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Best in the Nation!

Meet Our Staff:




Carl J. Brown, Ph.D: Director

Most days you can find Director Carl Brown in the Speech Lab. If he is not doing paperwork, crunching numbers, or digging through research, he is likely chatting it up with the consultants. Carl earned his PhD from the University of Southern Mississippi and has been interested in the power of words for most of his life. He has been a competitive speaker, a debate coach, and a professor, but his favorite thing to do is, without question, lead the GV Speech Lab!




Ari Zucker: Student Director

Ari has been working at the Speech Lab since the fall of 2013. He is an Advertising and Public Relations major with a minor in Sociology. As an addict of excellence, he has one simple goal: to be better when he goes to bed than when he wakes up. 





Kelsey Hines: Graduate Assistant

Lou Holtz said that, “Life is ten percent what happens to you and ninety percent how you respond to it,” which is what Kelsey, a GV graduate, focuses on when faced with a challenge. Kelsey is currently in her fifth year at the Lab and in her first year of her Masters program. When she isn’t studying or watching Netflix, Kelsey enjoys rock climbing and partaking in GV’s Loud & Queer group on campus, but no matter where she is going, you can bet she has a cup of coffee in hand.




Isaac Simon: Graduate Assistant

Isaac is a graduate student with the School of Communication, and has an undergraduate degree in psychology from GVSU that focused on social psychology and research methods. Isaac was an Summer Student Scholar (S3) where he conducted his own research on the effects of lying on memory. He has presented his work at GVSU's Student Scholars Day as well as at national communication and psychology conferences. Isaac also served as an Undergraduate Research Ambassador for the Office of Undergraduate Research and Scholarship. 




Samantha Radecki: Graduate Consultant

Samantha is a graduate student studying public health and health promotion at GVSU. She graduated from Michigan State University in 2014 with a B.A. in Journalism. Since graduation, Samantha has worked as a newspaper reporter, a TV news anchor and reporter, and as a yoga and meditation instructor. She has experienced public speaking, and all that comes with it, (i.e. anxiety, missteps, and feeling a strong sense of self-empowerment after success) on many levels -- such as in the classroom and on live television. While not teaching yoga, working at the Speech Lab, or exploring and learning more about the vast world of public health, Samantha enjoys traveling, hiking, camping, spending time with family and friends, reading, and playing music. 




Ashley Rapp: Consultant

Ashley is majoring in Psychology with a minor in Women and Gender Studies. Her interest in public speaking began in the third grade when she began to recite poems for family, teachers, and friends. When she's not in the Lab, you can find her volunteering with her sorority, thinking about Chipotle, or listening to Taylor Swift. She would love to work with you on any speech or presentation, so be sure to stop in and say hello! 




Chantal Shaw: Consultant

Chantal is a senior at GVSU studying Advertising and Public Relations. Her hobbies include talking, cats, Grey's Anatomy, and talking to her cats about Grey's Anatomy. Though a master speech writer, Chantal is absolutely horrendous at writing bios--so come on in and say hi! 




Brittany Costantini: Consultant

Brittany is majoring in Communications Studies with a minor in Hospitality and Tourism Management. In her free time, she enjoys baking, cuddling with her hedgehog, and finding inspirational quotes on Pinterest. She began to enjoy public speaking in middle school. She joined debate thinking that learning how to argue behind a podium would lead her to be able to win arguments with her parents. This didn’t work out like she thought but no one has been able to stop her from talking since. Feel free to come say hi and work with Brittany on whatever speech comes your way!




Alvin Dann, Jr: Consultant

What’s not to like about Alvin?  Alvin hails from the west side of Detroit, and is a senior majoring in Communication Studies. Constantly reminded of his great voice, he enjoys meeting new people and speaking. His interests are mainly gaming and sports, and he actually has a radio show with GVSU’s WCKS The Whale Radio organization. Overall, Alvin aspires for greatness in the future and to give back.





