The CAMD Honors in the Discipline program requires that a student complete a project in an area related to the individual student’s program within the college.   Students who wish to pursue Honors in the Discipline must have a major within CAMD or a combined major that includes at least one CAMD program.

The Honors Project

The Honors project may involve a research study, design, music composition, play, media production or any focused work in a subject addressed within CAMD.  The project will be supervised by a CAMD faculty member, recorded on the student’s transcript as xxxx 4970 – Junior/Senior Honors Project 1 (4 SH), and a proposal must be approved by the supervising faculty member and the chair of the department before the project begins.

The Honors project must be beyond what any student needs to complete to satisfy the requirements for any other class that she or he takes in the college. In other words, a paper written for one class, cannot be used again to satisfy the College Honors project requirement.

At the conclusion of the project, the student who wishes to graduate with an Honors in the Discipline credential will present her or his work to the Dean, the supervising instructor, other students who, during that term, have completed their College Honors projects, and anyone else who wishes to attend this publicized college event.  The presentation event is held on Reading Day in the Fall and Spring Semesters.  A successful student in Honors in the Discipline will earn the credential, Honors in [Major], for example Honors in Music, on his or her official transcript.


Students are eligible for the Honors in the Discipline credential in the College of Arts, Media and Design if they:

  • Are Juniors or Seniors in the college with a GPA of 3.5 or better.
    • Communication Studies majors must be a senior with a GPA in the top 15% of the graduating class.
    • Other departments may also stipulate a higher GPA and/or other requirements.
  • Have room in your schedule for a 4 SH course in the semester of the project.
  • Have completed a proposal approved by a supervising faculty member and the department chair (or simply a department chair in the case of combined majors).
    • Note: Faculty must be full-time or tenure track.  Adjunct faculty may not supervise an Honors in the Discipline project.
  • Complete the project as described and approved.
  • Make a satisfactory public presentation of their project with the dean, faculty supervisor and other honors project students.
    • This is typically set for Reading Day in the Fall and Spring semesters.

Proposal and Application Process

  1. Preparation – The student interested in CAMD Honors in the Discipline meets with a professor and describes the nature of the project. The professor agrees in principle to work with the student pending receipt and approval of a written proposal.  Be sure to consider the following:
    • The scope of what will be covered in the project.
    • The meeting schedule.
    • The milestones of project completion throughout the semester.
    • The deliverables at the end of the project.
    • If the proposal involves the use of a survey, IRB approval must be sought prior to submission.
  2. The Proposal – The Student prepares a one-page proposal. The proposal includes:
    1. A description of the Honors project focus and end products.
    2. The name of the professor who has agreed to supervise the work.
    3. A timeline for completion.
    4. The signatures of the professor and the chair of the department who are endorsing the Honors project.
  3. Deadline – The student submits the completed Honors in the Discipline Application document (below) to the Director of Academic Advising in CAMD no later than the second week of the semester of the project.
    1. Assuming the student meets the eligibility requirements and has the endorsement of the professor/chair, the Director of Academic Advising enrolls the student in the department’s 4 SH honors course. (e.g. MUSC4970 – Junior/Senior Honors Project 1)
    2. A student can take up to two semesters to complete the project. If she or he chooses to work on the project for two semesters then the student will be enrolled in the second semester of the Honors Project course.
    3. While the student is completing his or her project, he or she is able to access the services and supports of the University Honors Program, including access to special funding, even if he or she is not a part of the University Honors Program. Completing this project does not imply a student has joined the University Honors Program.


Current Projects

Spring 2018

Andrew Barrett

Major: Games

Faculty: Celia Pearce

Topic: Control Alt Compete: Comparing Players’ First-Person-Shooter Performance of Keyboard & Mouse and Gamepads

Description: This project will be a study in PC game input devices, specifically in which of the two inputs yields better performance for players of first-person-shooters. The study will have players play the game mode “Nazi Zombies” in pairs (one on keyboard and mouse and one on a steam controller) while we determine which player played the best with each input. The goal of this project will not only determine the superior input, but also to suggest to developers of FPSs as to which input they should provide support for.


