A “College of Access”
“What we are essentially doing is incorporating a value for lifelong learning,” explains Erin Clair, Associate Dean of Undergraduate Programs. “This is a story of empowerment, because not all students are going to have a linear path and access to opportunity.”
Northeastern University’s College of Professional Studies (CPS) helps nontraditional learners achieve higher levels of education that open professional doors. This work is deeply rooted in the University’s founding principles of urban engagement and experiential learning and is set to have a ripple effect for individual communities and national workforce development goals.
CPS Executive Director of Marketing and Communications, Joe Brock, said, “Dating back to the founding of CPS’ (formerly known as University College), we have provided opportunities for working adults to complete their bachelor’s degree, meeting them where they are with educational excellence, and flexibility to enable their educational goals. This hasn’t changed over the years as we continue to expand and grow our partnerships with community colleges and organizations that focus on access for underrepresented communities.”
The college has amassed over 40 partnerships with community colleges across the country. Most are articulation agreements, which maximize credit transfer into Northeastern University and count towards a higher degree. But some of the partnerships exemplify more resourced options, include Middlesex Community College, Roxbury Community College, and Miami Dade Community College, where each comes with either public grants or philanthropic sources for scholarship and provides additional resources for students. This, coupled with the University’s unique placement as the number one University in coop experience [as listed by US News], becomes a compelling offering.
Clair’s team is responsible for the entire program that creates these partnerships, which began in 2017 when Liz Zuilick, formerly CPS Associate Dean of Undergraduate Programs and now Vice Chancellor of Strategic Planning & Projects, spearheaded a partnership between CPS and Middlesex Community College (MCC). The partnership, which is currently in its fifth and final year, received a $4.4 million-dollar grant from the National Science Foundation (NSF) to award scholarships to low-income and under-represented minority students in biotechnology who participate in an accelerated Associates to Masters’ Degree Program, known as “A2M.”
As an example of impact, in 2021-2022, the partnership with MCC served 40 students at the Associate’s level, 48 at the Bachelor’s level, and 14 at the Master’s level, with 92 distinct students. A total of 34 students graduated from one of these degree programs within the calendar year.
In 2020, Northeastern University’s President Joseph E. Aoun established the ‘Experience Unleashed’ strategic vision, which committed the University to a mission of equitable access across its global campus network. Part of this effort, known as the ‘Impact Engine’ initiative, formally adopted the A2M bachelor’s completion program as an approach to meeting its goal of ‘making the world a better, more equitable place through access to higher education’.
The University is currently working on replicating the approach at a faster pace throughout its global campus network, focusing on partnering with community colleges that are located in proximity to Northeastern campus locations. The hope is that many of these partnerships will grow to attract additional resources that will benefit students.
As testament to the college’s agility in making higher education accessible beyond barriers, the approach has taken many forms – A2M, eA2M, PlusOnes, and Pathways are all common names associated with it. The overarching focus is the same: to provide a “bachelor, and beyond, completion initiative” aimed to equip learners with whatever it takes to provide them with professional opportunities, while simultaneously removing barriers to higher education.
Who’s Behind the Effort
“Through the eA2M Model, we plan to reach learners in the regions surrounding our global campus sites. In addition to experiential opportunities, we offer funding support, support with childcare, and 1:1 student coaching that will help students navigate the complexities of college learning!” said Chris Cook, Director of Impact Engine, Professional Programs, who works to grow partnerships through what is referred to as the Experiential Associates to Masters (eA2M) model.
“We strategically align our programming to be in fields where there is high demand and pathways to economic viability. We know there is significant underrepresentation in high skill, high paying jobs, we intend to support incredible learners to develop those skills and access those jobs! This objective is tied to national workforce development and that approach is championed by Northeastern.”– Chris Cook
Oftentimes, the students who are taking advantage of these partnerships are first generation college students, the first ones in their family to attend college or university.
The partnership is supported by the $1M Federal grant awarded to the application that Avalon co-wrote with Francesca Grippa, Professor and Associate Dean of Research for CPS Undergraduate Programs. The provides 30-50 students scholarship opportunities in STEM related fields of healthcare, technology and biotech.
Avalon is herself a first-generation college grad who understands the barriers faced. “This can be a huge barrier, coupled with the fact that some students have to work full-time or are raising a family, all while pursuing their degree.” she said.
