Become a Speaking Fellow
Speaking Fellows believe speaking involves a series of rhetorical choices regarding vocal presentation, organization of ideas, response to audience, and physical affect. Through the Speaking Center and our attached class program, Speaking Fellows create learning environments that empower students to explore, question, and reflect on their speaking and listening skills. By experimenting with language and structure, students actively engage in their own thinking processes, getting to the bottom of what they want to say and how they want to express those ideas to others.
If you have any questions about the application process or about the program in general, please contact: Pam Cobrin (Director; email@example.com), Daniela Kempf (Associate Director; firstname.lastname@example.org), DaMonique Ballou (Coordinator; email@example.com) or meet with a Speaking Fellow http://speaking.mywconline.com/.
"I became a Speaking Fellow because I wanted to be part of cultivating a space for marginalized voices on campus. Being able to say what you mean is pivotal skill that is often overlooked, but I think it is a crucial aspect of professional and personal life."
- Speaking Fellow Class of 2020
Application Timeline and Checklist
Application Opens: Monday, Feb. 7
Application Closes: Friday, Mar. 4th at 5pm EST
Interviews Announced: mid-March
Interviews Scheduled: end of March
- Speaking Fellows in Training Cohort announced: beginning of April
The Speaking Fellow Application includes:
- General Application
- Faculty/ TA Letter of Recommendation
- 2 - 3 minute video essay or written essay describing why you want to be a Speaking Fellow
- If selected for an interview, 3 - 4 minute teaching demonstration
Tips for Applying
Meet with a Speaking Fellow
We encourage all applicants to meet with a Speaking Fellow through out their application process. To meet with a Speaking Fellow sign up on our online scheduler. You can discuss more details about what being a Speaking Fellow consists of; what the training course is like; and you can prepare for your teaching demonstration.
Frequently Asked Questions
Speaking Fellows' are required to host weekly one-on-one's in the Speaking Center, attend mandatory weekly staff meetings, historically, from noon to 1:45 pm on Fridays, and organize and host workshops for attached courses.
Other than that, our workshops, class visits and meetings are scheduled individually by us. We can work around our academic schedules, setting aside weeks we can work a lot and weeks we can’t. Speaking Fellows usually work 5 hours a week on average.
Students in their first or sophomore years are eligible to become Speaking Fellows. Applicants are encouraged to sign up for Speaking Fellows workshops and one-on-one sessions before applying to develop an appreciation for what Speaking Fellows do.
We are looking for effective public speakers, but equally crucial is your ability to connect with other people, and a genuine wish to help others succeed. Candidates should have excellent leadership, team-building, and interpersonal skills, as Speaking Fellows work highly collaboratively among themselves, as well as with students in workshops and one-on-one sessions. We encourage students of all majors to apply.
This course has three components: (1) a seminar taught by Professor Cobrin, Director, Writing and Speaking Programs; (2) a workshop taught by Professor Kempf, Associate Director, Speaking Program; and (3) a weekly lab facilitated by Teaching Fellows, senior Speaking Fellows.
Speaking involves a series of rhetorical choices regarding vocal presentation, argument construction, and physical affect that, whether made consciously or by default, project information about the identity of the speaker. Every time you publicly speak, you interject yourself into the cultural fabric of your/our world. In this course we will explore the ways in which public speaking has been imagined and theorized in American culture; the relationship between the use of language in spoken and written rhetoric; the technical skills that promote effective public speaking and theories about public speaking and peer-to-peer interaction.
This course usually takes place Tuesdays or Thursdays morning (usually 11:40 - 12:55 pm EST)
Yes, we earn a stipend each semester that's $16 an hour!
No, that’s not necessarily what we’re looking for. Speaking Fellows need to be great listeners who can adapt in the moment to meet the needs of students seeking help. At our core, we are peer educators who are passionate about public speaking. We work hard to improve our own public speaking skill-set, but that doesn’t mean we’re all naturals.
Yes! It is a unique chance to work closely with the Barnard community and to truly make a difference. It’s also an opportunity to join a community of Barnard students and alumnae who are passionate about speaking. The job is fun and full of perks.
If selected for an interview, you will need to facilitate a 3 - 4 minute teaching demonstration of a topic of interests to you. That is, you will need to teach your audience about a topic you care or are passionate about. This can include, but is not limited to, facilitating a discussion, using handouts, creating a visual aid, etc. The goal is for your audience to learn something new or engage with the topic you are discussing in a new way. We strongly recommend meeting with a Speaking Fellow to prepare for this portion of your interview.
The training course to become a Speaking Fellow, Rhetorical Choices, fulfills the "Thinking Locally" requirement in Foundations.
Advice from Speaking Fellows about Applying
"(1) I wish I knew that I didn't need to be super close or getting super high grades from a professor in order to ask them for a recommendation! I almost didn't apply for that reason and I'm so glad I did.
And (2) I wish I knew that being a Speaking Fellow wasn't about being an amazing public speaker, but about being a caring listener and thoughtful communicator...I definitely tried to show off the kind of speaking I did on my high school speech team in my interview and application, but in retrospect those aren't the skills that make me love this job..." - Yuval, '21
"I was and am still interested in working with my peers on communication and what is the most comfortable and effective way for them to express themselves (there's no one right way to speak!)" - Daniela, '22
"Even though speech is the most common form of communication, we rarely invest time learning it. I wanted to get more exposure to rhetoric, and how it plays an important role in power dynamics. By becoming a Speaking Fellow, I am able to empower my peers and help them with their communication skills." - Anindita, '21