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​​​​​​​VERMONT PRISON DEBATE INITIATIVE - ​Meet the SPEAK Instructors!

SPEAK is fortunate to have five talented instructors from both Vermont Law School and the University of Vermont leading each session. To learn more about SPEAK’s program instructors, please visit each of the bios below:


​​​Jessica BullockJessica Bullock​

Jessica holds a BA in English from the University of Vermont (UVM) and a MS Ed from Johns Hopkins University. Jessica returned to her home state of Vermont to pursue a legal degree at Vermont Law School (VLS). Jessica hopes to use her time at VLS to concentrate on juvenile, criminal, and education law and policy.

Prior to attending VLS, Jessica was President of UVM’s Lawrence Debate Union and founder of the Spanish Language Debate Team. After competing and coaching at national and international debate tournaments, Jessica spent the past two years teaching in Baltimore, Maryland through the Teach For America program. Jessica is passionate about education and enjoys bringing her love of teaching to SPEAK training sessions.

Jessica founded the SPEAK Vermont Prison Debate Initiative to encourage participants’ confidence in public speaking and the power of their own voices. Through her work as an Albert Schweitzer Fellow, Jessica hopes to address recidivism rates and strengthen education services in Vermont’s correctional system by providing debate programs to incarcerated individuals. Ultimately, the SPEAK Vermont Prison Debate Initiative aims to encourage participants’ confidence in their own voices while supporting successful reintegration into the community following incarceration.

 
Victoria Scozzaro

Victoria Scozzaro

Tori graduated from Baldwin Wallace University with a double major in Sustainability and Business Administration and is currently a Juris Doctor student at Vermont Law School (VLS). Tori was a founding member of the VLS SPEAK Organization in the fall of 2014 and then joined the Chittenden Regional Correctional Facility SPEAK Group in the spring of 2015. Tori is interested in working in correctional settings because—as a new student to debate—she has found value in public speaking skills and wants to help others discover their voices and gain the confidence to speak for themselves.

 
Luke Dodge

Luke Dodge

Luke is a Senior Political Science and Economics student at the University of Vermont. He has five years of debating experience, including winning the 2015 Sydney Landon IV at Ithaca College. Luke is currently working on his thesis regarding the efficacy of prison education programs in reducing recidivism rates.


 
​​​Isabella OlsonIsabella Olson

Izzy Olson is a Junior at the University of Vermont, double majoring in European History and Political Science. She had traveled around the world for debate torun aments, including the prestigious Oxford and Cambridge tournaments in the United Kingdom, and Worlds in Malaysia this past year, and she has broken at the Hart House IV and the North American Debate Championship. Currently she is working at the Vermont Public Interest Research Group in order to tackle global warming.

 
Ryan Tartre

Ryan Tartre

Ryan Tartre is currently a Junior at the University of Vermont studying environmental science and classical civilization. He has over 7 years of debating experience and currently serves as President of the ​Lawrence Debate Union.

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Antonietta Girardi

Antonietta Girardi

Toni holds a BA in History from Castleton University and is currently a candidate for Juris Doctor at Vermont Law School. Toni joined SPEAK in the fall of 2015, taking immediate interest in the Vermont Prison Debate Initiative at Chittenden Regional Correctional Facility. Toni is interested in the program because of the valuable skills and confidence it provides to inmates seeking to successfully reintegrate into society. As a native Vermonter, Toni hopes to stay in Vermont and serve her community in a criminal justice setting.

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Elise Iannone

Elise Iannone

Elise graduated from SUNY College of Environmental Science and Forestry with a BS in Conservation Biology, and is currently pursuing a joint Juris Doctor/Master of Environmental Law and Policy degree at Vermont Law School (VLS). Elise joined SPEAK in fall of her 1L year and has been participating in the Vermont Prison Debate Initiative since the spring semester.


 
Will Lowrey

Will Lowrey

Will graduated from Virginia Commonwealth University with a degree in criminal justice and spent almost 20 years in the corporate world leading projects/teams and designing business processes. Will is currently working on a Juris Doctor at Vermont Law school to pursue a career in animal law and joined SPEAK and the prison debate team in 2015 to continue advocating for social justice.

 
Franny Solnick

Franny Solnick

​Franny is a senior at the University of Vermont and is double majoring in History and Political Science. She has four years of debating experience, and has travelled to multiple international and national tournaments as well as judging tournaments like the US Nationals in 2014 and European Championships in 2015. She is currently working as a research assistant to the Vermont Legislature through the Vermont Legislative Research Shop.