Education Edge » SOE Graduate Leads UM’s Speaking Center


SOE Graduate Leads UM’s Speaking Center

by ksmith13 on February 10, 2022

Elizabeth Moore, EdD Graduate, Named as Director of New University of Mississippi Speaking Center

Dr. Elizabeth Moore, a graduate of the Department of Higher Education’s EdD program, is the Director of the newly established Speaking Center at the University of Mississippi. Dr. Moore recently took time to share about the Center and her new role and about her experiences in the EdD program in higher education.


Can you briefly describe the Speaking Center in terms of what it does and how it serves students?

The Speaking Center is a result of the University of Mississippi (UM) General Education Initiative to advance the oral communication competency of UM students. Responding to this need for more support of oral communication the Department of Writing and Rhetoric (DWR) began exploring the feasibility of a Speaking Center.   

One year later, the Speaking Center exists to promote the practice of effective public speaking. Be it vocal delivery, eye contact, speech organization, incorporating research, visual aid development, and/or managing nervousness, the Speaking Center can help. Access to one-on-one consultations, group workshops, and other public speaking -focused resources are available upon a scheduled appointment.  Our services are delivered face-to-face (Oxford campus) and online. Enabling public speaking confidence is central to our focus. 

What has been most rewarding so far about your role with the Center and its work?

What has been most rewarding, so far, about my role with the Speaking center is having a responsible and talented team of peer-consultants help our students take control of their public speaking challenges. Witnessing the transformation of UM students’ ability to deliver their ideas with confidence is amazing. 

What experiences and interests led you to this work and to serving as Director of the Speaking Center?

My first public speaking experience was at the age of ten. I was selected to give the welcome address at my elementary school’s graduation. I loved it! After that, I began giving public addresses throughout my primary school career including college. Couple these experiences with the fact that I come from a big family that loves to debate all topics (no matter how trivial), my interest in Rhetoric was a natural fit.  Working in the Department of Writing and Rhetoric (DWR), I experienced a strong support system and was encouraged to apply for the position.  

How were your experiences in the EdD program helpful in preparing you to take on this role and to provide leadership as a scholar-practitioner?

My experience in the EdD program ultimately gave me a foundation for new and better ways to achieve high-quality education for all. While I have a significant research background in human communication and rhetoric, I did not have a scholarly understanding of colleges and universities.   

I was able to make observations and assessments about higher education trends that prepared me to take on my current role and provide leadership as a scholar-practitioner. I found the University of Mississippi EdD program to be well organized, well equipped with advisors, available resources and a continual supply of encouragement.  

Do you have any advice to the student members of our Higher Ed. community?

I would encourage everyone to continue to engage in as many higher education activities as possible, read and update higher education literature, listen (podcasts and the like) to what higher education is doing and, most importantly, support one another on campus. 

By Neal H. Hutchens