Faculty Spotlight: Arlene Buchanan, Associate Director of Employer Engagements and Partnerships Outreach

by Natalie Bowers

Arlene Buchanan, Associate Director of Employer Engagements and Partnerships Outreach, is excited to develop strategic partnerships that offer students transformative real-world experiences and to connect talented students with industry leaders, providing opportunities that enhance their career prospects and deliver fresh, innovative perspectives to our partners. Buchanan’s role matters because it ensures our students are well-prepared for the workforce while contributing to the growth and success of the organizations we collaborate with.

“Northeastern University stands out by providing industry-aligned co-op experiences that significantly increase employability – boom, the ROI. I am proud of the impactful work we are doing and excited about the contributions I can make in this role.”

– Arlene Buchanan

Conversations about the value of a college degree have become increasingly common, with students and their families questioning the ROI of higher education. With over a decade of experience in higher education, Buchanan understands the importance and value of a degree and aligning with institutions that prioritize this outcome.

She said, “Northeastern University stands out by providing industry-aligned co-op experiences that significantly increase employability – boom, the ROI. I am proud of the impactful work we are doing and excited about the contributions I can make in this role.”

Developing Partnerships

Buchanan is based in Miami, Florida, and she is also strategically focusing on emerging markets beyond the state.

She said, “My goal is to forge relationships with industry leaders in key sectors and regions. By engaging with employers in these areas, I aim to create diverse and dynamic co-op opportunities that align with our students’ academic and professional goals. I love to collaborate, so if you have an idea, market, employer, or opportunity worth exploring, let me know and I will look into it. Let’s go!”

Faculty Spotlight: Nneka Allen-Harrison, Assistant Adjunct Professor at Mills College

by Natalie Bowers

Assistant Adjunct Professor for CPS at Mills College, Nneka Allen-Harrison, has conducted a new study titled “Bay Area Black Voices: Employment Outcomes of the Black Labor Force in the San Francisco Bay Area.” Her research synthesizes employment data to explore economic disparities in the region. Despite its robust economy and diverse population, the Bay Area faces a significant racial wage gap. Drawing on U.S. Census data, Allen-Harrison highlights that in 2019, Black men in the Bay Area earned a median income of less than $60,000, whereas their white counterparts earned over $80,000 annually. For further insights, refer to her work in the NGN article.

“The disparities in employment and economic outcomes for the Black labor force in the Bay Area underscore the urgent need for solutions that promote social empowerment and create a more equitable society.”

– Nneka Allen-Harrison

2024 Women Who Empower Awards

by Natalie Bowers

The Women Who Empower Innovator Awards, now in its fourth year, have provided more than $1.32 million in funding to over 100 changemakers in the Northeastern community. The 2024 recipients were selected by a panel of judges and 33 winners will receive a total of $500,000 in funding.  Four of the 33 winners are affiliated with CPS. Congratulations to all of the winners across Northeastern University!

Northeastern University’s Women Who Empower initiative is grounded in the belief that diverse and inclusive communities empower a better world. The network comprises strong, aspiring, and distinguished individuals dedicated to fostering positive environments, building lasting connections, and providing meaningful experiences where all people thrive, through entrepreneurship.

Making CPS Proud! CPS Affiliated 2024 Winners

This year’s CPS Affiliated winners are:

Mary DeVega, CPS’22, NUSL’25

GRADUATE STUDENTS 1st Place

San Francisco, CA | MPowered: A staffing firm dedicated to empowering women through training and professional development

Linh Dinh, CPS’25

GRADUATE STUDENTS Honors

Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam | ATURE: Bridging the gap between Asian SMEs and global markets

Rama Doddi, CPS’24 

GRADUATE STUDENTS Honors

Boston, MA & Vizag, AP, India | RegPulse: Identifying the Regulatory “Pulse” of small to mid-lev Pharmaceuticals, Medical Devices and Biologic industries and provide solutions for their regulatory concerns

Claudia Tobar, CPS, D.Ed’20

GRADUATE ALUMNAE 2nd Place and

POWERING GLOBAL CHANGE AWARD 3rd Place

Pichincha, Ecuador | Kamina: A revolutionary financial wellbeing platform, that provides a comprehensive solution with advisory, access and assessment, committed specifically for women and non-banked individuals

Learn more about Women Who Empower.

Read the NGN’s coverage.

Rachel Toncelli Selected by U.S. Department of State for Prestigious English Language Specialist Project

by Natalie Bowers

The U.S. Department of State announced the selection of Rachel Toncelli , CPS Lecturer for NU Immerse and Global Pathways, for a 2-week English Language Specialist project focusing on teaching academic writing in the age of generative artificial intelligence (GenAI) in Russia at a national conference focused on teaching writing. Toncelli is part of a select group, as her project is one of approximately 240
that the English Language Specialist Program supports each year.

Toncelli is a lecturer at Northeastern University’s College of Professional Studies most recently, her scholarly interest has centered around exploring how English language educators develop critical AI literacy. This past March, Toncelli and CPS colleague and Ilka Kostka were awarded the Ron Chang Lee Award from TESOL International Association. Named in honor of one of the pioneers in the implementation of technology in English Language Teaching (ELT), Kostka and Toncelli’s work was recognized for its pedagogical innovation.

The English Language Specialist Program is the premier opportunity for leaders in the field of teaching English to speakers of other languages (TESOL) to enact meaningful and sustainable changes in the way that English is taught abroad. Through projects developed by U.S. Embassies in more than 80 countries, English Language Specialists work directly with local teacher trainers, educational leaders, and ministry of education officials to exchange knowledge, build capacity, and establish partnerships benefiting participants, institutions, and communities in the United States and overseas.

English Language Specialists are counted among the more than 50,000 individuals participating in U.S. Department of State exchange programs each year. The Specialist Program is administered by the Center for Intercultural Education and Development at Georgetown University.

For further information about the English Language Specialist Program or the U.S. Department of State, please visit elprograms.org/specialist, or e-mail [email protected].

Staff Spotlight: Pete Cardillo, Associate Director of Employer Engagement

by Natalie Bowers

Last year marked an exciting milestone with the launch of CPS’s Employer Engagement Team, dedicated to creating dynamic experiential learning co-op opportunities for students. Pete Cardillo helps forge and sustain vital relationships with companies eager to benefit from the fresh perspectives and skills our students offer. His goal? To showcase CPS’s eagerness to collaborate and highlight how our students’ exceptional talents can significantly bolster industry teams—a true win-win scenario!

“Our CPS alumni form an essential support network for our students, enhancing their experiential learning and co-op journeys. With a dedicated team now in place, we aim to encourage our alumni, especially those needing skilled student workers, to reach out and discover the impactful contributions our students can offer.”

-Pete Cardillo

Cardillo is continually connecting with various industry partners and engaging both long-time collaborators and new employer prospects. He shares, “Our CPS alumni form an essential support network for our students, enhancing their experiential learning and co-op journeys. With a dedicated team now in place, we aim to encourage our alumni, especially those needing skilled student workers, to reach out and learn more. Unlike typical interns, our students often arrive with substantial experience, ready to make a remarkable difference from day one. While we value partnerships with companies of all sizes, we particularly treasure the unique experiences provided by medium and small-sized businesses. So, whether you run a family-owned enterprise or a large corporation, we’re eager to connect with you!”

Don’t miss out on this opportunity to partner with us. Learn more here or just reach out to Pete and his team today at [email protected].

Please note: while the Employer Engagement Team and the broader CPS team strive to connect students with valuable experiences, they do not function as a staffing or placement agency for students or employers.