Professional Day 2023

RISK: Risk-taking, Risk Reflection & Risk Visioning 

Dear colleagues,

Professional Day is an opportunity for all staff and faculty to learn and grow together as a community. This year’s Professional Day is scheduled for Friday, March 31, on the Haverhill campus from 8:30am – 3pm.

The past few years have been filled with uncertainty, reflection, innovation and drive. What all of this required of each of us is that we lean into the discomfort and take some risks! Our students take risks everyday just by stepping onto our campus. With the idea of RISK on our minds, this year’s professional day will be spent reflecting on the psychology of risk, taking a risk, and discussing what risks we have taken or might take as a college community.

We ask that you please register as soon as possible. Registration will close Tuesday, March 28, 2023 at 5pm. Please register by using this link:

We look forward to seeing you all there! Please contact Lorena Constant or Marcy Yeager for more information.

*Please note: Professional Day this year could involve some physical activity and/or getting messy depending on the session you choose. We encourage everyone to take a risk and not wear business casual attire. Dress comfortably.*

2023 Professional Day Schedule and Workshop Descriptions 

8:30am                Arrival & Breakfast TC103

9:00-9:15am       Welcome & Introduction of Keynote

9:15-10:15am      Keynote: Dr. Katherine Kilty

Katie Kilty, Ed.D.| Leadership and Performance Coach | Mental Wellbeing Advocate
Katie is a leadership coach, facilitator, and tenured professor. Using a combination of
courageous leadership and design thinking she works collaboratively with leaders to create high
performing, human centered workplaces. As a leadership coach and performance consultant,
Katie has worked with national and international elite sport organizations to build sustainable
cultures of excellence and wellbeing. Clients include: US and International Olympic Teams;
USOPC Coach Education; Mass Challenge; EMD Sorono; Janssen Pharmaceutical Companies;
American College of Cardiology; Yale School of Medicine, Mass General Brigham, and the 1214
Foundation. As a Professor of Sport Management at Endicott College she teaches courses in
Leadership and Sport in Society. Katie recently co-founded WholeHealth Sport whose mission is
to train and support coaches in creating cultures of mental wellbeing in sport. Katie is an experiential learner with an adventurous spirit, driven by curiosity and innovation. As an active volunteer, she is energized by creating and supporting community-based programs utilizing sport and the arts for social change. Katie holds a doctoral degree in Counseling and Developmental Studies with a specialty in Performance and Sport Psychology from Boston University; Masters in Arts and Learning and Masters in Sport Psychology. She is credentialed in the Dare to Lead™, Social Fitness™, Positive Intelligence Coaching and is a Certified Mental Health First Aid Instructor. Katie lives on the Northshore of Boston, MA.

10:15-10:30am    Break & travel to Session I

10:30-11:15am    Session I: Take a Risk- Getting out of our comfort zone.

11:15-11:30am    Break & travel to Session II

11:30-12:15pm    Session II: Risk Reflections

12:15-12:30pm    Break and travel to TC103

12:30-1:15pm      Lunch TC103- Risk Testimonial: President Lane Glenn

1:15-2:00pm       Session III: Risk Visioning

2:00-2:15pm       Break & travel to TC103

2:15-3pm            Closing Remarks: Olympic Fencer Molly Sliney

Olympian Molly Sullivan Sliney was a distinguished member of the 1988 and 1992 United States fencing team. Molly also was a member of the 1987 and 1991 Pan American teams where she won two gold medals. A Massachusetts native, Molly started fencing at age ten as a way build her self-esteem. She attended the University of Notre Dame on a full scholarship, where she received her Bachelors in Marketing while winning two NCAA titles, a mark recorded in the Guinness Book of World Records. Though she has a tremendous list of athletic accomplishments, she views her college diploma as one of her greatest achievements. Since retiring from competition in 1992, Molly has been an active public speaker and fencing instructor. In July 2017, she was inducted into the United States Fencing Hall of Fame. In September 2017, Molly teamed up with world champion epee fencer Arpad Horvath and joined Vivo Fencing Club as a partner and coach. The club has relocated to a to 6,000 Sq Feet of space in Bradford, MA with 14 electric strips. 

Concurrent Session I:  TAKING A RISK- Getting out of our comfort zone
10:30am – 11:15am

We encourage you to pick a session that is new for you and might stretch your comfort zone.

