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Meet the SPEAK Team

Put your passion to work.

Meet the SPEAK Team!

Students, Volunteers, and Teachers.

SPEAK is fortunate to have a collection of dedicated teachers, directors, and community instructors. Read more about our story here. Interesting in being part of the team? Find out more here.

So many of the most important elements of education come from the bonds that are formed between students and teachers. This is especially true in cases where those students may not have had positive educational experiences in the past, and need to feel as though someone takes a personal interest in their studies and overall wellbeing. SPEAK prides itself by offering a team of well- trained, highly qualified instructors who are each deeply dedicated to the work that we do and the people that we serve.

 

Some of our instructors come from a background of extensive, rigorous competitive debate training on the university level. These skills make up the core of our program, and the experience that they bring to the table is invaluable. Others are professionals and students engaged in advanced studies, whom each bring a unique skill set and perspective to the classroom.

 

You can find information about each of our instructors below, as well as a list of our board members and community consultants.

 

SPEAK Inc. Executive Officers:

Founder & President of the Board of Directors: Jessica Bullock

Executive Director: Johannes Wheeldon

Assistant Director: Antonietta Girardi

Assistant Director, Communications: Luke Dodge

SPEAK Inc. Board of Directors:

Margaret Barry, Associate Dean for Clinical and Experiential Programs, Vermont Law School 

Nancy Gabriel, Director, NH/VT Albert Schweitzer Fellowship

Dr. Bruce Bullock, Secretary

Al Dean, Treasurer

 

SPEAK Inc. Community Consultants:

Robert Sand, Professor of Law, Vermont Law School

Greg Johnson, Director of Legal Writing, Vermont Law School

Mark Oettinger, Esq., Montroll & Backus

Dr. Alec Ewald, Professor, University of Vermont

Dr. Kathy Fox, Professor, University of Vermont

Shirley Jefferson, Associate Dean for Student Affairs and Diversity, Vermont Law School

 

SPEAK Instructors:

Jessica Bullock

Johannes Wheeldon

Antonietta Girardi, VLS 

Laura Savall, VLS

Sara McClurg, VLS 

Gillian Tiley, UVM

George White, UVM

Kiersten Brewton, UVM 

Liam Donnelly, UVM Larner College of Medicine 

Sarah Anders, UVM 

Tim Heffernan, UVM

Emily Bruggeman, UVM

Hannah LeFevre, UVM

Jonah Bol, UVM

Elizabeth Scheinman, VLS

Amanda Vega, VLS

Diane Eze, VLS

Gabriel Barbe, VLS

 

SPEAK Instructors:

Jessica Bullock

Founder & President of the Board of Directors

Jessica holds a B.A. in English from the University of Vermont (UVM), a M.S. Ed. from Johns Hopkins University, and a J.D. from Vermont Law School. Jessica returned to her home state of Vermont to pursue a legal degree at Vermont Law School (VLS). Jessica is using her time at VLS to concentrate on juvenile, criminal, and education law and policy.

 

Prior to attending VLS, Jessica was President of UVM’s Lawrence Debate Union and founder of the Spanish Language Debate Team. After competing and coaching at national and international debate tournaments, Jessica spent two years teaching in Baltimore, Maryland through the Teach For America program. Jessica is passionate about education and enjoys bringing her love of teaching to SPEAK training sessions.

 

Jessica founded SPEAK to encourage participants’ confidence in public speaking and the power of their own voices. Through her work as an Albert Schweitzer Fellow, Jessica hopes to address recidivism rates and strengthen education services in Vermont’s correctional system by providing debate programs to incarcerated individuals. Ultimately, SPEAK aims to encourage participants’ confidence in their own voices while supporting successful reintegration into the community following incarceration.

Johannes Wheeldon

Executive Director

Johannes Wheeldon has more than 15 years experience managing evaluation and juvenile justice projects. He has worked with the American Bar Association, the Community Justice Network of Vermont, the Open Society Foundations, the Canadian International Development Agency, and the World Bank. He has published four books and more than 25 peer review papers on aspects of criminal justice, restorative justice, organizational change, and evaluation. He last served as Project Director on a Federally funded project to develop a sustainable restorative juvenile justice system in Maine. Johannes is an Adjunct Professor in the School of Justice Studies and Sociology at Norwich University.

 
 

Antonietta Girardi

Assistant Director & Albert Schweitzer Fellow

"Toni" holds a B.A. in History with minors in Political Science and Global Studies from Castleton University. She is currently a Juris Doctor candidate at Vermont Law School focusing on Criminal and Business Law. Toni first joined SPEAK in the fall of 2015 as a student member. Toni is passionate about SPEAK because of the valuable skills and confidence it provides offenders seeking successful re-entry into their communities. Toni was selected for an Albert Schweitzer Fellowship for her work with SPEAK. 

