Honors LLCs are Back in Action for Spring 2021

After a successful fall semester, the Honors First Year LLCs sprang right back into action when the Spring 2021 semester kicked off in January. From a full day of exciting Spring Launch events, to community experiences celebrating Black History Month, the Lunar New Year, and the joy of being together again, our first year Honors Huskies are just as engaged as ever! The Honors LLC Spring Launch which occurred on Saturday January 23rd is often a time for students to settle in and relax after the hectic first week of classes. While physical gatherings were limited due to health and safety protocols, our LLCs took advantage of every virtual and socially-distanced opportunity to fellowship and build community. From shared dinner and movie evenings to chocolate tastings to peer-led panels, each LLC celebrated their shared experiences creatively.  

Cutting Edge Activism in Boston invited a panel of student activists to speak with the first year students about how to get involved on campus. Sachi Kulkarni, from the Health Disparities Student CollectiveDanny Betillo, from Northeastern Students for Justice in Palestine; and Karl Adrianza, from the Northeastern chapter of Sunrise Movement, joined the LLC for a riveting discussion on balancing activism with student responsibilities and how to join groups which speak to their truths. It was an inspiring discussion and reminds us just how powerful our students’ voices are 

Another student-led panel occurred during the Athletics and Analytics LLC Spring Launch event. HLLA Whinter Collin led a panel with current student Grant Sherman and recent alum Emily Chen to discuss finding co-ops that combine their interests, with a focus on sports and data. Chen, who works full-time at DraftKings in their digital marketing department, had limited sports experience when she started, but that didn’t stop her from getting the job she wanted, thanks to her co-op experiences at Northeastern. Sherman currently works for the Boston Red Sox in a continuation of his prior co-op, and Collin is on co-op with a more data-centric company. All three panelists gave the students great advice on how to approach the co-op search and the importance of networking, no matter the industry.  

Guest speakers were a popular launch activity as wellExplore Boston: Cultural Immersion brought in local Boston visual artist Cedric “Vise 1” Douglas, a former Artist-In-Residence at Northeastern, to discuss his work and how community engagement factors heavily into his projects and aesthetics. We’re lucky to have Douglas’ work permanently on campus via the mural “A World of Innocent Wonder,” which is on Leon Street near Centennial Commons. The students were inspired by his passion for art, and there was significant interest in a Douglas-guided street art walking tour, when it is safe to do so! And, Healthcare and Innovation held a Healthcare Professionals Panel for their students.  

Another guest speaker was really more of a guest eater! Travel and Adventure  EV10 brought in cheesemonger extraordinaire Kyra James for “Around the World in Eight Cheeses,” a virtual guided cheese-tasting experience. Each LLC member received their own cheese tasting kit, and Kyra guided the LLC through the different pairings, and described the regions from which the cheeses came. There were savory and sweet pairings, but the biggest hit was pairing cheese with Vermont’s Wood’s Cider Mill apple cider jelly. The event was delicious and educational!  

Food was an important aspect of LLC activities throughout the beginning of the semester. For their spring launch activity, both Foodies EV4 and EV9 LLCs held a chocolate tasting with Theo Chocolates, learning about the different types of chocolate as well as fair trade practices. Travel and Adventure-EV6 went on a tour of the Boston Seaport area and tried different restaurants like barTaco anTaiyaki Wellness and Nutrition paired gift bags of snacks with their launch activity focused on self-reflection through personality tests like Myers-Briggs.  

Other LLCs tapped into their creative spirits with their launch activities! Explore Boston: Arts and Culture-EV6 held a virtual paint night activity, where they created their own paintings inspired by Vincent van Gogh’s “Starry Night.” Explore Boston: Arts and Culture-EV5 had a play-reading evening, performing one-acts from David Ives’ All in the Timing with each other over Zoom. Music Lovers participated in a Battle of the Bands! They were given small instruments, split into two bands, and were tasked with creating songsTechnological Innovation and Creativity-EVheld a group discussion of Shark Tank and how to make it work on a smaller scale for the semester. Explore Boston: Community Service participated in a canvas painting party event.  

The virtual gaming experience continued to be popular, as well. Technological Innovation and Creativity-EV4 participated in virtual Escape Rooms, and the Outdoor Adventure LLC played a game via Kahoot as a reminder of all the fun they had the previous semester. Future of Cities planned for the spring semester and bonded over board games and a catered dinner. Artificial Intelligence & Virtual Reality teamed up with Gaming for their launch, with Board Game Empire Expert Jonathan and Trivia.  

Events continued through February, despite the winter chill and all the snow! Explore Boston: Arts and Theatre- EV6 participated in a Valentine’s Day-themed trivia, co-hosted with RA Cameron, and held a watch party for the Homecoming headliners, Schitt’s Creek stars Dan Levy and Annie Murphy. Foodies-EV4 celebrated Lunar New Year with dinner from Teriyaki House and a discussion of Lunar New Year traditions and cultural significance. Wellness and Nutrition gathered safely for Northeastern Nutrition trivia and dinner, and Explore Boston: Arts and Theatre-EV6 held a dinner-and-a-movie night, ordering catering from Giacomo in the North End and watching Hercules! 

As the weather warms up, we expect our Honors LLCs to bloom with more experiences, making memories through the last half of the semester which will last throughout their years at Northeastern.