Campers Learn Art of the Spoken Word

Posted: July 15, 2005 at 1:00 am, Last Updated: November 30, -0001 at 12:00 am

By Maryum Ahsan and Lori Jennings

Calling forensics a “surging art” that attracts one-half million U.S. high school, community college, and university students every year, Peter Pober is poised to launch George Mason University’s first-ever forensics summer camp.

Despite its “new camp” status, the George Mason Institute of Forensics’ enrollment is at full capacity, topping 100 high school students from 22 states and the District of Columbia. This is a testament to Director Pober’s strong reputation in the field and the success of Mason’s own forensics team, which placed ninth this past year at the national tournament.

“The focus of our camp is on education,” said Pober. “We want students to leave us with the tools to succeed in competitive forensics, and we also want them to be able to teach their peers back home how to become better researchers, writers, and performers.”

Forensics team
Peter Pober, front row, far right, with one of his award-winning forensics teams.
Photo by Evan Cantwell

To accomplish this goal, students will attend lectures, tutorials, and one-on-one coaching sessions, learning from 34 faculty members visiting the camp from all over the country. In addition, guest lectures and field trips serve as highlights for the students—including a trip to the Kennedy Center and participation in a movement, sound, and rhythm workshop with two former national poetry slam champions.

Financial scholarships for those in need helped students of lower-income families. Pober praises the camp’s diversity by saying, “Thanks to programs targeted to inner city schools and scholarships, opportunities in forensics for those less privileged are available now more than ever. With diversity comes exposure to new ideas and topics in literature, which benefits all attendees.”

Campers also become familiar with George Mason and its campus. “Having Peter as our coach, in addition to the amazing winning record the team has amassed, already draws some of the top high school competitors in the country to make Mason their first choice,” says Andrew Flagel, dean of admissions. “The forensics camp will bring these outstanding competitors to our beautiful campus. There is no doubt in my mind this will increase the number of these students that seek admission to Mason.”

Prior to coming to Mason, Pober was the director of forensics for 15 years at the University of Texas, Austin, where he led its forensics team to numerous awards.

The camp runs July 23 through August 7. For more information, contact Pober at 703-993-4119 or ppober@gmu.edu.

Write to at