Debate, forensics coach impacts students

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Ken Troyer was born in Bigfork, Montana where he began his journey as a firefighter. He then pursued a B.S in History and Social Sciences from Bethel College and a M.S in Communication from Fort Hays State University.

Troyer and his wife, Kari, have three children—two daughters, Cassidy and Ashlyn, and a son, Treyton.

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Troyer has taught for 13 years in the communication department of Sterling College. He is also the coach for the debate and forensic team.

“Troyer has truly changed the way that I look at the world. So many of his classes have me questioning what I thought I knew about the world and how we communicate with others in it. I have just learned so much from him! He’s snarky, bold an inquisitive” said Micah Watney

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“Under his direction, the Sterling College debate and forensics team has returned to regional and national prominence with the debate team capturing multiple state championship titles,” according to the Sterling College website.

On April 23, 2018, Gage Brookman was awarded the top speaker in the nation for the Lincon-Douglas debate. This is one of many national titles awarded to a student under the guidance of professor Troyer.

Aside from the plethora of accolades received through his work with the debate and forensics team, Troyer co-wrote a book on debate.

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According to the Sterling College website, in September 2014 Troyer co-authored “Argumentation and Debate: A Strategic Perspective,” which is a textbook being used in communication classes at various colleges and universities. The book is published through Linus Publications.

Aside from co-writting books and coaching the debate team, Troyer can be found teaching various communication courses.

” Oddly enough the classes that I enjoy teaching the most are the classes that have the least to do with debate and forensics. I love my gendered communication and interpersonal communication class. They are easily my favorite classes to teach,” Troyer said. “Sterling has often been, in terms of student population, not as diverse as it could be. Those from other parts of the world know how diverse the world can be. One of the things that I love doing in those two classes is engaging people to think about things they have never had to think about before. Not because I am right and they are wrong, but because a lot of people don’t understand the level of diversity that is out there. It is our job to have informed citizens, to have students be able to flourish in the real world. They have to be exposed to all ideas.”

Freshman Mackenzie Owens is on the Sterling debate team and takes classes with Troyer.

” I’ve had a positive experience with professor Troyer, despite being warned of the difficulty of his classes! Right now I have interpersonal communication with him, and I really enjoy the class. He likes to push your buttons, to further your thinking,” she said.

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