James Durkee

James graduated from Michigan State University with a degree in Political Theory and the University of Georgia with a masters in Communications. He has been a public speaking and debate coach for over 14 years, including positions at several prominent US universities. He currently works in Shanghai for one of the countries’ leading public speaking organizations.

William Keith

William Keith is a professor and corporate trainer in communication skills. He is a Professor of Rhetoric and Argumentation at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee.  He has taught at four top research universities in the US, and consulted with a number of companies, including Johnson Controls, the Medical College of Wisconsin and the United Way.

He received his PhD from the University of Texas-Austin, and has taught a generation of students to public speaking excellence. With Christian Lundberg, he has written two well-regarded textbooks, The Essential Guide to Rhetoric (Bedford St. Martin’s, 2008, 2e 2017) and Public Speaking: Choices and Responsibility (Cengage, 2014, 2e 2016, 3e 2018).

Mike Lee

Michael J. Lee teaches and writes in the areas of political communication and rhetoric at the College of Charleston. His research focuses on branding, identity, and audience responsiveness in American politics, and his work has earned over a dozen awards including five national book awards for Creating Conservatism: Postwar Words that Made an American Movement. He is regularly invited to speak at universities around the country and interviewed often in print and tv media.

In the classroom, Mike teaches courses in persuasion including public speaking, argumentation, effective messaging, political campaigns, media and politics, and many others. He created an intensive, year-long course on written and oral eloquence that has been taken by thousands of students. He also has extensive experience teaching online and directs a fully online MA program in communication.

Mikaela Malsin

Mikaela is the director of debate at Georgetown University in Washington, D.C. She received her Ph.D. in Communication Studies from the University of Georgia in 2016 and has been coaching debate and teaching public speaking for over a decade. In that time, she has worked with a wide range of clients, from government officials to international students. She has also coached debate at the highest levels in both college and high school.

Rosemary Pennington

Rosemary Pennington is a journalism professor at Miami University. Before entering academia, she was an award winning journalist recognized for her ability to tell complex stories well. Pennington received her MA and PhD from Indiana University and she holds a BS from Ohio University’s E.W. Scripps School of Journalism. A researcher who employs both quantitative and qualitative methodologies in her work, Pennington teaches classes designed to help her students become effective communicators and storytellers.

Jesica Wiley

Jesica brings 15 years of communication curriculum design and course delivery to Vocable Communications. Trained as a qualitative researcher with a PhD in Organizational Communication and professional experience in nonprofit leadership, Jesica thrives when working with clients and community members to leverage cutting-edge communication research to meet significant organizational needs. She has given several national talks as an expert in both organizational communication and communication pedagogy.

Jesica has designed curriculum interventions for clients in businesses and nonprofit community organizations, as well as K12 schools and women’s prisons. For the last decade, Jesica has taught university-level communication courses in Boston-area colleges on topics including organization, gender, conflict resolution, social change, persuasion, media technology, and interpersonal relationships. She is a sought-after professor known for creating real-life simulations coupled with impactful feedback for targeted improvement. Her students and clients leave workshops with critical acumen and persuasive skills.

Joseph Zompetti

Joseph Zompetti is a professor in the School of Communication at Illinois State University. His research and teaching areas of expertise include political communication, argumentation, persuasion, and rhetoric. He is the former President of the international NGO, the International Debate Education Association. He has taught classes, trained professionals, and consulted with NGOs in nearly 30 countries. The recipient of three Fulbright awards (Sri Lanka, Brazil, Kyrgyzstan), Dr. Zompetti has extensive experience working with students, activists, professionals, and community leaders from all parts of the globe. His most recent book, Divisive Discourse: The Extreme Rhetoric of Contemporary American Politics, seeks to de-polarize political conversations in order to foster productive and meaningful political dialogue and to preserve the spirit of democracy.