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We transformed the Northeastern experience

Our researchers led the way in the battle against COVID-19

Our community mobilized to help

We made headlines

We expanded opportunities for students

2020

We joined the call for racial justice

We engaged with the world despite closed borders

Our students excelled inside and outside the classroom

We made discoveries and fueled innovation

Our experts helped make sense of the world

The Huskies continued to win … and readied to play again

We captured it all

And, in spite of a global pandemic, we still had fun

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The year 2020 will be remembered for the many ways that COVID-19 reshaped connections between people around the world.

The pandemic led to myriad changes for students, faculty, and staff across Northeastern’s global network of campuses. The community masked up, socialized from a distance, learned in-person and remotely—and kept adapting and moving forward, in many inspiring ways.

Let’s take one last look back at 2020—while leaning hard into 2021.

We transformed the Northeastern experience

The university safely reopened the Boston campus and launched a state-of-the-art testing facility that processed more than 500,000 tests during the fall semester. NUFlex, a hybrid learning model that utilized new technology and flexible schedules, enabled students and faculty to learn and teach from anywhere at all hours.

Northeastern’s Life Sciences Testing Center secures certifications to process the university’s coronavirus tests

Northeastern’s Life Sciences Testing Center secures certifications to process the university’s coronavirus tests

Northeastern introduces Hybrid NUflex, a safe, flexible way for students to learn anywhere

Northeastern introduces Hybrid NUflex, a safe, flexible way for students to learn anywhere

Faced with isolation in the COVID-19 pandemic, Northeastern University community creates new ways to connect

Faced with isolation in the COVID-19 pandemic, Northeastern University community creates new ways to connect

New outdoor dining takes picnicking to a new level

New outdoor dining takes picnicking to a new level

Here’s how Northeastern’s Snell Library reinvented itself during the COVID-19 pandemic

Here’s how Northeastern’s Snell Library reinvented itself during the COVID-19 pandemic

When theater moves online, actors get creative

When theater moves online, actors get creative

Meet the small army of cleaners who are keeping Northeastern safe

Meet the small army of cleaners who are keeping Northeastern safe

Northeastern’s Husky Health Leaders are here with 5,000 bottles of hand sanitizer to battle COVID-19

Northeastern’s Husky Health Leaders are here with 5,000 bottles of hand sanitizer to battle COVID-19

Students sit down with President Aoun and discuss why they came back to campus

Students sit down with President Aoun and discuss why they came back to campus

Our researchers led the way in the battle against COVID-19

Northeastern researchers created analytical models to advise the Centers for Disease Control, the World Health Organization, and other national and international organizations about the spread of COVID-19; identified dozens of potential drugs to fight the virus; and studied the pandemic’s toll on mental health and public attitudes to vaccination.

Northeastern models are helping shape US COVID-19 policy

Northeastern models are helping shape US COVID-19 policy

Network scientists identify 40 new drugs to test against COVID-19

Network scientists identify 40 new drugs to test against COVID-19

These new sensors can detect coronavirus particles on your breath, instantly

These new sensors can detect coronavirus particles on your breath, instantly

These new sensors can detect coronavirus particles on your breath, instantly

These new sensors can detect coronavirus particles on your breath, instantly

Are there COVID-19 cases in your community? The answer may be in your sewer.

Are there COVID-19 cases in your community? The answer may be in your sewer.

What will the world be like after the COVID-19 pandemic? These researchers are using game design to find out.

What will the world be like after the COVID-19 pandemic? These researchers are using game design to find out.

Bans on large gatherings? Stay-at-home orders? Which ‘social distancing’ policies are actually working?

Bans on large gatherings? Stay-at-home orders? Which ‘social distancing’ policies are actually working?

The coronavirus might have weak spots. Machine learning could help find them.

The coronavirus might have weak spots. Machine learning could help find them.

