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.
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.”
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.
The Mirror Effect: Adebukola Ajao Gives Back
A look at how the College of Professional Studies succeeds in its mission of meeting Learners where they are in their lives, helping them become leaders along that journey, and simultaneously enriching and expanding the quality of the vast Northeastern network.
Adebukola Ajao, CPS Alumni, Adjunct Professor, and Business Owner, was recently honored by Northeastern University’s 2023 Women Who Empower Innovator Awards. Northeastern University also spotlighted her in a recent article and she was the Special Guest Speaker at the CPS Town Hall meeting this July.
From a young girl growing up in Roxbury, Boston, just across the street from the Northeastern campus, to becoming an adjunct professor of Digital Media at CPS now teaching the next generation of CPS Life learners, Ajao has always championed the same mission and values that CPS upholds, in both her personal, academic and professional endeavors.
In her formative years, Adebukola was chosen for the Crimson Summer Academy, a highly selective program for low-income students enrolled in Boston Public Schools. As a result, she attended Harvard Summer programs, setting her on a path to valuing education as an avenue to opportunity. Later, while taking her undergraduate degree at Emmanuel College in Africana Studies and Politics, she became active in racial advocacy. It was during her undergraduate degree that she launched a Social justice coalition called We Are the Ones, which won an NAACP Next Generation Leadership Award. Around graduation, she became a freelance journalist who traveled the country to cover stories of racial transgressions against Black Americans; her work was picked up by the Huffington Post, Teen Vogue, and other well-known outlets. Having found her voice that resonated with people via digital media, her articles continued to go viral. Through this work, Ajao’s fascination with digital media was born, and she became mesmerized by the editorial process and the power of conveying a perspective in a way that people were able to hear on digital platforms.
Her passion for community, and her newfound fascination with the digital space, led her to discover and engage with the Northeastern University John D. O’Bryant African American Institute. Through the support she received at the institute, she was awarded the MLK Graduate Fellowship from the institute to enroll in the CPS Digital Media Graduate Program in 2018.
“I needed a program that was truly accommodating to my situation; I worked full time, over 40 hours a week, and I needed a program that could be flexible with that,” she said. “With the [CPS Digital Media Graduate Program] program, I could do what I needed to do and go to classes at night,” she said.
She graduated in 2020, the same year that the COVID-19 pandemic struck. When asked about the challenges of graduating in that climate, Ajao insists that there were more benefits than downfalls to launching her new skill set during a time when people needed to depend upon and understand the digital space.
“It was actually great to throw myself into consultancy during the pandemic because, for the first time, many businesses were forced to acknowledge the digital sphere as a means to reach their clients; it sort of worked in my favor,” she said.
She also said it was helpful that many of her classmates and teachers were not just students, but professionals. “Sure, I graduated in chaos. But it didn’t feel like I took a big hit. While enrolled in the program, I saw the camaraderie between teachers and students and I wanted that for myself. Most of my professors were executives in marketing and they shared their industry connections, and that was valuable to me. I felt like I spent so much money in my undergrad but that I needed to make my own opportunities after that. With CPS, the opportunities were baked into the program. CPS offered me real-life connections and so much more. I was willing to leverage the Northeastern network immediately and that was powerful.”
“My professors pushed, supported, and encouraged me. They led me to see beyond what I could see. While in the program, I got exactly what I had hoped for. I felt like I gained not only friends but also colleagues that I work with to this day. The instruction I received was so powerful; it was exactly what I needed to propel me forward; I gained a lot.” she said.
Ajao recalls one professor who was particularly impactful to her; James Gardiner, lecturer of Digital and Social Media. She said, “He changed the way I thought educators should be; he was always joyful and informative and had his way of demanding excellence without being overbearing. He made me want to achieve and that approach released my fear and anxiety and just let me focus on the learning.”