Tirelle Barron

Major: Art + Design, Experience Design

Faculty: Mark Sivak

Topic: Capsule: A 5D Mounted Device

Description: This project will focus on the creation of a 5D mounted device, called Capsule, that aims to combine sensory elements with the virtual world. In conjunction with virtual reality technology, Capsule will transport users to different environments, such as a dark forest.


Kevin Cannon

Major: Media Arts, Animation

Faculty: Brandon Sichling

Topic: Elsewhere Design and Drafting

Description: The goal of this project is to create a design document and scripted animatic for the pilot of a hypothetical animated series. The series will tell the story of a young girl who becomes stranded in the Elsewhere (working title), a world of all of the lost things from throughout the multiverse. She now has to find a way home before she entirely forgets her home and gets lost in the Elsewhere forever. Note: this is part one of a two part, year-long project. 


Annie Cheng

Major: Games

Faculty: Brandon Sichling

Topic: Wilt: An Alternate Reality and Theater Game with Media

Description: This project will produce two books that are bound and printed, as well as one design document and business plan, one style guide and an art book. The art book and design document will be based on a game, Wilt, that is based on a personal journey to acceptance.


Catherine Lindsay

Major: Journalism

Faculty: Carlene Hempel

Topic: The Lives of Transgender Inmates in Massachusetts: Challenges and Issues

Description: In the wake of Trump’s ban on transgender people serving in the military, issues affecting trans people are at the forefront of the national conversation. However, a significant sub-population has been notably absent from the discussion: transgender inmates. The goal of this project is to investigate the issues faced by trans inmates in Massachusetts and the challenges that the Department of Corrections faces in overseeing these inmates.


Rowena Lindsay

Major: Journalism

Faculty: Carlene Hempel

Topic: Environmental Justice in Massachusetts

Description: This project will result in an in-depth news article about how difficult it is to work environmental justice cases through the legal system in Massachusetts. A court case in Brockton is essentially a test case of how past environmental justice policies have failed and whether the new 2017 Massachusetts Environmental Justice policy will hold up in court. The article will look at what this new policy could mean for all Massachusetts communities fighting EJ fights through the lens of what plays out in Brockton.


Rayyan Mikati

Major: Approved Independent Studies

Faculty: Cammy Brothers

Topic: Islamic Manuscripts and their Conversation

Description: This is a research project focusing on Kitab Na’t al Hayawan, a 13th century Islamic manuscript, with a focus on conversation. Additionally, it will explore the cultural distinction between manuscripts and artwork coming from the same era and region.


Win Overholser

Major: Architectural Studies

Faculty: Amanda Lawrence

Topic: Architectural Style/s: A Contemporary Conversation in Copley Square

Description: Ever since the modern movement, architects have hesitated to broach the topic of style. This remains the case in contemporary architecture despite its renewed interest in other formerly outmoded concepts like typology and ornament. This project develops an historically-founded theory of style through the design of a conceptual and critical architecture on the northern edge of Boston’s Copley Square.


James Plihal

Major: Architectural Studies

Faculty: Sam Choi

Topic: Expanding Athletic Presence Through Architecture on Northeastern’s Campus

Description: Due to a limited presence of organized athletics on Northeastern’s campus, this project will explore the feasibility of creating an athletic field and supporting facilities on or directly adjacent to campus. The purpose of such facilities would be to foster the presence of athletics and physical activity to Northeastern students, thus enhancing the Northeastern community. The project will explore various locations and their feasibility, research appropriate program allocation, and utilize an iterative design process that will culminate in a hypothetical proposal of the aforementioned athletic facilities.


Yupeng Qin

Major: Media Arts

Faculty: Ed Andrews

Topic: 2D Animation Production

Description: The goal of this project is to explore the ability to combine the skills of using several tools to produce a short 2D animation, which includes character design, storyboarding and sound and video editing. The animation will be created using Adobe Photoshop, Premiere, AfterEffect and Paint Tool SAI.


