Graduating Student Chronicles, Ch. 1: Addysen Trumper

So a new idea struck me last week.  I thought it would be fun to have graduating students and new students document their semesters (last and first, respectively) for us here on the blog.  Why?  To give us insight, take us down memory lane, spur us to offer advice, celebrate our time together, eavesdrop on other people’s lives, and really, because I thought it would be fun (I know I said that already).  So, I put a call out to new students and asked a few of our seniors to take part.  Here’s how it will work.  The students who are participating have agreed to blog three times over the course of this semester: once this week to reflect on their first week back, once at midsemester, and once after the end of the semester (after graduation for our seniors).  So, first up is senior Communication Studies major Addysen Trumper.  I gave the students a lot of leeway as to how to approach this, so here’s Addysen’s take.  Her “Chapter 1.”

“The two hours and twenty minutes spent in the air on the trusted wings of an airliner between Colorado and San Francisco has always served as a personal meditation moment to think about ‘my next step.’ Flying home for an extensive Christmas holiday or returning Bay side for school and career advancement has marked the start and end of different eras during my time as a Don. My last airplane lift from Colorado had a different flavor as this was the last USF Christmas vacation leading into my last semester as an undergrad student. When Professor Doohan suggested that I record and document my first week of ‘the university end,’ my mid-semester happenings, and after graduation leaps, I couldn’t resist. I’m experiencing, and other seniors share, my sentimental and fearful feelings of leaving USF. So no matter if you are a rookie or a pro to the department—here is an inside look at my final spring semester as a Communication Studies student.


  • Finished settling into my San Fran nest after a month spent re-rooting at home.
  • Spent a few hours responding to and writing pre-semester emails to professors, friends and employers to organize my next week.
  • Swiped my card at the Koret and tackled the Stairmaster to relieve some food guilt from the night before.
  • Enjoyed an afternoon on foot to Alamo Square, through the Castro and the Mission, and winding my way downtown. The day before every semester I treat myself to a little retail therapy because, well why not?
  • Settled in for the night to organize and mentally prepare myself for my next day of classes.

Enjoying the San Francisco sun during a long Sunday afternoon walk


  • Class from 11:45am- 2:05pm — Interpersonal Communication and Family Communication. Two Doohan classes right in a row. (Woop, Woop!)
  • Grabbed the 31 bus downtown to submit a few resumes and cover letters. (Note to self: the 31 is a horrible bus line. How did I forget this? My loyalty lies in the 21 and 5.)
  • Enjoyed a little television: The Bachelor (don’t judge) and Castle while entering syllabus information into my calendar and preparing for my next day.


  • Up bright and early to enjoy a cup of tea and Good Morning America before 8:00 am class– PR Law and Ethics. (Was so thrilled when I found many old communication comrades in my class!)
  • Scheduled a few interviews before heading down to the Fillmore for a few errands and spent time at The Grove for lunch and read for my classes the next day.
  • Swung by the Koret for a quick sweat after running a few errands with my bestie, Jillian.
  • Watched Glee (a rare occasion) and bawled through the whole episode. Ok, that show is good! You are so right on, Professor Doohan!
  • Finished off my last diet coke for the day as I read my latest bed time story book, Industrie, a revolutionary fashion magazine that makes my dreams more vivid than ever.

Snuggled in with my favorite magazine... dreaming big!


  • Dropped off some dry cleaning and mail before heading to class (Doohan again–not too shabby eh?)
  • Checked off a thirty minute phone interview; butterflies calmed after a successful conversation. 
  • Sat down to my first ever Photo Shop class. Way out of my comfort zone but stoked about the new skill I’ll be able to put on my resume.
  • Burritos and American Idol with my friend, Meggie.


  • Spooned some yogurt to my tummy on my way to 8:00 am class.
  • Met Cameron, my boyfriend, for lunch at Velo Rouge and picnicked in GG park.
  • Read for my next day classes on the steps in front of Library and people-watched for a few hours.
  • Not going to lie… enjoyed “Comedy Night, Done Right, All Night” on NBC. But don’t worry, I multitasked. Even made an emergency run down to the corner store for my favorite candies: Haribo Raspberries.
  • Took the trash out, finished an assignment, watched Jimmy Fallon, and snoozed away.


