Meet the Coaching Staff
Concordia University Irvine is exceedingly proud of the men and women who comprise the coaching staff. Each week, these men and women give countless hours to students. Here is a little bit more about them.
Yaw Kyeremateng – Director of Forensics
Originally from Ghana, Yaw (pronounced Yeow) earned a BA in Environmental Health Science and an MA in Communication, both from the University of Northern Iowa. As a competitor, he was exceptionally successful, especially in his senior year. He advanced all 6 of his events to elimination rounds at the HFO Swing, placing 3 of those into finals. Additionally he qualified six events to the AFA-NIET, advancing two of them (POI and DUO) to semifinals, placed 2nd in Poetry, and earned 11th place in Individual Sweepstakes.
Yaw is passionate about helping students find their utmost passion within their respective speech topics and events. "Public speaking is a subject of great trepidation and uncertainty for many people. My zeal for the craft also urges me to assist students to overcome that fear and worry."
Amanda Ozaki – Director of Debate
Amanda Ozaki-Laughon graduated magna cum laude with a B.A. in History and Political Thought from Concordia University Irvine in 2015. She debated on Concordia's debate team for four years, during which time they won the 2013 and 2015 NPDA Sweepstakes National Championship awards. She and her partner Richard Ewell were undefeated with an 8-0 record at the NPDA national tournament, where she also received the All-American Award for debate and scholastic achievement, as well as 5th place speaker at both the NPTE and NPDA national tournaments.
During her time as Co-Director of Debate with her former partner Richard, Concordia University placed second in both 2016 and 2017, making Concordia one of few schools to remain ranked nationally in the top three for five years in a row. Amanda's coaching cultivates a tight-knit, competitive environment where students are pushed to elevate their communication skills, preparing them for lives of service and advocacy.
Joe Laughon – Assistant Director of Individual Events
Joe Laughon is an alumus of Concordia's Forensics program who competed in parliamentary debate and individual events, placing as 7th speaker in at NPDA in 2013 and 10th place at Nationals. He is the assistant director of debate at Concordia Forensics.