Neighborhood Series: Ballard


Ballard City Hall, photographed 1915

The Ballard neighborhood is located in northwest Seattle along Shilshole Bay, a subset of the Puget Sound. The area was named after William Rankin Ballard, the predominant land owner in the late 19th century.

Ballard was incorporated as an independent city in 1889. The main industry along with most of Seattle and the Puget Sound was milling and fishing. In 1907 Ballard was annexed and became part of Seattle due to a consistent water shortage problem.

Historically Ballard is the traditional center of Seattle’s ethnically Scandinavian seafaring community, who were drawn to the area because of the salmon fishing opportunities. In recent years the decline of the fishing industry has decreased the proportion of Scandinavian residents but the neighborhood is still proud of its heritage.

More recently Ballard has gone through a transformation from an industrial working class neighborhood and has become gentrified. Starting in the early 2000′s Ballard was targeted as a high-density residential development area. Many expensive condominiums were constructed. Today Ballard is perceived as a younger and hipper neighborhood with a more active nightlife.

A very notable attraction in Ballard are the Hiram M. Chittenden Locks commonly known at the “Ballard Locks”. They enable the connection of Lake Washington, Lake Union, and Puget Sound with the lakes retaining their fresh water.

Aerial View of the Ballard Locks

Aerial View of the Ballard Locks

Fall Classes are Beginning Soon

While we started our first hybrid classes this summer with our 27 Ed.D. students, this fall we will welcome our first incoming computer science group, with approximately 20 students pursing their Masters in Computer Science. Student orientation and materials are ready and we have increased our staff by two positions to assure a top-notch student experience.

Dr. Bryan Lackaye, presenting an ALIGN info session last April

Dr. Bryan Lackaye, presenting an ALIGN info session last April

Dr. Bryan Lackaye, Assistant Dean of the College of Computer and Information Science (CCIS) Graduate Programs will be on campus to welcome the new computer science students.  Dr. Lackaye will also be leading a conversation for our prospective students on September 5th where he will present information on the MS in Computer Science and the other two CCIS degrees offered at our Seattle campus: M.S. in Health Informatics and M.S. in Information Assurance.

Neighborhood Series: Queen Anne

Queen Anne is both a neighborhood and the largest hill in Seattle at 456 feet. Early in Seattle’s history, the hill became a popular spot for the city’s economic and cultural elite to build their mansions, and the name Queen Anne, derives from the architectural style typical of many of the early homes. The Queen Anne style is characterized by large wrap-around porches, detailed shingling and round or square towers.

The view from Queen Anne and in particular Kerry Park overlooking downtown has led many people, who have never been to Seattle, to believe that the Space Needle is the tallest building. This view was also popularized by the the 90′s hit show, Frasier. If you take a stroll around the area by Kerry Park you will see many beautiful homes and gardens.

Some recommendations from our staff include:

View From Kerry Park

View From Kerry Park


Seattle Summerfest and Admissions Workshop


Summerfest: To exemplify Northeastern – Seattle’s “Networked for Life” motto, this summer the campus held a series of events including workshops, social hours, and opportunities for prospective students to interact with each other and the campus staff.  The most popular Summerfest events included: “Breakfast with the Dean, Tayloe Washburn”, “Lunch with the Academic Dean, Dr. Angela Walmsley”, “Writing and Resume Workshop”, and “Wine & Cheese with Admissions”.

Summerfest drove many types of people to the campus ranging from recently admitted to prospective students. Even an international student on his way to start classes in Boston stopped by for Lunch with the Dean! Multiple events and opportunities gave students an chance to have a more intimate exchange with the Deans & Admissions Team.

Admission Workshop: Amidst Summerfest events, the campus also hosted an Admissions Workshop. Diane Grobecker, Enrollment Team Lead, College of Professional Studies, came to Seattle to help students refine and complete their applications. Eight applicants attended the workshop representing graduate programs such as Computer Science, Global Studies, Project Management and Health Informatics. At this point four have been accepted and the rest are fine-tuning their applications and statements of purpose.


Seattle Summers

Bumbershoot fesitval

Bumbershoot Festival, Photo Credit: Christopher Nelson

Summers in Seattle are a unique experience. It is 75-80 degrees and clear everyday. In the past eight weeks it has only rained twice. The humidity is low and the visibility is high. The Cascade and Olympic ranges and in particular Mt. Rainer are out in their full glory. Seattle was rated the #1 best summer weather in America and one day here, you will completely agree. There are many interesting and unique summer events and festivals that happen in Seattle during the summer:

Bumbershoot is a three day annual international music and arts festival held in Seattle Center. One of North America’s largest such festivals, it takes place every Labor Day weekend. It features a large line up of contemporary musicians, comedians, plays and lectures on such topics as “Why Board Games? Why Zombies? Why Now?”. The festival attracts over 100,000 people.

Seafair is a massive multifaceted summer festival that takes place the first weekend in August every summer in Seattle. Most of the events happen on or around Lake Washington. Some events include the Triathlon, Torchlight parade, Seafair Cup (a series of boat races), and demonstrations by The Blue Angels.

Being surrounded by water on every side makes boating in Seattle very popular. Every tuesday during the summer, Duck Dodge, a massive sail boat race, occurs right by campus on Lake Union. One popular summer event is sailing on Dean Washburn’s boat, Shibumi. Shibumi has played host to many guests this summer such as Seattle coops, Northeastern Deans & faculty, and Dean Washburn’s VIP guests.




