BUA Soccer Wins MBIL Championship

November 2nd, 2018in BUA News and Stories, Homepage News

Last Friday, BUA's Varsity Soccer team brought home the Massachusetts Bay Independent League (MBIL) Championship! Team co-captain Will Reason '20 provides a game recap:

BUA took on Commonwealth last Friday at Winsor School, seeking to win our first championship in the 23-year history of our soccer program. The game started out tense, Commonwealth working hard as they sought revenge for the two regular season defeats we previously inflicted on them. The ball ricocheted around the field as both teams tried to force it over the top to their strikers.

With fifteen minutes gone, I sprinted onto a loose ball, fighting off pressure from two defenders and guiding it clear of the commotion before slamming it past the goalkeeper from six yards out. 1-0! Minutes later, Duarte Albuquerque '21 settled the ball on the left corner of the box, dragged it away from a defender, and buried it with his right foot, rippling the net. 2-0! BUA took total control of the match with a third goal, this one scored by Allie Burdi '20. Finding herself on the left edge of the box, she fired a right-footed shot across the goal. The ball deflected off a defender's head and flew into the top right corner. 3-0! We went into halftime with a commanding lead intact.

BUA dominated the second half as our passing movements came together admirably and we forced Commonwealth back, playing the ball around their box and creating various chances. After about 20 minutes, Rohan Prabhu '21 got the ball on a breakaway, ran towards the goal, and finished the chance with aplomb, placing a shot in the bottom left corner. 4-0! The excitement was palpable. After 23 years of waiting, a championship was almost here. But Commonwealth fought until the end, forcing BUA goalie Abhi Lingareddy '22 into a great ground save, preserving the clean sheet already protected by starting goalie Kealan Biebesheimer '21.

At the final whistle, our ecstatic bench charged the field. A wonderful, collective effort by 23 different players had finally ended a 22-year title drought and a five-game losing streak in finals. Kourosh Ghaffari '19 and I soon became the first captains in BUA history to lift the MBIL Division Two Trophy. The victory was a fitting cap to a stellar season led by coaches Bill Whittaker, Gaeton-Nicolas Bernimolin, and Stephanie Wilczynski, and represented not only a historic first, but also a statement of intent to the MBIL Division One, where we will play next season.

Congratulations to the entire team!

BUA Attends Hutchins Center Honors

October 25th, 2018in BUA News and Stories, Homepage News

On Thursday, October 11, six students and teachers represented BUA at the Hutchins Center Honors in the historic Sanders Theater at Harvard University. The centerpiece of the ceremony was the awarding of the W.E.B. Du Bois Medal; this year’s recipients were Dave Chappelle, Kenneth Chenault, Shirley Ann Jackson, Pamela Joyner, Colin Kaepernick, Florence Ladd, Bryan Stevenson and Kehinde Wiley for contributions to African and African American life and culture.

Rukky Madu, a junior at BUA, reflected on her experience:

"Last week I went with a small group of teachers to the sixth annual W.E.B. Dubois Medal Ceremony. It was a great experience that left all of us very inspired. From hearing about Shirley Ann Jackson pioneering the way for other young black female physicists to laughing at Dave Chappelle's many jokes, I was filled with a sense of black pride that I don't feel every day. The most inspiring speech I heard that day was from Bryan Stevenson. When he walked on stage, applause filled the room and he was greeted with a standing ovation that lasted about two minutes. When it was his turn to speak, I then understood why everyone in the room respected him. He began describing the work he and his team had already done exonerating innocent death row prisoners. In between every sentence, there was another round of applause, which made it difficult to hear all the amazing work he had done. But from what I could gather, he was a great social activist who founded the Equal Justice Initiative in order to help people who were unjustly tried but didn't have money for a good lawyer. During moments like that, I felt really inspired and was so glad to be invited to such an event."

Watch video from the ceremony here.

