Resilience Series

Navigating the COVID-19 Crisis

Navigating these times of uncertainty is challenging. To help, Northeastern University is making many of its resources available and easy to access for our partners and community.

The Roux Institute Resiliency Series is tailoring these resources for organizations and individual members of our community to help everyone during these difficult times. This site will be updated each week with new content and serve as a growing reference library for this time. It’s our hope that our partners across business, academia, and the broader community will find these resources helpful and share them with their networks.

What to Expect

  • Virtual courses, workshops, and other programming focused on fostering resilience and addressing the issues of the day.
  • A mix of curated and original content and courseware, developed by faculty experts across the Northeastern network and collaboratively with companies here in Maine.
  • Free resources are available.
  • Helpful content for a variety of audiences that the Roux Institute supports and engages—including business and community leaders and employees; regional Northeastern alumni; soon-to-be graduates of Maine colleges and universities; and students, teachers and parents at the K–12 level trying to adapt to a new mode of learning

JOIN THE CONVERSATION: Tech talk with Professor Ricardo Baeza-Yates

Join Ricardo Baeza-Yates, director of computer science programs and professor of the practice at Northeastern University Silicon Valley, to discuss the impact, opportunities, risks, and challenges of big data. We will start with two key questions: Can a company use big data? If so, should it? While the opportunities are clear, the challenges are many.

When: Wednesday, August 12 at 4:00 PM EDT
Where: Online

Register Here

SAVE THE DATE: Demystifying the entrepreneurial journey

Join Northeastern’s experts to learn fundamental skills related to business idea advancement, market analysis, negotiation, capital, and networking. You will also learn about strategies for de-risking your business through “sidepreneurship,” overcoming imposter syndrome, and finding inspiration from role models. While this content is designed with women in mind, all are welcome.

When: September 1–30, 2020
Where: Online, on-demand

Register Here


Additional Resources

SAVE THE DATE: Virtual Falling Walls Lab

Northeastern University, the German Consulate in Boston, and the German Center for Research and Innovation in New York are delighted to host the Falling Walls Lab, a virtual platform for academics, entrepreneurs and professionals from all disciplines who will present their research, business models, innovative projects, or transformative ideas in front of peers from academia and business. Students, postdocs, young professionals, entrepreneurs and faculty members are invited to apply by August 16, 2020. The lab will bring together some of the most recent breakthroughs, outstanding science projects, and bright minds to inspire a discussion on how science and innovation can contribute to the betterment of our society.

When: Thursday, October 1, 2020, at 6 p.m. EST
Where: The event will be virtual and open to the public.
Learn more at


TUNE-IN: The Future of Transportation Resilience: Transportation Systems in the Age of COVID-19

Transportation systems are vitally important to the functioning of a city. However, the COVID-19 pandemic has devastated these systems due to the potentially close quarters of public transit, the impact of stay-at-home advisories on air travel, and the shift in many businesses to allow employees to work from home. An expert panel, consisting of faculty and government officials, will discuss what transportation systems and transportation resilience may look like in a post-pandemic world.

When: Wednesday, July 29, 2020 at 12 p.m. EST
Where: Join the conversation via Zoom. The password is NUCEE.

COURSE: COVID-19: A Practical Approach to Enterprise Restart and Recovery Planning

In a collaboration between the Global Resilience Institute and the D’Amore McKim School of Business at Northeastern University, a new digital learning course that provides helpful guidance for planning reopening and recovery for small to mid-size local businesses and organizations were launched on June 2. The course also supports the recovery of local operations for larger multisite organizations.


WEBINAR SERIES: Roux Institute at Northeastern University

Starting this fall, the Roux Institute at Northeastern University will offer graduate-level certificates and degrees in Portland, Maine. Fields of study will range from artificial intelligence and digital engineering to the life sciences.

Join guest speaker, Jared Auclair, Tuesday, June 30 at 1:30 p.m. EST, to learn about the College of Science.