  • Woke up and jetted to the gym to get my workout on first thing before enjoying a bowl of instant oatmeal and style blog internet surfing.
  • Strolled to my last two classes for the week (Yes that is right, I have Doohan three days a week, twice a day. Good stuff!)
  • Met with my career advisor at the career center for a catch up and check in. Note: use the career center if you don’t already. It is like free therapy that could help you get a job.
  • Ate a fabulous dinner with Lauren, a wonderful lady that I spent a lot of time with when studying in Paris, at Bar Jules. It was the best food I have had all week (Carrot Salad with Cumin Vinaigrette…so yummy!)

Getting ready to head out the door for dinner. Lipstick check.


  • Hopped on the 21 bus to the Farmer’s Market at the Ferry Building to grab a few treats for my evening festivities and to pick up my produce for the week.
  • Worked on some applications and school work while enjoying one of my new Asian Pears. (An early Saturday morning to the Farmer’s market is worth just one bite into this watery pear/ apple.)
  • One more gym run for the week– felt the burn!
  • Triple date! Pasta night at our friend’s apartment while discussing film, futures and politics (heated fun) while enjoying the company of two other couples. We had planned to watch  a movie, but the conversation was entertainment enough.

A foggy and misty morning at the farmer’s market.

All in all, a grand first week back! As my mind races during reflection time about life after USF, I realize how good and productive my life is as a student. I am so happy I’m able to share my good and bad moments with friends who walk the same USF paths and professors who are here to lead. More than anything, I’m learning it is important to take my future one step at a time. I just purchased a card that now hangs on my bulletin board always reminding me, ‘Now and then it’s good to pause in our pursuit of happiness and just be happy.’ I leave you with this thought and challenge until my mid-semester update. I’ll then let you know how I am honoring this new motto. Have a great start to the semester!”

Thanks, Addysen, for taking us through your last first week!  Any other seniors sharing Addysen’s sentiments?  Any alums who have some advice?  Comment back!  Can’t wait for Addysen’s next post?  You can keep up with her by reading her blog at http://antonablogaddysen.blogspot.com/.  We have an edition of “New Student Chronicles” and another “Graduating Student Chronicles” coming up.  Feeling left out?  Contact me at edoohan@usfca.edu if you want to participate!


Student Shout-Out: Alex in "Rolling Stone"!

So I was walking down the hall yesterday and ran into junior Communication Studies major Alex Shahmiri.  I casually asked how he was doing and our conversation led to my “Student Shout-Out” for today.  This is big.  Alex was just featured in Rolling Stone.  Yes.  THAT Rolling Stone.  Why?  Read on to find out!

In his spare time (you know, when he is not a full-time college student) Alex is a photographer and filmmaker.  He recently filmed a music video for the band Young the Giant that caught the attention of the most famous music magazine in the world.  Here’s the quote from Rolling Stone: “In this clip by filmmaker Alexander Shahmiri, the Californian quintet Young the Giant perform a stripped-down rendition of their song ‘Apartment.’  The video, filmed in a single shot on the edge of a hill overlooking a foggy valley, is as beautiful as the music itself.”  Wow!  I just wish it said “University of San Francisco Communication Studies major and filmmaker Alexander Shahmiri…”  Yeah.  I read it.  It’s too long. 

You can read the article for yourself and see the video that got praise from Rolling Stone here: http://www.rollingstone.com/culture/blogs/rolling-stone-video-blog/california-quintet-young-the-giant-perform-mellow-acoustic-version-of-apartment-20110126

Junior Communication Studies major Alex Shahmiri

Alex is an autodidact (a fancy word I rarely get to use that means “self-taught”) photographer and filmmaker.  He started working for Young the Giant and caught the attention of their label, Road Runner Records, who then hired him to work on art and videos.  The cover of the UK release of their album is one of Alex’s photos.  In addition to all of this, Alex founded “In the Open,” a music business, and he manages http://intheopen.tv/ (we love music just like you) a music website.  He also has another website,  http://alexandershahmiri.com/, which is his photography business.  Alex will be flying out to New York City and Portland  for music festivals and video shoots in the coming months, including South by Southwest in Austin, Texas. 

