Celebrating Our 2018-2019 Service/Research Projects and Alternative Spring Break Trips

At our recent end-of-year event, the Office of Undergraduate Research and Fellowships and the University Scholars Program celebrated the work of the undergraduates who received Service/Research Project Awards from our office for the 2018-2019 academic year. These awards enable groups of students to undertake service projects that are informed by academic research. Students receiving these awards undertook a wide range of activities during the 2018-2019 academic year, from tutoring primary and secondary school students in STEM disciplines to putting on a major public health conference for undergraduates. 

During the event, we also celebrated the work of the students who participated in the five Alternative Spring Break trips sponsored by the University Scholars Program this academic year. These trips enabled students to learn about critical social, political, and economic issues while supporting the service work of one or more partner organizations.

The members of each Service/Research and Alternative Spring Break group have prepared a poster and a video introducing viewers to their work. These posters and videos, along with a list of each group’s participants and a brief description of their work, can be found below.

Service/Research Projects

Bits & Bots
Project Leaders: 
John Harrington and Daniel Rassaby
Project Members: Milli Beckers, Chris Bunn, Verda Busal, Rheisen Dennis, Sam Lazarus, Ben Novak, Samuel Pinheiro, Chloe Scudder, and Tina Wu

Bits & Bots provides an after-school education program for elementary and middle school students. The focus of this program is computer programming and robotics. In the fall, group members focused on research and curriculum development; in the spring, they offered classes to students and developed a GitHub repository for their workshop plans.

Bits & Bots Poster | Bits & Bots Video

EcoScholars Program
Project Leaders: 
Ryan Maia and Abby Plummer
Project Members: 
Olivia Chagnon, Anna Donnelly, Ava Gallo, Kai Gravel-Pucillo, Paola Stuparich, and Sydney Yonack

The EcoScholars Program offers environmental education lessons to K-12 students in the Boston area. These lessons focus on climate change, its implications for the planet’s future, and everyday actions that can be taken to reduce one’s “ecological footprint.”

EcoScholars Poster | EcoScholars Video

The Flo Initiative
Project Leaders: Eloise Coly, Danielle Reid, and Erin Sedita

The Flo Initiative works to combat social stigmas associated with menstruation and to provide low-income individuals in the Boston area with information regarding, and access to, more sustainable menstrual hygiene products.

Flo Initiative Poster Flo Initiative Video

Husky High School Hacks
Project Leaders: Logan Jones, Sydney Mason, and Luke Novak
Project Members: Sacheverel Eldrid, Ruth Olowoyeye, and Mahema Singh

Husky High School Hacks provides after-school STEM education tutoring and holds STEM-related “hackathons” for local high school students. Defined by the project group as “short events that pose students with challenges that they can form groups to solve,” these “hackathons” seek to promote collaborative and engaged learning.

Husky High School Hacks Poster | Husky High School Hacks Video

Malaria Free World/NUGHI
Project Leaders: Francesca Giorgianni, Adriell Louis, Hugh Shirley, Kritika Singh, and Stephanie Stumbur
Project Members: Bethlehem Ashagire, Anisa Amiji, Andrew Brady, Theodora Christopher, Connor Holmes, Chloe Hornbarger, Jason Ingerick, Umin Jalloh, Sunyou Kang, Andrew Lee, Shania Lee, Fatemah Mukadum, Carolina Sardinha, and Nyle Sharif

This project group works with the non-profit Malaria Free World, which seeks to promote awareness of malaria and other infectious diseases. The group also developed and promoted the Northeastern University Global Health Initiative (NUGHI) conference, which took place October 19-20, 2018 on the Northeastern campus, as well as a series of “fireside chats” with public health experts in the spring semester.


The Playground Project: INDIGO
Project Leaders: Charles Chierico, Elise Dovletoglou, and Daniel Ostberg
Project Members: Maria Bermudez Pizano, Kathryn Busemeyer, and Alexander Castillo

This project group strives to increase the number and quality of inclusive playgrounds in Boston. Its members have developed a “scorecard” that they use to assess the inclusivity of individual playgrounds, and evaluated numerous Boston playgrounds using this tool over the course of the academic year.

Playground Project Poster | Playground Project Video

Project FIT
Project Leaders: Danielle Murad Waiss and Agota Sakalauskaite
Project Members: Bota Koshkarova, Victoria Micha Waiss, and Cindy Wu

The members of Project FIT teach group fitness classes at an assisted living facility and a program for older adults in the Boston area. These classes aim to promote not only physical activity, but also social connections and emotional well-being.

Project FIT Poster | Project FIT Video

Roots Through Photos
Project Leaders: Rose Ajegwu and Leila Habib

Roots Through Photos holds photography workshops for youth in the Boston area. Participants in these workshops explore issues related to identity and community through the medium of photography.

