Call for Proposals: “AI for All” Week, April 1-5

The What.

The Offices of the Provost and Chancellor are organizing a weeklong series of lectures, interactive sessions, and trainings designed for our undergraduate and graduate students across the network to introduce and enhance their knowledge of AI and its many application areas.

“AI for All” week will begin Monday, April 1st with a plenary session. From Tuesday, April 2nd through Thursday, April 4, we want to provide a rich menu of offerings that students will select from across multiple domain areas during 60-80-minute timeslots. While we anticipate most of these will be in 2 sessions from 6:00-9:00 pm Eastern US time, we also encourage events at campuses in other time zones that may be at more appropriate local times. The week will end Friday, April 5 with a closing event to reflect on the sessions and discuss future activities around AI for the university system.

Call for Proposals

We invite faculty and student groups to submit a short proposal to deliver one of the sessions held during the Tuesday through Thursday evening time slots (or at other times, if appropriate). Proposals should describe experiential sessions that will help our students learn about different aspects and applications of AI, showcase faculty expertise and research directions, and student groups engaged in AI-related activities, particularly emphasizing AI in practice. Session content should be 60-80 minutes and can include multiple formats such as collaborations with industry partners and external experts, panel discussions, and hands-on activities.

We will select proposals for sessions that:

Proposals are due by Friday, Feb. 16th using the proposal link. We will route all submissions to the appropriate academic dean, and if the proposer is located at a regional campus, we will also route them to the respective regional dean for review.

Proposers will be notified by Monday, Feb. 26th whether their proposal has been accepted. For those sessions selected, we’ll work closely with the proposer, the academic dean, and the campus dean to ensure scheduling and modality preferences are coordinated.

Please feel free to contact Becky Collet ([email protected]) if you have any questions.

Writing your Problem of Practice & Application Support

This session is designed to help you choose your own problem of practice and write about it in your application to Northeastern. Every student in our program chooses a problem of practice and uses cycles of investigation to find innovative and systematic solutions to create change in their workplace and/or community.

Find more online events: Here

What Can You Do with an EdD?

Learn how a Doctor of Education can help you further your career, advance within your organization, and create meaningful change within your community. You’ll also learn more about Northeastern’s career design services and how they help you prepare for your future career moves.

Find more online events: Here

Discover Northeastern EdD

Join us for the unique opportunity to hear from our education faculty who teach in our global campus network. We’ll discuss the program curriculum, balancing work and school, developing a problem of practice, and more.

Find more online events: Here

Discover Northeastern EdD

Join us for the unique opportunity to hear from our education faculty who teach in our global campus network. We’ll discuss the program curriculum, balancing work and school, developing a problem of practice, and more.

Find more online events: Here

Our Sleep Deprivation Epidemic

How one researcher is fighting to change our relationship with sleep

It was in 2017 when Kathleen Mackenzie started to notice a marked shift in how children and adolescents were showing up at school.

A senior lecturer at Northeastern University’s College of Professional Studies and an award-winning clinical social worker and coordinator of clinical and behavioral services in the New Bedford school district, Mackenzie has 33 years of experience working across all age ranges of youth.

While childhood and adolescence have always been complex years of development, there was a tipping point in 2017 where kids seemed to show up more cranky and less resilient to stressors.

But why?

Initially, Mackenzie suspected the fast-paced influx of technology into all spaces might be to blame. As more kids were on screens more hours of the day, it seemed logical that there must be some correlation between the nearly omnipresent digital world and the repercussions of challenging emotional stress in the real world. While this is true, upon further study, Mackenzie found that while technology certainly had a role to play in the breakdown of social, and emotional resilience in youth it wasn’t the root cause. The root cause was much more simple. And much more alarming.

Sleep. (Or lack thereof).

Following extensive research and study, Mackenzie found that 60% of elementary students, 97% of middle school students, and 92% of high school students are sleep-deprived. Even more concerning is that overall, 60% of youth and adults sleep 6 hours or less per night, which meets the criteria for being clinically significantly sleep-deprived.

“Sleep is essential, Sleep is supposed to happen in a certain pattern and when we miss those patterns, we lose our ability to emotionally self-regulate.”

– Kathleen Mackenzie

Advocating for Sleep

A long-time advocate of rebooting our relationship with sleep, Mackenzie’s insights into sleep deprivation amongst youth were initially published in the March 2022 issue of Psychology Today titled: Could Sleep Help End the Youth Mental Health Crisis?

More recently, she took her work into the advocacy space through an award-winning public service ad (PSA) campaign in the New Bedford public access network. That awareness campaign shed light on the impacts of sleep deprivation with tools to help reclaim necessary sleep.

Download the complete slide deck

Mackenzie then used the PSA series, which includes a total of 11 educational videos to conduct a 10-day research study and “Sleep Challenge” with elementary, middle, and high school students in the district. Each participant was required to take an anonymous pre-survey to benchmark their current sleep patterns followed by watching the main 3.5-minute video (linked below): “Sleep On It”.

Over the next 10 days, participants were asked to answer a “question of the day” related to their previous night’s sleep, watch one of the ten science-based videos about various sleep hygiene strategies (approximately 1 minute each), and record their sleep on a Google form. At the end of the survey, participants then took an anonymous post-challenge survey.