Sam Roberts ’08

Sam Roberts ‘08 graduated from Case Western Reserve University in 2013 with a BSE in Mechanical Engineering and a BA in Physics and the History and Philosophy of Science. After graduation, Sam was named a 2013 Venture for America Fellow, worked as an R&D Developer at Paragon Robotics LLC, and co-founded a company called Bookwork, which connects students to part-time work. In 2015, Sam co-founded NaturAll Club, a monthly subscription service for handmade avocado hair products geared towards women of color. He currently serves as NaturAll Club’s Chief Operating Officer. Last year Sam and his co-founder, Muhga Eltigani, were featured on Forbes magazine’s “30 Under 30” list for Retail & Ecommerce. In his free time, Sam enjoys roadtripping, reading, and spending time with his dog.

How does a mechanical engineer end up in the natural hair product business?

I got involved in startups right out of college through a fellowship program called Venture For America. That’s how I met my cofounder. She had been vlogging about her natural hair journey, and had just launched a successful crowdfunding campaign for NaturAll Club’s first product. She needed some help with the operations side of the company when she went full time and I was doing freelance web development work after we shut down my first company, and was excited to work on a physical product. After about six months of helping part time, I joined full time as the COO.

The world of entrepreneurship and startups is fast-paced and changes quickly. How do you see NaturAll Club growing over the next few years? What excites you most about this journey?

I see a lot of growth in the next few years! Not just with our current offerings, but we have a three year roadmap of new products we’re going to be launching. As the operations guy, I’m most excited about figuring out how to scale up our current operations to meet the growing demand we’re already seeing and also managing the growth of the company from a management perspective. There’s already a big difference going from a company of just two co-founders to a company of six.

Has there been a moment in your education or career that was particularly surprising, challenging, or defining – or something that sticks with you to this day?

For me a big moment was when I decided to leave my job to work on my first startup full time. I was nervous for a week before, because I didn’t know how to break the news to my boss. I was nervous both because it was a big step for me, and because I had never left a job before. I felt especially bad since I was the second employee at the company, so I thought my boss was really going to miss me. I read all kinds of articles about quitting and breaking bad news, and eventually just led straight with the bad news, and it went a lot better than I expected.

If you could turn back the clock and give your high school self one piece of advice, what would it be?

My advice would be to try and get as many experiences as possible. In high school I participated in many extracurriculars like soccer, robotics, Model UN and Ultimate Frisbee. In college, on the other hand, I tended to not get as involved in as many clubs and groups because I was so busy with my several majors. I think a lot of those experiences would have been beneficial for my startup experience, where I encounter a wide variety of situations that my majors didn’t really prepare me for.

BUA at the Boston Book Festival!

September 28th, 2018in BUA News and Stories, Homepage News

For the third consecutive year, BUA is proud to be an exhibitor at the Boston Book Festival in partnership with WBUR. The Boston Book Festival presents year-round events culminating in an annual festival that promotes a culture of literature and ideas, and enhances the vibrancy of our city.

This year’s event will take place on Saturday, October 13 in Copley Square from 10:00 a.m.-4:00 p.m. We are excited to announce that BUA will be a stop on the Passport to Imagination Tour, a scavenger hunt where festival-goers can make their way through exhibitors' booths, taking part in fun activities and picking up stamps along the way. Visitors to our booth can learn more about our school's academic program, enter to win a basket of books from the BUA curriculum, or pick up some BUA swag.

Rhett Jr., BUA's very own unofficial mascot, will make a live guest appearance from 12:00-2:00 p.m. - be sure to stop by!

For more information about exhibitors at the 2018 Boston Book Festival, visit

BUA Family Picnic

August 23rd, 2018in BUA News and Stories, Homepage News

We hope you'll join us for the BUA Family Picnic on Tuesday, September 4 from 4:00-7:00 p.m. on BU Beach. Bring your own picnic; cookies, ice cream, and lemonade will be served! Special BUA picnic blankets and other apparel and gear will be available for purchase from 3:00-5:00 p.m. See you there! 

