Alfred C. Snider is the Edwin W. Lawrence Professor of Forensics at the University of Vermont. He has degrees from Brown University, Emerson College, and the University of Kansas. He teaches courses in debate, argumentation, persuasion and rhetorical analysis. He is the Director of the World Debate Institute and the Lawrence Debate Union.
Dr. Snider has spent the last thirty-six years promoting debate and critical communication as an alternative to violence and conflict as well as a method for achieving real democracy and a true civil society. He has done formal debate training in thirty-one countries and has trained debaters from over forty nations at the World Debate Institute’s sessions in the USA, Korea and Slovenia. He has directed the debate program at international conferences in Turkey, Estonia and Slovenia attended by scholars from over thirty-five nations.
Dr. Snider has received every major award given to debate educators in the USA, including the Pelham Coach of the Year award, the Don Brownlee Service to Debate award, the Ziegelmueller Debate Coaching award, the Slappey Diversity in Debate award, the Douglas Dedication to Debate award and the Jacobsohn Service to Debate award. His work in promoting debate has also brought him awards from Emory University, the University of Utah, Cornell University, Binghamton University, the University of South Carolina as well as from the National Forensic League and the Cross Examination Debate Association. In the last six years he has been very active in WUDC/BP format debate activities, and has six times been the training director at the International Debate Academy held in Europe.
Dr. Snider had published five books on debating in the last five years and during his career has edited or written over fifty volumes about debating and for debaters. He is the host of the television program Flashpoint that has over three hundred and seventy episodes and deals with political and social issues. He was named 2008 Director of the Year by Vermont Community Access Media for his work on this program. He maintains one of the world’s busiest debate websites, Debate Central (debate.uvm.edu), and is the editor of Global Debate (globaldebateblog.blogspot.com ). He has pioneered using the Internet and new media for debating.
Dr. Snider has served as President of the USA’s Cross Examination Debate Association and for the last six years has been the Director of Operations for the National Forensic League’s national high school speech and debate championship, attended by over five thousand people and lasting one week. He has also been the Director of Operations for the World Schools Debating Championships in Washington DC in September 2008, attended by 39 countries. He has directed dozens of debate tournaments in different parts of the world. He has served as a consultant to the Open Society Institute, the New York Urban Debate League, the National Association for Urban Debate Leagues, the History Channel, the Associated Leaders of Urban Debate, the International Debate Education Association, the National Public Policy Forum, Singapore Ministry of Education, Slovenia Institute of Education and DEBATE-Kansas City.
As a debater for Brown University Dr. Snider was third at the USA National Debate Tournament and second at the USA National Tournament of Champions, both in 1972.
Dr. Snider hosted regular weekly radio programs between 1983-2000 featuring Reggae music as well as experimental music. He served as the master of ceremonies for the Vermont Reggae Festival between 1984-2002 as well as holding all of the various offices of the Committee for Vermont Reggae Festival, Inc.
Dr. Snider’s mottos include “Replacing weapons with words,” and “Think for yourself.”