A funny story: Last time Alex was in New York (you know, for a music industry thing), he took a cab, and evidently in NYC taxi cabs there are TVs in the back seats.  Guess what was playing on the TV in the taxi?  A music video he shot! 

I’m impressed.  Aren’t you?  Congratulations, Alex!


Faculty Feats: Professor Allison Thorson

Our second “Faculty Feats” focuses on Professor Allison Thorson and her work with Kids Turn, a nonprofit organization that is dedicated to helping families dealing with separation or divorce.  Professor Thorson is currently serving on their Board of Directors and is leading a support group for parents going through divorce.   

Professor Allison Thorson

I asked Professor Thorson how she became involved with Kids Turn:

“I first learned about Kids’ Turn (www.kidsturn.org) at a USF mentoring event.  I was at the event to meet with students and connect them with members of the San Francisco community.  Little did I know that I would be the person making connections that evening.  It was at this function where I met Gerard Corbett, Founder and CEO of Redphlag LLC, who is also a member of the Kids’ Turn Board of Directors.  As Gerry and I made small talk, I happened to share that my research generally focuses on family communication surrounding hurtful and or unexpected events.  Before I knew it we were exchanging business cards and making plans to connect again.  After learning more about Kids’ Turn, their programs, their mission, and meeting individuals associated with the organization in the weeks following my initial encounter with Gerry – I just knew I had to be involved.  I had never met a group of individuals this passionate about helping children and families in times of transition.”

You can read more about Professor Thorson’s research in an article for USF News here: http://www.usfca.edu/newsroom/Research/After_Infidelity__Trouble_for_Parent-Child_Relationship/

Congratulations to Professor Thorson for her service to this important organization.  It is great to have our faculty involved in the local community in this way!


A Day in the Life: Senior Teresa Garcia

I asked senior Communication Studies major Teresa Garcia to let us follow her around for the first day of school, and she was nice enough to agree (I’m 3 for 3 on requests for these posts, whoo whoo!).  So, here it is, A Day in the Life of Teresa: January 24, 2011. 

Senior Communication Studies major Teresa Garcia

8:20     Turn the alarm off and get out of bed

8:30     Brush my teeth and get in the shower

8:55     Finally decide on wardrobe and I get dressed

9:15     Finish blow drying my hair (key morning prep step I share with Teresa, missing from Ian and Rashad’s posts… lucky guys!)

9:20     Turn on laptop to answer emails and check Facebook

9:55     Head down to the caf to pick up a bagel and croissant for work….  Long line for the first day of school.

10:15   Hop on the 43 to the Marina

10:35   Waiting for my next bus

11:05   The Golden Gate Transit finally arrives.  Get on.

11:35   Arrive at my stop in Sausalito.  Walk to the office.

11:45   Arrive at my internship as an editorial intern for a magazine.  On Mondays, I intern in Sausalito for Smart Meetings magazine, a print and online trade publication for meeting planners.  We do a lot of travel/destination pieces as well as informational articles for meeting professionals.  I’m their editorial intern.  My basic duties include fact-checking, helping out with their social media (blog, Facebook, Twitter), corresponding with freelancers and writing short pieces for the magazine.  I’ve been with them since August.

11:50   Settling in: answering emails, meeting newly hired editors.

12:05   Interview a UK-based food architect for a piece I’m writing.  It was hard scheduling an interview with an 8-hour time difference!

12:35   Finish interview and start writing my article.

2:00     450 words later, done!

2:10     Quick snack break.

2:35     Email art editor regarding requested images for article.

2:40     Hand write a few thank-you cards to a few guys I interviewed for this month’s issue.

3:00     Start on a folder of fact-checking for the March issue.

3:30     Editorial board meeting.  I have two pieces in the March issue!  (Wow!  Congrats, Teresa!)

4:00     Out the door to catch my bus.

4:15     Board the bus back to school.