Pandemic takes a toll on mental health of US residents, new national survey shows

Pandemic takes a toll on mental health of US residents, new national survey shows

Think everyone will be clamoring to get a COVID-19 vaccine? Think again, a new national study says.

Think everyone will be clamoring to get a COVID-19 vaccine? Think again, a new national study says.

Our community mobilized to help

From the earliest days of the public health emergency, Northeastern stepped up to help. In Boston, the university opened a residence hall to provide safe housing for frontline responders and dispatched students to work as hospital nurses and contact tracers. Students and alumni answered the call for personal protective equipment and other assistance. One graduate helped develop an interactive dashboard that enabled Indian authorities to grasp the real-time spread of COVID-19 and forecast infection rates.

Northeastern opens Boston residence hall to first responders on front lines of the COVID-19 pandemic

Northeastern opens Boston residence hall to first responders on front lines of the COVID-19 pandemic

From the classroom to the front lines of the COVID-19 pandemic

From the classroom to the front lines of the COVID-19 pandemic

COVID-19 has shut down many blood drives. Northeastern came to rescue this one.

COVID-19 has shut down many blood drives. Northeastern came to rescue this one.

Public health authorities need help responding to COVID-19. Students are answering the call—by picking up the phone.

Public health authorities need help responding to COVID-19. Students are answering the call—by picking up the phone.

Nursing students are helping to save lives in the COVID-19 outbreak. Here are their stories.

Nursing students are helping to save lives in the COVID-19 outbreak. Here are their stories.

The COVID-19 pandemic has left hospitals short of masks. This family is rallying to help.

The COVID-19 pandemic has left hospitals short of masks. This family is rallying to help.

Back on the Boston campus, a Northeastern student plans to make face shields in his dorm and donate them

Back on the Boston campus, a Northeastern student plans to make face shields in his dorm and donate them

He predicted the rise of COVID-19 cases. Now he’s helping contain the outbreak.

He predicted the rise of COVID-19 cases. Now he’s helping contain the outbreak.

A family business shifts gears to protect people on the front lines of COVID-19

A family business shifts gears to protect people on the front lines of COVID-19

Homeless populations have been hit hard by COVID-19. She’s stepping in to help.

Homeless populations have been hit hard by COVID-19. She’s stepping in to help.

Northeastern made headlines

The university’s research, discoveries, and innovations continue to make headlines in many of the world’s leading media outlets, including The New York Times, The Washington Post, Vice, the Financial Times, and The Wall Street Journal.

A $100 Million Bet That Vacationland Can Be a Tech Hub, Too

A $100 Million Bet That Vacationland Can Be a Tech Hub, Too – The New York Times

A Forest Submerged 60,000 Years Ago Could Save Your Life One Day

A Forest Submerged 60,000 Years Ago Could Save Your Life One Day – The New York Times

The virus isn’t going away. That’s why campuses need to reopen.

The virus isn’t going away. That’s why campuses need to reopen. – The Washington Post

A Computer-Science Program Takes a Dramatic Approach to Getting Students to Open Up

A Computer-Science Program Takes a Dramatic Approach to Getting Students to Open Up – The Chronicle of Higher Education

Social Distancing Plummeted In Lead-Up To Fall Surge, Survey Finds

Social Distancing Plummeted In Lead-Up To Fall Surge, Survey Finds – NPR

Mapping the Social Network of Coronavirus

Mapping the Social Network of Coronavirus – The New York Times

We’re Not Prepared to Track Disease Outbreaks in America’s Poorest ZIP Codes

We’re Not Prepared to Track Disease Outbreaks in America’s Poorest ZIP Codes – Bloomberg

Hidden Outbreaks Spread Through U.S. Cities Far Earlier Than Americans Knew, Estimates Say

Hidden Outbreaks Spread Through U.S. Cities Far Earlier Than Americans Knew, Estimates Say – The New York Times

Adding A Nylon Stocking Layer Could Boost Protection From Cloth Masks, Study Finds

Adding A Nylon Stocking Layer Could Boost Protection From Cloth Masks, Study Finds – NPR

Coronavirus Hit the U.S. Long Before We Knew

Coronavirus Hit the U.S. Long Before We Knew – The Wall Street Journal

Is ‘social distancing’ the wrong term? Expert prefers ‘physical distancing,’ and the WHO agrees.

