Pitches for Potential Stories

  • Teaching your native language in a foreign country.

Person to interview: Assist. Prof. Hisae Fujiwara or Lecturer Yukimi Nakano

Pictures can be taken either in the office or during lectures.

– What inspire you to teach Japanese in a university in the US? Why do you choose to stay in the current position?

– How do you usually start the conversation with students?

– What do you find most difficult while teaching? How did you overcome the difficulties?

– Is there any difference between students with different backgrounds (origins) when they are trying to learn Japanese?

– What is your future plan? What do you want to accomplish the most in the coming years?

  • Why Neuroscience?

Person to interview: Ph. D. candidate Daniel Acker or Associate Prof. Suzanne Paradis

Pictures can be taken while the person is conducting experiments or reading scientific literature in the lab.

– What did you study as an undergraduate student in college?

– What help you to decide the neuroscience focus among the wide scientific topics?

– Do you have any relatives or friends who have neurological diseases or psychological disorders?

– How and when did you determine the current research interests?

– What is the most difficult situation you have encountered during experiments so far? How did you solve the problem?

– What aspects of your research do you believe will benefit others the most?

– How do you envision the next few years?

Introducing myself

I am primarily interested in science journalism as a neuroscience and biology double major. I would like to learn the writing skills which will allow me to communicate the complicated scientific ideas and exciting news to the general public in easily understood and enjoyable ways.

Meanwhile, I also realized that multimedia techniques can be very useful and important in such a technology generation when some of the professors often used videos and pictures in class to help us understand some scientific definitions.  In the future, I hope to contribute to the international science communication utilizing my language skills in English, Chinese, and Japanese as well.

The on-campus news that I would like to comment on this week is that the next Science Hall of Fame member was announced. Natsuko Nina Yamagata, a chemistry major here at Brandeis who will graduate this May, was selected for her extraordinary research experience. I got to know Natsuko the first time last winter in a science-related Japanese experiential learning class. However, I was first impressed by her works in music instead of in science. Natsuko is a member of the Brandeis-Wellesley Orchestra and she also works as a private piano teacher off campus. While the news published on BrandeisNow on the 18th this month only mentioned her interests and accomplishments in the science field. I felt that it is also very valuable to show readers the other face of the subject other than an excellent scientist since including other information may extent the audience range.

I would like to comment on one of the national news happened this week as well, the Trump Dossier, since it has stimulated wide discussions in the journalism field? Should BuzzFeed publish the whole document? Should we admit such kind of information as news?  What should the journalists do when facing attacks from politicians? Many questions were asked and debated among both professional journalists and the general public, but no solid conclusions were reached. The Ethics in Journalism class talked about this news as well. After listening to the inspiring discussions led by the professor in class, I found that I could stand on either side of most of the problems and reasoning for each of them. Then, where are the correct answers?