Sarrah (Manisha) Asokumar, DMSB’22

Sarrah Asokumar, a first-generation college graduate, has proven that one can bring heart to auditing. Sarrah received a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration in December 2021 with a major in accounting and minors in leadership and human capital. “I am grateful to be able to graduate from college with high academic standing when neither of my parents had the opportunity,” she says.

C. Hawkins, Director of Student Engagement + Philanthropy, Northeastern University Alumni Relations, says Sarrah is “well respected by her peers and good at training others.” She was President and Vice President of Campus Relations for Student Alumni Ambassadors. When Hawkins first became involved, he says he was “impressed with her tenacity in keeping the organization running and helping me understand the history.” Sarrah says being a Student Alumni Ambassador was a major achievement. “I have been able to help students find a welcoming organization on campus, help alumni maintain their connection with Northeastern and make a greater impact on the Northeastern community.”

Sarrah’s organization skills have helped her when she was an audit and assurance intern at Deloitte. She managed the loan confirmations process for more than 1,000 positions through daily bank and client correspondence and ensured their accuracy. As a tax intern for Andersen, she analyzed and compiled financial statements and tax returns for more than 70 high net-worth individuals, trusts, and corporate accounts. As a global controlling accountant for Converse, Inc., Sarrah helped improve organizational processes.

Throughout her time at Northeastern, Sarrah was active in several organizations. She was treasurer of NU State, NU’s largest performing arts organization, and was a fellow for the Building Belonging Fellowship program, working 60-80 hours a week while maintaining leadership roles and organizing events such as Mayor of Huntington Avenue and Husky Spirit Day.

As a community volunteer, she worked with Round Table Community Center and in the Husky Hugs effort of donating stuffed huskies and funds to children’s hospitals. Sarrah was also a member of Sunrise Northeastern, a volunteer group working to stop climate change as part of the Sunrise Movement; a member of Women in Business; and a member of the intramural broomball team.

Sarrah is currently studying for the CPA exam and hopes to pass it before she begins working later this year as a full-time auditor for Deloitte.

Compass AWARD RECIPIENT
Alumni relations

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I have been able to help students find a welcoming organization on campus, help alumni maintain their connection with Northeastern and make a greater impact on the Northeastern community.”

Sarrah Asokumar

Anisa Amiji, BHS’22

How one student can accomplish so much in just a few short years is amazing. Anisa Amiji is amazing. On the Dean’s List with a 3.91 GPA, she will receive her Bachelor of Science in Health Sciences. While at Northeastern, Anisa has proven to be a leader committed to both the university and the community.

Anisa has participated in Peer Health Exchange since her freshman year and has held several positions, including president. When the National Peer Health Exchange Organization severed ties with the Northeastern Chapter and others in 2021, Anisa and a classmate stepped up to fill the void, creating the Boston Health Initiative (BHI,) which advocates for health equity and provides health education in underserved communities. “I believe [it] is a testament to the dedication and passion that our volunteers have,” she says. “This semester, we received 168 volunteer applications and can now have a Chapter of 120+ members growing in their knowledge of teaching and health education.”

More of Anisa’s achievements include mentoring high school students as a STEM research program co-coordinator of the Young Scholars Program (YSP.) Anisa was also a founding member of the team that organized a two-day regional global health conference as part of the Global Health Initiative (NUGHI) and a Black Health Matters fundraiser that raised more than $35k.

In addition, Anisa participated in two co-ops. At Brigham and Women’s Hospital, she served as a patient care associate in the burn, trauma, surgical and renal transplant ICU. She was a medical assistant at Boston Health Care for the Homeless, where she currently works part time. Anisa was also a health equity intern at the Institute of Health Equity and Social Justice Research and received a PEAK Base Camp Award for her research.

Anisa has served the community as a volunteer at St. Francis House, preparing and serving hot meals to homeless people; at Project Stree as a fundraising ambassador; and at the American Red Cross as a blood donor ambassador.

She credits her father, Dr. Amiji, a Northeastern faculty member, for her dedication to service. “He taught me that character matters and believing in something bigger than yourself is important.”

