Emory Report

May 18, 1998

 Volume 50, No. 32

No debate on Anjan Sahni
winning McMullan Award

It will be a relatively quiet summer for Anjan Sahni. Before heading off to Yale Law School in the fall, he'll spend some time teaching high school debate students in workshops at Emory and at Dartmouth College in Hanover, N.H., but other than that he hopes to spend some time with his family in Atlanta. Of course, if he gets bored, he'll have the means to travel, as his work at Emory earned him the 1998 Lucius Lamar McMullan Award-and the $20,000 that comes with it, no strings attached.

Sahni, who's spent his time at Emory debating in the Barkley Forum and helping others do the same, deflects the credit for the McMullan Award. "I feel really honored by the University, and I'm very appreciative to a few professors in particular who've taken the time to mentor me and advise me in making sound decisions while I've been here."

One of those professors, Barkley Forum director and forensics professor Melissa Wade, wrote in her nomination letter for Sahni, "Anjan is one of the best intercollegiate debaters by record in modern competitive history. [And] he is excellent teacher for one so young. Anjan has a mature understanding of teaching discipline and, while his sense of humor serves him well with high school students and his peers, he has an appropriate distance that increases his capacity to fully engage a student."

Sahni will put his debating skills to use in a career in law. He doesn't know exactly what direction he'll take, but he'd like it to have an international focus. And it probably will involve helping others, since he has quite a bit of experience with that. In addition to tutoring Emory students in writing and debating, Sahni helped form a debating team at Crim High School in Atlanta.

"What struck me [about Sahni] was not so much his wonder at conditions in places like Crim, it was rather the confidence, openness and humor with which he approached his work there," said political science associate professor Richard Doner, who, along with department colleague David Davis, are the other faculty members Sahni credited for the McMullan Award.

"I wish I were articulate enough to sing the praises I feel for Anjan," Doner continued. "I feel privileged to have been part of his education."

-Michael Terrazas

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