2024 Staff Excellence Award Winner: Alessandro Zampi

Three words encapsulate your Northeastern University experience:
Supportive | transformative |collaborative

Why did you choose Northeastern?

I started working at Northeastern six months after getting my bachelor’s degree with no real idea of what industry I wanted to go into.

I liked the Northeastern brand (even though I knew very little about the university) and I liked the subjects it is known for. I also liked what the mascot represents (intelligent, energetic, hardworking). I was very much “trying out” higher education, and I’m so glad I did!

What kinds of challenges have you encountered in your journey here and how have you learned from them?

One challenge is trying to synthesize the avalanche of information you’re given in a short space of time. My advice is to block off time to just think (preferably, while walking). And read Build a Second Brain by Thiago Forte.

With challenges, come opportunities. Navigating an organization this complex gave me a headache by the end of every day for my first month or two. But the opportunity that came from that was the ability to work with likeminded colleagues who are looking to challenge assumptions and create positive impact.

Alessandro Zampi

Have you learned anything about yourself during your career at Northeastern?

I’ve learned that I can be more patient than I realized. In my former industry, hospitality, everything was always full speed, and I loved the adrenaline. Higher education is much more complex, and moves must be planned further ahead. I’ve grown to appreciate the longer game.

What advice do you have for someone considering higher education, either as a student or as a career?

Invest time learning whatever you can about the university. It is an unbelievably enormous, interdependent ecosystem, and the better you understand it beyond your role, department, and college, the better you’ll be at your job.

At the same time, Northeastern is no different from any other organization in that it is made up of people, so prioritize cultivating genuine relationships.

What inspires you every day?

Confronting intuition-based decision-making and “best practices” by bringing scholarship to the business environment.

Alessandro Zampi

Where do you see yourself in the near future?

Still at Northeastern! I love CPS. What and who we are is less obvious than the other colleges, but I think that is our superpower. We aren’t tied down to an identity, and this gives us the freedom to innovate.

We are all more than our jobs. What interests or passions do you have outside of work?

Other than food, travel, reading, watching movies/tv, hanging out with my partner, and seeing friends and family, I love any kind of board or word or card games. I’m unbelievably lucky that my partner works in travel and exploring the world is a core value of his. We went gorilla trekking in Rwanda in 2022, Japan in 2023, and now we’re going to Kenya and Tanzania in August of this year for some safari.

Is there anything else you’d like to share?

I’m just grateful for the folks I get to work with everyday.

Minfang Wu 

Three words encapsulate your Northeastern University experience:
Inspired | Surprising | Substantial

Getting a degree while life is happening isn’t always easy. How have you faced and overcome some of these challenges?

To begin, there are some linguistic barriers that I face while interacting with local students because I am an international student. I have some unusual study habits, and I read at a snail’s pace. Keeping in touch with my spoken English, reading more literature to discover the norms, and not being frightened of making mistakes were all things I worked very hard to convince myself.

In addition, I made a concerted effort to learn alongside my pals, and we continued to support and encourage one another.

 What were some of the reasons you chose to join the Northeastern community? Since joining, what have been some of the opportunities and challenges you have experienced?

The Northeast offers numerous chances, both in terms of career and geographical advantages. As a student, I appreciate this type of learning environment. It is highly intriguing and hard to share the topic in front of academics or to join the ambassador platform to help students.

What has your journey at Northeastern University revelated to you about yourself?

I did learn a lot during my studies, and I learned a lot in a new field that shocked me. In comparison to my former existence, I got a lot of varied sighs in this one.​

What advice do you have for others considering higher education — either at Northeastern or elsewhere?

Why are you interested in the degree you’re pursuing? What motivates you?

Analytics is my area of study at the graduate level.

Let me start by saying that analysis is a major that many people choose. Second, keeping dataization current is something I truly want to do. I felt I needed a break after working for a few years.

Analytics is a tool that I find to be really helpful.

