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.

Austin Hilburn

Austin Hilburn

Peer Consultant

Austin Hilburn grew up in Bethesda, Maryland and moved to Tuscaloosa for school. He is a senior in Communication Studies while minoring in Computer Tech and Application. After achieving his undergraduate degree, it is his goal to continue his education by attending a graduate school internationally and receive a Master’s Degree. Austin has a passion for public speaking that developed during high school, and continues to drive him to help others see the value in effective communication skills.

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

Claire Hughes

Claire Hughes

Peer Consultant

Claire Hughes is a sophomore from St. Louis, MO majoring in Communication Studies and minoring in News Media. She is currently working towards attending law school after graduating from UA in hopes of increasing legal protections for victims of sexual assault, especially on college campuses. Claire is involved in the UA Honors College, Pre-Law Student Association, recruitment team for her sorority Pi Beta Phi, and other organizations on and off campus. As someone who has a passion for both the law and communication, Claire strives to show others how powerful being an exceptional speaker can be. She is excited to serve as a peer consultant in order to help others to be able to communicate their ideas and messages confidently and effectively.

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.

Kade Foster

Kade Foster

Peer Consultant
Nick Ebel

Nick Ebel

Peer Consultant
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.

Taylor Blatchford

Taylor Blatchford

Peer Consultant
Liam Ulrich

Liam Ulrich

Peer Consultant
Jackson Lau

Jackson Lau

Peer Consultant

Jackson is a senior in Communication Studies from Huntsville, Alabama. In his off time, Jackson enjoys an eclectic array of hobbies including, but most certainly not limited to, mountain biking, soccer, reading, and professional underwater basket weaving. As an Air Force ROTC cadet, Jackson realized that great leaders are also great communicators. Additionally, Jackson realized that you cannot become a subject matter expert unless you can simplify and teach a subject to your grandmother. Henceforth, Jackson set his gaze upon the art of public speaking.

Ben Prater

Ben Prater

Peer Consultant