Timothy Van Bloem, AMD’23

“I want to make the music industry a better place,” says Tim Van Bloem, a third-year student candidate of a Bachelor of Science in Music Industry with a 3.99 GPA, Dean’s Fellow, and Honors student. “I aspire to find the perfect intersection of technology, legislation, and creativity to improve the music industry for creators everywhere.”

In terms of creativity, Tim has it in spades. He’s a singer, songwriter, and producer who spends a lot of time creating music in his home studio. Tim is also a member of the Northeastern selective, world-renowned Nor’easters a cappella group and has even performed in London. Tim combined creativity with legislation when he coordinated the launch of Good Dog Licensing, a non-profit educational startup that helps independent artists get their music in student films around the country. It is also the only student-run music licensing organization at a U.S. college or university.

Tim considers Good Dog Licensing to be his greatest achievement. In March, when a new student came to a meeting and asked how Good Dog worked, Tim asked a freshman to explain. “She was able to speak on the intricacies of the Creative Commons license, all the points to pitch to artists and filmmakers, speak on the educational aspects of Good Dog, and hit every important point,” he says. “That was the moment when I realized that Good Dog Licensing could exist long after I left Northeastern because there were other students who were just as passionate about helping independent artists as I was.”

Tim’s passion for helping is not exclusive to the music industry. He volunteered for the #Voted Initiative working with college students around the country to coordinate a massive virtual concert to support voter registration. He’s president of the Student Advisory Board, the undergrad representative for Northeastern’s Curricular and Learning Committee, NEU 2030, and participated in #NEXTGEN_U, a virtual Future of Music Industry Event co-sponsored by SoundCloud and Big Machine Records.

In addition to his creative pursuits and volunteer activities, Tim is a sync licensing intern at Downtown Music Publishing and producer, instructor, and counselor for the Gas Lamp Theater Company. Previously, he was a music licensing intern at Mandolin.

Professor and Chair, CAMD-Music, Daniel S. Godfrey says Tim “is a guiding light among our undergraduate majors and is richly deserving of the recognition that comes with the Garnet Award.”


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I aspire to find the perfect intersection of technology, legislation, and creativity to improve the music industry for creators everywhere.”

Timothy Van Bloem

Ari P. Zlota

Ari Zlota is a much-lauded student in Northeastern’s College of Science. In addition to the Garnet Award, he received the Community Service Award in 2019 from the Center for Community Service and the Community Impact Award in 2020 from the Office of City and Community Engagement. That’s impressive—especially since he still has two years to go before he graduates.

Ari is a biochemistry major, behavioral neuroscience minor, in the Honors Program, and has 3.96 GPA. He is involved with the Alliance of Civically Engaged Students (NUACES) and helped out at an inpatient detox unit at Brigham and Women’s Faulkner Hospital. In his current position as a peer programmer for NUACES, Ari mentors 10 first-year members, leads monthly lessons and discussions, and helps plan curriculum.

Ari is committed to volunteer work and has supported the Boston Healthcare for the Homeless program since 2019. During spring break last year, he traveled to Honduras as part of the Global Medical Brigades Club. Ari is equally dedicated to research. During his first co-op (at Woolf Lab at Boston Children’s Hospital), Ari worked to develop a safe therapeutic option for the treatment of acute and chronic pain. Currently at his second co-op at the Belfer Center for Applied Cancer Science (at Dana Farber), he is working to further develop and understand the action of candidate immunotherapies.

Not all of Ari’s research is focused on biochemistry. He has recently begun to participate in public health research as an intern in the Health in Justice Action Lab (Northeastern Law School). He analyzes the disproportionate investment in carceral systems—jails, courts, community supervision, etc.—relative to health and supportive systems such as housing, health and human services, and community engagement.

Ari was recently awarded a Health, Humanities and Society Research grant. “Although the grant is quite small, it represents a noteworthy milestone in my academic journey,” he says. “I also consider it prominent because it demonstrates my commitment to taking an interdisciplinary approach to solving problems.” Although his future involves treating disease and injury through science and medicine, he believes that “successfully understanding and treating such ailments requires an understanding of how non-biological factors impact their manifestation and progression as well.” 

Biochemistry Program Director Kirsten Fertuck, Ph.D, says, “I have no doubt whatsoever that Ari is going to emerge as one of our most distinguished senior students.” After graduation in 2023, he plans to go to medical school.

April 1, 2021


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I have no doubt whatsoever that Ari is going to emerge as one of our most distinguished senior students.

Kirsten fertuck, Biochemistry Program DIrector

Gabriel García

Without the support of faculty and staff, Gabriel “Gabe” García does not believe they could have achieved all they have to date—and that’s a long list. Gabe holds a 3.7 GPA and will soon receive a Bachelor of Science in Politics, Philosophy and Economics with a concentration in Public and Economic Policy, and a Bachelor of Arts in Communication Studies with a minor in Women’s, Gender and Sexuality Studies. That’s a lot to take on, but Gabe has always managed, on top of being a student, at least one part-time job while remaining active in the Northeastern community in many ways.

A University Scholar and student in the Honors Program, Gabe is the president of the Northeastern University Political Review (NUPR) where they have published three pieces: “Fitting in Nowhere: The Case for Trans-inclusive Feminism,” “The Cause for, Victim of, and Cure to Gay Loneliness,” and “All About Incivility: An Interview with Candice Delmas,” leading the organization since January of 2018.  Gabe’s passions for campus involvement have also led to steadfast involvement in Residential Life, where they are a senior resident assistant (RA) for Leased Properties, and worked formerly as an RA.

Within their home college, Gabe is a CSSH Ambassador, former peer mentor, and in the Department of Philosophy and Religion, a former teaching assistant and conference assistant. Additionally, they were the executive vice president, and then president of their Departmental Philosophy Club for two years. Across disciplines, Gabe is recognized as a member of the Phi Alpha Delta (pre-law) Society of Scholars, and is a member of Lambda Pi Eta, the Communication Studies honor society of the National Communication Association. Gabe was also just named to the 2020 Huntington 100, recognizing them as an influential campus voice. 

With so many undertakings and achievements under their belt, Gabe considers one of their cornerstone experiences at Northeastern to be planning and executing a service trip to Seattle for “Alternative Spring Break.” During the trip, a group of students visited more than nine Seattle-based organizations. With the help of another student, they planned the program from the ground up—developing purpose, goals, locations, partners, and logistics—over a few short months.

Currently, Gabe is on their final co-op as the North American Region Diversity and Inclusion Assistant at Boston Consulting Group. On their first cycle, Gabe co-oped at WilmerHale, where they were a client development (Marketing + PR) co-op, and then an intellectual property/litigation development intern when their job was extended.

As far at the future, they aren’t sure. With interests in public health, communications, policy, consulting, diversity and inclusion, and social justice, they hope to find a career blending these with their core calling of helping people and advocating for communities.

March 25, 2020

garnet award recipient

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