What are you hoping to do after you graduate? Where do you imagine yourself 5 years after school?

My dream job would be to work for a tech giant like Google or Microsoft, preferably in their data analysis or business division. Increasing my exposure to state-of-the-art technologies is my goal.

We know you are more than the person who shows up at Northeastern — what are some of your hobbies and other passions? Where do you find your joy?

I have a diverse set of interests and enjoy trying new things. I enjoy experiencing the beauty of nature as well as the history and culture of museums. I enjoy going on hikes and traveling with my buddies. That’s when I’m at my happiest.

Is there anything else you wanted to say that we didn’t cover?

In an ideal world, I would have friends with whom I could share interests, experiences, and academic pursuits, and I am open to meeting new people.

Srisha Rajasekar

Three words encapsulate your Northeastern University experience:
Fantabulous | Inclusive | Innovative

Getting a degree while life is happening isn’t always easy. How have you faced and overcome some of these challenges?

Embarking on the challenging journey of graduate studies has immersed me in a complex interplay of research pursuits, coursework obligations, and personal commitments, demanding an intricate dance of time management, unwavering dedication, and a resilient spirit. Balancing the demands of advanced academic endeavors with the intricacies of life requires a delicate touch, where the pursuit of knowledge collides with the realities of personal and professional responsibilities. The rigorous exploration of research topics necessitates a profound commitment to scholarly pursuits, while coursework provides a structured foundation for comprehensive understanding. Amidst this academic tapestry, the need for relentless time management becomes paramount, as each moment is valuable and demands purposeful allocation.

Navigating the labyrinth of graduate studies is a transformative experience, one that not only shapes intellectual growth but also demands adaptability, perseverance, and the ability to maintain focus amid multifaceted challenges. Yet, it is precisely in this delicate balance that the seeds of personal and academic triumph are sown, laying the groundwork for a future where knowledge, resilience, and dedication converge to shape a well-rounded graduate experience.

 What were some of the reasons you chose to join the Northeastern community? Since joining, what have been some of the opportunities and challenges you have experienced?

As a graduate student at Northeastern University, my decision to join this vibrant academic community was driven by several compelling factors. Firstly, Northeastern’s renowned faculty and cutting-edge research initiatives aligned seamlessly with my academic interests and career aspirations. The university’s commitment to experiential learning, co-op programs, and interdisciplinary collaboration provided a dynamic environment that promised not only theoretical knowledge but also practical insights and real-world applications. Since joining the Northeastern community, the opportunities presented have been manifold. Engaging in rigorous coursework has deepened my understanding of my field, while participating in research projects has allowed me to contribute to meaningful scholarly work. The access to state-of-the-art facilities, libraries, and collaborative spaces has enriched my academic journey, fostering an environment conducive to intellectual exploration and growth. However, like any academic pursuit, challenges have been an inherent part of my experience.

Balancing the demands of coursework, research commitments, and personal life has required meticulous time management and prioritization. Navigating the complexities of graduate studies, including the pressure to contribute meaningfully to research and maintain high academic standards, has been both demanding and rewarding. Nevertheless, the supportive and inclusive nature of the Northeastern community has played a crucial role in mitigating challenges.

Collaborative efforts with fellow graduate students, mentorship from faculty members, and the availability of resources such as workshops and counseling services have all contributed to a holistic graduate experience. In essence, my journey as a graduate student at Northeastern has been a transformative and enriching one, marked by a blend of academic rigor, research opportunities, and the cultivation of a supportive community that encourages both personal and intellectual development.

What has your journey at Northeastern University revelated to you about yourself?

