College appoints Linda Lockhart Director of Communication Resource Center and Oral Communication Program
Dr. Linda Lockhart has been named Director of the Communication Resource Center and Oral Communication Program.
Lockhart, who worked in higher education marketing and communications prior to coming to Marietta College, is excited to share her administrative expertise with students in an academic setting. She also plans to work with others on campus to raise awareness about the Communication Center services available to all students.
The Communication Resource Center hires students, called Peer Communication Consultants, to tutor other students looking for help in honing their communication skills — written and oral.
“We want students to know this service is for all students — whatever their need might be,” said Lockhart, who is also an Assistant Professor of Communication, Journalism and Public Relations.
At the Communication Center, students can sign up for free peer coaching in one-on-one or group settings. Peer coaching will help students develop a clear message, organize information, develop effective use of research and supporting materials or presentation aids, and even help with delivery. The Center also offers English conversation skill sessions for students whose first language is not English.
Students seeking help at the center often are students faced with making a speech for a class, making a presentation either alone or with a group, or perhaps preparing for a Capstone presentation or competition.
The fact that tutors are peers is a key component if students are going to use the program.
“Students respond better to their peers — there’s not that intimidation factor,” Lockhart said. “There’s not a difference in power and it takes away that fear of expectations — this is the place to make mistakes and learn from them.”
Lockhart said she has begun working with others on campus to make the services of the center more well known and coordinate efforts with other peer initiatives, such as the tutoring and writing services available to students through the Academic Resource Center.
“We want students to have the mindset that these are places to support their academic growth,” Lockhart said.
Located in Mills Hall, the Communication Center was renovated over the summer in an effort to make the center a more professional setting for students. There are areas to rehearse presentations or speeches, areas to practice conversations, areas to practice using whiteboards and more.
Claire Crane, Assistant Director of Tutoring, oversees the Tutoring and Learning Center and the Writing Center for students. She said she appreciates Lockhart’s enthusiasm and expertise.
“Linda is dedicated to making it as easy as possible for students to get the assistance they are looking for with their courses,” Crane said. “She’s bringing in these ideas from marketing and communications to emphasize ease of access and a better understanding of services.”
Together with the help of other departments on campus, the centers will launch an informational campaign to students and introduce an incentive program for multiple visits to any of the centers. They will also ask faculty to develop assignments that might encourage students to utilize the centers.
They’ve created a one-stop shop online where students can create their own account, see the schedules of the tutors and make their own appointments. It’s hoped the Communication Center can continue to expand its offerings and collaborations. An Endowment for Communication, which was previously established by Jack Hopkins ’65 and his wife, Andy, in honor of Emeritus Professor Dr. Art Buell and his wife Betty, will help them do so. It’s the purpose of the endowment to provide funding to the Communication Center, among other areas.
“Whether it’s hiring more tutors or getting equipment, the endowment gives us the ability to go above and beyond,” Lockhart said.