Is ‘social distancing’ the wrong term? Expert prefers ‘physical distancing,’ and the WHO agrees. – The Washington Post

Could Breathalyzers Make Covid Testing Quicker and Easier?

Could Breathalyzers Make Covid Testing Quicker and Easier? – WIRED

Massachusetts Virus Outbreak Looks Like Italy’s Just Two Weeks Ago

Massachusetts Virus Outbreak Looks Like Italy’s Just Two Weeks Ago – Bloomberg

Meet the International Team Mapping the Real-Time Spread of the Coronavirus

Meet the International Team Mapping the Real-Time Spread of the Coronavirus – VICE

Smart speakers ‘accidentally’ record you up to 19 times per day

Smart speakers ‘accidentally’ record you up to 19 times per day – The Telegraph

Coronavirus and the contagion of fear

Coronavirus and the contagion of fear – CBS News

Better disposable coffee cups

Better disposable coffee cups – The Economist

We expanded opportunities for students

The university launched the Roux Institute in Portland, Maine, a graduate and research campus that works closely with business partners to educate generations of talent for the digital and life sciences sectors. An initial $100 million from entrepreneur David Roux was followed by another $100 million grant from the Harold Alfond Foundation, enabling many more students to take part. Northeastern pledged $355 million in direct financial aid to students during the 2020-21 academic year, and awarded six grants to other universities to help recruit and retain more women in computer science programs.

Northeastern partners with entrepreneur David Roux to launch the Roux Institute at Northeastern in Portland, Maine

Northeastern partners with entrepreneur David Roux to launch the Roux Institute at Northeastern in Portland, Maine

Northeastern partners with entrepreneur David Roux to launch the Roux Institute at Northeastern in Portland, Maine

Northeastern’s Roux Institute receives a ‘phenomenal investment’ from the Harold Alfond Foundation

Northeastern will provide more than $350M in financial aid. Millions more will support COVID-19 efforts.

Northeastern will provide more than $350M in financial aid. Millions more will support COVID-19 efforts.

Northeastern awards grants to 6 universities to help increase the number of women in computer sciences

Northeastern awards grants to 6 universities to help increase the number of women in computer sciences

Roux Institute partners with WEX on a new facility in Portland

Roux Institute partners with WEX on a new facility in Portland

Northeastern to preserve and restore existing open space on Nahant campus and create permanent ecological study area

Northeastern to preserve and restore existing open space on Nahant campus and create permanent ecological study area

Northeastern Northeastern’s Roux Institute receives a ‘phenomenal investment’ from the Harold Alfond Foundation

Northeastern Northeastern’s Roux Institute receives a ‘phenomenal investment’ from the Harold Alfond Foundation

We joined the call for racial justice

In the wake of the killing of George Floyd, Northeastern took a stand with countless others to protest anti-Black violence and systemic racism. University scholars contributed to the national dialogue on racial justice and social unrest. The university outlined new initiatives to improve the experience of Black members of the Northeastern community and convened events and conversations centered on unity, equality, and justice.

Northeastern announces new initiatives to confront anti-Black discrimination

Northeastern announces new initiatives to confront anti-Black discrimination

A day for reflection, engagement, and action

A day for reflection, engagement, and action

How do today’s Black Lives Matter protests compare to the civil rights movement of the 1960s?

How do today’s Black Lives Matter protests compare to the civil rights movement of the 1960s?

