Our Sleep Deprivation Epidemic

How one researcher is fighting to change our relationship with sleep

It was in 2017 when Kathleen Mackenzie started to notice a marked shift in how children and adolescents were showing up at school.

A senior lecturer at Northeastern University’s College of Professional Studies and an award-winning clinical social worker and coordinator of clinical and behavioral services in the New Bedford school district, Mackenzie has 33 years of experience working across all age ranges of youth.

While childhood and adolescence have always been complex years of development, there was a tipping point in 2017 where kids seemed to show up more cranky and less resilient to stressors.

But why?

Initially, Mackenzie suspected the fast-paced influx of technology into all spaces might be to blame. As more kids were on screens more hours of the day, it seemed logical that there must be some correlation between the nearly omnipresent digital world and the repercussions of challenging emotional stress in the real world. While this is true, upon further study, Mackenzie found that while technology certainly had a role to play in the breakdown of social, and emotional resilience in youth it wasn’t the root cause. The root cause was much more simple. And much more alarming.

Sleep. (Or lack thereof).

Following extensive research and study, Mackenzie found that 60% of elementary students, 97% of middle school students, and 92% of high school students are sleep-deprived. Even more concerning is that overall, 60% of youth and adults sleep 6 hours or less per night, which meets the criteria for being clinically significantly sleep-deprived.

“Sleep is essential, Sleep is supposed to happen in a certain pattern and when we miss those patterns, we lose our ability to emotionally self-regulate.”

– Kathleen Mackenzie

Advocating for Sleep

A long-time advocate of rebooting our relationship with sleep, Mackenzie’s insights into sleep deprivation amongst youth were initially published in the March 2022 issue of Psychology Today titled: Could Sleep Help End the Youth Mental Health Crisis?

More recently, she took her work into the advocacy space through an award-winning public service ad (PSA) campaign in the New Bedford public access network. That awareness campaign shed light on the impacts of sleep deprivation with tools to help reclaim necessary sleep.

Download the complete slide deck

Mackenzie then used the PSA series, which includes a total of 11 educational videos to conduct a 10-day research study and “Sleep Challenge” with elementary, middle, and high school students in the district. Each participant was required to take an anonymous pre-survey to benchmark their current sleep patterns followed by watching the main 3.5-minute video (linked below): “Sleep On It”.

Over the next 10 days, participants were asked to answer a “question of the day” related to their previous night’s sleep, watch one of the ten science-based videos about various sleep hygiene strategies (approximately 1 minute each), and record their sleep on a Google form. At the end of the survey, participants then took an anonymous post-challenge survey.

The surveys were made available in English, Spanish, Portuguese, and K’iche.

And the results were astounding.

The Power of Sleep

Over the course of the Sleep Challenge, as kids of different age groups were given tools to help them improve their quality of sleep, students who were able to adapt these tools and strategies into their sleep cycle demonstrated significant benefits. The students who tried their hardest to change their sleep patterns reported the highest level of benefits. Data from a program for students with social-emotional challenges generated even more impressive results. In fact, within only the first few days of the Sleep Challenge, behavioral outbursts in this program were reduced from multiple times per day to zero.

Much of Mackenzie’s foundational research work cites Mathew Walker’s seminal book, Why We Sleep. A renowned neuroscientist, Walker details the latest scientific findings on sleep and its impact on our mental and physical health as well as our overall well-being and capacity for essential daily functions.

“The best bridge between despair and hope is a good’s night sleep.”

– Mathew Walker

The quality of our sleep depends on two main types of sleep: REM and non-REM sleep. REM sleep is important because it helps us recalibrate and fine-tune the emotional circuits of the brain. This is also where dreams happen. Non-REM sleep allows us to experience a sensory “blackout” providing our brain the capacity to transfer short-term data and experiences into long-term memory.

When we don’t get the recommended amount of quality sleep (7-9 hours for adults, 9-11 hours for school-aged youth), we lose out on one or both of these cycles. This causes harm to our mood, our memory, and our bodily functions.