Roots Through Photos Poster | Roots Through Photos Video

Roxbury Rocks!
Project Leaders: Lucas Calero Forero and Paulina DeLima
Project Members: Sumya Mohiuddin, Niklas Pousette Harger, Ben Silvers, and Jacqueline Tam

Roxbury Rocks! develops and teaches music and dance courses for children in the Roxbury area. This year, group members focused on making workshop plans that they have developed available via their website.

Roxbury Rocks Poster | Roxbury Rocks Video

Science Squad
Project Leaders: Congtin Nguyen and Maria Paz
Project Members: Neeloy Bose, Nithin Chintala, Anja Deric, Tyler Gogal, Sabie Marcellus, Hugh Shirley, Kritika Singh, and Ffion Titmuss

The Science Squad focuses on getting children and adolescents excited about science. The group volunteers in the science department at a local secondary school and at science fairs around Boston; they also teach classes in Northeastern’s NEPTUN program.

Science Squad Poster | Science Squad Video

Project Leaders: Anjali Kokra and Cory Langenbach
Project Members: Lilly Carlson, Orianna Kane, Matthew Lamontagne, Jack Marson, Sophia Paxton, Isabelle Prescott, and Hadley Wiggin

This project group leads extracurricular STEM workshops for children at a K-8 school in Boston.

STEMVentures Poster | STEMVentures Video

Alternative Spring Break Trips

Access to Healthy, Sustainable Food
Primary Partner Organization:
Grow Ohio Valley, Wheeling, West Virginia
Team Leaders: Lynnsey Martin and Talia Petersen
University Representative: Sagar Rajpal
Team Members: Frank Ali, Elisa Danthinne, Elise Dovletoglou, Morgan Foster, John Harrington, Jared Hirschfield, Rachael Phillips, Daniel Rassaby, and Tia Thomson

This ASB team explored issues related to food justice and poverty by working with Grow Ohio Valley, an organization that promotes access to healthy food and the use of sustainable agricultural practices in Wheeling, West Virginia.

West Virginia ASB Poster | West Virginia ASB Video

Environmental and Cultural Preservation in De-Listed National Monument Areas
Primary Partner Organization:
Friends of Cedar Mesa, Bluff, Utah
Team Leaders: Carson Markle and Elizabeth Wig
University Representative: Dr. Andrew Karas
Team Members: Hani Ahmed, Kristen Braley, Francesca Giorgianni, Stephan Lee, Julia Ruiz-Borys, Agota Sakalauskaite, Ramzi Talhouk, and Alix Zackon

This trip's participants supported the work of Friends of Cedar Mesa, an organization that undertakes ecological and cultural preservation initiatives in the area of the Bears Ears National Monument. Our ASB team also learned about the political dynamics of the area through a meeting with representatives of the Rural Utah Project.

Utah ASB Poster | Utah ASB Video

Preserving the Mojave Desert's Living Landscape
Primary Partner Organization:
Mojave Desert Land Trust, Palm Springs, California
Team Leaders: Kaus Bansal and Ryan Maia
University Representative: Professor Veronica Godoy-Carter
Team Participants: Kristen Brown, Connie Dayina E, Sam Kaplan, Raina Levin, Sam Price, Julian Stanley, Liz Trager, and Gavin Winter

The members of this ASB team assisted the Mojave Desert Land Trust with its efforts to conserve and restore land purchased by the organization. In so doing, they deepened their knowledge of the ecological, political, and practical challenges associated with land conservation projects.

California ASB Poster | California ASB Video

Public Health and Community Support Initiatives for LGBTQ+ People
Primary Partner Organization:
Entre Hermanos, Seattle, Washington
Team Leaders: Gabriel García and Natalie Sadlak
University Representative: Professor Erin Cram
Team Members: Aryn Cooper, Adriell Louis, Matthew Lamontagne, Kyle Rossini, and Milena Troshkova

This ASB trip focused on issues related to health, well-being, and the LGBTQ+ population. Trip participants spent three days supporting the work of Entre Hermanos, an organization that serves the Latinx LGBTQ+ community in Seattle. They then spent two days conducting shorter visits to other organizations in the Seattle area, including Country Doctor, Gay City, and the Gethsemane Church.

Seattle ASB Poster | Seattle ASB Video

Understanding Fair-Trade Coffee Production
Partner Organization:
RAW Tours, San Marcos de Tarrazu, Costa Rica
Team Leaders: August Howell and Daniel Ostberg
University Representative: Professor Rebecca Riccio
Team Members: Dania Abu-Hussein, Kimberly Dinehart, Caroline Ghio, Yara Gosula, Andre Kirunda, Austen Moye, Chris Osborne, Diego Rivera, and Stephanie Stumbur

This trip offered participants the opportunity to explore all facets of the production and marketing of fair trade coffee in San Marcos de Tarrazu, Costa Rica. Participants visited coffee farms in the area, as well as the National Coffee Fair. They also undertook painting projects at a local school and participated in various other community support activities.

San Marcos de Tarrazu ASB Poster | San Marcos de Tarrazu ASB Video