February 22, 2018  

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Southern Miss Speaking Center Staff Wins National Awards

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Southern Miss award winners at the National Association of Communication Centers Conference include, from left, E. Skye Gravenstuck, Carl Brown, Wendy Atkins-Sayre, Nicole Magee and Josie Burks.

For the fifth year in a row, the Speaking Center at The University of Southern Mississippi brought home honors from the National Association of Communication Centers conference held at Arizona State University—West in Phoenix. 

Carl Brown, a third-year doctoral student in communication studies from Hattiesburg, Miss. and Nicole Magee, a second-year Master’s student in communication studies from Magee, Miss. won the Huddy-Gunn Graduate Student Paper Award. They co-authored, “’Your speech is the bomb’: Assessing clients’ perceptions of tutor use of slang.” Magee also won the Outstanding Graduate Student Consultant Award. 

Also at the conference, E. Skye Gravenstuk, a junior communication studies major from Long Beach, Miss. presented, “Tips for assisting ESL students: Breaking the ice, corrections, and encouragement.” Josie Burks, a senior communication studies major from Hattiesburg, presented, “Conflict amongst peer consultants at communication centers.”  

Department of Communication Studies professor Dr. Wendy Atkins-Sayre and her co-author Dr. Esther Yook of George Mason University won the Joyce Ferguson Faculty Paper Award for their paper, “Training the trainers: Using communication centers to improve peer tutoring.” 

Reflecting on the success of the center, Dr. Atkins-Sayre commented, “It’s always good to receive national recognition for the work that we do in the Speaking Center.  More importantly, though, this success with our center-related research and staff indicates that we provide a quality service to the Southern Miss community.”

The Southern Miss Speaking Center is one of a few with a nationally certified tutor training program.  Find out more about the center at http://www.usm.edu/speaking-center