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Speaking Center

Meet the Staff!

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Welcome to the Speaking Center! 

Dr. Laura Stengrim

Laura Stengrim

Hi, I'm Dr. Laura Stengrim, Director of the Speaking Center and a faculty member in the School of Media & Communication. I've been at USM since 2016 and have grown to love all that Hattiesburg has to offer. In my spare time, you'll find me walking on the Longleaf Trace, gardening, reading, cooking, and hanging around with my pup. 

Sajim Ahmed

Image of Sajim AhmedHi, this is Sajim Ahmed, a sophomore at The University of Southern Mississippi. Originally from Bangladesh, I have a knack for traveling and exploring new places and cultures. When I am not busy hitting the books and acing my computer science classes, I love to unwind by diving into thrilling detective stories, channeling my inner Sherlock Holmes to solve the most challenging of mysteries. And speaking of flavor-packed adventures, nothing tickles my taste buds quite like a steaming hot plate of mutton biryani, bursting with aromatic spices and succulent meat.

Shea Drake

Shea DrakeHey, I'm Shea Drake, a graduate assistant at the USM Speaking Center and a Ph.D. student at the School of Media and Communication. My area of interest includes the representation of women in films, television productions, and streaming series created by women. I've taught Media Writing I and Introduction to Public Speaking courses. Nashville, Tennessee, is my hometown. In my spare time or depending on the mood, I may binge-watch a tv series or films (partial to mafia movies/documentaries), photograph nature, or paint using acrylics.

Karley Fasullo

HKarley Fasullo i, my name is Karley Fasullo and I am a senior marine biology major. I have been a peer mentor at the speaking center for about a year now and I love meeting fellow students from across our USM community! A few of my interests include traveling, hiking, and crocheting, but overall, I just love to adventure and have a good time!

Z’eani  Furdge

Z’eani  Furdge Hello! My name is Z’eani  Furdge and I am a new employee of the Speaking Center! I am a lover of poetry, watching tv, reading, photography, and editing! Looking forward to working in the Speaking Center! 

Na'Tosha Harris

Image of Na'ToshaHello everyone! My name is Na'Tosha and I am a graduate student here at USM. I am a four-year veteran for the Speaking Center! So, yes, I like to talk and yes, I like to help others with speaking publicly. In my spare time, I like to write poetry, and immerse myself in nature. If you happen to stop by the center, please don't hesitate to reach out! I'll reach back! #SMTTT

Dasani Hill

Dasani HillHi! my name is Dasani Hill and I am a junior with a major in Social Work and a minor in Child Advocacy. I love to work out, listen to music, and be one with nature. Also, a fun fact about me is I competed in a pageant and was one of the top three speech winners. I am so excited to be working in the Speaking Center! 

Christina Lancaster

Christina LancasterI'm Christina Lancaster, and I'm also known as Evie or Evelyn. I'm a junior pursing a Management degree. I love arts and crafts, reading, animals, and so much more! I'm originally from Southaven, Mississippi, and I have cat named Louie! I'm always down to meet new people and help them grow into the person they want to become. If you see me around campus, feel free to say hi!


Image of LillianHi, My name is Lillian, I am one of the Speaking Center's fabulous, employees! I love to workout, paint, talk to and meet new people, and I also have a plant named Astro! If you ever see me around campus don’t hesitate to say hello, I’m sure we will have great conversations! 

Mackenzie Loyd

Mackenzie Loyd Hello, My name is Mackenzie Loyd and I am one of the employees working at the speaking center! I'm majoring in marine biology to fulfill my fascination with the ocean. Some of my favorite things are reading, baking, and hanging out with my friends.

Sarah Malinauskas

Sarah MalinauskasMy name is Sarah Malinauskas, and I am a senior from Mobile, Alabama! I am a Recreational Therapy major with a minor in Psychology. I have been a Peer Consultant at the Speaking Center for a year now and I'm so excited to meet so many more students this year! Besides that, I enjoy reading, painting, cooking, and watching movies!

Tara Piggot

Tara Piggot

Hi! My name is Tara Piggott, and I am a senior music education major from Mobile, Alabama. This is my third year working in the Speaking Center as a Peer Consultant. In addition to working at the speaking center, my campus involvements include being a member of Southern Chorale, Southern Style '22, Eagle Connection, GEWW Crew '21, RUF, and the Black Eyed Susan's Women's Leadership Honorary. I enjoy brainstorming speech topics with students as well as putting the finishing touches on final drafts, and my favorite types of speeches are informative speeches & special occasion speeches!


RubaiyaHi, My name is Rubaiya. I'm a Ph.D. student in the School of Media & Communication. I work as the graduate coordinator of the USM speaking center. I am passionate about both teaching and research. I also enjoy assisting students from diverse backgrounds with their presentation and manuscript needs. I am excited to meet you at the center and have a wonderful chat!

Macy Simmons

Image of Macy SimmonsHi my name is Macy Simmons, I am a senior Public Health major with minors in Biology and Chemistry. I enjoy sports, reading, music, baking, playing with my dogs, and spending time with friends and family! One of my favorite things about working at the center is getting to meet students from all over the world!


Image of TabassumHi, I am Tabassum, also known as Tabs among my friends. Currently, I am part of this amazing community composed of the employees of the Speaking Center. To give myself a break from the everyday grinding, I usually love to spend my weekends watching movies, kdramas, or anime. Aside from that, I enjoy having conversations with people on topics such as music, favourite TV shows, and life in general. Therefore, if you catch me on campus, don’t be afraid to approach me as I would love to have great conversations with other fellow students!

Syed Uddin

Image of Syed UddinHello, I am Syed Uddin, AKA Ainan. I am from Bangladesh and came  here in last August, which is August of 2022. I am majoring in          Microbiology with a Minor in Chemistry. In my free time, I like playing badminton, watching movies, and hanging out with family and friends. So far, it has been an amazing experience here in Southern Miss and looking forward to creating more memories with you all.

Intisar Waheed

Image of Intisar WaheedHello everyone! I'm Intisar Waheed, an undergraduate at USM and a fellow employee at the Speaking Center. My favorite hobbies are designing digital art and playing the guitar. On top of that, I love to talk about everything related to science, fiction, and the mystical unknowns in the universe. I am looking forward to meeting everyone at the Speaking Center! 


Contact Us

Speaking Center
117 Cook Library

Hattiesburg Campus

Campus Map



Contact Us

#206A College Hall

Hattiesburg Campus

Campus Map