Students relish L.A. experience


Engineering, music, public relations, advertising, journalism, and theater students spent their January Interim in Los Angeles, meeting everyone from writers and animators to automobile engineers and musicians, all while getting a hands-on learning experience and class credit.  While on a tour of DreamWorks, Dr. Ron Koperski’s communications students posed with the title character of Kung Fu Panda.

This group also received a tour of the colorful set of the hit reality TV show Big Brother from the show’s co-executive producer Don Wollman.


The same group had the opportunity to meet Jay Leno at a taping of The Tonight Show. "My takeaway from this trip is that it is never impossible to make it big in whatever I would like to achieve," said LAURYN LANDACRE '12, above. "I now realize that the industry is a small world, and I must always give 110 percent in order to make something of myself."

Mechanical engineering students had their own behind-the-scenes tours. Aside from their visit to Jay Leno’s garage. They also visited Tesla Motors, where they took a close-up look at cutting-edge, electric roadsters.  

Meanwhile, Dr. Todd Kelly’s music students, including JACOB VIZCARRA ’14 and LINDSEY OVERBY ’14, gained show business insight from Phil Nemy, executive director of the University of Texas Los Angeles Center.

At the end of the two-week L.A. experience, the groups gathered at the Hollywood Gala Reception at the Skirball Cultural Center, where they networked with successful alumni from a variety of industries, like these BU theater alums. From left, SAM HULL '91, RIANNAH POUNCY '10, CHRIS WHITE '97, JIM McCAFFREE '89, NICK THURKETTLE '99, PIP LILLY '91, CHARLES WHITAKER '03, Dr. Jeff Huberman, dean of the Slane College of Communications and Fine Arts, CARLY VADNAIS '10, George Brown, chairman of the theater department, RYAN SELF '05, DAVID ALEX MILLER '07, and ALLISON NOWACKI '06.

DOUG FRANK HON '09 and LAURA HERLOVICH '79 discuss the music industry with students at the Hollywood Gala.

JED SCHLANGER ’96, RENAE RADFORD ’06, and former Bradley multimedia instructor Stan Haptas all work for DreamWorks. Schlanger is a production manager, Radford is the modeling and surfacing coordinator for Rise of the Guardians, and Haptas is a final layout artist.

Photography by Duane Zehr