My experience at Northeastern University has been a revealing journey, uncovering my academic strengths, adaptability, and personal resilience. Engaging in challenging coursework and collaborative research projects has expanded my knowledge and demonstrated my ability to navigate complexity effectively. Experiential learning, particularly through co-op experiences, has emphasized the practical relevance of my studies and fueled a sense of purpose in contributing meaningfully to my field. On a personal level, overcoming the inherent challenges of graduate studies has showcased my determination and commitment to continuous growth. Interactions with mentors and fellow students have underscored the value of collaboration and mentorship, fostering a sense of belonging within an intellectually vibrant community that prioritizes collective progress. Overall, Northeastern has been a transformative chapter, refining my academic and professional goals while unveiling the depth of my capabilities and the importance of meaningful connections.

What advice do you have for others considering higher education — either at Northeastern or elsewhere?

For prospective students considering higher education, particularly at Northeastern University, I offer the following advice based on my experience as a graduate student.

Why are you interested in the degree you’re pursuing? What motivates you?

As a graduate student specializing in regulatory affairs, my interest in this field stems from a profound fascination with the intersection of science, policy, and industry. The dynamic nature of regulatory affairs captivates me, as it involves navigating the complex landscape of regulations to ensure the safety, efficacy, and compliance of products within various sectors, such as pharmaceuticals or medical devices. This pursuit is motivated by a genuine desire to contribute to public health and safety by facilitating the efficient and ethical development of products.

The evolving regulatory environment presents an exciting challenge, and the prospect of understanding and influencing regulatory frameworks is a driving force.

Moreover, the opportunity to bridge scientific advancements with regulatory compliance aligns with my long-term goal of fostering innovation while upholding the highest standards of safety and efficacy. In essence, my motivation lies in the impactful role regulatory affairs plays in shaping the future of industries and ensuring the well-being of individuals worldwide.

What are you hoping to do after you graduate? Where do you imagine yourself 5 years after school?

Upon completing my graduate studies in Regulatory affairs, my aim is to apply the comprehensive knowledge and skills acquired in both the public and private sectors. In the immediate aftermath of graduation, I aspire to secure a position in a regulatory affairs role within a pharmaceutical or medical device company, where I can actively contribute to the regulatory processes involved in bringing innovative products to market.

Over the next five years, I envision progressing in my career, potentially taking on roles of increasing responsibility and leadership within regulatory affairs. This trajectory aligns with my goal of not only ensuring compliance with regulatory standards but also actively shaping and influencing regulatory strategies. Additionally, I plan to stay abreast of emerging trends and changes in regulatory frameworks, contributing to the adaptation and optimization of regulatory processes within the organizations I work for. Ultimately, I see myself playing a pivotal role in advancing regulatory compliance and contributing to the successful and ethical development of groundbreaking products that positively impact public health.

We know you are more than the person who shows up at Northeastern — what are some of your hobbies and other passions? Where do you find your joy?

Beyond my academic pursuits at Northeastern, I find immense joy and fulfillment in a variety of hobbies and passions. One of my favorite places on campus is the library, where I often immerse myself in the quiet ambiance, surrounded by a wealth of knowledge and the scent of well-worn books. Additionally, I cherish the liberating feeling of diving into a pool and swimming, a pursuit that brings me relaxation and tranquility whenever time allows. As a Yoga instructor at Northeastern, I derive great satisfaction from helping students achieve their health and wellness goals, fostering a positive and mindful community.

The very thought of the campus itself brings a sense of positivity, and I eagerly make my way there every day, appreciating the vibrant atmosphere and the diverse array of cool places to study and relax.

Whether it’s the library, the swimming pool, or the yoga studio, each facet of my life outside the academic realm contributes to a holistic sense of joy and well-being.

Northeastern University Secures Approval for 23-Story Student Housing Tower in Boston

Northeastern University has been given the green light by the Boston Planning and Development Agency for its latest student housing project, set to grace the Boston campus skyline with a striking 23-story tower. Collaborating with American Campus Communities, the university plans to provide accommodation for up to 1,300 students.

This ambitious venture involves partnerships with esteemed architecture firms, Elkus Manfredi Architects and Studio Luz Architects, alongside structural engineering prowess from McNamara Salvia.

