Speech and Debate Team (Forensics)

Sue Peterson

Director of the Speech & Debate Team

Office Hours

  • Tuesday 12-2 p.m.
  • Thursday 12-2 p.m.
  • Friday 9-10 a.m.

"I believe that mistakes are the foundation of learning. I try to design my classes to provide a safe, but challenging environment, where students who are willing to take risks and learn from their mistakes are rewarded.”

After completing my graduate degree at Pepperdine University, I worked for a year in the Communication department at a mutual fund company. Although it was great to get experience in the corporate communication environment, I longed to get back to the academic setting. I left to work with the Urban Debate League, a national movement aimed at fostering civic discourse in underfunded high schools through speech and debate programs. After the first year of getting the grant-funded program started, I began to teach as an adjunct at CSU Fullerton while continuing with the outreach program. After the first year of adjunct teaching, I knew that I had found my professional “place” – the classroom. I obtained a full-time teaching position at CSU Fullerton and loved every minute of it. I decided to make a move back to my graduate school to replace the former Director of Debate in order to use the valuable experience I had gained through my work with the Urban Debate League on the college level. Although I enjoyed my time at Pepperdine, I have missed Northern California since moving south for graduate school. I am pleased to be back in Chico and I am looking forward to working with students in the classroom and with the Speech and Debate team.

Professional Affiliations

  • Western States Communication Association (WSCA)
  • National Communication Association (NCA)
  • Cross Examination Debate Association (CEDA)
  • American Forensics Association (AFA)

Courses Frequently Taught

  • CMST 132 - Small Group Communication
  • CMST 255 - Argumentation and Debate
  • CMST 133 - Speech and Debate Practicum
  • CMST 139 A, B, C - Forensics
  • CMST 339 A, B, C - Forensics

Current Interests

Fostering mentoring programs in intercollegiate speech and debate. Feminine style of communication in political and activist discourse. Empathetic communication in argumentative contexts.