Dr. Brian Lain is an Associate Professor in the Communication Studies department, the Director of the UNT Debate team, and a Fessor Graham award recipient.
Q: How long have you been at UNT? Tell us a bit about yourself, as well as your time at UNT and as the Director of Debate.
I have been at UNT since 2002. Which makes me ancient. I have really enjoyed my time at UNT and been so fortunate to get to work with a ton of really great students in debate, in the classroom, in SGA, in the Graduate School, really all over the place. I went for a walk yesterday just to clear my head before teaching a graduate seminar. On the library mall I saw 3 former students in 30 minutes and was so glad to be able to connect with them and ask how things are going since I was able to work with them.
Q: What classes are you currently teaching? Favorite class you have taught?
I am currently teaching COMM 2140 Advocating in Public and COMM 5080 Introduction to Graduate Research. My favorite class is a tie between Zombie Rhetorics which was a summer undergrad course I was fortunate enough to teach and a graduate class called Visual Rhetoric: Rhetorics of the Apocalypse. I got to do the graduate apocalyptic visual rhetoric class in Fall 2012 which is when many predicted the end of the world in December. As a part of the class every student did a visual project and they were so unique and interesting, including a visual project on the antichrist (who turned out to be me) and a new toy called "My Little Apocalyptic Pony" (4 horseman style). In the undergrad class I was able to teach it in May, which as you know is Zombie Awareness Month. Again students had such interesting projects about female characters in zombie video games, and zombie runs.
Q: What's a fun fact about yourself?
This is a surprisingly difficult question. I have been to Japan to do research multiple times.
Q: What exciting events are happening with debate this semester?
We are going to have a debate Alumni event at the Wingspan event on April 16, and Debate-A-Palooza is April 22.
Q: Can you tell us more about Mean Green Workshops?
The Mean Green Workshops are our high school debate camp. It runs during the summer at UNT. It celebrated its 12 anniversary last summer and over the past 12 year over 2500 students have attended.
Thanks so much to Dr. Lain for being our spotlight this month. If you want to keep up to date with all of the amazing things UNT Debate is doing, click here!