The surveys were made available in English, Spanish, Portuguese, and K’iche.

And the results were astounding.

The Power of Sleep

Over the course of the Sleep Challenge, as kids of different age groups were given tools to help them improve their quality of sleep, students who were able to adapt these tools and strategies into their sleep cycle demonstrated significant benefits. The students who tried their hardest to change their sleep patterns reported the highest level of benefits. Data from a program for students with social-emotional challenges generated even more impressive results. In fact, within only the first few days of the Sleep Challenge, behavioral outbursts in this program were reduced from multiple times per day to zero.

Much of Mackenzie’s foundational research work cites Mathew Walker’s seminal book, Why We Sleep. A renowned neuroscientist, Walker details the latest scientific findings on sleep and its impact on our mental and physical health as well as our overall well-being and capacity for essential daily functions.

“The best bridge between despair and hope is a good’s night sleep.”

– Mathew Walker

The quality of our sleep depends on two main types of sleep: REM and non-REM sleep. REM sleep is important because it helps us recalibrate and fine-tune the emotional circuits of the brain. This is also where dreams happen. Non-REM sleep allows us to experience a sensory “blackout” providing our brain the capacity to transfer short-term data and experiences into long-term memory.

When we don’t get the recommended amount of quality sleep (7-9 hours for adults, 9-11 hours for school-aged youth), we lose out on one or both of these cycles. This causes harm to our mood, our memory, and our bodily functions.

The lack of sleep doesn’t just affect youth. Despite the need for sleep, 50% of people under 30 sleep six hours or less. And while more sleep is gained as we get older, every age group suffers some form of sleep deprivation. Further, in addition to the day-to-day negative impacts sleep deprivation clearly has on our mood, emotion, and ability to respond to stress, over time prolonged lack of sleep can even lead to cancer, heart disease, as well as issues with immune and reproductive systems. In short, sleep deprivation kills.

“There is absolutely nothing better you can do to improve your health more than improving your sleep quality.”

– Mathew Walker

The tools to correct this epidemic of sleep deprivation are simple, yet difficult to maintain with regularity. These include:

Because many of us have developed deeply entrenched poor sleep habits, these simple fixes are harder to make part of our routine. Consistency, according to Mackenzie, is key to long-term healthy sleep. Even a few days of good sleep has a measurable impact on our ability to function and engage with the world around us and all the uncertainty it presents.

So, while technology may add to our bad sleep habits, distracting us from embracing some of these simple habits, the root cause of so many of our mental and physical health issues can be traced to a simple lack of sleep. And the kids in Mackenzie’s study were keenly aware of the distraction their devices caused. Many of them cited that the #1 way their parents could help them get a good night’s sleep would be to physically remove their devices from their rooms at night. So many parents are unaware of just how sleep-deprived their children are, according to Mackenzie, that they may not know that while it may be hard to enforce, it is ultimately what most kids know they need.

When we consider that sleep deprivation may be the single largest health epidemic of our time, the earlier in life we can learn proper sleeping habits, the better. All the more so this health crisis is seldom discussed on a national scale with the seriousness it deserves. But Mackenzie aims to change that.

“It’s time to take back control of our sleep, it’s time we as a nation put significant effort and resources into fixing our sleep problem. So many lives depend on it.”

– Kathleen Mackenzie

More information about Kathleen Mackenzie is available at Northeastern University’s website and more information about her recently awarded New Bedford Award PSA based on her Sleep Challenge study can be found at WBSM.

Snell Library Tour for CPS Students

Meet CPS Librarian Anaya Jones outside Snell’s temporary entrance on the west side of the building for an up-close and personal tour of the library! Please complete this registration form so we know you’re coming. Thank you!

The Student Perspective: The shock and confusion that comes with being new to America

Oishika Hota, MS Media Innovation and Data Communication, class of 2024 Graduate, talks about her experience as an International student

One of the great privileges I have been offered is that of exposure. Starting from school all the way to graduate school here at Northeastern, every step I have taken has expanded my world significantly. But nothing has done the job like moving my life halfway across the globe.

Coming from Mumbai, Maharashtra, the most populous city in India, a land known for its vast array of cultures, languages, and traditions, I thought I had seen it all. However, the U.S. presented an even more intricate mosaic of backgrounds, beliefs, and practices. In India, a fusion of varied traditions and customs maintains its quintessential Indian identity despite the diversity. On the other hand, the US displays an intricate mosaic, presenting influences from diverse corners of the globe, resulting in a distinctive cultural mix. I feel like I am part of a melting pot, and navigating this diverse tapestry is one of my favorite challenges as an International Student in America.

Oishika Hota, MS Media Innovation and Data Communication, class of 2024 Graduate

“There is a difference between knowing something and actually experiencing it.”

