About the VU Forensic Team

VU has a rich competitive history covering over 25 years. Our current department chair, Dr. Tom Carmody, began his career at Vanguard as Director of Forensics. Our team encompasses the best of competitive speaking by developing the skills necessary to become better speakers, debaters and performers. Our team consists of the best of Vanguard’s student body; the average gpa of a forensic competitor is over 3.5. Members of our team major in psychology, political science, religion and, of course, communication. Our team graduates students interested in politics, law, counseling, education and even home-making — trust us when we say that forensics prepares you for any of those options!

While team members (and even their coaches) have received hundreds, if not thousands, of awards over the life of this team, winning is not everything. Forensic competition allows for the building of relationships and friendships with other students from campuses literally across the country; for developing critical thinking skills as well as confidence in performing in public. However, the most important function of our team is our ability to be the “salt and light” in a secular world by living our individual testimony at each and every competition.


Karen Nishie is the Director of Forensics. She coaches parliamentary debate as well as all of the individual events. She keeps office hours available for individual appointments and attends every tournament. To reach her you can Email knishie@vanguard.edu or call 714.556-3610, extension 2907.