About BEN

Ben's Bio

 Dr. Ben Voth is an associate professor of Communication Studies and Director of Debate and Speech programs at Southern Methodist University. He is the Coolidge Foundation debate fellow and an adviser for the George W. Bush Institute in Dallas. Dr. Voth’s professional mission is to equip individuals to have their voice. By teaching and researching in areas of rhetoric, argumentation, debate and public speaking, Voth accomplishes this mission with a variety of audiences. He has worked at the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum with dozens of Holocaust Survivors, more than a dozen national collegiate champions of speech and debate, North Korean dissidents, Burmese dissidents, the Rwandan national debate team, and a variety of corporations and organizations throughout the United States.  

Ben's Academic Credentials

Dr. Voth completed his undergraduate and masters degrees in Communication Study and Journalism at Baylor University in 1990. His masters thesis focused on the global warming rhetoric of George Bush senior and was directed by Dr. Rich Edwards. He completed his PhD in Communication Study— specializing in argumentation and rhetoric— at the University of Kansas in 1994. His dissertation focused on the function of the wall separating church and state as a paradigmatic metaphor and was directed by Dr. Robert Rowland. He was the director of speech and debate at Miami University in Ohio for 14 years from 1994- 2008. 

Ben's Publishing

James Farmer Jr.: the Great Debater. Lexington Studies in Political Communication: Lexington Books. (April 21, 2017). winner of the Freedoms Foundation at Valley Forge George Washington Honor Medal in Public Communications; nominated for the Benjamin Hooks award.


He is currently completing his third book on the “great debater” from Texas, James Farmer Jr. as an argumentation study on how debate transforms young people and makes dramatic social change possible. He has published research on President John F. Kennedy, Saturday Night Live as political argument, the 2012 and 2008 Presidential debates, the metaphor of a wall separating church and state and his work is published in a variety of argumentation academic journals such as Argumentation and Advocacy. His work has been quoted in US News and World Report, the Rush Limbaugh Show and the Washington Post