The Northeastern Next Podcast is your channel to your global alumni network. In this show, we will catch up with alumni to hear what they do every day to achieve what’s next, and learn about their journey after Northeastern.
Questions, comments, or ideas for next guests can be emailed to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Jess Fracalossi, AS’10
Sweat. Inspire. Transform. Raise the Bar. You’ll find these words on the walls of The Handle Bar Indoor Cycling Studio, founded by Jess Fracalossi, AS’10, in 2013, with a mission far beyond the bike. Six years later, she has four award-winning locations in Boston, loyal riders, and a brand centered around passion, community, and wellness. From angel investors and the brick and mortar real estate game, to hiring a strong team to support the business, Jess is an ambitious fitness entrepreneur. Her impact reaches farther than spin class, and her nonprofit branch, “Handle with Care” tackles stigma around mental illness through local community events.
Jason Yau, DMSB’17
In a world of Nike, Adidas, Reebok, and Under Armour, is it possible to break through and create a new and competitive sportswear brand? Jason Yau, DMSB’17, founder of Zyphr apparel, thinks so. Athletes in Hong Kong rely on foreign brands, and Jason saw a gap in the market for his homegrown premium sportswear company. With global fast fashion trends and low barriers to entry, Jason is setting his brand apart by focusing on the quality, and creating a perfect match between performance fabrics and fashion. Jason is also a member of the Young Global Leaders—alumni who help advance the international scope of the university.
Attend: Dream, Discover, Disrupt | Nov. 19 | A Celebration of Entrepreneurs at Northeastern
Brian Shea, CJ’97
Crime thriller novels and TV shows have always been popular, but author Brian Shea, CJ’97 has literally been at the scene of the crime. After serving in the US Navy, Brian spent over 10 years in law enforcement as a detective, and now writes what he knows. What do a terrorist, human trafficker, and serial killer have in common? They’ve all been hunted by his leading character, FBI agent, Nick Lawrence. Brian has mastered the art of creating the suspenseful “page turner” and at Northeastern, when not in class, he was usually found with his nose in a book. His most recent crime thriller series is set in Boston, and the first book, Murder Board, hit the bestseller list on Amazon and held the #1 spot for New Release in the Mystery category.
Sophia Moon, MBA’13
Sophia Moon is an artist, entrepreneur, marketing consultant, and community builder who has always followed passion in her career. Instead of a side hustle, she designed a life she loves with many major hustles, giving each her full attention. She now owns Essem Art Studio in Charlestown, MA, leading art and music labs for children. She is also the Boston Chapter host of Creative Mornings, a monthly lecture series and global movement of 206 chapters in 65 countries. With only 24 hours in a day, how did she do this? By networking! We all use the “networking” buzz word in the pursuit of career dreams, but Sophia gives real advice on how to create relationships that can help you succeed.
Jonathan Ulman, AS’04, MPS’12
When he was 11, Jonathan Ulman dreamed of playing drums with Pearl Jam. Fast forward to today, he is a three-time winner of the Boston Music Award’s Session Musician of the Year, a teacher at the Berklee College of Music, and has over 20 years of experience playing in live concerts and on hundreds of records. Jonathan understands the hustle involved in making a music career a reality, but more importantly how to market yourself—a skill relevant in every industry. How do you become ready for your big break or dream job? How do you hone your craft and build the skills that will propel you past your goals while redefining new ones?
Volunteer Impact Around the World
Northeastern alumni programming spans the globe, serving more than 257,000 community members. Who makes it possible? Our volunteers! Hear from some our community leaders from France, Brazil, Spain, Greece, Singapore, the UK, and Boston, about why they choose to come back to serve their alma mater.
