To all members of the Northeastern community:

Please join me in celebrating our students and faculty who have achieved the highest levels of distinction in scholarship, teaching, and service in an academic year of unimaginable obstacles. Their accomplishments would be impressive at any moment in time. But this year has presented almost daily challenges to the very qualities that make us resilient problem solvers: human capacities such as creativity, empathy, teamwork, and communication.

Beyond the breadth and depth of their knowledge and skill, they bring an unflagging commitment to the transformative impact of global learning and discovery. This commitment has never been more essential.

The following are just some of the many Northeastern students and faculty who have earned recognition for their outstanding achievements this year. We invite you to learn about all our honorees here.

Northeastern’s seven Fulbright award winners—Lydia CleavelandTyler GogalShellaina GordonConnor HolmesJacob KaplanSagi Ravid, and Joseph Schmitt—will immerse themselves in challenging global experiences; they will be teaching, studying, or conducting research in countries ranging from Iceland and Spain to Taiwan and Australia.  

Sabrina BondSpencer Jacobs-Skolik, and Cameron Young are winners of the prestigious Barry Goldwater Scholarship, recognizing undergraduate students for outstanding achievement in research. All three plan to earn MD/PhD degrees: Sabrina in a neuroscience lab integrating biology, engineering, and physics; Spencer in machine learning focused on neuroengineering; and Cameron in biomedical engineering for personalized cancer therapeutics.

These undergraduate and graduate students won highly competitive National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowships: Ilayda AlkislarRiley BannonKenneth Theodore CarrMichael EckJennifer GarlandJackson GriffithsRachelle HuntIsabel KainDavid LiuLauren MinerSydney MorrisTatiana RothchildNicholas O’HareJameson O’ReillyMorgan PfaffDiego RiveraRachel ShapiroNathaniel SilviaKristian TeichertEvan Toth, and Erica Wagner.

Kerry EllerConnor Holmes, and Abigale Purvis, winners of the Harold D. Hodgkinson Award—Northeastern’s top undergraduate honor—have achieved inside and outside the classroom through their commitment to the common good; Kerry and Connor in advancing global health, and Abigale in community-centered environmental resilience.

Northeastern’s Outstanding Graduate Student Award winners—Katherine McDonald, Zoë Harris, Puneet Kundu, Theresa Davenport, Zaid Khan, Cara Messina, and Everlyne Kimani—have displayed superior capacity in the varied demands of graduate study, from committed teaching and leading-edge research to inspirational leadership and the effective integration of technological, data, and human literacies.

Our faculty honorees are shaping the future by setting new standards of excellence for interdisciplinary, use-inspired research, and mentoring and teaching that prepares learners to solve global challenges.

 John Engen and Woodrow Hartzog are the winners of Northeastern’s Excellence in Research and Creative Activity Award. John is a world leader in the advancement of hydrogen-deuterium exchange mass spectrometry to characterize protein dynamics. Woodrow is a renowned scholar in privacy law and policy related to artificial intelligence and the media.

Our University Excellence in Teaching Award winners, Melissa McElligott and Elena Strange, combine inspirational teaching methods with a facility for creative curriculum development; Melissa in biology and Elena in computer science.

These honorees represent the best of Northeastern. They have proven to be resilient creators and innovators, connecting across disciplines and cultures to make the world better for all humankind. Please join me in congratulating them.


Joseph E. Aoun