International Students

A helping hand for the international students in COM’s Journalism graduate program

By Nikita Sampath
MS Broadcast Journalism ’16
BU College of Communication 

All Journalism graduate students at BU’s College of Communication are required to take JO721- Journalism Principles/Techniques. Every fall, Professor Christopher Daly teaches a section of JO721 designed for all new international grad students in the Journalism program.

Alongside classes, Prof. Daly does his bit to help these same students acclimate to American culture and the education system. “In a program like journalism, a lot of our assignments depend on cultural awareness. If the students need to tackle topics like the Red Sox, Halloween and Black Friday they need to have a general knowledge of American folkways and society, as they cannot be expected to have that exposure coming from another country” he says.

The American exposure begins early in the semester, when Daly invites students to his home so they can get a first-hand impression of an American household. Daly is also known to bring alumni and other experienced journalists into his classroom to speak to the international students.

The positive influence Daly’s class and efforts have on international students is apparent through the grad students who have been in the program for a few semesters. “My more experienced students come into class and happily and spontaneously testify that they got a lot better over the course of their first year. ” says a proud Daly.

Those grad students who visited Daly’s current students had a lot of advice to offer. Third-semester Journalism student Claire Giangrave told them about how she would ask American students who were better than her to let her read their work. She would look at what they did and imitate it. “The truth is, you have to work harder and better than the others. I made it my goal to compare myself with the best, not just among my peers, but also with great journalists and professors.” she said. She also advised the students to not hesitate to ask for help from fellow students and BU’s amazing faculty. Claire herself moved to Boston from Rome.

Prim Chuwiruch, another third-semester Journalism student from Bangkok, advises new grad students to relax. “ I know that it sounds like the most easiest piece of advice but it’s true. Once you take a breather and get yourself accustomed to everything in this new city, things will fall into place on their own and you’ll look back and wonder why you ever stressed out so much in the first place.”

A couple weeks ago, Melanie Lidman, an alumnus from the University of Maryland, visited Daly’s international class. Lidman now writes for The Times of Israel and the Global Sisters Report. The entire section pepped up when Lidman told stories about her reporting experiences in troubled parts of the world including Egypt and Israel. She also offered some sound advice for those pursuing a career in the journalism industry: “You will make mistakes along the way. It’s a long journey to grow as a writer and move your career forward,” she told the class.

Are you an international student looking to apply to BU? Find out more about the application process here.


Inside TV graduate course: Production 1

By Nikita Sampath
MS Broadcast Journalism ’16
BU College of Communication 

Production I is an introductory class that every Television graduate student takes in their first semester at BU’s College of Communication (COM). Professor Geoffrey Poister, who has 15 years of experience in the film and TV industry, teaches the course.

In Production I, students start off by learning how to use a basic DSLR camera and what different lenses are used for different effects. Next, they move on to the more advanced Panasonic camcorder, which is used by professional TV crews and is good for shooting interviews. Students learn to record sound using various microphones such as the wireless, lavaliere and shotgun. They also touch upon lighting techniques and learn how to use Avid, Hollywood’s editing software of choice.

For their first assignment, students produce a silent film. The script for this project must be highly action-based. After the script is complete, students learn how to add sound to their film. Students choose to either record new music or select from the available media libraries on COM’s computers located in all the labs on each floor.

Their second assignment is a group assignment in which students have to work on a documentary—one with real people and characters. This semester, one group chose to work on a story about Professor Poister himself, as he is part of a band. “This is the course I have most fun in. Professor Poister is very funny! I was really surprised to know that he was part of a band,” said Maggie Shuting Cao, a first semester television graduate student.

Professor Poister gives his students creative leeway while giving them hands-on instruction for learning the techniques of film production. Students learn to differentiate between producing say, a more dramatic, fictional movie and one that is more ground in reality, a documentary kind of production. This way they learn two different ways to narrate stories, all in one semester.

Mohammad Behroozian, a student from Afghanistan, who took the class this semester said he really appreciated the “opportunity to test the edges of [his] creativity.” For his first project he produced a stop-motion animation. Beginning right from scratch, he built a set on his study-table. He created mannequins and gave them costumes and lit it artificially. Check out his work here!

Mohammad Behroozian says he would like to work on producing educational television material for children back in Kabul once he graduates from BU’s College of Communication.

Want to learn more about the programs offered by COM’s Film/TV department? Visit our website here and find out how you can apply to one of the graduate programs here at COM.







Why BU men’s soccer team will make you a sports fan, even if you’re in grad school

By Ali Parisi
MS Public Relations ’16
BU College of Communication

Yes, it’s true: you can still be a college sports fan while in grad school!  In fact, this year, Boston University has had some exceptionally exciting teams that have led fans on an entertaining journey.  Point in case, the BU men’s soccer team.

