BHS’16, ’19, ’23

A Triple Husky’s Journey

By Matthew Burke

“The reason I chose Northeastern as the place I wanted to come and pursue my education was to me it seemed there was a very big community and it was a community of support,” says Sade Iriah, BHS’16, ’19, ’23. “For me, coming from Canada to another country where I don’t have any family, I really wanted to feel like wherever I went, I was going to be supported and there was going to be a community I could be involved with.”

Iriah moved from Toronto, Ontario, Canada to Boston to attend Northeastern on a women’s basketball scholarship. However, she suffered injuries that exposed her to opioids in the rehabilitation process. Iriah had always been interested in science, however, following her experiences, she became intrigued by the subject of opioids’ effects on the brain, which led her to pursue a career in science.

As a “triple husky” (a person who completes three degrees at Northeastern), Iriah has spent over a decade at Northeastern in anticipation of launching her career. Northeastern was the best choice for her. She considers Northeastern to be the best school for supporting students, with elite programs and tools that prepare you for success, such as the LEADERs program, which enables students to engage in experiential learning. “I don’t just want support while I’m a student, I want to be successful when I graduate and I think Northeastern does a really great job of setting up students’ post-graduation,” says Iriah

During her time at Northeastern, Iriah gained a passion for business. In her entrepreneurship innovation class, she realized she wanted to expand her creativity and start a business. She was particularly struck by the inequality that black mothers experience during childbirth in terms of the percentage of complications and percentage of fatalities. As she worked on her master’s degree in public health, she took the initiative to get certified and start a business as a doula. She also created a range of social media pages and launched an Instagram page to post different content freely, in addition to starting a hair business, ChocGoals, which sells organic and natural hair and beauty products for women.

One of Iriah’s proudest accomplishments was receiving a patent with Dr. Craig Ferris through Northeastern for the work she completed at the Center for Translational Neuroimaging. She is excited to soon become Dr. Iriah, with the hopes that she can make a positive impact on those who struggle with addiction. “Moving forward in my future career, I would want to see if I can really make some impactful change or impactful progress in how we as a society deal with addiction and have a better understanding of how the brain works,” she says.

If you would like to contact Sade, you can follow her on Instagram @all_sade and on LinkedIn

Username @all_sade


I want to be a great scientist; I want to really help make change in the world.”

Sade Iriah, BHS’16, ’19, ’23