Seminar Facilitators

Wendy Atkins-Sayre is Associate Professor of Communication Studies and Director of the Speaking Center at the University of Southern Mississippi.  Her research interests center on identity as constructed through discourse, with an emphasis on social movement rhetoric, Southern identity, and feminist criticism.  Her work with the Speaking Center has also led to a research interest in communication centers.  Her co-edited volume, Communication Centers and Oral Communication Programs in Higher Education:  Advantages, Challenges, and New Directions (Lexington Books), was published in 2012She has also published in journals such as Southern Communication JournalWestern Journal of Communication, Women & Language, and in edited volumes.  Atkins-Sayre earned her bachelor and master’s degrees in Speech Communication from Texas State University—San Marcos and her Ph.D. in Speech Communication from the University of Georgia.

Contact Information: or 601.266.4271 

Melanie Hendricks Barthelme is a Senior Lecturer in the Department of English and Director of The Writing Center at the University of Southern Mississippi. She holds degrees from the University of Texas (B.A., Political Science), The Johns Hopkins University (M.A. Writing Seminars), and the University of Southern Mississippi (Ph.D., English), and has worked in political campaigns, advertising and public relations, and at the Harry Ransom Center at the University of Texas, before teaching at Johns Hopkins and Southern Miss. She has been directing The Writing Center since 2003, and for four years, until 2006, she also directed the Freshman Composition Program for the Department of English. She has published short stories, poems and essays in the Alaska Quarterly Review, Texas Observer, American Literary Review, Connecticut Review, Puerto del Sol, and other quarterlies and magazines, and won awards for both fiction and non-fiction prose, including a Transatlantic Review-Henfield Award and a Mississippi Arts Commission Individual Artists Fellowship.

Contact Information: or 601.266.5495