CEU profiles: Elías Durán, dean of the Faculty of Humanities and Communication Arts

No matter if you are in High School or already at university, when you are a student you always think of your professors as that: just professors! But there is more about them beyond the classroom, and it is always interesting to know a little bit about their personal life: are they married? What hobbies do they have? Do they support Real Madrid or Barça?

So we thought about sending our student Jorge to storm the campus and bring us back a proof that our professors are actual people. What we didn’t expect was that he would approach the dean of the Faculty of Humanities and Communication Arts in his office. And well, looking at the picture we guess that Star Wars was the ice-breaking topic that led to the conversation…

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Dean Elías Durán in his office at the Faculty of Humanities and Communication Arts

“Hello my name is Elias Durán, I studied Journalism in the University CEU San Pablo in Madrid, and I also did some studies in World History. My PhD was a mixture of Journalism and History and I mainly carried out my research in London, where I lived for thirteen months until I passed my doctorate in this University.

I’m originally from Madrid and I have lived here in Valencia for the past twelve years. I work as a journalist, I did my practicals in Agencia EFE – one of the most important news agencies in Spain – and later I applied for a post in Radio Nacional de España in Seville, where I worked for half a year. Later on I quit the job because I applied to another agency, mainly because I wanted to work in politics and they were sending me to sports events, and I have always preferred politics. I was offered to work in ServiMedia, which was a tiny agency in the centre of Madrid specialized in people with disabilities, but they also had a team that were focused in news about politics. This agency gave me the opportunity to work in the Parliament in Madrid for half a year as well, I remember that I was covering the left-wing political party Izquierda Unida and also the Basque Nationalist Party PNV. I remember this because it was when Julio Anguita was trying to get the leadership of his political party so I was covering that, but later on I decided to start my doctorate and I moved to London to start my PhD research.

Elías_Durán_Journalism_DegreeWhen I was in London I met one person with high responsibilities in El País – one of the main Spanish newspapers. I did an interview and he offered me to work there, so I decided that it was a great opportunity and I came back to Spain, and I started working for El País Internacional. We made a small newspaper with forty-eight pages and we also sent it to Mexico and Argentina: it was printed there and then distributed throughout the whole American continent. We also worked as a news agency service for corporate newspapers from all the continent. I worked there for four years. Later on I arrived in Valencia because my PhD supervisor, Alfonso Bullón de Mendoza, was promoted to be the Rector of the University CEU Cardenal Herrera and I decided to move here. I arrived here with a one-year contract, working with the students in El Rotavivo – the university’s newspaper that I started up, at the same time Rosa Visiedo was the dean of the faculty and she offered me to start classes. I was completely in love when I started, I never thought of becoming a professor, it was something that appears in your life, and you never know, now I am really enjoying my work here! I have a great relationship with my students!

And I decided not to go back to Madrid, I am really happy here after these twelve years.

My favorite thing to do is going to walk in the mountains; unfortunately I had an injury in my back so for more than six or seven months the only thing I did was stay calm and not move so much until I was completely recovered. Everything is ok now! Another hobby of mine is gardening. One of the best things of Valencia is the weather, I have a big terrace in my house and it’s filled up with flowers, I love to go with my wife to the cinema, like everybody I think! And reading, I love reading and I love traveling with my family.

One of the best things of this country is that you have a huge city like Madrid but also only in half an hour you have small villages, some of them even abandoned, or with just a few people living there. This is one of the things that I miss here, in my 20s I used to go with my best friends to see all these villages. We felt like if we were in a different world, an ancient world which would have vanished before our arriving. Meeting natives, over there, our customs, etc., allowed us to face life better. I have always been interested in British travelers in Spain. I learned so much from their point of views, myths, stereotypes, etc. I also like to go outside of the country, I wish I could have more time and money to travel!”

This interview was done by Jorge Navarro Rodríguez, student of 4th year of Advertising & PR

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