The long history of Juneteenth, and why the fight is not over yet

The long history of Juneteenth, and why the fight is not over yet

Here’s what to read, listen to, and watch to better understand racism against Black people in the US

Here’s what to read, listen to, and watch to better understand racism against Black people in the US

Art is shaping how people talk about the Black Lives Matter movement

Art is shaping how people talk about the Black Lives Matter movement

Northeastern’s Racial Literacy series takes on Boston’s troubled history

Northeastern’s Racial Literacy series takes on Boston’s troubled history

Reparations ‘essential’ to addressing systemic racial injustice, speakers say

Reparations ‘essential’ to addressing systemic racial injustice, speakers say

We engaged with the world despite closed borders

Northeastern joined the Trinity Challenge to collaborate with industry and public sector organizations in an effort to prevent the next pandemic. The university launched new partnerships for doctoral degrees in Hong Kong and Rome. And students and graduates continued to apply their skills and experiences the world over—in India, Ethiopia, Antarctica, and beyond.

Northeastern joins the Trinity Challenge as founding partner to stop the next pandemic before it starts

Northeastern joins the Trinity Challenge as founding partner to stop the next pandemic before it starts

Northeastern launches new degrees in the U.K. to help employers grow their digital talent pool–inside the company

Northeastern launches new degrees in the U.K. to help employers grow their digital talent pool–inside the company

9 campuses, 9 pandemic situations

9 campuses, 9 pandemic situations

New Ph.D partnerships in Hong Kong and Italy

New Ph.D partnerships in Hong Kong and Italy

They’re planning to build a new space station… at the bottom of the ocean

They’re planning to build a new space station… at the bottom of the ocean

Stony coral tissue loss disease is sweeping through Caribbean reefs. Can these students find the answers?

Stony coral tissue loss disease is sweeping through Caribbean reefs. Can these students find the answers?

Penguins are starving as Antarctica gets warmer. Drones are counting the losses.

Penguins are starving as Antarctica gets warmer. Drones are counting the losses.

He’s mixing Indian heritage into the global fashion scene

He’s mixing Indian heritage into the global fashion scene

Engineering students had a bright idea: A new kind of surgical lamp for doctors in Ethiopia

Engineering students had a bright idea: A new kind of surgical lamp for doctors in Ethiopia

The hidden side of Cairo

The hidden side of Cairo

These N.U.in students landed in Europe in the middle of Brexit and the COVID-19 pandemic–and came away the better for it

These N.U.in students landed in Europe in the middle of Brexit and the COVID-19 pandemic–and came away the better for it

Citing COVID-19 outbreak, Northeastern University president pushes for federal protections for F-1 visa holders

Citing COVID-19 outbreak, Northeastern University president pushes for federal protections for F-1 visa holders

Northeastern University holds Global Leadership Summit in Mumbai

Northeastern University holds Global Leadership Summit in Mumbai

Our students excelled inside and outside the classroom

Northeastern students created technology for people with visual impairments, developed a robotic system to help astronauts explore permanently shadowed regions of the moon, and repaired essential medical equipment in low-income countries. Northeastern students were recipients of the Truman, Fulbright and Goldwater scholarships, among other honors.

He adapted to life with low vision. Now he wants to make it easier for others.

He adapted to life with low vision. Now he wants to make it easier for others.

Black people are underrepresented in medical research. She wants to change that.

Black people are underrepresented in medical research. She wants to change that.

This Fulbright scholar wants to find ways to prevent or slow the spread of cancer

This Fulbright scholar wants to find ways to prevent or slow the spread of cancer

This Truman Scholar is solving global health issues on a local level

This Truman Scholar is solving global health issues on a local level

NASA is going back to the moon. Northeastern University students are designing robots to explore the terrain

NASA is going back to the moon. Northeastern University students are designing robots to explore the terrain

To amplify Black voices, the Nor’easters sang a message–and celebrities are listening

To amplify Black voices, the Nor’easters sang a message–and celebrities are listening

We made discoveries and fueled innovation

The groundbreaking efforts of Northeastern researchers led to a new generation of autonomous robots, an improvement in the prevention of Lyme disease and breakthroughs in treating the effects of childhood trauma on the brain. Researchers also observed the bizarre sexual behavior of shipworms and studied the abilities of a rat that could see, hear, and smell with barely any brain.

