Dr. Beth Mendenhall
Dr. Beth Mendenhall has extensive experience in both policy debate and water politics. In 2006, she won the Kansas State High School Championship (5A) in both Lincoln-Douglas and Policy Debate. She earned her B.A. in Political Science and Philosophy at Kansas State University, where she was also an active participant on the policy debate team. In 2011, she won the CEDA National Championship and the 'Baby Jo' Debater of the Year award. She served on the Board of the Women's Debate Institute from 2012-2019.
After graduation, Dr. Mendenhall earned a PhD in International Relations from Johns Hopkins University (2017), specializing in governance of the global commons. She is now an Assistant Professor in the Department of Marine Affairs at the University of Rhode Island, where her research and teaching focuses on the progressive development of international ocean law. As part of her research, Dr. Mendenhall attended United Nations negotiations for a new treaty to manage biodiversity in the high seas, and has recorded a TEDx talk on International Law and Sea Level Rise.
In the last year, Dr. Mendenhall received two national awards: the General Larry D. Welch Deterrence writing award from US Strategic Command, and a Fulbright US Scholar award to Iceland, which is administered by the US State Department. She has published on a wide range of topics, including marine plastic pollution, artificial islands, fisheries conflict, nuclear submarines, seabed mining, the politics of outer space, arms control, and the 'Biodiversity Beyond National Jurisdiction' negotiations.
Dr. Mendenhall will be delivering a lecture for the K-State Debate camp on the protection of water resources in US coastal waters, and the intersection of the water policy topic and international relations.