Each enriched partnership aims to be tailored to the socio demographic needs of the student body. In the case of Miami Dade Community College, the partnership aims to provide childcare to accommodate the need voiced by the prospective student body, many of whom are young mothers trying to gain professional opportunities through higher education. Wherever possible, the partnerships are funded by a third party like a state or federal grant that supports workforce development.
“This work is about building a pathway to prosperity not just for students, but also prosperity for the country because of this talented workforce that we know nothing about,” said Deb Jencunas, one of many CPS change agents at the helm of forging these community partnerships. As Director of Pathway Partnerships, Jencunas primarily works to build partnerships that support bachelor completion programs.
“Because they lack access to finance, they haven’t had the opportunity to develop professionally beyond high school or have greatly struggled to do so. What would our world look like if access wasn’t a challenge? That’s why I do this.”– Deb Jencunas
When asked why Northeastern University is so attractive to learners, Jencunas explains that CPS’s direct connection to industries and professional fields offer students an immediate benefit of a network.
Northeastern’s Alumni network is also actively supporting this model. CPS Director of Development Tara Esfahanian says, “Many of our donors are alumni, themselves once in the position of being first generation college graduates that were helped by this approach. They are usually eager and excited to give back in the same way they were given to.”
One of the most unique aspects of the funded partnership model is in the form of direct support from student academic support coaches called ‘CPS Navigators’, whose role is to walk each student through the process of onboarding into a program at Northeastern University.
Mary McCarthy, CPS Director of Strategic Partnership of Funds, seeks to activate philanthropic support from a variety of sources including federal monies, community college partnerships, corporate and foundations sponsorships, and the tremendous generosity of alumni and friends, to enable students to enter and excel in higher education.
“That support can come in many forms including endowed or current-use scholarship awards, in addition to wrap-around services that provide students with textbooks, laptops, and personnel support in the form of the Navigator role. A Navigator is a CPS employee whose responsibility is to partner with students to help them navigate the unique complexities of higher ed administration. CPS is pleased to have spearheaded this model for success, wherein A2M students have a steadfast ally in navigating the various hurdles of admissions, enrollment, matriculation, and degree completion. In different cities, student experience unique region-specific needs. The Navigator can be particularly useful in diagnosing the nuanced needs of a given region, allowing us to successfully clear those unique hurdles. While I have only been at Northeastern a short time, in my 26 years in Higher Education I have never witnessed a more robust and generous student support infrastructure.”– Mary McCarthy
Tahir Abbas is the Navigator for the MCC A2M Program Biotech who facilitates student transitions from Middlesex Community College into Northeastern University. His office is located within MCC and students can drop by to visit him.
Abbas helps at every stage of the process, from the application process all the way to placing them in a job internship and anything else in between, including aligning the student with financial assistance, helping with funding tuition, textbooks, or parking passes. Tahir also helps students determine their eligibility for financial support. For example, the MCC Tech program provides students with $5k per semester with a maximum cap of $10k per year. The typical out-of-pocket cost to students is $2-3k per semester. Sometimes, Tahir will work to find alternative funding sources to cover even that.
The navigator role is a major factor in the success of the whole approach. The value lies in specialized attention tailored to the needs of each student.
“If a student comes to me, I never send them away. Universities have complex financial aid and enrollment systems, but if students come to me, I help them figure that out. Once they trust me, they begin to believe they can accomplish bigger goals with this sort of support behind them.”– Tahir Abbas
Abbas related that the hardest part of the job can be quite labor intensive: delivering textbooks. “Sometimes our students are single parents, or pregnant, so I deliver to the house. And I don’t mind because it helps, and I like that.” Abbas continues, “The students are supposed to return those books at the end of the semester. In December, I will drive again to collect them!”
It’s all in a day’s work for the CPS team that is helping students achieve goals they never knew were possible.
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.
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
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!
2023 Graduation Speaker Tony Gomes has invested in future STEM grads
Always proud of his Husky roots, Tony Gomes, Chief Legal and Administrative Officer for Cloud Software Group, and the 2023 CPS commencement speaker, recently made a generous gift of $500,000 to the College to establish the Antonio G. Gomes and Maria Cristina De Souza Associate-to-Master’s (A2M) Scholars Fund.
Starting in the fall of 2023, this fund will support a cohort of low-income students at CPS’s Boston campus with an accelerated pathway from community college to an advanced college degree and a subsequent career in the areas of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM).
