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Institutional Accomplishments 2015 - Northeastern University

Excellence By Intention

Our Mission

To educate students for a life of fulfillment and accomplishment

To create and translate knowledge to meet global and societal needs

Strategy For Excellence

"Northeastern has pursued a strategy of building excellence across every dimension of the university. Our strategy is validated by strong recognition and awards. It energizes our determination to keep moving forward."

» President Joseph E. Aoun

Any display of mastery—the pitch-perfect aria, the swift checkmate, the winning goal—is the product of intent. Though the act may seem effortless and light, it’s the heavy sum of practice, will, and talent. This intentional excellence is what powers the achievements of the extraordinary students, world-class faculty, and dedicated staff of Northeastern, as the facts in this booklet amply demonstrate.

As you read about Northeastern’s progress this year, remember that great accomplishments are rarely accidental. Rather, the pathways to success are deliberately mapped. By expanding our global reach, elevating our research enterprise, and building even stronger relationships with our employer and industry partners, Northeastern’s position has never been stronger. Above all, by focusing on learning designed for the 21st century, we continue to be the world leader in global experiential learning.

Each year, Northeastern broadens its impact in the world and empowers students to build lives of lasting accomplishment. And each year, the passion of our university community and global alumni network makes this happen. Thank you.


Joseph E. Aoun


» One of the latest additions to Northeastern’s Public Art Initiative represents the fusion of art and science, says Los Angeles-based mural artist El Mac, son of a 1974 engineering alumnus.

Northeastern’s distinctive array of learning opportunities prepare our diverse community of accomplished and engaged students for success in a high-velocity world.

Experiential Opportunities In


"This experience reinforced my love for space exploration and gave me a different view on how to approach problems that seem insurmountable.”

Watch Emma describe her experience helping to design a spacecraft

Students Abroad

3,252 undergraduates had a global learning experience in 2014–2015


10,395placements in
up from
6,301 in 2006–2007

Co-Op Employers

3,165in the U.S. and around the world

Undergraduate Applications
Top Tenth

70% of incoming freshmen were ranked in the top 10% of their class in 2015, up from 38% in 2006

SAT Scores

Mean two-part SAT scores for incoming freshmen, 2006 through 2015

Student Aid Up

97%increase in Northeastern financial aid since 2006

Grants Not Loans
Student Diversity

48%increase in students of color, fall 2015 freshmen vs. fall 2006 freshmen

353%increase in international students, fall 2015 freshmen vs. fall 2006 freshmen

"There are so many people I’ve met here, from Brazil, Colombia, Argentina, and other places. Northeastern is a warm and welcoming place for everyone from all over the world.”

Engaged Students

16,530participated in at least one of more than 350 campus organizations

Service Hours

1.4M+hours of student community service since 2006

Scholar Athletes

52varsity student-athletes earned “Top Dog” accolades, with spring semester GPAs of 3.8 or higher

111varsity student-athletes made the Dean’s List with GPAs of at least 3.5 in the 2015 spring semester


» The men’s basketball team reached the NCAA tournament for the first time since 1991, winning 23 games and the CAA tournament title.

» The university captured seven CAA championships in all, the most since the Huskies joined the conference in 2005–2006.

» Four student-athletes were named All-Americans: Kendall Coyne, Paul Duffey, Emma Lamison, and Kevin Roy.

» Men’s rowing advanced to the Grand Final of the 2015 IRA Championships for the second time in three seasons. Women’s rowing captured its second straight CAA championship and advanced to the NCAA championships.

Employed Or In Grad School

90% of our graduates are employed full time or enrolled in graduate school within nine months of graduation

Jobs In Their Major

89%of 2014 graduates who are employed full time are doing work related to their major

Co-op To Career

50%of 2014 graduates received a job offer from a previous co-op employer

Graduation Rate

84%Northeastern’s six-year graduation rate in 2014, up 19 percentage points since 2006

"I believe that anyone can do whatever they dream of doing. Engineering is challenging, but once you’ve set your mind to it, and with the amazing support that Northeastern provides, the work is so much easier.”