In addition to this impressive development, Northeastern University aims to contribute $1 million to Boston’s Department of Neighborhood Development, focusing on bolstering housing stability and fostering prosperity in neighboring communities.

Anticipated to cost around $350 million, the high-rise is slated for a grand opening in the fall of 2028, with construction slated to commence next year.

Adhering to LEED Gold standards, the residential complex will feature spacious four-bedroom units with two bathrooms, complemented by approximately 4,000 square feet of retail space. Residents can also look forward to a variety of communal amenities, including a social lounge, fitness center, study area, and laundry facilities, along with 11,000 square feet of shared community space.

Occupying the site of a parking lot owned by Northeastern University since 1997, the building will be conveniently situated within 3 miles of both the university campus and downtown Boston, with the South Bay Center shopping mall just a stone’s throw away.

Brittni Allen

Three words encapsulate your Northeastern University experience:
Humanity | Transformative | Equal Opportunities

What were some of the reasons you chose to join the Northeastern community? Since joining, what have been some of the opportunities and challenges you have experienced?

I chose to join the NU family because I was very excited and intrigued by programs designed to help more students access educational opportunity. I’ve always had a passion for helping other to reach their goals and this position aligned perfectly.

What has your journey at Northeastern University revelated to you about yourself?

I’ve been put in a position to make positive change and encourage others to get their degrees by supporting them with wrap around services. I’m inspired daily to achieve success, big or small! Being able to motivate the students and keep them on the right trajectory is gratifying.

What advice do you have for those considering higher education — either at Northeastern or elsewhere?

Higher education presents the opportunity to grant a competitive edge over others in the market. It is also a place where you have the opportunity to network and grow professionally. Northeastern offers an amount of support that I’ve never seen before! I absolutely love it here!

We know you are more than the person who shows up at Northeastern — what are some of your hobbies and other passions? Where do you find your joy?

My favorite hobby is to DJ. I’ve been djying since college and it’s truly a passion of mine! I also love to go fishing with my family. It’s always enjoyable to bond and get some action!

Managing AI Risks: Reflections on NIST AI Risk Management Framework and Beyond

Distinguished Lecturer Seminar on March 27, 2024 with Jeanna Matthews

Join us Wednesday, March 27 for our next Distinguished Lecturer seminar with Clarkson University Professor of Computer Science, Jeanna Matthews!

In this virtual talk, Jeanna will explore the NIST AI Risk Management Framework (AI RMF) which is a centerpiece of current AI policy in the United States.

She will provide a detailed overview of the framework, how it was developed, its implications, the ways it will be used moving forward, and more.

Register for free to join us online!

Faces of CPS

Faces of CPS: Get to know the many diverse people who make up our CPS community 

Sanover_Tasneem_CPS

Faces of CPS: Sanover Tasneem

As a first-generation student, I needed financial support for my education and getting an on-campus position was tough. Applying and securing a co-op was also a big hurdle. Overall, CPS has given me a lot of opportunities to showcase my abilities and use the skills from my past work experience in India. I have just been so grateful for all the good things supporting my life and education here.

Hailing from Jaunpur, India, Sanover Tasneem is a first-generation college student who now calls Boston home, pursuing a Master of Professional Studies in Analytics, she is graduating in June 2024.

Connections: Linkedin and Instagram

Faces of CPS: Vivek Vaghasiya

Hailing from Gujarat, India, Vivek Vaghasiya is pursuing a Master of Professional Studies in Informatics. He is graduating in May 2024.

My journey at Northeastern University has been a revelation, showcasing my resilience and adaptability. After graduation, I aspire to secure a role in data analytics or cloud computing, leveraging the skills acquired during my master’s in professional studies in Informatics. In five years, I envision myself in a leadership position, driving innovative solutions and contributing to the advancement of technology in a dynamic industry.