20 Questions with Dr. Rosemary White

Most of you know Dr. Rosemary White. You know she has a PhD in chemistry from Vanderbilt, and that she taught chemistry at BUA for six years before becoming the assistant head of school for academics and student affairs two years ago. You know she is BUA’s interim head of school for the 2018-2019 academic year. You know she is a stellar teacher, a caring advisor, a no-nonsense administrator, and a flat-out, all-around rock star.

But we wanted to know more about what really makes Dr. White tick, so we sat down to ask her 20 questions about herself - some serious, some silly. Read on to learn more about the woman in Room 201.

Where did you grow up, and how did that impact who you are today?

I grew up in a small town in North Carolina. I have also lived in Tennessee, California, New Mexico, Australia, and Italy. Each place has been so different - the people, the culture, the lifestyle, the food - and I enjoyed each one for different reasons. I am glad to call Boston home, but all of the other places I have lived have paved the path to who I am now. I appreciate what I have picked up along the way: my education, a love for the outdoors, lifelong friendships, countless memories, my husband, exposure to new foods, appreciation of different cultures, and experiences that I would not have had if I had not lived in each of these places.

What drew you to chemistry as a discipline?

I knew chemistry was the major for me when I took Organic Chemistry my sophomore year of college. It just clicked in my brain: negative attacks positive, like dissolves like, etc. I found it logical and beautiful.

How has BUA changed in the eight years you’ve been here?

The number of students has increased and the length of the senior thesis has decreased. Fortunately, the students are still as amazingly bright, motivated, and kind as they were the day I started at BUA and instantly knew this was the place for me.

How do you unwind after work or on the weekends?

I love to read. I also enjoy running and spending time outside with my 5-year-old son and husband. Sleeping on my couch is always a favorite activity.

What does leadership mean to you?

A good leader must listen to various voices and go into decisions with an open mind. I won’t know the answer to every question or be ready to instantly make every decision - no one should claim that they will. Instead I will rely on the thoughtful input of my colleagues and the BUA community as I make decisions for BUA.

For you, what have been the biggest differences between being a teacher and being an administrator?

I feel more separated from the students as an administrator. I miss being in the classroom and getting to work directly students. They are what makes BUA so special and why I love the school. My administrative role allows me to lead them and help them in a different way than teaching so I embrace that and try to make a difference in their lives and make their experience at BUA the best it can be.

Are you a sports fan?

I went to Duke, where college basketball is “the” sport. I don’t have much time to follow them these days, but I will always be a Blue Devil fan.

In your view, what are some of the biggest benefits of being affiliated with a global research university?

You cannot beat the variety of classes our students have the ability to take - it is unmatched by just about any other high school in the country. I also love the research opportunities our students have, especially with summer lab work. They have the chance to do cutting-edge research with amazing professors, post-docs, and graduate students. Such an amazing experience for a high school student!

What are you binge-watching this summer?

American Ninja Warrior, Lost in Space, and re-watching Parks and Recreation (Leslie Knope is my spirit animal!).

Do you have a hidden talent?

Hmmm… I can recite all fifty states in alphabetical order in under thirty seconds. In graduate school, I competed in Irish step dancing and taught aerobics (and did chemistry, too, of course!).

Nutrition aside, if you could choose one food -- and one food only -- to eat for the rest of your life, what would it be?

Candy. I basically have the eating habits of an unsupervised child.

What books have you read recently that you would recommend to BUAers?

I enjoy books with fascinating and unique characters like the female protagonists in Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine and The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo. I also like learning about history through novels such as The Atomic City Girls, Persepolis, All the Light We Cannot See, and Beneath a Scarlet Sky. I have enjoyed several YA books this year: Turtles All the Way Down, Attachments, The Hate U Give, and Girls in the Moon.

What does it mean to you to be a female Head of School at BUA?

I have had a lot of strong female role models and in my life, and I look forward to the opportunity to serve as one for our students this year.

