Speaking Center Staff & Consultants


Cynthia Carrico

Cynthia Carrico, MSE, MA

Cynde Carrico holds two Masters Degrees, one of which is a MA in Communication from FAU where she focused on Southern identity and culture within community cookbooks. Current research encompasses several areas of pop culture and rhetorical criticism, ranging the gamut of Multicultural Discourse in Children’s Literature to Authentic Digital Connectivity in the 21st Century. With over 25 years in educational leadership, Cynde has led multiple teams in supplemental services always focusing on motivating, monitoring and managing student success. Her most recent faculty position was at Florida International University where she served as the Lambda Pi Eta honor society advisor. In her limited spare time, she is active with yoga, creative mix media artwork, digital photography, competitive jigsaw puzzling and childrens theater. She is excited to return to FAU and begin her journey with the Speaking Center.




Veronica Stewart
Assistant Director

Veronica earned two undergraduate degrees in Media & Communication Studies and Studio Art from Florida State University in spring 2018, as well her M.S. in MCS in the fall of 2019 where she researched romantic relationship conflict in relation to self discrepancy and self-photo manipulation on social media. She is currently a third year Ph.D. student in the Comparative Studies Program in the Culture, Society, & Politics track. She has taught public speaking, interpersonal communication, and conflict & communication. Her research interests include interpersonal communication, romantic relationships, and online sexual harassment/abuse (specifically nonconsensual pornography). 




Eleni Webster
Assistant Director

Eleni Webster is a graduate student in Communication Studies. She has taken a variety of courses regarding Multicultural Discourses, Social Media, and Architecture. She has over a decade of experience in public speaking and performance. Eleni has spent several years in tutoring, fundraising, and customer service. She is pursuing a career in Digital Marketing with a focus on Multiculturalism in order to achieve effective and authentic efforts in diversity, equity, and inclusion. In her spare time, she writes music, dances, and spends time with friends at the beach. Eleni is looking forward to helping students achieve their full potential as enthusiastic and powerful public speakers!




Kashine Johnson

Kashine is a Florida born native; she is a current Speaking Consultant and Instructor at FAU who also juggles the role of being a graduate student. As a realtor she is heavily involved with her community and finds passion in helping others. She plans to become a motivational speaker and travel internationally—introducing new ideas and offering different methods of effective discourse. She believes that by changing the way we have conversations, we can leave a positive impact upon our society.



Shayna Farhin Shimu


Shayna Farhin is an international graduate student who works as Graduate Teaching Assistant (GTA) of Communication and Multimedia Studies of FAU. She has experience as a Communication Specialist; Broadcast Journalist and as an academia. In her home country, she worked as a professor of Journalism, Media, and Communication at a reputed private university. Furthermore, she worked for a couple of years in the corporate sector. Now she is focusing on her academic career. She enjoys spending her time practicing public speaking, theater, event management, and at cultural organizations. Her favorite quote is "We have one life, make it count."



Abigaelle Michel


Hello, my name is Abigaelle Michel. I am a new graduate of Florida Atlantic University, where I received my degree in Political Science with a minor in Business Law. I am currently pursuing a Masters in Communications and Multimedia studies, and I aspire to get into the realm of Public Relations and go to Law School. I love to volunteer, dance, and remain active in everything I do.





Djery "D" Clem

Djery "D" Clem is a military veteran who holds a Master’s Degree in Accounting from Florida Atlantic University. He was also a student athlete at FAU. He has been a member of the Accounting Scholars Program, Beta Alpha Psi, and Accounting Student Association. His most recent roles include serving as a facilitator at the FAU Challenge Course, Young Men’s Activities Leader for a local church, and Vice-Chairman of the Military and Veteran Alumni Network. In his spare time, D fancies organizing, reading, and outdoor recreational activities, his favorite being skydiving.





Sreelekha Potturi 

Sreelekha Potturi an international student majoring in Computer Science at FAU. She has hosted many international conferences and client meetings, and has 2+ years of experience working as an analyst. Not only is she dedicated to her field, but she is also passionate about hosting formal gatherings and public speaking. Sreelekha looks forward to using her strong communication skills to assist students achieve their full potential. She lives by the following expression: “Communication is the key to everything.”






Skylar Salamone 

Skylar relocated to South Florida to pursue her undergraduate degree in Communication Studies, along with a minor in Public Relations. After receiving her Bachelor’s Degree, she made the decision to continue her academic journey by enrolling in graduate school. While also furthering her education, she is working in the Speaking Center to help students build confidence in themselves. Overall, her goal is to empower students to speak confidently in public settings, helping them manage anxiety and fostering a sense of comfortability.





