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Meet our director and peer consultants

anna zimmerman

Dr. Anna Zimmerman
Speaking Center Director

Dr. Anna Zimmerman is faculty member in the Department of Communication where she teaches courses like Public Speaking, Oral Interpretation of Literature, and Strategic Communication. She has served as Director of the Marian University Speaking Center since Fall 2014. However, her passion for public speaking began when she joined the speech team at her undergraduate institution, Berry College. From there, she went on to coach collegiate speech and debate, where her passion for developing empowered public speakers flourished. She loves helping people overcome their fears in order to present ideas that really matter.

Daniela AlanizDaniela Alaniz 

My name is Daniela Alaniz, and I am a biology major with a concentration in pre-medicine. I enjoy working in the Speaking Center because it enables me to connect my natural curiosity for distinct subjects with my desire to help others express their own ideas. I enjoy helping people with the process of finding their own unique voices. I am a fan of Freakonomics podcasts, David Orr, the Ecolab, and meeting new people!

Catherine BellCatherine Bell 

My name is Catherine Bell, and I am an art and secondary education double major, as well as a San Damiano Scholar. Being around inspiring topics and issues drew me into the Speaking Center. I'd love to hear what you're presenting and hopefully share that excitement with you! My favorite speech to work with is the informative speech. Learning about the world is what gets me out of bed each morning. Fun fact: If you bring me a cup of black coffee I will probably bring you a gift basket of goodies to your door as a thank you. I am in a committed relationship with coffee, 100%. A coffee mug will earn you another basket of goodies.

Clara GarnerClara Garner 

My name is Clara Garner, and I am senior at Marian University. I am a biological science major, with a minor in communication. I absolutely love being active in the Marian community through biological research and the speech team. I chose to work in the Speaking Center because I enjoy seeing students and faculty learn the process of how to communicate more efficiently. When visitors grasp these concepts, it is such a rewarding moment! Of the many types of speeches, I enjoy limited preparation events the best (like impromptu). These events help speakers prep a speech in a limited time frame and think better on their feet. Outside of the speech world, people can find me down in the Ecolab chasing turtles for bio research or curled up somewhere reading. 

Marah LeonfilsMarah Leonfils 

My name is Marah Withney Leonfils, and I am senior communication major minoring in peace and justice studies. I am a sitcom/horror movie buff with a love of sushi. Working in the Speaking Center is a joy because I can help my peers discover or refine their oration capabilities no matter where they are in the speech creation process. Book an appointment or come see me if you'd like some help with delivery or simply need a few quick tips to help with communication anxiety.

Luke McQuillenLuke McQuillen 

My name is Luke McQuillen.  I am a senior majoring in communication with a minor in business.  I am involved on campus with the Speech Team and the Student Government Association.  I love working at the Speaking Center because it is so rewarding to see students who struggle with anxiety about public speaking achieve their goal of creating a great speech for their class.  In my spare time, I love to read biographies, watch movies, and watch whatever new originals Netflix has out that month.  

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