Sudhamshu Vidyananda

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

College is hard. Balancing all the demands and responsibilities can be challenging. How did you approach those challenges and what did it teach you?

Balancing academics with personal responsibilities is indeed a challenge. The main challenge that I faced was to manage my time effectively between studies, work commitments, and personal life. To overcome such challenges, I made sure to set my priorities and set a structured schedule that allocates time for each responsibility.

I utilized tools like digital calendars for time management, participating in study groups for collaborative learning, and practicing self-care to maintain mental health. It’s also important to stay flexible and adapt to changing circumstances, seeking support from university resources, such as counseling services or academic advisors, when necessary.

Why did you choose Northeastern?

The reason I chose to join Northeastern community is its strong academic reputation, its emphasis on experiential learning and co-op programs, and its vibrant, diverse community. Since joining, opportunities that I have experienced were networking with industry professionals, engaging in research, and accessing a broad range of extracurriculars.

Challenges that I experienced were adapting to the competitive environment, navigating a large institution, and balancing course loads with practical experiences. The key is to leverage the support systems and resources that Northeastern provides, from career services to student organizations, to maximize both personal growth and professional development.

What has your journey at Northeastern revealed to you about yourself?

Northeastern can often be a period of significant growth and self-discovery for many students. It can reveal a person’s resilience in facing academic and life challenges, unveil previously untapped interests or talents, and deepen one’s commitment to lifelong learning.

My journey at Northeastern has helped me to be more resilient, adaptable and to move from my comfort zone. I learnt more about my strengths and how to face the world in a more disciplined way.

Do you have any advice for other current or prospective students?

The advice I can give is if you dream it, you can do it. If this is what you want to do for yourself, then go for it. Don’t just do it because all are doing, it should come from within and should interest you. If yes, there is no stopping.

Tell us a bit about yourself outside of school and work. What do you enjoy to do?

I love to dance. Dance is my other and living passion. I definitely find joy in dancing. I have taken part in numerous dance events at northeastern and it has made me happy than ever. I love when the crowd cheers for you. You know you are doing something great.

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.

The Art of AI and Storytelling

How CPS’s Digital Media department is leading human-powered creativity using artificial intelligence.

The power of story is an essential part of human existence. As relational beings, we have been connecting through story since the cave drawings of our Neanderthal forebearers 64,000 years ago.

And while we have come a long way since over the millennia, our need to express our identity, our thinking, our lived experience is unwavering. Yet each time a new tool in sharing our story emerges, it is fraught with fear.

Change has always been a part of the human story. And it has always been scary.

Enter Artificial Intelligence (AI) and the alarms once more are sounding.

But according to Cynthia Baron, the Academic Director of the Digital Media graduate programs in the College of Professional Studies, fear of AI is as absurd as the fear of photography.

“As we embrace new technologies like AI in the field of digital media, there is a fear of losing certain skills or jobs. But I believe AI can enhance creativity and idea generation rather than replace human intelligence. By using AI tools creatively and thoughtfully, individuals can set themselves apart in a competitive digital media landscape.”

Cynthia Baron

Because Baron sees so much value in AI, she has integrated it into the curriculum of the Digital Media master’s program, requiring students to create interactive pieces using AI as part of their final project in an advanced storytelling class. Providing students with a list of AI tools, she encourages them to not only create visual elements using AI but also document their process.

AI, like any tool, has its limitations and can make mistakes. However, it can also be a valuable resource for students, particularly those whose first language is not English. AI can help them with language barriers and refine their writing and thinking processes.

One of the more powerful aspects of AI in this regard is to refine the ability to ask good questions. According to Baron, the specific prompts that are inputted into any AI generator will dramatically shift the outcome. In one of her earlier experiments working with students and AI, Baron introduced them to online image creation tools and emphasized the importance of using them creatively beyond just stock images.

While AI may have some drawbacks, such as biases and mistakes, its potential to assist in idea generation and execution is valuable. The key is to ask the right questions, have a deep knowledge of art styles, and be able to iterate quickly.

AI isn’t going anywhere. And as technology continues to evolve, individuals must adapt and continue to learn in order to stay competitive in the digital media industry.

In the face of technological advancements, we must not fear the future. We must embrace it as an opportunity for growth and improvement. AI may change the way we work in digital media, but as Baron notes, it has the potential to help more people generate unique ideas. It is up to us to use AI as a tool to enhance our skills and stand out in a constantly evolving industry.

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.

Emerging research reveals the blurred lines between humans and technology

Using cutting-edge data and analysis, this new book shares the impact of our rapidly growing digitized society.

These new insights into human behavior are just some of the examples coming out of a recently published book detailing the impact of our digitized society. In the increasingly blurred lines between our engagement via technology versus in person, surprising insights are starting to emerge about the power of both language and medium to predict behavior and outcomes.

Northeastern University’s College of Professional Studies Associate Dean of Research, Francesca Grippa, is the co-editor of a recently published book on social computing. The Handbook of Social Computing reveals the intricate patterns of interaction between individuals, machines, and organizations.

Grippa, an expert in digital collaboration tools, human computer interaction and social network analysis, is on the frontlines of research that seeks to explore the shifting landscape of our relationship with technology.

In this most recently published book, she collaborated with a global network of peers from MIT, University of Perugia (Italy) and Kozminski University (Poland).

