Northeastern’s incredible momentum continues in 2012, and I want to share just a few examples of the exciting events and trends that contribute to the vitality of our University. Some may be familiar to you; you may be hearing about others for the first time. I encourage you to learn more and to create and share your own lists of special Northeastern events with colleagues and friends in and beyond our campus.

  1. On February 15, our student-led venture accelerator, IDEA, will hold its next NEXPO, showcasing more than 20 business ventures from its portfolio of about 50 companies to 450-500 attendees. IDEA and our Entrepreneurs Club are key elements of Northeastern’s innovation and entrepreneurial ecosystem, which is fueled by our Center for Research Innovation and our faculty.
  2. Three new exhibits this spring—two in Gallery 360, one in Curry Student Center, feature works of art by students and faculty, contributing to the growing presentation of art on campus—both indoors and out. And while you’re walking by Cabot, be sure to take a look at the portraits of athletes in motion, created by our in-house design team.
  3. 2011 was a banner year for student and faculty research, and 2012 promises to be even better.  For up to date news on Northeastern research, look for a new research website to be launched in February. And this year’s Research Innovation and Scholarship Expo (RISE) on March 29 will showcase student work, with extended hours and broader representation from across the university. Awards will be given for research excellence, high impact innovation, and entrepreneurial potential in addition to the top scoring in each category.
  4. Northeastern Students4Giving is helping to build a culture of giving on and off campus through experiential learning and community engagement. This unique, nationally recognized philanthropy education program will make a new round of grants in April to organizations in nearby neighborhoods and gives students a personal experience of ways in which philanthropy can help transform institutions.
  5. Northeastern is increasingly interdisciplinary. For the 2011-2012  academic year, enrollment in dual majors increased by 20% with significant jumps in areas aligned with global trends, such as computer science/game design and human services/international affairs. And in 2012, each College is exploring new opportunities for joint programs and pursuing outstanding interdisciplinary faculty hires in key areas such as game design, health informatics, and cybersecurity.
  6. Students are on the move, around the globe– from South America to Asia, and from Europe to Africa. This month, 200 students returned from co-ops in more than 60 countries, and another 200 are on their way. Their experiences range from a finance position at IBM in the Philippines to work with the Uganda Cancer Institute, a stint with the Ritz Carlton in Jakarta, and physics research in Geneva. More than 1,000 students are gearing up to take their classes abroad this summer in Dialogue of Civilizations programs.

Please join me this year in celebrating the achievements of our community, participating in these events,  and passing on the good news.

With best wishes for a happy and healthy 2012.


Joseph E. Aoun