The lack of sleep doesn’t just affect youth. Despite the need for sleep, 50% of people under 30 sleep six hours or less. And while more sleep is gained as we get older, every age group suffers some form of sleep deprivation. Further, in addition to the day-to-day negative impacts sleep deprivation clearly has on our mood, emotion, and ability to respond to stress, over time prolonged lack of sleep can even lead to cancer, heart disease, as well as issues with immune and reproductive systems. In short, sleep deprivation kills.

“There is absolutely nothing better you can do to improve your health more than improving your sleep quality.”

– Mathew Walker

The tools to correct this epidemic of sleep deprivation are simple, yet difficult to maintain with regularity. These include:

Because many of us have developed deeply entrenched poor sleep habits, these simple fixes are harder to make part of our routine. Consistency, according to Mackenzie, is key to long-term healthy sleep. Even a few days of good sleep has a measurable impact on our ability to function and engage with the world around us and all the uncertainty it presents.

So, while technology may add to our bad sleep habits, distracting us from embracing some of these simple habits, the root cause of so many of our mental and physical health issues can be traced to a simple lack of sleep. And the kids in Mackenzie’s study were keenly aware of the distraction their devices caused. Many of them cited that the #1 way their parents could help them get a good night’s sleep would be to physically remove their devices from their rooms at night. So many parents are unaware of just how sleep-deprived their children are, according to Mackenzie, that they may not know that while it may be hard to enforce, it is ultimately what most kids know they need.

When we consider that sleep deprivation may be the single largest health epidemic of our time, the earlier in life we can learn proper sleeping habits, the better. All the more so this health crisis is seldom discussed on a national scale with the seriousness it deserves. But Mackenzie aims to change that.

“It’s time to take back control of our sleep, it’s time we as a nation put significant effort and resources into fixing our sleep problem. So many lives depend on it.”

– Kathleen Mackenzie

More information about Kathleen Mackenzie is available at Northeastern University’s website and more information about her recently awarded New Bedford Award PSA based on her Sleep Challenge study can be found at WBSM.

Biotech Students Move From Associate to Master’s to Employment

Linde Foundation award will ease challenges faced by learners in the final year of their studies

Amid a national workforce shortage, Northeastern’s unique Biotech A2M Scholars Program, funded by the National Science Foundation (NSF), offers accelerated pathways for students from their associate to their master’s degree in biotechnology. The NSF grant supports students in the Biotech A2M program who start at Middlesex Community College in Bedford, MA, where they earn an associate degree with courses designed to map onto the Biotechnology bachelor’s degree at Northeastern. Students then go on to earn their MS in Biotechnology within the College of Science with one additional year of coursework. An additional philanthropic gift from the Herb and Maxine Jacobs Foundation offers tuition assistance during their master’s studies at the Northeastern University College of Science. These robust scholarships bring the out-of-pocket cost to zero for these learners with demonstrated financial need, and who are eligible for federal Pell grants.

Biotechnology students in the lab

Bridging the Gap

While the Biotech A2M program has been extraordinarily successful in terms of retention and graduation rates, evidence has emerged that learners face unique challenges in their final year of studies as they seek to finish their degree and start a career.

A new grant from the Linde Foundation is set to help these students connect with employers, bridging the gap between school and jobs. The Linde Foundation grant funds the new “Degree to Career” program, helping learners finish their degrees and transition to employment in their chosen fields while also teaching soft skills essential to career advancement. Additionally, the Linde Foundation provides scholarship support for students in their last year of study, ensuring learners are able to complete their degrees without the cost of tuition as a barrier.

“The A2M programs create accessible pathways to in-demand fields with high-paying jobs,” says Dr. Liz Zulick, Director of the Lowell Institute School and Associate Dean for Research, Innovation, Discovery and Entrepreneurship at Northeastern University College of Professional Studies. “This new grant will help biotech students stay on track in their crucial final year, supporting their transition from academia to industry.”

