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RISE 2018. Photo by Adam Glanzman/Northeastern University.

Northeastern University recently held its annual Research, Innovation and Scholarship Expo – this year, in a digital format. Known as RISE, the event brings together both faculty and student research at one important event. Each year, typically held in Cabot Cage, there are hundreds of presenters who have been nominated and vetted to be part of the expo, and share their breadth and depth of research, entrepreneurship, and scholarship with guests and judges. At the end of the event, the judges sub­mit their rat­ings and the top award win­ners are then rec­og­nized. This year, the College of Arts, Media and Design (CAMD) sponsored three new RISE Focus Awards: the Data and Digital Storytelling Awards, the Design Awards, and the Health Communication Awards.

“Launching these awards was a terrific opportunity for us to showcase some of the exciting student work taking place at CAMD, and to emphasize the reach and importance of our disciplines,” said Katherine Calzada, CAMD’s Assistant Dean for Research Development. “Our Focus Awards were open to students from all colleges, and we reviewed excellent submissions from across the university. Design, storytelling, and communication are critical tools in the world today, and CAMD is a frontrunner in pushing the boundaries of these disciplines.”

The Data and Digital Storytelling Awards recognize one undergraduate and one graduate student or team whose RISE presentation deftly applies tools of design, data visualization, text mining or mapping, journalistic investigation, or creative storytelling to draw attention to an important idea, problem, or challenge. The award is jointly sponsored by CAMD and the College of Social Sciences and Humanities (CSSH). This year’s winners: Undergraduate students Zachary Bennett-Engler (Khoury College of Computer Sciences), Jillian Arkin-Burns (Khoury College of Computer Sciences), Kiley Choi (D’Amore McKim School of Business), and Rucha Khanolkar (Khoury College of Computer Sciences) for their project Curious Boston: How does public data flow through the city? The faculty advisor on this project was Mark Sivak, Associate Teaching Professor in CAMD and the College of Engineering. The graduate student winner was Jordan Clark (CSSH) for the project Building Multimodal Human Perception Ai to Quantify Lifelong Learning.

The Design Awards, sponsored by CAMD, recognize projects that best exemplify how design principles and the design process conceive of and shape innovative ideas and solutions to challenging, multi-disciplinary problems. Design, an interdisciplinary and integrative discipline at the core of CAMD, has the capacity to map the complex dynamics of an issue, foresee its evolution, and shape tangible and intangible interfaces, experiences, services and systems – and it can empower the network between and across disciplines. This year’s winners are undergraduate student Vidhan Bhaiya (College of Engineering) for the project (also advised by Professor Sivak) Dr. Brinsley: Diabetics don’t need to choose between looking good and saving their foot and graduate student Estuardo Villatoro Castaneda (CAMD, School of Architecture) for the project Women: Heart and Head of the Haitian Economy.

Third, the Health Communication Awards, sponsored jointly by CAMD and Bouvé College of Health Sciences, recognizes projects that examine contemporary health communication challenges that are paired with viable solutions. Communication is a critical tool in the health sciences; it includes crafting messages about health, developing strategies for promoting health-care services, and specific applications such as disease awareness and prevention. This year’s winners, two undergraduate students, are Maria Paz (Bouvé) for the project How to be an Ally: Evaluating an LGBTQ+ Healthcare Competency Intervention and Sarah Rathje (CAMD, Department of Communication Studies) for the project Evaluating a State-Wide Opioid Campaign Using the Health Belief Model and the Transtheoretical Model.

Congratulations to these award winners, as well as all of the RISE winners across awards. We would also like to take a moment to specifically recognize the CAMD student winners – congratulations!