When 17-year-old Trayvon Martin was shot, the entire country held its breath awaiting the momentous trial – and Chinma Nnadozie-Okananwa wanted to be in that courtroom. An English major with a minor in Law and Public Policy, Chinma wants to ultimately become a lawyer, facilitating important conversations and impacting real change.
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Law school is a big investment. That’s why Chinma was attracted to NU and the co-op process, which has allowed her to experience the legal environment before committing to the practice.
Chinma’s long-held love of reading and writing, specifically poetry, led to her to decision to major in English for her undergraduate education.
In her first year, Chinma took Early African American Literature with Professor Nicole Aljoe. It was the first time she had a Black professor and the opportunity to share lived experiences in a new way.
Chinma took Contemporary Poetry with Professor Eunsong Kim which explored readings that Chinma still uses today. She learned how poetry and art can affect real change, like through the Black Arts Movement.
Chinma is co-president of Our Voices: Women of Color, which is run through the Social Justice Resource Center and the Center for Intercultural Engagement and allows her to facilitate vital conversations.
Through Our Voices: Women of Color, Chinma attended Northeastern’s EMPOWER conference for students of color in 2019, where she gave a presentation about intersectionality.
In her second year, Chinma took Intro to Law, Policy, and Society with Professor Daniel Urman, which gave her the chance to explore the intersection between current events and law, furthering her interest.
Chinma’s first co-op was at WilmerHale in a discovery solutions position. During workshops, she would roleplay as a witness in mock depositions to understand more about important strategy and argumentation
A member of The Interrobang Poets since 2018, Northeastern’s slam poetry club, Chinma has performed and competed at the collegiate level.
Chinma developed her second co-op at Venn Diagram Partners, a diversity, equity, and inclusion firm. She works with companies to assess and grow their DEI efforts to ensure a successful working culture.
Chinma is a PlusOne student, working to simultaneously earn a Master’s in English as she finishes her Bachelor’s degree. She ultimately intends on attending law school.
“There’s only so much you can get from someone telling you, from someone relaying that information to you. And truthfully, there are so many skills that you gain on co-op that I felt I wouldn’t have gained otherwise, like working in a fast-paced environment.”
More Student Paths
- Savita is from Boston and is a graduate of the Boston Latin School.
- Originally a Cultural Anthropology major, Savita later became an English major with minors in Africana Studies and Writing Studies.
- Through the service-learning course, Boston in Literature, Savita volunteered with 826 Boston to tutor in English. She is now a service-learning teaching assistant.
- For her final project in Post-Colonial Women's Writers with Professor Aljoe, she researched Carnival and its cultural significance to Trinidad and Tobago.
- Inspired by Professor Aljoe, Savita joined the Early Caribbean Digital Archive, working on an exhibit about Caribbean Carnival and creating and gathering teaching materials.
- In 2020, she began a co-op with the Africana Studies program to learn more about the field of Black Studies.
- Savita wants to work to better her own community. In the future, she hopes to become a high school teacher or a college professor. ..
- Andrew grew up in Japan, and decided to pursue his undergraduate degree back in the U.S.
- Andrew applied to Northeastern as a Business major. As his high school career came to a close, he became more interested in Japanese politics, history, and social issues.
- When thinking about what truly engaged him, Andrew felt that Asian Studies and Political Science was a better fit and switched his major to Asian Studies.
- Andrew connected with Professor Daniel Aldrich after meeting him at a presentation of his book at the institute for social sciences at Tokyo University.
- From his first day of classes, Professor Aldrich encouraged and helped Andrew get involved in research projects.
- During his first semester, Professor Aldrich paired Andrew with Tim Fraser, a PhD candidate in Political Science with strong interests in disaster resilience in Japan.
- With Tim, Andrew collected biographical information on the committee members on all the reconstructional committees on municipal, prefectural, and national level. ..
- Emerson wanted a contextualized Political Science degree, and applied to Northeastern specifically for the PPE (Politics, Philosophy, and Economics) program.
- "Introduction to Economic Justice" with Professor Serena Parekh was one of Emerson's favorite courses, allowing her to study economic justice from a philosophical lens.
- Emerson was accepted by the Roosevelt Institute to do financialization research at Northeastern, examining economic priorities.
- Emerson also started a research thesis her freshman year to look at the link between modern dystopian literature and the the rise of female-led political movements.
- When Emerson found out about the HCL (History, Culture, and Law) major, she was immediately interested in adding the major to enhance her PPE studies.
- The Culture & Colonialism concentration allowed Emerson to double-credit and to develop the breadth of knowledge needed for someone who wants to work at the State Department.
- In January 2020, Emerson founded NU's Interdisciplinary Women's Collaborative (IWC) with the help of mentor and advisor Heather Hauck...
Charles T. Wallace-Thomas IV
- Charles chose to attend Northeastern because he was intrigued by the signature co-op program and wanted a curriculum that combined real-world experience without compromising thorough academic rigor.
- Initially an engineering student, Charles switched to a combined major in Economics and Mathematics to build upon his interest in economic and social justice work. He also has a minor in psychology.
- In his first year, Charles took Sustainable Renewable Energy Development in the Global South with Professor Shalanda Baker, which taught him to question systems as they exist, no matter how established.
- As part of the Ujima Global Leaders Program through the John D. O’Bryant African American Institute, Charles did community service, working on the Timebank team which helped him give back to Boston.
- For his first co-op, Charles split his time between the Center for Economic Democracy and the Boston Ujima Project, where he analyzed studies on community needs, like infrastructure and childcare.
- As Campaign Coordinator and Director of Northeastern’s Students Advancing Intersectional Dreams, Charles had spoken to people like Patrisse Cullors, Richie Reseda, Michelle Alexander, and Angela Davis.
- Over the summer of 2020, Charles was one of the co-creators of the #BlackAtNU campaign where he advocated for racial literacy courses and for a restorative and transformative justice center on campus...