Published on January 29, 2015  

Samford University Communication Studies professor Michael Janas was inducted into the 2015 Barkley Forum Gold Key Jan. 23.

The Gold Key society recognizes significant contributions to forensics education and is the most prestigious honor given by the Barkley Forum of Emory University. Each year the members of the self-perpetuating Key Society invite a small number of debate teachers from schools across the nation into membership in a ceremony held during the Barkley Forum for High Schools at Emory University. Dr. Janas' selection into the Key Society is particularly noteworthy given that he is not a high school debate coach. Only 20 other non-high school debate coaches in the nation have received the honor. Of the 172 members of the Society, only six have been from Alabama.

Dr. Janas was inducted as part of a three-person class including Shane Stafford of the Blake School in Minnesota and Mario Herrera of Henry Grady High School in Atlanta and the Atlanta Urban Debate League.

In addition to serving as the President of the American Forensics Association, Dr. Janas was the Director of Debate at Samford for 12 years and founded the Birmingham Area Debate League. He now coaches teams at Homewood Middle School and Edgewood Elementary School. He has served as the Chair of the National Communication Association’s Committee on International Discussion and Debate, Head Coach of the US National Debate Team and as a member of the National Debate Tournament Committee.

Samford is a leading Christian university offering undergraduate programs grounded in the liberal arts with an array of nationally recognized graduate and professional schools. Founded in 1841, Samford is the 87th-oldest institution of higher learning in the United States. Samford enrolls 5,791 students from 49 states, Puerto Rico and 16 countries in its 10 academic schools: arts, arts and sciences, business, divinity, education, health professions, law, nursing, pharmacy and public health. Samford fields 17 athletic teams that compete in the tradition-rich Southern Conference and ranks 6th nationally for its Graduation Success Rate among all NCAA Division I schools.