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Social Change @ Northeastern

The Burnes Center builds on the many social impact projects taking place across Northeastern’s colleges and schools.

The Burnes Center is but one of many innovative and bold projects to promote social change and social justice across the University. We want to celebrate the broad range of social impact initiatives at Northeastern seeking to improve people’s lives.


The following is a partial list that will be regularly updated. If your work is not on this list already, we would love to include it. Please share your information by emailing us and we will be in touch with you.


Current Projects: Social Change @ Northeastern

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  • Merit America

    Molly Smith

    Merit America seeks to provide a path to skilled careers in IT, advanced manufacturing and healthcare for adults without bachelor’s degrees. Offered in a blended online learning format with live support through small group work and one-to-one coaching, students work toward the completion of the IT Support or Java Development curriculum. Recognizing the close alignment of the missions of Merit America and the College of Professional Studies bachelor’s completion programs, students who complete either the IT Support or Java Development coursework who wish to pursue a bachelor’s degree are eligible for academic credit equaling up to 18 semester hours toward the Bachelor of Science in Information Technology. This saves both time to graduation and overall tuition cost.

  • Network Science Institute (with COS, Khoury and Bouve)

    Alessandro Vespignani

    The Network Science Institute (NetSI) at Northeastern University is a multi-disciplinary research community supporting innovative research and training in network science.

  • Networks for Good, Network Science Institute

    Alessandro Vespignani

    This work focuses on understanding patterns of communication, influence, and mobilization of communities through digital platforms in the pursuit of social change.

  • Northeastern University Archives and Special Collections

    Giordana Mecagni, Head of Special Collections and University Archivist

    The Northeastern University Archives and Special Collections (UASC) aims to preserve the history of Boston’s social movements, including civil and political rights, immigrant rights, homelessness, and urban and environmental justice by focusing on the history of Boston’s African American, Chinese, LGBTQ+, Latinx, and other communities, as well as Boston’s public infrastructure, neighborhoods, and natural environments. Through community partnerships, collaborations with University and City organizations, and our signature “teaching with archives program,” UASC supports research on Boston’s under-documented history on campus, in the community, and scholars worldwide. 

  • NU Public Evaluation Lab

    Alisa Lincoln and Jack McDevitt

    NU-PEL is an interdisciplinary lab comprised of faculty and student teams conducting evaluation research on what is/is not successful in various community programs that leads to healthier and safer communities and enhances the lives of those living within them.

  • NULab for Texts, Maps and Networks

    Elizabeth Dillon and David Lazer

    The NULab for Texts, Maps, and Networks is the University’s center for digital humanities and computational social science.

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