & Politics
Fun Fact: Rich likes to take naps in his Kayak out on the lake when he visits home.


Brendan Fradkin ’12
Hometown:  Galveston, Texas
Major:  Philosophy


Michael “P-did” Perloff ’12
Hometown:  Cleveland, Ohio
Major:  Politics and Economics


Sam Datlof ’12
Hometown:  Villanova, Pennsylvania
Major:  International & Global Studies


Liz Crane ’11
Hometown:  La Honda, California
Major:  Politics and International & Global Studies
Debate Experience:  Three years of American and British Parliamentary
Career Highlights:



Andrew Husick ’11
Hometown:  Valley Forge, Pennsylvania
Major:  Environmental Studies and Politics
Debate Experience:  Four years of high school policy and four years of American Parliamentary
Career Highlights:
Andrew is a passionate believer in the teachings of Carl Sagan.


Shira Straus ’11
Hometown:  San Jose, California
Major:  Economics; Legal Studies minor
Debate Experience:  Three years of American Parliamentary


Caroline Shlager graduated in 2009 with majors in HSSP and Psychology and a minor in Education Studies. She is currently working at Abt Associates in Cambridge, a global leader in research and program implementation in the fields of health, social and economic policy, and international development.

Evan Green-Lowe graduated in 2010 with majors in Economics and International and Global Studies, and is currently pursuing an M.A. in International and Development Economics at Yale University. Some of his debate highlights include being a World Semi-Finalist, a National Quarter-Finalist, and debating in two final rounds at the Harthouse IV. Evan really wants to be an Ankylosaurus (Rawr!) …http://thomas.thomlex.com/dinosaurs/ankylosaurus.jpg 

jackieJackie Saffir graduated Magna Cum Laude in 2010 with a major in Philosophy and is currently pursuing her JD at New York University School of Law. Debate career highlights include becoming Pro-Am Champion her freshman year, National Octo-Finalist her sophomore year, and Quarter-Finalist and 9th speaker at Nationals her senior year. She also served for two years on the team’s Executive Board. She debated with many great partners over the years, and appreciated their willingness to let her test out her crazy philosophical claims in debate rounds.



Dan Blynn graduated in 2009 with a double major in Philosophy and Politics and is currently pursuing his JD at Georgetown University Law School in Washington, DC.  Some of his debate career highlights with longtime partner Rebecca Sivitz include being 14th Team at Nationals in 2008, 1st Team at MIT in 2009, and 8th Team at Nationals in 2009.


Rebecca_SivitzRebecca Sivitz graduated in 2009 with a double major in Women’s Studies and Politics and is currently pursuing her JD at University of Pennsylvania Law School.  Some of her debate career highlights include being 8th NOTY in 2006, and she was 14th Team at Nationals in 2008, 1st Team at MIT in 2009, and 8th Team at Nationals in 2009 with longtime partner Dan Blynn.



Brian Botnick graduated in 2009 with a major in Economics and a minor in Business.  He is currently living in Delhi, India interning with Drishtee, a company working to create sustainable economic activity in rural Indian villages.  You can read his blog and hear about his adventures here.



Alex Levine graduated Cum Laude in 2008 with a major in Economics, and then studied at Estudio Sampere in Madrid, Spain.  He is currently pursuing his JD at Washington University in St. Louis School of Law.  Some of his debate highlights include being 10th NOTY and 2nd Novice Speaker at Nationals in 2006, a variety of awards in 2006-2008, and being President of BADASS during 2006-2007.



John Farr graduated in 2008 with a major in Economics and minors in Mathematics and Philosophy.  He currently works for an economic consulting firm in Washington DC.




Adam_NirAdam Nir graduated in 2006 with a double major in Biochemistry and Political Science.  After graduation he joined the Israeli Defense Force and volunteered with an infantry brigade, and is currently pursuing his Master’s in Security Studies at Tel Aviv University in Israel.  Some of his favorite debate memories include competing at Worlds in Ireland, running only brand new cases at Nationals his senior year, debating with over 50 different BADASS members over the course of his debate career, duct-taping fellow BADASS member Dan Blynn to a pole at Vassar, and being appointed BADASS’s “Team Mom for Life.”



Brian Schon graduated Magna Cum Laude in 2006 with a double major in Philosophy and Politics and a minor in Legal Studies.  After a couple of years at a think tank in Cambridge, he is now pursuing his MPP in Health Policy at Brandeis’s Heller School School for Social Policy and Management.  His debate career highlights include being 7th NOTY in 2003, coming in 35th in the 2005 World Debate Championships, and ranking as the 20th best speaker in America in 2006.



Beth Mandel graduated Cum Laude in 2005 with a double major in Politics and History, and has since been working as a Communications Manager at Morgan Stanley Smith Barney.  Some of her debate career highlights include winning 3rd Varsity Team (as a novice) at Middlebury in 2002, being 12th NOTY in 2002, and being 2nd Varsity Team and 3rd Varsity Speaker at Clark in 2005.  Beth was the only American Outrounds Judge at the 2003 World Debate Championships.  Additionally, Beth was BADASS President in 2003 and Treasurer in 2004 and, along with teammate Andy Bragin, changed the team name from “Brandeis Debate                                      Team” to its current BADASS acronym.