This gift will build upon the successful A2M STEM model that is already transforming the lives and careers of underrepresented students.
The Antonio G. Gomes and Maria Cristina De Souza A2M Scholars Fund will utilize Northeastern’s global network and signature experiential learning opportunities while promoting academic diversity, catalyzing a transformative educational experience, and increasing access to careers in the STEM.
The fund will award between six and ten scholarships per year for the next three years, with students being eligible to have scholarships renewed each year to ensure the cohort progresses smoothly through their academic journey. The students supported by this fund will be known as the Antonio G. Gomes and Maria Cristina De Souza Scholars.
With this gift, the couple hope to increase diversity in the work force and provide students with a strong foundation on which to launch their careers in STEM.
A Deeper Look at Northeastern’s A2M Degree Program
To address the growing need for diversity and talent in the workforce, Northeastern University established an Associate-to-Master’s degree (A2M) program in Spring 2019. In this accelerated pathway, learners earn an associate degree at a partnering community college, followed by a bachelor’s and master’s degree in STEM from Northeastern. The A2M model is highly scalable, highly replicable, and ready to be deployed across all of our Northeastern campuses.
In addition to providing structure and support for eligible low-income students as they work towards their bachelor’s and master’s degrees, the Northeastern A2M program model also prepares learners for success by providing valuable research experiences, paid internships, industry and peer mentorships, specialized advising, and other tailored academic, career, and social supports along the way.
Northeastern’s first A2M program was in Biotechnology and, to date, has served more than 150 students, with more than an 82% retention rate at the associate, bachelor’s, and master’s levels. The learners are diverse: 61% are first-generation college students, 66% are under-represented minorities in the field, and 66% are female.
The A2M program reflects Northeastern’s commitment to enabling educational equity and diversity while complementing our strategic aspirations to enable underserved students to pursue a master’s degree and reach their professional goals.
How you can make a difference
All of us here at CPS are incredibly grateful to Tony for his gift, and the vision he has behind it is one that is written into our Husky DNA. Only, we can’t do it alone, even with amazing alumni like Tony Gomes. To help us make the Antonio G. Gomes and Maria Cristina De Souza A2M Scholars Fund a permanent offering at CPS, we ask that you please consider a philanthropic investment. We at CPS invite you to join Tony and us if you believe the best way to change someone’s life is through the opportunity to receive a world-class education – while also instilling Northeastern’s distinctive approach to life and learning.
We ask you to share your excitement and enthusiasm about a Northeastern education and consider giving to or establishing a scholarship fund for future Huskies yourself.
It is through your generous support that we can make an enduring difference in the lives of promising but traditionally underserved students, building a bridge to higher education enabling learners to fulfill their full potential.
If you would like more information about scholarship opportunities, please contact Tara Esfahanian [email protected].
Taking the hate out of high school sports – “We live for empowerment.”
Northeastern University’s Center for the Study of Sport in Society and the state of Massachusetts have recently partnered on a new initiative to address hate and build a healthy, inclusive culture in school sports.
It was recently announced that Northeastern University’s Center for the Study of Sport in Society was chosen to partner with the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, the Massachusetts Interscholastic Athletic Association ( MIAA), the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (DESE), the Massachusetts School Administrators Association (MSAA), along with a host of other educational and non-profit stakeholders to conduct a series of 13 regional statewide trainings to help superintendents, principals, and athletic directors prevent and address hate and bias in school sports. The trainings began in March 2023, and are being delivered in a two-day facilitation curricular format at various locations across the state. The trainings are open to all school districts at no cost to attendees.
“People turn to us because we have a 39-year history of credibility in the training space specific to helping people embrace skill sets and toolkits to prevent violence, unpack unconscious bias and stop the proliferation of toxic speech,” explained Dan Lebowitz, Executive Director of the Center for the Study of Sport in Society at Northeastern. “We, at Sport in Society engage people in the conversations requisite to embrace their change agency to effect and sustain a culture of inclusive empowerment. In essence, through our trainings we provide people a pathway to walk the walk of doing real work, with and for real people, that leads to real outcomes with respect to creating a positive, normative culture for themselves and the communities in which they live.”
