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Bostonia: The Alumni Magazine of Boston University

Summer 2010 Table of Contents

Tweeting Their Thesis

Students summarize their research, in 140 characters

| From Commonwealth | By Katie Koch

The Twitter bird.

They researched. They wrote. They defended. And for a few brief moments, they tweeted.

Last semester, we asked harried seniors and graduate students to take a few seconds to tweet their thesis topics with as much creativity as they could muster.

Patrick Johnson (COM’10), an M.F.A. candidate studying film, describes his project on Twitter at @thejourneyman: “A documentary on the culture of Boston driving. Why do Boston drivers drive like they do and what does it say about us as a city?”

He didn’t expect to come up with an answer. “But I want to explore why Boston drivers are so angry,” says Johnson.

Shaynna Herrera (CAS’10), a psychology major doing Independent Work for Distinction, researched the long-term effects of corporal punishment.

While her research methods were objective, her tweet was anything but. “Enjoy being spanked? Consider a dominatrix. Enjoy spanking your kid? Consider a psychologist. End all corporal punishment of children,” she writes at @ShaynnaNicole.

Allie Sklar (GRS’10), known on Twitter as @AllisonElise310, found her thesis topic especially timely. “Presenting policy options on approaching Internet control in China. Thanks to Google for making the writing process so ... exciting,” she writes.

And Tim Treacy (@timtreacy), a College of Fine Arts music education doctoral student, preferred not to jinx his thesis by breaking it down to its essentials. Instead, he simply tweets, “My dissertation is defining me more than I am defining it.”

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