[COMMUNITY] Sree Sreenivasan Appointed Dean of Students (Columbia University)
- Sree Sreenivasan Appointed Dean of Students
Former AAJA Board member Sreenath Sreenivasan will succeed Ari
Goldman as Dean of Students at Columbia University's Graduate School
According to Nicholas Lemann, Dean of Columbia University's Graduate
School of Journalism, Sree's appointment will be effective July 1.
"There is nobody in this unsually student-centered school who is as
dedicated to our students as Sree. We count ourselves very lucky
that he has agreed to take the Dean of Students position, when his
talents and accomplishments have put so many competing opportunities
before him. Our incoming class is fortunate to have such a strong
advisor and advocate waiting in the dean's office," said Lemann.
Sree has taught at Columbia University for 12 years. Though he
leaves his title as Associate Professor of Professional Practice and
Director for Online Journalism Awards, he will continue to teach. In
addition to his professorship, Sree is also a technology reporter,
known as the Tech Guru, for WABC-TV and freelance writer/reporter to
other major news sources such as The New York Times and The Nightly
Business Report on PBS.
Furthermore, Sree has been an active member of AAJA and is the co-
founder and former president of the South Asian Journalists
About Sreenath Sreenivasan
The 10-second Bio:
** Columbia University new media professor
** WABC-TV's "Tech Guru" (Thursday mornings at 6:45 and Saturday
mornings at 7:45)
** Co-founder, SAJA, South Asian Journalists Association
** Weekly columnist for Poynter.org
Sree is a professor of journalism at Columbia and an expert on
convergence journalism - teaching journalists to work in multiple
media formats such as print, TV, radio and online.
He teaches full-time at Columbia's Graduate School of Journalism,
where his simple title is "associate professor of professional
practice." In this, his 12th year of professoring, he run's the
school's new media/Web journalism program (which has been taught
since the fall of 1994). He also teaches workshops in "Smarter
Surfing: Better Use of Your Web Time" in newsrooms and educational
institutions around the US and abroad.
In the New York City area, Sree can be seen regularly on WABC-7 --
every Thursday at 6:45 a.m. for the station's "Tech Guru" segments,
discussing technology trends and gadgets on "Eyewitness News This
Morning" and every Saturday morning at 7:45 for "Sree's Top Three"
(samples). In April 2002, he hosted and co-produced a half-hour WABC
documentary about technology called "Computers 101." He guest hosts
segments of "Asian America" on PBS, a nationally syndicated English
program about Asian American affairs (samples) and American Desi, a
24-hour satellite TV network.
As a freelance journalist, he has written for The New York Times,
Business Week, Time Digital, National Journal, India Today and
Rolling Stone (samples). He has been published in several other
periodicals, including the Fiji Sun (in which he got his first
byline at 15), and has been a freelance producer for the "Nightly
Business Report" on PBS and a reporter and editor in India for The
Sunday Observer and Business Today.
Sree currently serves as the Web Geek for Popular Science's "Geek
Chorus" and writes a weekly Web Tips column at Poynter.org.
He is co-founder and former president of SAJA, the South Asian
Journalists Association, a group of 1,000+ South Asian journalists
in New York and across the U.S. and Canada.
He also serves as faculty adviser to Columbia's chapter of the
Society of Professional Journalists and he won the group's "national
faculty adviser of the year" award for 1998.
From 2000 to 2002, he was the founding administrator of the Online
Journalism Awards, the world's largest new media contest, run by
Columbia and the Online News Association (a group he helped co-found
Sree is a frequent commentator and speaker on various issues,
including trends affecting journalism; technology & convergence; the
Internet; writing for the Web; and South Asia & South Asians in
America. He especially enjoys speaking at schools and colleges about
the charms and challenges of working in the media (more on these
talks and see OJR article, "Meet Columbia's New Media Guru").
In April 2003, he was named one of the 20 most influential South
Asians in America by Newsweek magazine.
Sree has a Master of Science degree in journalism from Columbia; a
Bachelor of Arts in history from St. Stephen's College, Delhi; a
high school diploma from Marist Brothers High School in the Fiji
Islands; a sixth-grade diploma from P.S. 6 in Manhattan; a
kindergarten (or deskisat) diploma from Mosow; and a birth
certificate from a Catholic hospital in Tokyo (though he'd be hard-
pressed to produce any of these in a pinch).