4:50     Back on campus

5:00     Gourmet dinner at the caf consisting of chicken, rice, and broccoli.

6:00     Just finished coordinating a Skype date with a friend from Chicago.

6:15     Off to my first class of the semester, “Sexuality and Catholic Tradition.”

8:00     Getting some post-class tea and a sandwich from the caf.

9:00     Unwinding with a bit of TV surfing.

And that’s only Teresa’s Monday!  On Wednesdays and Fridays, she interns at HarperOne publishers, an imprint of HarperCollins.  “We publish religious, spiritual, and self-help books (everything from Thomas Merton and C.S. Lewis to Deepak Chopra and the Dalai Lama).  I’m their editorial intern as well.  I help draft memos, write rejection letters, return manuscripts, research permissions, etc.  I’ve just started this month.” 

Thanks, Teresa, for participating!  Sounds like you have a busy semester ahead!  Teresa is also an RA and a fellow blogger!  Aren’t these posts fun?  Seriously, if you are enjoying them half as much as I am, it means that you LOVE them!  Interested in participating (you know you want to) contact me at edoohan@usfca.edu.


Alumni Spotlight #9: Donna Bender, '09

Today’s Alumni Spotlight flashes onto 2009 Communication Studies graduate Donna Bender (can you tell I am running out of synonyms for “shines”?).  Donna is currently a graduate student enrolled in the Dual Degree program at the University of Pennsylvania, completing a Master’s in Social Work and a Master’s of Science in Criminology (that’s right, one Master’s degree wasn’t enough for Donna, she has to have two!).  Let’s catch up with her!

While at USF, Donna volunteered at San Quentin State Prison, and she loved her work there so much that she continued going after she graduated.  Also after graduation, she got a full-time job working as a counselor at a group home for teenage girls on probation.  According to Donna, “the job wasn’t as fulfilling as I would have liked, but I still knew that working with currently and formerly incarcerated people was something that I wanted to go into.  I soon found out that in order to go further in this field, I needed to learn more of the specifics of it all.”

Donna is currently doing clinical social work at a women’s prison in Philadelphia.  There she is responsible for doing intakes and counseling with inmates who suffer from mental illnesses.  She also leads a sleep education group for the women, and she is in the process of starting a self-esteem group.

I asked Donna to let us know how graduate school was treating her.  “One of the best things about graduate school for me has been being surrounded by so many like-minded people, who have a strong desire to fight racism, and make our world a better place.  I love the balance in grad school, between getting to actually work in the field three days a week, but then taking classes on the other two days, and having it all relate back to each other.  The biggest challenge for me personally would have to be the research aspect.  I was never a fan of literature reviews, and who can read 1,000 pages a week!?”  I think that Donna must have mis-typed here, and what she actually meant to write was that she “has always been a big fan of literature reviews.”  Strange…

Other than her academic pursuits, Donna has spent a good part of her time digging herself out of the snowstorms in the East.  I think Donna has figured out that Katy Perry may be right (“nothing comes close to the golden co-o-ast”).  She is set to graduate in 2012 (Donna, not Katy) and her dream job is to work with the ACLU.  Congratulations to Donna on her important work! 

Check out the picture of Donna below, with who she describes as “her favorite man!” 

'09 grad Donna with her fave man, Ben

I bet you didn’t see that coming, right?  Are you an alum up to something interesting or fun?  Contact me at edoohan@usfca.edu to be profiled in an upcoming Alumni Spotlight.


A Day in the Life: #13 Rashad Green

Today’s “A Day in the Life” post profiles Communication Studies major and USF men’s basketball guard #13 Rashad Green.  I asked Rashad to keep track of his day this past Saturday, the day of the Gonzaga game, to show what players actually do on game day.  And what a day it was, as the Dons defeated Gonzaga for the second year in a row at home and are now ranked second in the WCC!  Here’s A Day in the Life of Rashad: January 22, 2011. 

