Bridging the Gap With Professor Veronica Diver

Afua Nuro, staff writer

Afua Nuro
Afua Nuro

Self-proclaimed “speech geek” Veronica Diver loves to give speeches, and has the trophies to prove it. Diver has won several awards in a speech competition called “Toastmasters” in Oneonta. In Diver’s communications class, COMM 110, she tries to help students develop speaking skills and a passion for delivering speeches just like her.
Diver spent her childhood, up until 8th grade, living in Manhattan. She lived in an apartment building where everyone knew one another. Her parents never had to worry about leaving her alone in the apartment; they knew their daughter would be safe. She eventually moved to Long Island when she was in high school. At the age of 17, Diver went to Hofstra University, and was a self-described “party student.” She was not very focused in school and in her junior year she dropped out; she felt like she was too good for school and that a minimum wage job was enough. At that time, minimum wage was two dollars and fifty cents. As Diver grew older she realized that the decision to drop out of college was not one of her best.
Diver started working at SUNY Oneonta in 1990, but not as a teacher, she worked in the library. While she was working she decided that it would be in her best interest to go back to school. Since she already worked at the college, she decided to enroll as a student. After getting her degree, she started to work in the international students department and became a COMM 110 teacher in 2010. Diver became interested in teaching when she started teaching a Weight Watchers class. She loved getting in front of people and teaching so she decided to combine her love for them, by becoming a public speaking teacher.
Diver says that her most memorable moment in her life was traveling to Ireland to visit some of her extended family. She has travelled to many different places throughout her life, including Scotland, England, France and Mexico. She says she is a “connoisseur of hard cider.” She loves the Woodchuck brand and wouldn’t mind if you brought her a drink. Diver has been a Pescatarian for five years; she made the switch when was she on her trip to Ireland. She passed by a cow farm and remembers looking into the brown eyes of the cows and having a connection with them. She swore that she would never eat beef and other meat again.
“Stay in school” is the advice that Diver wants students to take. She now knows that dropping out of college when she was young was not a good decision. She encourages all students who have a fear of public speaking to take her course. “If it is not fatal, then it is no big deal,” Diver said.

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