Experience-powered Learning

People need access to learning anytime and anywhere. To maintain our momentum safely, Northeastern has drawn on the strengths of virtual experience and opened whole new vistas for global learning.

Expanding our global reach

When the pandemic pushed the world apart and disrupted Northeastern’s very core, we came together. Agile and resilient, we reimagined expansive new ways to energize experience and create connection. We opened new vistas for global learning that will advance our vision for higher education.

  • 148

    countries where Northeastern has provided students with experiential learning opportunities, up from 60 in 2006

  • 2,244

    students had a global learning experience in 2019–2020

  • 192+

    classrooms at all campuses refitted with Hybrid NUflex teaching technology

Reinvention and continuity

To reopen our campuses safely this fall while providing students with a true Northeastern experience, we developed learning approaches of unparalleled flexibility that will extend our educational reach—and keep extending it. The most impactful of these is Hybrid NUflex. It offers students safe in-class learning opportunities while employing sophisticated audiovisual technology to enrich the online experience for those who cannot be in the classroom. Each week, students can request more or fewer in-person class sessions per course by using an app on the Student Hub, a new online platform for students to personalize their Northeastern experience. Hybrid NUflex is an inventive portal to learning anytime, anywhere.

Global experience redesigned

NU Start is an online freshman curriculum that integrates experience into the virtual classroom. Designed for first-year students who could not come to Boston this fall, NU Start builds learning communities around a range of global challenges such as the future of urban infrastructure and health systems resiliency. Students choose from among 32 specially designed online courses to explore their chosen topic. The courses, ranging from biology to theater, include built-in learning experiences: videos, interactive graphics, and multimedia presentations. Students break into smaller communities to collaborate on special projects. While created for this moment, NU Start offers a glimpse of the virtual college of the future.

  • 661

    freshmen enrolled in NU Start

  • 824

    students enrolled in N.U.in Boston, a creative global study program new for fall 2020

Challenge and achievement

Maame Amoako

On a mission for the underserved

Maame Amoako, BHS’21, is a fifth-year honors student in health science who hopes to become a doctor. She found herself torn this spring between her studies and the Black Lives Matter movement. The COVID-19 pandemic, which is killing Black people at a rate 2.4 times higher than white people—including the mother of Amoako’s best friend—has helped her understand that both goals are necessary. “I believe that we will tear down the racial injustices facing our Black community,” says Amoako, who is president of the Northeastern African Student Organization and a member of the Huntington 100. That societal imperative underscored for Amoako the urgency of her personal mission: to practice medicine on behalf of underserved communities in the U.S. and her native Ghana.

Ruhani Nigam

Space travel agent

Communication studies major Ruhani Nigam, AMD’22, knows that you don’t need to earn a degree in a STEM field to thrive in one. She completed a co-op working on the communications team for NASA’s Orion program, part of the space agency’s initiative to build a sustainable presence on the moon’s surface. The experience, which started in January at NASA’s Johnson Space Center in Houston and ended with her working remotely, challenged Nigam to become conversant in technical topics and communicate them according to her audience. “Within a single week, I might have to plan an event for NASA engineers, present at a conference alongside a manufacturer, and create an informational resource for students,” she says. “It forced me to think quickly on my feet.”

Shellaina Gordon

Unlocking cellular secrets

Shellaina Gordon, S’21, earned a highly competitive 2020 Goldwater Scholarship on the strength of her impressive research achievements. The biochemistry major was one of only two first-year students accepted into the University of Massachusetts Medical School’s Summer Undergraduate Research Program. Working in a lab that explores the roles of transition metals in cell development, she was first author on two manuscripts published in the journal Metallomics. Her Honors Early Research Award supported her work in Northeastern Assistant Professor Edward Geisinger’s lab, where she was searching for potential new drug targets in a bacterium responsible for hospital infections. An officer of the College of Science Student Diversity Advisory Council, Gordon hopes to earn an MD/PhD in biochemistry or molecular biology.

