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!

Ashley R.

Ashley Rapp: Student Director / Consultant

This fall marks Ashley's sixth semester working at the Lab! She is a Psychology major and is currently spending all of her free time applying for graduate school. When she's not studying for the GRE you can find her reading, painting and practicing yoga. She can never pass up a "Friends" marathon, a sprinkled donut, or new school supplies.

Ashley says, "Public Speaking has empowered me to become my favorite and most confident version of myself. Public speaking is a skill that will be useful for me in graduate school and in my future career in Public Health! Public speaking has also fostered in me a sense of agency that makes me a better leader, advocate, and scholar."


Skye G. H.

Skye Gregory-Hatch: Student Director / Graduate Consultant

This fall will be Skye's fourth semester at the GV Speech Lab. She is a majoring in Speech Language Pathology and absolutely loves the outdoors; hiking, camping, kayaking, climbing, you name it and she's there! When she isn't adventuring in the great outdoors you can find her playing her ukulele, curled up with a good book, or perfecting one of her greatest talents, eating ice cream! Skye loves meeting new people, so be sure to stop by and say hello!

Skye says, "My knowledge of public speaking has made me a better communicator overall. I am more confident and comfortable when addressing large groups of people--even when I have little time to prepare."


Sam R.

Samantha Radecki: Graduate Consultant

Sam is a graduate student at GVSU working toward her masters in Public Health, and will be celebrating her 3rd semester at the Lab this fall. She graduated from Michigan State University in 2014 with a B.A. in Journalism. Since graduation, Samantha has worked as a newspaper reporter, and a TV news anchor and reporter. She has experienced public speaking, and all that comes with it, anxiety, missteps, and feeling a strong sense of self-empowerment after success, on many levels. In addition to her work at the GV Speech Lab, Sam is the Volunteer Coordinator of the Public Health Society. She absolutely LOVES yoga (teaching and practicing), the outdoors, essential oils, and spending time with close friends and family. However, most of her free time recently had been spent planning her wedding this December!

Sam says, “My knowledge of public speaking is already supporting me. I’m working toward my master’s degree in public health, and truly, my skills as a strong speaker have helped me stand out in my program. From class presentations, to news interviews, and even being asked to address university donors, public speaking has given me many opportunities and I believe it will continue to do so as I begin my professional career.”



Sage H.

Sage Hyatt: Graduate Consultant

“There’s no such thing as being too busy, if you really want something you’ll make time for it” - author unknown. For Sage who is in her first year of her Master’s program this could not be more true. When she is not furthering her knowledge in classes, at clinicals, or volunteering you can catch her outside soaking up the sun. While her schedule may always keep her on the go she never hesitates to stop and have a Transformers marathon. Although some days are exhausting, it is her love for coffee and her passion for helping special needs children that keep her going through this crazy thing called life.


Shaunna Maxwell: Consultant

Shaunna will be celebrating her 4th semester at the Lab this fall! She is a double major in Communications & Multimedia Journalism, and has a minor in HTM. When she's not at the lab, you'll most likely find her at a concert, painting, baking, or watching "A Cinderella Story". She is the president of her sorority, Alpha Omicron Pi, and absolutely loves to travel. Stop by the lab and ask her about her recent trip to France!

Shaunna says, "My knowledge of public speaking is going to help me in every aspect of my future career. Whether it be speaking in front of large groups of people, or just in front of a camera, I know that I'll be prepared to handle anything that comes my way!"


Jane U.

Jane Ulrey: Consultant

Jane is a Communications major with a minor in Hospitality and Tourism Management. She will be starting her 4th semester at the Lab this fall! 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. Some of her favorite hobbies include dance, Disney, and of course, public speaking! She is the New Member Educator for her sorority, Gamma Phi Beta, and is also very active in Greek Intervarsity and the GV Dance Troupe. Overall, Jane wants to add the one thing to life that the world needs more of--kindness. She loves meeting and talking to new people so stop by the lab and to say hi!

Jane says, "My knowledge about public speaking will help me in my future as I hope to run my own event center and will have to communicate with people a lot!"


