Student Experience: COM Goes to Cuba

Students capture daily life in Havana and beyond

Photo by Michael Cummo (’13)


If you’re a COM student reporting on most topics, you can find source material minutes from Comm. Ave. But what if your subject of interest is out of the country? Or what if your class is about foreign reporting?

Thanks to the efforts of two professors—Boston Globe Photographer and Pulitzer-winner Essdras Suarez and former New York Times Foreign Correspondent Stephen Kinzer (CAS’73)—a group of COM students had the opportunity to travel to Cuba this March. The trip, which Dean Tom Fiedler (’71) and Professor Bill McKeen helped facilitate, is one of the first of its kind for COM.

Cuba was a natural location choice, says Kinzer, as it “has a particular place in American imagination.” The trip participants—Kinzer’s foreign reporting class and Suarez’s photojournalism class—worked both individually and together to produce photos and stories for their classes, GlobalPost and The Boston Globe.

“Let’s get into Cuban life,” Kinzer says he told students. “Let’s transcend the static of the daily news and try to provide stories that are more interesting to the ordinary reader. ‘Follow your own curiosity’ is what I always tell them.”—Julie Rattey

Secundaria, a documentary about ballet in Cuba by Film & Television Associate Professor Mary Jane Doherty, premiered in April at Boston’s Independent Film Festival. The film follows teenage ballerinas on their journey through Cuba’s world-famous National Ballet School.

To read stories published in the GlobalPost featuring work by COM students and Visiting Professor Stephen Kinzer, visit:

See the students’ work in The Boston Globe, with an introduction by Essdras Suarez.

2 Comments on Student Experience: COM Goes to Cuba

  • As a BU Alum (’83) and a Cuban-American born and raised in Miami, it makes me very proud to see you cover this in so many interesting ways. Thanks Dean Fiedler. I see you haven’t forgotten your time in Miami :)

  • What amazing photos!

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