Anisa plans to pursue a joint PA/MPH degree from George Washington University. According to the Dean of Bouvé College of Health Sciences, Carmen Sceppa, “Anisa embodies the core values of Northeastern, and there is no doubt that she will continue to make Northeastern proud.”

Compass AWARD RECIPIENT
Bouvé College of Health Sciences

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Anisa embodies the core values of Northeastern, and there is no doubt that she will continue to make Northeastern proud.”

Dean of Bouvé College of Health Sciences, Carmen Sceppa

Nicole Occidental, S’22

Nicole Occidental has a 4.0 GPA and is on track to receive her Bachelor of Science in Behavioral Neuroscience in May with a minor in health, humanities, and society. Nicole says her favorite class—Writing to Heal—has influenced her future role as a physician-scientist and believes “that patients are more than just a bundle of cells to be studied and cured. It reminded me that we need to put the humanity back into medicine and research.” 

Her desire to bring humanity to medicine is evident in all that she does. As a founding member of the Health Humanities Advisory Board, Nicole helps students look at healthcare issues through a humanistic lens. It helps them think about how literature, ethics, history, art, and economics can influence a person’s access and view of the healthcare system.

Nicole is a peer programmer for Northeastern University Alliance of Civically Engaged Students (NU|ACES,) which recruits students to volunteer at local organizations to build their leadership skills while servicing the community. She is also a College of Science Peer Ambassador; NEURONS Peer Mentor; and President and Events Chair of Nu Rho Psi – NU’s chapter of the national neuroscience honors society.  

In addition to her focus on her courses, Nicole has participated in undergraduate research in Dr. Ziv Williams’ lab, where she designed, built, and implemented a novel behavioral paradigm studying inequality aversion, rank hierarchies, and mice cheating/theft. She’s also worked as a research assistant in the University’s Center for Cognitive and Brain Health and the Bernardo Sabatini Lab at Harvard Medical School.

Even with her many academic endeavors, Nicole has made time to give back at the University as a College of Science ambassador and note-taker at the Disability Resource Center. Nicole is also a tutor at Boston’s Peer Tutoring Center and a gastrointestinal department volunteer at Brigham and Women’s Faulkner Hospital.

Much lauded for her outstanding academic performance, Nicole is a nominee for the Rhodes, Marshall, and Churchill Scholarships and has received several awards including the 2020 President’s Award for being in the top 10 of her graduating class.

The future looks bright for Nicole. She’s hoping for a Fulbright to study for a master’s in cognitive neuroscience at Maastricht University in the Netherlands. “Given Nicole’s student leadership, commitment to service, and academic excellence,” says Dean Hazel Sive of the College of Science, “she is the clear choice to represent the College of Science through the Compass Awards.”

Compass AWARD RECIPIENT
College of Science

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Given Nicole’s student leadership, commitment to service, and academic excellence, she is the clear choice to represent the College of Science through the Compass Awards.”

Dean Hazel Sive of the College of Science

Lauren Herfindahl, CPS’22

It’s rare when a student starts college while actively engaging in a full-time career that started when she was three years old. Lauren Herfindahl is one of those rare young women. She has been a professional dancer with the Boston Ballet for most of her life and is now poised to graduate from the Northeastern University College of Professional Studies.

“Lauren is a leader in the classroom, on pace to graduate with high honors in Spring 2022,” Interim Dean of the College of Professional Studies, David Fields says. “Beginning her studies in Fall 2014, Lauren has taken coursework both full time and part time and currently holds a 3.77 GPA. She has made Dean’s List in every term she was eligible while working full time as second soloist for the Boston Ballet.”

Her achievements with the Boston Ballet are public knowledge. Her first performance with the main company was in The Sleeping Beauty when she was 10. She signed her first contract at 15 with Boston Ballet 11 and was awarded the silver medal at the Boston International Ballet Competition Junior Division in 2012. The next year—at the age of 17—she joined the main company.

Lauren’s achievements at Northeastern show her dedication and ambition. The most significant? “I have risen to the challenges and goals I have set for myself to graduate,” she says. “I learned to believe that I can have a second career outside of the dance world. I hope to bring my determination and hard work to my continued education and goal of working in the healthcare field.”

