North­eastern University’s inau­gural Aca­d­emic Honors Con­vo­ca­tion yes­terday rec­og­nized its community’s highest achieve­ments in aca­d­emic excel­lence, use-​​inspired research and engage­ment on campus and across the globe.

Pres­i­dent Joseph E. Aoun hailed fac­ulty for their path-​​breaking research that is solving the greatest global chal­lenges, and for inspiring their stu­dents and nur­turing the next gen­er­a­tion of leaders. He said Northeastern’s staff is infusing the campus with entre­pre­neurial spirit, while stu­dents are amazing with their accomplishments.

Together, you rep­re­sent a pow­erful force — trans­for­ma­tive research, excep­tional teaching and men­toring, pas­sionate schol­ar­ship and self­less ser­vice. In a word you rep­re­sent ‘momentum’ — the momentum that has come to define our com­mu­nity both within in our campus and throughout the world,” Aoun said.

Click here for a full list of Aca­d­emic Honors Con­vo­ca­tion awards.

Sarah Tishler, a senior and triple major in inter­na­tional affairs, psy­chology and French, was hon­ored with two top awards. She was des­ig­nated a Pres­i­den­tial Global Fellow for her work on co-​​op at the Geneva Centre for Secu­rity Policy, and she was one of five seniors rec­og­nized with a Hodgkinson Award, one of the University’s highest honors awarded on the basis of aca­d­emic and expe­ri­en­tial performance.

Also earning Hodgkinson Awards were: Ken­neth McGrady, a com­bined com­puter sci­ence and math­e­matics major who devel­oped the “Dis­cover North­eastern” smart phone appli­ca­tion, and was the first North­eastern stu­dent to co-​​op at Pixar Ani­ma­tion Studies; and Nicholas Daggett, a mechan­ical engi­neering major who has been selected to the highly-​​competitive Edison Engi­neering Devel­op­ment Pro­gram at Gen­eral Elec­tric, and who worked on a cap­stone design team that devel­oped an inno­v­a­tive solar food dryer.

In addi­tion, Matthew Cournoyer, a junior and polit­ical sci­ence major, was rec­og­nized for being selected a 2011 Truman Scholar, as was José Orozco, a third-​​year stu­dent and dual major in math­e­matics and bio­chem­istry, for earning a 2011 Gold­water Schol­ar­ship.

Sheila Puffer, pro­fessor and Cherry Family Senior Fellow of Inter­na­tional Busi­ness, also addressed the audi­ence gath­ered in the Curry Stu­dent Center ball­room, praising the uni­ver­sity for the aca­d­emic freedom and oppor­tu­ni­ties it allows to explore inter­dis­ci­pli­nary research.

North­eastern is the per­fect blend of aca­d­e­mics and real-​​world prac­tice, some­thing that all of us can truly appre­ciate. Let’s all stay engaged in the excel­lence and excite­ment, as together we help move North­eastern to even greater heights in advancing knowl­edge and finding solu­tions to make the world a better place,” Puffer said.

Hort­ensia Amaro, asso­ciate dean of the Bouvé Col­lege of Health Sci­ences and director of the Insti­tute on Urban Health Research, was acknowl­edged for her elec­tion to the Insti­tute of Med­i­cine; and engi­neering pro­fessor Vin­cent Harris was hon­ored for his selec­tion for this year’s Klein Lec­ture­ship. Harris and biology pro­fessor Kim Lewis were also appointed Dis­tin­guished Professors.

Aoun also pre­sented George Kostas, E’43, H’07, with the Pres­i­den­tial Medal­lion, Northeastern’s top honor that sym­bol­izes excel­lence, com­mit­ment and con­tri­bu­tion to the Uni­ver­sity. Aoun noted that Kostas was not only a key figure in North­eastern devel­oping inno­v­a­tive nan­otech­nology research, but also pro­vided a gift last year allowing North­eastern to build a secure, state-​​of-​​the-​​art home­land secu­rity research facility on its Burlington campus.

Your legacy will be felt at North­eastern for­ever,” Aoun told Kostas.