Speaking Center

The Harrington School’s Speaking Center, located in Ranger Hall, room 301A, supports Harrington students in becoming more confident public speakers.

The Speaking Center is staffed by graduate student consultants who will work with you in a one-to-one setting. We provide a welcoming and safe atmosphere where speakers can confidently develop and enhance their public speaking skills.
We can help you brainstorm topics, find and evaluate research for your presentation, organize and outline your presentation, practice delivery, and more.


The Speaking Center helps students at any stage of speech development.For example we offer:                                                   

Brainstorming Session
This appointment is for students who are in the beginning stages of planning their speech. This consultation is helpful for students who might need help choosing a topic or narrowing down topic ideas.

Support Researching and Organizing:

Consultants are here to help students find and evaluate scholarly research. We also provide support organizing research into a well-structured speech outline.

Delivery Coaching
This consultation is for discussing and/or practicing presentations. Students present their speech, after which the consultant provides feedback. Students can work with a consultant at any stage of their presentation, whether the speech is complete or not. 



Now, with evening hours!                      

Monday: 9 a.m. – 7 p.m.
Tuesday: 10 a.m. – 7 p.m.
Wednesday: 9 a.m. – 7 p.m.
Thursday: 10 a.m. – 5 p.m.
Friday 9 a.m. – 1:00 p.m. 
Walk-ins are welcome.

Zoom “walk-in”
password: Welcome!
Monday: 10AM-12PM
Wednesday: 10AM-1PM

speakingcenteruri@gmail.com for more info.
Book an appointment

Meet the Team

Juliette Fontaine

What is your background in communication?
I received my undergrad in public and professional communication at RIC and I now study interpersonal communication here at URI. 

What do you love about the study of communication?
I enjoy studying communication because we live in a world where so few people know how to communicate effectively but more importantly, communicate lovingly. It is vital for us to hone our communication skills and utilize them in our lives. 

What is your favorite quote?
“There is no passion to be found in settling for a life that is less than the one you are capable of living.” ~ Nelson Mandela 

What is your favorite thing about URI?
The beautiful campus! 

What is a fun fact about you?
I have achieved the rank of shodan 1 blackbelt in Ryukyu Udundi Kobujutsu and have practiced Martial Arts for over 12 years.

Samantha Hicks

What is your background in communication?
Although I have been studying communication for 6 years now, I have been practicing my communication skills since I was born. I have always had an interest in people, talking, and language. I have a degree in communication  (right here at URI!) and am currently working on my master’s degree.       

What do you love about the study of communication?
Don’t even get me started… I love it all! Communication touches every aspect of life, academics, and professional development. I find that communication is often overlooked as a focus of study and I love bringing communication to life for those around me!

What is your favorite quote?
“Be a goldfish” -Ted Lasso

What is your favorite thing about URI?
Besides the fact I can go to the beach everyday, the best thing about URI are the professors. I have made so many meaningful connections both as a student and as a professor that will last me a lifetime. Once you find those professors you connect with, you know they’re rooting you on for the rest of your academic journey.

What is a fun fact about you?
I love slippers. I live in my slippers, and I DO plan to wear them at the speaking center.

Taylor Roberts

What is your background in communication?
My background in Communication is nearly all centric to URI.  I had the pleasure of earning my Bachelor’s in Communication Studies. I am now pursuing my Master’s in Environmental Science and Management.                               


What do you love about the study of communication?
I love the study of Communication because it’s applicable (and essential) in every area of life. 

What is your favorite quote?
“In a world where you can be anything, be kind.” 

What is your favorite thing about URI?
Aside from enjoying the campus during the fall, what I love most about URI is the sense of community. 

What is a fun fact about you?
A fun fact about me is that I can shamelessly listen to Christmas music at any time of the year.

Deirdre Morrison

What is your background in communication?

I have a B.A. in communication studies from the University of Massachusetts and an MBA from URI. I attribute much of my career success as a global corporate leader to my communication studies and skills. My personal and professional mission is to communicate ethically, compassionately, and effectively.

What do you love about the study of communication?

Communication studies is the gift that keeps on giving! We are all lifelong learners in the skill of communication. As responsible global citizens, we must constantly develop our communication skills and optimize our civic engagement.  This provides us with powerful and positive tools to engage with the world around us.  

What is your favorite quote?

“Your beliefs become your thoughts, your thoughts become your words, your words become your actions, your actions become your habits, your habits become your values, your values become your destiny.” Mahatma Gandhi

What is your favorite thing about URI?

My favorite thing about URI is the opportunity to teach, mentor, and build relationships with URI’s students. I encourage students to develop and share their most positive energies and attributes, by fostering a positive learning environment which allows students to cultivate meaning from the academic material, and to flourish and achieve their visions.

What is a fun fact about you?

I am a certified yoga teacher and mindfulness facilitator.  I recently graduated from the Summer Institute, offered through URI’s Center for Nonviolence and Peace Studies Institute. I am honored to integrate these practices into my work on the beautiful URI campus. 

Director Kris Cabral

Associate Teaching Professor of Communication Studies

What is your background in communication?
I have a B.A. & M.A. is Communication Studies. I’ve been teaching in the field for 23 years.

What do you love about the study of communication?
Where do I begin?! Communication is central to our everyday lives; it’s what makes us human. Understanding how to communicate more effectively contributes to our sense of well-being, the success of our relationships and deepens our connection to one another. I am both honored and humbled to be a part of a faculty whose focus and energies are dedicated to elevating both personal and public discourse. 

What is your favorite quote?
“Your problem is you’re too busy holding on to your unworthiness” ~Ram Dass                                       

What is your favorite thing about URI?
Our students.

What is a fun fact about you?
I sometimes cry at the farmer’s market at the sight of vegetables. They bring me joy.  

Karen Ruhren

Part-time Faculty

What is your background in communication?
37 years as a writer, editor, journalist, communications director and university faculty–in RI, NJ and MD. 

What do you love about studying communication?
Love listening to people’s stories and telling their stories in writing.                                      

What is your favorite quote?
“And we know that all things work together for good, to them who love God and are called according to His purpose.” Romans 8:28

What is your favorite thing about URI?
It’s 8 minutes from my house! (Very important all these years as a mom.)

What is a fun fact about you?
I’m a certified fitness instructor and teach Barre on the weekends.


Contact Us

Ranger Hall, Room 207
10 Ranger Road
Kingston, RI 02881

p: 401.874.2110
f: 401.874.2892