If you are interested in getting involved, visit: alumni.northeastern.edu/leader
Our featured leaders include:
France – Fred Hoffman, BHS’79
Brazil – Gabriella Silva, CPS’20 and Rodrigo Vieira, DMSB’11
Singapore – Yuki Shuck, DMSB’17
United Kingdom – MJ Paradiso, DMSB’10
Spain – Elena Hernandez, CPS’02
Greece – Peter Contis, MBA’83, MS’86
Boston – Shaun Hamilton, DMSB’14
Office of Alumni Relations – Ilana Gensler, MA’19
Dani Babineau, AS’10 and Dan Carlson, AS’10
What happens when you combine a love of craft beer with a passion to do good? You get Redemption Rock Brewing Co., led by alumni Dani Babineau, AS’10, and Dan Carlson, AS’10. Their brewing company is a registered benefit corporation—a for-profit organization that is legally bound to include positive social, community, or environmental impact. Redemption Rock brews for the community, focusing on local partnerships, corporate transparency, women in business and beer, and above all—good citizenship. So how did an architecture and journalism major end up creating a socially-conscious brewery? Listen to their story!
Sarah Stokey, AS’10
Sarah Stokey could be a Hollywood action hero. The Massachusetts native moved to Alaska after graduation, to pursue her dream of sled dog racing. In 2019, she finished her second Iditarod race—a grueling 1,000-mile sled dog race from Anchorage to Nome, Alaska. From an early age, Sarah discovered her love of dogs, and took a leap of faith in making it a full-time career. Sarah is both a musher and an entrepreneur and runs the Turning Heads Kennel with her partner, where they breed Alaskan huskies for racing. Sarah’s company leads year-round sled dog and helicopter tours in Seward, Alaska, and was nominated by USA Today as a readers’ choice top helicopter tour in North America.
Daniel Clarke, DMSB’12
Daniel Clarke, DMSB’12, always had a passion for storytelling, entrepreneurship, and supporting wildlife. After graduating from Northeastern, he moved to Los Angeles to start a wildlife media company. In his podcast, “Escape the Zoo,” Daniel interviews leading wildlife photographers, conservationists, and scientists to learn about the awe-inspiring species we share a planet with, revealing the beautiful and sometimes extreme stories from the wild. Daniel is also a documentary filmmaker, and is finishing a project uncovering the ethical dilemma of feral cats and the critically endangered native species of Hawaii.
Charles Cormier, BHS’17
As a people person who was looking to make an impact, Charles Cormier, BHS’17, spent his five years at Northeastern studying health sciences just to realize that he did not want to pursue healthcare as a career. In his final year, he found his passion for fundraising through Northeastern’s Senior Legacy Committee—a senior-led, senior-focused student group that encourages giving. Starting at Harvard University, and recently returning to Northeastern, Charles has worked in higher education fundraising for almost two years, and currently oversees the same student group that he was a member of during his undergraduate.
Visit: givingday.northeastern.edu | April 11: 24 hours of philanthropy, a lifetime of impact.
Connect with Charles on NUsource, your new exclusive Northeastern networking platform.
Molly Beck, DMSB’09
Molly Beck, DMSB’09 is the founder of podcast creation site, Messy.fm, and author of Reach Out, a career advice guidebook published by McGraw-Hill. As a social media user and avid blogger turned podcaster, Molly identified a need for the “Wordpress of podcasting,” allowing users to have a one-stop-shop for recording, editing, and publishing. Before founding Messy.fm, she helped launch the Forbes Podcasts channel, and also worked in marketing at Hearst and Venmo.
Connect with Molly on social media platforms @MsMollyBeck
Read More: News@Northeastern
Kyle Kornack, S’13
Kyle Kornack, S’13, graduated from Northeastern with a BA in environmental studies, an entrepreneurial spirit, and a drive for social change. With fellow alumni, David Cooch, S’13, and Liam Madden, S’12, he co-founded, and is the executive director of Green Gas, a nonprofit organization that uses innovative fundraising to offset carbon emissions at the gas pump. Transportation is the largest driver of greenhouse gas emissions in the US, and these donations directly support tree-planting and climate action projects, allowing users to drive “carbon neutral.” Kornack and Cooch were named in the 2019 Forbes 30 under 30 Social Entrepreneurs list.