Path to a Career

The Biotech A2M is designed for full-time, domestic students, so far serving 154 learners. Over 66% identify as underrepresented minorities in STEM, 61% as first-generation learners and 66% as female. The average age is 29.

Zulick notes that many students must work full-time while attending classes and completing coursework online and at night. Nevertheless, the Biotech A2M program boasts impressively high rates of retention and job placement. While the retention rate nationally for a Bachelor of Science degree for STEM students is 56%, according to STEM Education Data and Trends 2014 the A2M degree pathway so far has retention rates that exceed 82% at all three degree levels. And 97% of those who have earned bachelor’s degrees are now working full-time in the biotech industry or have continued on to the next degree in the pathway.

Building on the success of the Biotech A2M program, the A2M4Tech program, with support from by the Akamai Foundation, was established in 2022 to serve the same function for students seeking careers in information technology and computer science.

More Than Degrees

“Education not only provides a pathway to high-paying jobs, but also provides access to social mobility to our learners and their communities,” Zulick says. “Thanks to the National Science Foundation, the Herb and Maxine Jacobs Foundation, the Akamai Foundation, and now the Linde Foundation, we can create pathways designed for adult learners and their needs, allowing those who otherwise might not be able to afford the cost or time investment of a degree to enter the biotech and tech sectors.”

Biotechnology manufacturing is a rapidly growing industry that offers excellent career growth, but the sector faces both a shortage of skilled employees and a lack of racial and social diversity. In light of these factors, Zulick points out, the program is also a boon to employers.

“Importantly, these pathways also offer industry partners a talent pipeline that is diverse in terms of race, ethnicity, and income,” Zulick says, “which is an increasingly high priority for many employers. So, these programs are truly win-win.”

A Gift Across Generations

In funding a named scholarship, Jean A. Kovacs pays forward a debt of gratitude for the life-altering education she received at Northeastern

When Jean A. Kovacs, who graduated from Northeastern’s University College in 1983, left foster care in Wilmington, MA, at age 18, the career paths for a woman of her background looked extremely limited.

“As a female,” she told students and families at the 2022 CPS Undergraduate Scholarship Celebration, “you were either going to be a nurse or a teacher, or maybe you’d get a job as a clerk, typist, or a secretary.”

Kovacs started as a clerk-typist at a small company near Wilmington, and soon fell in love with the world of business. She knew she would need an education to rise in the field, and she started taking evening classes—marketing, computer science, accounting—at Northeastern’s Burlington campus. A few years later, thanks to the availability of evening and weekend classes, she finished her degree.

“I was learning things in class that I could then bring and apply at work, so it made the learning process so much more real for me,” Kovacs said. “My job got better, my work performance got better, but also the effort that I put into my classes got better, because I could see the application.”

“That,” she said, “is what I love about the College of Professional Studies.”

Decades later, the entrepreneur, venture capitalist, angel investor, and onetime finance major was present at the Scholarship Celebration to present the inaugural Jean A. Kovacs Scholarship, an endowment she established in 2020 to support female students interested in pursuing careers in business or STEM (science, technology, engineering and math). She has come a long way from those early days, and now she wants to pay it forward.

Jean Kovacs ’83 (third from left), Dean Radhika Seshan, Cynthia Thin, ’23 pictured with her family at the 2022 Scholarship Reception. Photo by Aram Boghosian

“My head and my heart go out to you and all the work you’ve done,” she told students. “My story is probably very similar to a lot of you.”

Among those in the room was Cynthia Thin, ’23, a finance and accounting management major and the first recipient of the Kovacs Scholarship. The daughter of Cambodian immigrants, Thin worked from a young age to support herself and her family. At 16, she recalled in the speech she gave at the reception, she was working seven days a week, even as she maintained her studies in high school.

One reason Northeastern has been such a good fit, Thin says, is that it has offered the flexibility her family needs. On a typical day, she’ll help her partner with his bakery until 7 a.m., arrive at the office by 8 a.m., work until 5 p.m. and then attend class in the evening. When she completes her degree next spring, Thin plans to enter Northeastern’s accelerated nursing program so that she can combine skills in business and healthcare to start her own beauty and wellness salon.

