Senior physics major Emily Batt learned an impor­tant lesson by con­ducting research on melan­choly 17th-​​century monks for a directed study as an unde­clared freshman.

It was the first time I real­ized that one topic could be approached and under­stood from many dif­ferent per­spec­tives,” said Batt, who was named the 2012 stu­dent com­mence­ment speaker by mem­bers of the university’s senior lead­er­ship team. “Con­sid­ering a topic from a new point of view or with a dif­ferent method­ology can bring forth new solu­tions to old problems.”

Her research phi­los­ophy has shaped her wide range of experiential-​​learning oppor­tu­ni­ties at top-​​tier firms, labs and universities.

Batt has con­ducted research on phys­ical oceanog­raphy for Oregon State Uni­ver­sity; exam­ined the link between cancer and bio­log­ical cell net­works for the Dana-​​Farber Cancer Insti­tute; designed dozens of bio­med­ical devices for Fikst Product Devel­op­ment, a product design and engi­neering firm in Woburn, Mass.; and cre­ated a network-​​science-​​based com­puter sim­u­la­tion of macro­eco­nomic prin­ci­ples for the Mass­a­chu­setts Insti­tute of Tech­nology Media Lab.

Co-​​op showed me what my strengths and weak­nesses were and made me a more con­sci­en­tious worker and a better leader,” Batt said. “I was able to dis­cover jobs that focused on my inter­ests in very dif­ferent ways.”

Batt, a Mer­ri­mack, N.H., native, is eager to address some 20,000 grad­u­ating stu­dents, their fam­i­lies and friends at the university’s 110th commencement.

The bulk of her speech will focus on the explicit con­nec­tion between achieving per­sonal suc­cess and building rec­i­p­rocal rela­tion­ships at home, in the work­place and throughout the world.

Batt, who was named one of Northeastern’s Most Influ­en­tial Seniors, offered a per­cep­tive piece of advice to her peers, many of whom have already lined up full-​​time jobs around the globe. “Learn how to be pro­duc­tively engaged in many com­mu­ni­ties at once,” she said. “Try to be cog­nizant of the other people you are working with, and under­stand your moti­va­tion may not be the same as theirs.”

Batt was accepted into the master’s pro­gram in engi­neering at the Uni­ver­sity of Cam­bridge, Eng­land, but opted to take a full-​​time job with Fikst starting this fall.

She dreams of run­ning a studio in which fine artists and engi­neers col­lab­o­rate on exper­i­mental projects in sci­ence and design. “The work would be grounded in tech­nology and focused on aes­thetics and usability,” Batt said. “Exciting col­lab­o­ra­tions and new dis­cov­eries might not happen if people of very dif­ferent pro­fes­sions don’t work in the same space.”