Find out if you have a local chapter of the IGDA and see if you can drop in on some of their meetups.
As for events, I don't know that there are too many in the Northeast US. These things are mostly on the West Coast, especially California. There's PAX East in Boston, of course. However, things like PAX and E3 are not really good places to network with game industry people - they're are all about marketing games to customers. If you really want to meet game developers you should try going to something like GDC instead. They have reduced prices for students, plus a volunteer program where you work part-time during the conference in exchange for housing assistance and full access to the conference for the time you're not working. There are also various smaller game design conferences around, but you have to hunt for them.
You should also consider joining Twitter and following some gamedev people there, if you haven't already. It's a great way to hear about what's going on in the industry and get a sense for who the big names are.