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Social Issues

“Have you ever really wanted something, really dreamed of it, but thought it was utterly unattainable — so unattainable that you didn’t actually consider what it might be like if it actually happened?” That’s how Richmond Times-Dispatch columnist Michael Paul Williams ’81 MS describes winning a Pulitzer Prize for commentary in 2021. “It has been such a whirlwind that I really haven’t had time to sit in it,” he says.

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Michael Paul Williams
Communication studies senior Anna Lise Ericson founded Cerer, an e-commerce platform that offers women’s clothing and accessories from brands committed to ethical and eco-minded practices.

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Cerer Hero
Gabriel Neely-Streit ’16 is co-owner of Colores Mexicanos, an importer of handmade art, clothing and accessories from Indigenous communities across Mexico. By working directly with dozens of artisans and artisan cooperatives across 11 Mexican states, Colores Mexicanos aims to help preserve the cultural diversity of Mexico, which is home to more than 60 living Indigenous languages and a wide variety of folk art.

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Colores Mexicanos Hero v2
Alfred Price Jr., the son of an African American alumnus, reflects on his father’s struggle to overcome racism at Northwestern in the 1920s.

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Alfred Price
Jesse Humpal drifted in and out of special education classes as a child. He almost failed out of his undergraduate program at the University of Nebraska–Lincoln, and at Northwestern, where Humpal has earned two master’s degrees and a PhD, he almost threw in the towel on higher education entirely during a course on linear regression.

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Jesse Humpal
Launched by the Northwestern Alumni Association last fall, the Senior Mentorship Program engages the global alumni network to help seniors prepare for the next step amid a pandemic that has
diminished job prospects.

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Kalina Silverman Hero
Northwestern Alumni Association President and trustee Larry Irving ’76 shares why he is focused on diversity, equity and inclusion and discusses the importance of listening to alumni and students.

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Larry Irving Hero
Interest in computer science has skyrocketed over the past few years, fueled by a surge of available data, enhanced computing power and advances in artificial intelligence and machine learning. Launched by the McCormick School of Engineering and supported by visionary philanthropists, the Computer Science Transformation Initiative is revolutionizing learning across disciplines at Northwestern.

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computer science students hero
Computer science professor Josiah Hester wants more Indigenous representation in STEM. Greater representation, he says, starts with recognition and respect.

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Josiah Hester
At Northwestern, where interdisciplinary collaboration is a goal, faculty are exploring the use of artificial intelligence in fields such as drug discovery, equality and social justice, material and process design, social media analysis and astronomy.

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AI purple hero