Meet the Staff

The Southern Mississippi Speaking Center is directed by Dr. Laura Stengrim, Assistant Professor of Communication Studies. The Coordinator, Carley Young, and Assistant Coordinator, Steven Young, oversee the day-to-day operations. The consultant team is composed of graduate and undergraduate students who have all completed our nationally certified (by the National Association of Communication Centers) training program. 


Dr. Laura Stengrim, Director

 Laura Stengrim, Director Laura Stengrim, Ph.D., is an Assistant Professor in Communication Studies and Director of the Speaking Center. Originally from Moorhead, Minnesota, she completed her doctoral degree at the University of Illinois and came to Southern Miss in 2016. Informed by a long history of teaching and public speaking in a variety of college and university settings, Dr. Stengrim's style is described as patient, transparent, and focused. 







Carley Young, Coordinator

Carley Young Carley is a third year Communication Studies Ph.D. student from Petersburg, Illinois. She is a very personable and welcoming consultant who is always ready to listen and to give great encouragement and feedback to her clients. Her areas of specialization include: interviewing, group presentations, and informative speeches.








Steve Young, Assistant Coordinator

Steve is a second year Communication Studies Ph.D. student from Poughkeepsie, New York. He is an encouraging consultant who keeps his clients and appointments on topic with a specific focus outlined in the beginning of each session. His areas of specialization include: PowerPoint presentations, intercultural communication, and group appointments.








Rita Nassuna, Graduate Peer Consultant

Rita is second year Communication Studies Ph.D. student from Uganda, Africa. She is an extremely knowledgeable consultant who encourages clients to dig deep down and figure out elements of the speech process for themselves through dialogue. Her areas of specialization include: organization, outlining, and delivery. 








Jonathan Bridenbaker, Peer Consultant

Jonathan is a junior in the Department of Communication Studies from Gulf Port, Mississippi. When it comes to the speech writing process, he likes to emphasize outlining as the most essential step to the process, and he encourages clients to write clear outlines that show the link that each body point has to the topic/thesis. His areas of specialization include: developing attention-getters, transitions, and persuasive speeches. 







Anna Goretski, Peer Consultant 

Anna Goretski, Peer-Consultant Anna is a sophomore in the Department of Communication Studies from Long Beach, Mississippi. She is an approachable consultant who is patient and takes the time to make sure her clients fully understand the information before continuing on in her appointments. Her areas of specialization include: outlining, locating relevant sources, and persuasive speeches








Hannah Claire Lott, Peer Consultant

Hannah Claire Lott, Peer-Consultant Hannah Claire is a junior in the Department of Speech and Hearing Sciences from Niceville, Florida. She is an enthusiastic and engaging consultant who brings that same amount of positive energy into every appointment with her clients. Her areas of specialization include: delivery, interviewing, and group projects.  








Melissa Mikulec, Peer Consultant

Melissa Mikulec, Peer-Consultant Melissa is a junior in the Department of Management and International Business from Hartford, Wisconsin. She is a very energetic peer consultant who addresses concerns in a knowledgeable, direct, and fun manner. Her areas of specialization include: topic selection, outlining, and organization.








Charles Marshall, Desk Assistant 

Charles Marshall, Desk Assistant Charles is double major in the Departments of Communication Studies and Theater from Los Angeles, California. He is also a member of the Speech and Debate team. Charles is a quirky and charismatic desk assistant who will only be rude to you if you do not show up for appointments.







Tyrus Hill, Desk Assistant   

Tyrus Hill, Desk Assistant Tyrus is a junior in the Theater Department from Moss Point, Mississippi. He is a dedicated and reliable desk assistant.









Kelsey Nunnery, Desk Assistant

Kelsey Nunnery, Desk AssistantKelsey is a sophomore in the Department of Mass Communication and Journalism from Jackson, Mississippi. She is a very friendly and helpful desk assistant who regularly goes out of her way to ensure client satisfaction.







Christina Parker, Desk Assistant

Christina Parker, Desk Assistant Christina is a junior in the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry from Pascgoula, Mississippi. She is very friendly and always smiling. She is consistently willing to help with whatever tasks that need to be accomplished.








James Reed, Desk Assistant

James Reed, Desk Assistant