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Class of 2023 Snapshot: School of Communication

Each year, Emerson Today reaches out to graduating seniors from across the College and asks them the same seven questions. Here are some answers from members of School of Communication’s Class of 2023. And check out answers from School of the Arts and Marlboro Institute students!:

Wesley Days

Wesley Days holding trophy, flanked by Dean Smith, Janet Kolodzy, Emerson banner in background
Wesley Days (center) with SOC Dean Brent Smith and Journalism Chair Janet Kolodzy at this year’s SOC Awards. File photo/Caroline Alden

Hometown: Springfield, Massachusetts
Major: Journalism
Minor (if applicable): Political Communication and Pre-Law

What is your favorite place around campus, and why?

The Lions Den. 

Why: I’ve had some of my best laughs in that place. More importantly, they have the best food on campus. Mix the food and the atmosphere together and you have a great place to enjoy yourself. 

What will you miss most about your time at Emerson?

My best friends. It will be very hard not to see my friends every day like I’m used to, but we will be connected forever!

Describe your senior year in three words:

Memorable. Fun. Insightful.

What was your favorite class, and why?

I can’t pick! I’ve had some amazing professors that have helped me every step of the way.  To every professor I’ve ever had, thank you for every piece of advice and every lesson you’ve provided for me. I’m forever grateful!

What song will forever remind you of your time at Emerson?

“Fantasy (Sweet Dub Remix)” by Mariah Carey

What advice would you give your first-year self?

Enjoy every moment! Even though you think four years will not go by fast, oh my GOD, you’ll blink and it will all be over.

When you look back on your college experience, what are you most proud of?

All of the internships. From LCTV to NBC News to the TODAY Show.  I’ve learned so much!

What’s next (or what do you hope is next)?

Reporting the news. Y’all will know more when it’s time!

Laura Gonzalez

Laura Gonzalez head shot
Laura Gonzalez (Courtesy photo)

Hometown: Miami, Florida/ Barranquilla, Colombia
Major: Communication Sciences and Disorders
Minor: Psychology

What is your favorite place around campus, and why? 

The Cultural Center, due to being able to spend a lot of time there with organizations and the friends I made.

What will you miss most about your time at Emerson?

The ability to have everything in very close proximity, from my classes to restaurants to my organization meetings.

Describe your senior year in three words:

Inclusive, Engaging, Meaningful

What was your favorite class, and why?

LI 210 – American Women Writers was one of the first classes I took at Emerson. I enjoyed the opportunity to view writing from a different perspective than I was accustomed to. Through this class, I developed a keen eye for writing that I hadn’t realized I was capable of before. Overall, the class created an exciting and immersive atmosphere, showcasing what makes Emerson unique.

What song will forever remind you of your time at Emerson?

Studio Ghibli Piano Medley from my hours of studying!

What advice would you give your first-year self?

I suggest prioritizing time management, attending campus activities, and caring for my physical and mental wellbeing. I also suggest setting academic and career goals early on, seeking support when needed, and exploring my interests through diverse courses and activities. College is a unique and exciting time, so I would make the most out of it by balancing academics, personal growth, and self-care while keeping an eye on my future goals.

When you reflect on your college experience, what are you most proud of?

As a transfer student, I am proud of acclimating to a new school and city where I did not know anyone. Overcoming the challenges of starting fresh in an unfamiliar environment and building new connections fills me with pride. Furthermore, actively engaging in campus advocacy efforts and making a positive impact through my involvement and activism is something I take pride in as well.

What’s next (or what do you hope is next)?

Graduate school for Speech-Language Pathology to be a licensed clinician.

Monica Keipp

Monica in wide brimmed hat, holding fake plastic microphone in front of sign that reads "Seventeen World Tour Be the Sun LA"
Monica Keipp (Courtesy photo)

Hometown: Los Angeles, California
Major: Business of Creative Enterprises
Minor: Comedy Writing and Performance, Music History and Culture

What is your favorite place around campus, and why?

Definitely the Cultural Center in 172 Tremont. I’ve been working for Intercultural Student Affairs, the department that oversees the center, for all my four years at Emerson, and it’s also where the cultural orgs have their meetings, of which I have attended so many. It’s my second home at Emerson in many ways, and I have spent more time there than anywhere else. I have so many great memories there and I feel like I went through so many phases as a student there. I also have met so many Emerson folks from so many different walks of life that I otherwise wouldn’t have met if it weren’t for the Cultural Center. You also can’t beat the total view of the Common and the sunshine from all the windows.

What will you miss most about your time at Emerson?

I will definitely miss being around unstoppable, creative people. Whatever your creative outlet may be, there is a community for it here, and that’s something I was definitely trying to savor in my last months. In my time at Emerson, I have seen my peers in dance shows, plays, musicals, sports games, comedy shows, a capella shows, magazine launch parties, capstone presentations, and more. Each moment in those spaces is so fulfilling and reminds me of the type of creativity and passion that I feel is so reminiscent of the Emerson student body. I hope I can continue to find spaces that are just bursting at the seams with creativity, passion, and drive the way I have found at Emerson. 

Describe your senior year in three words:

Fulfilling, challenging, determined

What was your favorite class, and why?

I have taken so many wacky and amazing classes at Emerson, but my favorite would have to go to my Content Marketing and Strategy for Entertainment Media class that I took at the Emerson Los Angeles campus in Fall 2022. I got the chance to pitch marketing ideas for executives at Paramount, the CW Network, and Google/YouTube, which was such a priceless and amazing opportunity thanks to my professor, Brian Briskman. One of the guests from Paramount even joked that she wanted to take my MTV VMAs idea that I had pitched and pass it along to her boss (with full credit to me, of course). It was awesome to get full creative control over creating our own marketing campaigns and pitching them to marketing executives in the industries I am interested in entering. It also gave me the opportunity to work on my design skills, and there’s nothing I enjoy more than designing cute PowerPoints. 

