Blanchet and Ndjigue Receive 2023 Compass Awards
Bioengineering students Joseph Blanchet, E’22, and Shandy Ndjigue, E’23, are recipients of the 2023 Compass Awards, which recognizes exemplary students from the senior class who, during their time on campus, have demonstrated a true dedication to a core set of values: leadership, volunteerism, academic integrity, and commitment to Northeastern.
“Not one to shy away from a challenge, Joseph Blanchet has thoughtfully addressed and successfully accomplished everything presented to him during his time at Northeastern.” Those are the words of the BIOE Awards Committee for a December 2022 Northeastern graduate who has made countless contributions to the university’s community.
Joe received his B.S. in both bioengineering and biomechanics, proving from his first year on campus that he was exceptional in many ways. He joined a Dialogue of Civilization to Italy—2000 Years of Engineering, Technology, and Inspiration—the summer after his freshman year. He was a Presidential Ambassador that fall and contributed to the program until his graduation as the Lead Presidential Ambassador. Additionally, he was in the Honors program and received NACME, LSAMP, and Engineering Legacy Scholar recognition.
Joe not only promoted Northeastern through the president’s office, but he also built programs and offered support to his peers and future classmates. He helped found COExist, a College of Engineering student mentorship program that helps new students acclimate to college life and sets them up for success during their time at Northeastern. He started COEXIST by participating in his first co-op at Medtronic, where he was a medical device systems engineer.
Joe was a member of the NU Triathlon team, Beta Theta Pi, the Biomedical Engineering Society, and was a co-host, producer, and communications lead of the Sherman Center for Engineering Entrepreneurship Podcast. It was the podcast, Joe says, that “enabled me to get my voice and perspectives out into the Northeastern community and talk about important topics about diversity and inclusion and how those things tie in with entrepreneurship.” The triathlon allowed him to push his physical limits in uncomfortable waters, literally and was a reminder “that I can always start new things and even become good at those things. I should always make a little bit of progress every day and when things get tough, I’ll be ok as long as I keep my head up and keep looking forward.”
He’s made more than a “little bit of progress.” Joe completed a systems R&D engineer co-op at Fresenius Medical Care in Lawrence, Massachusetts, and an operations co-op at WHOOP in Boston. At its completion in February 2023, Joe was hired as an associate business systems analyst in his first post-graduation role.
“Joseph Blanchet is the student with their hand raised, eyes engaged, and lips turned up in a smile,” the committee says. “They were always offering their perspective, support, and allyship.” Joe is someone you want on your team.
A first-generation Cameroonian-American and honors student, Shandy Ndjigue, has made an indelible mark on Northeastern University. She is set to graduate in May with a B.S. in bioengineering and a minor in psychology.
Time and again, Shandy has shown leadership—first as co-founder of NEUBlackConnect, where she generated a digital global initiative using Instagram to acquaint nearly 350 incoming freshmen with aspects of campus life during a global pandemic, Additionally, she was a student global ambassador of the Northeastern Global Leadership Summit, traveling to Accra, Ghana, to promote university advancement initiatives. She participated in a conference that included panels and presentations from more than 30 high-level executives—among them the Deputy Governor of Ghana, H.E. South African Commissioner, CEOs, and more. “I was granted the opportunity to listen and learn from various incredible leaders,” she says. “One of the biggest takeaways … was to never stop striving for success because resilience is an integral part of being a leader, and hardships breed extraordinary people.
In addition to those global honors, Shandy was vice president of Northeastern’s Black Student Association, a Husky Ambassador and visitor center assistant, a peer mentor in the College of Engineering, an external ambassador of Northeastern’s African Student Organization, and vice chair of Senior Year Experience Board—the role she considers to be a major achievement. “I’ve happily taken on the task of easing the transition from student to alumni through memorable events which exemplify Husky pride,” she says. “She helped plan the Senior Kick-Off Carnival, Friendsgiving at Dorchester Brewing Company, Beanpot Extravaganza, and Senior Week.
Shandy participated in two co-ops. The first was at uniQure in Lexington, where she composed and executed more than 10 engineering test protocols, pioneered five capital projects from conception to completion, and improved qualification activities for gene therapy manufacturing. At Helios Biomedical in Natick, she spearheaded an initiative to convert the current quality management system to an electronic QMS within four months and invented a macro code to analyze the percentage of fibrosis in images of the myocardium.
Currently, Shandy is working on a capstone project—enabling rapid in vivo microscopy by mass immobilization on cultivation plates—and designing a thermoelectric chiller to immobilize data used in neurodegenerative research for clear imaging.
After graduation, Shandy plans to apply business principles to bioengineering, working to improve maternal and fetal healthcare in developing countries. Director, Student Engagement and Philanthropy C. Hawkins says, “Shandy is a gem that magnifies the luster of the Northeastern crown. The university is a better place because of her tenacious leadership.”