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.

Josie Burks, MA

Josie Burks, MA

Studio to Go Coordinator

Josie Burks is a second year doctoral student in Communication and Information Sciences. As the coordinator of the Studio to Go program Josie works with faculty and staff to develop programming and workshops that meet the needs of departments and colleges across the campus.

Kaydee West, MS

Kaydee West, MS

Graduate Peer Consultant

Kaydee West, originally from Tampa, FL, is a doctoral student in the Department of Geological Science. She has a master’s degree in geology from the University of South Florida and has given numerous conference presentations across North America. She placed in UA’s Three Minute Thesis (3MT) competition in Fall 2017 and is particularly passionate about improving science communication skills to make research more accessible to colleagues and the general public.

Carrie Clower

Carrie Clower

Graduate Peer Consultant

Carrie Clower is a second year graduate student working toward her M.A. in Communication Studies. She is from Birmingham, AL and graduated with B.A.’s in Political Science and Communication Studies. Currently, she works as a Graduate Teaching Assistant with the COM 122 Critical Decision Making program and the Alabama Debate Society. In the Studio, Carrie has enjoyed working with clients to develop their skill sets; she looks forward to helping clients continue to recognize their capabilities and build confidence in their speaking abilities.

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 Barnhart is a junior from Jacksonville, FL studying Civil Engineering. After his undergraduate he plans to continue on to medical school to pursue his dream of becoming a physician. Studying both engineering and medicine he realizes the importance of effective communication in all types of professions. Joshua was a finalist in Holle Persuasive Speak Off revealing his passion for public speaking. He believes there is no way one way to speak and wants to help others develop their unique way of communicating clearly, passionately, and effectively. With this being his first year as a consultant for the Speaking Studio his goal is to pass on the tools he has learned to others so they too can become courageous public speakers.

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 returning consultant majoring in political science and communication studies.

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.

Landon Shultz

Landon Shultz

Peer Consultant

Landon Shultz from Madison, Alabama majoring in Public Relations and minoring in Communication Studies. On campus, Landon is a member of the Public Relations Council of Alabama (PRCA). When Landon first came to the Speaking Studio, he was only coming for extra credit, it was then when he realized how helpful the Speaking Studio is and how much they helped him improve his speech. After his first visit he realized how useful the Speaking Studio was to him, which eventually led to him wanting to get more involved with the Speaking Studio in order to help others like they helped him. His goal as a consultant is to help his clients overcome the fear of public speaking and help guide them into improving their overall public speaking skills.

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.

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.

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.

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.

Conner Mayheu

Conner Mayheu

Peer Consultant
Charlie Blondell

Charlie Blondell

Peer Consultant

Charlie Blondell is a sophomore from Lexington, KY, majoring in Journalism & Creative Media with a minor in Anthropology. Upon graduation, he hopes to land a career in the media production industry. He is currently a Lead/Recruiter for Ekuk Fisheries, and he is in the process of becoming a sales representative for Takovo LED Lights. Charlie took public speaking as a freshman and competed in the Holle Persuasive Speak Off Competition. He believes that spoken word is the most valuable and efficient form of communication, as well as the skill to speak in a public setting is necessary to be successful in today’s world. Charlie hopes that he can help our clients develop this skill, as well as strengthen their confidence as individuals in a professional environment.