Message from the Dean (cont.)

What does Northeastern University – Seattle add to our region?  Three key attributes come to mind.  

  1. Northeastern brings a third research university to Washington State.  A growing and innovative state relies on research to push the innovation curve, whatever the industry.  We already are developing research collaborations with a number of regional leaders, such as Seattle BioMed, Seattle Children’s Research Institute, the Institute for Systems Biology, and others.  These initial research collaborations will help support the region’s global leadership by developing solutions to neglected tropical diseases, and reforming how we practice health care in this country.  
  2. Our 28 graduate academic degree programs in the STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics), project management, business and leadership fields provide much-needed academic capacity to our region and state.  In computer science alone, companies in this state have to recruit  thousands of new workers from other states and countries.  Both our graduate degree programs and the collaborative work we are doing in this region with other higher ed institutions will help tackle this talent gap.  
  3. One of the best ways that growing companies in this state recruit needed talent is through internship or cooperative education (“co-op”) programs.  Northeastern’s unique co-op program allows our undergraduate and graduate students to take the knowledge from their coursework and gain an experiential education at one of 2,500 companies that regularly hire Northeastern students for six month “co-ops” or cooperative learning experiences.  Amazon, Boeing, Microsoft and the City of Seattle are just a few of the companies who have used Northeastern co-op students.   Our new Seattle campus will help more companies first learn about, and over time try this terrific recruiting technique, which is truly one of the most distinctive aspects of the Northeastern University experience. 

Our new graduate campus in South Lake Union opened in January with over 600 community friends celebrating our launch.  We are currently recruiting students for degree programs starting in July.  My team and I have met with over 60 companies and non-profit organizations to introduce them to Northeastern and learn in what areas we may be able to help meet their needs.  Feel free to contact me or any member of our Seattle team if you would like to get together.

The final area we have devoted a lot of time to over the last year is community engagement.  I have worked with many community colleges and four-year colleges and universities for several months through the Washington Technology Industry Association (WTIA) to address our region’s serious tech talent shortages.  Look for some real progress in this area in coming months.  Our speaker series on campus, Local Leaders, Global Impact, has involved local experts and Northeastern faculty first on how preventative health care is rapidly transforming how medicine is delivered and wellness achieved.  Last month we turned to another growth area in this state – the interactive media or video game industry, and how over time we can use this popular medium to achieve major progress in the education and health care fields.  We may be forming initiatives in the region for Games for Education and Games for Wellness based on this meeting and regional focus.

So as this quick overview illustrates, we are working hard to become a valued resource and thought leader in this region and state, and are steadily increasing understanding of how Northeastern University – Seattle can assist people and companies and become a respected member of our community.  Thank you for all the support to date, and we look forward to working with you in the months and years ahead.

-Tayloe Washburn

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