SUNY Online Teaching Ambassador 2021: Alfred State – Nicholas Stefanski
Nicholas L. Stefanski, J.D., Ph.D. is an Assistant Professor in the Department of English and Humanities at Alfred State College. He earned his PhD in Rhetoric and Communication from the University of Pittsburgh in 2020 and is currently teaching speech communication courses both online and in the classroom at Alfred State College. As somewhat of a latecomer to academia, having taken instructive detours through various other career choices including the financial services industry and law school, Dr. Stefanski finds particular value in the opportunities provided by online education, especially the ability to reach nontraditional student populations and the capacity to use technology to leverage students’ life experiences into strengths that reinforce course material.
In my Effective Speaking classes, I enjoy working to help online students construct and deliver speeches that are tailored to their own personal goals and professional contexts, sometimes even in front of their current coworkers as audience members. I find that the online format is ideal for enabling students to realize that they already possess a great deal of expertise and that applying the principles of rhetoric and effective speaking can help them share that expertise with the world.