Chantel Riendeau

Invested in the future

As a first-generation college student with strong academic potential, Chantel Riendeau, DMSB’20, received a Torch Scholarship from Northeastern. Graduating with a near-perfect GPA, she more than justified that faith, and has paid it forward. She served as a student board representative for the Wily Network, an organization that helps underprivileged students thrive in college. To help other students from underrepresented communities, she served as vice president of diversity and inclusion for D’Amore-McKim School of Business’ Women in Finance organization. Her stellar record, including positions in private wealth management at Goldman Sachs and investment analysis at the D.E. Shaw group, earned Riendeau a full-time job with D.E. Shaw and a Harold D. Hodgkinson Award from Northeastern as one of the year’s outstanding graduates.

Roshni Patel

New chapter in water rights

Roshni Patel, L’20, graduated from Northeastern’s School of Law with a unique achievement on her resumé. She is the lead author of a new chapter in Human Rights in the U.S.: A Handbook for Legal Aid Attorneys that describes affordable access to clean water as a human right. Her work is the outgrowth of an ongoing collaboration between the law school’s Program on Human Rights and the Global Economy, co-directed by University Distinguished Professor of Law Martha Davis and Maryland Legal Aid. “The inequities in our water distribution system are vast,” says Patel. “The opportunity to collaborate with PHRGE and Maryland Legal Aid to help combat this issue with a human rights framework has been incredibly inspiring.”

Daniel Goldstein

Innovating from anywhere

Daniel Goldstein, KCS’21, was on a self-created research co-op at the University of Oxford’s Big Data Institute when the pandemic forced him to pack up his laptop and return home. Undaunted by the abrupt shift, Goldstein plugged into the project server remotely and continued his work developing digital tools for tree sequences, a cutting-edge approach to efficiently analyze genetic data at scale. He ended up presenting on his work virtually to other contributors from universities across the world. “Our findings showcased the power of the model and broadened its use case in population and evolutionary genetics,” he says.

Jacob Landgrebe and Walter Reuss

PPE testing goes robotic

When the pandemic reared up across the U.S. last spring, Walter Reuss and Jacob Landgrebe, both E’22, were left unemployed by the disappearance of their co-ops. Taskin Padir, an associate professor of electrical and computer engineering, ensured they did not remain idle for long. Padir, director of the Institute for Experiential Robotics, needed help with pandemic-related research initiatives. Reuss and Landgrebe happily responded. Working on a project to validate the quality of personal protective equipment, they designed flammability and fluid-penetration tests for masks. They also outlined the testing process, estimating which steps could be automated. Their work helped Padir’s lab win a $500,000 grant from the Department of Defense to expand the automation project in collaboration with a Massachusetts mask manufacturer.

Kathryn Garcia

Commitment to justice

Kathryn Garcia, SSH’20, has built a solid foundation for her career goal: working to bring justice to migrants in the U.S. Supported by a National Science Foundation undergraduate research program, she conducted extensive fieldwork in El Paso, Texas, and Ciudad Juárez, Mexico; her work appeared in a report for U.S. policymakers by the nonprofit Hope Border Institute to show the human impact of current immigration policies. The cultural anthropology major, who plans to earn a doctorate in sociocultural anthropology, presented her findings at the American Anthropological Association’s annual conference. Garcia’s extensive experience also includes working with immigrant communities along the U.S.-Mexico border while assisting noted anthropologist Jason De León with the Undocumented Migration Project.

  • 2,901

    co-op employers in the U.S. and worldwide, 2019–2020

  • 11,984

    co-op placements in 2019–2020, up from 6,301 in 2006–2007

Amplifying opportunities

  • 16,293

    learners enrolled in graduate and certificate programs, fall 2020

  • 11

    locations in our global university network

  • 8,000+

    graduate and undergraduate learners in online graduate programs have worked on 2,400 projects for 2,000 employer  partners in Northeastern’s Experiential Network since 2015

An engine for Maine’s economic growth

In January 2020, Northeastern partnered with tech entrepreneur and Maine native David Roux and his wife, Barbara, to launch the Roux Institute in Portland, Maine. The institute, made possible by the couple’s $100 million investment, is an extension of Northeastern’s global university system. Its graduate programs and research initiatives—designed in partnership with Maine’s companies, government, and colleges and universities—are the fulfillment of a vision shared by the couple and Northeastern. By preparing Maine’s workforce for careers in artificial intelligence and the computer, data, and life sciences, the institute will help ignite the innovation economy throughout northern New England.

