Social Justice Award

The Social Justice Award recognizes individuals, groups, departments or initiatives that promote values such as a commitment to equity and diversity or the advancement of human rights and social justice. As part of the Award, $1,961 is awarded for projects that inspire the college community to engage in social justice work, such as programming and activities that would involve and benefit many NECC students. 

The 2022 Social Justice Award was awarded to:

2022 – English Language Learners (ELL) Task Force

This task force was created in 2021 to focus on engaging the entire college community in meeting the needs of English language learners. After surveying students, speaking with faculty and staff, researching best practices at other community colleges, and analyzing what the college is currently doing, the task force is implementing sustainable changes that will make all aspects of the English language learners experience at the college more successful.

Members, including faculty, staff, and an ESL coach, are Amy Cameron, Vanessa Desani, Sandra DeVita, Analuz Garcia, Arlen Gargagliano, Tom Greene, Rick Lizotte, Heather Mores, Marsha Parinussa Flynn, Colleen Pelczar, Janice Rogers, and Susan Wilcox.

2022 Nominees:

  •  Deirdre Budzyna, Professor of Early Childhood Education
  • Janel D’Agata-Lynch, Civic Engagement, Service-Learning and Community Resources Coordinator
  • Michael McCarthy, Chief Financial Officer/Chief Operating Officer

Previous Recipients and Nominees

2019 – Dr. Paul Saint-Amand, Professor of English (retired)
Professor Saint-Amand was nominated for his on-going support for veterans and commitment to peace. Professor Saint-Amand started and ran the Peace Poetry Project, a contest for school and college-aged students to write poems about peace, at NECC for over 11 years. He was also the founder of the Veterans Writing group, a place where NECC students in the military could share their stories in a supportive environment.

2020 – Paula M. Richards, MFA, Professor of English & Academic English as a Second Language(ESL)
Professor Richards was nominated for the award by the college’s ESL faculty based on two initiatives she has led: the ESL Fusion Pathway for ESL learners and Service-Learning. Richards implemented the ESL Fusion Pathway at NECC, which gives English Language Learners the opportunity to progress in their education more quickly. Richards is also responsible for championing Service-Learning at Northern Essex, which gives students the opportunity to participate in service projects that are connected to what they’re studying in the classroom.

2020 Nominees:

  •         Irene Chalek, Executive Director; Adam Cutler, Director; and the Essex County Sheriff Department Staff
  •         Noemí Custodia-Lora, Vice President of the Lawrence Campus
  •         Jacqueline Dick, Professor of Public Health

2021 – Analuz Garcia, Assistant Director of Community Relations, was nominated for the award for her leadership in PIÉS Latinos de NECC, a program that helps immigrants evaluate degrees, high school diplomas and college credits from their native countries and transfer them into credentials that can lead to careers and higher education in the U.S.  She also manages the NECC White Fund Lecture Series and organizes an educational exchange in which NECC faculty and staff spend a week in the Dominican Republic.

2021 Nominees:

  •         Janel D’Agata-Lynch, Civic Engagement, Service-Learning and Community Resources Coordinator
  •         Meredith Gunning, Professor of Philosophy