“Sometimes it’s obvious,” notes James Gardner, who remains a mentor and friend to Ajao. “Ade is a natural leader, bound for success. Coaching her and accelerating her path has been really gratifying. She’s going to make a difference in the world.”
And making a difference is exactly what Ajao is focused on. Today, she helps many businesses develop brands and get their name out to market through the provision of full-scale agency services. Her business has two arms: a consultancy called BDY Consult; the other named ‘For all things Digital’, a free open-source destination for small businesses. Her approach is to target bigger companies as clients while offering a sliding scale fee structure to smaller companies, with a particular emphasis on businesses that have a community, racial, or ESG (Environmental, social, and governance)-based mission.
(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!
(HOS) Introduction to Boston: Student Perspective
Join the Habits of Success (HOS) program under the Student Support Initiative as we begin our HOS Summer series! This workshop, Introduction to Boston: Student Perspective, provides helpful tips on commuting, NUID usage, museum discounts, and ways to explore the city. Come to ask questions, make connections, or listen – we are excited to meet you!
“I wanted the women to tell their stories” – Tracy Threatt
Northeastern graduate making female veterans feel less ‘invisible’ with help from the George W. Bush Presidential Center
CPS Alumn, Tracy Threatt, helps female veterans feel less ‘invisible’. She was recently named as a scholar in the Stand-To Veteran Leadership Program at the George W. Bush Presidential Center in Dallas, and she embodies the college’s ethos of bringing opportunity to those she meets.
Insurance Analytics and Management Virtual Information Session
We’ll be covering how an MPS in Insurance Analytics and Management can help you be successful in one of the most essential industries in the world with a forward-thinking, data-driven approach. You’ll learn how Northeastern prepares you to stand out and thrive in this rapidly growing field and discover a multitude of career paths available to you.
During the event, you’ll also:
- Hear from Yvonne Leung, assistant teaching professor; Connie Emerson, associate teaching professor; and more.
- Learn about the core features of our flexible insurance analytics and management program, including available concentrations and experiential learning opportunities.
- Discover the latest industry trends and emerging technologies incorporated into the program.
Date: July 10, 2023
Time: 08:00 AM to 09:00 AM
Event Category: Online
Faculty Spotlights: Krassimir Marchev
As a part of our Series called “Faculty Spotlights”, we had the pleasure of interviewing Krassimir Marchev.
Krassimir Marchev, known as ‘Krassi’ to his friends and colleagues, has taught at the College of Professional Studies (CPS) for 30 years, although you wouldn’t know of his long tenure just by speaking with him. He’s got the air of a kid in a candy shop, like a first-year grad student teaching for the first time, seeing all the possibilities with eager, new eyes. His fascinating career, which spans both academia and the public sector, reads like an adventure novella. He currently serves as the Professor of the Practice for the Advanced Manufacturing and Engineering Technology Programs at Northeastern University’s College of Professional Studies (CPS). When we met up with him, it was immediately obvious that he’s a man with a mission to bring opportunity to Northeastern CPS Learners. And he does just that, incredibly well.
One exciting opportunity that he champions for CPS Engineering Learners is access to free ASM membership, generously sponsored by the Lowell Institute School. CPS students are eligible for free membership that provides a magazine subscription as well as access to events and meetings, and exposure to well-known industry experts.
“We need to put our students in professional environments where they can meet specialists with a track record of innovation and success and taking membership at ASM International is a great way to do that. In April, we had a C-Suite professional from Rolls-Royce presenting at our monthly ASM event. In May we had a speaker who discussed his lifetime-long career at NASA. Let’s not forget that our guests look at students as colleagues and potential employees. What could be better than that? ”, Krassi said.
Originally from Teteven, Bulgaria, an old-world town situated in a valley of the Vit River surrounded by majestic mountain tops, Krassi found his way from his hometown to receiving his Master of Science in Materials Science and Engineering in 1984 from Politechnika Warszawska (The Warsaw University of Technology) while the city was under Marshall Law as its citizens resisted Soviet influence. After graduation, he arrived in Boston in 1987. In 1994, he earned an Interdisciplinary Ph.D. in Solid State Chemistry and Materials Science from Northeastern University, joined ASM International, and began teaching at CPS that same year.
