Meet Our Staff: Best in the Nation!
Isaac Simon M.S.
Position: Interim Director
Degree: M.S. in Communication Studies, B.S. in Psychology
Favorite Speaking Tactic: Utilizing a conversational tone when presenting helps the audience connect with the speaker by instilling a sense of rapport and immediacy.
About Isaac: Professor Simon is a Laker alum who has taught at Grand Valley since 2017. During his undergrad and graduate studies at GVSU, Professor Simon served as a public speaking consultant and graduate assistant with the GVSU Speech Lab and an ambassador for the Office for Undergraduate Research and Scholarship. He was also an S3 student scholar who conducted research on the effects of deception on memory.
Position: Student Director
Major: Multimedia Journalism
Favorite Speaking Tactic: When the nerves start to hit you, channel your nervous energy into excited energy. This is especially easy if you are passionate about your topic.
About Elise: Elise is a sophomore who loves to read, embroider, play tennis, and look up cats that are up for adoption. At any given time, she is ready and eager to talk about movies for an extended period of time (especially if they happen to be named The Lighthouse or Little Women). She loves to listen and connect with people and will always be available to lend an ear.
Position: Graduate Consultant
Major: Audiology (AuD in progress)
Favorite Speaking Tactic: Understanding that NERVOUS IS NORMAL and embracing it! Use that nervous energy to fill your presentation with enthusiasm and drama.
About Skye: Skye is a graduate student working on her doctorate in Audiology (all things hearing). Her secret talent is being able to have a conversation about anything, especially if it's medical or food-related. She is passionate about mental health, public health, and animals! Ask her about her garden, her pets, or what book she is reading, and she'll never shut up!
Major: Secondary Education and Social Studies
Favorite Speaking Tactic: Breathing! Sometimes I forget to do enough of this, and my thoughts end up as intelligible as a doctor's handwriting. Five seconds of breathing to focus when I get to a microphone has always helped with this. This pause also gives me a moment to look around the room and make eye contact with a few members of the audience.
About Niabh: Niabh is an enthusiast of all things people and the outdoors. She thrives when in meaningful conversations, spending time with family and friends, and traipsing through any wilderness that happens to be nearby. In a rare quiet moment, she can be found reading or practicing guitar. She hopes to learn more through her career and the people around her after graduation.
Major: Communication Studies
Minor: Advertising & Public Relations; Theatre; Economics
Favorite Speaking Tactic: Energy and humor are always some tactics I try to implement to get the audience's attention and keep them engaged. Who doesn't like a good chuckle or a positive and confident person to listen to or be around? As an audience member I appreciate the value of the speaker making the effort to keep a speech lighthearted and relatable.
About Nick: Nick is a well rounded, confident, and caring person. He is happy to help with anything speech-related or any other issue that may arise. Nick is a great listener and is very witty. He loves '80s movies, music, references of all sorts, and he is always willing to share a chuckle or two...or three if the joke is that juicy. He is also a dependable man to get the job done and has tools at the ready no matter the circumstance. Nick is a Junior at Grand Valley and loves sports, movies, adventures, and anything outdoorsy.
Y Hong Nhu Nguyen
Major: Communication Studies
Favorite Speaking Tactic: Be truly confident in yourself! I, too, get nervous before a speech. It is totally fine to have anxiety before the speech, but let's make the worries inside us be part of our confidence. As long as you prepare meticulously, practice many times, and have a great passion for the topic you present, worries then will become normal. Everyone is nervous but it is your careful preparation that makes the difference! So believe in yourself, and you can ace it!
About Y: Y (which is pronounced as "E") is a calming person. In a conversation, she tends to be a listener, since she loves listening genuinely to people's stories. Y is an international student coming from Vietnam, and this is the third year she has been living in the US. If you want to talk and share anything related to culture, come to Y - she is a huge fan of that topic! Additionally, Y loves to help other people in her ability, especially anything with speech! One funny, but weird fact, is that when Y is alone, she usually celebrates a "big" concert just for herself and her cutie squishmallows (Naomi, Avocadi, Pandi, and Speaki - her audience), because she loves singing and dancing without being seen by other people. That may sound like an eccentric hobby, but Y really enjoys it! And that's all about Y - don't hesitate, just ask Y and she will give you a hand!
Favorite Speaking Tactic: A tactic I like to use while presenting is speaking clearly and pausing when necessary. I find it easier to give a speech when I go at a moderate pace rather than trying to get it done and over with. This way, the audience has a clear understanding of what I am trying to say and can follow along with the speed of my speech.
About Briana: Briana is an outgoing person who is easy to talk to and enjoys helping people in any way she can. Her favorite hobbies are listening to music, traveling, and making food. She is always interested in trying new things and meeting new people. Her future plans include pursuing a major in psychology to specialize in adolescent and adult cognitive therapy. Later in life, she would like to further her career in becoming a lawyer for family and marriage cases, studying the psychological aspects of the issues at hand.
Major: Finance; Supply Chain Management
Favorite Speaking Tactic: Believe in yourself that you are well-prepared, and try your best for the presentation! Present in front of your family members or your friends to receive the honest feedback from them. One thing I always do before my speech is come to the class earlier than usual (around 30 minutes) when no one is there yet on your speech day and do a rehearsal speech. It will make you feel less nervous when you already see the background and how it will look like in your "official" speech. Last but not least, tell yourself, "You can do it!"
About Rosa: Rosa is an international student from Vietnam who is talkative and likes making jokes. She's passionate about stocks (and numbers in general) and really loves swimming, although she doesn't really enjoy swimming in the Michigan winter! Her biggest dream is to become successful to help orphan children and children with cancer to have a better life!