Learn about Claudia’s life-changing co-ops in engineering


» A global expert in network science, Albert-László Barabási is on a quest to construct the human “diseasome”—the sum of all human diseases and ways they relate to one another genetically.

Through a strategic initiative designed to make Northeastern an educational and research powerhouse in select fields, the university has added more than 500 accomplished faculty over the past nine years.

New Faculty

502tenured and tenure-track faculty hires since 2006

Academic Leadership

Our deans bring creative vision and innovative thinking to their schools and colleges.

Nadine Aubry

College of Engineering

Carla Brodley

College of Computer and Information Science

Hugh Courtney

D'Amore-McKim School of Business

Elizabeth Hudson

College of Arts, Media and Design

John LaBrie

College of Professional Studies

Jeremy Paul

School of Law

Uta Poiger

College of Social Studies and Humanities

John Reynolds

(Interim) Bouvé College of Health Sciences

Jonathan Tilly

(Interim) College of Science

"Northeastern is an outstanding institution that is willing to break down academia’s traditional dichotomies and really look at what higher education will need to be in the future."

Interdisciplinary Faculty

Many of the 502 faculty who have joined Northeastern over the past nine years have joint appointments across multiple colleges—advancing the university’s commitment to interdisciplinary learning.

New Programs

126undergraduate and graduate areas of study in emerging fields added since 2006

"Our research is uncovering mechanisms by which the blood vessel wall coating, called glycocalyx, promotes vascular health. That understanding can help us develop new tools to deal with vascular disease.”

Honors and Recognition

» Michael B. Silevitch, the Robert D. Black Professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering, and Simon Pitts, director of the Gordon Engineering Leadership Institute, received the 2015 Bernard M. Gordon Prize for Education from the National Academy of Engineering.

» Casper Harteveld, assistant professor of game design, was selected for a National Science Foundation-funded fellowship program, Enabling the Next Generation of Hazards and Disasters Researchers.

» Professor of Nursing Barbara Guthrie was honored with the Association of Black Nursing Faculty’s Lifetime Achievement in Education and Research Award.

» Matthews Distinguished University Professor of Law Karl E. Klare received an honorary doctorate in law from the University of Pretoria in recognition of his preeminent scholarship in critical legal theory.

» Neal Lerner, associate professor of English and the Writing Program director, accepted the CCCC Writing Program Certificate of Excellence from the Conference on College Composition and Communication on behalf of the university’s writing program.

» Amy Briesch, associate professor of counseling and applied psychology, received the Lightner Witmer Early Career Award from the American Psychological Association’s School Psychology Division.

» Associate Professor Yun Raymond Fu, who holds joint appointments in electrical and computer engineering and computer science, was awarded the 2016 Outstanding Early Career Award from the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers’ Computational Intelligence Society.

» Associate Professor of Civil and Environmental Engineering Mehrdad Sasani was named a Fellow of the American Society of Civil Engineers.

» Associate Professor of Physics Latika Menon, an expert in experimental nanophysics, was named a Fellow of the Institute of Physics.

Star Scholars

A record number of Northeastern professors were recognized with National Science Foundation CAREER Awards, the NSF’s top award for junior faculty.

» Amal Ahmed , assistant professor of computer science

» Kaushik Chowdhury , associate professor of electrical and computer engineering

» Matthew Eckelman , assistant professor of civil and environmental engineering

» Ningfang Mi , assistant professor of electrical and computer engineering

» Marvin Onabajo , assistant professor of electrical and computer engineering

» Yizhou Sun , assistant professor of computer and information science

» Ke Zhang , assistant professor of chemistry and chemical biology

"If you go back just 20 years, ‘innovation’ was a word used mostly by those in R&D departments. Today, it is a word commonly used by most executives in senior management positions.”


