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Northeastern’s Beltway insiders

Over a recent six-day span, Northeastern students, faculty, and staff participated in three separate White House events that recognized contributions made in the areas of network partnerships, interfaith service, and HIV and AIDS awareness advocacy.

White House Smart Cities Forum

Daniel T. O’Brien, an assistant professor who holds joint appointments in the School of Public Policy and Urban Affairs and the School of Criminology and Criminal Justice, and Phil He, associate vice provost for graduate education, attended the White House Smart Cities Forum on Monday.

The pair represented the city of Boston and the Boston Area Research Initiative’s new partnership with the MetroLab Network. The network was recently created to convene communities and their respective colleges to work on the research and development of tools that will address urban areas’ most pressing needs.

“The MetroLab Network will be a special opportunity for the city-university collaborations being undertaken by the Boston Area Research Initiative and the city of Boston, including many involving faculty at Northeastern, to benefit from similar work being done in other cities,” O’Brien said.

O’Brien, who is the BARI’s research director, is the Boston academic community representative on the MetroLab Network’s executive committee. His research involves using Big Data—most often in the form of large administrative data sets generated by city government—in conjunction with traditional methodologies to explore the behavioral and social dynamics of urban neighborhoods.

Northeastern is among the 25 national universities that are founding members of the MetroLab Network.

President’s Interfaith and Community Service Campus Challenge Fall Gathering

Students and staff in Northeastern’s Center for Spirituality, Dialogue, and Service participated in the President’s Interfaith and Community Service Campus Challenge Fall Gathering on Sept. 10-11. The students played a particularly important role, presenting a panel titled “Race and Religion: Students Respond through Dialogue and Action.”

Joined by their peers from the University of North Florida, the students shared examples of how to respond compassionately and constructively to events such as the Boston Marathon bombings and the Charlie Hebdo attacks.

At the conference, Northeastern was also named to President Obama’s Interfaith Community Service Honor Roll.

“It was an honor to be selected to present, as well as to receive honor roll recognition,” Alexander Levering Kern, executive director of the CSDS, said in an email announcing the recognition.

CARE Act anniversary

Jean McGuire, professor of the practice in the Department of Health Sciences in the Bouvé College of Health Sciences, spoke at a Sept. 9 White House event celebrating the 25th anniversary of the signing of the Ryan White Comprehensive AIDS Resources Emergency Act.

McGuire served as the executive director of the AIDS Action Council when the CARE Act was signed into law on Aug. 18, 1990. At the time she worked to convene a diverse political coalition that succeeded in pushing Congress to pass the landmark legislation.

“The council considered the CARE Act a major success,” recalled McGuire. “It has saved many lives and built a care delivery infrastructure and clinical capacity that has endured.”

The CARE Act created the Ryan White HIV/AIDS Program, which currently provides drugs and support services to more than 500,000 people who do not have the financial resources to manage the disease.

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