Dr. Adam Sharples Brooks

Dr. Adam Sharples Brooks

Assistant Director of Public Speaking

Dr. Adam Sharples Brooks is a nationally renowned public speaker with a Ph.D in Communication and Information Sciences, an M.A. in Communication Studies, and a background in Public Relations. His research focuses on rhetoric in the areas of diversity, identity, and cultural studies. As the current Assistant Director of the Public Speaking Program at The University of Alabama, Adam oversees The Speaking Studio with a mission to help clients clarify and craft effective messages, cultivate dynamic delivery, and calm public speaking anxiety. Over the course of his career Adam has coached numerous public speakers to national acclaim and is an expert in the areas of diversity and communication, public speaking delivery, popular culture, and mass communication.

Dr. Alexa Chilcutt

Dr. Alexa Chilcutt

Director of Public Speaking

Alexa Chilcutt is an expert in the areas of public speaking, professionalism and impression management as well as leadership and team dynamics. She is the director of the public speaking program at UA and provides staff development programs for UA’s College of Continuing Studies and seminars for individuals and managerial groups in the private sector. Chilcutt has a doctorate in mass communication and a M.A. in public relations and advertising.

Michael Johnson

Michael Johnson

Peer Consultant

Michael Johnson is a senior from Troy, MI working toward his B.A. in Communication Studies.
Entering his fourth year as a consultant for the Speaking Studio, he has been a pioneer of the program.
Finishing as a finalist in the 2014 Informative Speak Off, he went on to compete in the Holle Persuasive Speak Off Competition that same year. Finishing first - and winning the $10,000 grand prize - he became a consultant soon after. Having worked with over 100 clients, ranging from students, faculty, staff, and professionals, Michael has seen and heard it all. Believing that great leaders are great communications, and driven by his love for communication and leadership, Michael’s goal is to equip our clients with the tools to craft an effective message, develop a strong and dynamic delivery, and calm public speaking anxiety. Moreover, his mission is to assist our clients in discovering their authentic communication style, and guide them in mastering it to become a great leader. That is one who influences, motivates, and ignites passion in others and their organization(s)

Joshua BarnHart

Joshua BarnHart

Peer Consultant

Joshua is a senior from Jacksonville, Florida studying Civil Engineering with a minor in Environmental and Water Resources Engineering. He is involved in a multitude of activities here at The Capstone: research in biofiltration, student employee at the University Recreational Center, officer on the club swim team, and a consultant at The Speaking Studio.

His passion in public speaking began after becoming a finalist in the Holle Competition for excellence in Public Speaking. Now, he wants to help others find confidence in their own voice. As a consultant he has worked with finalists of the Holle Competition and 3-minute Thesis competition. Throughout the semester he runs multiple workshops with different groups on campus helping students in organization, non-verbal communication, and calming anxiety.

After graduation he plans on continuing on to medical school. He hopes to use his skills in communication, knowledge in engineering, and passion in learning to become a pediatrician. pediatrician.

Sam James

Sam James

Peer Consultant

Samantha James is a senior and a first-year member of the Accelerated Master’s Program in the Communication Studies department. She is a C&IS Ambassador, a Spanish minor, and the President of the all-female a capella group on campus. After graduation, she hopes to work abroad, but her real passion is in communication consulting. She believes that people have amazing ideas worth sharing, and knows that the Speaking Studio is the perfect place to cultivate those ideas to be spread in the most effective way possible. Sam looks forward to meeting you!

Rachel Jernigan

Rachel Jernigan

Peer Consultant

Rachel Jernigan is a junior from Daphne, AL majoring in Public Relations and minoring in Political Science. She is currently working towards pursuing her dream of going to law school when she graduates. Rachel is involved in UA Stewards, C&IS Ambassadors, Student Government Association, Cardinal Key Honor Society, and various other organizations both on and off campus. As someone hoping to pursue a career in the field of law, Rachel understands why it is so important to not only be an effective, but an efficient public speaker. She is excited to work in the Speaking Studio, where she can combine her passion for serving others by helping build confidence and strong communication skill sets

Lily Vogelsong

Lily Vogelsong

Peer Consultant

Lily is a Communication Studies graduate student from Chesapeake City, Maryland. Her passion for public speaking began at a young age and has only grown since. From hosting community and statewide events as an MC or guest speaker, to being the youngest member of the Chesapeake Bay Foundation’s speakers bureau, Lily devoted hundreds of hours to public speaking throughout middle and high school. Currently, through teaching public speaking labs and consulting in the speaking studio, public speaking is still large part of her life. Her areas of interest and research cross areas of communication studies, like organizational communication and rhetoric, with her background in environmental science and advocacy. In the future, she plans to join the peace core and enter into the environmental advocacy field.

