A message from COM

Mariette DiChristina
Dean, COM

640 Commonwealth Ave.
Boston, MA 02215

Support COM

September 2021

We head back to campus this fall with anticipation and excitement, and a renewed appreciation for the hands-on experiences, inside and outside the classroom, that make a College of Communication education so special. As all of us alumni know so well, it’s that grounding in practice and discovery—along with our strong commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion—that enables our graduates to use the most advanced communications skills to build understanding among people around the world.

We would not have made it to this point without your support. Your gifts helped enable everything from our successful student-run website and activities called COMLab to remote internship opportunities. For all of that, we thank you.

Our plans for the coming year are ambitious. As we step into a fully opened COM, filled with fresh perspectives and the lively clatter of students hard at work, we ask you to join us in supporting the enrichment activities that help us educate the communication leaders of today, and tomorrow.

Some of our top priorities:

In journalism
• The Justice Media Co-Lab is a partnership between COM, BU’s Faculty of Computing & Data Sciences, and BU Spark! It trains students to use data-driven journalism to address inequalities in reporting. Collaborations with professional news outlets include investigative pieces on police campaign contributions and federal prosecutorial misconduct.
• Students participating in our Statehouse Program work with a professor and a professional news editor to cover politics and legislation from the Massachusetts capitol.
• Student media opportunities abound at COM in radio (WTBU), TV (BUTV10), online (BU News Service), and other platforms.

In film and TV

• The Student Film Fund supports the development of professional-quality short films by providing students with the production funds needed to do their best work; these funds pay for set materials, space rentals, professional actors, and more.
• The department would like to develop a new Social Purpose Media Program to create narrative films and documentaries that address societal issues in an effort to bring about positive social, institutional, and behavioral change. We also want to develop courses and a program in visual effects, or VFX. At the student-run Hothouse Productions, students produce films and videos for clients in the nonprofit sector. Two examples: an antislavery public service announcement and a video for an education center in Guatemala.

In mass communication, advertising, and public relations
• Career-oriented programs help launch students into the real world. They include Creative Café, which brings together advertising students and professionals to review student portfolios; PRoBono, an overnight marathon where students create PR deliverables for nonprofits; and trips to New York advertising and PR agencies.
• The award-winning student-run agencies AdLab and PRLab pair students with purpose-driven organizations to produce campaigns that foster positive change in communities.

We are so grateful for your generosity, both financial and participatory in the form of mentorships, internships, and jobs for our students. Your gifts have a direct impact not only on the quality of our students’ experience but also on their futures—and the value their communications expertise brings to the world.

With deep thanks,

Mariette DiChristina (COM’86)
Dean, College of Communication

PS: Please visit bu.edu/give2com to support COM today.