Closing the U.K.’s skills gap

The university’s London campus, NCH at Northeastern, will offer a new three-year degree program in partnership with the global workflow technology provider ServiceNow. The program is designed to help close the U.K.’s technology skills gap and advance the digital transformation of the nation’s economy. The program, which was co-created with ServiceNow, is scheduled to launch in October as a full-time professional apprenticeship at some of the program’s partnering employers. While employed, students will be able to acquire in-demand digital, business, and leadership skills that align with ServiceNow’s portfolio of workflow products and processes. Graduates will receive a U.K. Bachelor of Science degree with honors (BSc [Hons]) in digital and technology solutions.

Hacking into the pandemic

Picture a virtual agent that answers your questions about COVID-19. A visualization of the coronavirus’s impact on U.S. transportation. Or a Twitter hashtag analysis and mapping tool. Northeastern graduate students created these and other digital assets, all designed to improve our understanding of the pandemic, as part of the West Coast COVID-19 Summer Hackathon. Six teams—25 students in all—from the San Francisco, Silicon Valley, Seattle, and Vancouver campuses squared off in the competition. The students represented a mix of degree programs from analytics to project management. Technology and healthcare industry representatives and Khoury College of Computer Sciences faculty judged the projects based on creativity, usability, and design, ultimately awarding the virtual agent first place.

High honors

Kritika Singh, E’20

Bioengineering major
Rhodes Scholarship

One of 32 U.S. Rhodes Scholars this year, Singh founded the Northeastern University Global Health Initiative and helped produce two student-led interdisciplinary global health conferences. She also amassed an extraordinary record of scientific research, studying epigenetics and malaria at Massachusetts General Hospital and working as a medical oncology assistant at Dana-Farber Cancer Institute. She is splitting her PhD between Oxford, where she’ll do two years of lab research as a Rhodes Scholar, and the National Institutes of Health, where she’ll integrate her research findings into public health policy—a field she hopes to lead one day.

Michael Tormey, E/SSH’20

Civil engineering and economics major
Marshall Scholarship

Tormey’s achievements—in the classroom, in field research, and in community service—have defined his Northeastern career. His co-ops helped him realize how transportation infrastructure shapes economic and social opportunities. He helped reimagine critical bus corridors connecting diverse city neighborhoods at the Boston Transportation Department; managed the implementation of badly needed safety improvements at the San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency; and worked on transportation studies and policy development at the Boston Planning & Development Agency. With his Marshall Scholarship, Tormey will study transportation planning and engineering at the University of Southampton and regional and urban planning at the London School Economics.

Madeline Dubois, E’20

Environmental engineering major
Fulbright Scholarship

Dubois pursued important sustainability research at Northeastern. She designed her own co-op at The Land Institute, a nonprofit organization devoted to the development of sustainable agriculture, and she helped develop a drinking water distribution system for a rural community in Uganda through Engineers Without Borders. She took part in a faculty research project investigating the ability of plants and bacteria to biologically treat wastewater for reuse. Dubois will use her Fulbright to explore the potential for planting perennial crops to mitigate the environmental damage of monoculture farming while studying for a master’s in agriculture at the University of Copenhagen.

Timothy Fraser, PhD’21

Political science
Japan Foundation Doctoral Fellowship

Fraser aims to measure how social networks shape renewable energy policy and what relationships boost or inhibit the adoption of renewables. The Japan Foundation fellowship will enable him to map the social network of Japan’s renewable-based power plants, host communities, companies, landowners, politicians, and local environmental nongovernmental organizations. His work will help him build joint research ties with Japanese scholars at the University of Tokyo and could contribute to Pacific Rim nations’ decisions on how to transition to renewables in the quickest, most cost-effective manner. After returning to the U.S., Fraser will defend his dissertation; he then plans to teach environmental politics, statistics, and methods for policy research at the university level.

