Our faculty experts have degrees ranging from PhDs to JDs and specialty areas that include everything from linguistics to theatre. Their unique perspectives and teaching styles translate into an unparalleled classroom experience for Kelley students.
“I love to see a student who has struggled to find her authentic voice finally just nail a presentation by being herself.”
An Authentic Voice from the Consulting World
Brenda Bailey-Hughes keeps her courses fresh by sharing examples of the “real life” issues that come up in her consulting business. Because she frequently leads workshops and gives presentations and keynote speeches, she knows what her students are feeling: “I feel, firsthand, the same pressure my students experience to perform under pressure. Their GPA is on the line; my contract and professional reputation may be on the line.”
A Business Communication lecturer at Kelley since 2002, Bailey-Hughes worked as a consultant for 20 years, which overlapped with 10 years in human resources. Guiding students as they find their “authentic voice” is the most gratifying part of her work. “I love to see a student who has struggled to find her authentic voice finally just nail a presentation by being herself.” Excellent communication skills give students a competitive edge when it’s time to interview for internships and jobs and helps them build relationships with employers, clients, and co-workers, she says. “You may be an absolute genius with the most amazing ideas ever—but if you can’t communicate those ideas to others, the ideas die with you.”
“I tell my students there is a reason someone asks you to communicate by speaking live. If a PowerPoint presentation would have done it, you could have emailed it to the audience members.”
Public Speaking as Performance
For Senior Lecturer Kathy Fletcher, public speaking is a form of theatre—and good speakers, like good actors, must learn how to remain open, listen, and respond truthfully to a situation, she says. “One of the biggest challenges is to get the beginning speaker to embrace the reality of such a performance—things are not going to be perfect,” says Fletcher, who has a PhD in theatre and drama and has taught courses in theatre, script analysis, and acting and worked as a performer, director, writer, and administrator in educational, professional, and community theatre.
“If you’re worrying about a mistake you just made, you are not connecting mentally with the audience or with your material. Embracing the ‘now’ of the experience is crucial to both acting and public speaking.” While visual aids are helpful, she says, public speakers must communicate through their voices and their bodies. “I tell my students there is a reason someone asks you to communicate by speaking live. If a PowerPoint presentation would have done it, you could have emailed it to the audience members.”
“I came to Kelley to teach communication with incredible stories to share about the power of communication.”
From the Courtroom to the Classroom
In professional communication situations ranging from the courtroom (where he has represented people from 84 countries and had nearly 1,000 clients) to the classroom (where he teaches Business Communication courses at Kelley), Michael Morrone knows that good listening skills are crucial to good communication.
“Based on my experience, open-minded listening is the most important communication skill to earn the trust and respect of people anywhere in the world,” says Morrone.
Before he taught at Kelley, Morrone was a supervisor at Catholic Social Services in Philadelphia, where he helped immigrants with issues ranging from naturalization to family reunification. A Business Communication faculty member since 1997, Morrone now applies his mediation skills within the classroom. “I came to Kelley to teach communication with incredible stories to share about the power of communication,” he says.
“Every businessperson needs strong writing skills. Handwritten or electronic, effective communication is a must.”
Lessons from the Real World
To keep her Business Communication courses fresh, Judy Steiner-Williams ties lectures to the current business issues inspired by the companies for whom she designs and leads workshops: Baxter Pharmaceutical, Cook, Inc., and Boston Scientific, as well as organizations that include Women in Business and the Association for Business Communication.
Because Business Communication class sizes are small, she makes a point of learning the names of all her students early in the semester and stays in touch with graduates—sometimes for years after graduation. The most rewarding part of teaching is getting feedback from former students that they are applying what they learned in the classroom to the real world.“Every businessperson needs strong writing skills,” says Steiner-Williams, whose Kelley teaching career spans more than 30 years. “Handwritten or electronic, effective communication is a must.”