Student teams chosen to participate in Regents’ Cup event celebrating civil discourse, free speech

Overview image of NAU campus with snow and San Francisco Peaks in the background

Student teams chosen to participate in Regents’ Cup event celebrating civil discourse, free speech

December 16, 2021

The Arizona Board of Regents announces the 2022 Regents’ Cup teams, comprised of students who will participate in the tri-university debate tournament, competing for thousands of dollars in scholarships. The teams feature undergraduate and graduate students from majors ranging from economics to political science, construction management, justice studies and more. The theme for the 2022 event is the importance of the preservation of democracy.

More than 40 students on the teams from Arizona State University, Northern Arizona University and the University of Arizona will showcase their debate skills during the competition on April 30, 2022, at NAU, this year’s host university. Teams are currently working with coaches from each of the universities for the event that demonstrates the universities’ commitment to freedom of expression on college campuses.

Regents’ Cup participants will be honored for articulating opposing points of view in an environment where competitors remain civil and respectful while competing for scholarships to advance their education at the universities.  

“We congratulate our students who have been chosen to participate in the Regents’ Cup. We look forward to another successful event where students will debate one of the most important topics of our time – preserving our democracy during an era of increasing polarization,” said Regent Larry E. Penley. “It is important to remember that respect and civil discourse are highlights of this competition – traits that are all too often lacking in our society today.”

Debate at public universities is a historic tradition that builds skills in leadership, public speaking and presenting sound arguments. During the all-day competition, student teams will participate in rounds of Oxford-style debate and persuasive storytelling, sharing true stories from personal experiences.

Arizona’s public universities are exemplars in free speech; ASU, NAU and UArizona are all recognized with a green light rating, the highest rating by the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education (FIRE).

Student teams are:

Arizona State University: Jencey Dole, Elisia Jimenez, Lauren Kater, Isabelle Kinney, Juan Lopez Henao, Miles McAnulty, Jordan Morris, Claire Mullings, Corinne Phillips, Jackson Reese, Abigail Spencer, Anthony Un, Acacia Wastchak and Brittine Young.  

Northern Arizona University: Cameron Baird, Abigail Brown, Wendy Castro Encinas, Cailey Engelberg, Julie Kramer, Alisha LaBuda, Hunter Larson, Alyssa Layne, Wenyue Li, Joseph Maddock, Mackenzie Mattila, Emily Pettee, Madeline Prendergast, Hannah Ware and Cheyenne Wolfe.

University of Arizona: Jakob Buckley, Finley Dutton-Reid, Trevor Fox, Nyah Fyfe, Jessica Gates, Marnie Gyorffy, Alicia Hall, Raychel Hodges, John Hunting, Celeste Lugo, Yagin Obaid, Akash Satpathy, Joshua Tashoff and Patricia Yango.

For more information about the competition, click here.

The Regents’ Cup embodies a spirit of free speech, civil discourse and Arizona’s values – innovation, diversity, accessibility, freedom of choice, intellectually engaging and celebrating our heritage.


Sarah Harper, 602-229-2542, 602-402-1341 |
Julie Newberg, 602-229-2534 |