Message from the Director2023-09-01T17:32:00+00:00

Letter from Interim Director Susan Jacobson

Welcome to the Lee Caplin School of Journalism & Media Fall 2023 semester!

I hope you had a rejuvenating summer, filled with inspiring stories, and new perspectives that you’re eager to share with your fellow students. The fields of journalism and media are always evolving, and the Lee Caplin School of Journalism & Media evolves with it. This Fall you will find many exciting new developments at our School:

  • Games and Animation – The School is offering two new majors in Game Media and Animation Media. Students in these programs will take classes in the iSTAR labs, recently upgraded with new computers capable of running game development software like Unity and the Unreal Engine, and animation software like Maya.
  • 3D Video – Beginning later this fall a full-time staff member will be available to work with students on projects that use the iSTAR volumetric capture studio. Volumetric Capture records objects in 3D video that may then be used for augmented reality (like Pokemon Go) or brought into game platforms. Learn more about the volumetric capture studio here.
  • Creative Digital Filmmaking Certificate – Beginning this semester, students may enroll in the Creative Digital Filmmaking Certificate program, offered by the Lee Caplin School of Journalism & Media in collaboration with the Department of Theatre. FIL 2000 Film Appreciation and TPP 3265 Introduction to Acting/Directing for TV/Film are available this Fall. Courses in Writing for Film, Digital Cinematography and Sound Design for Visual Media will be offered in the Spring. Some of these courses will be offered again in the Summer. This five-course certificate program may be used to satisfy the Area of Concentration requirement for students in Digital Journalism, Digital Broadcasting, Digital TV and Interactive Media majors.

During the month of November, the Lee Caplin School of Journalism and Media, which was named last year with a generous gift from filmmaker Mr. Lee Caplin, will have an official naming ceremony. There will be special events and opportunities for students around this time. Mr. Caplin is a film producer and entrepreneur whose credits include the TV series True Detective and movies like Ali. Mr. Caplin is also the executor of the literary estate of Nobel Prize-winning author William Faulkner, and oversees all media produced from Faulkner’s work. We are all grateful to Mr. Caplin’s generosity and what it means to the students and faculty and future of our School.

Are you interested in internships? Students who participate in Caplin News Newsbreak, our live morning TV news show, are more likely to secure paid internships at local and national media organizations. Any student enrolled in the Lee Caplin School of Journalism & Media, from Freshmen to Seniors, may participate in Newsbreak, which is broadcast live on YouTube every morning at 9:30am and then rebroadcast throughout the day on Island TV, the Caribbean’s leading streaming channel. Please contact Prof. Stephen Kairalla, faculty Director of Newsbreak, to learn how to participate.

The school offers internships and experiential learning opportunities with high-profile media companies like NBC Universal, Univision, the E.W. Scripps Network and The Miami Herald. Our students have won dozens of national and regional media awards in the last two years, and our publication, Caplin News (then the South Florida Media Network), was named The Best College News Website in 2020 by Editor & Publisher Magazine. Get involved with Caplin News – contact Prof. Charles Strouse, Assistant Director of Experiential Learning, to find out how.

Have you dreamed of spending a semester in Washington, DC? You can spend a semester in the Caplin Media Washington, DC, bureau where you will work on news and video packages for Newsbreak from FIU in DC, just steps from the U.S. Capitol. You can take a DC-based internship and classes online while you are in Washington. Students may also apply for a $5,000 scholarship to help pay for a semester in DC. Contact Ms. Freeman at afreeman@fiu.edufor more information.

You will be hearing from me over the next year letting you know about the exciting opportunities we have planned. Look for messages from us via your FIU e-mail. Our school website has many resources that will help you. Find internship and job opportunities on Handshake, FIU’s internship database. You will also find resources available to make your academic journey a success, including information about advising and student groups like The Society of Professional Journalists and the National Association of Hispanic Journalists. Visit the Scholarships site for more information on various scholarship opportunities.

I look forward to meeting all of you as you work toward your future at FIU.


Susan Jacobson, Ph.D.
Interim Director
Lee Caplin School of Journalism & Media
Associate Professor
Co-Director, Steven Cruz Institute for Media, Science + Technology