Draw Your Day:
Often, people think that only artists can use drawing skills to create or reflect on their experiences. This is simply not true! But for many, signing up for a creative workshop entails taking a risk by challenging their inner critic or their beliefs that they are not creative enough to use art as a means to explore their world. This workshop is designed for artist and non-artist alike, though, this workshop facilitator believes all people are artists. The benefits for taking risks in this workshop include finding a new way to manage stress and anxiety, a new way to build mindfulness skills, and a new way to express ideas and memories that occur in our hearts and minds each day. Facilitated by Clare Thompson- Professor of English

False Evidence Appearing Real: 
This seminar will highlight our decision making process when faced with FEAR. Most of the time FEAR is False Evidence Appearing Real. FEAR often times prevents us from even trying and that means possibly missing amazing opportunities. We are capable of creating a forward thinking reality when we choose to believe we can. This exercise will help the participant become more aware of their decision making process and to consider RISK as an opportunity. Participants will also learn the concept of Expecting the Best and Planning for the Worst. Breaking Arrows with our necks and/or Walking on glass will be offered as a means of illustrating this. Facilitated by Lisa Fabbri Lopez, MA- Assistant Professor of Human Services and Certified Fire Walk Instructor

Play PowerPoint Roulette:
This is a low risk improv game for public speaking. Each presenter is given a set of slides they can not view beforehand. They must deliver each slide without stopping while trying their very best to create continuity within their speech. (It does not have to be perfect) The presentation is over when the slides are done or the 3-5 minute timer goes off. It’s a great exercise to get you out of your comfort zone and have a bit of fun in the process. This informal activity allows you to accept the unknown and make the best out of what you are given in the moment. It sharpens your adaptation skills, unleashes your creativity and forces you to think on your toes! Facilitated by Maurisa Charest- Adjunct Faculty Fellow

Try Your Luck With Improv!: 
Looking to expand your comfort zone? Join actor, director and acting coach Brianne Beatrice for an improv class you won’t forget! Facilitated by Brianne Beatrice- Assistant Professor of Theater/Communication

Police Academy Fitness Challenge:
Do you have what it takes to complete this challenge? Try some of the academy’s agility drills, functional strength drills, dummy drag using police rescue dummy and team fitness drill using monster truck tires. This is a challenge by choice activity-Participants can elect to sit out certain phases if they are not comfortable. This session has limited space, please register early. Facilitated by NECC Police Academy Staff

Take a Stab at Fencing:
Join Olympic Fencer Molly Sullivan Sliney for an introduction to fencing where participants will learn proper form, techniques and skills that are surely transferable to any aspect of life! Facilitated by Molly Sliney

Escape Room 1: Solve a 1920s Murder
Get out of your comfort zone and try a themed escape room! Find clues around the room, solve puzzles and riddles before your time runs out! This session has limited space, please register early. Facilitated by Shawna Lind- Assistant Registrar

Escape Room 2: Zombie Escape 
Get out of your comfort zone and try a themed escape room! Find clues around the room, solve puzzles and riddles before your time runs out! This session has limited space, please register early. Facilitated by Kirsten Kortz- Associate Dean of Curriculum, Assessment and Academic Policy 

Take a Risk and Magnetize It!: 
Take a risk and try something new! Participants will learn to do a button stitch on a penny block made with wool. I am challenging participants to take a risk and make a magnet out of a penny block. I will demonstrate how to do the button stitch and you will use a needle and thread to finish the block using that stitch. This session has limited space, please register early. Facilitated by Martha Mazeika- Assistant Director of SOAR

Sex, Love, Beauty, Death: Let’s Read and Write Poetry!:
This is for people who shy away from poetry, who think the muse has to be unlocked and only few hold the key. We can all enjoy poetry. What if I don’t understand a poem I’m reading? Welcome to the club. We all get just some of what we read and we bring our experiences, our loves, our broken hearts with us. What if I can’t write a single cogent word? Do I need to rhyme? None of these questions matter. They are based in fear. To read with compassion and write with courage is all you need. Facilitated by Patricia Schade- English Faculty and Ginger Hurajt- English Faculty

Concurrent Session II: RISK REFLECTIONS
11:30am – 12:15pm

Taking a Risk to Support Youth at Risk:
This is a presentation about how two sister departments in the same division worked together to provide a certificate for teachers. This certificate combines both ECE and HUS courses and the main goal is to educate teachers about trauma and children’s behavioral health. There is a great need for teachers and school administrators to understand the issues of Trauma and Children’s Behavioral Health.
Facilitated by Brian MacKenna-Rice- Human Services Faculty, Deirdre Budzyna- ECE Faculty, Kathleen Bartolini- Human Services Faculty and Lisa Fabbri-Lopez- Human Services Faculty

