Feature Article: Dr. Moss is Making a Difference

Dr. Moss is Making A Difference

Dr. Janice Moss is the public speaking professor at Piedmont College who is impacting the lives of other students on a daily basis.  She’s been teaching at the college level for 31 years.  Born in Rockingham in Richmond County, North Carolina, her parents knew that she had the gift to be a teacher ever since she was just 5, because she loved to play school with her dolls.

“Mass communications is a great major because it covers so many different aspects of the media,” Moss said.  “I love radio production, editing, the production elements of television, and I’ve always loved to write.”

Dr. Moss published a book called “Advanced Med African Americans in the Advertising Industry,” in which she “focuses on the time period between 1895-1999.” Dr. Moss knows a lot about this topic because she has a doctorate degree in history with a concentration in African Studies.  She even got the privilege to hear the late wife of Nelson Mandela give a keynote address at the higher education conference at Witwatersrand University in Johannesburg, South Africa.

Prior to coming to Piedmont, Moss was the assistant professor at Brenau College, after graduating from the University of Louisiana Monroe with her master’s degree in mass communications and speech.   “I spent seven years teaching at Brenau University in Gainesville,” she said.  “I taught everything from public speaking to radio production, television production, and many of the writing classes and advertising sales.  I also taught World Civilization 1 and World Civilization 2 and many history classes.”

Dr. Moss has an undergraduate degree in radio, television and film communications. After teaching at Brenau, Moss became a visiting instructor at Clemson University for one year, and then finally came to Piedmont College in 1994.  She was in charge of “writing the curriculum for the minor of mass communications,” which still exists today.

Moss teaches the public speaking club, also known as the speech and debate practicum.  Students who take this practicum can receive one credit for each semester they take it and can take it up to three times.  The students who are part of this practicum compete in debate and public speaking tournaments.

Ray Hernandez, president of the speech and debate team, said he has definitely benefitted from Dr. Moss’ practicum.  “When I first met Dr. Moss, I was a freshman taking her public speaking class,” he said.  “I was very nervous about wanting to talk to her about speech and debate.  Needless to say, she changed my life.  Ever since I joined the speech and debate team Dr. Moss has always been very supporting and very patient with me and everyone else.  Maybe the best thing about her is that never once, have I ever felt her giving up on me!  She is always willing to help me become a better speaker and a better person!  She’s always willing to push me to do better and she always is willing to brag and support her speakers!  She is simply willing to go the extra mile to see us succeed whether it’s in a tournament or in other aspects of life.  She is the best speech and debate coach I could ask for!”

Dr. Moss says that she asks the students “what their top 10 fears are, and public speaking scored higher than the fear of death.”  With public speaking being one of the biggest fears people have, Moss has been diligent with making her students feel confident.

“I love Dr. Moss.  She is such a precious person,” said ZI.  “She always makes you feel welcome and important.  I remember one time in her speaking class I had lost my voice from cheering at a game the night before.  I went to class early to explain the situation the best I could with no voice.  In the end, she still had me give my speech.  She turned a weird situation into a positive one.  She encouraged me saying things like, the show must go on.  She always knows how to find the positive in a situation.  She’s a great motivator!  Definitely one of favorite professors at Piedmont!”

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