Lina Bensman graduated in 2005 with a major in English Literature, and is currently pursuing her JD at New York University School of Law.  Lina debated for Brandeis from 2004 to 2006.  In 2005, she was NOTY and qualified for Nationals, where she was 10th Varsity Speaker.  In her second year of debate, despite only being able to attend ten tournaments, she and her partner Brian Schon were 9th TOTY, and she was 11th SOTY.  They were the 11th team at Nationals, and Lina was 6th Speaker.



Andrew Bragin graduated Magna Cum Laude in 2005 with a double major in Economics and Philosophy. In 2008 he received a J.D. from UC Berkeley School of Law and in 2011 he was awarded and LL.M. in Taxation by NYU School of Law. Andrew currently practices law in Los Angeles, California. His recent work involves litigation related to the contested probate of heiress Huguette Clark. Some highlights of Andrew’s debate career were placing fifth place team at Nationals in 2005 with partner Justin Gelfand, and serving the team as president, treasurer and, captain.


Ilana Goldberg graduated in 2005 with a major in Chemistry and a minor in Near Eastern & Judaic Studies.  She is currently a Doctoral Candidate at Georgetown University.



Justin Gelfand is a federal prosecutor with the U.S. Department of Justice in Washington, D.C.  He investigates and prosecutes financial fraud cases in federal courts throughout the country.  Gelfand is a 2009 graduate of Washington University School of Law in St. Louis, Missouri, and a 2005 graduate of Brandeis University.  As a member of the Brandeis Debate Team, Gelfand made it to the finals of the World Universities Debating Championships Public Speaking competition for two consecutive years (2004 in Singapore and 2005 in Malaysia) and he and his debate partner placed Fifth in the country at the APDA National Championships in 2005.  Gelfand also won several tournaments and earned the top speaker award on numerous occasions.  While at Brandeis, Gelfand majored in Politics and History.



Kevin Grinberg graduated Magna Cum Laude in 2004 with a BA/MA in Politics and a BA in Computer Science.  He is currently a founding partner of Active Frequency [http://www.activefrequency.com], a web and mobile development consultancy based in Somerville, MA.  During his tenure on the team, he was Tournament Director for more Brandeis tournaments than anyone in living memory despite having a decidedly mixed record of both attendance and performance.




Eric Sirota graduated in 2004 with a major in History and minors in Philosophy and Religious Studies.  He continued on to graduate from University of Illinois College of Law and currently works for Prairie State Legal Services, a legal aid organization near Chicago.


Stephen Rabin graduated Summa Cum Laude in 2000 with highest honors in American Studies and a Concentration in Politics.  In 2004, he was on the team of researchers who assisted Senator Al Franken on his #1 New York Times best-seller, Lies and the Lying Liars who Tell Them: A Fair and Balanced Look at the Right.  Steve currently serves as Chief Speechwriter for Governor Martin O’Malley of Maryland.  Some of Steve’s debate highlights include being 5th TOTY in 2000 with Storey Clayton and 8th TOTY in 1999 with Jeremy Greenberg, in addition to being BADASS Vice President and Secretary.



Gregory Wilson graduated from Brandeis with his doctorate in English literature in 2002, after having coached the Brandeis team for five years (1997-2002). During his tenure with the team, Brandeis won the North American Championship, was the runner-up in the National Championship and won many tournaments, garnering many team and speaker awards along the way. He was also personally part of two World Debate Championship teams while at Brandeis: the highest breaking American and tenth place team at the 2000 Sydney World Debate Championship (along with Jordan Factor ’00), placing as the 14th highest speaker there, and the 28th place team at the 2001 Glasgow World Debate Championship (along with Storey Clayton ’02), placing as the 35th highest (and second highest American) speaker there. He was also the runner-up in the Public Speaking division at that tournament. During his debating career at the University of Connecticut, he was the 7th and 8th Speaker of the Year in consecutive years and a member of the 3rd and 9th Team of the Year in those same consecutive years, winning over thirty individual speaker awards and numerous team awards during that time, along with being a runner-up in the Public Speaking division at the 1995 Cork World Debate Championship.

He is now an associate professor of English at St. John’s University where he teaches courses in fantasy fiction, science fiction, and creative writing among others, and is a professional writer, with his first novel published in 2009, two short stories in 2012, a host of articles over the past few years and next two novels currently being shopped. He is also lead singer for the band The Road with Brandeis alum Aaron Moulin, currently in its fifteenth year of existence. His virtual home iswww.gregoryawilson.com.


Josh_IsraelJosh Israel graduated Magna Cum Laude in 1999 with a major in Politics.  He is now senior investigative reporter for ThinkProgress.org, a progressive news site based at the Center for American Progress Action Fund in Washington, DC. Previously, he spent four years working as director of research on Nick Kotz’s acclaimed book Judgment Days: Lyndon Baines Johnson, Martin Luther King Jr., and the Laws that Changed America and led the Center for Public Integrity’s money & politics reporting.  During his tenure on BADASS, he held every executive board position at least once and avoided ever breaking to out-rounds in four years of competition.




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