Welcome! There are 6 Novice Mentors for Fall 2020.

Vara Mathiyalakan (Chair): Vara Mathiyalakan is a junior at Johns Hopkins University studying Chemical & Biomolecular Engineering with a minor in Entrepreneurship. Originally from the Greater Boston area, Vara never did debate in HS and only joined in college because he was promised free textbooks. On the NMC, Vara wants to help novices become more connected to the league, its educational resources, but especially its broader community. Outside of debate, Vara likes doing research, playing soccer, and writing music (catch him on Soundcloud!). Feel free to reach out to Vara at

Judah Levy (Digital Coordinator): Judah Levy is a junior at UMD majoring in Math and Computer Science. APDA was his first exposure to competitive debate and he’s excited to try and help others share his exciting first experience. A comp-sci nerd of the highest degree, you’ll usually find him working on some casual project or another (if he’s not engrossed in an argument about debate).

Jason Alder: Jason Alder is a senior at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst majoring in Spanish and minoring in Catalan and Modern European Studies. Originally from Alabama, he is a transplant from the IPDA format of debate. He is currently serving as the VP of External Operations and loves to write cases about the arts, mythology, and legislation. When he’s not debating, he is probably tap dancing, talking about Catalan independence, or being dramatic. Jason is excited to use his love of debate and outreach to help increase the accessibility of the league to as many people as possible. You can reach out to Jason at

Lawrence Wu: Lawrence Wu is a sophomore at Northeastern University majoring in Finance. He was a newcomer to debate without high school experience and is excited to mentor novices and assist expansion schools. When he’s not debating, you’ll find him rock climbing, running, and cooking. You can reach out to Lawrence at

Rohan Kapoor: Rohan Kapoor is a second-year from the University of Chicago. He is majoring in math, and possibly something else. He joined APDA because he loved the idea of talking about anything at all, and loves writing cases set in fictional universes. He also enjoys learning about the history of the league. When he isn’t debating,  you’ll find him cooking, reading, doing math, and going on treks.

Nicole Kagan: Nicole is a junior at Harvard University studying Economics and Computer Science. An international student, Nicole was and still is profoundly confused by many of the intricacies of the APDA format and wants to make it more accessible for those unfamiliar with it. When not debating, Nicole likes to invest time in learning new languages and has recently rediscovered the gym.