Alec Schlitt: Consultant

Alec is in pursuit of a Marketing Degree from the Seidman School of Business.  He really has a passion for speaking and the power of words in this world. He is a lover of photography and just being artistic whenever he can. You will most likely see him around campus with his camera in hand looking for pictures wherever he goes. Also, be aware that he will use some kind of bad dad joke whenever he can.




Skye Gregory-Hatch: Consultant

Skye spends her days playing the ukulele, reading funny comics, exploring nature, petting dogs, and eating ice cream. Growing up in Colorado and studying abroad in Italy have given Skye an itch for travel. She has a passion for adventure and trying new things which is apparent in her love of hiking and rollercoasters. Her double major in Communication Studies and Psychology reflects her love of meeting new people of all ages and from all backgrounds.




Shaunna Maxwell: Consultant

Shaunna is a third year student majoring in Communications with a minor is Hospitality and Tourism Management. She began working at the Speech Lab during the Winter of 2016.  If you are looking for Shaunna, you can usually find her watching "A Cinderalla Story," or dancing the night away to the famous boy band of the minute. Although there is no ring on her finger, there is a FitBit on her wrist because she takes her steps seriously. #MarriedToTheSteps





Darwin Perry: Consultant

Darwin Perry, a native of the Chicagoland area, ventured to Grand Valley State University where he majored in Philosophy and minored in African American Studies. While at Grand Valley State University he made a name for himself through his active participation in student organizations, and on campus leadership. During his tenure at Grand Valley State University, Darwin has served on multiple executive boards, which includes Student Senate, NAACP, Black Student Union and many more. Passionate about Christ and leadership, he now leads an on-campus Bible study. In addition to his active involvement on-campus, Darwin is passionate about faith and leadership, and plans to continue his educational pursuits at Moody Bible College in Chicago, IL. In his free time Darwin enjoys spending quality time with family and friend, and watching sermons while eating pancakes.




Jane Ulrey: Consultant

Jane is a Communications major with a minor in Hospitality and Tourism Management. A native of Dearborn, MI, she hopes to one day be a children's program director for a library or museum. She loves the color pink so, naturally, pigs and flamingos are her two favorite things. Overall, Jane wants to add the one thing to life that the world needs more of--kindness. 


Elizabeth Konen Takes First Prize


Elizabeth Konen: Consultant

Elizabeth is one of those few people in this world that actually loves public speaking and nerds out about getting to do research. She is studying Health Communications with a minor in Marketing. Her addictions are to coffee and cute dogs. She spends her free time dancing, running, and watching TED Talks. 




Justin Sims: Consultant

Justin is a double major in Marketing and Sports Leadership from Dearborn Heights, MI. Justin is on the GVSU Roller Hockey team, on the club sports e-board, and an all-star campus tour guide. He enjoys golfing, bowling, watching Grey's Anatomy and New Girl. Come see him!




Jenne Abbott: Executive Assistant

Jenne Abbott is a super senior at GVSU because one senior year was just not enough--a victory lap was definitely necessary. She is majoring in Studio Art with an emphasis in Illustration and minoring in Biology with the hopes that she will get a job. She is in a committed relationship with Pilates, chocolate, and potatoes.




Rachel Niedzwiecki: Executive Assistant

Rachel is majoring in Exercise Science and hopes to pursue a future in Occupational Therapy. Have a question about the Speech Lab? Call our office, she totally knows how to answer the phone. Her experience stems from three years as the phone operator at Vito and Nicks pizza in Chicago. In her free time, she loves to cook and if you're in the Lab on the right days, you may be able to snatch up a baked good!






Evan "Michael" Goodrich: Executive Assistant

Michael is a Film major and Writing minor at GVSU. He aspires to be a screenwriter and director when he graduates. As such, he is more than qualified to judge your taste in movies. When not crippled by the weight of existential anxiety, he enjoys the simple things in life: video games, Taylor Swift, procrastination, and orange juice. Go ahead and ask him to recommend a movie. If you don't, he'll do it anyway.