Brenna Sorkin

Major: Approved Independent Major

Faculty: Janos Stone

Topic: Encouraging Medical Literacy in Pediatric Patients

Description: This project will culminate in an educational program designed for pediatric patients in hospitals. This program will foster an interest in science, teach medical literacy, and encourage patient self-advocacy.


Juliana Tennett

Major: Design, Interaction Design

Faculty: Ann McDonald

Topic: Hybridity

Description: This project will focus on creating an online platform for users to immerse themselves into three independent pieces of creative writing. The pieces themselves will hinge on personal and emotional experiences, and the intention of the online platform will be to increase the sense of emotionality and the user’s ability to relate to the feelings presented to them through illustration and interaction.


Completed Projects

Fall 2017

Victoria Barranco

Major: Media Arts, Animation

Faculty: Ed Andrews

Topic: Technical Modeling, Texturing and Rigging for Animation Production

Description: Every character in an animated film needs to be created, textured, and given a skeleton from scratch. Animators manipulate this “rig” to create what the audience sees moving on screen. The goal of this project is to create a production-ready rig of an alligator character for use in an animated short film about the Florida Everglades.


Suma Hussien and Jennifer Heintz

Majors: Design, Graphic & Information Design

Faculty: David Tamés

Topic: Recovery Road: An Interactive Documentary

Description: Recovery Road is an interactive documentary focused on telling the story of active and recovering opioid users on Boston’s Methadone Mile. It aims to destigmatize opioid addiction and those who suffer from it. Using personal interviews, 360 video and illustrated storylines, we hope to change the perception of addiction from a moral failure to a disease of the brain.


Allison Gurland

Major: Music, Music Indusry

Faculty: Andrew Mall

Topic: Roll Credits: Behind the Scenes in the Entertainment Industry

Description: This project is a blog that features weekly interviews with people who work behind the scenes in the entertainment industry. It will include positions in film, theater, music, sports and more. The goal is to expose those people who are crucial to making the entertainment we all know and love, but don’t even get credit or acknowledgement.


Kimberly Timbone

Major: Media Arts, Animation

Faculty: Ed Andrews

Topic: 3D High Detail Character Study in Zbrush

Description: The goal of this project is to create a fully detailed and realistic production-ready model of a character for the purposes of using it for a game/animation. I plan to fully 3D model the character and all details using Zbrush, then fully texture and surface the character using Mari/Substance Painter 2.

Spring 2017

Kitty Cheung
Major: Communication Studies
Faculty: Brooke Foucault Welles
Topic: Understanding Race in Media and Entertainment Through Agenda Setting Theory
Description: This paper will explore how movies channel racially driven messages to the public by framing media content in specific ways, and increasing visibility on such media content. Different types of media will be discussed to establish how American media and entertainment frames race (and the perceptions of violence and domestic security associated with race), and may be useful for future products that wish to effectively or accurately communicate social messages.

Claire Dufournier
Major: Graphic and Information Design
Faculty: Doug Scott
Topic: Mapping Productivity
Description: At the end of 2016 I committed to quitting Concerta, the amphetamine that treats ADHD that I was prescribed when I was 16 and have been taking on a daily basis for over 6 years. Concerta has provided me with an illusion of productivity, intensity and stamina in my work ethic but I’ve decided I’d rather be a little less productive rather than indefinitely dependent. Starting on January 11th I will no longer be medicated and for the next two months I will be logging daily information ranging from my overall mood and energy levels to my sleep pattern and diet in the attempt of finding energy and focus elsewhere than in Concerta. I will then translate this complex information into simple visuals, resulting in an information design piece that could help and inspire any student or viewer going through a similar struggle.

