Women’s Month faculty feature: Gina Gayle, Ph.D.

Headshot of Dr. Gina Gayle. Photo Courtesy of Gina Gayle.

By Gioia Guarino

Boston University News Service

March is Women’s History Month, a dedicated time to celebrate and honor women’s history in American society, with International Women’s Day observed on March 8. 

Gina Gayle, Ph.D., is a photojournalist, Associate Professor of the Practice at Boston University College of Communication, and the Boston University News Service Editor Emerita. 

Throughout her journalism career, Dr. Gayle worked for newspapers, many of which were Hearst owned, across the country. She shifted into full-time academia in 2008, recently joining the BU community from Emerson College.

Dr. Gayle teaches Visual Storytelling (COMJO 205) and Newsroom (COMJO 400) this spring semester. Her Newsroom course offers a collaborative partnership with The Needham Observer, a non-profit start-up, allowing students to contribute to community news storytelling. 

The transition from working in the field to teaching was smooth for Dr. Gayle. She said, “When you’re teaching, you’re keeping your skills sharp. In order to pass on that knowledge, you have to really, fully understand it.” 

“I love teaching because I love the energy of the young people,” she said.

Dr. Gayle encourages her BU students to involve themselves with visuals, her preferred form of storytelling. Any class that she can get her students to interact with visuals, such as still images or videos, is her favorite. 

“I want them to make good stuff,” Dr. Gayle said. 

While teaching, she is also leading her second semester at BU News Service. She began overseeing the student-run multimedia publication this past fall. 

“It’s been really great to work with the BUNS editors and the reporters,” Dr. Gayle said. “Going forward, I hope that more people will be interested in working on BUNS and that we get to expand our newsroom and our coverage.” 

In honor of influential women, Dr. Gayle recognizes her mom, grandmother and aunt as admiral female figures throughout her life. She notes that all three women created the life they wanted for themselves. 

She said: “They were all very strong women. They all had goals and dreams that, for especially my grandmother, for a black woman in the South, she directed her life.”

Her inspiration for education comes from her aunt, who put herself through a master’s degree as a single mother. Her mom, well, she “loved life, she was fun. She created the life that she wanted, which was not easy. It was not easy for any of them,” Dr. Gayle said.  

She told journalists everywhere, “Visuals, visuals, visuals … Always have visuals, but do them well.”

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