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2 Engineering Students Nominated for 2019 Truman Scholarship

February 7, 2019

Northeastern University has nominated Kritika Singh, BioE'20, and Michael Tormey, CEE'20, as two out of five outstanding students for the Truman Scholarship. This is the most prestigious award for junior-level undergraduate citizens of the United States who possess outstanding leadership skills and are interested in a career in public service. The Scholarship serves as a living memorial to President Harry S. Truman and provides financial support for graduate study (including law school), leadership training, and fellowship for those who are committed to making a difference through public service. All Candidates for the Truman must be endorsed by Northeastern.

Source: Northeastern's Office of Undergraduate Research & Fellowships

Kritika Singh COE’20
Major: Bioengineering
Hometown: McLean, VA

Kritika Singh’s work on neglected diseases—that is, a set of diseases common in low-income populations that receive little attention or research funding because of those they impact and the fact that, though they significantly impair human health, they are often non-lethal—combines the tools of biomedical research, clinical practice, and global health policy. A highly decorated scientific researcher, recipient of both the Thermo Fisher Scientific Antibody Scholarship and the Goldwater Scholarship, Kritika spent a year as a research assistant in a malaria immunology lab at the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases while in high school and, with the support of the Summer Scholars Independent Research Fellowship, has worked for over two years on epigenetics and malaria in the Mazitschek Lab at Massachusetts General Hospital. But Kritika, who is a member of the University Scholars and Honors Programs, understands that science alone will not eradicate disease, and in parallel with her research, she has also developed skills in policy and advocacy to amplify her impact. She founded and directs a nonprofit organization, Malaria Free World, which engages in peer-to-peer education, fundraising, and political lobbying, and she has worked to empower others through the Northeastern University Global Health Initiative (NUGHI), which she also founded. Kritika and the NUGHI team earned a Service/Research Project Award to produce one of the largest student-led undergraduate global health conferences in the nation, bringing together a broad interdisciplinary range of students, practitioners, and experts who embodied Kritika’s collaborative vision for making change. Kritika plans to earn a master’s degree in Global Health Science and Epidemiology or Medical Anthropology before pursuing an MD/PhD to prepare her for a career at the intersection of cutting-edge bioscience, translational care, and public health advocacy.

Michael Tormey COE’20
Major: Civil Engineering and Economics
Hometown: Orrington, ME

Michael Tormey views transportation planning not as an issue of maximizing commuters’ convenience, but rather as an issue of equity and justice: a way to ensure that all communities have the opportunities to thrive enabled by reliable connections to centers of employment, education, and healthcare. To this challenge, Mike brings both technical expertise and a people-oriented, civic-minded vision of collaborative leadership. The contrast between Maine’s rural towns and small cities and Boston’s density and congestion underscored for Mike the idea that different communities have different needs and that the best way to serve others is to respect, listen to, and involve them. This ethic of engagement is visible across Mike’s global learning and service experiences, including an Alternative Spring Break to Cuba, Dialogue of Civilizations to Japan, and a Summer Scholars Independent Research Fellowship to study green space development in Singapore and Jakarta. As a senior resident assistant, a teaching assistant, and an Alternative Spring Break coordinator, Mike has refined institutional processes and structures to ensure that his peers maximize their opportunities for full community engagement. While on co-op at the Boston Planning and Development Agency, Mike led the development of a plan to improve all modes of transportation in the Glover’s Corner section of Dorchester. As a result of his conscientious involvement of community stakeholders, the project enjoys wide support; as a result of his dedication and skill, he saved the BPDA over $50,000 in consulting fees, money which has instead gone to expedite construction. A member of the University Scholars and Honors Programs, Mike aims to earn a Master of Public Policy degree in transportation planning and to take a leading role in transportation advocacy and planning in metro Boston.