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Spring 2014 Alumni Newsletter



Letter from Dean Poiger


Dear alumni and friends,

In my first academic year as the dean of the College of Social Sciences and Humanities, I had the opportunity to talk with many of you at alumni receptions on the East Coast and in meetings around the country. The college hosted events in New York City, Boston, and, most recently, Washington D.C. Thank you to those who came out for these events, and a special thanks to the hosts of these receptions. You have given us important insights into how CSSH might continue to connect with alumni and how alumni can help shape the paths of our current students.

At these receptions, we discussed some of the college’s most exciting initiatives, many of which I also previewed in my inaugural alumni newsletter last fall. I am pleased to be able to share a few updates on these initiatives for those of you who could not join us in person. Directed by Professor Stephen Flynn, our newly formed Center for Resilience Studies received funding from the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) to mobilize experts in an array of fields, from policy to engineering, to explore and provide recommendations on how to build more secure and resilient cities prepared for major disasters. Flynn and his team of experts are also studying ways to strengthen counter-proliferation efforts in the global supply chain and our country’s shipping infrastructure, a two-year project that the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation is funding. Simultaneously CSSH is strengthening its reach into the digital humanities. For example, faculty in the NULab for Texts, Maps, and Networks are leading the award-winning, Our Marathon project, a crowd-sourced, internet-based archive of pictures, videos, stories and social media related to the Boston Marathon Bombings and subsequent events. NULab and the Department of History will also collaborate this fall on a workshop supported by the National Endowment for the Humanities that will teach military historians how to incorporate digital tools in their research.

Our faculty and students continue to conduct extraordinary research and to engage in issues of broad public interest. Faculty and graduate students collaborated across disciplinary boundaries around the theme of “viral culture” as part of the Northeastern Humanities Center’s Resident Fellowship Program. Cultural anthropology major Jackson Golden founded India’s first baseball program while on international co-op and will use this experience to dig deeper into how the game can benefit low-income athletes, with guidance from Professor of Anthropology Alan Klein.

CSSH boasts four Fulbright scholars this year:

You can find a list of additional awards and accomplishments honoring CSSH faculty and students here.

CSSH students continuously seek out new ideas and opportunities for intellectual growth and civic engagement. One such opportunity is experiencing, studying, and researching new cultures first hand on one of Northeastern’s innovative Dialogue of Civilizations programs. A Dialogue is a 4-5 week, faculty-led summer trip to one or more countries during which students conduct research, participate in service learning, and take classes for credit. This year CSSH faculty members are leading students on over 40 different Dialogue programs, including Israel to study literature and culture, Japan to explore globalization and politics, and Costa Rica to foster social and environmental sustainability. Many of our CSSH students now work in another country on an international co-op, while others participate in a traditional semester study abroad. Through these global experiences, students see the world from new perspectives as they seek to understand and solve the social, political, and cultural challenges we face. Please explore some of the sites where our students have studied, worked, and conducted research, by browsing through the amazing photos submitted to the inaugural CSSH Global Photography Contest last year. These international offerings are vital to our mission of educating students to be global leaders.

Over the next year, I look forward to continued engagement with you and other alumni. You can find the college’s inaugural alumni newsletter, published last fall, on our website, as well as more news and information on our Facebook page, and Twitter feed. I wish you a wonderful summer, and please stay in touch!


Uta G. Poiger

Dean, College of Social Sciences and Humanities
Northeastern University