Sharon Kim, SSH/DMSB’20

Business administration and political science major
Fulbright Scholarship

Kim’s experience as a child of immigrant parents taught her to embrace cultural differences and bridge misunderstandings with humor. She will use those skills to share American language and culture with Spanish students as a Fulbright English Teaching Assistant. Kim also plans to develop a civics curriculum to teach students how the U.S. government functions. During her study abroad in Spain, she volunteered as an English tutor for adult students. For the service-learning component of her college Mandarin course, she taught English to children who had recently emigrated from China. After returning to the U.S., Kim plans to pursue a master’s degree in international political economy.

Maxim Petrovsky, S’20

Behavioral neuroscience major
Fulbright Scholarship

Petrovsky pursued extensive undergraduate research opportunities, starting at the UMass Medical School Center for Comparative NeuroImaging as a summer research assistant. He worked on Alzheimer’s drug discovery as a co-op at AbbVie and on neurogenomics in a Harvard Medical School lab. He also did public health policy consulting on a co-op with Sachs Policy Group. Petrovsky will use his Fulbright Teaching Assistant award to study Russian society through the lens of its healthcare system. He plans to earn both a medical degree and a master’s degree in public health to better understand the care that individuals require and how those needs affect the health of the broader community.

Jacob Potts, E’20

Bioengineering major
Fulbright Scholarship

Potts excelled in a rigorous curriculum complemented by sophisticated co-ops and leading-edge lab research projects. As a second-year student, he earned an undergraduate research fellowship in bioinformatics at Harvard’s Wyss Institute. On a co-op at Harvard Medical School, he did work in genome engineering, including a project to “de-extinct” the wooly mammoth. Potts also worked at the French National Museum of Natural History as part of a team adapting gene-silencing methods to small animals called tardigrades. The Fulbright will allow Potts to study DNA repair at Sorbonne University to pursue his career goal of solving medical problems through genetics.

Dakota Stephens, SSH’20

Political science and international affairs major
Fulbright Scholarship

Stephens believes it’s essential to understand the cultural and historical traditions of people around the world. With his Fulbright, he’ll teach in Ukraine and aims to learn how its citizens handle the conflict in eastern Ukraine. At Northeastern, he worked as a research assistant in the international affairs program and did a research co-op at Stand Up Republic, a Washington, D.C., organization that fights for accountable government. Since 2016, Stephens has served in the Army Reserve as an intelligence analyst, learning how to quantify, assess, and mitigate threats to national security. Following the Fulbright, he plans to attend graduate school to study international security and political psychology.

  • 65

    external awards for academic excellence won in 2019–2020 by students and recent graduates, including 20 supporting global study and leadership

  • 93%

    of graduates, on average, are employed full time or enrolled in graduate school within nine months of graduation (since 2006)

  • 89%

    of employed 2019 graduates are doing work related to their major

Building a diverse community

Deepening our commitment

Following a week of communitywide discussion and reflection in the aftermath of Geoge Floyd’s killing, Northeastern is acting to heighten the presence and experiences of Black and other underrepresented populations on its campuses. These initial steps include:

• Appointment of Dean for Cultural and Spiritual Life Robert Jose as senior presidential advisor for diversity and inclusion

• Formation of a community advisory board to improve relations with the Northeastern police department

• Implementation of strategies to increase the number of Black students, faculty, and staff, and improve university support systems

Reflections on justice

We can’t expect to heal without justice. We can’t expect justice without transformation. We’re running out of time and Black people can’t afford to wait any longer.

Charles T. Wallace-Thomas IV


As an Afro-Latina, I feel now it’s even more my responsibility to voice the hardships of the Black community. Not only do you see Latinos, but you see Asian Americans doing that as well. And we’re all coming together to ... really try to push things forward.

Mabel Gonzalez Nunez


Black people have had to deal with this presumption of guilt that has caused way too many toxic encounters with those who are supposed to protect us.

Reverend Willie Bodrick II

L'20; senior pastor-elect, Twelfth Baptist Church, Roxbury, Massachusetts

Enriching Student Experience

  • 26%

    of the student body are students of color, up from 16% in 2006

  • 31%

    of Northeastern students are international, up from 8 percent in 2006

  • 19,100

    students participated in 493 student organizations in 2019–2020

  • 4

    esports teams attained varsity status in 2019–2020: Hearthstone, League of Legends, Overwatch, and Rocket League

  • 25

    straight semesters in which varsity athletes averaged a 3.0 cumulative GPA or better