Ella Bethke 

Ella is a Data Sciences major at FAU and has experience in public speaking and consulting across multiple disciplines. Her love for public speaking comes mostly from research experience, presenting at conferences, as well as speaking to professionals to develop interdisciplinary ideas. She has tutored at FAU since 2022 and is looking forward to yet another great semester assisting students at the Speaking Center!





Amanda Ciocca 

Amanda is a first year MA student in the Women's Studies program. She is a General Teaching Assistant at FAU and also works for the Texas Debate Collective (a non-profit debate collective based in Austin, TX). Amanda wants to continue making contributions to collegiate academia by becoming a professor in the foreseeable future. Outside of academia, she loves Studio Ghibli movies, reading (whether it be fiction or nonfiction), and loves the outdoors.



Luisa Perez


Luisa Perez  

Luisa is a bilingual investigative journalist, fluent in Spanish and English, with experience working with communities in poverty, war situations, and other conflicts. She possesses advanced skills in print reporting, editing and public relations development, which she has completed for several non-profit organizations. She is also an experienced podcast producer, having worked as an editor in audiovisual productions. Currently, Luisa teaches Public Speaking at FAU, the place where she is also studying for a master's degree in Communication Studies. 





Reese Crosby

Reese is a Sophomore majoring in Psychology and minoring in Criminal Justice; with an overall plan to pursue a career in Forensic Psychology. Additionally, Reese encompasses a wide array of both prior and current professional experience in roles including: Pharmacy Technician, Secretary of the Criminal Justice Club, Undergraduate Research Assistant, and Micro-influencer Content Creator. Upon joining her high school’s Speech & Debate team, she has loved the art of communication and has continued to hone her skills in the field ever since. That said, she is eager to share her knowledge and experience with her peers.





Serena Hallowell

Serena is a Senior majoring in Communication Studies here at FAU, and is on track to graduate this spring. Originally, she comes from Lake Placid, New York but moved to Florida ten years ago; now residing in Lake Worth Beach. Having worked for over 10 years in the hospitality industry before pursuing a degree, beholding the ability and confidence to speak or give presentations in public was undoubtedly an integral part of her job. Ultimately, Serena is looking forward to working with students to bring out their own natural confidence when it comes to public speaking and giving speeches for classes and professionally.





Garrett Watkins

Garrett is a Senior at FAU majoring in Communication Studies. He previously played college basketball and proudly served for the U.S. Coast Guard. Currently, Garrett is a bartender in Mizner Park. Garret plans to pursue the commercial real estate industry following graduation. Garrett is excited to be a part of the Speaking Center and eager to help you improve!





Sarah Hamel

Sarah is a sophomore at FAU majoring in Criminal Justice. With a Criminal Justice degree, she hopes to go into Law Enforcement to become a police officer, and then later extend her career to investigative. She is a member of the Criminal Justice Club, and a police explorer with the Boca Raton Police Department. Ultimately, she is excited to be a consultant and help students with their speeches! 





Vito Borio

Vito is a Senior majoring in Communication Studies, along with a minor in Philosophy. Being recognized as FAU’s “Outstanding Student in Communication Studies,” he possesses a thorough understanding of public speaking and rhetorical techniques. Alongside this, Vito has a great deal of experience when it comes to presenting, given that his speaking abilities are coupled with a wide array of performances in musical theatre and as a soloist. He also has professional experience in direct sales, social media, and as a Master of Ceremonies for several events. Upon attaining his degree later this spring, Vito aspires to attain a Master’s degree in Communication Studies at FAU next fall. Overall, Vito’s goal is to assist students in fostering competence while presenting and hopefully engender a fondness toward any opportunity to speak publicly.




Jake Dalessio

Jake Dalessio is a Freshman at FAU, majoring in Business Management. Having built up his speaking confidence and skills through a multitude of public speeches, while also having many years of tutoring under his belt, he's now well-experienced and passionate about helping others with their public speaking pursuits.





Devin Ghaness

Devin is a current Master’s of Social Work student here at Florida Atlantic University. During the tenure of his undergrad, he triple majored in English, Political Science, and Communication Studies; with a particular focus in politics, culture and identity. He was able to find work as a standup comedian, utilizing his remaining time as a consultant at the UCEW. He is now traveling a spiritual path, looking for ways to incorporate Buddhism and empathy into everyday life. As a voracious reader, his research interests focus on therapeutic methods dealing in neurodivergence and disability. That said, he is very excited to be a part of the Speaking Center this semester!