Neighborhood Series: Fremont

The Fremont Troll

The Fremont Troll

Fremont is situated directly north of Queen Anne on the other side of the Lake Union Canal. The Fremont Neighborhood Council says this about the area “A former maritime industrial center turned counter-cultural mecca turned high tech cluster, Fremont is known for quirky public art, lively nightlife and mix of housing.” When you step foot in Fremont you can certainly feel a different vibe.

Fremont is famous for its public art. There is a statue of Lenin salvaged from Slovakia after the fall of the U.S.S.R. Another landmark is the Fremont Troll, an 18-foot-tall (5 m) concrete sculpture of a troll crushing a Volkswagen Beetle in its left hand, created in 1990. There are also two Apatosaurus dinosaur topiaries that were purchased from the Pacific Science Center for $1.

One of Fremont’s most notable events is the annual Fremont Solstice Parade and Fair. Started in 1989 the fair quickly grew to tens of thousands of spectators. The rules for participating include no logos, no motors and no words. People spend months preparing floats and costumes. An unofficial tradition started a years ago that right before the parade, groups of naked bicyclists ride down the parade route with their bodies painted in elaborate costumes such as super-heros, cartoon characters and other pop-culture references.

You start to understand why the neighborhood is referred to as “the Center of the Universe” for those looking for a something a little off-center.



Neighborhood Series: Capitol Hill


Capitol Hill as seen from Queen Anne Hill

Capitol Hill as seen from Queen Anne Hill

Capitol Hill is the center of the city’s gay and counterculture communities, and is one of the city’s most prominent nightlife and entertainment districts. It also has a reputation as a bastion of musical culture in Seattle and is the neighborhood most closely associated with the grunge scene from the early 1990s.

There is some controversy over the naming of the area. The area was originally called “Broadway Hill” for its main thorough way. It was renamed by James A. Moore who developed much of the area. One story is that it was named hoping that the State government would move from Olympia (where it still remains). Another version is that it was named after Denver’s Capitol Hill, his wife’s home town.

The area remains one of Seattle’s wealthiest communities and the rents are rising quickly with the general gentrification of much of the city.

Since 1997, Capitol Hill has hosted the Capitol Hill Block Party, a three day music festival that takes place this weekend.

The area has one of the highest concentration of coffee shops per capita in the country and is also filled with many quality dining establishments.

Neighborhood Series: Pioneer Square – Seattle’s First Neighborhood

pioneer_squarePioneer Square was once the heart of the city. Seattle was founded there in 1852. The area has gone through many periods of boom and bust along with the rest of Seattle.

Originally all wood, the young city was destroyed in the Great Seattle Fire of 1889. The whole area was rebuilt with stone and brick in the Renaissance Revival style; this distinct character remains. After the fire the street level was raised one story to prevent flooding (most of Pioneer Square was once an island). There now exists an entire level of storefronts below ground, accessible only through the underground tour which walks groups along the historic streets and storefronts buried below Pioneer Square.

Pioneer Square is the origin of the term “Skid Road”. And if you visit the area now, several entities are immediately obvious; many very high-class art galleries, upscale restaurants & bars, and a distinctive transient population. It is a unique contrast and speaks to Seattle as a whole.

Every first thursday of the month the Pioneer Square Art Walk is held. You can see a hand blown glass demonstration and peruse many contemporary art galleries.


Neighborhood Series: Downtown Seattle

Downtown Seattle Credit: Sean Shannon Photography

Downtown Seattle Credit: Sean Shannon Photography

The  downtown area is very similar to Downtown Crossing in Boston with many chain restaurants, shopping centers, and a coffee shop on every corner. The monorail, which links the Seattle Center (home to the Space Needle) and the downtown shopping district (home to the Nordstrom headquarters) was implemented during the 1962 World’s Fair. The purpose was  to transport people the 0.9 miles between downtown and the Space Needle. It was the nation’s first full-scale commercial monorail system.

There are several landmark buildings in the downtown area:

The Smith Tower is in Pioneer Square (Seattle’s first neighborhood) it was completed in 1914. The 38-story, 489-ft. tower is the oldest skyscraper in the city and was the tallest office building west of the Mississippi River until the Kansas City Power & Light Building was built in 1931. It remained the tallest building on the West Coast until the Space Needle overtook it in 1962.

View north from the Columbia Center Observatory

View North from the Columbia Center Observatory, Photo Credit: Vladimir Menkov

The Columbia Center is Washington’s largest building and the second tallest building on the West Coast at 932-ft., completed in 1985. It was previously named the Bank of America Tower and before that the Columbia Seafirst Center. The 74th floor houses an observatory which offers fantastic 360˚ views of Seattle, The Cascade Mountain Range (including Mt. Rainer), and The Olympic Mountain Range.

One of our favorite spots downtown is Market Bagel near Pike Place Market, the only place in Seattle to get a real New York style bagel. Some of our personal favorites are the cranberry orange and the asiago jalapeño.



Seattle’s new Social Media Manager – Andrew Rota

Originally from the scenic Berkshire Hills region of Massachusetts Andrew moved to Boston in 2010 to attend Northeastern.  He is currently pursuing a Bachelors of Science in Business Administration with a concentration in Marketing. He recently added a minor in Art + Design to incorporate a little more creativity to his schedule.

He completed his first Coop working in Merchandising at, a home supply company headquartered in Boston.

He recently moved to Seattle to work at the Graduate campus here as the Marketing/ Social Media Manager. He will be living in the Capitol Hill neighborhood. He is already enjoying the vibrant and unique environment that Seattle has to offer. It is an interesting change compared to a more classic and historic Boston culture.