On the Air

April 19, 2009 by Greg Clay Adamczyk '09  
Filed under New on the Hill

The spring semester marked the opening of Suffolk University’s new TV studio, known as “Studio 73” for its location at 73 Tremont Street in the Rosalie Stahl building. Built in the space formerly occupied by a gift shop, the 660-square-foot studio is equipped with three Panasonic HPX 500 high-definition cameras, a full lighting grid, and a professional control room that provides broadcast journalism students hands-on experience in a professional setting.

“We always had great production equipment but no studio space,” says TV studio lab instructor Jason Carter.

This semester, Carter, along with journalism professor Shoshana Madmoni-Gerber, has been able to use Studio 73 to produce Temple Street, a student-run news program that covers stories throughout the community. Until the opening of the studio, this advanced broadcast journalism class had to convert a classroom into a temporary space to film. Students now can professionally produce all the news show aspects, from researching to shooting and editing, before airing on the Boston Neighborhood Network.

Aside from Temple Street, says Carter, “We are looking to get a group of students to work on a news show and be behind the scenes to make those shows possible.” Focusing directly on the University, these news shows will stream once a week to Suffolk dormitories and potentially to the University’s website as well. “We are hooked up to a Verizon fiber hub so theoretically, we could broadcast anywhere,” says Carter.

Accompanying the news show would be a sports segment hosted by Adam Nelson, head basketball coach and assistant director of athletics. Interested students will be able to attend free training seminars next semester. Also in development is a filmed oral history of Suffolk University. And in April, Suffolk University and New England Cable News (NECN) formalized an agreement to become partners in the studio, an event kicked off with a live broadcast of Jim Braude, host of NECN’s NewsNight program, and Mayor Thomas Menino in the new studio.

By next semester, the department hopes to develop a studio crew to provide equipment training, allowing classes, clubs, and students the chance to use the space. This crew will also create new work-study positions and make the studio more accessible. “The goal for Studio 73,” says Carter, “is to be a space that is reserveable for shoots, provides a knowledgeable crew, and performs a service to the Communication and Journalism department and the University as a whole.”

Ford Hall Forum Comes Home

April 19, 2009 by Alex Minier  
Filed under New on the Hill

Ford Hall Forum, celebrating a century of public dialogue and free speech, has established a new partnership with the Suffolk University College of Arts & Sciences. The lecture series’ administrative offices in the John E. Fenton Building are just one block from where the original Ford Hall (below) once stood.

The Forum is now the nation’s oldest free public lecture series. It began in 1908 as a series of Sunday evening public meetings hosted by George W. Coleman, a prominent Boston businessman, to provide the “full, free, and open discussion of all vital questions affecting human welfare.”

Since Coleman’s time, the Forum has gone on to host discussions with the most intriguing figures in our nation’s modern history, including Maya Angelou, Louis Brandeis, W.E.B. DuBois, Al Gore, Garrison Keillor, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., Henry Kissinger, Ayn Rand, Eleanor Roosevelt, Cokie Roberts, and Malcolm X. While the original Ford Hall no longer exists, the Forum’s public conversations have continued throughout Greater Boston with the support of foundations, corporations, academic institutions, and individuals.

Suffolk University, which also just celebrated its centennial, is providing the Forum with the opportunity to “come home” not only to Beacon Hill but also into an academic environment that shares a similar spirit and history of accessible education and civic dialogue. “Both organizations were born in the Progressive Era, and both have a commitment to free speech and interactive learning,” says Dean Kenneth Greenberg. “We are eager for our community to engage in the excitement of live, public discourse that is the heart of the Ford Hall Forum events.”

Jimmy Wales, founder of Wikipedia, is scheduled to kick off the Forum’s fall 2008 season in September. Future speakers include Gary Hirshberg, CEO of Stonyfield Farms and author of Stirring It Up: How to Make Money and Save the World, Gwen Ifill, host of PBS’ Washington Week in Review and Douglas J. Feith, former United States Undersecretary of Defense for Policy.  See the Ford Hall Forum ad on page 13 for the complete season line-up.

For more information, visit www.fordhallforum.org or contact Alex Minier at 617-557-2007.

The Modern Theatre Awakens from Slumber

April 19, 2009 by Amy Nora Long  
Filed under New on the Hill

Suffolk University’s search for increased classroom and dormitory space has led to the Modern Theatre, the last of three theatres on lower Washington Street in need of a savior. The nearby Paramount Theatre is currently being renovated by Emerson College and the adjacent Opera House reopened in 2004 to house Broadway touring productions.

Suffolk’s proposed plan for the space will retain the historic marble and sandstone façade, creating a ground floor performance space with a dormitory above that will connect to the new dorm at 10 West Street.
“This is a momentous opportunity to raise Suffolk’s profile in the Boston theatre community by creating a state-of-the-art facility while contributing to the revitalization of lower Washington Street,” says Professor Marilyn Plotkins, chair of the Theatre Department.

The Modern Theatre, built as a furniture store in 1876, became Boston’s first movie house in 1913 and 15 years later the first theatre in the city wired for sound. After a brief stint screening adult films in the 70s, an attempt to restore the space into a performing arts center eventually failed in the early 80s. The Modern has remained vacant and in increasing need of repair for the last 20 years.

“The project fulfills an academic need of the University,” says John Nucci, vice president for external affairs, “and also restores an important part of Boston’s history.”

The Modern Theatre project, part of the University’s Institutional Master Plan, has been very well received by the community, particularly Mayor Thomas M. Menino, whose administration has pushed for the preservation of Boston’s historic theatres. And with the addition of the Modern, the University will be halfway to its goal of housing 50% of its undergraduate students.

“The Modern Theatre and West Street Dorm complex promises to be one of the most attractive and exciting areas of the University and the neighborhood,” says Nucci.

Video of The Modern Theatre opening here.

Ethics Meets Public Policy in New Master’s Program

April 18, 2009  
Filed under New on the Hill

Are whistle-blowers heroes? Should we genetically enhance unborn children? Is torture ever justified?
Questions about corporate governance and accountability, rapid developments in biotechnology, international warfare, and other controversial issues, are sparking public debate as they challenge our current law and public policy. In a wide variety of fields—in business, healthcare, biotechnology, and government—moral and ethical dilemmas are redefining business as usual. Today’s public policy leaders require a new and expanded approach to their work.

MEPP Graduate Program Director Nir Eisikovits

The Master of Science in Ethics and Public Policy, a new interdisciplinary program offered by the  Philosophy and Government departments of the College of Arts & Sciences, provides this innovative approach. This ground-breaking graduate program—the only one of its kind in the region—is designed to equip students with a comprehensive set of practical tools to critically examine the ethical underpinnings of public policy.

With this training, both recent graduates and professionals more advanced in their careers will be prepared to guide research, development, and governance strategies at the cutting edge, and respond to the hot-button policy questions that follow.

“Combining the academically rich philosophical tradition with a contemporary and practical hands-on approach, Suffolk’s MEPP program is unique in bringing humanistic and social scientific perspectives together to tackle complex questions of public policy,” says Graduate Program Director Nir Eisikovits.

The program requires the completion of 30 credits (ten courses), including four required courses, five electives, and an internship or master’s thesis. With potential program tracks including Business Ethics, Environmental Ethics, Medical Ethics, and Political Theory, students are encouraged to design their own course of study to reflect their intellectual and professional interests.

by Sara Romer
NOTE: The program may be completed on a full-time basis during three semesters (fall, spring, summer), or on a part-time basis in two years. For more information, contact Nir Eisikovits, PhD, LLB, graduate program director, by email to neisikov@suffolk.edu, or at 617.994.6464.

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