To hear about future SMPA events, please join our mailing list.

Sign Up Now


News & Events

A featured Blacktivist

"Blacktivism: The New Generation" Gallery Launch

February 12, 2016

Friday, February 5 marked the opening of the new exhibition "Blacktivism: The New Generation." During the opening, the second floor gallery of SMPA teemed with dozens of students, faculty, and supp

Tatiana Cirisano

SMPA journalism student heads to Japan after winning reporting competition

February 11, 2016

SMPA junior, Tatiana Cirisano, was recently named one of the winners of the

Jason Osder

How Sundance Documentaries Are Breaking the Rules

February 10, 2016

Sundance, the country’s largest independent film festival, concluded last week with a splash. The biggest news that emerged was that Fox Searchlight bought Nate Parker’s ambitious remake of “The Birth of a Nation” for a reported $17.5 million—the largest blockbuster deal in Sundance’s history. But there was another story from this year’s festival: The program seemed more committed to freedom of expression in films and new artistic formats, particularly in documentaries. School of Media and Public Affairs Professor Jason Osder, known for “Let The Fire Burn,” attended the festival and observed a trend of documentaries that move beyond the principles of journalism in favor of creative troupes found more frequently in fictionalized films. These films are more explorative, and the filmmakers aren’t afraid to hoodwink the audience to make a larger point. Osder spoke with George Washington Today reporter Julyssa Lopez and discusses how films like “Kate Plays Christine,” “Cameraperson,” and “Nuts!” reflect new ways of telling stories, and what the trend means for the documentary genre moving forward.

Manheim-Sterling winners Garcia, Hogan, and Fawzy

Manheim-Sterling Undergraduate Prize Winners Explore Social Issues

January 29, 2016

This year’s recipients of the Manheim-Sterling Undergraduate Research Prize may be at the helm of two very different projects, but they both tackle important social issues. Molly Hogan, an SMPA senior majoring in Political Communication, is exploring the effects of framing on public opinion on an increasingly important political issue: mandatory minimum sentencing. She is particularly interested in the unjust disparity in jail time caused by a controversial law for crack and powder cocaine use. The other two winners, seniors Farida Fawzy and Alejandro Garcia, are collaborating to produce a short documentary on the process of water desalination. They want to highlight today’s most cutting-edge and efficient methods to make sea water drinkable.

Yong-Chan Kim and Laura King

Announcing the Spring 2016 Shapiro Fellows: Yong-Chan Kim and Laura King

January 22, 2016

The School of Media and Public Affairs is pleased to announce the 2016 J.B. and Maurice C. Shapiro Fellows in Media and Public Affairs., communication professor Yong-Chan Kim and international journalist Laura King. Kim is currently a professor at the College of Communication at Yonsei University, South Korea, where he also serves as the director of Urban Socio-Spatial Informatics Center and Principal Investigator of Urban Communication Lab. King—currently on leave from her post as the “Los Angeles Times” Bureau Chief in Cairo, Egypt—has spent much of her journalistic career covering conflicts and was previously a correspondent for the Associated Press. She has been with the “LA Times” since 2002, and was assigned a regional beat that included Pakistan and Afghanistan.

Not Your Boyfriend's Sports Show Logo

Talking Sports from the Female Perspective

January 15, 2016

During the past year, podcasts have had a moment, exploding onto the cultural scene and changing the way people get information.

Give a Gift, Jumpstart a Career

November 25, 2015

This fall, SMPA launched the Career Access Network (SMPA CAN) to enhance the value of an SMPA education by supporting experiential learning, enhancing professional connections, and creating community between current students and alumni. The idea for SMPA CAN grew out of the success of the J. Michael Shanahan Journalism Internship Fund, which allows juniors in the journalism and mass communication major to pursue a summer internship at a news organization that they otherwise might not have been able to afford. The 2015 recipients of the award, Farida Fawzy and Nana Agyemang, had such wonderful experiences that SMPA's National Council recommended that SMPA expand the scholarship opportunities to include both the political communication and journalism and mass communication majors, creating SMPA CAN.

SMPA Senior Jessica McEntee

Understanding the Power of Logos

November 13, 2015

Often times, the help you seek comes from a place you would never think to look. For SMPA Senior Jessica McEntee, the help she needed to complete her senior thesis appeared in the form of the GW SURE Award.
McEntee, a University honors student who is double majoring in Political Communication and Economics, is primarily focused on the power and influence of logos, specifically during political campaigns. Her thesis includes a survey that measures the ability of logos to produce strong emotional reactions and mobilize voters. Ensuring enough people took the survey was a challenge.

Head shot of Rachel Smilan-Goldstein

Feminism and the Media

November 05, 2015

Senior Rachel Smilan-Goldstein was destined to become a feminist from the day she was born when her mother insisted that her daughter’s name be hyphenated. These values have stayed with her and inform her current research on the media’s changing coverage of the Women’s Movement over the last 50 years. The recipient of a Luther Rice Undergraduate Research Fellowship, Smilan-Goldstein set out discover if the feminist movement was depicted in the media as an important avenue for empowering woman.

Julia Bahl on the "Work it Worth It" panel.

Intern Diary: Julia Bahl with PBS and the Women's Media Center

October 29, 2015

I was asked to be a part of “Worth It Work It,” a website dedicated to encouraging women to pursue a career in the media.