Back in August, the team started their season off with a dramatic win, scoring in the last second of overtime to beat Fordham 1-0.  They rounded out opening weekend with a win over Iona during a torrential downpour.  Alright, so they won their first two games.  What’s the big deal?  Well, this happened to be the first time the Terriers opened their season with a 2-0-0 record since 2001.  Things were off to a great start for the boys of BU.

(Photo: Mike Tureski) Senior goalkeeper Nick Thomson (in blue) celebrates a win over Fordham with the rest of his team dogpiles over Lucas McBride (unseen), the junior who put away the winning goal.

(Photo: Mike Tureski) Senior goalkeeper Nick Thomson (in blue) celebrates a win over Fordham with the rest of his team dogpiles over Lucas McBride (unseen), the junior who put away the winning goal.

The team hit a few bumps through the rest of their non-conference schedule, marking two losses in early September.  However, by the time they reached conference play, the Terriers were ready to go.  The men defeated both Navy and Army in their first two games of Patriot League play, setting the tone for the rest of their season.  For their next seven conference games, they were able to remain undefeated, rounding out their regular season play with six wins and three ties.

The Terriers earned the right to host the Patriot League conference tournament on their home field.  However, they had to overcome Army in order to make it to the next game, or else the championship would be played on Nickerson Field by two out-of-state competitors.

Just like they did in their opening weekend, the men had to show extreme grit to come out on top.  They had some serious chances throughout regulation play, but were unable to put the ball in the back of the net.  That is until the last two minutes of double overtime, when senior Cameron Souri served the ball across straight to the head of fellow classmate Dominique Badji, who was able to direct the ball on goal and away from Army’s keeper.

Unfortunately, the drama wasn’t quite over for the Terriers as they headed into the championship game against Bucknell two days later: they fell down a goal, then tied it up, then fell down another good, then tied it up again.  But in the first overtime, Bucknell finished off the job, claiming the Patriot League title with a 3-2 win over BU.

(Photo: Sofi Laurito) The team gathers together before the whistle to begin the Patriot League championship game.

(Photo: Sofi Laurito) The team gathers together before the whistle to begin the Patriot League championship game.

Though they couldn’t come away with a win in the end, the Terriers have much to be proud of.  This year’s team was the first team in 20 years to go through a conference schedule without a single loss.  They were ranked 24th in the country by the NSCAA and finished the season with an 11-3-4 overall record.  Several players earned All-Conference honors, including Coach of the Year Neil Roberts, Offensive Player of the Year Dominique Badji, and Rookie of the Year Bjarki Benediktsson.

See, you don’t have to stop rooting for collegiate sports, even if it isn’t for your alma mater… Go Terriers!








COM student competes on TD Garden basketball court

By Keiko Talley
MS Journalism ’16
BU College of Communication

On November 16, Boston University Men’s Basketball team competed in the Coaches vs. Cancer triple-header at the TD Garden. UMASS, Holy Cross, Boston College, Northeastern and Harvard University all participated in the two-day tournament, which marked the start to the BU Men’s Basketball season.

A week ago, I wrote a post explaining the significance of this event (check it out here). Each participating school chose one representative to raise at least $1,500 for the American Cancer Society (ACS). With great success, each school reached their goal days before the tournament even took place.

BU chose College of Communication student Connor Lenahan to be the school’s representative and spearhead all fundraising (if you didn’t get a chance to read about Connor’s story in my last post, make sure you check it out here).


Although BU lost their game to Northeastern, players and fans still felt like winners, especially Connor. ACS donations were collected right up until the start of the first game at 1 p.m. on Sunday. During the second game’s halftime, the two schools who raised the most money were announced—Harvard University and Boston University. BU came in first raising a total of $1,835 and Harvard second with a total of $1,830.

As the winner of the ACS fundraising competition, Connor was invited to center court to live out a lifelong dream of playing basketball on an NBA court, despite his disability. Connor participated in a shootout against a Harvard professor and superfan.

Although he did not win the shootout, Connor was still excited that he played basketball on the same court that Kevin Garnett and Ray Allen have played on… something he will forever be able to brag to his friends about. But above all, Connor felt humbled to have been blessed with the opportunity to give back to such a great cause like the American Cancer Society—something he hopes to continue with in the future.


Public Relations COM grad student shares his success in the communication industry

By Iris Moore
MS Broadcast Journalism ’15
BU College of Communication

Check out my interview with BU College of Communication alum Paul Kresge, who is now an Account Manager for Centro, an advertising tech company in Chicago. Kresge talks about how he’s been able to use what he learned at COM to help him become successful in the communication industry.

Kresge received his Bachelor’s degree in Communication at Boston University. He went on to earn a MS degree in Public Relations at BU’s College of Communication.

Recently, Centro was ranked No. 1 on Ad Age’s 2014 list of best places to work in advertising, media and ad tech. Centro makes software that helps companies better engage with their audience.

Have any questions for Paul that we didn’t cover in this interview? Feel free to ask in the comment section below.

Interested in attending one of BU College of Communication’s graduate programs? Check out our website to get more information on all the programs here at COM.