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Toast-Worthy: Four JSOM clubs earn national recognition

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Since 2011, Jindal School students have had the opportunity to enhance their classroom experience by joining one of four Toastmasters International clubs on campus. Toastmasters helps its members become confident public speakers in a learn-by-doing environment that allows members to burnishing their communication, public speaking and leadership skills.

 Richard Peck MBA’04, Toastmasters’ second vice president and JSOM alumnus.

Because of its strong support of Toastmasters International, Jindal School earned – for the third time – an award from that organization. On hand to present the award was Richard Peck MBA’04, Toastmasters’ second vice president and JSOM alumnus.

This spring’s event was organized by Gaurav Shekhar, program manager for MS/Information Technology and Management. He’s also an adviser to the Orators at UTD Toastmasters and holds numerous awards from Toastmasters in addition to serving as leader for the Toastmasters District in North Eastern Texas.

The first Toastmasters group at JSOM was Management Toastmasters Society, organized in 2011 by Dr. Maria Hasenhuttl, a clinical assistant professor in organizations, strategy and international management. She now works with the JSOM Friday Toastmasters Club.

Dr. Maria Hasenhuttl, a clinical assistant professor in organizations, strategy and international management.

“When I came here from Austria, I realized that, if I was going to be successful, I needed to be able to communicate well with people in this country,” she said. “I joined Toastmasters, and it transformed me. I tell students, you’re already spending so much, why not spend another dime a week to do something that is going to really enhance your classroom experience.”

Dr. Jeanne Sluder, a clinical assistant professor in organizations, strategy and international management, is the faculty advisor for Tuesday Toastmasters. “The organization is a good fit for our students, because communication skills in business are so important,” she said. “One big trend we’re seeing is that many large companies are now starting Toastmasters groups onsite.”

Two of Sluder’s students who recently did internships at large companies reported that the job application included a question about whether they had ever been members of Toastmasters.

Some of the JSOM groups are open to students only, while others are open to anyone. Meeting days and times vary.

Jeanne Spreier

Jeanne Spreier

Jeanne is a writer and editor who has worked in JSOM's External Affairs for more than seven years. She is also mother of three college-age kids who were born and raised in Dallas, and gets a lot of her Dallas know-how from them. On any given day, she would rather be outside somewhere. She earned her communications degree from the University of Kentucky. Read more articles

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