Oishika Hota

Whatever I knew about the U.S. before landing here was from my consumption of American pop culture. As a fan of chick flicks, Legally Blonde and Pitch Perfect shaped the way I perceived the American Collegiate experience. Apart from that, I had also watched enough TV shows and movies to anticipate a lot of what was thrown at me: the small talk, the food, and the cold weather. When Mindy Kaling made New York winters seem warm compared to Boston in “The Mindy Project,” I knew I had to be prepared. But there is a difference between knowing something and actually experiencing it.

For all the small talk America offers, I had a lot of trouble making friends — especially as a graduate school student, where forming a community in a class full of people from several countries is, to put it simply, hard. Overcoming these challenges required me to step out of my comfort zone. I began attending social events organized by the university and joining clubs related to my interests. It was nerve-wracking at first, but I pushed myself to strike up conversations, even if it meant starting with a simple “hello.”

I’m not a hater of American food, but there are a few dishes that just don’t hit the mark for me. Especially when they’re missing that spicy, flavor-packed kick that Indian dishes usually bring to the table!

 While ingredients and restaurants can be found in Boston, the cost of materials and lack of variety ends up killing the taste. Even though I have learned how to cook, nothing beats the taste of food cooked in your actual home.

The cold, again, was something I was mentally prepared for, but coming from a tropical country, acclimatization did not come easy. I could finish bottles of moisturizers, but I did not understand why my skin was still dry, why I was still feeling cold after wearing my thickest jacket, which brand would protect me the best, and why it was so dark at 4:30 p.m. Despite the struggle, I found ways to keep pushing through. You find little moments of joy, like a warm cup of hot chocolate, a cozy night in with your favorite food and a movie.

With practice, my problems have changed. I feel better prepared for my second winter here, I am ready for the lull and sadness that comes with the darkness. It’s about acknowledging that this period is difficult, allowing yourself to feel it, and seeking support when needed. Whether it’s talking to a friend or a professional, sharing the burden of these winter blues can make a world of difference.

But at the end of all this, the hardest shock hasn’t been cultural, but that of the magnitude of my homesickness.  Being far away from the close-knit family and the familiar comfort of home is a struggle. Learning to adapt to a new culture is by far not an easy task. The difficulty is what has sparked resilience in me and pushed me to explore this new landscape; to develop a new support system despite the cultural and the often not-so-edible reminders that I am in a country that is not mine.

“Whether it’s talking to a friend or a professional, sharing the burden of these winter blues can make a world of difference.”

Oishika Hota
Oishika Hota, MS Media Innovation and Data Communication, class of 2024 Graduate

Moving away from home has been the hardest thing I’ve ever done. But it has also been one of the most enriching experiences of my life. It was a slow but rewarding process. As I opened up and made an effort to bridge the cultural gaps, the move didn’t seem so bad.

Looking back at the whirlwind of the last year, I’m giving myself a mental high-five. The hurdles and bumps were tough, but they’ve turned me into a stronger and wiser version of myself. And for that, I am immensely grateful.

Annual Scholarship Reception a Huge Success!

With over 225 students receiving upwards of $300,000 from 52 scholarships – there was much to celebrate at the College of Professional Studies’ annual Undergraduate Scholarship Reception.  

Scholarship Reception at Northeastern University, Boston, MA

With the crackling anticipation of alumni donors eager to meet the recipients of their scholarship funds – and students so excited to greet and thank their benefactors all in attendance, the gathering has all the earmarks of a supportive community rooted in a legacy of achievement and of people helping people reach new heights.  
 
The celebration included inspiring remarks from two benefactors, Mani Sundaram, MS’99 and Meena Ramakrishnan, CPS’06 who each offered compelling reflections on their experience supporting financial aid:  

“Sponsoring six CPS students has been a source of immense gratification for us. We love the concept of creating a pathway for students and community colleges to gain the knowledge, skills, and credentials to align themselves with what’s going on in the industry, secure excellent jobs and build strong career trajectories.”

Mani Sundaram. MS’99

“We felt it was the right opportunity to do our part because we had been given challenges back then so both of us are delighted to be part of this program and we wish all the students here all the very best in your lives.”

Meena Ramakrishnan CPS’06

Mohamed Abougalala, Information Technology, Class of 2024 rounded out the program with a personal account of his journey to CPS from Egypt. Mohamed shared his experience arriving at CPS, saying, “The moment I stepped onto campus, I felt a sense of belonging.”   

Scholarship Reception at Northeastern University, Boston, MA

Whether a student, alumnus, donor benefactor, staff member, academic advisor, or faculty member – the annual Scholarship Reception fills the tank on good vibes with warmth and an expansive sense of the goodness and remarkable capacity of the College of Professional Studies to positively impact lives, to advance opportunity, and to building a community rooted in a culture of giving back.   

If you have any questions about the undergraduate scholarship program at the College of Professional Studies, please contact Mary McCarthy, Director of Strategic Partnerships and Funds, at [email protected]

View photos from the event here.

(HOS) Navigating Change: Transitioning to NEU

Join the Habits of Success (HOS) program under the Student Support Initiative as we begin our HOS Summer series! This workshop, Navigating Change: Transitioning to NEU, offers valuable tips for transitioning from high school and summer break to the new school year at Northeastern. Come to ask questions, make connections, or listen – we are excited to meet you!

Students Transitioning to NEU
Student Experience