As director of communications for the Spaulding Rehabilitation Network, Tim Sullivan (MET’06) is frequently reminded of the adage he often shares with students in his online Media Relations for Health Communicators (MET HC 758) course: “Having a job in communication means having communication responsibilities, as well as ‘other duties as assigned,’” the MET health communication instructor says.
Never has that sentiment been truer than during the current global COVID-19 pandemic, when professionals of all stripes are adjusting to new and developing roles and responsibilities across organizations. As a representative of a specialized academic teaching hospital, has seen his own duties evolve, putting him in position to lean into the skills he developed during his studies in the MET Master of Science in Advertising program, as well as the ones he helps hone in current online Master of Science in Health Communication and Graduate Certificate in Visual & Digital Health Communication students.
Mr. Sullivan recently had the opportunity to play a pivotal role in bringing a powerful and positive bit of health communication to the world. In March, Chelsea’s Isabel Gonzalez was admitted to Massachusetts General Hospital, when her pregnancy was complicated by her having tested positive for COVID-19. After a successful emergency C-Section, Ms. Gonzalez was admitted to the ICU, where she was put on a ventilator, to combat the novel coronavirus before she even had the chance to hold her newborn daughter, Victoria.
After 6 weeks of recovery, on Tuesday, May 12, Ms. Gonzalez was discharged from Spaulding Hospital in Cambridge, where family surprised her with the child they had been rearing in her absence. News cameras captured the beautiful moment, and the story reached far and wide—from an array of New England media outlets to the national Today show. But some of the camerawork that viewers in nearly 40 countries enjoyed was itself evidence of that “other duties assigned” lesson Sullivan offers his students.
“It’s been wild figuring out how to do these stories,” Sullivan says. “The funny thing is, as no media are allowed in our hospitals, I’ve ended up shooting all these stories any video or images inside the hospitals. I’ve been shooting a lot lately, and setting up experts on video calls, so my background in video production has come in handy. It’s been quite the exercise, figuring these out.”
As a benefit of Boston University’s standing as a National Center of Academic Excellence (CAE) in Cyber Defense and Research, students enrolled in BU Metropolitan College’s programs in information security and cybersecurity are invited free of charge to attend the 4th National CAE Virtual Career Fair, sponsored by the National Cybersecurity Training and Education (NCyTE) Center and the National Science Foundation.
Taking place September 4, 2020, 9 am–1 pm (Pacific Time), the CAE Virtual Career Fair is an opportunity to connect with employers in the cybersecurity and information assurance space looking to fill internships and part-time or full-time positions. Students in the following BU MET degree programs are eligible to attend the virtual job fair at no cost:
- MS in Computer Information Systems, concentration in Security
- MS in Computer Science, concentration in Security
- MS in Criminal Justice, concentration in Cybercrime Investigation & Cybersecurity
- MS in Telecommunication, concentration in Security
Students can create a profile and upload their résumé prior to the event to allow employers time to review. Students also have the opportunity to participate in a series of workshops leading up to the fair to help them build their résumé and interview skills.
For more information and to register, please visit the CAE website.
In March, WCVB-TV Channel 5’s “Chronicle” news team paid a visit to the classroom of BU Metropolitan College’s Cybercrime Investigation & Cybersecurity (CIC) Program Director Dr. Kyung-shick Choi as part of its investigation into the professional field of cybercrime prevention, investigation, and cybersecurity.
The long-running, Boston-produced newsmagazine show dubbed cybersecurity “the future of law enforcement” in its report, which included interviews with MET CIC students who cited the importance of learning the trade from working practitioners, as well as the promising professional opportunities on the horizon.
“We need more people in this field protecting [and] helping people,” MET CIC student Mariana De Paiva said.
The segment also delved into Dr. Choi’s journey and personal history as an expert. A police officer in South Korea before coming to the United States to study criminology, Choi only turned his focus to cybercrime investigation after being a victim of one such crime himself—a personal data breach that led to the theft of more than $50,000.