Today, Krassi is recognized by industry peers for setting a high standard in both his commitment to solving real-world problems and to bridging the gap between academia and the public sector. His approach yields results; he is connected to some of the most remarkable industry developments within the last half-century. In 1998 while teaching at CPS, he worked on (OR developed) novel surface engineering technologies for Pratt & Whitney and Sikorsky aircraft companies. From 2000-2012, he worked at Gillette, where he developed and patented for ‘a new generation razor of superior comfort’ by leading the development of the blade edge for the “Gillette Fusion ProGlide” razor. It became a billion-dollar product owned by Proctor and Gamble and it is still the best-performing blade edge in the world.
Krassi’s Northeastern network isn’t just limited to his professional contacts. He met his wife, Ronnie Marchev, at Northeastern University, who studied Computer Science. He proposed to her on a private flight to Nantucket – he is a trained Pilot and has flown for almost three decades. Their eldest son is currently studying Data Science and Business Administration at Northeastern University and is on the Dean’s List. Through his program, he has secured a summer job at a Boston-based Bank. His youngest son is in 11th grade and is enrolled in summer training at the Northeastern Biomechanics lab at the College of Engineering.
As if teaching at CPS and working for big companies isn’t enough, Krassi is also the Chair of the Executive Committee of the ASM International Boston Chapter, and he also serves on some of its committees, including the emerging technology awareness committee, the advanced manufacturing committee, and the sub-committee on education. Even within his capacity at ASM, he works to identify opportunities for Northeastern CPS Learners, and future industry leaders.
In addition to championing CPS in his various networks, Krassi has accrued many scientific achievements. He edited (six) volumes on “Metallurgical Coatings and Thin Films” for the ICMCTF international conferences for Elsevier Scientific Publishing and even made it on the cover page of Northeastern University magazine on the Art of Science in 1998. To date, he has hundreds of citations on his papers on novel materials, metallic glasses, plasma surface engineering, and specialty alloys, as well as patents on materials, technologies, and products with Northeastern, Gillette, Procter and Gamble, and Sikorsky.
About our Bachelor of Science in Advanced Manufacturing Systems Program
Northeastern’s Bachelor of Science in Advanced Manufacturing Systems is an innovative bachelor’s degree completion program, providing the skills and experience needed to build a successful career in advanced manufacturing.
- A 100% online curriculum, co-developed with General Electric, lets you earn your degree with maximum flexibility.
- Learn from industry experts – like Krassi — as you gain skills and experience to grow a career in advanced manufacturing.
- Increase your knowledge of manufacturing, inspection, materials, technology, processes, and supply chain concepts with challenge-based learning projects with Gillette, General Electric, United Technologies, Sikorsky Aircraft, BAE, Stanley Black & Decker, and Proctor and Gamble.
- Earn credit for previous experience and competencies, allowing you to complete your degree faster.
- Build your resumé while earning your degree and gain career-boosting connections through Northeastern’s extensive industry and alumni networks.
Learn more here.
PMI and Northeastern University Launch New Partnership, More Opportunity and Value for Project Management Learners
Northeastern University’s College of Professional Studies (CPS) is pleased to announce an exciting new offering from its existing partner, Project Management Institute (PMI). PMI is offering a 30% discount on either the Project Management Professional (PMP) or the Certified Associate in Project Management (CAPM) certification, as well as a discounted student membership to the organization and connection with local PMI chapters. These discounts are available to all Northeastern students interested in leveraging these valuable certifications to further their careers in project management.
An in-person kickoff event to celebrate the enhanced partnership is scheduled for Tuesday, May 23, from 2 to 4 p.m. and will take place on the Northeastern Toronto campus. Virtual attendance at the event is open to all Northeastern students throughout its global campus network. Registration can be accessed here.
