Information for Partners

Interested in becoming a partner? Consider the info below and fill out this brief survey:

“Speaking of Bicycles” is a public speaking seminar with a focus on bicycles. We’re studying a lot of different forms of oral communication and presentation, and along the way we’ll explore bicycle cultures and subcultures, business, politics & policy, and the science of cycling. And we’ll explore San Francisco.

The students in the course are in their first semester of college, and they have come to USF from all over the US—Washington DC, Ohio, Texas—as well as from Asia, Europe, and the Middle East. So almost all of them are very new to San Francisco, and they’re very new to college.

My hope is to recruit people in the cycling community in San Francisco and around the world to connect with these students. I’m hoping that by including partners from outside the university world, the course will be much more valuable for students in the long run.

I hope that partners see this as a chance to share their experiences of the cycling world, and to help bring students into that world. But more importantly, I see partners as experienced communicators, who can give students valuable information about the role of spoken communication in real world settings. In other words, partners have a lot of knowledge and experience will communication out in the real world, and that’s something students don’t get much exposure to in college.

I envision a wide range of possible roles for partners, ranging from very low involvement to much more active roles. We can work together to tailor something to your interests and availability.

For example, an easy partner role is to visit the class (either in person or via videoconference). You wouldn’t have prepare anything—the visit could take the form of an interview or Q & A, where I would ask about your experiences with bicycles and also about your experiences with communication in your professional life (or elsewhere).

Alternately, some partners might wish to host a visit by the class or individual students. In the near future, the class will visit the offices of the San Francisco Bike Coalition and a nearby bike shop.

More substantial roles might involve consulting with students on their work, perhaps giving interviews to interested students or giving feedback on student work (of course, I’ll handle the grading). Partners will also be invited to contribute to the course site, in the form of blog posts (which can be as simple as forwarding a link, or as involved as writing an essay).

Again, we can work together to set up a role fits your interests or availability, whether you want just to dip your toes in or do a full cannonball.

I work very hard to make my classroom a very valuable place, but I also want to get students out of the classroom and into the wider world. I’m already impressed by the students in this class, and I hope you get a chance to meet them. I think you would find this to be a great experience.


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