Read More: News@Northeastern
Madeleine Eames, MBA’18 and Tom Lauterborn, SSH’13, MS’18
In hearing culture, American Sign Language (ASL) and the Deaf community remain a mystery to many, but some hearing individuals have dedicated their careers and personal lives as advocates and interpreters for the deaf. Madeleine Eames, MBA’18, and Tom Lauterborn, SSH’13, MS’18, are skilled hearing ASL interpreters, who have both discovered a career path and interest in deaf culture. Eames most recently worked at the Center for Atypical Language Interpreting (CALI), a grant-funded center at Northeastern. Lauterborn worked as a staff interpreter and administrator for Northeastern’s American Sign Language program until recently starting a full time freelance career in interpreting.
ASL Translation by Laurie Achin, Visiting Lecturer, Northeastern University
This Entrepreneur Went to Market
At Northeastern, entrepreneurship is in our DNA, and the innovation ecosystem has helped many students and alumni take their venture to the next level. This Northeastern Next bonus episode is a slightly different format in celebration of Global Entrepreneurship Week. In October, we held an event on campus called, “The Market,” featuring nine alumni vendors and small business owners. Almost 150 attendees spent the evening connecting with alumni behind local brands, and sampling unique food and beverage products from chocolates and teas, to savory dips. In this episode you will hear a preview of each vendor’s entrepreneurial journey.
Our featured vendors include:
Noank Nibbles – Elisa Coppelman
The Happy Cactus – Tucker Gaccione, DMSB’19
Serenade Chocolatier – Nur Kilic, E’82
VermarjeTea Co. – Mary Fernandes, DMSB’83
Amie Bakery – Amie Smith, AS’87
Recreo Coffee & Roasterie – Miriam Morales, E’90
(f)x foods – Sophie Gechijian, SSH’16
The Ancient Bakers – Tonya Johnson, MS’18
Sarah Gaines, AMD’15
For Sarah Gaines, AMD’15, what began as a blog called Fit University to help college students stay strong and healthy soon attracted a nationwide community. And, thanks to her Northeastern network and the university’s venture accelerator, IDEA, Fit University is now a global phenomenon, with Gaines holding fitness and health events, workshops and retreats around the world. Recently, USA Today invited her to do a Facebook Live workout for that news outlet’s million-plus online followers. Gaines also hosted a Huskies Fitness class for alumni and established Y Society, a forum to support young women’s social and professional development
Tom Giles, AS’09
Imagine if switching on your favorite sports game was actually an important part of your career. Tom Giles, AS’09, majored in communications, and was recognized as the voice of Northeastern basketball on the campus radio station, WRBB 104.9 FM—a platform that launched his career. The proud western Massachusetts native began his on-air television career in Grand Junction, Colorado, before moving on to Spokane, Washington. He can now be seen on air from 9-11 p.m weeknights as a co-host of NBC Boston Sports Tonight.
Connect on Twitter: @tomgilesnbcs
Seema Brodie, L’01
It took just one event for Seema Brodie, L’01, founder of BikeBus, a cycling gym on wheels with a patent-pending safety system, to get reconnected to Northeastern. She hosted a Huskies Fitness class, part of an event series organized by the Office of Alumni Relations. From there, she became involved in the Women Who Empower program’s annual summit. She was also a featured guest at the She Started It Film Festival, organized by OAR and IDEA, Northeastern’s student-run venture accelerator—where she found business-development support, networking opportunities, and access to new investors. Today, Brodie is leveraging the McCarthy(s) Venture Mentoring Network, and she has given talks at the School of Law about her startup.
Binja Basimike, BHS’12, MPH’14
Binja Basimike wears countless hats, and as you will hear, she aims to give each role 110 percent! Binja serves as the chair of Northeastern’s Young Alumni Advisory Board and is a frequent volunteer, host, and panelist for alumni events. She currently works as a Healthcare Business Systems Consultant at Synthesis Health. A double husky, she received a BS from Bouvé College of Health Sciences in 2012 and her Master of Public Health in 2014. In her free time, Binja runs two blogs: The Fearless Self and African Cocktail.
Season 1: Trailer
Meet the Host
Meghan Crook Brisson, MBA’18, is the creator and host of the Northeastern Next Podcast. She is the associate director of graphic and multimedia design in the Office of Alumni Relations, and primarily manages the visual brand and design strategy for engagement programs and alumni storytelling. Meghan is excited to launch this new podcast platform and share Northeastern stories with her fellow alumni around the world.CLOSE