Meet the Directors from 2014

Ken YoungKen Young
SFI Director and Interpretation Curriculum Director

Ken Young is the Director of Forensics at Bradley University. Ken has coached multiple students to national and state championships at both the high school and collegiate levels in every oral interpretation event. In 2010, Ken was awarded the Outstanding New Forensic Coach Award by the American Forensic Association National Individual Events Tournament. Ken has worked with high school students from all across the country serving as a consultant and the head of oral interpretation curriculum for teams and institutes in Illinois, Texas, Pennsylvania, Minnesota, and California.

Justin HelmleyJustin Helmley
Public Address Curriculum Co-Director

Justin Helmley is the Assistant Director of Forensics at Bradley University.  Justin has coached students to national and state championships, on both the high school and collegiate level, in multiple public address events, including Oratory and Informative Speaking.  He emphasizes individuality in terms of coaching, and focuses on catering to specific student needs to motivate students to reach their full potential.

Tanya MelendezTanya Melendez
Public Address Curriculum Co-Director

Tanya Melendez is an Alumnus and the Interim Assistant Director of Forensics for the Bradley University Speech Team. Tanya has coached multiple high school and college national finalists and champions over the last fifteen years in all three genres of competition, including Illinois State Finalists in SOS and OO and NFL finalists in OO. She emphasizes developing strong research and writing skills in addition to being a great speaker, and enjoys teaching the process to young forensicators.


Ben GaddisBen Gaddis
Limited Preparation Curriculum Director

Ben Gaddis is the assistant director of the University of Texas Speech Team, where he coaches all three genres of competition. As a successful and dedicated coach, Ben’s students have performed in multiple national out rounds and finals, including thirteen in the last year. As a high school coach his students have seen multiple state finals, national out rounds, and finals. Over the past six years, Ben has worked at multiple forensics camps coaching high school students and thrives in teaching the creative process and the path to intellectual discovery. A native of the Chicago-land area, he has received training from some of the greatest minds in sketch and improv, which he actively uses in his instruction. Ben looks forward to collaborating once again with the students of SFI. A graduate of Bradley University with dual degrees in Political Science and Communication, Benjamin saw out rounds in all three genres of competition, was named an American Forensics Association All-American, and was part of a team that won 5 overall national team titles.