Sean Fourney, Ph.D.
Director of the Patricia McArver Public Speaking Lab
Sean Fourney assumed the position of director in August 2020. He is also a professor in the Leadership Studies Department.
Dr. Fourney is passionate about the way communication functions to develop critical thinking skills and the vital role communication plays in one’s academic and professional development. His background includes work in radio as well as serving as a peer consultant at the University of Southern Mississippi Speaking Center and teaching multiple communications classes on three campuses.
He holds a Ph.D. in Communication Studies from the University of Southern Mississippi as well as a Master’s in Communications Studies from West Chester University. He did his undergraduate work in Communication Studies and Broadcasting at East Stroudsburg University. While at USM and East Stroudsburg University, he taught several courses in public speaking, interpersonal communications and voice for broadcasting.
Prior to coming to The Citadel, Dr. Fourney was at San Francisco State University where he taught communications and conflict resolution courses.
From the PSL Fall Newsletter
Sean Fourney, the new director of the Public Speaking Lab, first realized the power of public speaking more than a decade ago when he was taking a night class at a community college. Stymied by anxiety and the challenge of organizing his speeches, he would practice his talks while driving a beer truck, his day job.
Fast-forward to today, Fourney is a passionate crusader about how public speaking can instill confidence while also boosting critical thinking skills. He’s sharing his passion with Citadel cadets and CGC students through coaching sessions in the lab and his classes in the Leadership Studies Department.
“Nothing matches the feeling I get when I see students inspired by their own work in communication,” Fourney said. “Communication is not just about giving a speech. It is about learning how to think critically about an issue and the language we use to describe it. At The Citadel, students are learning to become leaders and good communication skills are essential to strong leadership.”
Fourney joined the staff of The Citadel in August, coming from Berkeley, CA where he taught at San Francisco State University.
His experience runs the gamut in public speaking. From working as a radio broadcaster to serving as a peer consultant at the University of Southern Mississippi Speaking Center and teaching communications courses at three universities, Fourney knows his stuff. He did his undergraduate work at East Stroudsburg University and earned an M.A. from West Chester University. His Ph.D. in Communication Studies is from the University of Southern Mississippi.
His biggest speech to date was as the first-ever student commencement speaker at East Stroudsburg University. He beat other competitors to address the 3,000 attendees at his graduation. “Although it was the most nervous I had ever been, I delivered my speech confidently because I knew I could,” he said.
Fourney has also used his speaking skills with the New Orleans Homeland Security and Emergency Preparedness Public Engagement Office where he spoke to groups across the city about getting ready for hurricane season.
Fourney has lost no time immersing himself in life at The Citadel. In the early weeks of the semester, he visited Citadel 101 classes promoting the lab and El Cid Toastdawgs. He has lined up several guest lectures and printed brochures to boost awareness of the lab and its services. He is also planning to continue the Corps-wide Speaking Competition that was interrupted last spring due to the pandemic.
His email address is firstname.lastname@example.org