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Northeastern announces year-end award winners

Northeastern University will recognize the impressive achievements of students, faculty, and staff at the fifth annual Academic Honors Convocation, which will be held in Blackman Auditorium on Thursday, April 23 at 3 p.m.

The event honors a select few who channel their extraordinary talents into transformative research and scholarship, exceptional teaching and mentoring, and innovation in higher education—on campus and across the globe.

Here’s a comprehensive list of award-winners.

Bernard M. Gordon, H’07, will receive the Presidential Medallion, the university’s top honor

  • The award symbolizes excellence, commitment, and contribution, and is a permanent representation of the holder’s dedication to advance Northeastern. A pioneering engineer and entrepreneur, Gordon is one of Northeastern’s leading benefactors. His recent $10 million gift launched the Gordon Institute of Engineering Leadership and builds on the success of the Gordon Engineering Leadership Program, which he created with a $20 million investment in 2007. Past recipients of the Presidential Medallion include former Northeastern presidents John A. Curry and Richard M. Freeland as well as Neal F. Finnegan, BA’61, H’98, George J. Kostas, E’43, H’07, and Anthony R. Manganaro, E’67, H’08.

Fourteen undergraduates will be honored:

  • Four scholars will be recognized for earning national awards. Erin Bourque, SSH’19, will be recognized for earning a Critical Language Scholarship, a fully funded overseas language and cultural-immersion program for American students. Julia Ebert, S’15, will be recognized for earning a Marshall Scholarship, which allows up to 40 intellectually distinguished American students to study in the United Kingdom each year. Emma Kaeli, E’18, will be recognized for earning a Goldwater Scholarship, the most prestigious undergraduate science scholarship in the country. Benjamin Moran, S’18, will be recognized for earning the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s Ernest F. Hollings Undergraduate Scholarship, which supports students interested in oceanic and atmospheric science, research, technology, and education by providing two years of funding, as well as a 10-week, full-time internship with a NOAA scientist.
  • Ten students will receive university-wide awards. Three scholars—Christie Civetta, SSH’15, Neel Shah, E’15, and Lindsay Weigel, BHS’15—will receive the Harold D. Hodgkinson Award, one of the highest honors bestowed upon graduating seniors. Four rising seniors—Jonathan Gray, Logan Jackson, Sean Kerr, and Joel Shaffer, all E’16—will receive the Robert J. Shillman Award, which is presented to engineering and computer science students with the highest cumulative GPAs. Civetta—along with Katie Braggins, SSH’16, Sam Manning, SSH’15, and Marco Muzio, S’15—will also receive the designation of Presidential Global Fellow, an honor given on the basis of students’ academic standing, leadership qualities, and understanding of the importance of the global experience to their education, personal development, and career goals.

Six graduate students will be honored with Outstanding Graduate Student Awards, which are presented by the Graduate Student Government and the Office of the Provost:

  • Three students—Emily Cummins, a doctoral candidate in sociology, Bolin Hu, a doctoral candidate in electrical and computer engineering, and Sheng Li, a doctoral candidate in computer engineering—will receive the Outstanding Graduate Student Award for Research. Recipients of this award have shown their ability to conduct high-level research and make contributions to the scholarly literature in their field.
  • Leah Dickens, a doctoral student of psychology, will receive the Outstanding Graduate Student Award for Teaching. Recipients of this award have demonstrated an exceptional ability to communicate ideas and concepts in the classroom.
  • James McGrath, a doctoral candidate in English, will receive the Outstanding Graduate Student Award for Community Service Award. Recipients of this award have modeled a deep commitment to giving back to members of the greater community.
  • Charith Peris, a doctoral candidate in physics, will receive the Outstanding Graduate Student Award for Experiential Learning. Recipients of this award have show an extraordinary capacity to integrate academics and professional work, and establish themselves as emerging leaders in their field.

Eight faculty members will be honored:

  • Two faculty members— Elizabeth Dillon, professor of English, and Alessandro Vespignani, the Sternberg Distinguished University Professor, will receive the Excellence in Research and Creative Activity Award, which is presented to a full-time faculty member to honor outstanding research and creative activity of national and international significance. The president and the provost determine the award on the basis of a report submitted by a committee of five faculty members.
  • Two faculty members—Alexandros Makriyannis, professor of chemistry and pharmaceutical science, and Jonathan Tilly, professor and chair of the Department of Biology—will be appointed to the rank of University Distinguished Professor. Appointment to this rank is the highest honor Northeastern can bestow upon a faculty member.
  • Kara Swanson, associate professor of law, will be honored for being selected to deliver 2015 Robert D. Klein Lecture. The Klein Lectureship honors tenured or tenure-track faculty members who have contributed with distinction to their field of study, providing a platform for sharing the fruits of this scholarship with the university community and the general public.

Fifty-eight staff will be honored:

  • Northeastern’s snow removal team, which is comprised of 54 members, will receive the Outstanding Teamwork Award. The team braved the brutal elements to keep students, faculty, and staff safe during the recent spate of storms, removing 7,200 tons of snow and laying down more than 250,000 pounds of ice melt throughout campus.
  • Four staff members—Jane Brown, the vice president for enrollment management, Michael Dwyer, university police lieutenant, Doreen Hodgkin, associate dean of administration and student affairs in the College of Computer and Information Science, and Jonna Iacono, the director of the University Scholars Program—will receive the Outstanding Service Award, which recognizes individuals who have demonstrated a commitment to advancing the student, staff, or faculty experience. Recipients are ambassadors of the university who demonstrate extraordinary service and represent institutional excellence.

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