Meet the Staff!
Welcome to the Speaking Center!
Below is the current Speaking Center staff with a little about them. Check us out!
Director - Dr. Laura Stengrim
Hi, I'm Dr. Laura Stengrim, Director of the Speaking Center and faculty in the School
of Communication. I've been at USM for five years 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.
Coordinator - Nazanin Bani Amerian
Hello, my name is Nazanin, I am a 4th year communication PhD student and Speaking
Center coordinator. I am originally from Iran. I have a degree in engineering that
I’ve never used! Journalism was always my passion and that brought me to USM communication
studies department, that I am proud of.
Hi! My name is Shianne and I'm a Communication Master's Student! I'm from all over
but I claim Houston, Texas. I'm married and my husband and I just had our first baby.
Some fun facts about me is that I love karaoke, I'm a HUGE plant lover, and I'm always
looking for a good Lofi playlist!
Hi my name is Quincy! I’m a Junior in information technology. I have a cat named Mosi
who unfortunately was uncooperative enough to get in the picture with me! My favorite
food is sushi and I’ve been at the speaking center for 2 years now.
Hi! My name is Tara Piggott, and I am a Choral Music Education major from Mobile,
Alabama. In addition to working in the Speaking Center, I’m a member of Eagle Connection,
Reformed University Fellowship, and served as a part of GEWW Crew 2021. In my free
time, I enjoy exploring all that Hattiesburg has to offer & visiting local coffee
shops with friends :-)
Mary Parker Raley
Hi! I’m Mary Parker, a senior psychology major with a music minor here at USM. This
will be my third semester working in the speaking center. My strengths are dealing
with speech apprehension, speech prep, and brainstorming/outlining. Outside of the
speaking center I’m a member of the concert band, Pride of Mississippi, and an officer
in several organizations across campus.
Hey friends! My name is Haley Tait and I am a senior communication studies major from
Hurley, MS! I am a member of Delta Gamma here on campus as well as Eagle Connection,
College Panhellenic Council executive board, and Southern Miss dance marathon’s executive
board. My favorite things include: cats, the color pink, grilled cheese sandwiches,
and cheese dip! I am looking forward to this year, working with some of the best people!
Hi, my name is Sartora Richardson-Wasp. I'm a senior child and family science major.
I've been a peer consultant in the speaking center the past three years. I love what
I do and helping my peers succeed. Come book an appointment with me! I look forward
to working with you.
Hi! My name is Colleen Pratt and I'm a Music Education major from Petal, MS! I like
to sing and dance, and I plan to get a job as a show director! A fun fact about me
is that I don't like sweet tea (I know, shocking)
Hi, my name is Katelynn Pettway! I’m a junior nursing student! I love to paint and
make pottery. I also love to read and binge watch horror movies! Fun fact: I was studying
abroad in France when the pandemic started.
Hey everyone! My name is Anastasia Gueltig and I am a junior Psychology major from
Zachary, Louisiana. I am planning to become an Equine Therapist which uses horses
to help people with disabilities. I enjoy photography in my free time and leading
worship for the on-campus ministry I attend, R.U.F.