RCC Success at First In-person Debate Since the Pandemic


Left to right: Rivka Mandel, Maya Lauture, Elizabeth Traub, Perry Kornbluh and Zamir Ben-Dan

RCC debaters and an RCC Debate alum took the lion’s share of trophies at Dominican University’s debate tournament on November 13. RCC was edged out of first place by Rivka Mandel, a former RCC debater who now attends and competes for Columbia University. Mandel and RCC’s Elizabeth Traub won all three of their debate rounds – their first place tie was broken on speaker points. RCC’s Maya Lauture took third place with a win-loss record of 2-1.

Dominican University’s debate tournament was the first in-person debate for RCC since February 2020, the month before the Covid-19 pandemic began. Traub and Lauture are first-time debaters which bodes well for the future of RCC debate.

Another RCC Debate alum, Zamir Ben-Dan served as one of the judges at the contest. Ben-Dan, a former Legal Aid attorney, recently joined the faculty of Temple University Law School.

About Rockland Community College, State University of New York

Rockland Community College (RCC), located in Suffern New York, provides purpose driven educational opportunities in a supportive, affordable, and accessible environment, empowering individuals to positively transform themselves and their communities. RCC welcomes students from diverse backgrounds who appreciate small class sizes and personal attention from a distinguished, award-winning faculty that includes Fulbright scholars and SUNY Distinguished Professors. Many graduates go on to top universities to further their education on their own or through RCCs institutional collaborations.

RCC fosters an environment that attracts, recruits, supports and retains faculty, staff, and students who value diversity. The College promotes a collegial and inclusive environment by recognizing, promoting, embracing, respecting and celebrating the expansive range and dimensions of cultures, attitudes, ideas and viewpoints contained within our campus community.

RCC is also proud to provide career training and professional development to adult learners looking to change careers or upgrade their skills through a variety of programs and educational

opportunities including workforce training, certifications, and microcredentials. Many of the programs are developed with employers in the community in high demand industry areas to enable graduates to move into a new career upon graduation. More information can be found at www.sunyrockland.edu.

Rivka Mandel cross examining a Dominican University debater
Maya Lauture
Elizabeth Traub
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