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The Express

The Student News Site of Sacramento City College

The Express

The Student News Site of Sacramento City College

The Express

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Communications adjunct Professor Jared Anderson makes use of his offi ce hours preparing for COM 311 Argumentation and Debate.  Photo by Teri Barth | Online Editor in Chief |
Communications adjunct Professor Jared Anderson makes use of his offi ce hours preparing for COM 311 Argumentation and Debate. Photo by Teri Barth | Online Editor in Chief | [email protected]

Encouraging young inexperienced students to dip their frantic feet in the water, Jared Anderson has been a debater since his early years in our own backyard as a City College student himself.

“It will change your life,” chuckles Anderson, a City College communication studies professor and until recently, the Los Rios debate coach. He is now the debate coach at Sacramento State University.

For many years Anderson, 38, has helped students who struggle in all walks of life—students who come from poverty to students who come from stable homes—to succeed in public speaking.

He believes being on the debate team helps students succeed and get over their fear of public speaking, in addition to other benefits.

“You get to hang around a bunch of nerds who all love the same thing,” he says.

He wishes to bring out the potential his students never thought to possess.

“I’ve had a lot of talented, brilliant students who’ve gone through the program,” he says.

Aside from working with students of various educational and experience levels, Anderson made strides to ensure the debate team was a healthy and welcoming atmosphere for all his students.

“Working under Jared was a great experience because he always fostered an atmosphere of teamwork,” says Sara Beth Brookes, a former student of Anderson’s. “As a person he cares deeply about the success of his students, both now and in the future.”

Anderson also made efforts to see his students succeeded in school and life, preparing them for the future to walk the yellow brick road to success.

“Being on Jared’s team was absolutely life-changing,” says Kate Schmits, a former debate student. “Los Rios Debate taught me how to be intelligent, not just smart.”

Anderson was born in Maine. His parents traveled across the country with baby Anderson safely tucked in his mother’s arms.
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By the time he reached the preteen age of 12, Anderson and his parents settled in the humble city of Sacramento. Satisfied, the future debater stayed in Sacramento where he would develop his career.

Anderson opened the doors to his destiny at age 22 at City College. Debate was not the only subject that captured his eye’s interest, but the speech team as well. Speech or “interp,” as many refer to it, is a series of categories including poetry and drama, as well as writing speeches and competing orally.

During his early years of debate, Anderson rubbed elbows with the rich and famous as he competed alongside and against then unknown Academy Award-nominated actress Jessica Chastain, who also honored the halls of City College with her presence and charisma. Chastain grew up and attended high school in the Sacramento area before attending City College and eventually making her way to Hollywood.

“It was a surreal experience,” says the debate coach, as he runs his hand through his hair.

He admits that Chastain was quite the competitor and dominated the “interp” tournaments.

“You wouldn’t want her in your round!” he continued to laugh.

Throughout his early years, Anderson too has taken many awards for his superior skills in competition. Now, as a coach, he makes certain his students and protégés strive for the same goals he had as a young competitor

“Jared is a friend to all his students,” Schmits says. “Jared pushes his students to achieve the best.”

Many of Anderson’s students who walk a similar path have won awards themselves, going as far as nationals and competing across the country.

“They may not always win awards, but they win and achieve something within themselves,” Anderson says.

Unfortunately, Anderson’s days in the exciting world of City College’s speech and debate team have come to a close since moving on to coach debate at Sacramento State. Anderson continues though as a part-time City College communication professor. He also assists former speech and debate students preparing competition.

But, for now, he will pass on the torch of coaching the debate team to another privileged soul who will carry on his legacy.

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