What song will forever remind you of your time at Emerson?

Hmm…somewhat random answer but I’d probably say “HOME;RUN” by Seventeen because I did a presentation on it for a class and I was super obsessed with the song in the spring semester of my sophomore year. It just reminds me of that semester, which was one of my favorite semesters of college, but also a very strange COVID semester. Seventeen is a K-pop group that I got really into during sophomore year, as well as K-pop as a whole, and I’ve actually bonded with a lot of Emerson students and friends over K-pop and have a lot of K-pop-related memories from college. 

What advice would you give your first-year self?

Not to be corny, but I actually don’t have any advice for her. I feel like I pushed myself out of my comfort zone every year, and found so many communities and amazing people and friends during my time at Emerson. I seized so many opportunities and gained so many new experiences with every school year. I am proud of the person I was for the last four years and the person I am today because of it. I am definitely leaving Emerson knowing I was able to spread my wings as far as humanly possible, and with little regrets.

If I had to give her any advice, maybe I’d suggest she get her driver’s license sooner, and stop buying so much Starbucks (but buy as much boba as you want). 

When you look back on your college experience, what are you most proud of?

I think I am most proud of the connections I made across the campus and across different communities. In the last four years, I was able to meet and connect with students, faculty, and staff in Boston and LA of so many backgrounds, interests, majors, etc. Letting myself be a total cliche here: I know that some of the friends I have made here are going to be friends for life, friends I will stay bonded with for a long time after we leave Emerson. That’s not something I take for granted, and I am so honored to have gotten the opportunity to connect with some truly awesome people.

I also have been grateful to meet so many wonderful faculty and staff members at Emerson who truly love what they do and want to make a difference with students. As someone who comes from a family of educators, it’s always a joy to meet people dedicated to enriching our education and seeing people who work hard every day to make Emerson a better place. 

What’s next (or what do you hope is next)?

Post-graduation, I am moving back home to my hometown of Los Angeles (NELA represent!) I hope to work on the production side of television for either comedy or unscripted series, and maybe later down the line get more into comedy writing for television. I am so excited for what the future holds for me and to enter the pool of proud Emerson alumni/Mafia members.

Jianyi Liang

Jianyi standing on what looks like a London street
Jianyi Liang (Courtesy photo)

Hometown: Shenzhen, China
Major: Marketing Communication
Minor: Public Relations

What is your favorite place around campus, and why?

Definitely Boston Common. It has the most beautiful view no matter which season. I like watching people run with their dogs, talking with my friends there, and feeling the breeze blowing through.

What will you miss most about your time at Emerson?

I mean, everything. Especially every time I got support [from] an office [or] professor. I always felt a sense of belonging in the Emerson community as an international student.

Describe your senior year in three words:

Thankful, special, and meaningful

What was your favorite class, and why?

My favorite class is Entertainment Marketing at the ELA program. Every class, we got chances to talk to people who are really working in the entertainment industry. I learned a lot from it. I got a new way to see this industry.

What song will forever remind you of your time at Emerson?

“Fancy” by Twice. This song was released in 2019, which is the first year I came to Emerson. One of my best friends is Twice’s fan. He kept singing this song for a few months, so every time I listen to this song, it reminds me how I spent a wonderful freshman year in Boston.

What advice would you give your first-year self?

You are the best. It’s only the beginning of your life, so just enjoy it. Do not always think about what stupid thing you’ve done. Let it go and move forward.

When you look back on your college experience, what are you most proud of?

Even though [it was] during the pandemic, I got chance for two internships in two years. Also, I am really proud of having best friends.

What’s next (or what do you hope is next)?

Already plan to go to USC for a master’s degree. And I think I would like to follow my heart. My plans always change.

Daniel Luppino

Daniel in front of some sort of structure, possibly a bridge
Daniel Luppino (Courtesy photo)

Hometown: Herkimer, New York
Major: Communication Studies
Minor: Public Diplomacy

What is your favorite place around campus, and why?

I could almost always be found doing work in the SGA office of 172 or having a vanilla latte in between classes at the Thinking Cup.  After being social all day, both spaces allowed a moment to sit back and relax.

What will you miss most about your time at Emerson?

I will miss getting the chance to meet new students regularly, going on trips with Communication Politics and Law Association, and sneaking up to the eighth floor of Walker for some popcorn and some scuttlebutt.

Describe your senior year in three words:

Everything, Everywhere, All at Once (OK, but only because it’s funny)

What was your favorite class, and why?

A toss up between Pop Culture and Communication with Dr. Sharifa Simon-Roberts, and Public Diplomacy and Grass Roots Activism with Mohamed Khalil.

Pop Culture was immediately applicable to everyday life and one of the most engaging classes I’ve had at Emerson.  Public Diplomacy spring-boarded me into a field of communication that feels like it’s supposed to be my future.

What song will forever remind you of your time at Emerson?

“Eureka Overture” by JIMEK, my go-to study music.

What advice would you give your first-year self?

It won’t be perfect, and it shouldn’t be.

When you look back on your college experience, what are you most proud of?

Coming back to school.  After an eight-year break, the hardest thing was getting myself back into the classroom, and I’m so glad that it was at Emerson.

What’s next (or what do you hope is next)?

Stepping back into the working world seems a bit scary, but I’m much more equipped and I’ll be continuing to send out resumes and LinkedIn connections.  Until something big comes my way, I’ll keep my eyes set on Washington, D.C. and the nonprofit with a hope to uplift queer voices.

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