The Northeastern CPS Master of Science in Project Management Program is accredited by the PMI Global Accreditation Center for Project Management Education Programs (GAC). In October of 2021, the Master of Science in Project Management accreditation was re-affirmed for the maximum five-year accreditation cycle (originally accredited in 2009) by the PMI Global Accreditation Center for Project Management Education Programs (GAC), the world’s leading association for Project management professionals. Accreditation is achieved by meeting the GAC’s rigorous standards, which include an assessment of program objectives and outcomes, a review of onsite and online resources, evaluations of faculty and students, and proof of continuous improvements in the area of project management.
Adel Zadeh, Associate Teaching Professor of Project Management, says, “As CPS continues to focus on student success, this partnership brings tremendous value to our students and program and extends their impact across our global network. By aligning with PMI Global, students gain invaluable access to PMI’s vast resources, including cutting-edge methodologies, best practices, and a global community of professionals. This partnership bolsters their academic experience and equips them with the practical knowledge and credentials required to excel in real-world project management scenarios while standing out in a highly competitive job market.”
Project Management Institute (PMI) is the leading professional association for project management and the authority for a growing global community of millions of project professionals and individuals who use project management skills. Collectively, these professionals and “changemakers” consistently create better outcomes for businesses, communities, and society worldwide.
What is PMP & CAPM Certification?
PMI created Project Management Professional (PMP) Certification to recognize project managers who have proven they have the skills to successfully manage projects. Project Management Professional (PMP) certification represents an elite group of project managers that are valued and recognized by thousands of employers globally. It proves project leadership experience and expertise in any way of working, and it signals that recipients are highly skilled in people, processes, and business environment goals and objectives.
The Certified Associate in Project Management (CAPM) Certification is a globally recognized credential that opens the door to opportunities at every career stage in the field of project management. The current CAPM certification involves taking an exam that tests your aptitude in: Fundamentals of project management and the role of project managers, Project management environment and project integration management, Project scope, schedule, cost, quality, and resource management, Project procurement, communication, stakeholder and risk management. The CAPM certification is a typical first step in building a career as a project manager.
Project Management Institute (PMI) resource page: Click here
PMI Global and Northeastern University Partnership Launch
The Project Management Institute (PMI) is the world’s leading project management organization. Now Northeastern students will be able to access discounts for PMI certifications, including Project Management Professional (PMP) and Certified Associate in Project Management (CAPM).
This special event will highlight the collaboration between PMI and Northeastern, how to take advantage of the partnership, and showcase the advantages of PMI certification
CPS Student Awards Round-Up
The College of Professional Studies is proud to announce its students who’ve been recognized with a variety of prestigious university awards. These awards not only celebrate our learners for their extraordinary academic achievements but also for their commitment to the values and mission of Northeastern University. This year’s winners come from both our undergraduate and graduate programs and represent a diversity of majors, backgrounds, and continents. Congratulations to all our 2023 student award winners!
Six students from CPS were inducted into the Huntington 100 for 2023. Sponsored by the Office of Student Life, the Huntington 100 recognizes students for their service, leadership, innovation and entrepreneurship, global engagement, and impact on the campus community. The award honors distinguished juniors and seniors from all Northeastern campuses for their achievements and embodying the university’s mission. These students represent what Northeastern is today – a selective institution with a global network, rigorous academic programs, experiential learning, and positive impact.
The following are the CPS learners who were inducted to the Huntington 100 on Tuesday, April 18:
- Rama Doddi, CPS’24
- Shakir Khalid, CPS’22
- John Ruggieri-Lam, CPS’23
- Hari Haran Sivaramakrishnan, CPS’22
- Azi Sohrabi, CPS’23
- Ryan Westmoreland, CPS’24
We’d also like to congratulate CPS senior John Ruggieri-Lam, (pictured above with CPS Dean Radhika Seshan) who was also a winner of the Compass Award from the Northeastern University Alumni Association.
