Natalie Bennie

Natalie Bennie is an experienced speech and debate educator whose work spans classroom education, political campaign advising, and corporate communications. She works with students of all ages to hone their abilities to craft an argument, articulate their point of view, and debate effectively.
Born and raised in Nashville, Tennessee, Natalie earned her BA from Samford University and her MA in communication from Wake Forest University, where she was named the Gordon A. Melson Outstanding Graduate Student in the College of Arts and Sciences. She is currently completing her Ph.D. in communication arts and sciences at Penn State University.

A member of the US National Debate Team in 2015, Natalie represented the United States in the National Communication Association’s summer debate tour of Japan. In 2016, Natalie was named a Rhodes Scholarship Finalist and received a Fulbright grant to teach debate in Germany. With this background in international debate education, she was asked to serve as an educator for China’s inaugural National Speech and Debate Association summer institute in 2019.

In addition to her academic career, Natalie runs a political consulting company based in Birmingham, Alabama. In that capacity, she advises political candidates in campaign strategy, debate, and public speaking.

Teaching Philosophy & Approach

A series of debate coaches mentored and advised me as a student during my undergraduate and graduate education, pushing me to think critically and to engage serious questions with multifaceted rigor. I aim to bring this same sharpness of analysis of encouragement of questions to my own classrooms, particularly to those in the Liberal Arts academic tradition.

Years of professional debate coaching for both traditional students and politicians on the campaign field have shown me the value of coaching as pedagogy. Coaches are more than just instructors—an impactful coach forges meaningful relationships with students, empowers them to lead in their own spheres of influence, and views the collective class as more than just the sum of its individual parts. Debate coaching in particular has given me the tools and experience to translate classroom learning in public advocacy. At Wake Forest, I partnered with the Piedmont Environmental Alliance as a guest judge in their series of civic debates, and I have coached argumentation students into wins at a number of public debates. The topics for these public debates ranged from compulsory voting mandates to the merits of Democratic Peace Theory, yet my students were equipped to succeed in these debates due to their training in oral communication and literacy in a wide range of disciplines.

Any classroom exists at a unique potential nexus of transformation, creativity, and scholarship. I believe that the skills I have honed as an award-winning debate coach translate directly into crafting a thoughtful, yet challenging, classroom climate. My goal as an educator is not merely to input information but rather to equip students with skills and methods of learning that have the capacity to transform all aspects of their lives. A passion for oral communication and its transformative potential continues to motivate my career trajectory. Fostering serious questions steeped in the formal argumentation tradition about communication theory in all its iterations represents one such transformative skill.

My goal as an educator is not merely to input information but rather to equip students with skills and methods of learning that have the capacity to transform all aspects of their lives.
Teaching Level:
  • Middle
  • High School
Teaching Type:
  • Tutoring
  • Full-Semester Classes
  • Full-Year Classes
  • Partial Year Classes (Mini Courses)
Teaching Subjects:
  • U.S. History


Courses that Natalie Bennie Teaches

  • Debate
    This online debate course is a personalized, one-to-one deep dive…

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