These current trainings are the next phase of “Addressing Hate in School Sports,” which began with a statewide conference in 2022, after an uptick in reported bullying, harassment, and hazing incidents across Massachusetts. The initiative spearheaded by Massachusetts Attorney General Andrea Joy Campbell is designed to provide for the equity and well-being of children by combatting bullying and harassment in schools. By engaging people through their dialogic pedagogy, Sport in Society, helps to empower school superintendents, principals, athletic directors, coaches, and other school personnel with the tools they need to address hate and to build a healthy, inclusive culture in school sports.
“Our pedagogy, our curriculum, and our safe-space approach are all designed to help vested stakeholders create the positive normative change that is equitable, inclusive, and impactful. We never enter a space or approach the work with a lens of legislating behavior, we want to create a safe space where we can facilitate a conversation and help drive change,” said Lebowitz. “We are a social impact entity that strives each day to create engagement, empowerment, and true collective betterment.”
This includes equipping participants with real-life techniques on how to identify, respond to, and eradicate unconscious bias and toxic speech. To achieve this, the Center will incorporate a “train the trainer” model, with the goal of equipping attendees with the skills and understanding necessary to embrace and learn the curriculum and bring it back to their districts to embed it within their school culture.
Northeastern University’s Center for the Study of Sport in Society
Founded in 1984, the Center uses sport as a social justice platform to make the world a better place by supporting athletes, organizations, and emerging leaders.
“These issues aren’t endemic to a particular community, it’s an epidemic in our larger society,” adds Lebowitz, who sees the role of the Center and Northeastern as powerful change agents. “I believe that Northeastern is an incredible social impact institution,” explained Lebowitz, “and part of what makes us impactful is we’re able to embrace the communities in which we live and help the people who live there to meet their own challenges with the wealth of their lived experience.”
In an age of heightened political divisiveness, and with the Center’s primary curricular focus on the importance of DEI (diversity, equity, and inclusion), Lebowitz understands that initially, some participants may enter the space of training with hesitancy. But given the keen expertise of the Center’s trainers, the response of the participants statewide has been overwhelmingly positive, and school districts have been clamoring for more training not less.
“I received an email from someone who attended a recent training, and they said they went into the room on the first day with a reluctance that measured a “negative five”. Essentially, they didn’t want to engage at all around the subject area of DEI,” recalls Lebowitz. “Yet, once they were immersed in the safety room that the trainers create, they were full and active participants and they said they left the training registering a “positive 10”.” They and their school district have since asked for additional training.
It is this individual impact, by someone simply showing up to learn, that the Center and Lebowitz believe can create systemic, sustainable change.
Lebowitz remains reverent of the amazing global platform of Northeastern and CPS. “At the end of the day, if we didn’t have champions, we would just be an entity with a cause,” notes Lebowitz. “It is the championship of Northeastern and CPS that empowers us to effect change, engage with the people we impact, and allows all the partners and stakeholders we reach in our trainings to open themselves to the possibilities and discover the intellectual promise that positive change holds – that’s the impact that really matters.”
In addition to this new partnership, the Center for the Study of Sport in Society has developed a curriculum and delivered training to Major League Baseball, for the NFL, at the South African World Cup, to every branch of the US military, for the NFLPA, to every major college conference, to police departments, community groups, and non-profits, to over 140 high schools in Massachusetts in partnership with the Attorney General and the New England Patriots Charitable Foundation, and to hundreds of other high schools; locally, nationally, and internationally.
Click here to learn more about the Center for the Study of Sport in Society, and how you can become involved. https://www.northeastern.edu/sportinsociety/about/
New Study Shows Why Companies Should Be More Strategic About Their Human Capital Management
In a new report, Human Capital Measurement and Reporting: The New Frontier in Talent Strategy and ESG, four CPS authors make the case for rethinking how companies can better manage and measure human assets.
Baseball Player Sidelined by Disability Hits Home Run With Education
After a sudden and serious medical condition ended his baseball career, Ryan Westmoreland, CPS bachelor’s student in liberal studies with a focus on leadership and business management, is reinventing himself in the sport he loves.
Curriculum Plus Experiential Learning Equal an Innovative Education
Northeastern University Toronto’s experiential learning model has greatly impressed Ontario’s minister of colleges and universities on her first visit to the campus.
Several faculty, administrators, alumni and students, including CPS master’s student Emmanuel Nsamu, met with the minister to discuss how experiential learning helps students gain necessary skills to succeed and often leads to opportunities for full time jobs, all while contributing to the economy throughout the province.