By Braedon Blumfield and Sangmin Song
Boston University College of Communication lecturer Adam Boyajy and associate professor of the practice Tina McDuffie completed their first semester as the new faculty advisors for BUTV10, following Christopher Cavalieri’s departure due to verbal abuse and sexual misconduct allegations last year.
Prior to joining the COM faculty, Boyajy said he was the producer and technical director for Boston Neighborhood Networking News which is a partnership between the city of Boston and BU. He became the lecturer and the faculty advisor for BUTV10 in Aug. 2022.
“I spent the bulk of my career, actually, in Studio West on the third floor of COM,” Boyajy said. “So far, I’ve been thrilled with how its gone and really impressed with the amount of work that the students put in and how sharp they are in terms of listening and adapting and taking our critique and our notes.”
Boyajy said his focus as the new faculty advisor is to provide valuable work experience and help students get prepared for their first job.
“Short term, as they’re taping a show I’m in the control room kind of watching what they do, or maybe in the studio advising the anchors on writing, editing, on-air delivery, that kind of thing,” he said. “Longer term, I [try to develop] their skills in a way that will help them get their first job so that they have some leverage and that they have an edge over their colleagues.”
Lex Garguilo, a junior in COM and director for two BUTV10 shows, said Boyajy is always making good suggestions and “everything from him has been wonderful.”
“He makes sure to come to every show, sit in and see how we run it — then give suggestions,” Garguilo said. “He’s always looking to be better, to try to make us better, which we really appreciate.”
Garguilo’s experience with BUTV10’s former faculty advisor, Cavalieri, was different. They said he helped them get into good positions, but said they were “very anxious” after reading a post about Cavalieri’s conduct on the Campus Survivors Instagram.
“I just want to know if [Cavalieri] is still working at BU,” Garguilo said. “I want to know if we are in danger of anything.”
Burt Glass, director of marketing and communications for COM, wrote in an email, “[Cavalieri] continues to be a Boston University employee.”
Rachel Neil, a sophomore in COM who has been working for BUTV10 since Fall 2021, recalled a time when Cavalieri was upset about how she got onto a ladder, saying she was endangering herself and other people.
“[He] sort of verbally gave me a very hard time for 10 minutes in front of everyone else who was on the crew,” she said. “I really felt put under the spot and I felt it wasn’t fair to me to talk to me like that.”
Neil also shared her “amazing” experience with Boyajy last semester, adding Boyajy always gives support and reassurance to the staff.
“Knowing that he had our back and he wasn’t just trying to make it about him or make everything a teaching moment, was really refreshing,” she said. “I hope he never leaves.”
McDuffie, the other faculty advisor, who specializes in journalism, said she looks forward to seeing students using BUTV10 as an opportunity to expand knowledge and information.
“The way that I look at BUTV10 is — it’s an extension of what we’re teaching in the classroom. So we’re just fortifying what we’re teaching,” she said. “If you’re in my television reporting class, being involved with BUTV10 will allow you to get even more reps than you do in my class.”
McDuffie added that it’s important for students to understand the value of work ethic and personal skills which are vital in building a career.
“There are many journalists I’ve worked with who are fantastic, [but] horrible people to work with and you can’t keep a job that way, you have to have some balance,” McDuffie said. “You can’t just be out there trying to step on everybody, you got to have some character built up and hopefully, Adam and I will help to instill that.”
Andrew Severance, a sophomore in the College of Arts and Sciences and a producer for BUTV10’s “The Wire,” said he hopes that new faculty advisors work to institute more “accountability” in the organization after the revelations from last year.
“I want to see some accountability, and I want to see that the faculty really cares about what we do as an organization,” Severance said. “I want to see them helping recruitment … telling students here’s what you can get involved in [and] here’s why it might be beneficial to you.”
Boyajy said he wants an environment where honest communication takes place and wants to make sure that, “there’s always a certain amount of kindness, encouragement and warmth.”
“When we’re in a control room shooting a show, everyone knows that they’re valued,” he said. “Everyone knows that their job is important and key to what we have to execute and they can make mistakes and it’s okay.”
Lydia Evans is a producer at BUTV10. She was not involved in the reporting but was involved in the editing of this article.
Casey Choung was a writer at BUTV10 in Fall 2021 and Spring 2022. He was involved in the reporting and editing of this article.