Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Communication faculty wins second distinguished speaking award

Diane Travers Shipman with her second
Distinguished Toastmasters Award
Communication and Fine Arts Division chair and faculty Diane Travers Shipman was awarded her second Distinguished Toastmasters Award (DTM) on May 15, 2015, the highest accomplishment possible in Toastmasters. Travers achieved her first DTM in June 2010.

To achieve a DTM, one has to complete approximately 50 speeches and multiple leadership opportunities, including district leadership. Travers Shipman joined Toastmasters in 2007 and for her first DTM, she was an area governor mentoring seven clubs and serving as a liaison to the district. In 2015, she served a one-year term as the District 3 (Arizona State) secretary.

Travers Shipman's home club is the Power Play Toastmasters, which started in 2006. In September 2012, she secured approval to allow the club to meet on campus every Thursday evening (6:30-9 p.m.). The group has open meetings allowing students who are interested or required to attend by a faculty member to participate. To date, more than 700 student visits have been recorded at Power Play Toastmasters and multiple other students have attended additional Toastmaster clubs. The vast majority of our membership comes from the community.

"I equate welcoming students to Power Play Toastmasters as to that of being a gardener," said Travers Shipman. "The students have a brief, positive exposure to this friendly and welcoming non-profit organization and thus a seed is planted. So many current members joined Toastmasters to develop communication and leadership skills for the workplace. It is my hope that our students will know they can continue developing their skills as a supplement to their academic coursework, as well as once they are in the workplace."

Toastmasters International is a non-profit educational organization that teaches public speaking and leadership skills through a worldwide network of clubs. The organization started in 1924. The mission of Toastmasters is to provide a supportive and positive learning experience in which members are empowered to develop communication and leadership skills, resulting in greater self-confidence and personal growth.

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