“Everybody thought that I committed [the] crime,” Dr. Choi told “Chronicle.” “Then I had to defend myself. I ended up working with the national police to find the suspect.”
The cybersecurity spotlight feature also echoed recent sentiments from Dr. Choi that the COVID-19 pandemic and subsequent rise in professionals working from home internet increases the threat and risks of cyberattacks on everyday people.
Cybersecurity may be the future of criminal justice, but from his own past, the BU MET CIC director has seen that the qualities most essential to law and order are the willingness and commitment to work together.
“Cooperation between the private sector and the government sector—and academia—is the key to combating cybercrime,” Dr. Choi said.
Watch the segment on WCVB-TV Channel 5.
As reported in the Hyde Park Bulletin (Volume 19, Issue 19), on May 5 students from Metropolitan College’s Urban Studies Capstone course (MET UA 805) presented The Power of Green! Strategic Proposals for the Hyde Park Community. The virtual event focused on actions that could be taken to enhance access to, and quality of, the neighborhood’s green spaces, and provoke economic development in the Hyde Park central business district. The four proposals will be made available to the public.
“We want our students to be agents of change,” says Associate Professor of the Practice Madhu C. Dutta-Koehler, director of the City Planning & Urban Affairs programs, and a resident of Hyde Park. “This is a unique neighborhood that needs to be celebrated. Our hope is they will work in the community when they graduate.”
A key course in the Metropolitan College City Planning & Urban Affairs programs, the Urban Studies Capstone is designed to integrate the principles and applications of city planning, urban affairs, and public policy while fostering interdisciplinary partnerships and helping to cultivate industry alliances and cooperation.
Learn more about the Class of 2020 on the City Planning & Urban Affairs website.
Special thanks to fellow Terrier and author of the article, Mary Ellen Gambon (COM’94, CAS’94). Read the full article in the Hyde Park Bulletin.
COVID-19 may have impacted all walks of life, but even during quarantine, people need to eat. Students in the BU MET Master of Liberal Arts in Gastronomy program are making the most of the challenging times by cooking up the Gastronomy Students Association (GAS) Community Cookbook. An effort to stay connected and inspired during quarantine, the GSA has invited BU Gastronomy & Culinary Arts/Food and Wine alumni, faculty, and staff to pitch in with their own suggested recipes for comfort foods, pantry staples, and the dishes that have helped people fill their bellies with satisfaction lately. The cookbook is for all audiences, and recipes in the form of artwork, photography, or poetry are also encouraged. Contributions can be submitted to firstname.lastname@example.org ahead of the deadline, which has been extended to May 1.
Read more in BU Today.
Kim Richards (Questrom’08, MET’14), director of program administration for BU MET’s Department of Computer Science, is among one of three winners of BU’s 2020 Perkins Award for Distinguished Service.
An annual staff recognition for exceptional service to the University, Distinguished Service Award honorees are nominated by faculty. Dubbed a “magician” by one colleague, Ms. Richards is celebrated for her ability to forge community between MET computer science students and department faculty. She also tests systems and technologies, created an all-new student orientation and internship program, works to connect students with potential employers, and leads operations on the department’s website.
“Academia is an ever-changing field, especially when your focus is computer science,” she told BU Today. “It is fascinating to be a part of that process and to learn from [faculty] about the changes that are occurring.”
Read more in BU Today.
As people in Massachusetts—and around the world—hunker down in their homes to help “flatten the curve” of COVID-19, more people are connecting to the elemental comforts of food. In the Daily Free Press article “Staying at home leaves room to improve diets,” Boston University faculty offer insight on how food unites us, and provide advice on how to maintain a healthy, balanced diet while cooped up at home. According to Dr. Megan Elias, associate professor of the practice and director of the gastronomy program at BU’s Metropolitan College, cooking not only creates bonds and keeps us in touch with our culture; it opens the door to explore cuisine, “do a little bit of traveling across places,” and engage in a shared table while complying with stay-at-home advisories.