#13 Rashad Green

10:15- alarm sounds, hit snooze button
10:20- get out of bed and ready for shoot around
10:30- leave house to walk to the gym
10:37- arrive in locker room to get changed for shoot around
10:45- 11:56- shoot around
12:00- in the training room for treatment
12:25- 12:45- study scouting report
12:45- 1:00- watch film in the locker room
1:00- pre-game meal in the Russell Room
1:30- walk back to room to lay down
3:45- walk back to locker room to get ready for game
4:00- on the floor for warmups

I tried to be fancy and upload the video I shot at the game of the team being introduced (complete with me “woot woot” cheering in the background), but my awesome (and by “awesome” I mean “slow”) computer couldn’t handle it.  So, I will type it out for you instead.  “At guard, a 6’4″ junior from North Babylon, New York, #13, Rashaaaad Greeeeeeen!”

5:30- tip off Dons vs. Zags

Rashad dunking (photo courtesy of USF Athletics)

8:45- back in locker room, game over, Dons win 96-91

Rashad scored 18 points and made 7 of his 8 free-throws.  In short, he, and the rest of the team, was AWESOME!  

In case you didn’t see the game, you can check out the game highlights, courtesy of the Athletics Department, below: 

The Dons are 4-1 in WCC play and have won 6 of their last 7 games!  Now, can you imagine doing all of this AND taking a full load of classes?  The Dons basketball team (and many of our other student athletes) practiced and played their way through the January “break.” 

Way to go Dons (seriously, the whole team played great!), and a special thanks to Rashad for taking us through his day!  If you missed this game, be sad, but not too sad, as we have a Communication Studies Game Day at a men’s basketball game planned for this semester.  Details to come.  Where?  On the blog, of course!


A Day in the Life: Senior Ian Doss

The other day I was working in my office when inspiration struck: a new category of post for the blog.  I am really excited about this one (seriously, if you could see me a huge Duchenne smile is on my face… Nonverbal Communication alums, respond back with what that is!).  The idea that has me smiling so much?  The new “A Day in the Life” posts!  I thought it would be fun to have students, alums, faculty, staff, and administrators keep a log of their day, from wake up to bed time.  Why?  For several reasons: For students, I think it is a good reminder for everyone (professors included) to see all of the activities that students juggle throughout the day.  For alums, I think it is a way to learn what certain jobs actually involve.  For faculty, staff, and administrators, I think it is a way to get to know more about what these people we come into contact with so frequently actually do in their jobs.  I already have a long list of people I will be contacting to profile in these posts, so get ready (I may be coming after you)!

Thanks go to senior Communication Studies major Ian Doss who graciously agreed to be the first person to take part!  First, a bit about Ian and why I targeted him for my first post.  He is an Associate at Ad Valorem Solutions (AVS; Latin for “according to value”… you can check them out here: http://advaloremsolutions.net/index.html).  According to Ian, “AVS represents the owners, managers, and developers of some of the largest portfolios of commercial property in California.  Many of our commercial clients own or manage properties throughout the United States and internationally.  They have engaged AVS to represent them with respect to their California holdings; some also utilize the services of our affiliated providers in other jurisdictions.  They have come to realize that a single point of contact can lead to a world of tax savings.”

I asked Ian to take part in this because while some students were catching up on TV over the January break (hey, nothing wrong with that!), Ian was working full time at AVS.  Seriously full time.  He had to come see me about advising and he came in a suit because he was in between meetings!  So, here we go.  A Day in the Life of Ian: January 12, 2011.

6:30 am – alarm sounds

6:45 – get up to shower

7:15 – get dressed for the day (navy blue suit, white shirt, purple tie, brown shoes, & belt)  (Ian didn’t say this, but I am pretty sure that the purple tie was in honor of the Washington Huskies)

7:30 – drive downtown to work

8:00 – pick Dad up from office for meeting in Palo Alto (Ian’s dad is a partner at AVS)

8:50 – arrive for 9:15 scheduled meeting with Cornish and Carey Commercial Real Estate VPs to discuss the appeal settlements that were made this past year, 2010, for two large property portfolios that we represent

9:45 – present the current market data and provide comparables for proof of settlement

10:15 – leave Palo Alto for office in SF

11:15 – arrive back to SF office

11:20-12:00 pm – respond to “441” letters from the Santa Clara, San Mateo, San Francisco, Sonoma, Marin, Sacramento, and Merced counties assessors office.  (441 letters are letters from the county assessor that request information on our clients, such as leases, rent rolls, operating statements, and rent comps, after we have filed for an appeal on the certain parcel that is being reviewed, so that they are able to see what the property is worth based upon the current market data).

