University honors the ‘Huntington 100’

Northeastern recognized a select group of extraordinary juniors and seniors on Thursday who were named to the “Huntington 100,” a new honor acknowledging students who have excelled in various areas across the university—from research to athletics to experiential learning.

President Joseph E. Aoun joined other university leaders and alumni to honor the group of students for their accomplishments. Aoun and others encouraged students, particularly graduating seniors, to remain in close contact with the university after graduation—either on campus or through its growing list of alumni chapters around the world.

“Wherever you are, get involved and get engaged,” Aoun said. “You will always be a Husky.”

To be considered for the Huntington 100, students had to be nominated by faculty, staff, coaches, employers, or their peers. The selection committee received several hundred nominees, with members acknowledging that the entire field was incredibly talented and accomplished.

“I’m in awe,” David Kaeli, associate dean and professor in the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering, told the students at Thursday’s reception. “I’m very proud to be a faculty member where the quality of the undergraduate students is outstanding.”

Justin White, a fifth-year computer engineering major, joined other high-achieving seniors and juniors at a reception for the “Huntington 100.”

Andre Ciliotta, an industrial engineering major, was a senior co-captain on the men’s soccer team, which won the program’s first ever Colonial Athletic Association title in 2012. That victory vaulted Northeastern to its first NCAA Tournament berth since 2002. Then, with team’s opening round tournament victory over Boston College, the Huskies set the program record for most wins in a season (14).

“It was an incredible moment for our team,” said Ciliotta, who will return to Peru after graduation to pursue a professional soccer career.

Senior Jessica Feldish reflected on how her Northeastern experience had helped shape her interest in community involvement and environmental activism. Feldish served as president of the Husky Environmental Action Team and co-founded Trash2Treasure program; the program’s members collect dorm items and clothes students might otherwise throw away in the spring, and then sell those items back to students in the fall, with the proceeds going to charity.

Feldish even sought to organize a citywide version of Trash2Treasure during her co-op at the Boston City Council, where she worked on various environmental policy issues.

The university’s signature co-op program also proved valuable for senior David Tschiegg. His co-ops included designing signage for libraries and college campuses at a design firm in Somerville, Mass., to developing print communications at a local brand and consulting firm. After graduation, he plans to use this real-world experience to pursue a career as a graphic designer in the nonprofit sector, perhaps in education or the arts.

“Early on my time at Northeastern, I realized that I wanted to help people who can make positive social change,” Tschiegg said.

Many of those students honored at the event were also acknowledged earlier in the day at Northeastern’s Academic Honors Convocation, an annual ceremony recognizing students, faculty, and staff for their achievements in areas including research, scholarship, teaching, and mentoring. Among them were students who recently received Fulbright U.S. Student Awards as well as Northeastern’s own Hodgkinson Awards, one of the highest honors bestowed upon graduating seniors.