Michelle Banayan ’18 shines in storytelling and journalism at Brandeis
Michelle Banayan ’18 is an aspiring journalist who is honing her craft of storytelling at Brandeis.
Banayan came to campus by way of Los Angeles and is now enjoying life on the east coast. At Brandeis, she majors in American Studies and minors in Journalism and Legal Studies and works as an Associate Editor for the student-run newspaper, The Justice.
BrandeisNOW caught up with Michelle to learn about her Brandeis experience.
BrandeisNOW: Why was Brandeis the right fit for you?
Banayan: One of the perks of Brandeis is the people. It sounds so cliché—the people—but it’s something you won’t fully understand until you come here. Everyone is so passionate about what they do and willing to lend a hand by welcoming you into our community. I aspire to do those things, and Brandeis makes me want to be the better version of myself.
BrandeisNOW: What do you enjoy doing when you visit Boston?
Banayan: I love to walk around Newbury Street and branch out into Beacon Hill. It’s a popular area and has charm, with its New England architecture and cobblestone streets. It’s so different from where I come from in Los Angeles. I love exploring the back streets of Boston.
BrandeisNOW: What has been your favorite class at Brandeis?
Banayan: My first year, I took “International Affairs and the American Media.” It was a seminar class in which we studied how international affairs in the Middle East are portrayed in the American media. Every week, I would have to Skype with student peers in France, Turkey, Lebanon and New York to discuss the differences in the way news was being reported. It was amazing to get such a global perspective.
BrandeisNOW: Who has been your greatest mentor?
Banayan: My advisor for American Studies and Journalism, Professor Maura Jane Farrelly. I’ve taken her classes and I meet with her often. I admire her. She knows what she’s talking about and she teaches her students with such passion—you can hear the passion in her voice. She’s willing to lend a hand and support students who want to master their craft. As an aspiring journalist, I am grateful for her mentorship.
BrandeisNOW: What has been your most rewarding experience outside the classroom?
Banayan: The Humans of Brandeis Project. It’s a compilation of profiles of students and faculty members across the Brandeis community. I interview them and snap their portrait and post a profile on the Brandeis Facebook page. In creating this project, I not only got to meet so many interesting people, but I also realized my individual agency in being able to connect students, faculty, staff, alumni and parents to others in our community.
Michelle Banayan '18 is an Edward Fein Scholar.