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President Aoun honors student achievements

Northeastern University recognized the impressive accomplishments of a select group of students on Wednesday evening, hosting a reception in honor of the “Huntington 100.”

The ninth annual celebration acknowledged those who have excelled in the classroom and in the community, with a particular focus on research, entrepreneurship, experiential learning, and service.

Many of the high-achieving students hold leadership positions, like Student Government Association President Noah Carville, SSH’15; Student Alumni Association President Courtney Cowell, S’15; and women’s soccer captain Amy Steele, BHS’15. Some have excelled on co-op in countries across the globe, like Carlos Villalobos, DMSB’16, who picked up and moved to London to work as an invest­ment ana­lyst for Wellington Man­age­ment, and Harrison Ackerman, SSH’15, who linked up with the nonprofit organization Threads of Peru to connect the indigenous population to the global market. Others have founded startups, like Curtis Burrowes, DMSB’16, who launched CurbView, a smart parking solution; or honed their research prowess, like Theodore Bowe, S’16, a Goldwater Scholar who analyzed the nesting dis­tri­b­u­tion of weaver birds in Cape Town, South Africa; or pioneered uncharted territory, like Matt Bilotti, DMSB’15, and Caitlin Morelli, SSH’16, Northeastern’s first two Global Officers.

“You all have made an impact,” Northeastern President Joseph E. Aoun told the distinguished group of students. “You are leaders on a global level.” Flanked by faculty, staff, and several Huntington 100 members who received the honor in either of the past two years, he added, “You are now part of our future leadership. No matter where you go, you will always be Huskies.”

Many students in this elite class noted that co-op has shaped their career outlook—and helped them to secure their first full-time jobs. Matthew Clamp, CIS’15, lived the startup life, working as a software engineer for Hubspot, a company that develops and markets a software product for inbound marketing. After graduating in May, this fourth-year computer and information science major will be reconnecting with the company, whose perks include unlimited vacation and nap rooms.

“I’m graduating early because HubSpot enjoyed my work so much that they gave me a full-time job offer,” Clamp said. “Without Northeastern’s co-op program,” he noted, “I’d be graduating stressed out and looking for a job. Now I’ll be working for a company that is using cutting-edge technology in an awesome atmosphere.”

Cowell completed two co-ops with the U.S. Army Natick Research, Development, and Engineering Center, which designs and then tests new material systems for U.S. Army soldiers. She conducted textile research to ensure that soldiers have the best clothing possible, and then accepted a full-time position there beginning in May.

“I feel like I was able to make the most out of my time at Northeastern,” said Cowell, a fifth-year biochemistry major. “My co-ops helped me to learn how science is applied in the field and showed me what other opportunities are available to me after graduation,” she added, noting that she will be applying to medical school this summer.

Abdul Hafiz, SSH'15, took a selfie with President Aoun.

Abdul Hafiz, SSH’15, took a selfie with President Aoun.

Several students reflected on their leadership roles at Northeastern, noting that the lessons they’ve learned as team captains, student organization presidents, and project managers will serve them well in their future pursuits.

“I think the biggest lesson I learned as captain of the women’s soccer team is how important it is to stay positive, keep an open mind, and never give up,” said Steele, who led her Huskies to the second round of the NCAA Tournament in November. “By approaching each scenario with positivity, an open mind, and resilience, we were able to accomplish some pretty amazing feats this year.”

The fifth-year health science major will be taking her confidence and her never-quit attitude to the University of California Davis School of Medicine in the fall. Her experiential learning opportunities—including her work as a clinical research coordinator in the department of endocrinology at Brigham and Women’s Hospital and her role as the co-founder of Score to Cure Boston, which raises awareness for the financial need of families with childhood cancer—have prepared her for the next phase of her life.

“I hope to continue to be a leader in my new community and an advocate of healthy living and healthy communities,” Steele said. “I am committed to making a difference in the health of those around me in whatever shape that takes.”

As president of Northeastern’s undergraduate student body, Carville helped to establish the Social Impact Council and a student-to-student online textbook exchange. He knows that these initiatives never would have come to fruition had it not been for key collaborations across colleges and departments—a concept that he’ll be taking with him wherever he winds up.

“I know that whatever I do, I want to be in a demanding, fast-paced, team-based environment that challenges me to grow as a thinker, leader, and employee,” said Carville, a fifth-year economics major who will graduate in the fall. “I plan to satisfy those criteria wherever I go, whether it’s a tech start up, venture capital firm, or lemonade stand.”

Clamp noted that his campus leadership position played a big part in his connecting with HubSpot, his soon-to-be full-time employer. As operations chair of the Husky Ambassadors, he harnessed his computer science acumen to design a web portal for Northeastern tour guides, a project that has revolutionized the program. “I had free reign to build the application,” he explained. “Without this leadership position, I would never have secured my second co-op with HubSpot, which was impressed with the website.”

Four Huntington 100 students will be honored at the Academic Honors Convocation, which will be held in Blackman Auditorium on Thursday at 3 p.m. Christie Civetta, SSH’15, and Lindsay Weigel, BHS’15, will receive the Harold D. Hodgkinson Award, one of the highest honors bestowed upon graduating seniors; Civetta—along with Katie Braggins, SSH’16, 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.

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