Northeastern's coolest co-ops, from Fenway Park to the Ecuadorian Amazon
Michaela D'Amico

Michaela D'Amico, left, developed a passion for human rights and environmental sustainability after doing a co-op in the Amazon.

March 4, 2010

Northeastern senior Takuo Urushihara hit a home run with his co-op for the Boston Red Sox, scoring top prize in the University’s Coolest Co-op video competition.

As part of Northeastern’s co-op centennial celebration, the Office of Student Affairs had asked undergraduates to make a short video showcasing why their job was cooler than any other experiential learning opportunity in Northeastern co-op history.

Urushihara’s video on his co-op as a production assistant with the Red Sox topped those of dozens of other students who submitted entries. A team of faculty and staff members judged the clips, awarding cash prizes to the top three finishers.

Senior business major Alexandra Avila and senior international affairs and Spanish double major Michaela D’Amico won the second and third prizes, respectively.

Urushihara, a communications and theater double major, called his co-op with the Red Sox “unbelievable” and “something I could not experience anywhere else.”
 
He started working in the media control room at historic Fenway Park in 2007 and the organization named him Employee of the Season after the 2008 campaign. Urushihara still works at baseball’s oldest park through a program offered by Northeastern’s International Student & Scholar Institute.

He controls all of the content—from player stats and replays to blooper reels and highlights packages—that appears on the park’s center field video board on game day.  And he helps edit and shoot player videos and organize pre-game ceremonies.

Doing an international co-op in one country wasn’t enough for Avila, whose experience at the Guggenheim museums in Venice, Italy, and Bilbao, Spain, compelled her to explore a career in museum management.

The second-place prizewinner led museum tours, guarded artwork, worked in the ticket office and used her fluency in Italian and Spanish to help out in the gift shop between August and December of 2009.

Avila said her previous co-ops at Travel and Leisure Magazine and at JG Black Book of Travel gave her a leg up on her competition.

“I was doing this program with art history students and I was the one student who was asked to stay on longer because this wasn’t my first job,” she said.

D’Amico drove nine hours into the Ecuadorian Amazon to study oil spills and other pollution sites with Amazon Watch, an international human rights organization.

She quickly became immersed in a major environmental damages lawsuit, working with lawyers and members of the press team for the Amazon Defense Coalition, the organization that leads a $27 billion lawsuit against Chevron Texaco for illegally dumping toxic waste in the Amazon.

Advancing human rights and fighting for the environment are near and dear to her, she said. “The work has made me want to do more on human rights and environmental causes that affect cultures and groups who lose their land,” D’Amico said.

To watch the top three coolest co-op videos, please click on the following links:

FIRST PLACE:  Takuo Urushihara: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3pjZ9ydRVd8

SECOND PLACE: Alexandra Avila: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NFL5_Avv64c

THIRD PLACE: Michaela D'Amico: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ME-nDYyrbFw

For more information, please contact Jason Kornwitz at 617-373-5729 or at j.kornwitz@neu.edu.

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