Even with the demands of a full-time career and her college course load, Lauren makes time to volunteer. She has encouraged new company dancers to take courses at NU, and she mentors the younger members of Boston Ballet as well as the highest-level students at Boston Ballet School. She co-hosts informal monthly conversations on topics relevant to their stage and rehearsal work, and answers dancers’ questions when they are struggling with personal or professional issues. “I want to foster a supportive and helpful environment for these budding professionals and stop the culture of intimidation and coldness that I experienced as a young professional.”

Dean Fields describes Lauren as “hard-working, professional, experiential, high-achieving, passionate, highly successful. She has proven to be a disciplined, dedicated worker inside and outside of the classroom…precisely what it means to be a Northeastern University Husky.”

Compass AWARD RECIPIENT
College of Professional Studies

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Hard-working, professional, experiential, high-achieving, passionate, highly successful. She has proven to be a disciplined, dedicated worker inside and outside of the classroom…precisely what it means to be a Northeastern University Husky.”

Dean of the College of Professional Studies, David Fields

Yachi Christie Lee, SSH, S’22

A brilliant thinker, social justice leader and generous colleague – that’s how Professor Elizabeth Britt of the Department of English describes Yachi Christie Lee, who will graduate in May with a Bachelor of Science in English and Biology and a 3.95 GPA.

Christie, who plans to attend law school at New York University to focus on health and racial justice has been an active participant in many organizations and activities at Northeastern. She founded NAACP Northeastern and organized town halls with NUPD and BPD, conducted Narcan training, and wrote for The Huntington News and NU Sci magazine. Christie claims her essay “Morality of Identity: Whitman in Chamoiseau and Glissant”—which was published in NU Writing—to be her most significant achievement. “I firmly believe that the personal is the political,” she says, “and that literary analyses are profoundly important to every one of our individual lives and our communities at large.”

Professor Britt says Christie was a top student in two of her courses, including Rhetoric of Law. “Christie impressed me with her fearlessness in wrestling with complex ideas and her commitment to social justice. Her proposal for her final project, and the final project itself, far exceeded what most students are able to accomplish in this course, especially when they do not have a background in rhetoric, which Christie did not.”

Christie’s ambition and ability to take on the unknown will help her when she pursues health law and policy in law school and beyond. She was a research intern at NUSL’s Health in Justice Action Lab, investigating media reports of overdose deaths prosecuted as “drug-induced homicide.” As a lay advocate at the Center for Law and Education, she supported lower-income and underrepresented youth in the Boston Public School system. She also participated as a paralegal in a co-op at O’Malley and Harvey, LLP and interned for Little Brothers Friends of the Elderly.

Volunteerism is important to Christie. She is a Student Athlete Support Services tutor and was an undergraduate assistant for Biology Project Lab. Additionally, she hosted phonebooks for president candidate, Bernie Sanders and Boston mayoral candidate, Michelle Wu.

Professor Britt lauds Christie as “an exceptional reader, writer, and verbal communicator. And she is tenacious and committed to the causes she cares about.”

Compass AWARD RECIPIENT
College of Social Sciences and Humanities

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An exceptional reader, writer, and verbal communicator. And she is tenacious and committed to the causes she cares about.”

Professor Britt

Jack McKim, DMSB’22

Imbued with an entrepreneurial spirit, Jack McKim has made his mark on the Northeastern community. Jack will soon receive a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration with concentrations in Finance and Entrepreneurship and a minor in Consulting.

Apart from his dedication to academics, which is reflected in his 3.88 GPA, Jack has embraced all that Northeastern has to offer. He is an active, engaged member of the student community who has proven his leadership skills in countless ways. He co-founded Huntington Ave Ventures and founded and served as president of Northeastern Private Equity & Venture Capital Club, a university-sanctioned community focused on educating and connecting students with PE/VC deal professionals. To date, more than 300 students have participated in PEVC events, including a Shark Tank event that led to a $50K investment in an NU startup.

Building the club, Jack says, is his greatest achievement. “When I started the club, I had no idea what PE/VC was. I wanted to create an organization that was community based and would help Northeastern students and alumni in the long run.” PEVC has already helped many students. “Our inclusive approach has not only allowed the club to grow immensely, but it’s also led to numerous team members getting jobs at reputable firms like Insight Partners, Summit Partners, Waterfall Asset Management, Citibank, and more.”

