Each year the ISSDA presents three scholarship awards to recognize outstanding student participants in our organization. These awards, presented at the state debate and speech tournaments, honor three legendary Indiana coaches of speech and debate: Jim Hawker, Bob Brittain, and Bill Hicks. Recipients demonstrate speech and debate acumen, but they also exhibit positive mental attitude and fine character. According to the ISSDA Tournament Manual, each school entered into the state speech and debate tournaments may nominate a senior member who participates in the state tournament to be considered for the award.

2022 Scholarship Recipients

2021 Scholarship Recipients

Robert E. Brittain Mental Attitude Award

2020 Recipient - Tim Carnahan, W. Lafayette

Tim Carnahan of West Lafayette Jr./Sr. High School is the 2020 recipient of the Robert E. Brittain Scholarship. Tim, a 4-year national qualifier has competed in Congress, Lincoln Douglas, Public Forum, International Extemporaneous, and Impromptu Speaking. Competitive highlights include his runner up finish to his teammate at State in LD his junior year and triple qualifying for nationals in LD, Senate, and IX. Away from debate, where he is the team president, he participates in student council, orchestra, French Club and UNICEF Club. He also is a member of the Mayor’s Youth Council. Tim plans on studying political science and economics at Purdue University in preparation for law school.

James F. Hawker Scholarship

2020 Recipient - Ana Gaston, Fishers HS

Ana Gaston entered her senior year as one of the most decorated students in the history of Fisher’s High School Speech and Debate. Ana was a state finalist in Impromptu Speaking in 2019. She also competed at the IHSFA state tournament in Original Oratory. Ana has been a Congress state champion twice and qualified for the National Speech and Debate tournament four times (making it into the semi-finals in 2019.) From her coach, Paul Kennedy: “What has impressed me the most about Ana is her personality and leadership. She was unanimously chosen by her peers to be the president of the team this year. Ana has always cared more about the team’s success than her own and works hard to connect with and lift up every student on the team. Earlier this year, she hosted a party for the entire team at her house and told me afterward that the most meaningful moment was when a freshman student told Ana that the party made her feel like she was ‘part of the speech team family.’ I believe this moment is the one Ana is most proud of from her time as a team leader this year. Ana is a fierce friend and teammate, and as president has demonstrated a rare ability to lead both vocally and by example.”

William S. Hicks Award for Congress

2019 Recipient - Trent McKenzie, Plymouth HS