He lives in Manhattan with his wife, Roopa Unnikrishnan, a
management consultant, Rhodes Scholar and world-class sports rifle
shooter; and their twin toddlers, Durga & Krishna.
Covering Technology in the Morning, Teaching Journalism During the
BY ALEXANDRA SIMOU - Special to the Sun
January 31, 2005
Inside Sreenath Sreenivasan lurks a Luddite, just waiting to come
out. Perhaps unexpected in someone who guides people through the
perils of technology for a living, this small voice of skepticism is
what gives Mr. Sreenivasan the edge in his mission of demystifying
technology and the Internet. "I'm not a technical expert," he
says, "I just play one on TV."
As WABC-TV's "Tech Guru," Mr. Sreenivasan appears on Channel 7
Eyewitness News This Morning at 6:45 a.m. on Thursdays and at 7:45
a.m. on Saturdays. His three-minute segments interpret technology to
the layman, sift through Web sites for the useful and entertaining
ones, and include tips ranging from how to participate in the South
Asian tsunami relief effort to how best to go about online shopping.
Mr. Sreenivasan was born in Tokyo and went to kindergarten in
Moscow, where he learned to speak fluent Russian and quote Lenin.
His father's job as a diplomat for the Indian government took the
family to New York when he was nine years old (and learned to quote
John Lennon). He attended P.S. 6 on the East Side and, to his
parents chagrin, announced that he planned to be a journalist. But
his father was soon posted overseas again, and Mr. Sreenivasan went
to high school in Burma and then Fiji. Trying to steer him toward
useful employment, his mother arranged for a paid internship.
Undeterred, Mr. Sreenivasan found an unpaid job at the Fiji Sun
newspaper, and his parents only realized his ruse when he ran out of
money. But he thought his unpaid toil well worth it when, at the age
of 15, he got his first byline.
After Fiji, Mr. Sreenivasan was accepted to the University of
Canberra, Australia. Seeking independence and distance from his
family, he went to India instead, studied history in New Delhi, and
worked as a proofreader and business reporter. He returned to New
York for his master's degree at Columbia University, and was
delighted when, in the economic downturn of the early nineties, he
was offered a job as a business reporter at Forbes Magazine with a
salary of $27,000. A teaching fellowship at Columbia paying $19,000
came up at the same time, and, predictably, he took the job at
Columbia. He is now associate professor of professional practice at
Columbia University's Graduate School of Journalism, and has taught
courses ranging from writing and reporting to television classes and
Internet journalism. He's widely considered one of the university's
most popular teachers.
Mr. Sreenivasan is at home in New York - and sees the city's rich
diversity as a great asset. It happens regularly after his morning
television broadcasts that the anchor "tosses" from the Tech Guru to
Joya Dass, a financial reporter also of South Asian origin. "The
fact that they have two South Asians says something about the
station, says something about the network, about New York - it's a
wonderful thing," says Mr. Sreenivasan. To help bring more
minorities into the media, he has co-founded the South Asian
Part of his mission is to help parents guide their children through
the maze of the Internet even as they cope with the younger
generation's superior computer skills. "We do a lot of segments
on 'catching up with your kids'," he says, "the Internet is not
passive and parents need to get involved." He'd like to see children
learn that information is not free. "How do we get the next
generation to pay for newspapers, pay for a website-newspapers are
wrestling with this," he says. He encourages parents to help their
children understand the value of technology by including expenses
like mobile phones in the calculation of their allowance.
Mr. Sreenivasan has conducted technology workshops in seven
countries. WABC-TV often sends him to local schools to teach about
technology and the Internet. Recently, he held a class for 900
sixth, seventh and eighth graders in Roslyn, Long Island. "They
should all have been my tech gurus," he says, "they all know more
about technology than we do."
Before becoming a parent, Mr. Sreenivasan thought he wouldn't let
his children play with computers until they were four years old. But
his 20-month-old twins are already listening to iPods and playing
computer games on the Internet, so he's revising his plan-although
he rejects the idea of using technology as a baby sitter.
Inevitably, he watches a lot of television. "But I couldn't do
without print journalism," he says, admitting that he is often awake
at 3 a.m., holding the freshly delivered Wall Street Journal in one
hand and cradling one of the twins in the other.
Mostly, he surfs. "My job is to surf the Internet, I have the
world's greatest job," he says. He is on 24/7, always looking for
the next technology breakthrough, the next best thing on the Web.