Connections: Linkedin

Faces of CPS: Jennifer Chavez

Hailing from Boston, Jennifer Chavez Umana is a first-generation college student balancing full-time work, her coursework at school, and personal growth.

My journey at Northeastern has shown me that I am capable of so much more. I can handle things that I never thought I was able to. Even then sometimes I feel like I still won’t be able to make it through but somehow I always push through.

Faces of CPS: Christian Cartagena

Being a Northeastern student has been an inspiring journey. Each completed class shows I am not only a step closer to my goal of obtaining a bachelor’s degree but also an achievement added to my collection.

Hailing from Boston, Christian Cartagena is a first-generation college student pursuing finance, navigating challenges, and finding joy in Boston.

Faces of CPS: Brittni Allen

I chose to join the NU family because I was very excited and intrigued by programs designed to help more students access educational opportunity. I’ve always had a passion for helping other to reach their goals and this position aligned perfectly.

Hailing from Miami, Brittni Allen is a first-generation college student thrives at Northeastern, driven by her passion for equal opportunities.

Connections: Linkedin

Faces of CPS: Srisha Rajasekar

Hailing from Singapore, Srisha Rajasekar shares her dynamic Northeastern University odyssey, merging academic excellence, regulatory fervor, and personal fulfillment.

The evolving regulatory environment presents an exciting challenge, my motivation lies in the impactful role regulatory affairs plays in shaping the future and ensuring the well-being of individuals.

Connections: Linkedin

Faces of CPS: Minfang Wu

Hailing from China, Minfang Wu unfolds her Northeastern University journey, overcoming barriers, pursuing analytics, and aspiring towards tech excellence

The Northeast offers numerous chances, both in terms of career and geographical advantages. As a student, I appreciate this type of learning environment.

Connections: Linkedin and Instagram

Vivek Vaghasiya

Three words encapsulate your Northeastern University experience:
Transformative | Collaborative | Innovative

Getting a degree while life is happening isn’t always easy. How have you faced and overcome some of these challenges?

Balancing work, family, and studies presented challenges. To overcome, I prioritized tasks, established a routine, and sought support from family and peers. Time management and a strong support system were crucial in navigating these challenges.

What do you do when you aren’t working, studying, or caring for your family?

Beyond my academic pursuits, I find joy in solving Rubik’s cubes, engaging in outdoor activities, and embracing a mindset of continuous learning. Exploring new challenges and gaining insights from various experiences brings fulfillment to my life.

Have you learned anything about yourself along the way?

My journey at Northeastern University has been a revelation, showcasing my resilience and adaptability.

Facing academic challenges while managing other aspects of life, I discovered my ability to prioritize, stay focused, and overcome obstacles. This experience has revealed my capacity for continuous learning and growth, affirming my commitment to academic and personal development.

What advice do you have for others considering higher education — either at Northeastern or elsewhere?

As a student completing my last semester in the Master’s of Professional Studies in Informatics at Northeastern University, my advice for others considering higher education is to fully engage with the learning experience.

Where do you see yourself after graduation?

After graduation, I aspire to secure a role in data analytics or cloud computing, leveraging the skills acquired during my master’s in professional studies in Informatics.

In five years, I envision myself in a leadership position, driving innovative solutions and contributing to the advancement of technology in a dynamic industry.

Sanover Tasneem

Three words encapsulate your Northeastern University experience:
Thrilling | Serendipitous | Empowering

Getting a degree while life is happening isn’t always easy. How have you faced and overcome some of these challenges?

While the journey hasn’t always been easy, it has been very exhilarating. As an international student, the cultural differences present some obvious challenges. But the people I’ve met here and the professors in the courses never make me feel out of the place.

As a first-generation student, I needed financial support for my education and getting an on-campus position was tough. Applying and securing a co-op was also a big hurdle. Overall, CPS has given me a lot of opportunities to showcase my abilities and use the skills from my past work experience in India. I have just been so grateful for all the good things supporting my life and education here.