Jonathan Levine
Major: Architecture
Faculty: Sam Choi
Topic: MEGA-Structures
Description: This project examines the potential of using multiprogrammed, layered structures as a solution to over density in cities. Using critical precedent analysis as a backbone, it will attempt to catalogue and create varying megastructures to suit contemporary urban environments.
Note: This was a year long project

Maggie Quick
Major: Journalism
Faculty: Charles Fountain
Topic: Making Journalism Accessible to Refugees: A Curriculum for Paper Airplanes
Description: Civil war in Syria is displacing millions of refugees and leaving an entire generation without access to education. Syria has also become one of the most difficult places for journalists to work. With these facts in mind, I will create a curriculum for a free journalism course for refugees that I will co-teach beginning later this year through Paper Airplanes, a non-profit that tutors victims of political violence through online education tools like Google Hangout

Kristen Starheim
Major: Architecture
Faculty: Dan Adams
Topic: Plants and the City:  Fostering a Symbiotic Relationship
Description: This project will explore strategies of urban planting that benefit both the localized ecosystem as well as surrounding built infrastructure. Integrating species that exhibit high eco-performance into the urban fabric can simultaneously promote greater biodiversity and improved eco-services.

Fall 2016

Emily Feltault
Major: Communication Studies
Faculty: Brooke Foucault Welles
Topic: The Sneakerhead, A Modern Marketing Maven
Description: This paper will look at patterns concerning these sneakerheads and how their actions have, or have not, influenced the popularity of certain products, particularly through their use of social media.

Greg Hackel-Johnson
Major: Media Arts, Photography
Faculty: Sophia Ainslie
Topic: Three
Description: A series of three large-scale artworks that all function as part of the series but are also very individual and unique. The artworks are a mediation on my practice of creating art, each demonstrating a different style of creation varying in composed and detail oriented to spontaneous. The artworks also stand as a testament to the art of drawing with a system. All three artworks will be completely solely in monochrome.

Emily O’Brien
Major: Design, Interaction Design
Faculty: Milda Richardson
Topic: Museum Education in the Fine Arts
Description: This honors project will examine fine art museum education strategies and how museum educators use cu ration to teach visitors about a variety of topics within the fine arts setting. I am primarily interested in discovering how museum educators engage their audiences with and without the use of technology and other materials , as well as researching new innovations in the museum education field.

Jeffrey Vogel
Major: Architecture
Faculty: Dan Adams
Topic: Practical Applications of Agriculture in the Active, Urban Environment
Description: An exploration into the feasibility of implementing Urban Agriculture practices into active industrial sites and other commonly neglected urban zones. What underutilized areas are created by the industrial building typology and how can they be re-structured to better accommodate alternative use through Urban Agriculture?

Larissa Weinstein
Major: Media and Screen Studies
Faculty: Kristopher Cannon
Topic: Practices of Digital Production
Description: The digitization of media enables audiences to instantaneously access, create, and share content. This project utilizes critical analysis to examine current digital production practices by media publications, such as The New Yorker, and will assess how these publications present digital content and how audiences respond to or transform these types of content for their own purposes. The critical analysis will be supplemented with a creative project, which will illustrate how digital media production practices evolve as audiences become authors.

Spring 2016

Anna Driscoll
Major: Design, Concentration in Graphic and Information Design
Faculty: Ann McDonald and Daniel Faber
Topic: Captivating & Informative Design of Environmental Research Reports for Policymakers & the Public
Description: This project stemmed form my idea of merging my two passions, Graphic Design and Environmental Science.  Graphic Design can be very influential when applied to other disciplines.  Service design, information design, and graphic simplification are used everywhere in daily life to help provide people understand information or material in an even more informative way.

Emily Eagan
Major: Music Industry
Faculty: Margo Saulnier
Topic: The State of Music Education
Description: The goal of this project is to provide a comprehensive look into the state of music education today to determine the cultural impacts of its potential deficiency. Music education history, issues, and supporting organizations will be researched, in addition to conducting interviews with students, educators, and professionals in the field.

E. Rae Fagin
Major: Music Industry
Faculty: Andrew mall
Topic: The Importance of Feminism in the Music Industry
Description: This project will examine the history of feminism in the music industry, what role feminism plays in the music industry today, and what this means for the current music industry.

Michelle Houle
Major: Music Industry
Faculty: James Anderson
Topic: Studio Space Completion
Description: The objective of this honors project is to construct, catalog, and diagram a functioning control room in 352 Ryder Hall.  The completion of this space will leave the music program with another room in which recording students can gain hands-on experience with mixing their projects.