How has being a parent influenced your teaching?

It has taught me to appreciate the little things and the short time I have with each student. Children grow up quickly and students graduate before you know it; I try to embrace the time I have with students while they are at BUA.

How has being a teacher influenced your parenting?

I try to be patient and answer my son’s endless “Why?” questions as best I can. I want him to understand why we have certain rules, why we make particular decisions, and why things are the way they are. Just like my students, I want him to understand as much as possible rather than just taking my word for it.

Do you have any pets? Will you be bringing them to school with you?

I have a pet cat named Mumbo - she is black and white and has only one eye. And no, she prefers to nap all day at home.

We know you enjoy baking. Will you share your favorite recipe with us?

One of my favorite cookies to make is Cowboy Cookies (Google it!). They are simple to make and a delicious sweet and salty combination. And they have oatmeal in them, which makes them a breakfast cookie in my book! Expert tip: I add M&Ms because more candy is always the answer - see Question 11.

What is your vision for BUA for the upcoming school year?

I want to continue to enhance our work on the emotional and mental health and wellbeing of our students. The Student Council has come a long way in the past few years, but I want to continue to find new ways to give students leadership roles and voices in decisions. Finally, I want to give faculty opportunities to grow and develop in their various roles at BUA.

Who was the first person you met at BUA?

I actually took a jump rope aerobics class called Ae-rope-ics at FitRec with Mr. Stone a couple of years before I applied for a job at BUA. Thank goodness the job interview did not assess my jump roping skills (or lack thereof).

What is your favorite joke?

Where do you find a nosy pepper? Jalapeño business (say it out loud).



Message from Interim Head of School Dr. Rosemary White

The below message from Interim Head of School Dr. Rosemary White went out to the BUA Community on Friday, July 20:

Following the announcement of the separation of Dr. Ari Betof from Boston University, I wanted to reach out personally to reassure our community that, abrupt as this news is, BUA remains on strong, stable footing, with the support of Boston University.

This news came as suddenly to the administrators, faculty, and staff of BUA as it did to all of you. We are aware that some of you learned the news on Tuesday afternoon from the Boston Globe or another media outlet rather than directly from BUA, which we regret; unfortunately, the process and timing of the communication was beyond our control.

In conjunction with the BUA Parents’ Network and the BUA Head of School Advisory Board, the BUA leadership and I are working in earnest on a transition plan that both ensures the smooth day-to-day operations of BUA going forward, and also maintains the momentum of the strategic initiatives already underway. Our classes, student support, and other fundamentals of the 2018-2019 school year will proceed as usual. I look forward to sharing additional updates on our goals for the year ahead in my August letter to the community.

I’m grateful for the support of my colleagues as well as the Boston University Academy and Boston University leadership during this transition, and I am eager to partner with all of you to make the upcoming academic year a success.  Our school is extremely fortunate to have a team of committed, energetic administrators and staff; smart, dedicated teachers; exceptionally talented and kind students; engaged parents; and loyal alumni, all working toward the shared objective of ensuring that BUA continues to excel and thrive.


Dr. Rosemary White
Interim Head of School
Boston University Academy



Rick Florino ’02

Photo: Corey Soria

Rick Florino '02 owns, operates, and oversees the preeminent entertainment industry writing, media training, and messaging firm Written On Time, Inc. Since 2006, he has written official bios, press materials, speeches, statements, copy, and more for countless GRAMMY® Award-winning multiplatinum music legends, Academy® Award-winning actors and actresses, athletes, industry executives, and influencers throughout the worlds of fashion, lifestyle, technology, and beyond. The company is headquartered on Hollywood Boulevard with a staff of three.

He has written two critically acclaimed books: the underground phenomenon Dolor, and sought-after entertainment industry guide Do The Devil’s Work For Him (co-written with Amy Sciarretto). He has two film projects in development with major award-winning production partners.

