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Dr. Paula McKenzie, an assistant professor in Bethune-Cookman University’s School of Arts & Humanities, will attend The 2009 Speechwriter’s Conference scheduled for February 12 and 13 in Washington, DC. The conference, a training and networking event for speechwriters, is co-sponsored by the Public Relations Society of America and Ragan Communications, a communications consulting firm.

“I am so excited to have the opportunity to attend this prestigious conference. I am grateful to my department chair Dr. Kekeli Nuviadenu and Dean James Brooks for supporting my attendance.” said McKenzie.   “When I served as deputy press secretary on Capitol Hill, I wrote speeches for my member of Congress,” said McKenzie. “In my speech class, I use this experience to help my students find their voice and to learn to speak truth to power. This conference will help me gain a fresh perspective so that I might share what’s happening now in the field with my students.”

McKenzie had submitted a grant proposal for the conference to the Andrew Mellon/Jessie Ball DuPont Endowment Committee in October 2008. She recently received information about receiving the award.

The conference is designed to help speechwriters and communications professionals sharpen their skills and learn from others in the field.  Special keynote speaker will be Theodore C. Sorensen, special counsel, adviser and speechwriter to President John F. Kennedy. “I’ve followed Ted Sorenson’s career and am looking forward to learning from him,” said McKenzie.

McKenzie teaches Introduction to Effective Oral Communication and other related courses in the department of speech communication, theatre, and visual arts. She serves as advisor to the Thurgood Marshall Debate Team and the Tau Lambda Chapter of Lambda Pi Eta, the National Communication Association Honor Society.  

The B-CU department of speech communication, theatre, and visual arts offers majors is speech communication, performance, and a minor in visual arts.

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About Bethune Cookman University:

Founded in 1904 by Dr. Mary McLeod Bethune, Bethune-Cookman University (B-CU) today sustains her legacy of faith, scholarship and service through its relationship with the United Methodist Church and its commitment to academic excellence and civic engagement.  B-CU offers 38 degrees on its main campus and online college. Located in Daytona Beach, B-CU is one of three private, historically black colleges in the state of Florida. The institution boasts a diverse and international faculty and student body of nearly 4,000.  For more information, visit

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