Researchers observe the bizarre sexual behavior of shipworms for the first time

Researchers observe the bizarre sexual behavior of shipworms for the first time

Childhood trauma changes your brain. But it doesn’t have to be permanent.

Childhood trauma changes your brain. But it doesn’t have to be permanent.

Intestinal bacteria could give doctors an objective test for chronic Lyme disease

Intestinal bacteria could give doctors an objective test for chronic Lyme disease

Deep neural networks are coming to your phone. Here’s how that could change your life.

Deep neural networks are coming to your phone. Here’s how that could change your life.

He’s building the next generation of autonomous robots

He’s building the next generation of autonomous robots

A rat had basically no brain. But it could still see, hear, smell, and feel.

A rat had basically no brain. But it could still see, hear, smell, and feel.

How a freeloading worm might help us live healthier, longer lives

How a freeloading worm might help us live healthier, longer lives

Physicists may have accidentally discovered a new state of matter. The possibilities are endless.

Physicists may have accidentally discovered a new state of matter. The possibilities are endless.

The future of manufacturing will be data-driven. Are we up to the task?

The future of manufacturing will be data-driven. Are we up to the task?

They’re using virtual reality to ensure patients get safe and effective drugs

They’re using virtual reality to ensure patients get safe and effective drugs

Cells in your airway talk to each other. For some, what they say can trigger an asthma attack.

Cells in your airway talk to each other. For some, what they say can trigger an asthma attack.

To predict our future climate, they’re digging into the mud of the past

To predict our future climate, they’re digging into the mud of the past

He's launching his research into space

He’s launching his research into space

Our experts helped make sense of the world

In media reports, Northeastern experts weighed in on the presidential election and all things COVID-19, offering crucial insight on how misinformation spreads, the psychological toll of the pandemic, and the development of the vaccine.

polling place interior

The polls were still way off in the 2020 election—even after accounting for 2016’s errors

COVID vaccine and needle

Who gets a COVID-19 vaccine first–and how do you decide?

zoom meetingt

‘Zoom fatigue’ is real. Here’s why you’re feeling it, and what you can do about it.

iPhone

30M tweets about COVID-19, and not all of them contain the truth. Who’s spreading misinformation?

image of protests

Police weren’t indicted for the killing of Breonna Taylor. What happened?

rubble from earthquake in Puerto Rico

Puerto Rico has weathered 500 earthquakes in two weeks. How does it rebuild?

surgical mask on colored background

Pantyhose? Toilet paper? Coffee filters? Which materials make the best masks to stop the coronavirus?

view of stage during Trump/Biden debate

Did anyone really win the first presidential debate?

vaccine needle

No, the vaccine will not give you COVID-19

street protest image

What would it mean to ‘defund’ the police–and what would come next?

doctor preparing vaccine needle

Think everyone will be clamoring to get a COVID-19 vaccine? Think again, a new national study says.

Ruth Bader Ginsburg

Ruth Bader Ginsburg leaves behind an unmatched legacy. How might her death shape the 2020 election and beyond?

image of Proud Boys rally

Was ‘stand back and stand by’ a rallying cry for the Proud Boys? Here’s how to deflate extremist fringe groups.

President Donald Trump gives thumbs up on the Blue Room Balcony

Does the public have a right to know the state of President Donald Trump’s COVID-19 diagnosis?

collage of Tik Tok images

Young people are talking politics on TikTok. Is this a good thing?

The Huskies continued to win … and readied to play again

Under strict safety guidelines, Northeastern athletes won big. Both ice hockey teams swept the Beanpot for the first time since 1988. The Huskies secured their second overall esports title. And the men’s basketball team advanced to the Colonial Athletic Association championship game for a third straight year.