» The Nano-Ops Laboratory in the Kostas Research Institute, at Northeastern’s Innovation Campus in Burlington, Massachusetts, is developing a nanofabricated assembly tool for printing semiconductor wafers.

Northeastern’s use-inspired research enterprise develops solutions to the grand challenges of our time through an approach that is interdisciplinary and relentlessly inventive.


$127.5Min 2014–2015

"We needed a dramatically new method. We realized the perfect medium already exists in nature, in the very environment where these organisms grow. It was a simple idea, but for some reason, other people hadn’t tried it.”



since 2006

Increase in annual research funding since 2006–2007

Spinout Companies

formed by faculty and students
in the past six years, including
nine in 2014–2015



invention disclosures formally identifying a new approach to a problem in 2014–2015

Patent Applications


filed in 2014–2015 by faculty and students, up from 70 in 2006

Research Highlights

» Electrical and computer engineering professors Octavia Camps and Mario Sznaier created a sensing technology that, in preliminary tests, showed great promise for improving airport security.

» A Puerto Rico-based center led by George A. Snell Professor of Civil and Environmental Engineering Akram Alshawabkeh received a $13.5 million grant to research links between water quality and the island’s high preterm birth rate.

» Physics professor Alessandro Vespignani created an epidemic model that alerted global health officials that the Ebola outbreak in West Africa would spread rapidly worldwide without a more coordinated response.

» Biology professors Kim Lewis and Slava Epstein achieved major breakthroughs by creating a device to grow previously uncultivable bacteria, and discovering a powerful new antibiotic using the device.

» A new fertility treatment pioneered by biology professor Jonathan Tilly and a company he co-founded, OvaScience, led to the birth of a baby boy, Zain Rajani, in Canada.

"Getting different languages to come together, and to do that in the context of compiler correctness, is very, very hard.”

Innovation in Education

» The Charlotte campus—one of four Northeastern campuses nationwide—expanded its degree options in 2015, and now offers five additional master’s programs in fields tied to industry needs.

The university has designed a new model for higher education built on industry and academic partnerships and the values of experiential learning and entrepreneurship.


4 locations in the U.S. where working professionals can get a graduate professional degree from Northeastern aligned with employer needs.

Graduate Programs

online and on-campus advanced degree programs and certificates offered in Boston and at campuses in Charlotte, Seattle, and Silicon Valley.

The Global Network

Experiential learning partnerships fuel Northeastern’s network of business leaders, alumni, and students in more than 180 countries—and make the university’s online degree programs unique.


3,100+ businesses and nonprofits are part of the Northeastern network as co-op and research partners


a worldwide community of professionals and engaged citizens in 186 countries

Alumni Support

» Alumni, parents, and students attended a March event in Dubai for Empower, the campaign to raise $1 billion by 2017 for experiential education, faculty recruitment, and innovation in emerging fields.

The Empower campaign is energizing alumni, parents, and friends in support of Northeastern’s transformative vision for higher learning and knowledge discovery.

Record Giving Year

$81.8M raised in 2014–2015, bringing the campaign total to $475 million as of June 30


86,538 individuals have supported the Empower campaign, as well as 3,263 organizational donors

"The Empower campaign’s success mirrors the ongoing success of Northeastern. People are seeing this university soar, and they want to do whatever they can to fuel its ascent.”

Parent Giving

$22.5M in 2015

Global Giving

8 gifts totaling $20.5 million from international donors

$1M+ Gifts

18 in 2015 up from 6 in 2008

Giving Synergy

Northeastern alumnus and benefactor George J. Kostas, E’43, H’07, offers a powerful example of how research philanthropy ripples through the university.

George J. Kostas Research Institute for Homeland Security

Imaging equipment to develop super magnets without rare earth metals

When we launched Empower: The Campaign for Northeastern two years ago, the university community—alumni, parents, friends—took on a challenge: “Who will you empower?”