Luke Dodge

Assistant Director for Communications

 Luke graduated from the University of Vermont with Degrees in Political Science and Economics. He wrote a senior thesis on the postsecondary correctional education landscape in the United States and how different organizations approach educating people serving time in prison. Luke has previously been the UVM SPEAK Supervisor and taught the full curriculum at the Chittenden Regional Correctional Facility, a womens facility in Burlington, Vermont. He feels passionately about the difference that SPEAK can make in terms of how people are able to express themselves and feel confidence in their ability to be agents for change. Luke hopes to use his experience with SPEAK to continue making a difference doing criminal justice research. 

 

Laura Savall

Vermont Law School Supervisor &

Albert Schweitzer Fellow

Laura graduated from Ripon College with a BA in Spanish and Psychology, and is currently a JD candidate at Vermont Law School. Laura was selected for a Schweitzer Fellowship for her work with Speak. She is also a Joan Bauer Domestic Violence Fellow (16') and has contributed to providing a safer environment in the Vermont court system for victim/ survivors of domestic violence. Laura currently interns at the Vermont Human Rights Commission and plans to graduate in 2018.  Laura is dedicated to social justice and is an advocate for change in our legal system for underrepresented populations.

 

Isabella Olson

Instructor & Professional Liaison

Isabella is a graduate of the University of Vermont, majoring in European History and minoring in Political Science and Art History. She has traveled the world for debate tournaments, including the prestigious Oxford and Cambridge tournaments in the United Kingdom, World's in Malaysia, and Greece in the past two years. She became a member of SPEAK to learn how to become a better social advocate and help her Burlington community. She is currently serving as a Peace Corps volunteer in Ethiopia.

 
 

Will Lowrey

Instructor & Professional Liaison

Will graduated from Virginia Commonwealth University with a degree in criminal justice and spent almost 20 years in the corporate world leading projects/teams and designing business processes. Will is currently working on a Juris Doctor at Vermont Law school to pursue a career in animal law and joined SPEAK in 2015 to continue advocating for social justice.

Mariel Golden

Instructor & Professional Liason

Mariel holds a B.A. in political science from the University of Vermont. As an undergrad, she fell in love with debate and dedicated four years of college to the activity. At the peak of her competitive career she reached the final of the North American Debate Championship and advanced to the semi-final of the U.S. National Championship. Mariel has taught debate and public speaking across the globe. She lectured at the Cameroon Debate Academy, The Beihang World Debate Academy (2x), and the North American Debate Academy. Today, Mariel is the higher education coordinator at the African Refugee Development Center (ARDC) in Tel Aviv, Israel.

Franny Solnick

Instructor & Professional Liason

​Franny received a BA from the University of Vermont in History and Political Science. She has four years of debating experience with the Lawrence Debate Union, and has travelled to multiple national and international tournaments. She joined SPEAK in 2015 and is interested in using debate to encourage advocacy and education in a social justice setting, and among inmates who face barriers to societal reintegration. 

Camara Hudson

Instructor  & Professional Liaison

Camara is a graduate of the University of Vermont majoring in Human Development and Family Studies with a minor in Sociology. A product of debate outreach programs, she has 9 years of debating and judging experience in various formats and has seen first hand all of the difference learning to argue and defend oneself can do in a persons life. Camara previously worked in Juvenile Justice advocacy at the Children's Defense Fund. 

George White

Instructor

George is excited to share his experience with you-- coming soon!

Charlotte Gliserman

Instructor & Professional Liaison 

Charlotte Gliserman is a senior at the University of Vermont studying Political Science and Gender, Sexuality, and Women's Studies. She has attended several international debate tournaments over the last two years, including the International Debate Academy at Slovenia and the Pan American Universities Debating Championships. Charlotte embraces using speech and debate as an educational tool with Speak. She is currently working on LGBT+ issues on Capitol Hill.

Ryan Tartre

Instructor & Professional Liason

Ryan Tartre is a  graduate of the University of Vermont with degrees in Environmental Science and Classics. He has over 7 years of debating experience.

Victoria Scozzaro

Instructor & Professional Liason

Tori graduated from Baldwin Wallace University with a double major in Sustainability and Business Administration and recently completed her J.D. at Vermont Law School (VLS). Tori was a founding member of the VLS SPEAK Organization in the fall of 2014 and then joined the Chittenden Regional Correctional Facility SPEAK Group in the spring of 2015. Tori is interested in working in correctional settings because—as a new student to debate—she has found value in public speaking skills and wants to help others discover their voices and gain the confidence to speak for themselves.

Alexis Agredo

Instructor

Alexis holds a B.A. in Political Science from Spelman College and is currently a JD candidate at Vermont Law School where she is concentrating in environmental and criminal law.  Alexis has worked extensively in Atlanta, Georgia prisons where she brought workplace knowledge to inmates.  Alexis joined SPEAK to continue furthering social justice initiatives in the community.

Pauline Waymel

Instructor

Pauline graduated from the Université d’Auvergne with Administration/Public Security and Public Law/International Careers Master’s degrees in Law, and is currently an American Legal Studies LLM candidate at Vermont Law School.  Pauline has nine years of professional experience in criminal law. She is passionate about helping others through compassion and justice. Pauline joins Speak’s team to give voices to those in distress.