Russell Durand

Russell Durand

Peer Consultant - STEM & Engineering

Russell is a senior from Luthersville, GA studying chemical engineering with minors in chemistry and mathematics. If you cannot find him running from class to class on campus, then he is at the lake practicing with the Alabama Waterski Team. He has been a member of the Alabama Waterski Team for four years. As an engineering student, he understands the importance of being able to speak well in all professions. His mission at the Speaking Studio is to help students and faculty not only gain speaking skills that allows them to succeed in one speech or presentation, but to gain speaking skills that enables them to be successful throughout their profession and lives.

Reid Jenkins

Reid Jenkins

Peer Consultant

Reid Jenkins is a Senior majoring in Political Science and Public Relations.

Tori Hicks

Tori Hicks

Peer Consultant

Tori Hicks is a junior from Petal, Mississippi double majoring in Communication Studies and Criminal Justice. She hopes to one day work as a public relations representative for a law enforcement agency. In the fall of 2017, she served as the Director of Outreach for Beat Auburn Beat Hunger and as the Alumnae and Courtesy Chair for her sorority, Alpha Delta Chi. Off-campus, she works as a public relations intern at the Tuscaloosa Public Library. Tori looks forward to serving as a consultant at The Speaking Studio and hopes her clients will leave their appointments with a greater sense of clarity for and confidence in their public speaking abilities.

Andrew Blackwell

Andrew Blackwell

Peer Consultant

Andrew Blackwell is a senior from Madison, Alabama majoring in Public Relations with a minor in Communication Studies. He hopes to one day work for a company managing their marketing and social media pages when it comes to Public Relations. On campus he is a part of PRCA and PRSSA. When Andrew first began his college career, he was terrified with Public Speaking, but has since grown out of his shell with help from others. Including the Speaking Studio. His goal as a consultant is to help others know that it’s okay to be afraid, they can get over the hill with their speaking, and can have an overall better Public Speaking experience.

Logan Henderson

Logan Henderson

Peer Consultant

Logan is a junior from Trussville, Alabama majoring in Secondary English Education and minoring in Psychology. He didn‘t come to the Studio until his teacher forced him to overcome his anxiety and get some help in developing his speech for the Holle Award Competition for Public Speaking here at UA. Three trips to the Studio helped him to carry his passion for raising awareness for relationship abuse to more people, placing him as a finalist in the competition. He really loves listening to people, helping them to craft their own unique message, and giving them confidence so that they own the space (and voice) they’re given to speak publicly.

Billy Snowden Hussey

Billy Snowden Hussey

Peer Consultant

Billy Hussey is a junior from Boulder, Colorado. He is a film major with a double minor in communications studies and computer science. He has loved public speaking since high school and understands how important the fundamentals of public speaking are. If Billy is not giving a speech you can bet he is behind the camera making his next film. He has just finished his biggest project so far, creating a short documentary film for the foundation Smash the Barriers.

Greg Liesen

Greg Liesen

Peer Consultant

Gregory is an aerospace engineering major from Chicago, Illinois. He is involved in several clubs including the Alabama Rocket Association and the AIAA. Last year he expressed his passion for public speaking as a finalist at the Holle Competition where he and hopes to apply that same passion here at the studio.

Kayleigh Westbrook

Kayleigh Westbrook

Peer Consultant

Kayleigh Westbrook is a sophomore from Dallas, GA majoring in Communication Studies and Political Science. Upon completion of her undergraduate degree, it is her desire to attend law school in order to pursue a profession in international law fighting human trafficking. Kayleigh is involved in C&IS Ambassadors, Honors College Student Advisory Board, Pre-Law Student Association and other organizations both on and off campus. As someone who is passionate about the law, and raising awareness about human trafficking, Kayleigh understands why not only being an effective public speaker is so vital, but also having passion and vibrancy behind your words as well. She is honored to have the opportunity to work as a consultant in the Speaking Studio, where she can help provide others with the tools they need to be the most effective communicators, as well as the confidence to be anxiety free when given an opportunity to communicate with others. It is her desire to instill in others the passion she has for public speaking, as well as provide them with the skills they need so they too can speak boldly about the things they are passionate about as well.