The global crisis of COVID-19 has put increased emphasis on the ways individuals and organizations alike disseminate key information, and according to Associate Professor Stephen Quigley, social media has been a bellwether of the times.
“It brings out the best in us,” he recently told the Boston Herald, noting that it’s also “bringing out the very worst in us.”
On the one hand, “People [are] going out of their way to express their concern and affection and love for others,” he said. On the other hand, “The more fear and anxiety out there, the more those qualities feed on themselves and the more opportunities for misinformation and hatred and fear to spread.”
Professor Quigley co-founded and co-directed BU MET’s Master of Science in Health Communication program, which is a collaborative effort between MET and BU’s College of Communication. The multidisciplinary program focuses on the intersection of healthcare, marketing, health literacy, public relations, and digital media in order to prepare students for the breadth of issues they will encounter as health communicators.
Read more from Professor Quigley in the Boston Herald.
As an expert on data and knowledge management in the biomedical and healthcare sectors, MET Associate Professor Guanglan Zhang recognizes the threat of data breach faced by medical practices.
Coordinator of BU MET’s Health Informatics programs, Dr. Zhang shared her insights into recent data breach trends in the medical field with Physician’s Practice. Among her findings were:
- Data breaches are on the rise, with 358 in 2017, 371 in 2018, and 511 in 2019.
- The biggest states have been hit the hardest. California sustained 335 breaches between 2009 and 2020, most in the nation, followed by Texas with 276 breaches in that same period, and Florida rounding out the top three with 192.
- The most frequent kind of breach is a hacking/IT incident, with 941 occurrences. The second-most frequent breach is a theft (893 instances) followed by unauthorized access/disclosure (875)
- The leading perpetrators of data breaches are health care providers (2,287), but the second-most common responsible party are business associates.
Dr. Zhang also reminded that the same standards of security apply to all manners of medical organizations.
“Small- to medium-size physician practices are vulnerable to cyberattacks as they often have less expertise in IT technology and limited resources in place,” Zhang said. “Large healthcare organizations often have an IT team, while physician practices might have one IT employee who works part time. Despite this, [practices] need to comply with the same set of rules, [like] HIPAA privacy and security rules and state regulations, to safeguard protected health information.”
BU MET’s Health Informatics programs—encompassing the Master of Science in Computer Information Systems with a concentration in Health Informatics as well as the four-course programs the Health Informatics Graduate Certificate and the Medical Information Security & Privacy Graduate Certificate—give students the tools they need for career success in the field of health information technology, security, and electronic health record management.
Read more in Physician’s Practice.
Few have the experience and expertise of BU MET instructor Sandy Block. There are less than 400 certified Masters of Wine in the world, and Sandy is one of two teaching at Boston University, having developed the four-level Certificate Program in Wine Studies that provides unparalleled instruction on everything from the field’s core fundamentals to perspectives on the trade in local, national, and international arenas.
Like many BU MET faculty, Block is a practitioner as well as a teacher, and as vice president of beverage operations at Legal Sea Foods, he has been responsible for making sure diners at the restaurant group’s many locations have the perfect pairing for their meal for over 15 years.
In that time, he has seen things change. In a recent interview with Wine Spectator magazine, Block shared insights into the evolutions he has observed, from the downswing in popularity of once-stalwart Australian wines, to an increase in diners willingness to enjoy a red with their sea food. “White wine is a much slimmer majority than it was 15 years ago,” he explained of Legal patrons. “One of the other major trends is more wine by the glass and less by the bottle.”
Whether they are establishing or advancing a career in wine, or simply quenching the thirst of their passions, the wine-studying students of Mr. Block benefit from his deep applied knowledge of the subject. Learn about how he has seen the wine world change, and how he fell in love with the trade, in Mr. Block’s interview in Wine Spectator.