STUDENT PROFILE: Austin DuVarney is a Communicator, Photographer, Traveler


DUDLEY, Mass.—Excellent communicator. Serious photographer. Loves traveling abroad. Wants to give back.

You might find these personal descriptions on a good resume. Or on an online dating site.

For Nichols College senior Austin DuVarney, however, they speak to his experiences as a student and his aspirations as a graduate.

Unlike most of his business-oriented classmates, DuVarney—a communications major and English minor—has focused his studies on the liberal arts.

“I especially enjoyed visual communications and its design and creative aspects,” said the West Boylston native.  “It’s given me an avenue to working with photography and videography.”

DuVarney has also valued his courses in journalism and non-fiction writing.

“I learned the ins-and-outs of interviewing and writing about people and getting to know what they are thinking,” he said, noting that he’s interested in becoming a professional photojournalist.

Not that DuVarney has ignored the business side of his Nichols education.

“Being at a business school has given me a change of perspective,” he said, adding that what he has learned enhances his other studies. “In my Professional Business Communication course, for instance, we talked about how (the late Apple founder) Steve Jobs timed his promotional slide shows to mesh creativity with the business side.”

As for traveling to different countries, DuVarney recently returned from a fall semester “Down Under,” at a university in New Zealand, where he blazed a new trail.

“I had seen people here study abroad in Europe all the time. No one from Nichols had ever gone to New Zealand,” he pointed out. “I wanted to get all the way to the South Pacific if I had the chance.”

DuVarney’s experiences overseas also have set the stage for a longer journey abroad. He’s thinking about joining the Peace Corps for his first two years after he graduates in May.

“A lot of people get into the groove of graduate schools and careers,” he said. “I wanted to help people out before figuring things out for myself.”

“I’d like to go somewhere I haven’t been before and engulf myself in the culture,” added DuVarney.

Veteran journalist Ronald Schachter is senior writer at Nichols College and an adjunct faculty member.

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