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Speech & Forensics:

Communication Studies Faculty

Julianna French

Julianna French is an alumna of Irvine Valley College. At IVC she was a communication studies major and team captain of the nationally recognized IVC Speech and Debate Team. She went on to receive a bachelor's in communication studies from California State University, Long Beach, a master's in human communication from California State University, Fullerton, and a juris doctor from Whittier Law School. She began teaching in 2007 and has taught courses as an adjunct professor at Concordia University Irvine and Saddleback College before finding her home here at IVC in 2010. In addition to teaching, French also coaches for the National Champion IVC Speech and Debate Team. The team has received a plethora of recognitions including a Gold Medal Sweepstakes Award at the last four consecutive Phi Rho Pi National Championships, and being named the top two-year debate team in the nation by the 2014 NPDA Season Long Sweepstakes Award. 

William Neesen

William “Bill” Neesen first competed in debate during his freshman year at Millard South High School in Omaha, Nebraska, in 1986. During high school, he competed in policy debate, winning many awards. After high school, he went on to do speech and debate at Orange Coast College, where he won numerous awards, including a silver medal in impromptu speaking and a gold medal in debate at the California state tournament. He transferred to California State University, Fullerton, where he continued to compete in policy debate.

Upon graduating, he continued his education at CSUF, receiving his master's in communication studies, with an emphasis in rhetoric and persuasion. After completing his degree in 2002, he taught part-time here at Irvine Valley College, and then went on to California State University, Long Beach, where he was the director of debate from 2005-16. During his tenure at “The Beach,” Neesen's teams were always successful. While there, he also hosted many different tournaments, including one of the largest high school forensic tournaments in the United States.

Gary Rybold

Gary Rybold has taught public speaking and debate at Irvine Valley College since 1993. His competitive forensics experience included four years of high school and four years of college. He coached IVC to 14 national championship titles. He has taken over 100 IVC students and coaches to China on academic debate tours. As a Fulbright-Hayes scholar, Rybold researched debate as a developmental tool for English majors at Beijing Foreign Studies University in the People’s Republic of China. At the same university, he received a PhD in applied linguistics (2011) with a dissertation on pedagogy for developing oral communication and critical thinking skills in a second language.

Edwin Tiongson

Edwin "Eddie" Tiongson is a first-generation Filipino-American who started working at IVC as an adjunct faculty member and forensics coach in 2001. After teaching part-time at IVC, College of Canyons, Moorpark College and Diablo Valley College, he was hired as a full-time instructor and forensics coach in 2002. Tiongson earned his master's in communication studies in 2001 from California State University, Northridge, and a bachelor's in communication from the University of the Pacific in 1999, and an associate degree in liberal arts from Diablo Valley College. 

It was at DVC where Tiongson found the joy for forensics and a calling to teach. Throughout his career, he has taught a wide variety of courses in communication studies including public speaking, interpersonal communication, intercultural communication, argumentation and debate, oral interpretation of literature and forensics. He has also been a pivotal member of the IVC Forensics coaching staff that has won a multitude of local, state and national championships, including Phi Rho Pi and the National Parliamentary Debate Association. Tiongson has served on several committees including Academic Senate, Curriculum Committee, General Education Committee, Sabbatical Committee, Commencement Speaker Committee and the Student Commencement Speaker Committee. Tiongson is working on an EDD in community college educational leadership at California State University, Fullerton. He also enjoys playing guitar, writing poetry, and spending time with his family.

Contact Directory

Joseph Poshek
Dean, School of the Arts
T: 949-451-5650

Sr. Admin. Assistant, School of the Arts
T: 949-451-5453
F: 949-451-5775

Gary Rybold, PhD
Academic Chair, Communication Studies