Joann Brown has spent more than 20 years in academia, with the last eight as the chair of the former Communication Arts Department at Florida International University. Under her direction, the Department has grown exponentially. The Bachelor of Arts in Communication Arts was approved in 2010 and by 2013, the Department also had a fully-online degree program, developed by Ms. Brown. Today, the Department has a budget of over $2.3 million and the largest student enrollment in the College of Architecture + The Arts. She also serves as the Director of Assessment and Retention for the College of Architecture + The Arts and chairs the University Core Curriculum Oversight Committee for Florida International University(since 2008). In addition, she serves on numerous committees related to student success and teaching excellence. Her graduate research addressed the influence of physical attractiveness in the persuasion process, but she has spent most of her career focused on intercultural communication and diversity. She has authored/co-authored three textbooks: Intercultural Communication (2013), Speaking with Confidence (2013), and Speaking Intelligently (2004). Ms. Brown is an experienced and much sought after public speaking and leadership coach. She has conducted many seminars at Florida International University and throughout the Greater Miami area on subjects ranging from overcoming speech anxiety to understanding cultural biases in communication.