Alumni Spotlight: Fernando Severino Appointed Assistant Professor at California State University

August 02, 2021

Columbia alumnus Fernando Severino (SIPA’14) has recently been appointed Assistant Professor at the Communications Department at California State University, Dominguez Hills. Severino, a journalist, has over 14 years of experience in media, communications, and academia.

Prior to moving to the United States, he worked in Chile at Universidad Alberto Hurtado’s Social Observatory and co-founded Proyecto Cáucaso, which turned into a documentary and a TV series on the current state of civil society in Armenia, Azerbaijan, and Georgia. He was also news editor and news anchor at CNN Chile and taught at Universidad Católica's School of Communications. He then moved to New York to obtain his Master of International Affairs at Columbia's School of International and Public Affairs (SIPA), where he specialized in international media, advocacy, and communications, with a concentration in international finance and economic policy.

After working as a graduate consultant for the Inter-American Development Bank, he moved to Minnesota, where he worked as a Marketing Communications Specialist at 3M headquarters and got his PhD in Mass Communications at the University of Minnesota, researching the role of media in covering immigration and its effects both in newsrooms and public opinion. “My years at SIPA definitely piqued my interest for constantly learning. The PhD seemed liked a natural option in which Columbia had profound influence,” he states.

In 2020, during the Covid-19 pandemic, he relocated to California, where he was offered a position as Assistant Professor at the Communications Department at California State University, Dominguez Hills. “Being a university professor is a unique opportunity to connect with people that have similar interests, and, at the same time, to learn from the students’ experience. Here in Los Angeles [where the university is located], many of my students have rich professional and life experiences, and in the end, I learn more from them, than they from me,” Severino says.