“I still have a lot of work to do before I can achieve that goal,” Cynthia said. “But I’m grateful to have mentors and role models to motivate me. As a recipient of the Jean A. Kovacs Scholarship, I have Jean as a role model now. It’s exactly the kind of encouragement I need. Thank you [Jean] for your generosity and example.”

Reflecting on her scholarship in her remarks at the reception, Kovacs said she was thrilled to meet Thin, and that the experience “sort of brings everything back full circle.” As she introduced Thin, she also offered her an invitation to continue the circle of giving.

“I’d also like to challenge you that in 20 or 30 years you’re up here because you’ve established the Cynthia Thin scholarship,” she said with a smile. “Congratulations.”

Gifts to support scholarships for CPS undergraduate students in any amount can be made by clicking here .

Annual Undergraduate Scholarship Reception Honors Students, Benefactors

Supporting scholarships is all about giving back. Dozens of Huskies who received scholarships to support their education—dating back to the time of University College in the 1960s—have made the choice to establish named scholarships to support future generations of students following in their footsteps. Paying it forward is a long-standing tradition at the College of Professional Studies; so, it’s no surprise that in her speech at the annual undergraduate scholarship reception on August 23, 2022, Jean Kovacs, UC’83, challenged her own named scholarship recipient to do just that in the future when she is able.

Jean Kovacs, UC'83 speaks at the 2022 CPS Scholarship Reception. Photo by Aram Boghosian
Jean Kovacs, UC’83 speaks at the 2022 CPS Scholarship Reception. Photo by Aram Boghosian

Cynthia Thin, Class of 2023, is the inaugural recipient of the Jean A. Kovacs Scholarship, an endowment that Jean established in 2020 to support female students interested in pursuing careers in business or STEM (science, technology, engineering and math). Cynthia happens to be interested in both. Once she completes her degree in Finance and Accounting Management next spring, Cynthia intends to enter Northeastern’s accelerated nursing program so that she can combine skills in business and healthcare to start her own beauty and wellness salon.

“I still have a lot of work to do before I can achieve that goal,” Cynthia said in the speech she gave at the reception. “But I’m grateful to have mentors and role models to motivate me. As a recipient of the Jean A. Kovacs Scholarship, I have Jean as a role model now. It’s exactly the kind of encouragement I need. Thank you [Jean] for your generosity and example.”

Cynthia Thin, Class of 2023, speaks at the 2022 CPS Scholarship Reception. Photo by Aram Boghosian
Cynthia Thin, Class of 2023, speaks at the 2022 CPS Scholarship Reception. Photo by Aram Boghosian

The financial benefit of a scholarship is most often compounded by the human connection and encouragement of a benefactor. “There is no doubt in my mind that Cynthia has the passion and drive to achieve the lofty goals she has set for herself, just as Jean did before her,” added Dean Radhika Seshan as she closed the annual reception.

The College of Professional Studies celebrates 224 undergraduate students who received scholarships totaling $421,000 for the 2022-2023 academic year, thanks to the generosity of alumni and friends of Northeastern.

Northeastern Food Policy Expert Honored for 30 Years of Advocacy

In the time since an E. coli outbreak took his son’s life, CPS Associate Teaching Professor Darin Detwiler has advised USDA and FDA leaders, spoken at conferences, and taught, all with one goal–to prevent more families from experiencing the same tragedy.

Novel Biomanufacturing Apprenticeship Program Helps Diversify Talent Pipeline for Life Sciences Industry

The MassBioEd Apprenticeship Biomanufacturing Program, launched in 2021, meets a significant industry demand by connecting unemployed or underemployed people to high paying, stable jobs in a growing field that is in need of diverse talent.