SMPA Visiting Scholar Javier Lesaca

Visiting Scholar Javier Lesaca Presents ISIS Audiovisual Engagement Strategy Research at the UN Security Council

October 29, 2015

Visiting scholar Javier Lesaca gave a speech at the Security Council of the UN explaining his research on ISIS audiovisual engagement strategy and stressed the importance of facing the terrorism as a communication challenge. He explained that Daesh has published more than 920 audiovisual campaigns designed by 33 different producers in the last 22 months.Those campaigns were designed to engage with young audiences around the world--almost 50% of the ISIS videos containing real executions were similar to/inspired by executions shown in films and video games.

Nancy Pelosi crowd shot

Student Perspective on "A Conversation with Nancy Pelosi"

October 28, 2015

Former Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi reflected on her mission to fight for children around the United States during her enlightening discussion with SMPA Director Frank Sesno during SMPA’s Conversation Series, which gives students the opportunity to hear from luminary figures in politics, media, and communication. Pelosi spoke on topics such as the budget deal, the new House leadership, the future of the Democratic Party, and the role of media in contemporary politics. Throughout her illustrious career in public service, Pelosi has been at the forefront of some of the most important political moments of modern times. As the highest ranking female political figure in the history of the United States, she has shattered glass ceilings. But for Pelosi, every single decision and action comes back to the millions of children around the country that live in poverty.

Brianna Gurciullo, BA '15

Measuring the Momentum of the Marijuana Legalization Movement

October 22, 2015

Brianna Gurcuillo, BA '15, spent eight months as a fellow for News21, a national investigative reporting initiative based at Arizona State University’s Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication. The 2015 News21 project’s focus: the legalization and regulation of recreational and medical marijuana in the United States. As a collaborative project with a heavy focus on multimedia, News21 fellows had a variety of specialties including writing, videography, photography, data and web development. She worked with several teams who traveled to about half the states, together producing over two-dozen written stories, 50 videos and a dozen graphics.

Terker Fellow Frank Fahrenkopf and Amy Walter

SMPA Welcomes Political Operative Frank Fahrenkopf, Jr. and Journalist Amy Walter as Terker Distinguished Fellows

September 30, 2015

Frank Fahrenkopf, Jr., the co-chairman on the Commission on Presidential Debates, and Amy Walter, editor of The Cook Report, will join the School of Media and Public Affairs (SMPA) as the 2015-2016 Terker Distinguished Fellows in Media and Public Affairs. These exceptional professionals will participate in class discussions, career advising and public events throughout the academic year.

Weingarten at a Cannes Film Festival event.

Intern Diary: Jessica Weingarten at the Cannes Film Festival

September 28, 2015

I had always dreamt of attending the Cannes Film Festival in Cannes, France. As cheesy as it sounds, it’s true.

Jorge Ramos is pictured with Melissa Mogollon.

A Conversation with Jorge Ramos: Journalism, Activism, and the Latino vote

September 23, 2015

In this student-authored article, Political Communication major Melissa Mogollon gives her reaction to the event "A Conversation with Jorge Ramos," and discusses why the event and Ramos's commentary and advice resonated with her and the Latinos in the audience.

SMPA Announces BA Curricular Changes

September 16, 2015

The faculty at the School of Media and Public Affairs (SMPA) has made key changes to the Political Communication (PMC) and Journalism Mass Communications (JMC) undergraduate programs.

Martin McSherry is pictured at a hearing on MSNBC Politics Nation.

Intern Diary: Martin McSherry with the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform

September 14, 2015

On day one of my summer clerk internship with the Democrats on the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, I got a tour of the staff's Rayburn office.

Sophie Ota

A Washington Experience: Opinions, Insight and Advice from Campaign 2016 Panel

September 04, 2015

On Thursday, September 2, in what was yet another amazing and uniquely GW opportunity, I attended “Campaign 2016: Personalities, Politics & Predictions” a panel discussion on the upcoming presi

Zinhle Essamuah

'Hands Up': SMPA Student’s Film Puts a Lens on Black Lives Matter

September 02, 2015

From her resident advisor room in Mitchell Hall, Zinhle Essamuah, B.A. '15, could hear the chants of “Hands up, don’t shoot” echoing in the streets. It was November, and a grand jury had just decided against indicting a Ferguson, Mo., police officer in the shooting death of Michael Brown.

Chris Evans

Intern Diary: Chris Evans with White House Digital Media

August 20, 2015

From the glossy admissions packets to the exciting first year orientation, SMPA students are continually told that their school is only five blocks from the White House. Well, it turns out they weren’t exaggerating.

Dana Bash, Chief Political Correspondent CNN

Dana Bash, BA ’93, Named CNN Chief Political Correspondent

August 18, 2015

Dana Bash, BA ’93, is now CNN’s Chief Political Correspondent. Bash, who earned her degree in political communication, assumes the coveted editorial role after more than 30 years with CNN.

John Lansing, BBG

Broadcasting Board of Governors Names SMPA National Council Member John Lansing as Chief Executive Officer

August 18, 2015

The Broadcasting Board of Governors (BBG), the independent federal government agency that oversees all U.S.

Professor Nikki Usher

Professor Usher Wins Lillian Lodge Kopenhaver Outstanding Young Scholar Award

August 05, 2015

Professor Nikki Usher was awarded the 2015 Lillian Lodge Kopenhaver Outstanding Young Scholar Award today.

Upcoming Events