“The impact of our digitized society on social behavior is accelerating as we adopt new technologies across all areas of our lives,” Grippa said. “We must study the effects of human-machine interaction as they happen in order to comprehend the gains, losses, biases introduced, and the influence on decision-making processes.”

Francesca Grippa

The book covers computer science, AI, sociology, and psychology, exploring social computing from all angles. Delving into social networks, algorithmic decision-making, ethical implications of AI, data privacy, and more, The Handbook showcases how digital technologies can analyze social behavior, interaction patterns, and enhance daily life, making it essential for students, scholars, and professionals in the field of human dynamics and social network analysis.

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 

Faces of CPS: Minhyung Jung

True to my expectations, I was able to take diverse and specialized classes at Northeastern and gain hands-on experience collaborating with real companies.”

Hailing from the bustling streets of Boston, Minhyung Jung unveils his odyssey through Northeastern University, navigating the labyrinth of academia as a first-generation graduate student.

Connections: Linkedin, Instagram and Youtube

Faces of CPS: Kristin Chan

Hailing from Boston, Kristin Chan illuminates her Northeastern University voyage, balancing the rigors of academia with full-time employment, while championing community engagement.

Whether it’s addressing social issues, celebrating diversity and cultural heritage, or providing access to resources, the people I’ve met at Northeastern are inspiring change-makers.”

Connections: Instagram

Faces of CPS: Chin-Hua Pan

Hailing from Taiwan, Chin-Hua Pan, embarks on a life-changing odyssey at Northeastern, transcending language barriers with confidence and fueled by a passion for UX design.

Embracing this newfound confidence, I actively sought out new experiences at Northeastern. I didn’t shy away from unfamiliar territory, and the resulting achievements further solidified my belief in my abilities.”

Connections: Linkedin

Faces of CPS: Sudhamshu Vidyananda

My journey at Northeastern has helped me to be more resilient, adaptable and to move from my comfort zone. I learnt more about my strengths and how to face the world in a more disciplined way.”

Hailing from Mangalore, Sudhamshu Vidyananda, is embraced by Boston, epitomizes resilience and innovation in his Northeastern journey.

Connections: Linkedin

Faces of CPS: Kartika Ahire

If I have to reflect on the journey at Northeastern, I will say that Resilience, Connections, and Adaptability skills helped me understand myself more.”

Hailing from Nashik, India, Kartika Ahire embraces the diverse and collaborative spirit of Northeastern, forging a path of resilience and adaptability in pursuing Regulatory Affairs, while finding solace in Boston’s vibrant culture and natural beauty.

Connections: Instagram

Faces of CPS: Godfred Afriyie Owusu

Hailing from Ghana and making Boston home, Godfred Afriyie Owusu exemplifies unwavering determination at Northeastern, transcending obstacles with a stubborn commitment to his dreams, fostering innovation in project management.

Your dream about what you can make out of Northeastern should be higher than the obstacles you will face while at Northeastern or elsewhere.”

Connections: Facebook, Instagram, Tiktok, and Twitter

Faces of CPS: Harshal Randad

Hailing from India, Harshal Randad emerges as a transformative force at Northeastern, embodying resilience and seizing opportunities while mastering Project Management, driven by a vision of global impact and continuous growth.

Northeastern University stood out to me for its exceptional course structure and Co-op program, which were among the many factors influencing my decision to attend.”

Connections: Linkedin, Facebook, and Instagram

Faces of CPS: Swapnesh Tiwari

The varied experiences at Northeastern, especially as a student ambassador, including interacting with a diverse student body and participating in global experiences, teach adaptability.”

Hailing from India, Swapnesh Satishkumar Tiwari navigates the complexities of academia at Northeastern with reflective insight, leveraging collaborative learning and resilience, carving a path toward healthcare innovation and professional success.

Connections: Facebook

Faces of CPS: Alessandro Zampi

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).”

Hailing from diverse locales like London, New York, and Boston, Alessandro Zampi won 2024 Staff Excellence Award. A current graduate student in Analytics and Staff Operations Analyst, his dedication enriches both academia and operations.

Connections: Linkedin and Instagram

Faces of CPS: Suqi (Eileen) Wu

Hailing from China, Suqi (Eileen) Wu embodies innovation and creativity. As an alumna of the 2023 MS Digital Media program, she excels as a Product and UX Designer, shaping impactful user experiences globally.

The co-op program and the experiential learning opportunities, I made lots of friends and became a more professional designer because of this experience.”

Connections: Linkedin and Instagram

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

Faces of CPS: Anthony Alsayed

I was also attracted by the university values and the organizational culture and felt inspired by its leaders and the mission that was based on practical training and research.”

Hailing from Toronto, Anthony Alsayed is the recipient of the 2024 Excellence in Teaching Award, bringing his expertise as a part-time lecturer, enriching students’ learning experiences.

Connections: Linkedin and Facebook

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-gen 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 & ensuring the well-being of individuals.”

Connections: Linkedin

Faces of CPS: Oduenyi Uga

Hailing from Boston having Nigerian-American roots, Oduenyi Uga, shares a transformative journey at Northeastern University, overcoming academic challenges while thriving in the digital communication and media realm.

My journey at Northeastern University has been a profound revelation of my own capabilities and passions. It has underscored the belief that there truly are no limits to what I can achieve when I seize opportunities and commit wholeheartedly.”

Connections: Linkedin, Instagram, and Youtube.

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!!!

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

The What.

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

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

Call for Proposals

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

We will select proposals for sessions that:

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

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

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