NameCoach in the News

Check out articles about NameCoach and its impact on organizations and campuses across the country



Canvas to implement name pronunciation software

“We just really feel that there’s some strong benefits to build up the student-faculty relationships and the student-to-student connections and foster a more inclusive and welcoming environment,” said Julie Selander, director of One Stop Student Services.


CSUN promotes equity with recorded name pronunciations

To help foster that trust—as well as inclusion and equity in the increasingly diverse school—the university implemented NameCoach Connect... “It was the easiest implementation from an external vendor in the more than 10 years that I’ve worked here."


Ties that bind a higher ed campus together: Tools and tactics for strengthening faculty-student relationships

Better academic performance. Increased student retention and graduation rates. Improved sense of campus community. These are just three benefits that closer ties among faculty and students can yield. Here are nine places to foster such connections...  Foothill College in California is one community college that’s using technology to help ensure professors get it right. NameCoach, which integrates with Foothill’s Canvas course management system, was the tool of choice.


'Don't say my name wrong at graduation'

As universities become more diverse places it becomes an even greater challenge - with names from China, Africa, the Middle East, South Asia, Europe and South America.


Say It Right with NameCoach: Pronouncing Student Names 

Do you have trouble pronouncing your students’ names, or is your own name a real tongue twister for some? NameCoach, a new default app embedded into Canvas, can help you and your students pronounce one another’s names correctly. Here are some examples of using NameCoach in effective and engaging ways.


Princeton University introduces new name pronunciation tool

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… 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.


What’s in a Name?

When the professor engages the student in personal conversation, recognizes her by name and seems to include her in the domain of attention, the subject matter seems more accessible. The nonverbal message goes out that the student is part of the community of people who can do mathematics, statistics, chemistry or whatever, the subject matter is.


NameCoach takes uncertainty out of name pronunciation

With the goal of creating a more inclusive campus community and classroom, NameCoach directly addressess the problem of name mispronunciation. Rather than repeatedly putting students on the spot or subjecting faculty to trial and error, students and faculty will have access to NameCoach in every Canvas course. Jaci Casazza, University Registrar, believes NameCoach will help bring a greater comfort level in faculty-student interactions.


Software Helps Instructors Stop Mangling Hard-to-Pronounce Student Names

Learning names at the beginning of the term has long been a challenge for instructors—especially when the names are ones professors have never encountered before. There are companies like NameCoach that give professors a way to hear and review the correct pronunciation before classes even begin.


NameCoach Solves A Big Problem For Colleges, Universities and Students’ Names

Indian comedian Vir Das does this insanely funny bit about being an Indian in America and how teachers always butchered his, and his friends names. Although the bit is funny as heck, and the mispronunciation of student names isn’t typically intentional it can be embarrassing and disheartening, especially at an important event like commencement.

Praveen Shanbhag says no more. That’s why he created NameCoach.


Western Pennsylvania Colleges Aim for Accuracy with Names Amid Commencements

Hundreds of schools in the U.S., Canada, Australia and the United Kingdom have turned to NameCoach to solve commencement dilemmas.


Praveen Shanbhag’s NameCoach Helping People Properly Pronounce Names

Shanbhag, a native of Cincinnati, Ohio, now living in Palo Alto, Calif., believes the future of NameCoach can stretch to various industries, including sales reps, customer service reps and even in the healthcare space, he said. Some of the improvements he is gearing toward is having a general pronunciation database as well as proving more data with the name badge, including country of origin, the story behind the name and the meaning of the name itself.


Stanford is using a new system to keep track of students' gender pronouns

The first day of class usually comes with its inevitable stressors, but Stanford University is trying to ensure that for its nonbinary and gender-nonconforming students, anxiety over having to correct professors about their pronouns isn't one of them.


Stanford students invited to record the pronunciation of their names for class rosters using a new web service

“We want to encourage a culture of respect on campus, and one of the best ways to convey respect to someone is to get their name right – and to get their pronouns right, too,” University Registrar Tom Black said.


The Name Game, commencement edition

Commencement can be a stressful time, and not only for soon-to-be graduates and their families. A recent survey found that hearing one’s name called over the public address system is overwhelmingly the most important issue for graduates and their families, well ahead of having a good speaker or good seating. Technology has simplified the process. Last year, Union was among the first schools to use the NameCoach app for commencement, which McCarty said has been “tremendously helpful.”


Bay Area tech firm helps universities with hard-to-pronounce names

“Pronouncing a person’s name right is all about taking the time to respect someone’s sense of identity,” said Shanbhag, founder and CEO of NameCoach. “Academia is succeeding in creating a more diverse community and more diverse campuses and with that comes more diverse names. Respecting people’s identity is a core element of inclusion. Names are a core part of that, they’re a core element of who a person is and where they come from.”


How do you pronounce your name?

There are many guides to making a first impression, networking, interviewing, and socializing, but most seem to start with what you are wearing and jump to what to talk about. What happens in between is the most simple yet most tricky aspect of all - how do you want others to pronounce your name?

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Don’t get tongue-tied: This program knows how to pronounce names

The software from the Palo Alto-based company, which raised a $1 million seed round last year, has been or will be used by over 250 universities in commencement proceedings this spring, including New York University, Columbia University, and Stanford.


When You Need a Fast-Talking Dean

At Hamilton, Pat Reynolds has mastered the art of reading names of graduates with speed and accuracy.


Tech helps commencement announcers nail grads’ names

The last thing graduating collegians want to hear, after four years of hard work, and with bursting-with-pride relatives present at commencement ceremonies, is announcers butchering their names. Hamline University for decades saw this happen again and again, despite commencement organizers’ sincere efforts to get graduates’ name pronunciations right. This year, the St. Paul-based institution is tapping into tech to get this issue licked once and for all in time for graduation ceremonies.


The 28 Hottest Startups in Palo Alto

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What’s In a Name? The Story Behind NameCoach

For many immigrant families, schools are the first places where they and their children experience the culture and values of their new home country. So it’s important that students feel respected and welcomed, and don’t feel alienated from their peers or teachers. Good intentions can quickly be overshadowed when a student’s name is mispronounced, and done so repeatedly by many people.


Praveen Shanbhag: The Name Coach

Praveen Shanbhag is a smart guy with a PhD in Philosophy. Like most philosophers, he spends time asking good questions. Questions like, "why can't universities (who employ really smart people) pronounce the names of their students correctly at graduation ceremonies?" Unlike most philosophers, Praveen went beyond asking; this son of Indian immigrants started a company to help us get each other's names right. We have a name for that: Genius!


Start-Up Aims to Solve Perpetual Graduation Problem: Butchered Names

Stanford University, whose students gave us the modern search engine, the modern sneaker company, and the modern method of money transfer, is finally tackling a native challenge: commencement. At graduation ceremonies over the past weekend, eight departments at the university used a web-based service that allows students to record their names before commencement for the benefit of whoever reads aloud the list of graduates.