A Beanpot sweep is just the beginning for Northeastern hockey

A Beanpot sweep is just the beginning for Northeastern hockey

It’s a Beanpot three-peat for Northeastern

It’s a Beanpot three-peat for Northeastern

Northeastern esports wins national championship in Hearthstone

Northeastern esports wins national championship in Hearthstone

Northeastern advances in CAA tournament with 72-62 win over Towson

Northeastern advances in CAA tournament with 72-62 win over Towson

COVID-19 forced Northeastern to suspend sports in the fall. That doesn’t mean the games are over.

COVID-19 forced Northeastern to suspend sports in the fall. That doesn’t mean the games are over.

The next wave of varsity athletes will play Overwatch, League of Legends, Rocket League, and Hearthstone

The next wave of varsity athletes will play Overwatch, League of Legends, Rocket League, and Hearthstone

This Northeastern basketball player dreams of a career in fashion

This Northeastern basketball player dreams of a career in fashion

From Matthews Arena to the Stanley Cup Final

From Matthews Arena to the Stanley Cup Final

How Kobe Bryant influenced the Huskies

How Kobe Bryant influenced the Huskies

Alina Mueller dreamed of winning a national championship. Then COVID-19 arrived.

Alina Mueller dreamed of winning a national championship. Then COVID-19 arrived.

‘I will be so thankful to be on the ice’

‘I will be so thankful to be on the ice’

We captured it all

We augmented our rich storytelling with stellar photography, award-winning videos and films, and innovative design.

Best photos of 2020

Best photos of 2020

Inside the lab that tests Northeastern for the coronavirus

Inside the lab that tests Northeastern for the coronavirus

This is what it looks like when you turn Northeastern’s Matthews Arena into a polling place

This is what it looks like when you turn Northeastern’s Matthews Arena into a polling place

Your voice. Your vote.

Your voice. Your vote.

‘The Roux Institute at Northeastern is a game-changer’

‘The Roux Institute at Northeastern is a game-changer’

“Murder in Mobile” honored with a Regional Emmy Award for best documentary

“Murder in Mobile” honored with a Regional Emmy Award for best documentary

She was Northeastern’s first ‘Woman of the Year’

She was Northeastern’s first ‘Woman of the Year’

Here’s a look at all the new construction on Northeastern’s campus this year

Here’s a look at all the new construction on Northeastern’s campus this year

Fewer people are using public transportation in the US. Here’s why that’s trouble in the long run.

Fewer people are using public transportation in the US. Here’s why that’s trouble in the long run.

How many city dwellers across the US have access to parks and green space?

How many city dwellers across the US have access to parks and green space?

Perfect your video-conferencing skills with these simple tips

Perfect your video-conferencing skills with these simple tips

Around the world, people stopped going to restaurants—before governments told them to stay home

Around the world, people stopped going to restaurants—before governments told them to stay home

And, in spite of a global pandemic, we still had fun

Through it all, we still made sure to have a good time.

Masks of Northeastern

Masks of Northeastern

The COVID-19 pandemic pushed this student exercise club to the top of Northeastern’s Columbus Avenue garage

The COVID-19 pandemic pushed this student exercise club to the top of Northeastern’s Columbus Avenue garage

What’s cooking in kitchens across the Northeastern community?

What’s cooking in kitchens across the Northeastern community?

Your Northeastern journey begins with these safety tips

Your Northeastern journey begins with these safety tips

Build your own snowflake

Build your own snowflake

Here are the best Jack-o’-Lanterns from this year’s pumpkin carving contest

Here are the best Jack-o’-Lanterns from this year’s pumpkin carving contest

You’re not hearing things, a jazz quartet is jamming live on Northeastern’s campus

You’re not hearing things, a jazz quartet is jamming live on Northeastern’s campus

Get fired up with the Northeastern Dance Team

Get fired up with the Northeastern Dance Team

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