Kelly Ann Kasulis
Major: Journalism
Faculty: Carlene Hempel
Topic: Massachusetts’ Homeless Families
Description: This project is 4+ months of multimedia coverage (video, photo, writing, graphics) of the state’s system for homeless families and how these people navigate their lives in poverty. The project is expected to either be self-published online or through a local news organization.

Eric Lee
Major: Graphic and Information Design
Faculty: Tom Starr
Topic: Production: A Study in Human-Object Relationships
Description: This honors project consists of an exhibition and a publication that explore the origin, production and changing relationship of objects to humans. Objects require humans for their creation yet humans are indebted to objects for our survival. In the exhibition are sculptures that use paired bought or found objects to establish an inter-object relationship within themselves that reference human use but also the undergoing dematerialization of production.

Juliana McLeod
Major: Journalism
Faculty: Carlene Hempel
Topic: The Evolution of Self-Censorship with the Advent of Modern Media
Description: This proposal evaluates the changes in self-censorship of journalists in correlation to the growth of the Internet. The goal of this project is to determine what changes have occurred in a social context and, if so, whether these changes have had a beneficial or adverse effect on journalism overall.

Jackson Plumlee
Major: Landscape Architecture
Faculty: Jane Amidon
Topic: Boston Parks, Public Space, and Land Making

Jamaica Reese-Julien
Major: Architecture
Faculty: Paxton Sheldahl
Topic: Housing Deficits in an Urbanizing Nation

Grant Terzakis
Major: Theatre
Faculty: Antonio Ocampo Guzman
Topic: Born Again – A play in one act
Description: I plan to write and direct a one act play (15-20 minutes). This play examines the emotional walls that we put between ourselves and our true feelings in order to protect ourselves from vulnerability. With themes of hope and lost expectation of change also playing a large role.

Fall 2015

Kendall Coyne
Communication Studies
Alan Zaremba
Sports Communication and Crises

Casey Geddes
Communication Studies
Jesica Speed Wiley
Understanding the relationship between how businesses communicate about their corporate social responsibility programs and their self-reported investment practices

Elleri Hughes
Music Industry
David Herlihy
Synching in the USA

Ryan Lucht
Music Industry
James Anderson
Camino: Self-produced two-track Single

Cristina Sanchez
Communication Studies
Justin Davis
Getting Social to Become Healthy

Spring 2015

Htet Htet Aung
David Fannon
Developing an environmentally sustainable solution to retrofit the thermal envelope of urban  housing.

Isabel Brostella Sosa
Faculty: Michelle Laboy
How different construction methods, as the sandbag construction, are available for certain climates and how they can reduce construction costs and environmental problems surrounding their site.

Fall 2014

Sonia Banaszczyk
Communication Studies
Sarah Jackson
How conversations around race, power, and privilege are framed in online feminist public discourse.

Spring 2014

Eric Forbush
Communication Studies
Brooke Faucault Welles
: Social Media Use and Well Being Among Chinese Students Beginning to Study in the United States.

The university offers a range of funding opportunities and support for creative and research endeavors. Here are a few resources you should investigate. Be mindful that deadlines may be in the middle of the semester before you begin the actual work on your project.

Office of Undergraduate Research & Fellowship

This office hosts information on existing research opportunities, finding fellowships and scholarships, and connecting with faculty mentors who are looking for interested students.

Undergraduate Research and Creative Endeavor Awards

The Undergraduate Research and Creative Endeavors Awards offer financial and academic support to Northeastern students seeking to develop and execute projects under the mentorship of Northeastern faculty members. Offering both Early and Advanced Awards, the program encourages undergraduate students from all years, colleges, and majors to deepen their experiential engagement through an original intellectual or creative contribution to their discipline. Students and faculty members seeking assistance with this award should contact the Office of Undergraduate Research and Fellowships.

CAMD Student Grants for Research, Scholarship and Creative Activity

The College of Arts, Media and Design makes some funding available to support student’s creative and research projects. For more information, please contact Katherine Calzada, Assistant Dean of Research Development at