What's the 411? Ian's working on 441 letters, that's what.

12:00 pm – leave office for lunch at Gio’s.  (We go to Gio’s almost every day because my Dad has been going for over 25 years.  When we lived in SF, Gio’s daughter lived in the flat next door to ours so we have known their family for a LONG time).

1:00 – arrive back at the office

1:15-3:00 – continue with 441 response letters

3:30-4:15 – meet with AVS team (my Dad, his business partner Ted, and two other associates, Peter and Jules) to talk about a new data collection program that we are going to be using.

Ian working, okay, he's not actually working here. He's posing for a picture, obviously.

4:30 – leave for home

5:00 – go to the gym for an hour

7:30 – leave house for 8 o’clock dinner reservations with my girlfriend Elena, and Mike and his GF.  (Mike’s a recent Communication Studies graduate… hi Mike!).

9:30 – drive to the Marina to the bars!

12:00 am – left the bar and went home

Wow… that’s a day!  Congrats, Ian, on your position, and thanks for being the first to take part!  Get ready… there will be two more “A Day in the Life” posts coming up this week!  If you are interested in being featured contact me at edoohan@usfca.edu.  It’s pretty cool, huh?  I mean, you’re Duchenne smiling right now, too, aren’t you?  Especially about my “411/441” joke.  Right?


Red Alert: Are you waitlisted for a Communication Studies course?

Our first “Red Alert” is for anyone who is waitlisted for a Communication Studies course.  Here is the “Top 10 List for Waitlists”:

  1. You must be signed up for a full load of classes (16 units). 
  2. This means that you will need to be registered for “back-up” classes. 
  3. If you are waitlisted for a class, you should attend that class on the first day.  If your “back-up” class is scheduled for the same time, you should contact the professor of the course you are waitlisted for first to find our how realistic the chances of you being added to the class are.  We don’t want you to miss a class that you are registered for if there is no chance of you being added from the waitlist. 
  4. Make sure that the professor knows that you are in class, and talk to the professor about your chances of being added to the class.
  5. The goal is to keep our classes at their enrollment limits (which differ for each class), while also making sure that all students who need a class to graduate are able to take the class.
  6. If a professor decides to overload a class (usually by a max of 2-3 students), students will be added based on seniority, with priority going to graduating seniors who need that particular course to graduate.
  7. If you were dropped from the course by the One Stop office, you must clear your holds with One Stop and then you should see Marvella in the Dean’s office, Harney 240.  She will verify that you were previously enrolled in the course, and if there is room, re-admit you to the class.
  8. You may be getting an e-mail request from some professors for more information about why you want/need to get into the class you are waitlisted for.  If you do receive one of these messages, be sure you respond to the professor as soon as possible and explain why you need that class. 
  9. Each professor will inform the Department Chair, Professor Jacquemet, which students should be added to the class.  You will then receive a message from him indicating that you need to drop your “back-up” class (this will likely happen on Thursday January 27th). 
  10. You have 24 hours to drop your back-up class, after which Professor Jacquemet will add you to the class that you waitlisted for.  If you do not drop your back-up class within the 24 hour window, you will not be added. 

Please know that while we understand that you want to take certain courses because they sound more interesting, fit into your schedule better, etc., our goal is to keep classes at their designated capacity because that benefits you, as a student.  Students are only added above the course cap in extreme circumstances.  Registering as soon as your registration window opens, and carefully keeping track of what courses you need, should greatly minimize the chances of not getting into your first choice of classes. 

Phewf… isn’t that more information than you ever wanted to know about waitlists?  (You’re right… I don’t think “phewf” is actually a word or a sound). 

Contact the professor of the course if you have any questions and be on the lookout for a message from Professor Jacquemet.  Good luck!