Power of Community – 5.20.22

Dear College of Science Faculty and Staff, This past week has been all about the power of Community. Northeastern Commencement at Fenway last Friday was brilliant: a mix of academic gravitas and joyous celebration. Our COS students all shone, but two stood out as part of the platform presentations. Tolu Faderin, a Behavioral Neuroscience major, gave a wrenchingly beautiful performance of the National Anthem, while Adwoa Sefah, a Cell and Molecular Biology major was the brilliant undergraduate student speaker.  When I greeted College of Science graduates, their roar of celebration was also a shout of knowing that they belonged here in the College of Science at Northeastern University. Because of your teaching and mentoring, they will carry with them the good power of science and find a vast set of career possibilities. Congratulations!! And then there was our in-person Community Meeting on Wednesday. How fantastic to see everyone in 4D! Thanks to Renee Patrizi for excellent organization, and to Sam Inman for stepping in as needed. I especially loved that everyone was wearing a name tag so we could more easily get to know one another. We were one Community in Blackman Auditorium, one College that has worked together through challenge after challenge, buoyed by the value of our work. Many rounds of spontaneous applause acknowledged the work of our educators, researchers and administrators. We voted to run one in-person Community Meeting every semester, with lunch! Sometime before Thanksgiving perhaps, and maybe with a little live music from College virtuosos to begin? Associate Dean Randall Hughes presented important Northeastern DEI Survey data and will do so again for College members after the summer.  But amidst the contentment of being an in-person College Community was a stark reminder. One week before I joined Northeastern as your Dean, almost two years ago, Mr. George Floyd, a Black man, was murdered by police, triggering racial violence across our country. Last Saturday, ten people were shot and killed, and three others were injured at a supermarket in Buffalo, New York. Eleven of the victims were Black people, targeted in a specifically racist shooting. Once again anti-Black violence has erupted from systems of oppression and an undercurrent of racism and hatred among some people in this country. There is no easy solution, but I am much in favor of severely limiting rights to firearms. This would not reduce racism, but it would reduce the possibility of reading out that hatred in mass killings. We affirm that in the Northeastern College of Science, we stand against racial violence and systemic injustice against Black people. We stand for anti-racist policies, equity and justice within our College and across Northeastern University. Working together as a Community, we promote a culture of respect right here where we all belong. As a Community, we stand together to condemn and grieve the hideous violence of May 14.

Best regards,

dean signature

Hazel Sive PhD
Dean, College of Science
Northeastern University