Welcome! The Gender Empowerment Initiative has 11 members for Fall 2020. More bios are imminent! Our 2020-2021 Board Liason is Tori Borlase (

Ananya Kalahasti (Chair)

Hi! My name is Ananya (she/her/hers) and I’m a senior at Johns Hopkins University studying International Studies & Public Health. In high school, I did international extemporaneous speaking, and occasionally Congress for fun, but only on a local level. I love policy, politics & IR cases, but also love debating sports and pop culture. I usually PM/LO, but I’ve spoken every position at some point in time during college. I’m so excited to be back on GEI for my last year on APDA, and to be one of the committee’s co-chairs! Feel free to reach out by Facebook or email ( if you want to talk about GEI, APDA, or anything else!

Gabbi Shilcusky (Chair)

Hi! My name is Gabbi (she series) and I’m a junior at Northeastern University majoring in Political Science and Communications, with a minor in Public Policy. I started debate when I got to college, and mostly do APDA and some BP. I like to debate about public policy (mostly education) and pop culture. I mostly speak PM/MO, but I also like to MG when my friends prefer to PM their own cases. You can reach out to me by Facebook or email ( if you want help with a case, to set up a p round, or to talk about anything related to your team! Now that the season is online, I’d love to do more virtual rounds and events with GMs and novice looking to stay involved on the league.


Katherine Ottenbreit (LGBT+ Liaison)

Hi! My name is Katherine (she/her/hers) and I’m a senior at UChicago majoring in Mathematics and Astrophysics. I competed in Public Forum debate in high school and have been involved with APDA since I was a freshman in college. My favorite case topics are law (especially con-law), feminism, and anything queer (duh). I’m comfortable with all speaker positions but my favorites are MG/MO. To get in touch, message me on Facebook (I am on Messenger 24/7) or email me at This is my third semester on GEI and I really love talking to novices and helping teams with recruitment; so hit me up if I can do either of those for you!


Cece Szkutak

Hello! My name is CeCe (she/her/hers) and I am a junior at Boston University double-majoring in Political Science & Economics. I was a transfer student to BU last fall, so I have been a part of APDA for a year now. I started debating at my previous university where I competed in British Parliamentary debate, but I came in with no high school experience. The best debate rounds for me include education, feminism, politics, or IR. I usually like to PM/LO but I’m always pretty flexible. Debate has found a very special place in my heart and I am so happy to be a member of this committee! Feel free to message me on Facebook or send me an email at I’m always down to talk!


Robin Gloss

Hi! My name is Robin (she/her). I’m a junior at George Washington University double majoring in International Affairs and Economics and the President of GWPDS. This is my third year on APDA, and I joined the league after doing four years of high school public forum debate and extemporaneous speaking. My favorite topics to debate about are queer issues and historical economics/IR. I usually PM/MO, but sometimes I like to spice it up and LO. I’m really excited to be on GEI because I think the league’s dedication to being a more inclusive and accepting space is really important, and I want to help contribute to that! I’m always happy to chat about anything, so feel free to message me on Facebook or send me an email at


Cindy Wang

Hi everyone! My name is Cindy (she/her/hers) and I am a senior at Georgetown University majoring in International Political Economy. This is my fourth year on APDA, and before college, I did three years of Public Forum debate and two years of British Parliamentary debate in East Asia. I love debating about economics and politics, social justice, and feminism, and have always enjoyed writing and debating cases with a global perspective. I usually speak double member, but also completely flexible in opposition. I am super excited to spend my last semesters on APDA being a part of GEI, and I would love to offer what I can to our community in terms of promoting inclusiveness and making all gender minority debaters feel welcomed and empowered. Please feel free to reach out if you wanna chat about anything! Just message me on Facebook (Cindy Xiyue Wang), email me at, or send a quick text to (202) 297-9864 (Messenger and email preferred since I will be at an international location for this semester)! 

Nora Sam (she/her/hers)

Hey everyone! My name is Nora and I’m a junior at Temple University double-majoring in English and Arabic. My debate experience started when I joined APDA three years ago. I typically PM/MO but when I’m feeling a challenge I like to MG. My favorite cases to debate are public policy, art, and literature cases. I’m really excited to be on GEI for the first time and  to work with all of you to make the league a more inviting place! Y’all can reach me at or just hit me up on Facebook. 


Isabella Sorial (she/her/hers)

Hello! My name is Bella and I’m a sophomore from George Washington majoring in International Affairs. In high school, I debated on Connecticut’s Extemporaneous Policy League and in a few local Parliamentary circuits. I write many fun cases but when I want to get serious I talk about public policy, prison reform, education, and culture. I like all speaker positions (just happy that I get to speak at all!). I’m thrilled to have the opportunity to serve you for my second semester on GEI. Feel free to contact me (in person, on Facebook, or by email ( anytime about anything!


Roxanne Daniel

Hello! My name is Roxanne (she/her) and I’m a junior at Smith College majoring in Economics and Government. Before joining APDA two years ago, I competed in Lincoln Douglas debate for all four years of high school. I’m most interested in cases about public policy, criminal justice reform, and economics, but some of my favorite rounds in collegiate debate have been about topics that are very eccentric. I usually am happy to cover any speaker position, but I have a soft spot for the LO! This will be my third semester on GEI and I could not be more grateful to have the opportunity to work with the initiative again. I love networking with others on the league, so feel free to reach out via FB or email (! 


Rachel Li

Hi! My name is Rachel (she/her/hers), and I’m a sophomore at UChicago majoring in Mathematics and Economics. I competed in Public Forum in high school, and this is my second year on APDA. My favorite topics are IR, politics, and pop culture, and I typically MG/MO. My Facebook is kind of hard to find for some reason, but you can message me there if you can find me or email me at This is my first semester on GEI, and I’m really excited to be involved! Please feel free to reach out for any reason! 


Audrey Shing

Hey there! My name is Audrey (she/her/hers) and I’m a sophomore at Northeastern University majoring in Economics and Finance. I grew up for the most part in Singapore so I debated in that circuit in middle school, dabbled in it again senior year of high school but practically didn’t have much of a debate background prior to joining APDA. My favorite topics to debate are Asian culture, economic development and of course anything tangentially feminist related 🙂 I typically MG/MO but you could cajole me into any speaker role! I joined GEI because I think it’s important to foster a sense of belonging amongst the gender minority community and having grown up outside of the US, I’m really grateful for a platform to contribute ideas to making APDA a more inclusive space. If you ever have any questions or just wanna chat, feel free to reach out to me on Facebook messenger, or shoot me an email (!