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Orientation

Orientation Overview (subject to change)

  • 10:00 a.m. - 10:30 a.m.

International Student Welcome & Introductions (international students only)

Meet the J-School Deans: Dean Sarah Bartlett, Associate Dean Andrew Mendelson, and Assistant Dean Yahaira Castro

  • 10:30 a.m. - 11:00 a.m.

International Student Office (international students only)

Linda Asaro, director of the Office of International Students at The Graduate Center, CUNY, will introduce you to the services her office provides. The Office of International Students offers advice and assistance to students from outside the United States, particularly with regard to immigration issues relating to F-1 Student Status and J-1 Exchange Visitor Student category. The office also assists students in understanding American cultural behavior and in interpreting various bureaucratic procedural requirements, including nonresident alien taxation.


Linda Asaro joined the Grad Center’s Office of International Students in October 2016. Previously, she served as an international student adviser at The New School and Rutgers University and was a U.S. Peace Corps volunteer in Armenia and Cuba. She became interested in the field of international education while she was an international student in Nottingham, United Kingdom. She graduated from Humboldt State University with a B.A. in psychology and holds an M.S. in organizational management from the School for International Training.

  • 12:00 noon - 1:00 p.m.

Noon Break

  • 1:00 p.m. - 1:30 p.m.

J-School Processes (international students only)

Director of Student Affairs Anthony LaViscount will discuss the J-School’s Student Affairs Office and how we can help you be successful in the program.

  • 1:30 p.m. - 4:30 p.m.

VPN and ProTools Installation (ALL Students)

Danny Kaminski, our “friendly neighborhood IT man” who manages the technology support team, will give a live demonstration of VPN and Pro Tools Installation on macOS, going over everything that is required for activating Pro Tools, including:

  • Installation of and connecting to our VPN
  • Installing Pro Tools (which’ll also install the iLok License Manager)
  • Configuring iLok License Manager to activate Pro Tools

**Looking to get a jump-start? No problem! Download the Activating Pro Tools PDF and give it a go— but if you run into trouble, please hold off on submitting questions until after the demo. You can find the PDF on Blackboard under the Student Affairs tab.

  • 4:30 p.m. - 5:00 p.m.

Wellness Center Presentation (for ALL students)

Dr. Inez Strama, supervising clinical psychologist and certified group psychotherapist at the Student Counseling Service of The Graduate Center’s Wellness Center, will provide a brief overview of the services offered by the Wellness Center, how to request those services, what to expect when you do, and some common barriers that get in the way of asking for help. She will also answer your questions about the process.


Dr. Inez Strama (she/they) works exclusively with master’s and doctoral Graduate Center and Journalism School students, providing a variety of mental health services. She also teaches and provides supervision to the Wellness Center’s clinical fellows in training. She is a contributing author of the recently published book, “Thriving in Graduate School: The Expert’s Guide to Success and Wellness.”

Intensive Training Program (subject to change)

  • 9:15 p.m. - 10:00 p.m.

Financial Aid (optional)

This session will be led by Phyllis Schulz/Financial Aid Team.

  • 10:00 a.m. - 11:00 a.m.

History of Journalism

Professor Jeff Jarvis will discuss the history of media to understand that journalism is not a forever thing: It is an invention, which means it can be reinvented. We will explore the need for journalism, and what forms it has taken to address the fundamental question: What is journalism? Later in the week, we will ask what it should be.

  • 11:00 a.m. - 11:30 a.m.

NADAP (Health Insurance Navigator)

Meet Gennesis Sierra and learn more about how to secure low-cost health insurance through the J-School partnership with NADAP (https://www.nadap.org). 

  • 11:30 a.m. - 12:00 p.m.

Meet the J-School Staff

Meet the J-School staff and learn more about various departments on campus and how you will use  them while in the program.

  • 12:00 p.m. - 1:00 p.m.

Noon Break

  • 12:00 p.m. - 1:00 p.m.

Engagement Journalism Brown Bag Lunch (for Engagement Journalism Students Only)

This session will be a chance to meet fellow engagement journalism students and get a quick update from the director on our program’s curriculum and expectations. With Carrie Brown, Director of the Engagement Journalism Program.

  • 1:00 p.m. - 3:00 p.m.

Photo Class 1

John Smock, Cinthya Santos-Briones, and Jessica Bal from the Photojournalism Department will lead photo sessions in which you will learn the following:

  • Critical thinking skills as it relate to understanding visual journalism
  • Cultural sensitivity in how they create an interpret imagery
  • Emphasis on “professionalizing” the use of mobile for photo.
  • An understanding of the principles of good photo (and video) composition
  • Use of the built-in post production tools in the photo album app.
  • Prep for shooting Craft I assignments — environ portraits, storefronts/small businesses, events (presser, board meeting, etc.) to accompany written pieces.
  • An introduction to the changing culture and history of photojournalism
  • An introduction to the contemporary ethical landscape of photojournalism
  • An introduction to (a more professional use of) photo in a social media context.
  • An introduction to photo programming at the school and reassurance that there is plenty more photo to come with dSLRs
  • An excitement about the power of photo and visual storytelling as a tool for personal and professional growth”
  • 3:00 p.m. - 5:00 p.m.

Web Security

Professor Sandeep Junnarkar, who heads our Data Journalism Program  and serves as a data journalism trainer at Bloomberg News, will explore ways journalists can secure their digital files and communications.  Journalists are increasingly vulnerable to digital surveillance as government agencies, corporations and other powerful entities target them with the intent of silencing them or exposing their sources. The process of fortifying your web and communications defenses is not simple. If a source asks you to take extra measures to protect their identity and you don’t already know how, it would take you far too long on the spot to figure it out. 

  • 5:30 p.m. - 6:30 p.m.

J-School Clubs and Associations Meet and Greet (virtual)

Learn more about the J-School’s student clubs/associations and how you can join this fall from the officers of the Graduate Student Council, National Association of Black Journalists (NABJ), National Association of Hispanic Journalists (NAHJ), Photojournalism Club, Queer Club, and Women in Media Club.