Mountaineer athletes normally let their game do the talking, but on Thursday (Nov. 11), the rules change for five West Virginia University.

The student-athletes – all enrolled in Carolyn Peluso Atkins’ Speech Pathology and Audiology 170: Speaking to Communities class – will talk about their life experiences as part of Student Athletes Speak Out at 1 p.m. in the Jerry West Mountaineer Room at the WVU Coliseum. The public is invited to attend this event.

Speaking to Communities is a popular class with WVU athletes. Students often base their speeches on personal experiences with peer pressure, school, life-changing events and relationships.

Throughout the semester, student-athletes hone their public speaking skills, giving speeches and participating in the Read Aloud program at area schools. Coaches, teammates, advisers and community members are invited to their final presentations.

This semester’s speakers and topics are:

• Darrious Curry (basketball) – “Innate or Learned?”
• Noah Cottrill (basketball) – “Striving for the Athletic Dream”
• Kevin Noreen (basketball) – “Road Map to Success”
• Whitney Lee (volleyball) – “Learning from a Relationship”
• Jim Leonard (rugby) – “A Lonely Society”

Atkins, an award-winning speech pathology professor in the WVU College of Human Resources and Education, first offered the Speaking to Communities class in spring 1990. She is the author of “Great Unexpectations: Lessons from the Hearts of College Athletes.” Atkins will sign copies of her book Dec. 18 at the Team Shop in the WVU Coliseum before the men’s basketball game.

To order a book, go to



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