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Dean’s Newsletter: Winter 2022

Dear CSSH faculty, staff, students, and friends,

As this fall semester comes to a close, I write to wish you a reenergizing and restorative winter break. The past few months have been full of important work. One ongoing and never finished conversation that we hold core to our values in the college and the university is around the importance of diversity, equity, inclusion, and belonging (DEIB) in all our pursuits. Our faculty and staff have taken part in sessions that enable us to push this conversation forward and help crystallize next steps as well as important practices on a path to a more inclusive CSSH community and to inclusive work with all our partners. You can see some of our work here, and I urge you to keep your eyes out for opportunities of student, faculty, and staff engagement at the college and the unit level in the new year as we build a new CSSH strategic plan on DEIB. 

An Eventful Fall Semester 

Throughout the fall semester, our college and its units hosted significant conversations for Northeastern’s global campus network and broader audiences nearly every week. Highlights include a panel discussion on the results of the midterm election and their political and social impact, moderated by Costas Panagopoulos; an exploration of the current political unrest in Iran, moderated by Mai’a Cross; and “Jews of Color in Early America,” a lecture by Laura Arnold Leibman (Reed College), hosted by the Jewish Studies Program.  

We continued the work from last year’s important series on Asia America and the World with a new series of events exploring the peoples, history, and contributions of Asia. The final session of 2022 featured Thuy Linh Nguyen Tu of New York University, who spoke on “Skin Memories of War.” The series will restart in February with a session on race and indigeneity in the Black Pacific. 

Visiting Lecturer, Scholar in Exile, and former member of the Hong Kong Legislative Council Dennis Kwok and Mai’a Cross talked with a large audience about “The Rise of China, the Fall of Hong Kong, and the Implications for Taiwan Strait.” Our final major event this December saw Régine Jean-Charles in conversation with soccer legend and activist Lilian Thuram on his new book, White Thinking⏤Behind the Mask of Racial Identity.  

The spring semester promises many more convenings, which you can always find on our website here

Climate Conversations 

Climate change continues to be a matter of concern for us all and the entire globe. Our faculty regularly work with government groups and NGOs and then bring these interactions back into our classrooms for further exploration and discussion.   

Joan Fitzgerald served as a lead author for the Inaugural Boston Climate Progress Report, published by The Boston Foundation in December. The report on Boston’s collective progress toward becoming a carbon-neutral city by 2050 finds that, while the city has made notable progress in some areas, many challenges remain. The report and Joan’s commentary on it resonated with media outlets in Boston and beyond, including the Boston Globe and Reuters.  

On November 4, the Dukakis Center for Urban and Regional Policy hosted Massachusetts Senator Edward Markey for the Rising Tides conference. Noting that global warming “poses an existential threat to people all around the world,” Senator Markey closed out the half-day long conference that featured members from many local climate change organizations, including the Emerald Necklace Coalition and the Boston Green Ribbon Commission. The conference was in partnership with the Leventhal Map & Education Center at the Boston Public Library, which hosted an associated map exhibition on environmental justice. 

Maria Ivanova, Director of the School of Public Policy and Urban Affairs, represented higher education in a conversation with governments and business on a new podcast, Transformers: Trailblazing Paths for Empowerment and Climate Action in a Changing World, in the context of the COP27 environmental conference.  

It is through partnerships between our faculty, students, and other organizations that we can make the greatest impact on this most global of issues. We look forward to further collaborative work on these matters in 2023. 

Research Updates 

In the spirit of research excellence, community partnership and experiential education, we are pleased to introduce the newest CSSH research center, the Center on Crime, Race, and Justice (CRJ). Based in theSchool of Criminology and Criminal Justice, the mission of the CRJ is to work with partners in government and communities to make the criminal justice system more equitable and just for all. The four labs of CRJ – the Corrections and Reentry Lab, the Crime Prevention Lab, the Race and Justice Lab, and the Violence and Justice Lab – bring faculty and students together with partner organizations to understand and address how diverse communities are differentially impacted by crime, violence, and responses to crime.  

To support the evaluation of 8-10 interventions to address ACEs (adverse childhood experiences) and childhood adversity, the Northeastern Public Evaluation Lab – led by Program Director Tiana Yom, Alisa Lincoln, and Amy Farrell – has received funding from Anonymous Philanthropy to create research teams drawing on faculty and students from across CSSH and the university, including Dr. Catrine Jamie from Northeastern University Oakland, as well as colleagues from SPPUA and SCCJ.   

You can find more major grant recipients in our Endnotes

Student Accomplishments 

As always, our students continue to impress in the classroom and beyond. For example, Alex Marley, a double major in electrical engineering and economics, has just won the Schwarzman Scholarship to earn a Master’s degree in global affairs at Tsinghua University in Beijing.  

We were proud to see three CSSH students recognized by the the First Generation, Undocumented, Low Income (FUNL) network in early November. Damian Lee (Political Science and Economics ‘23) received the Exceptional Leadership Award; Jada Howard (International Affairs ’24) received the Experiential Achievement Award; and Sophie Esteves Varvella Vicente (Political Science ’24) received the Social Justice Advocacy Award.  

A team of four students in the School of Criminology and Criminal Justice (SCCJ) won third place for their presentation at Northeastern’s Geographic Information Systems (GIS) Day Conference. This conference showcases digital story maps and posters created by the Northeastern community, including students, staff, and alumni. Out of over a dozen projects, the one presented by Emily Bui, Sophia Castillo, Kexin Cui, and Kara McArdle placed higher even than those by more experienced researchers.  

Congratulations to all our students for their achievements! 

Faculty and Doctoral Student Recognition 

The latest CSSH faculty member to join colleagues in the federal government is Sarah Wylie. Her year-long fellowship in the US Department of Energy will see her engage in the Biden administration’s Justice40 Initiative, which aims to direct 40% of federal investments in clean energy toward marginalized communities that are overburdened by the impacts of pollution and climate change. Tiffani Elliott, a Sociology PhD student, was named a Health Policy Research Scholar by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. This fellowship enables her to apply her research to advance health and equity and build a “Culture of Health”.  

CSSH’s incoming Associate Dean of Research, Natasha Frost, was elected Vice President of the American Society of Criminology. Serena Parekh was a 2022 winner in the category of Social Sciences and Humanities for the Falling Walls Science Summit, which takes place in Berlin, Germany each November. You can see her winning presentation, “No Refuge: Ethics and the Global Refugee Crisis,” here

You can find recent faculty books and a book collecting prize winner in the Endnotes

A Look Forward to Spring 

In January, we will offer a warm welcome to the Boston campus to 118 NUin students, including 17 from Northeastern University London and 23 from Northeastern University Oakland. The London and Oakland campuses will also continue to host 104 CSSH students for their spring semesters in the year-long NUBound program, and we will welcome those students to Boston in fall 2023.  

Finally, a huge “thank you” to our entire CSSH community for your hard work, collaboration, and creativity in 2022. I hope that you are able to take a real break and return inspired to tackle challenges, effect change, and move CSSH and the Experiential Liberal Arts forward in the new year! 


Uta Poiger 
Dean, College of Social Sciences and Humanities 

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Endnotes: May 2024 Newsletter


Dean’s Newsletter: Winter 2023

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Dean’s Newsletter: Spring 2024