Justin Sims: Consultant

Up next is our sporty, dog AND cat loving, pizza enthusiast, Justin! Justin is a majoring in both Marketing and Sports Management and will be starting his 3rd semester at the Lab this fall! He is the secretary for the GVSU Roller Hockey Club, and also serves on the GVSU Club Sports E-Board. In his free time, Justin enjoys golfing, bowling, and watching Grey's Anatomy and New Girl. Justin also works as a tour guide for the GVSU Admissions Office. When he's not at the Lab there's a good chance you'll still spot him on campus!

Justin says, "I hope to use my knowledge of public speaking to help preach and speak out to many different people about different causes I care about, and use it in my profession to help speak out about my work and help convince and persuade people do good in the world."


Jeannine Lane: Consultant

In the Fall of 2016, Jeannine marched up to Carl and told him he should give her a job and the Lab hasn't been able to get rid of her since. A Communication Studies major and Advertising/Public Relations minor, Jeannine has been a "talker" from a young age and working at the Lab has helped her discover her true passions for leadership and speaking empowerment. When Jeannine isn't at the Lab working with a client or forcing her coworkers to take BuzzFeed quizzes, she can usually be found taking pictures with a stranger's dog, memorizing Kanye West's entire discography, or thinking about sushi. Jeannine's goal for every session is for the student to walk out feeling better about their speech than they did when they walked in, so come on in and work with her (especially if your speech is about how Kanye is one of the most influential artists in modern hip-hop).

Jeannine says, "My knowledge of and passion for public speaking has helped me gain so much confidence. I know being a strong public speaker will be a huge asset for me as I'm hoping to pursue a career related to communication centers or public relations!"


Donovan D'Amore: Consultant

Donovan is working toward his degree in Supply Chain Management and will be starting his first semester at the Lab this fall. He is a proud newly initiated member of his fraternity, Alpha Tau Omega, and is a huge fan of Tolkien and Harry Potter. He is the best Guitar Hero player on the West side of Michigan and is always down to talk video games or movies. Stop by and say hello!

Donovan says, "By mastering the art of public speaking I hope to be a voice for those who have a difficult time expressing themselves. My biggest objective to achieve from working in the speech lab is to help those who know possess great ideas share them with the world.

Liv P.

Liv Passe: Consultant

Meet Liv! Liv is working toward her degree in Advertising and Public Relations (with a minor in Psychology) and will be starting her first semester at the Lab this fall!  She is a Cleveland sports enthusiast and loves talking to strangers. Did you know she can recite all 50 states in 15 seconds?!

In addition to her work at the lab, Liv is a member of the GVSU Women's Lacrosse team and serves as the Social Media Coordinator for the Student-Athlete Advisory Committee.

Liv says, "I hope to use the knowledge that I gain to relate to others so that I can positively impact those around me."

Josh T.

Josh Trussler: Consultant

Josh is working toward a degree in Film AND Marketing and has just started his first semester at the Lab. He is a member of GVTV and is an avid lover of cars and off-roading!

Josh says, "Marketing involves a lot of public speaking in a business setting. The more I know, the more professional I can be."

Matt C.

Matt Collins: Consultant

Matt is working toward his degree in Sports Management and has started his first semester at the Lab. He's always appreciates a good pun, and never passes up an ice cream run. In addition to his work at the lab, Matt is also celebrating his third year on the rowing team!

Matt says, "My knowledge of public speaking will help me engage with people with many different backgrounds as well as allow to feel confident when presenting in front of others."

Allie V.

Allie Vanstone: Consultant

Today we're thrilled to introduce our consultant, Allie! Allie is a double major in English and Education and is starting her first semester at the Lab. In her free time, you might find Allie singing songs from Broadway musicals, baking (most likely with Shaunna), or watching/creating YouTube videos (check her out)! She absolutely loves dogs and will never turn down coffee flavored ice cream!

Allie says, "I'm going to be a teacher, so feeling confident talking in front of any age group will be extremely important!"

Rachel N.

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!



Syd Henning

Sydney Henning: Executive Assistant

Sydney is a nursing major and is celebrating her first semester at the Lab this fall! She absolutely loves to sing and is an active member of the Pre-Nursing Association.

Sydney says, "My knowledge of public speaking will help me be able to communicate with those around me and in the work force effectively."


Jaclyn Sawdon

Jaclyn Sawdon: Executive Assistant

Jaclyn is an Allied Health Science major who is starting her first semester at the Lab this fall. She is an active member in her sorority, Alpha Omicron Pi, and is avid lover of baking, Netflix, and meeting new people!


Page last modified March 18, 2018