Risk & Reward: Embracing the Benefits of Community Partnerships:
An interactive session discussing the benefits and risks of building program partnerships with local organizations. Learn from case studies and engage in group brainstorming to develop strategies for integrating these partnerships into your courses. Empower yourself to make a positive impact on your community and students. Facilitated by Devan Walton-Assistant Professor Computer Information Science

Creating Supportive Environments for English Language Learners: An Experiential Workshop:
Join us for a thought-provoking workshop on supporting English language learners. Engage in an experiential activity and reflective discussion, where you’ll be challenged to take a risk and view the college experience through the eyes of English learners (ELs). Walk away with communication tools to support this growing population across NECC. This workshop aims to shift your perspective and approach toward your work, to create more inclusive and supportive environments. Facilitated by Amy Cameron- Chair of Academic ESL and Vanessa Desani- Academic Advisor and Community Referral Counselor 

Academic Coaching: From Pilot to Program:
Join the Academic Coaching team as we reflect on stepping out of our comfort zone to pilot the Academic Coaching program and celebrate its progress. This presentation focuses on how the program was piloted and how it has evolved to provide support to special cohorts and all students. After the presentation, we’ll have a conversation on moving forward together to continue helping our students succeed. Facilitated by Linda Giampa- Academic Coaching Coordinator, Denise Trinidad- Academic Coach and Amy Joyall-Academic Coach

I Never Thought I’d….Risk Reflection and Celebration: 
Nothing ventured, nothing gained is an adage that so many of us grew up with. How does this translate into the work we do in the classroom, and, for many of us, have done for so many years? This 45-minute presentation/discussion focuses on risks taken in teaching and the results. The goal is to share and inspire using information given by the presenters as they answer five key questions. Presenters will also invite participants to contribute, and ultimately share in the reflection and celebration of risk-taking in the classroom. Facilitated by Meredith Gunning- Professor of Philosophy, Richard Lizotte- CIT Staff Member/Faculty Coach and Arlen Gargagliano- ESOL Professional Coach and Teacher Trainer

Risks: Keeping Them Legal: 
NECC is known for being a leader, both with academic innovation and various pilot programs. With innovation comes risk. With innovation comes the need to remain in compliance with federal regulations and state laws. Risk and compliance are not mutually exclusive. There are ways to take a risk and remain in compliance. This presentation will cover some innovations that are now part of NECC and how we ensure compliance. Facilitated by Heather Mores- Director of Compliance

What You Need to Know About Our LGBTQIA+ Students & Why It’s Important:
LGBTQIA+ folks take risks every day, just by existing. Listen to some of our student experiences as members of the LGBTQIA+ community, learn common terms and answer the call to take a risk and protect and embrace the LBGTQIA+ community. Facilitated by Cheryl Wilson-Disability Services Specialist/GSA Advisor and Student Members of the NECC Gender & Sexuality Alliance (GSA)

Data & Donuts: ISE Survey:
Data can be intimidating. It requires stepping out of our comfort zone to face what the results may say and how that impacts the work we do. Join the team in Institutional Effectiveness to learn about the Integrated Student Experience Survey. We will primarily focus on the results of the Fall 2022 survey. This interactive session will allow you to dig deep into the data and participate in facilitated discussion on making meaning out of the results. Facilitated by Stella Vlahakis- Assistant Director of Strategic Connections and Andrew Nguyen- Business Analyst

Supporting Adult Learners in the Classroom: Competency-based Education (CBE) and more!:
Adult learners bring a wealth of life experience into the classroom, however they also face challenges that prevent them from succeeding. As faculty, we can support adult learners by examining some basic strategies that have been known to effectively engage adult learners, thereby creating a more equitable learning environment. Attend this session to learn about the benefits of CBE as a pedagogical model, identify elements from competency-based courses that can be adapted for use in traditional courses, and develop concrete strategies for supporting adult learners. Participants will go through the process of brainstorming ideas for incorporating CBE methods and adult learning principles into your courses. Facilitated by Sue Tashjian- Coordinator of Instructional Technology and Jody Carson- Dean of Professional Studies

Concurrent Session III: RISK VISIONING
1:15pm – 2pm

AI and Education: Exploring the Opportunities and Challenges:
Unlock the potential of AI in education at this interactive session. Explore the risks and benefits of incorporating AI into the community college curriculum. Engage in group discussions, case studies, and brainstorming to develop strategies for harnessing the power of AI to enhance student learning outcomes. Join us to stay ahead of the curve in educational technology. Facilitated by Devan Walton-Assistant Professor Computer Information Science