Jack created five co-ops, along with off-cycle PE internships. He helped raise $2M to invest in Northeastern-affiliated entrepreneurs, facilitated more than $600K in investments in the female-led startup, Mount, and co-hosted an entrepreneurship summit that brought in six founders and investors and more than 150 attendees.

The list of business-related ventures Jack has had a hand in goes on. He also has donated his time. As a freshman in an exchange program in London, Jack volunteered at Spitalfields Crypt Trust, providing practical help to people overcoming homelessness, mental health needs, and addiction. As treasurer (and then president and captain) of the Men’s Lacrosse team, he balanced out the negatives caused by the onset of Covid and kept the team running, engaged, and connected and reached out to alumni to raise thousands of dollars for the team. Jack has also been a co-op peer mentor to finance students.

Finance co-op faculty member, Namaratha Shetty says, “I have been very impressed with his true commitment to supporting young DMSB students. He is very generous with his knowledge and time…and does all of this in a humble, understated manner.”

After graduation, Jack will join Silversmith Capital Partners as a growth equity investor and will likely set the business world on fire.

Compass AWARD RECIPIENT
D’Amore-McKim School of Business

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I have been very impressed with his true commitment to supporting young DMSB students. He is very generous with his knowledge and time…and does all of this in a humble, understated manner.”

Finance co-op faculty member, Namaratha Shetty

Carrie Tam, E’22

During the height of the pandemic, most things shut down or tried to adjust to a “new normal.” Carrie Tam, a 2022 candidate for a Bachelor of Science in Civil Engineering & Architecture, instead forged ahead, convincing 30 undergrad students that they could design a net-zero energy building—producing a set of structural and architectural construction documents in the process. This, she believes, is her most significant achievement to date—and that’s from among a plethora of achievements.

“Carrie stands out as one of the top students in the Civil Engineering Program, with a 3.76/4.0 in her rigorous combined major,” says Gregory Abowd, Dean, College of Engineering. She has already received several scholarships and grants and participated in study abroad programs in Denmark and Australia.

While at Northeastern, Carrie founded the Northeastern Solar Decathlon team, which encourages members to design an affordable, resilient and net-zero energy building for the Department of Energy’s multidisciplinary collegiate competition. Her team made it to the competition’s national finals—unusual for a first-year entry. Since 2018, Carrie has been a research assistant at the STReSS Laboratory in Boston, where she assisted with the construction and testing of a full-scale composite steel deck diaphragm subjected to cyclic loading to study the failure mechanisms and investigate the impact of structural resilience in steel buildings. She is currently interning at E4H Environments 4 Health Architecture, a national company that specializes in healthcare and health sciences architecture. Her previous co-op experience was at Walker Consultants, a civil engineering consulting company.

Carrie has worked closely with her advisor, Professor Hajjar, on several research projects funded by the National Science Foundation, the American Institute of Steel Construction, the American Iron and Steel Institute, and other industry organizations. Professor Hajjar says, “Carrie is a highly intelligent, creative, poised, driven student and an exceptional leader among her peers. She is excited about her studies and her future in civil and architectural engineering.”

Speaking of the future, Carrie plans to attend graduate school in the fall and pursue an M.S. or PhD in structural engineering. Her desire is to “design unique structural systems worldwide.” Dean Abowd says, “As Carrie looks forward to graduate school, her top-notch scholarship, leadership capabilities, and technical expertise are sure to lead to her success.”

Compass AWARD RECIPIENT
College of Engineering

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As Carrie looks forward to graduate school, her top-notch scholarship, leadership capabilities, and technical expertise are sure to lead to her success.”

College of engineering Dean Gregory Abowd

Fiona McCrae, Khoury’22

“Fiona’s list of accomplishments is so long, and stretches back so far, that it makes me question how I spent my time in high school and college,” says Professor and Director of the BS in Cybersecurity program, Christo Wilson. In addition to having a 3.975 GPA, Fiona McCrae has made herself an invaluable asset to the Northeastern community and will undoubtedly do the same in her post-graduate endeavors.

