We make it easy for you to begin connecting with Northeastern’s world-class faculty in your first semester and beyond.
Explore Program students have opportunities to connect with faculty through their exploratory courses, Explore Program events, and First-Year Inquiry Seminars. We encourage you to attend office hours, interview professors, and seek out research opportunities in areas of academic interest.
Featured Faculty Connections
|Carey Noland, Ph.D.
|Veronica Godoy-Carter, Ph.D.
|Becca Berkey, Ph.D.
Community-Engaged Teaching and Research
Environmental Studies & International Affairs
The connections Explore students begin building in their first semester often evolve into ongoing faculty mentoring relationships. These relationships can have a significant impact on Explore students’ future academic and career paths. Our students reflect back on their mentoring experiences, along with faculty who share what they love about working with Explore Program students.
Explore Program students share their favorite courses, taught by faculty who have impacted their academic and career paths.
“Organic Chemistry 1 & 2 with Professor Oyelaran has been my favorite course. Organic Chem is a difficult subject and Professor Oyelaran’s class is tough, but her teaching ability is unparalleled and the satisfaction from succeeding in it was great.”
Chris Ammon, Marine Biology
“Hydrologic and Hydraulic Design with Dr. Dulaski in the Civil Engineering department was my favorite course. This is an upper-level course where you learn how to design stormwater management systems. This is a great skill to have for anyone interested in transportation design and land development. The class is very hands-on, and you will learn so much! Plus, Dr. Dulaski genuinely cares about his students and seeing them succeed. I always felt very comfortable coming to him with questions about the class and talking to him about my future plans in civil engineering. He is an excellent professor and role-model, and I truly enjoyed being in this class.”
Lindsey Tayne, Civil Engineering
“Professor Granelli does a fantastic job at teaching information effectively and making it fun at the same time! He offers a lot of information about what a communications degree is useful for after college, which is always extremely helpful as an Explore student.”
Erin Gill, International Affairs and Communication Studies
First-Year Inquiry Seminars
Our 1-credit First-Year Inquiry Seminar courses allow you to begin developing mentoring relationships with faculty and explore an additional discipline outside of your four 4-credit courses. Each section has between 10-15 students and is taught by a faculty member eager to introduce new students to their academic discipline.
Learn more about our past Inquiry Seminar topics:
Dr. Adam Cooper, Department of Linguistics
Have you ever experienced a food coma? Or been the unintended recipient of a butt dialing? These are just two of the countless words that have entered the English language only within the last few years – imagine how many words have come (and gone) in fifteen hundred years of English before then! In this course, we will examine English vocabulary from a range of perspectives, considering the ways in which words can enter a language and change in form and meaning over time, as well as what it is we know when we ‘know’ a word. In exploring its words, we will come to better appreciate the remarkable development of English into the global language that it is today.
Jesse Hinson, Department of Theatre
Were you an active member of your high school drama troupe, a star on your improv team, or a charismatic orator but haven’t decided if theatre is something you really want to pursue? Have people told you all your life that you should be an actor, but you’ve never taken a class and are reluctant to give it a try? In this seminar, students will have the opportunity to sample elements of improvisation, voice work, and acting in a safe and encouraging atmosphere. Participants of all skill levels are welcome and no prior experience is necessary. Throughout the semester, students will play games, engage in explorations, and see and discuss live performances in order to deepen their relationship with theatre and discover the actor within.
Dr. Kathleen Kelly, Department of English
In this section of Inquiries, we will examine the natural and built world of Northeastern’s campus and its environs. We’ll study photographs, paintings, and maps that attest to the changes that Northeastern has undergone since its nineteenth-century beginnings as a meadow located at the edge of a salt marsh. We’ll also take weekly field trips: to the Fens, to a community garden, and to various sites on campus (the Bamboo Garden, the rooftop garden on Behrakis, etc.). In class, we’ll study different approaches to writing about place, with a focus on field notes – that is, writing intended to capture first-hand immediate impressions of the world and then shaped into scientific, and sometimes literary, observations. We’ll examine the field notes of such naturalists as Henry David Thoreau (at Walden), ornithologist Ken Kaufman (in Baja), and zoologist George Schaller (in the Serengeti). These writers will serve as models for our own notes (and drawings and photographs) that we make on our field trips. At the end of the course, students will collaborate on a project in order to showcase their discoveries.
Dr. Nathan Felde, Department of Art + Design
The world in which we live is, for better or worse, designed well or designed badly. Design is an ancient human process of inventing the means for intentional beneficial change. The question is, “who benefits?” This course will present a range of design practices and explore the cultural, social, economic, and career opportunities they offer. Students will examine these practices and relevance to their own talents, interests and aspirations. A focus on design practices studied at Northeastern will offer students a chance to evaluate the potential to incorporate design practices into their individual interests and educational goals. Students will study leading designers and learn to discuss design values. Students will be able to identify and define major design practices and certain iconic works of various celebrated designers.
Dr. Becca Berkey, Director of the Service-Learning Program
Does it fascinate you to think about what it takes to get that mouthwatering slice of pizza to your table? Do you want to know more about how to make food choices that are not only good for you, but good for others and the environment as well? Finally, have you ever wondered what it looks like to create large-scale change, as well as how to make a difference at a local level? Working from the foundations of environmental justice, this inquiry seminar will uncover and examine through readings, media, discussion, and field trips the key dilemmas of the food system in the United States today: including production, access, distribution, and key stakeholders from producers, to retailers, to workers, to consumers. In doing so, it will consider the following questions:
- What are the justice-related issues facing stakeholders within the food system in the United States?
- What policies have most impacted the workforce in the American food system?
- What are the opportunities and leverage points for change in improving justice outcomes in this system?
Dr. Carey Noland, Department of Communication Studies
Physician Charles Marwick notes, “as human beings, our sexuality is inextricably linked to our overall health, happiness, and sense of wellness.” Thus, the study of human sexuality and sexual practices – and communicative elements in particular – are increasingly important to society. Although most people talk about sex a lot, too few of us engage in meaningful communication about sex. And although we may think about sex frequently, many people do not engage in the theoretical elements involved in sex and communication about it. Beyond that, theorizing about sexuality and communication are limited across disciplines. This course is an invitation to talk and think about sex in a meaningful way. Students will read case studies from top scholars across many disciplines to share research about the most salient issues regarding communication about sex. This course will use a case study, discussion-based approach to learning.