Doral Academy Students Ranked High in Debating

Doral Academy Preparatory School team celebrates high ranking.

Doral Academy Preparatory School team celebrates high ranking.

A student debate team from Doral Academy Preparatory School showed its mettle against their competitors by earning fifth place at the 2014 “Bioethics Bowl,” a college-level competition of the National Undergraduate Bioethics Conference held Apr. 4-6 at Loyola University of Chicago.

Nine students enrolled in Doral College were eligible to take part in the event that debated resolutions of medical bioethics dilemmas before three-man judging teams.

One of the youngest convention presenters, Allan Arcia, 18, entered a bioethics research paper, sharing an analysis on ethical case studies involving individuals who have sought out physician- assisted suicide despite being physically healthy.

Doral Academy students won four of four matches, defeating the University at Albany, University of Washington, University of Baltimore, and New Mexico State University. By placing fifth among 21 participating schools, the Doral College team outranked institutions such as Florida State University, University of Pennsylvania and Dartmouth College.

Extensive research and practice as taught in a Doral College interdisciplinary ethics class prepared the team that included Arcia, Kiele Cabrera, Melanie Garcia, Juan Infante, Miranda Murillo, Alexander Nunez, Estefani Perez, Luisa Posada, and Sofia Vignolo. The ethics class is taught by their debate coach, Ryan Kairalla, General Counsel for Doral College.

“It was truly inspiring to witness the hard work and dedication of this group of young people throughout this process,” said Kairalla. “Their impressive skill set and confidence in a college-level environment speaks to the educational experiences and support they are receiving at Doral College, as well as their strong educational base from Doral Academy Preparatory School.”

Debate 2: Allan Arcia delivers college-level research paper.

Debate 2: Allan Arcia delivers college-level research paper.

Students of Doral College attend classes contiguous with their high school classes and work simultaneously toward a high school diploma and an Associate of Arts degree. The college, which is in the process of becoming accredited, offers students college–level opportunities, including instruction by college-level professors, a college library and participation in the NUBC Bioethics Bowl.

To graduate from the college’s A.A. program, students must complete an independent capstone project on a topic of their choice, such as Arcia completed for presentation at the event.

“Having high-school aged students compete with college-aged students would alone be an achievement,” added Fernando Zulueta, Academica CEO.“But to compete against and place ahead of major institutions is a truly remarkable feat.”

To learn more about Doral Academy Preparatory School, visit <www.doralacademy. org ; for details on Academica, visit <>.

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