Meet the Grad Council and Learn What They’re Up to This Semester

As the voice of graduate students in the College of Communication, the Boston University COM Graduate Council has been busy this semester. The council kicked off the spring semester with a workshop opportunity made up of three sessions through the Educational Resource Centre. Master’s students in COM were able to work on balancing their academic, personal, and professional priorities, learning graduate reading strategies, and overcoming perfectionism and procrastination. The COM Graduate Council has held three ‘Coffee with the Council’ events. During these get-togethers, the council successfully gathers COM students by providing an afternoon pick-me-up. The council additionally hosted its first professional speaker, Daniel VanHoozer, a Brand Coordinator at Get Engaged Media. With a Master of Arts in advertising from the University of Georgia, VanHoozer shared his perspective on a career in marketing and advertising on the COM Grad Council’s Instagram page

The COM Graduate Council also hosted COMmunity Convo events, where they host chats with students and faculty to allow the opportunity for COM community connections. They hope to host more in the future. Other than hosting events, the Graduate Council has introduced Overheard@COM, an option to submit quotes via direct message that students overhear at COM to their Instagram page. Looking forward, the council is renting out the BU Pub on April 23 for a kick-back event. They are also having a BBQ on the COM lawn on May 5. 

The COM Graduate Council welcomed the newest council members for the 2022 spring semester on their Instagram page

Savannah Tindall, President of the COM Graduate Council, is excited to help foster friendships in COM, provide networking opportunities, and embody student voices. After receiving her bachelor’s in public relations, and editing, writing, and media from Florida State University, Savannah is now pursuing her master’s in advertising. She hopes to achieve her dream of becoming a copywriter for an ad agency post-graduation. Currently, Savannah is Editor-in-Chief for the COMmunicator, Co-Editor-in-Chief for Strike Magazine BU, a varsity member of the BU AdClub, and a contributor to Westshore Living. 

Aashna Sahni moved to Mumbai from boarding school to pursue her bachelor’s in economics. Soon after, she began to explore a career in advertising after realizing she wanted to take a more creative route. She took on some creative internships while studying economics and went on to work as a brand strategy manager post graduation. She is now pursuing her master’s in advertising at BU and hopes to work as a brand or marketing manager after she completes her degree. As Vice President of the Grad Council, Aashna is excited to connect with the student body about relevant networking opportunities and organize fun events throughout the semester.

Caitlin Srager, the Secretary of the COM Grad Council, earned her bachelor’s in communication with minors in English and psychology from Seton Hill University in 2021. After discovering the beauty of how psychology and communication intersected in advertising, she decided to pursue her master’s in advertising at BU. Caitlin is currently the Marketing & Communication Graduate Assistant at the Howard Thurman Center, where she promotes Howard Thurman’s mission and the benefits of dialogue-driven events. As Secretary, Caitlin is excited to help other graduate students connect with each other and professionals in the field to strengthen the amazing network that brought her to BU in the first place.

Kayleigh Ventrone earned her bachelor’s in communication with a minor in French from Seton Hill University in 2021. During her time at Seton Hill, she discovered her enthusiasm for public relations and decided to pursue her master’s in public relations to gain a specialized knowledge of the field. As Co-Chair of Professional Development, Kayleigh looks forward to planning impactful events to help COM students expand their network and refine their professional skills. 

Yuandi Tang, Co-Chair of Professional Development, wants to connect COM grad talents to the communication industry during his service at COM Grad Council. Yuandi received his bachelor’s degree in English literature in 2014, and after seven years of working in the marketing field, realized his passions lie in data-driven digital marketing. Currently in the Marketing Communication Research program at BU, Yuandi hopes to eventually become a professional marketer. 

Jessica Shelton, Co-Chair of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion, got her bachelor’s in film and media from Temple University in 2021. There, she was involved in the professional film society and Delta Kappa Alpha, where she held positions as marketing chair, programming chair, and eventually, Vice President of the colony. These roles inspired her to create inclusive spaces within the film community at Temple, which led her to this position. In fall 2021, she began to pursue a master’s in public relations at BU, where she now is a writer and contributor to the BU Buzz and the COMmunicator. As Co-Chair of DEI, she hopes to be a voice for graduate students who are underrepresented in COM and help advocate for an inclusive experience amongst the BU community. 

As Co-Chair of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion, Artemis Huang hopes to include all voices in college-wide dialogues and bring the COMmunity together – regardless of race, gender, or nationality. Originally from Taiwan, she is a journalist, social advocate, and entrepreneur. At the age of 16, she founded Looking Beyond Borders, a media organization that in one year grew to become the largest independent, non-profit, international news agency in Taiwan. In 2017, she went to China to pursue a Bachelor of Laws degree at Peking University. There, she worked as a legal consultant for disadvantaged people. Artemis has won many awards for her work, including the Harvard Prize Book Award. In 2020, she was given the National Gold Medal Honor for her legal education work in China. She advocated for the legalization of same-sex marriage in Taiwan, which in 2019 became the first Asian country to pass marriage equality. Artemis is enrolled in the journalism graduate program at BU with the goal of holding the powerful accountable through truth-seeking and storytelling. 

Alana Stein, Co-Chair of Social Affairs, earned her bachelor’s in advertising with a minor in general business and communication studies from the University of Georgia in 2021. During her time at UGA, she was involved in AdClub and The Talking Dog Agency, an entirely student-run advertising, PR, and marketing agency for local and nationally owned businesses. Her involvement with The Talking Dog Agency led her to pursue her master’s in advertising at BU where she hopes to hone and sharpen her project management and copywriting skills. 

Virginia Bonilla is currently pursuing a master’s degree in advertising at COM. Prior to BU, she earned her bachelor’s in applied communications, public relations, and advertising with a minor in sociology from Florida International University in 2020. As Academic Policy Chair, Virginia wants to facilitate an academic experience for all graduate students where they feel heard, valued, and supported.

To stay up to date on what the Grad Council is up to, check out @BUcomgrad on Instagram!

Rachael Dionisio, Staff Writer

Born and raised in Hopewell Junction, New York, Rachael Dionisio is an undergraduate advertising major through Boston University’s COM as well as a business administration minor. Aside from being a volunteer writer for The COMmunicator, Rachael is a Varsity Copywriter for BU’s AdClub and is on the creative and writing teams for Her Campus Media. Although passionate about anything that encompasses creativity, business, and public relations, Rachael also enjoys hiking, traveling, and exploring new coffee shops. Fun fact: Rachael was a gymnastics coach since she was 14.

Lily Roeller, Senior Editor

Lily Roeller is a second semester graduate student earning her Master of Science in public relations here at BU. Prior to BU, Lily graduated from the University of Connecticut in 2020 with a bachelor’s in communication and sociology. She currently is an account supervisor at PRLab, managing two client teams. In her free time, Lily loves hiking with her dog and watching bad movies.

Gabriella Sproba, Multimedia Director

Gabriella Sproba is an art and architectural history major and dual minor sophomore in the College of Communication and Questrom School of Business. Her lifelong adoration of art has manifested into passions surrounding photography, illustration, poetry, music history, fashion and graphic design. As the Multimedia Director and photographer for this year’s edition of The COMmunicator, she is thrilled to  explore and share the dynamic qualities of narrative through her creative work.

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