As we in CMCI prepare for another fall semester, I want to share some updates about our campus, as well as a few stories about our alumni, students and faculty. 

All of our students will be back in just a few short weeks, and the campus is doing so in a way that prioritizes the well-being of our entire community and our ability to continue delivering an excellent education. Although it will not be a completely typical semester, the majority of classes will be held in person and a number of events will return. Our campus leadership continues to work closely with local and state public health officials on COVID-19 related developments and will keep the campus and community updated.

I was thrilled that this summer we were able to bring our Pathways to Excellence students back on campus after holding the program virtually last year, as well as launching Connections: CMCI Summer Academy, which was delayed last summer due to the pandemic. The academy was created to support and host historically underserved sophomore and junior high school students—especially those who may not know if college is the right fit for them. You can read about their week-long experience in “Making Connections.” 

As we pulled together “Sharing Stories of the Games,” we were reminded of the many alumni who have a long tradition of covering the Olympics, including AP photographer Gregory Bull (Jour’91), Pulitzer Prize-winning New York Times journalist John Branch (Bus’89; MJour’96) and USA Volleyball Communications Manager B.J. Hoeptner Evans (Jour’90). It was also fun to celebrate Olympic newcomers like NBC Sports Event Management Assistant Lina Takahashi (Jour’19), who has long dreamed of covering the Tokyo Games, and student Abbie Snyder, who attended the swimming trials as a production runner for NBC. Other veteran Olympic storytellers, such as CMCI Instructor and Sports Media Minor Director Marina Dmukhovskaya and producer and director Peter Lasser (Comm’76), shared updates about the unique challenges and benefits of this year’s virtual coverage.

If you’ve got a five-minute break and are looking for something fascinating to watch, I recommend our story and video feature on media production major Taylor Passios, who turned her apartment into an immersive exhibit to illuminate the role of online information overload in COVID-related hypochondria. And for some great summer reading, don’t miss our roundup of books recently published by CMCI faculty (including one I co-authored), and more!

I hope you enjoy this issue of CMCI Now and these stories of creativity, innovation and success that celebrate our alumni, faculty, staff and student accomplishments!

Warm regards,
Lori Bergen, PhD
Founding Dean
College of Media, Communication and Information