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Emersonians celebrate public diplomacy project

Students, faculty, and alumni of Emerson College met with their counterparts in the beachside community of Rosarito, Mexico, recently, to commemorate the fifth anniversary of an ongoing public diplomacy project in the wake of the Mexican drug cartel crisis.

Highlighting the visit was an arts festival by native Rosarito artist, David Silva, who visited and displayed his work at an Emerson student event in Boston last fall. The Emerson students included two Chinese students, who joined in the Chinese Baja Cultural Exchange, and served as ambassadors of the festivities as invited by the San Diego Chinese Community.

Emersonians traveled to Rosarito, Mexico to mark the fifth anniversary of their project.

Emerson alumna and Tufts Physician, Nada Farhat MA '10 of Saudi Arabia, who has displayed her artistic paintings in Rosarito and Boston, attended, as did Ashley Torrence, a Howard University visiting fellow at Emerson, who was an inspiration for two pieces by Silva and other Baja artists.

In addition to other Emerson students from the United States and Thailand, alumni attending included Pete Hall '11, who worked on the Rosarito Film Festival last summer, and who is now teaching in Ohio; and Ada Renedo MA '11, coordinator of the RediscoveRosarito program during her MA program at Emerson, and who is now a senior account manager at one of the leading social media agencies in Dubai, UAE.

Professor Enric Ordeix, from Blanquerna School of Communication in Barcelona, also gave a lecture on public diplomacy during the anniversary celebration. He, as well as the Emerson group, journeyed to Rosarito after their presentations at the International Academy of Business Disciplines in Long Beach, California, last week.

“Rosarito has become a symbol of the new values of Baja California, in which the people in the community work with both sides of the border,” said Emerson Communication Studies Associate Professor Gregory Payne in a meeting with former Mayor of Rosarito, Hugo Torres, along with students, alums and citizens of Rosarito.

Reflecting on the crisis management strategies and tactics, Torres and Ron Raposa, a public relations expert who lives in Rosarito, credit the Emerson faculty and students for their use of new media and strategic communication in helping the town change the public perception of life in Rosarito.

Emerson students that attended included: undergrad Autumn Pallman '12 and Communication Management graduate students: Lisa Medina, Kang Zhang, Lin Zhou, and Prang Pontana.

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