Erin Kelley 4/14/2011 Northeastern University honors 100 most influential seniors As her last days as a husky linger

, fourth-year senior Asha Cesar experiences intermittent flashbacks of walking on campus, attending classes and experiencing notable events from the four years that have led her to her college graduation. Among the Northeastern University students who were recently named one of the “100 Most Influential Seniors” stand not only the inspirational leaders, such as Cesar, in the Resident Student Association and other student organizations, but the underdog too; a student who has gone through the motions like anyone else, not seeking a reward. “I feel very fortunate for my experiences at Northeastern,” said Cesar. “A lot of my friends from back home aren’t as lucky.” Beginning in 2007, “The 100 Most Influential Seniors” award has consistently gained popularity each year. Sponsored by the Office for Student Affairs, the award is meant to honor those rock star seniors who immersed themselves in Northeastern University organizations, community service, study abroad programs and much more. This year, the office received 200 nominations, the highest influx since the program began. “It’s so much easier now because people know about the program,” said Emily Hardman, director of student programming and communications. “What’s gotten harder is trying to get the final list.” Even though an official nomination announcement was not sent out until the beginning of the spring semester, this year faculty began e-mailing the office at the start of the fall semester.

as well as alumni who had also been honored with the award in years past. which was followed by a celebration at Northeastern University President Auon’s brownstone in Beacon Hill. but is not a large factor. senior communications major Asha Cesar was able to network with alumni and fulfill something she had always wanted to do. “It was a nice trickle down effect. The Office for Student Affairs notified the senior recipients via e-mail earlier this month. Grade point average is taken into consideration. . five or six years we [the university] really get to know that group of them. staff and students than may be seen at other universities. but more importantly.” Since Northeastern is a five-year school.” said Hardman. “We had one student who was nominated by six people. which include faculty.” There is no formal application process for the award. announcements and word of mouth. At the event.Hardman credits the award’s popularity to better communication practices. Students were invited to mingle amongst one another. “Over all we looked the academic plan to see how that matched up to student experiences. stronger relationships can form between faculty.” said Hardman. to learn more than the nominee’s grade point average. their true interests and talents “When students are here four..” said Hardman. “It was tricky [this year] because everyone is so deserving.she is just a star. staff as well as students. nominators are simply asked to write up a paragraph or two about the student’s involvement at Northeastern University. “This year we tried to bring the deans into it. including e-mails.. Stronger relationships enable nominators.

“It was pretty awesome. “It was also cool to see what everyone was doing after graduation. Cesar not only celebrates her honor as one of the most influential seniors.” said Cesar. Today. Cesar credits her success to them. she gained a world view by traveling with three dialogue programs. “I loved being involved in student organizations being able to meet new people. as well as learn from them.” said Cesar.. During her time at Northeastern University.” said Cesar. She also holds an e-board position in Peace through Play. faculty from the center knew she had potential to stay at Northeastern and awarded her with scholarship to help her with tuition. but also her acceptance into several graduate programs across the country. “[I’m] nervous about this transition phase. Northeastern University’s manager of co-op connections. Fearful of not being able to afford tuition after freshman year.” Nominated by faculty from the Latino student center. Brazil and Kenya. As a resident assistant. Sonya Cottam. While working closely with students who are searching for or . After seeing the application. Her final decision has landed her a spot in the public health masters program at George Washington University. a Northeastern based organization that offers college students an opportunity to empower youth in Boston’s neighborhoods.. Cesar had filled out an application to a state school near her home in New York. nominated three students for the award this spring. to Egypt.secretly I’ve always wanted to see the president’s house. The fact that Northeastern is so diverse really helped me. but excited to embrace it. Cesar was able to teach her residents. Cesar’s resume has the potential to make your head spin.

Apifia specializes in mobile applications that improve everyday life. “I think that's what’s great about this honor. After shifting back and forth on the decision to apply for a full time job post graduation. and held the president seat the following year.” said Naegeli. but there are so many other students on this campus. Naegeli jumped into student involvement his freshman year. Cottam has an opportunity to get to know students on a personal level.” said Naegeli. With the help of her “co-op connectors” Cottam is able to do her job well.on co-op outside of Boston. . “It’s a nice pat on the back. Naegeli decided to put his time and efforts towards the start-up company.” said Cottam. In his year as president. A New York native. “I’m hoping by the middle of the summer I’ll know if business is taking off and see if it’s something I can commit to. he founded with a friend in September 2010. 200 students tried out. Naegeli became vice president of finance for the resident student association his during middler year. Aside from the resident student association. “My last year I wanted to focus my plans on graduation. “Sometimes you have a student you hear about. Cottam relies on several students who are working outside of Boston to help plan and coordinate events for co-op students in their respective cities. Apifia.” Fifth-year industrial engineering major Sean Naegeli was anxious to see if he made the cut for the honor this year.” said Cottam.” For co-op connections to run smoothly. Naegeli also helped push the Northeastern University club tennis team in the right direction. job well done. since many of his upperclassmen mentors had received the award. Naegeli will certainly be busy following graduation in May. “It’s a really nice honor to be recognized for being influential and contributing to campus life.

but that changed after his involvement with his residents and other students in the resident student association. communications and elementary education major Long Wu was a true husky during his five years at Northeastern. Five years ago. “I put my name out there and I put myself out there in a way that I didn’t seek recognition.a roster that needed to be cut down to 30 players. both where and for what are still questions for Naegeli..” said Naegeli. Wu cites Northeastern’s many opportunities to make an impact beyond campus grounds one of his favorite aspects of the university. he recommends taking advantage of their time here. As for grad school plans.’” Wu said. This led Wu to apply to one of the best programs in the country for student affairs and higher education at Colorado State University. the resident student association and was one of the founding fathers of the Beta Theta Pi fraternity. As one of the 20 students accepted out of 275 applications. He participated in several community service days . whether small or large. no matter what organization. “Before you know it you’re at the reception for 100 most influential seniors. The team also went on to compete in two national tournaments in New York and South Carolina that year. but becoming a resource for other students. the Brooklyn native plans to uproot once again and move to Colorado. Wu arrived at Northeastern University with aspirations of becoming a high school teacher. He knew higher education is where he belonged. “Get involved. involved with the Asian American center. In terms of advice for future undergrads..” Wu said.” Similar to his peers who received the award. Wu says his involvement was not for winning awards. “Someone told me ‘you can do this for a living’ and I said ‘no way.use that time because it goes quick.

” Wu said.617-373-7492 Sean Naegeli. and spent his final co-op at the Patrick Lyndon Pilot School in West Roxbury. Emily Hardman.631-870-9907 Sonya Cottam. “For me.646-431-7925 .914-844-1127 Long Wu. it was going through the five years and doing what I like to do.617-373-5720 Asha Cesar.for the Roxbury neighborhood.

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