Speaking Center Director & Staff
Dr. Esther Lee Yook, Speaking Center Director
Esther received a doctorate degree from the University of Minnesota’s department of Speech Communication with an emphasis on Communication Theory. She has two Master degrees, one in Simultaneous Language Interpretation (Korean, English, French) and the other in Speech Communication. She received a national scholarship to study as a graduate student at Sorbonne University, Paris 1980-1982. She has been teaching for twenty eight years in Korea, France, and the U.S. and has enjoyed it immensely. Here at Mary Washington she especially enjoys interacting with the Speaking Center consultants and preparing them for their duties at the Center. Her research interests are on topics related to intercultural and instructional communication, including, A Guide for ESL Students in the Basic Communication Course in 2001, and Communication Centers and Across the Curriculum Programs in Higher Education, co-edited with Wendy Atkins-Sayre. She is currently working on her third book, The Model Minority in U.S. Academia.
Here are our consultants:
Rob is a Senior at Mary Washington, studying Political Science and Asian Studies. He is excited and eager to begin another semester at the Speaking Center. He believes the Speaking Center is really one of the best services offered to students on campus, and is excited to be a part of it. While not at the Speaking Center you can find Rob as an active participant of the Student Government Association. He urges all of you to visit the Speaking Center, and looks forward to meeting you!
Danielle is from Northern Virginia and a psychology major here at Mary Washington. When she isn’t working at the Speaking Center or in class, she loves listening to music, playing the flute and doing yoga. This is her first semester as a consultant at the Speaking Center but she is excited to be a part of what she considers to be a great aspect of UMW.
Emma is a junior with an English major and a minor in Linguistics. When she’s not at the Speaking Center or buried in the middle of a 19th century novel, she can usually be found volunteering at Empowerhouse, waiting tables at Castiglia’s downtown, or shouting at the TV during a football game. Though she is a new consultant at the Speaking Center, she is very excited to help her fellow students with their public speaking skills.
Catie is a sophomore English major who loves reading, writing, and of course, working with students at the Speaking Center. In her free time, she enjoys swing dance, participating in events for Relay for Life, and spending time with her friends. She’s looking forward to another great year and hopes that you stop by to visit!
Russell is a junior and a communication major. In his free time, he enjoys fine dining, throwing a Frisbee, and anti-conformity. In the future, he would like to work in advertising. He loves working at the Speaking Center because all his fellow consultants are wonderful and he gets to help out other students.
Stacey is a Senior at the University of Mary Washington, and she is majoring in International Affairs. She found out about the Speaking Center in her Public Speaking class in Fall of Freshman year. Little did she know that she would be working at the Speaking Center the next semester! She is the Historian of UMW’s chapter of UNICEF, and she has also taught English and translated in Bosnia-Herzegovina during this past summer. She looks forward to meeting all of you!
Tom is a Junior political science major and also a philosophy major who understands the importance of effective communication. He participates competitively on the debate team as well as hosting public debates on campus. Tom enjoys the community at UMW, and he is happy to contribute to it through the Speaking Center.
A senior Pre-Law Philosophy major, Abbie Boaduwa Yirrah has been part of the team here at the Speaking Center since her first year. As a native of Ghana, she prides herself in her ability to help students with presentations by providing expert advice based on her diverse and rich cultural experiences. What she loves most about working at the Speaking Center isn’t just getting to interact on a daily basis with the amazing students here at UMW, but that she is able to become a better listener and a better consultant with each consultation she has. Abbie loves to read, watch crime shows and write philosophy papers. Abbie hopes to be an attorney and human rights advocate someday.
Mariah Young is a sophomore double majoring in Political Science and Journalism from Chesapeake, Virginia. While not working at the Speaking Center or going to class, she competitively debates for the university’s policy debate team and writes for the student newspaper, The Bullet. In the future she hopes to go to grad school and work in the political media field. She is super energetic and loves to meet and work with new people, especially at the Speaking Center!