This Former Northeastern Leader Is All Heart

Doreen Hodgkin is an expert in pivoting. Early in life she studied to become a physical education teacher, then trained to be a career counselor. Then, in 1982, Hodgkin joined Northeastern’s career services team, and rose quickly through three different departments—and she wound up being associate dean of the Khoury College of Computer Sciences. To commemorate her retirement, Northeastern created the Doreen Hodgkin Student Emergency Fund to aid those closest to Hodgkin’s heart: students.

At Northeastern, Hodgkin was a career advisor, co-op director, and head of student recruitment and advising. One of her proudest achievements was helping Carla Brodley, former dean of Khoury College, increase the percentage of female students from 19 percent in 2014 to 30 percent four years later. Hodgkin personally called the family of every female student accepted into the computer science program.

“Her warmth, coupled with the confidence she has inspired in prospective students and their families, has been crucial,” says Brodley, now dean of inclusive computing. “People automatically trust her.”

Hodgkin reserved the biggest part of her heart for students, and whether their concern was academic or personal, her door was always open. Alumni, faculty, families, and friends are honoring her by making gifts to the Doreen Hodgkin Student Emergency Fund, which provides financial backing to full-time undergraduates at Khoury College in need of temporary support—from travel expenses so that a student may return home during a family crisis to emergency temporary lodging. More than 90 donors have contributed to the fund since its launch, a testament to Hodgkin and her work.

Hodgkin has made a lasting impact on faculty, too.

“Doreen made me feel welcome and saved me when I was drowning in typical new hire chaos,” says David Sprague, a former lecturer in computer science. “I strongly suspect that she was either cloned or has other superpowers because she seemed to be everywhere.”

Doreen’s warmth, coupled with the confidence she has inspired in prospective students and their families, has been crucial. People automatically trust her.”

Carla Brodley, Dean of Inclusive Computing

This article was originally written by Bill Ibelle
and published by Northeastern Global News.