His journey began in Boston, MA as a lifelong film and music aficionado. He attended Boston University Academy and graduated Magna Cum Laude in ’04 from Boston University’s College of Communications at 19 years old due to getting a jump start on college at 15 at BUA. His prior experience spans running various music industry web sites, handling film and video game marketing, and writing for countless publications. Outside of film and music, he loves playing video games, boxing, watching the Celtics, Red Sox, and Patriots, and spending time with his family and newborn son.

After writing for different magazines and media platforms, what led you to launch your business, Written on Time, Inc.? How do your copywriting and creative writing experiences influence each other?

It happened naturally. I was conducting so many interviews for other outlets that I had developed strong relationships with the record labels, publicists, and managers. One day in 2005, an artist manager asked if I wrote band bios, I figured if he thought I could do it, I probably could, so I said, “Yes, all the time.” I’d never written a bio at that point, but I dove headfirst into it. Typical bios range from one to two pages and function as marketing materials for a client regardless of industry. That first bio felt so natural and fun to me. I derived a real sense of fulfillment from being on the artist’s side and helping a record campaign rollout rather than simply covering it for a publication. As I was dealing with record labels frequently at the time, any time I did an interview for a publication, I mentioned to the label, “By the way, I write bios.” I was still new at the time, so I had to personally self-promote in every email. What typically ensued was a label, manager, publicist, or artist would need a bio last minute, and it would click, “Who’s that guy who said he writes bios in every email?” They’d reach out to me, and I’d deliver high quality copy within 24 hours. Most of this material is needed imminently, so my ability to focus and turn around compelling bios instantly separated me. It was all based on work ethic. To this day, if I promise someone a piece by a certain time or day, I always live up to that. Hence, the name Written On Time, Inc. Organically, the business grew from there, but it took ten years from 2005 and that first bio for me to become self-sufficient. Media training happened the same way. One day, a publicist said, “You do media training, right?” I said, “Of course, all the time!” Once again, it was my first time. Now, I do at least one session a week. Additionally, I like to remind all clients I do media training in every email [LAUGHS].

For me and the staff at Written On Time, Inc., copywriting IS creative writing. The copy is most compelling when it’s creative. They’re one and the same. If it’s an entertainment industry lawyer or a blockbuster actor, I approach the bio with the same energy, enthusiasm, and passion. Writing is writing. There are no boundaries, which make it the most magical thing in the world. One day, I’m writing a bio for a pop star, and the next I’m working on a speech for a yoga guru. Each experience influences and inspires you.

You have interviewed and profiled countless artists, celebrities, and business professionals. Who have been your favorite interviews and why do they stand out?

Wow, this year has been really intriguing as far as interviews go, so I’ll start there. The next three I'm listing have all happened in the last three months, and I can speak to them in depth.

I recently interviewed Lenny Kravitz, who was so amazing and inspiring to talk to. He’s just in tune with the universe around him as an artist, and the way he tells stories, you feel like you’re in the room with him. That was an honor. He’s a true artist through and through and he raises the bar with every record, movie, and project. 

Keith Urban is super cool as well. He’s another wonderful storyteller, down-to-earth, smart, and a hilarious presence. We spoke for an hour, and it was just passion for music all-around on both sides of the phone. I look forward to chatting with him again. Additionally, he elevates his game on every record!

Kirdis Postelle is the EVP and General Manager of HITCO, which is a really fantastic new label founded by L.A. Reid. I recently interviewed her, and she was so inspiring as well. She’s been behind-the-scenes of some of music’s most historic moments, but she couldn’t be more humble and simply driven to share great music. To me, that’s what this business is all about. Again, I can’t wait to hear more of her stories about working at Aftermath in the nineties and all of this incredible stuff.