Northeastern’s College of Professional Studies has collaborated with MassBioEd to be the educational partner, teaching apprentices basic content in biology, chemistry, biotechnology, lab math, and more. “This innovative workforce development program pays learners to participate and guarantees a job at the end of the apprenticeship,” explains Liz Zulick, Associate Teaching Professor and Associate Dean, Research, Innovation, Development and Entrepreneurship. “Learners can continue their studies and enroll into our bachelor’s degree in biotechnology with eight credits from the apprenticeship program.”

Graduation 2021

College honors master’s and doctoral graduates, citing ‘ingenuity and resilience’, with ceremonies that emphasize service, perseverance and experiential learning.

Doctoral Hooding

A doctoral candidate gets hooded by her advisor at the September 9 doctoral hooding and graduation ceremony at Matthews Arena.

The words of Brent Musson, (Doctor of Law and Policy ’20), captured the mood at the Doctoral Hooding and Graduation Ceremony of the College of Professional Studies in Matthews Arena Sept. 9—and at the Master’s Graduation Ceremony in the same location the following day: “Humanity at its best,” the 2020 Dean’s Medal recipient said in his remarks to the successful doctoral candidates, “is humanity in gratitude.”

Gratitude was in abundance both days as faculty, administrators, students and their families—as well as friends of the College worldwide via livestream—celebrated the graduates’ achievements in the face of extraordinary challenges. Speakers at the ceremonies praised the degree recipients for their perseverance in scholarship despite a global pandemic, their passionate commitment to learning and their determination to address real-world problems in their project-based learning and research.

‘Both humility and pride’

In his opening remarks on Sept. 9, Provost and Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs David Madigan, Ph.D., welcomed the College of Professional Studies (CPS) community, expressed his faith in the graduates’ future success and his pride in their accomplishments and celebrated their membership in Northeastern’s “powerful knowledge network” dedicated to the dream of a more just and equitable society. He was followed at the podium by Interim Dean of CPS Dr. David Fields, who noted the unusual degree to which CPS students break down the barriers between work and learning.

“Our doctoral students are already fulltime professionals and leaders in their fields,” Dr. Fields observed. “In true Northeastern fashion, they are researching what they live, and living what they research, every day.”

Dr. Fields went on to explain the significance of the hooding ceremony—so-called because doctoral students traditionally have the hoods of their academic regalia lifted over their heads by faculty.

“The symbolism of the hooding ceremony at our doctoral commencement honors both the doctoral candidate’s work and the network of relationships that make that work possible,” Fields said. “[It] embodies both humility and pride, on both sides of the relationship, as faculty members welcome a new peer into their community.”

Faculty speaker Dr. Mounira Morris (B.S. ’91, M.S. ’95), assistant teaching professor and the co-lead for the Master of Education in Higher Education Administration program, offered her congratulations to the graduates and acknowledged the special challenges that had arisen during their studies, including the pandemic and the persistence of racial injustice. She quoted James Baldwin, noting his achievements as a playwright, novelist and civil rights activist: “Not everything that is faced can be changed, but nothing can be changed until it is faced.”

“To me,” Dr. Morris said, “this means that at times we will collectively endure hardship; however, we can use these experiences, especially as doctors, to offer wisdom, hope, and a better path forward.”

A longtime leader in diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI)—and currently working with colleagues at Northeastern to develop a new academic credential in DEI—Dr. Morris emphasized the power for good inherent in the attainment of an advanced degree, encouraging the graduates to find creative solutions to the challenges in their professions, communities and personal lives.

“We, as faculty,” she said, “ask that you take your research, and go out and change your world, your profession, your workplace and make it just a little bit better than before. We, as faculty, believe you can persevere and persist.  We know you can.”

Intellectual explorers

Dr. Musson, whose acceptance of the 2020 Dean’s Medal had been previously postponed due to Covid-19 precautions, suggested in his remarks that the attitude of an academic researcher is “not that of an author or maker, but rather that of an explorer.” He praised the selflessness and commitment of his peers and made a critical distinction between an undergraduate education—which, he said, “teaches a student how to learn”—and a graduate education, in which students learn “to use tools … to solve other people’s problems” and to create value, going “from inward-facing to outward-facing.”