Sara McClurg

Instructor

Sara graduated from Rutgers University with a BS in Environmental Policy. After graduation, Sara volunteered with and worked for various non-profit organizations. Most recently, Sara worked for the International Rescue Committee, a humanitarian aid, relief, and development nongovernmental organization. Sara is currently pursuing her Juris Doctor at Vermont Law School.

Kassie Tibbott

Instructor

Kassie holds a BA in Spanish Language and Literature and Creative Writing from MSU Denver. She is currently a JD candidate at Vermont Law School. Before joining Speak, Kassie managed organization-wide communication strategies for Re:Vision, a Denver-based nonprofit that focuses on creating place-based solutions and building local economies. Kassie is passionate about helping others create their own solutions. A firm believer that change begins with the individual, Kassie works to inspire others to use their knowledge and skills to serve their communities.

Erin Poll

Instructor

Erin is a senior at the University of Vermont majoring in Political Science and minoring in Middle Eastern Studies and French. She has been debating for one year. She is participating in SPEAK because she loves to teach and feels that empowering people to use their voices is incredibly important.

Gillian Tiley

Instructor

Gillian is a junior at the University of Vermont, majoring in Political Science and minoring in French and Geography. She is in her second year of debate and has participated in several international tournaments, including the 2015 International Debate Academy at Slovenia and the 2016 Dutch Worlds Universities Debate Championship, Gillian joined SPEAK because she is passionate about the proliferation of debate and using the skills she has learned to make a difference in the lives of those who need it most.

Charlotte Grose

Instructor

Charlotte is excited to share her experience with you-- coming soon!

Kiersten Brewton

Instructor

Kiersten is excited to share her experience with you-- coming soon!

Liam Donnelly

Instructor

Liam is excited to share his experience with you-- coming soon!

Emily Bruggeman

Instructor

Emily is a sophomore at the University of Vermont, majoring in Political Science and Russian with a minor in Economics. Emily has been a competitive debater since high school, and was recently selected to compete in the Oxbridge IV tournament as well as the World Universities Debating Championship tournament held in Mexico City. She is excited to share her love for debate with new students and increase the spread of social advocacy.

Tim Heffernan

Instructor

Tim is a third year student at the University of Vermont pursuing degrees in economics, history, and Italian. He is currently a tax consultant at the Champlain Valley Office for Economic Opportunity, and is interested in governmental and non-profit outreach programs like SPEAK’s where the rubber of policy initiatives meet the road of the underrepresented communities they serve. Tim is ecstatic to promote discourse and argumentation as a means of empowerment with the SPEAK team.

Hannah Lefevre

Instructor

Hannah is a freshman at the University of Vermont majoring in Communication Sciences and Disorders and plans to minor in Special Education. She started her debate career in August, 2017 with the Lawrence Debate Team. She is participating in SPEAK because she believes that everyone deserves an opportunity to learn valuable public speaking skills while engaging with issues and events happening in the world that interest them. 

Jonah Bol

Instructor

Jonah is a Sophomore at the University of Vermont majoring in Global Studies and Economics while minoring in Middle East Studies and Computer Science. He has been debating for over a year and has participated in international tournaments such as the 2017 International Debate Academy in Slovenia. He joined SPEAK because he believes that people can accomplish anything and a stronger voice empowers them to seek it.

Elizabeth Scheinman

Instructor

Elizabeth graduated from University of Nevada, Las Vegas (UNLV) with a BA in philosophy. While there she founded UNLV's Ethics Bowl team, an intercollegiate organization where university students debate contemporary ethical issues. Currently Elizabeth is pursuing her JD at Vermont Law School, where she is a 1L Senator for the Student Bar Association. She is a volunteer at South Royalton Elementary School and a volunteer tax preparer for the Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) program. Elizabeth joined SPEAK to continue making a difference in Vermont. 

Amanda Vega

Instructor

Amanda graduated from University at Buffalo with a BA in Political Science and History. She is pursuing her JD at Vermont Law School (VLS), where she is Global Mission Scholar. Amanda is a 1L Representative for the VLS Mental Health Committee. She joined SPEAK because she is a social justice advocate.

Gabriel Barbe

Instructor

Gabriel is a French law graduate from the University of Cergy-Pontoise in white collar crime and is now pursuing a LLM in American Legal Studies at Vermont Law School. During his University years, he organized a moot competition and interned at a criminal law firm for several months. These two experiences made him enthusiastic about joining SPEAK.

Sarah Anders

Instructor

Sarah graduated from the University of Vermont (UVM) in 2011 with a degree in English and Philosophy. At UVM, she was President of the Lawrence Debate Union. After college, she moved to New York City where she worked as a Communications Associate for the international medical aid organization AmeriCares. In 2013, she made the switch to politics, working on a competitive City Council race in New York City. Following the race, she stayed on to work for the Council Member as Communications Director in his office. She is currently pursuing a master’s degree in Public Administration at UVM to gain a better foundation for her future work in politics and government, and admires SPEAK's value as a form of public service. 

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