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Meet the co-op coordinator who’s helped thousands of students find their path

Photo: Lorraine Mountain, the assistant dean for cooperative education for the College of Engineering, has received a national award in honor of her distinguished contributions to experiential education over the past 17 years. Photo by Matthew Modoono/Northeastern University

On the fifth floor of Holmes Hall, Lorraine Mountain is working with one goal in mind: to help engineering students find the perfect co-op.

As the assistant dean for cooperative education for the College of Engineering, Mountain leads a team of 35 faculty and staff who are dedicated to connecting students with employers all over the world.

“My favorite part of working in this role is the opportunity to work with students and help them determine the best path,” said Mountain, who recently received a national award from the American Society for Engineering Education in honor of her outstanding contributions to cooperative education. “I find that to be exceptionally rewarding.”

Mountain is the third Northeastern staff member to receive the Alvah K. Borman Award, which is named after a former Northeastern dean of graduate placement services who died in 1979.

“It really means a lot to be recognized by my peers and other institutions for the breadth and length of experience that I’ve had at Northeastern,” said Mountain, who began working at Northeastern in 2001.

“My favorite part of working in this role is the opportunity to work with students and help them determine the best path. I find that to be exceptionally rewarding.”

Lorraine Mountain assistant dean of the College of Engineering

Mountain started by working with students one-on-one to help them find co-op jobs that best suited their interests. Now she is helping to expand Northeastern’s international co-op program in the College of Engineering and create more options for students who want to do co-ops that broaden their knowledge of multiple fields.

In 2018, more than 2,000 students in the College of Engineering did co-op with 800 employers in 62 countries all over the world. Over the past five years, the number of undergraduate engineering students who go on co-op has increased by 32 percent; over the past two years, the number of graduate engineering students who go on co-op has increased by 62 percent.

“I came to Northeastern seeking ways to mentor students,” said Mountain. “I’ve gotten to use my engineering background to connect with employers and create opportunities for students.”

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