State-Specific Business Resources

Running a business can be especially hard right now, as regulations and guidelines are changing quickly and can vary based on where a company operates. The Alumni Relations office has collected some helpful information on federal and state-specific guidelines and resources for businesses.


Online Course: COVID-19: How to be Safe and Resilient

Developed and offered by the Global Resilience Institute at Northeastern University, this hour-long course provides the basic knowledge and skills you, your employees, and their families can use to be safe and resilient. The simple steps from the class will help participants feel empowered to take actions that can reduce anxiety and save lives.


Online Course: Effective Crisis Communications

During these challenging times, crisis communication skills are critical in helping organizations manage complex situations. This on-demand course focuses on the elements of an effective crisis communication plan and the development of communication tactics for a range of stakeholder audiences. Available now through May 4.


Podcast: COVID-19: All your ‘social distancing’ questions answered

We’ve all heard of “social distancing,” but what, exactly, are the best practices when it comes to walking the dog, bringing food to elderly neighbors, and performing other everyday tasks? This Litmus podcast from the News@Northeastern team features the answers to those questions and others.


FEMA contracts with Northeastern’s Global Resilience Institute to Help the State of Maine

FEMA has awarded a contract to Northeastern’s Global Resilience Institute in collaboration with MIT Lincoln Laboratory to help Maine prepare the state’s required needs assessment and plan. The Global Resilience Institute will examine the current economic state of play and the anticipated needs of three communities in Maine—including Portland—through interviews with leaders from the public sector, business community, and nonprofit and faith-based organizations. This effort will position the state to secure much-needed federal assistance quickly and effectively.

Zoom Fatigue is Real; Here’s why you’re feeling it and what you can do about it

“For those confined to their homes lately, chatting by video has become a crucial way to stay in touch from afar. Platforms such as Zoom, Microsoft Teams, or Skype can be used to hold work meetings remotely, catch up with friends and family, or even  celebrate a birthday. But for all its benefits, our reliance upon video during isolation has spawned a surprising new problem: Being on so many video conferences is exhausting.“


Faculty Expert Spotlight: Stephen Flynn

Stephen Flynn is founding director of the Global Resilience Institute, where he leads a major universitywide research initiative to inform and advance societal resilience in the face of growing turbulence. Professor Flynn has previously served as president of the Center for National Policy, senior fellow for National Security Studies at the Council on Foreign Relations, and a member of the Homeland Security Science and Technology Advisory Council. He was an active duty commissioned officer in the U.S. Coast Guard for 20 years, including two tours as commanding officer at sea.

WBUR interview: ‘This Is A Pearl Harbor Moment’
Online course: Unsure what to do about COVID-19? Take this 60-minute course
Book: The Edge of Disaster

How can you make the most of virtual communication? An applied psychologist shares her tips.

Join Laura Dudley, Assistant Clinical Professor of Applied Psychology at Northeastern University for a discussion on the psychological, practical, and social aspects of virtual meetings.

Watch Now

WEBINAR: Learn about the Roux Institute at Northeastern University

Join us for an overview of the exciting graduate programs and scholarships that will be offered starting in Fall 2020 at the new Roux Institute at Northeastern University in Portland, Maine!


How to Help in Our Community

While staying inside and staying healthy are the most crucial ways to help, we realize many people want to do more—particularly when it comes to helping the most vulnerable in our community. We have identified several local and global nonprofits that Mainers may wish to support right now:

  • Full Plates, Full Potential: As schools shut down during the COVID-19 emergency, around 80,000 Maine kids will struggle to access meals. Full Plates, Full Potential has established an emergency fund to support any public school in Maine that closes due to the pandemic. These funds will help schools pay for supplying additional meals, packaging breakfasts and lunches, transporting food to eligible sites, and more. Donate here.
  • Frontline Foods Maine: Frontline Foods supports healthcare workers with meals from local kitchens. A network of grassroots volunteers works with restaurants, hospitals, and other medical facilities to feed those working on the frontline. A $50 donation feeds three to five frontline workers. Donate here or volunteer here.
  • The Global Hack: This online hackathon was designed to share and rapidly develop ideas for urgently needed solutions in the face of the current crisis, as well as to build post-pandemic resilience. Field experts, scientists, tech enthusiasts, business leaders, project managers, marketers, designers, and innovators all have valuable insight to contribute. Become a volunteer or mentor here.
  • The Maine Community Foundation: MaineCF has created a fund to support community-based organizations working with the COVID-19 outbreak and its consequences in Maine. It will be used to support nonprofit organizations that are involved in frontline efforts to serve the needs of those most affected by the virus and to contain the spread—such as agencies focused on aging, community action programs, homeless shelters, food pantries, and other organizations that address hunger and provide food. Contribute to the fund here.
Faculty Expert: Kristen Lee

Kristen Lee is an internationally recognized, award-winning behavioral science professor, clinician, and author. She teaches behavioral science at Northeastern University, and her clinical, research, and teaching interests include individual and organizational well-being and resilience. Relevant resources from Lee:

Faculty Expert: Samuel Scarpino

Samuel Scarpino, a faculty member of the Network Science Institute, is a complex systems scientist investigating questions at the intersection of network science and human behavior. He explores topics including infectious disease modeling, forecasting in complex systems, and decision-making under uncertainty.
Relevant resources from Professor Scarpino include:

Faculty Expert: David DeSteno

Psychology professor David DeSteno directs the Social Emotions Lab and is an expert in the role of emotion in social cognition and social behavior. Focusing on the impact that affective states have on decision-making and behavior, DeSteno seeks to illuminate how emotions can optimize our actions in favor of the greater good or, by virtue of bugs in the system, lead to suboptimal or biased outcomes.

Relevant resources from Professor DeSteno include:

Crisis Schooling—Grit, Perseverance, Independence: Strategies for Managing Productive Struggle

LIVE WEBINAR—Friday, May 1 at 1:00 p.m. ET

Don’t miss Joan Burkhardt, assistant teaching professor in the Graduate School of Education and experienced homeschooler, in Friday’s live session on crisis schooling. Burkhardt will provide parents with concrete, realistic strategies to take stock of the current situation, structure their children’s day, and manage productive struggle to teach children grit and resilience.

Additional COVID-19 Response Resources

In addition to the FEMA effort and this Resiliency Series, Northeastern has numerous other resources on offer to the Maine community. These resources are based on work being activated elsewhere. For example:

  • Professors Loretta Fernandez and Amy Mueller are conducting droplet testing on new fabrics to ramp up the manufacture of masks as part of a partnership with the National Institute of Standards and Technology.
  • Chemical engineering professor Steve Lustig has partnered with doctors at Boston- area hospitals to test face mask penetrability through the use of Northeastern’s FTIR spectrometer, a high-power optical microscope.
  • Faculty member Rob Knake is helping to address a major communications gap by building a site for secure inter-hospital sharing of information about critical supplies inventory.
Why are supply chains breaking down?

Because of efficient international trade, companies typically get the supplies they need on demand—no need to stockpile. But with dwindling inventories and supply chains at a standstill, will U.S. manufacturers be able to make medical supplies? That depends on whether companies get direction and financial incentives from the government, says Nada Sanders, a professor of supply chain management.

In this episode, we talk to Nada Sanders, Distinguished Professor of Supply Chain Management.)


How to be Safe and Resilient

Developed and offered by the Global Resilience Institute at Northeastern University, this hour-long course provides the basic knowledge and skills that you, your employees, and their families can use to be safe and resilient. The simple steps from the class will help participants feel empowered to take actions that can reduce anxiety and save lives.


How Do We Restore Justice for George Floyd? - A Discussion Led by Margaret Burnham About Civil Rights and Restorative Justice

This event features a discussion with Judge Burnham, University Distinguished Professor of Law at Northeastern and director of the Civil Rights and Restorative Justice Project, and Northeastern students about the civil rights movement, racism in America, restorative justice, and ways to move forward.