For Fiona, choosing Northeastern was an easy decision, as she wanted a school with a rigorous cybersecurity program. Shortly after beginning her freshman year, Fiona secured a spot on the highly competitive Collegiate Cyber Defense Competition (CCDC) team. In 2019, her team was a local winner in the DOE CyberForce competition; Fiona individually ranked 20th out of 400 competitors. She has also been on the e-board of the NU Security Club and a member of the Khoury Student Advisory Board. In all her activities, Fiona says, “Having the chance to interact with younger cybersecurity students to help from a community within the major has been something I am so proud to have contributed to, even if there is no concrete landmark event for that.”

She also brilliantly worked two competitive co-ops in cyber resiliency at MITRE in Bedford, MA. During her time there, she helped develop pen test software and payloads for satellites and attended testing for Satellite Penetration Evaluation and Environment Demonstration (SPEED).

Fiona’s contributions to NU extend beyond cybersecurity. She was the events coordinator for CoSMO, the computer science mentoring organization that works to connect students across the discipline. She was also a teaching assistant for Discrete Structures, Foundations of Cybersecurity, and Object-Oriented Design. Professor Jason Hemann worked with Fiona in 2020 and says, “She went out of her way to create detailed guides and documentation to help students learn better in this new modality. When there’s a problem lurking, or a solution that needs to be implemented, Fiona steps up.”

After graduation, Fiona will work as a cybersecurity engineer at MITRE. Newly engaged, she is excited to celebrate with friends and family. “She’s warm, outgoing, witty, strong, personable, dependable, and honest,” Professor Hemann says. “She’s the kind of person that other people want to be around.”

Compass AWARD RECIPIENT
Khoury College of Computer Sciences

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Fiona’s list of accomplishments is so long, and stretches back so far, that it makes me question how I spent my time in high school and college,”

Professor and Director of the BS in Cybersecurity program, Christo Wilson

Taranehv Tabib-Azar, AMD’22

The best journalists see things from multiple viewpoints and have limitless interests. Taraneh “Tara” Tabib-Azar has a head start, as she is also a photographer, performing artist (guitar, piano, bass, and banjo,) 3D visual artist, and activist with an interest in documentary filmmaking, harm reduction, and mutual aid. A candidate for a bachelor’s in Journalism and Political Science, Tara has a 3.8 GPA and has been on the Dean’s List all semesters.

Tara has already taken the first steps toward her career as an investigative journalist. She served co-ops at NBC News Investigations Unit and the NBC Nightly News with Lester Holt in New York City. Additionally, she was an intern at the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) where she wrote articles about humanitarian crises.

Committed to community service, Tara has been involved with several mutual aid organizations in Boston, including Chrysalis Collective where she cooks with fellow members and distributes food and clothing. Tara worked with Program RISE, a harm reduction organization where she helped organize NARCAN (Naloxone) trainings and distributions. She also volunteered her time with the Dorchester Art Project (DAP) as a print intern and in their shop.

In addition to her volunteerism, Tara has proven to be a leader on campus. She was named editor-in-chief for Storybench, NU’s School of Journalism publication and editor of the Northeastern University Political Review. As co-director and political education coordinator with NU SAID (Students Against Institutional Discrimination,) she arranged and moderated a speaker event with New York Times best-selling author of How to Be an Antiracist and director of BU’s Antiracist Research Center, Ibram X. Kendi.

Even with so many other important obligations, Tara still finds time to pursue her passion for photojournalism, fine art photography, and the performing arts. “I am a musician and frequently perform live shows in New York,” she says, “and am currently working on my second full-length album, which will be released in 2022.”

After graduation, Tara will complete a summer internship with USA TODAY’S investigative unit and then apply to The New York Times Fellowship Program. She plans to publish a book on the socio-political impact of memes and viral content.

Tara’s future looks bright. According to Prudence Hkinda Chaiban from the UNFPA, “Tara walked in and lit the place up with a can-do attitude and creativity—and most importantly, with empathy and wisdom. No task was ever too difficult for Tara.”

Compass AWARD RECIPIENT
College of Arts, Media and Design

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Tara walked in and lit the place up with a can-do attitude and creativity—and most importantly, with empathy and wisdom. No task was ever too difficult for Tara.”

UNFPA Member Prudence Hkinda Chaiban