The University introduced a new service on Jan. 23 that allows students to record the correct pronunciation of their names, as well as indicate phonetic spelling. Students can access the service, known as NameCoach, on TigerHub.
“The University community wishes to pronounce your name correctly,” University Registrar Polly Griffin wrote in an email to graduate and undergraduate students. In her email, Griffin explained that advisors and administrative staff will be able to listen to the voice recording and view the phonetic spelling provided by students. This information can also be linked to class rosters along with other PeopleSoft Student Records pages.
During the first week since the service was introduced, 120 students have recorded their names on TigerHub, according to Griffin. The Office of the Registrar has also received messages of appreciation from students along with feedback suggesting that it should be extended to all sectors of the University.
According to Griffin, University officials were introduced to NameCoach two years ago when it was still being developed. The University proceeded to adopt the software because of the ease with which it benefits the University community.
After logging into TigerHub, students select “Record Your Name” under Personal Information. Then, they are prompted to provide the correct phonetic spelling and record with an automated phone call or web recorder. Graduate students can follow a similar process using the Advanced Degree Application.
According to the company’s , NameCoach was created by Stanford University graduate students to solve the challenge of name pronunciation in an academic setting. NameCoach also provides services for name reading at graduation ceremonies. So far, it has expanded to over 100 schools, including Stanford University, the University of Chicago, and the University of Virginia.
Griffin said that NameCoach will help build stronger relationships between students and faculty.
“Our hope is that NameCoach will facilitate a respectful and appropriate use of one another’s — correctly pronounced — names,” she said.
Dean of Forbes Residential College Patrick Caddeau also noted that the service will help the University community recognize the diversity of its student population.
“We are fortunate to have so many different nationalities, languages, and perspectives represented on campus and it will be very helpful for anyone to get immediate assistance in correctly pronouncing a name with which they might be unfamiliar,” he said.
The service will benefit students whose names are often mispronounced. Since advisors and professors will know the correct pronunciation of students’ names beforehand, students will not have to awkwardly correct, or worse, hear their names mispronounced repeatedly.
“As someone whose name has been mispronounced a dozen different ways, I think NameCoach will be a valuable addition to TigerHub,” said Urvashi Uberoy ’20. “I’m sure that the many other students with ethnic names on campus will feel the same way.”