Those are three recent interviews, but every interview has its own merits and they’re all special to me. Lifetime interviews that meant a lot were going to Las Vegas to hang out with the cast of The Hangover (Zach Galifianakis, Bradley Cooper, Ed Helms, Heather Graham, and Director Todd Phillips) and interview them during the first film, Quentin Tarantino at Amoeba Records, Robert Duvall, Mark Wahlberg, Hugh Jackman (My son is named after Logan!), Harrison Ford, Sigourney Weaver, Jeff Bridges, Josh Brolin, Ray Liotta, Elton John, James Hetfield, Maynard James Keenan, Chris Cornell, Pearl Jam, Lionel Richie, Drake, Nas, DJ Khaled, Travis Scott, and so many more I'd need ten interviews to really give this question its due. I will have to also say bringing together Corey Taylor of Slipknot and John Cusack together on one call was amazing as well as Corey and the late great Wes Craven—just because worlds collided in the most fun manner.

It can be challenging to get experience without having experience. What tips do you have for young alumni looking to “make it” in today’s entertainment industry?

It’s really just about doing it. If you want to write, just write. Start a blog and write consistently. If you want to make movies, post them on YouTube. If you want to make music, make a Soundcloud page. There’s nothing stopping you. I also think you need to do the most you can if you really want it. Don’t get one internship, intern at three places, because you will meet three times as many people and increase your chances of getting a job threefold. Don’t let anyone tell you that you can’t be what you want to be either. Keep going no matter what. Nothing happens easily. It’s about perseverance and hard work more than where you went to school, who you know, or anything else. If you want it, go take it, but put the work in. For more tips buy Do The Devil’s Work for Him [LAUGHS].

BUA teachers remember you as persistent and an extremely hard worker. How did BUA help you develop these skills and how have they helped you navigate the media and entertainment industry?

BUA helped me by challenging me beyond anything I thought possible. I didn’t have such a rigorous and enhanced curriculum for junior high and elementary school. I didn’t come from the world of Algebra at seven and Rachmaninoff symphonies and concertos at four, but I did know if I worked harder than everybody I’d get there, so that’s what I did. BUA’s curriculum was wonderfully uncompromising. There were no shortcuts, either you stepped up or you got cut. It brought the best out of me. In some ways, nothing I’ve done since was as difficult as taking ancient history, ancient Greek, physics, and calculus all in my first year! I rewrote my notes over and over again to memorize them. I spent time with every teacher after class to see how I could improve. I learned how to write by reading. College was a breeze by comparison. BUA pushed me to be who I am, and I’ll never forget it. I’m thankful for my mom every day for pushing me to go there and believing I could make it through. As far as mental fortitude goes, the entertainment industry’s got nothing on BUA.



Important Announcement from the Office of BU Provost Jean Morrison

To the Boston University Academy Community,

I write to let you know that we have separated Dr. Ari Betof from employment as Head of School at Boston University Academy (BUA). While it is our policy not to comment on personnel matters, we can say that the reason for the separation does not involve any current or former BUA student or any other member of the BUA community.

Assistant Head of School Dr. Rosemary White has agreed to serve as the interim Head of School of BUA, effective immediately. Rosemary received a Bachelor of Arts in Chemistry from Duke University and a Ph.D. in Inorganic Chemistry from Vanderbilt University. She was a Postdoctoral Faculty Fellow/Lecturer for two years at Boston University before she joined the Academy. Rosemary also has extensive teaching experience as an undergraduate and a doctoral candidate. Rosemary has been at BUA for eight years. Before she assumed her role as Assistant Head of School for Academics and Student Affairs, Rosemary served as BUA’s director of student affairs and was a chemistry teacher. We will begin the process of conducting a national- level search to identify the next Head of School, with the goal of having the new person in place by summer, 2019.

I will be in touch shortly with details about the establishment of a Head of School Search Advisory Committee and related next steps. I look forward to working with the BUA community to identify the next Head and am confident that, with Rosemary’s leadership, we will be able to sustain the continued momentum and progress of the Academy during the upcoming academic year.


Jean Morrison
University Provost and Chief Academic Officer

Letter to BUA Community_7.10.2018