Communication Studies faculty member David L. Steinberg, the director of the University of Miami Debate Team, is the recipient of the 2013 Robert and Christine Staub Faculty Excellence Award for Outstanding Achievement in Effective Teaching at the University of Miami School of Communication.
The Staub Faculty Excellence Award, an endowed gift from UM alumnus Robert Staub, BBA ’56, and his wife, Christine, recognizes a School of Communication faculty member for effectiveness in teaching, advising, mentoring, and service roles in and outside the classroom. Students and alumni nominated deserving professors and a school committee selected the winner.
“It is truly an honor to be recognized among this group of phenomenal educators,” Steinberg said. “I can’t imagine a profession that could be more satisfying or enjoyable. Iget to watch my students grow and learn through their experiences in debate, speaking, and participating. My job is to pave their path, present them with appropriate challenges, and then stay out of the way. I treasure the relationships we build, and I consistently learn more from my students than I can possibly teach them.”
Steinberg joined the university in 1990 and has been instrumental at the School of Communication in teaching students essential skills in argumentation and debate, public speaking, communication theory, persuasion, business, and political communication. These skills have helped them become successful in a wide range of professions. Beloved by students and alumni, he has influenced the lives of thousands of young people.
Steinberg has been the University of Miami Debate director for 23 years, leading the team to numerous awards, including the Championship of Delta Sigma Rho-Tau Kappa Alpha, National Debate Honorary, in 1996 and 2013. His debaters have been named to the All-American debate team 22 of the past 23 years.
Steinberg also serves his profession through his work in national associations, and in 2006-07, he was president of the Cross Examination Debate Association, the professional organization which sponsors and represents intercollegiate policy debate teams in the United States.
“When the Staubs initiated this award, they did so with the belief that we in higher education don’t recognize often enough those who make a difference in the lives of young people through teaching,” said Gregory J. Shepherd, dean of the School of Communication. “It would be easy to conclude they had Dave Steinberg in mind while thinking that thought.
“Dave has been making a difference in the lives of UM students for more than two decades. He is a wonderful classroom instructor, but also a gifted coach. I regularly encounter alumni who attribute their post-graduate success to Dave and what he taught them about research, careful preparation, argument, making a case for or against something, and working as part of a team. I couldn’t be happier, seeing him honored in this most deserved way,” Shepherd added.
An expert in political debates, rhetoric, speeches, and political campaigns, Steinberg is a highly sought after source and was frequently requested for analysis of the 2012 Presidential and Vice Presidential debates. He has been quoted in a number of international and national publications, including the Washington Post, WIRED, and Reuters.com. He is coauthor of the leading debate textbook, Argumentation and Debate: Critical Thinking for Reasoned Decision Making, now in its 13th edition.
Steinberg will receive $2,500 as part of the award, and his name will be displayed on a permanent plaque in the school’s reception lobby. Steinberg was honored during the school’s annual awards ceremony at the Robert and Judi Prokop Newman Alumni Center on May 10.