Artifacts of Transcendence: Our Students Build Intercultural Competencies via International Virtual Exchange Partnerships:
Faculty who engage in international virtual exchange, take risks in bringing new connections and perspectives by engaging with partners in different parts of the world. This a new approach requires faculty to work with people in different educational systems, cultural values, teaching methods, and new technologies. Join this session to hear about how a group of intrepid NECC faculty seized the opportunity to integrate international virtual exchanges (IVE) in their existing courses. We will share exciting upcoming opportunities you can join with partners across the world. Take a leap across the virtual borders to bring life to the curriculum and increase higher engagement from the students. Facilitated by Melba Acevedo- Director of Instructional Technology, Sheila Muller- Business Faculty & Chair, Emily Gonzalez- Science Faculty, Judith Ciampi- Business Faculty, Lis Espinoza- Liberal Arts Faculty, Habib Maagoul- Math Faculty & Chair and Liliana Brand- Math Faculty

Should I or Shouldn’t I Try College?:
Students with disabilities may take risks when coming to an educational environment. They may worry that they will not be able to complete the work, or they may think that this is not the “place” for them. The Center for Accessibility Resources and Services will focus on two specific populations of students; students with Intellectual Disabilities and students with Chronic Illnesses. What are the risks for the student? What are the risks for the institution? How can we support the students with accommodations, while maintaining the integrity of the college courses. Come join us to learn more! Facilitated by Susan Martin- Director Center for Accessibility Resources & Services (CARS), Deborah Regan- Associate Director (CARS) and Theresa Yurewicz- Coordinator Massachusetts Inclusive Concurrent Enrollment Initiative (MAICEI)

One Way to Evaluate Our Equity Efforts-Ask the Students:
Many ways have been suggested to improve equity for all students in the attainment of course objectives. However, sometimes an important element is left out–how do our efforts impact our learners–do they see our methods as helpful or not? Kelly asked her students to reflect on potential equity-serving aspects of her English Composition course. Rick analyzed and summarized their answers. We ask participants to contribute to a debate about this work. Facilitated by Rick Lizotte- CIT Staff Member/ Faculty Coach and Kelly Boylan, Adjunct Professor of COMP 1, Fusion, College Reading/RWR, First Year Seminar

The Risk of not Understanding: Past, Present and Future:
This session focuses on the risks that our students–English language learners in particular—take when they come to study at NECC. It consists of a small student panel who will share their stories about the risks they’ve taken and will take in order to succeed here. Part Conversation, part risk reflection, this session is designed to inform—and inspire. Facilitated by Arlen Gargagliano- Professional ESOL Coach 

SOAR: Just Risk It:
We have talked about SOAR throughout the campus since the program began in August 2021. We want people to just enter a session without knowing anything about it just like the SOAR program did when it started. We will have a dialogue about people’s positions here at the college to learn more about them. We want to learn what people would risk if they had a magic wand. We want the environment to be fun so we will have some games people can play while talking. Facilitated by Martha Mazeika- Assistant Director of SOAR, Sarah Cooper- Director of SOAR, Dermot Luddy- Assistant Director of SOAR, Jacques Morrow- Academic and Transfer Advisor and Jazmine Mateo- Administrative Assistant

Break free of Constraints, Move Toward Better Teaching & Learning:
We will explore ways to approach your pedagogical practice to break free from the constraints of accountability-era thinking in education and instead find deeper satisfaction in your work while providing your students with more profound connection to the course material, a richer learning experience, and better chances to succeed. Strategies for active learning, student projects, class trips, guest speakers, and classroom community will be presented and discussed. Facilitated by Dean Amy Callahan- Division of Liberal Arts and Professor Steve Russell- Global Studies Department

Creative Risk Taking with Digital Tools:
In art and design, taking creative risks is an inherent part of the discipline. Encouraging students to take those risks, however, can be difficult. When it comes to new tools, it’s not necessarily easier for faculty. In this workshop, take a creative risk and learn a new means of connecting with students via a free and easy-to-use application called Twine. In 45 minutes, we’ll learn how to turn a personal narrative into a video game.
Facilitated by Christopher Ottinger- Assistant Professor of Digital Media

Center for Equity and Social Justice & the Risks We Must Take:
This session will allow participants to share what they think are worthwhile risks to engage in as an institution and as a Center for Equity and Social Justice more specifically, and provide input that will move the CESJ’s work forward. Facilitated by Francellis Quiñones- Chief Officer JEDI