He noted that, soon after a doctoral candidate’s academic journey begins, “we become acutely aware of what we’re signing up for; to spend the next few years engaged in the most rigorous intellectual exercise of our lives, to extract a single, pure, tiny drop of insight to ever-so-slightly raise the sea level of the ocean of human knowledge.”

And he described a moment of inspiration in what he termed a spiritual awakening: a street soccer game he had observed in West Africa more than a decade earlier, where, when a beautiful goal was scored, both teams celebrated. Drawing a parallel between the players’ selfless joy and the academic community he had found at Northeastern, Dr. Musson said, “These happy boys had purpose; and that purpose made them work together, against all odds to orchestrate a moment of greatness—a moment of pure, unselfish greatness.

“I’ve never circled a soccer field making wings with my arms,” he continued, “but research has made me part of our team, and this humbling honor is our winning goal.”

As Dr. Musson finished his speech, the audience rose to deliver a sustained standing ovation.

At the conclusion of the ceremony, Dr. Madigan returned to the stage to offer closing remarks, praising the successful doctoral candidates for their “drive, dedication and sense of purpose.”

“The world is ever changing,” he said, “but you are prepared to meet—and conquer—its challenges.”

Master’s Ceremony

844 graduates across 28 programs walked the stage at the September 10 master’s degree graduation ceremony at Matthews Arena.

‘A day full of promise’

The following afternoon, Dr. Madigan returned to welcome master’s graduates to the arena on “a day full of promise.” He praised their “clear-eyed determination, discipline and hard work,” and offered special recognition to the faculty who, he said, by guiding the graduates to success, “have strengthened a legacy of knowledge and helped shape the future in scores of fields of professional endeavor.”

Following Dr. Madigan’s remarks, Dr. Fields spoke, celebrating the graduates’ global engagement and their cultivation of “the cultural competencies needed for a lifetime of contribution in a fast-paced, diverse, global society.” He went on to emphasize the benefits of their embrace of experiential learning, noting that in so doing, they had “addressed pressing, real-world problems” and become “well-prepared to lead from experience in the workplace.”

Dr. Fiona Creed, associate teaching professor and faculty director of the Global Studies and International Relations program, next introduced student speaker Ebony Small, ’21.

Reflecting on a year of adversity, Small observed “the pandemic itself could neither make nor break us” and asked graduates to consider the ways in which the challenges of the past 18 months had taught them to know their own courage, ambition, and steadfastness.

“We did not make it to this moment merely because we just-so-happened to survive a global pandemic,” Small said. “No, we made it here because we made the choice to value education and then fiercely pursued it. My dear friends and colleagues, despite the unexpected challenges of this year, we thrived. We grew. We changed.”

“This,” she concluded, “is what it looks like to turn a choice into a change. This is what it looks like to champion growth. Congratulations.”

From humble roots to world-renowned

Following an introduction by Dr. Earlene Avalon, associate professor and lead faculty for Health Administration and Health Sciences, graduation speaker Carl H. Whittaker, a philanthropist whose life path has spanned business, engineering and music, addressed the community.

A director of the Herb and Maxine Jacobs Foundation—which supports the College’s “A2M” or “Associates to Masters” program, offering an accelerated pathway from a community college associate’s degree to a bachelor’s at the College of Professional Studies and a master’s degree in Biotechnology at Northeastern’s College of Science—Whittaker began by invoking Northeastern’s origins as a vocational school offering evening classes, run by the YMCA.

“We all know that Northeastern is now a world-renowned university, highly ranked in many fields,” Whittaker said. “But inside this world-class institution is still the legacy of that 1898 night school.”

Whittaker linked this history with Northeastern’s emphasis on internship experiences, co-ops, and other programs that connect students to “great employers and great jobs.” He applauded the graduates for their effort and creativity in juggling jobs, families, and studies, urged them to embrace the role of mentor for other aspiring scholars, and invited them to fight income inequality—as his foundation does in part by supporting scholarships at Northeastern.