» Empowered to Shape the Economy
Marc Meyer, PNT’18, and Samuel Altschuler, DMSB’58

Sam Altschuler, successful business leader and innovator, and Marc Meyer, the Robert J. Shillman Professor of Entrepreneurship, endowed the six-month, paid co-op position of CEO at IDEA, the student-run venture accelerator.

» Empowered to Ignite Social Change
Khaled and Olfat Juffali, PNT’14, PNT’17

The Khaled and Olfat Juffali Directorship of the Social Impact Lab is advancing lab director Rebecca Riccio’s pioneering programs in experiential education.

» Empowered to Soar in Both Life and Career
Janet Bullard, MBA’78

Janet Bullard wants to empower tomorrow’s business leaders with a generous provision in her will to fund a distinguished professorship, an endowed scholarship, and an international co-op stipend.

» Empowered to Advance Family Business Worldwide
Pierre and Maya Choueiri, PNT’17, PNT’20

The Pierre Choueiri Family Fund for Global Family Enterprise supports programs in leadership, entrepreneurship, and innovation in one of the most understudied yet important fields in the business world.

» Empowered to Explore Boston’s History
Stephen Mindich

As owner of The Boston Phoenix newspaper, Stephen Mindich recently donated its archives—a treasure trove of Boston history—to Northeastern’s Snell Library, to be digitized and researched for generations to come.

» Foundations for Research

Prestigious national foundations are increasing support for Northeastern’s research enterprises.

» The Henry L. and Grace Doherty Charitable Foundation Inc. gave $1.5 million to endow the Doherty Chair in Marine and Environmental Sciences.

» The W.M. Keck Foundation granted $1 million to fund the nanotechnology research of Professor Nian Sun.

» The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation gave $500,000 to support the NULab for Texts, Maps, and Networks, Northeastern’s center for digital humanities and computational social science.

Alumni Engagement

15,715 alumni, students, and parents attended at least one event in 2014–2015

"Every time I go back to campus, I feel rejuvenated. I learn something new that makes me excited to be a part of the Northeastern community and will help me be more successful in my career.”

Countries Alumni Call Home

186in 2014–2015

International Alumni Communities
New Ways to Connect

new programs and events were offered by Alumni Relations in 2014–2015, including:

» Global volunteer service engagement month

» 13 outreach programs to engage alumni from Northeastern’s nine colleges and schools

» Five webinars focused on professional development

» Events in Hong Kong, China, Singapore, and other international sites

» Northeastern Circuits, a cluster of employer-based networking groups

» 10 career management programs

» Commencement Fest, an event celebrating the achievements of soon-to-be graduates

» Three programs to engage alumni at regional campuses in Seattle, Charlotte, and Silicon Valley


Northeastern’s unprecedented momentum is the result of design—of a distinctive educational model that focuses on the world beyond the campus, and of a strategy to evolve that model for a new century.

Higher Education Reimagined

Led by President Joseph E. Aoun, Northeastern University has built upon national opinion surveys and panel discussions among thought leaders in business, public policy, and education to illuminate the changing demands on higher education, and how colleges and universities can best meet those demands.

President Aoun has focused the national conversation on such topics as:

» The relevance of the liberal arts and the role of experiential learning in reinvigorating study in the humanities and social sciences

» The need for public policy to catch up with the realities of the global economy by treating higher education as lifelong learning

» Society’s obligation to embrace innovations in teaching and learning that make higher education more affordable and accessible



The Princeton Review ranked Northeastern one of the top 24 universities in the country for budding entrepreneurs.

Career Services


The Princeton Review ranked Northeastern’s career services No. 2 in the nation, the eighth consecutive year that our career services have ranked in the top four.

U.S. News
Top 50

Northeastern has been ranked among the top 50 national universities for three consecutive years.

Media Magnet

Increase in media coverage of Northeastern’s faculty research, based on number of media “mentions” per fiscal year

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© 2012 Northeastern University

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