What do you do when you aren’t working, studying?

During my time at Northeastern, I have been very active in a lot of events. Be it orientation, homecoming, or giving day I always join these events and make connections there. So, one of my hobbies is collecting all sorts of goodies from Northeastern!

I really enjoy communications and serve as the Treasurer and SEO expert in Husky Communication – a student led organization at Northeastern. In my non-Northeastern activities, I also love reading and writing, especially fiction and biographies. And I love to travel. Whenever I get some time, or I have a semester break I go on travelling expedition and also make reels out of my experiences on Instagram.

I travelled solo to Cape Cod, New York, and Niagara Falls so far and I hope to cover more places. I also am a music fan. I listen to and sing Indian and English pop songs. Always a Swifty and Arijit’s fan!

Have you learned anything about yourself along the way?

My journey at Northeastern has been so much more than just a college or work experience. Moving entirely to a new country knowing no one has empowered me to try out everything on my own. I have learned that it is always worth it to take the leap of faith. Life is all about learning and trying new things. Even if you don’t succeed, every new experience is worth it because of the beautiful aspects you discover along the journey.

Sanover_Tasneem_Friends

What is it like to be a part of the Northeastern community?

Sanover_Tasneem_Friend

I feel immense pride to represent my country at this global university which is so diverse and inclusive. I have never felt out of place here. The students I study with and the colleagues I have been working with, their trust and support towards me it makes me feel so valued.

What advice do you have for others considering higher education — either at Northeastern or elsewhere?

Opting for higher education requires a whole lot of consideration and evaluation. Some of the advice I would like to share from my personal experience are:

Where do you see yourself after graduation?

I am hoping to continue my current work in my Marketing Analyst position once I graduate and will start applying for relevant jobs in and around Boston. Over the next five years, I see myself in a successful job as a Data Analyst.

I always wanted to help others, and generating employment is one of the best ways to help people. Ultimately, I hope to start my own business as an entrepreneur where I can create jobs for others. I am also a great reader and writer and I hope to publish my book one day. Finger crossed!

Anything else you’d like to add?

Sanover_Tasneem_NEUHoli

I will just add that I am so thankful to my friends and colleagues here at Northeastern. Their immense love, belief, and support has helped me throughout this journey.

I can’t believe how close I am to graduation now. Time flies!!!

Student-powered research helps small businesses access opportunity

The Northeastern Lab for Inclusive Entrepreneurship just launched a dynamic, online, on-demand module for small companies interested in how to do business with colleges and universities. This interactive module was designed as part of a capstone project by Egle Slezas, who graduated from the instructional design master’s program in December 2023.

This module aims to solve the frustration many businesses face, especially small businesses, when trying to become an approved vendor for complex, multifaceted organizations such as higher ed. Businesses led and owned by historically marginalized communities face particularly daunting challenges, and this module aims to demystify the process and create more opportunity for small businesses.

The mission of lab for inclusive entrepreneurship is to contribute to economic development and community resilience by promoting inclusive, equitable innovation and entrepreneurship and assisting small businesses address their technical and managerial challenges.

As a University Center designated by the U.S. Economic Development Administration, this lab helps small businesses, particularly ones in the Portland-Boston-Providence Corridor, through two major initiatives:

In addition, a major multi-year grant from the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation supports the lab’s research and educational programs promoting supplier diversity in higher education.

The work we do is vital for removing barriers to opportunity for diverse businesses, it’s especially inspiring to witness the impact of our students as they engage in transforming the future of both academic research and business.

Francesca Grippa, Professor of Business Innovation, Associate Dean of Research, and Executive Director of the Lab

Because the lab’s work is grounded in applied research in such areas as economic development, digital technologies, and supply chain management combined with hands-on learning and community-based partnerships, it can provide diverse small business owners with the practical skills and supportive networks that drive growth while also serving innovation and opportunity for learners.