The Compass Awards program recognizes exemplary students from the senior class who have demonstrated a true dedication to a core set of values: leadership, volunteerism, academic integrity, and commitment to Northeastern.
Experiential Learning Award
The Experiential Learning Awards recognize outstanding students who have successfully integrated the classroom with real-world projects in three main categories: Co-op Excellence, XN Excellence, and Humanics. Students selected for these awards are nominated by their co-op employers, XN project sponsors, faculty, or staff. These learners have demonstrably gone above and beyond in their educational journeys through professional work, research, and service on seven continents — learning how to transform ideas into impact and become global citizens with successful careers.
Experiential Learning Group Award (Group)
Course/Co-op: Informatics Capstone Project
About the Project: The student team assisted a Massachusetts-based travel tech startup to develop an app for both Android and iOS platforms to generate personalized experiences for users. The team developed the app from scratch and made further visual and user interface refinements on the front end using a React framework. Students employed knowledge from full-stack app development with an AWS deployment environment.
XN Experiential Excellence Award
Winner: Taylor Faraca
Project Title: “Therapeutic Hunting and Its Success” Working with the company Homeplace Ministries
About the Project: Taylor’s project entailed assisting HomePlace Ministries with their veteran and wounded soldier rehabilitation projects. She specifically assisted in the implementation of an emotional therapy program to assist veterans who were suffering from mental health and anxiety issues as a result of exposure to toxic fumes from burn pit vapor. Emotional therapy also has proven applicable to veterans and soldiers dealing with survivors’ guilt.
Winner: Rebekah Duan
Experiential Learning Information: Rebekah has engaged with multiple experiential learning projects and experiences during her time at Northeastern, helping to manage two student-run websites (Husky Communications and Inspire & Influence). She is the president of a graduate student group called Husky Communicators, which focus on website and social media management, event planning, and writing on campus. She also has contributed to an XN team developing a public relations plan for a nonprofit company- Universal Promise.
Co-op Excellence Award
Winner: Nidhisha Bhalla
Co-op: Regulatory Affairs Associate for Neuro Spinal Innovation Inc.
About the Co-op: The purpose of the Regulatory Affairs co-op was to assist in the preparations and filing demands for regulatory approvals of the products of NSI as it pertains to the overall goal of Neuro Spinal Innovation Inc. The candidate had the opportunity to experience various global regulations by providing support on different projects.
The Dean’s Medal for Outstanding Doctoral Work
The Dean’s Medal for Outstanding Doctoral Work is the highest honor awarded by the College to a doctoral graduate. It was established to acknowledge exemplary academic achievement and to recognize demonstrated creativity. The process for determining one or more recipients involves evaluating the nominated candidate’s thesis dissertations based on the following criteria: the degree of comprehension, innovation, and creativity; the scope and importance of the work to a field of study; and the caliber of writing.
This year CPS will honor three Dean’s Medal recipients at the Doctoral Hooding Ceremony in Boston on Thursday, May 11.
Katie Spencer White, DLP
Thesis Dissertation: Equal Justice Under Law: Eviction Reform and the Experience of Justice for Pro Se Defendant Tenants
Katonja Webb Walker, EdD
Thesis Dissertation: “I Need People”: Mentoring as a Strategy to Support Black Doctoral Student Success
Stacie B. Simko, DPT
Thesis Dissertation: Physical Therapy for Students with Autism: Survey of School-Based Physical Therapists
Congratulations to this year’s winners — they truly embody the mission of CPS to push boundaries and expand academic work across relevant and important disciplines.
At every academic degree level – bachelor’s, master’s, and doctoral – students from our College were recognized this year for their extraordinary achievements and commitment to the values of Northeastern University. These learners epitomize what makes us so proud of our CPS students. Congratulations to all our 2023 award winners!