“I am inviting each of you to join my fight against economic inequality by encouraging at least one or two others to join you in earning an advanced degree,” Whittaker said. “Just be ready when you see a family member or neighbor who would value your guidance. Your friendly support might be thing that leads someone to a more prosperous and fulfilling life.”

The Doctoral Hooding and Master’s Ceremony were livestreamed from Matthews Arena. Click the links below to view recordings of the ceremonies.

Watch the Ceremonies

The Doctoral Hooding and Master’s Ceremony were livestreamed from Matthews Arena. Click the links below to view the graduation pages and watch recordings of the ceremonies.

Doctoral Hooding

Master’s Ceremony

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The Pandemic Made the CPS Class of 2021 Double Down and Remain Focused

The pandemic was remembered at the College of Professional Studies’ master’s degree graduation ceremony on Friday as a unifying force that bred a kind of resilience and flexibility that allowed students to bend, but not break, under the pressure of a global health crisis.

“I Know He Would be So Proud” – Scholarship Donors Connect with Students

Written by Stephanie Krzyzewski

“Always, always be grateful to those who helped you.” These are the closing words of Marisa Lemus-Reynoso (Biotechnology, Class of 2023) as she addressed a crowded Raytheon Amphitheater at the annual College of Professional Studies undergraduate scholarship reception on the evening of August 19, 2021 on Northeastern’s Boston campus.

Marisa Lemus-Reynoso

Marissa has good reason to be thankful, as do the dozens of other students in the room. A few weeks ago, they received the news that they would be receiving additional financial aid for the 2021-2022 academic year thanks to philanthropic contributions made by alumni and friends of Northeastern.

The College of Professional Studies has more than 50 scholarship funds established and supported through philanthropy throughout the past 40 years. For the upcoming academic year, this translates to approximately $400,000 in scholarship funding being awarded to more than 200 undergraduate students. Each summer the College hosts an event on campus to celebrate scholarship recipients and recognize their generous benefactors.

Marissa Lemus-Reynoso is receiving two scholarship this year – the Charles E. and Gail A. Evirs, Jr. Scholarship and the David R. Johnson Memorial Scholarship – and her benefactors were in the room on August 19 to hear her personal story and support her academic journey.

Nancy Johnson, who spoke just before Marissa, established the David R. Johnson Memorial Scholarship in memory of her late husband in 2019 along with her sister and brother-in-law, Joan and Pete Johnson. Dave, who earned his business degree from Northeastern in 1976, passed away in June 2018, and establishing the scholarship was a way for his family to find solace in his loss.

Nancy Johnson

It was a special moment when Nancy introduced Marissa and invited her to take the stage, giving her an elbow-bump by way of welcome. Nancy had just finished sharing the story of Dave’s academic and professional journey, and you could hear her voice crack with emotion as she said, “Receiving this scholarship means Marissa’s life will forever be connected to Dave’s legacy, and I know he would be so proud of her if he’d had the chance to meet her.”

That sentiment is a tidy way to describe the purpose of this annual event – celebrating the impact of scholarships and the ability they have to transform lives and to foster lifelong connections among the Northeastern community.

College of Professional Studies Undergraduate Scholarship Program

Learn more about undergraduate scholarships at the College of Professional Studies and view photos and video from the 2021 annual reception event.

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If you have any questions about the undergraduate scholarship program at the College of Professional Studies, please contact Stephanie Krzyzewski, Director of Strategic Partnerships and Funds, at [email protected].

The COVID-19 Outbreak in India Hit Hard in His Hometown. So He Built a Hospital There.

Jason Peter, who studies project management, developed a COVID-19 hospital in Bangalore, India. Photo by Matthew Modoono/Northeastern University

CPS Project Management student Jason Peter worked through the night the past few weeks to develop a COVID-19 hospital in his native Bangalore, India — an inspiration that took form from his capstone project.

The hospital, which will be called the Rapha Care Center, will open on July 1. The five-floor building will provide 130 beds and at least four ventilators. Peter’s team hopes to treat 400 patients per month.