2014-2015 Participants/Projects

Ana Fraden, Academic Advisor
Fiona Edwards, Admissions & Academic Counselor Designated School Official (DSO) for International Students

The Multicultural Student Alliance

The Multicultural Student Alliance (MSA) is a collaborative student retention initiative that will be instrumental in promoting students’ self and global awareness. The organization will offer programming and services that aim to increase diversity and cultural awareness at Northern Essex while also incorporating the importance of academic success and the NECC core academic skills. The MSA will create a safe space where students from all cultural backgrounds can come together and gain valuable knowledge and experiences that will contribute to their success at NECC and beyond.  Eventually, we would like students to participate in the organization’s leadership. These students will be initially trained, encouraged, and supported by the coordinators. This creates an opportunity for students to foster strong leadership skills and self-advocacy. The plan is to have a Fall Kick-Off Event and organize a regular meeting time for the Fall semester.


Lizzie Linn Casanave, Faculty, Philosophy

Helping Students to “Flourish”

I designed a lesson on the Science of Happiness as part of my philosophy course integrating the principles of positive psychology and how our students can change their perspective by focusing on gratitude.


John Pastore

Customizing Deployment of Computers with MDT

MDT is a technology that allows the college to customize computer deployment. By being highly customizable it automates many time consuming tasks during the deployment process that would normally have to be done by hand. This reduces the amount of mistakes that are made as well as reducing the time needed to deploy a fully working computer.


Ramon Suero, Computer Analyst – IT Client Services
Phil Wysocki, Network / Blackboard Administrator – IT NOC

Sign Me Up – Signage at NECC

Our project aims to correct, clarify and standardize signage on the NECC campus. The project was motivated by our observations regarding outdated, non-existent or erroneous signage. The scope of the project has increased to include the Lawrence campus as well as all building identification and direction signage. We will do the study and provide recommendations for products at different levels of pricing to the Comptroller’s Office.


Michele Simon and Charlene Woodard

Veterans at NECC: Improving Experience = Improving Student Success

Our collaborative project is on improving the experience of veterans at NECC. Michele was a student at NECC before she became a staff member, and through her experience as a student she met many other students but was moved by the sometimes sad stories and struggles of Veterans at NECC. She recognized that some of their experience could be fixed through better communications and understanding veterans and their needs better. As a staff member of NECC she connected with Charlene Woodard and they created this project. A survey was created to send to NECC veterans both past and present, and meetings were held between the Veterans Services and VSO Group leaders, and others. Through this project the Veterans Services section on the NECC website will be improved and updated, a section will be added to the Faculty and Staff website to help faculty and staff understand veterans and their needs better, suggestions were made for other improvements that will be implemented, and other findings and suggestions will be put into a report.


Louise A Michaud, Assessment Officer, Academic Placement & Testing

Centralized Tutorials for Test Prep

My Leadership Academy Project is associated with Test Prep for College Readiness and beyond. The focus is to provide a centralized menu of online tutorials for an assortment of compulsory exams in preparation to enter NECC and to further one’s career trajectory. This menu will be located on the Academic Placement & Testing Center’s web page that will be easily accessible. Those who will benefit from the tutorials are students who prefer to attend NECC on campus via in-person instruction as well as those students who intend to pursue a degree completely through distance learning. Tutorials will be available for the state mandated Accuplacer placement test in an itemized format, which will include specific elements related to each sub-test: reading comprehension, arithmetic, elementary algebra, college level math, sentence skills, and writing an essay. By reviewing these content areas prior to taking the academic skills assessment test, students have an increased opportunity to place directly into college level courses. The expectation is that students will not be placed into, and therefore must begin their studies in, developmental coursework, which will invariably prolong the completion of their Associates Degree by several semesters. Additional tutorials, as well as links to test prep materials, will be available for the TEAS V for AND, TEAS V for AH, CLEP, MTEL, Pearson Vue, and HiSet.


Sharon McManus, Center for Professional Development

NECC Well-being Council

The strengths- based campus culture is evident in a number of existing initiatives such as the (running club, etc. etc.). This project will establish a college wide “Well-being council” to enhance the culture of Well-being that thrives at NECC. Connecting current initiatives and the Five Essential Elements of Well-being to recognize, value and enhance our individual and community Well-being in support of the NECC mission and core values..


Brenda L. Perez-Goodrum, Faculty, Science M.Ed, MLT. CPR.

Engaging college scholars in STEM related fields through Imaginative Narratives

My project is geared to our scholars entering the world of characters through narratives of success even in times of adversity. The stories can be / may be of various characters specifically female minorities who succeeded in STEM courses to enter the world of science in the face of adversity with the assistance of people who may not have been thought of as allies.
The stories will be portrayed around real life issues our current scholars’ face such as fear of the unknown, poor study skills, depression, homelessness, daycare issues, traveling, and finances, being told they would never be anything, abuse, anything our students in Lawrence and other cities may face, which prevents them from completing their studies at NECC.

This is a project geared toward retention of student’s at the community college and even in High school. These stories will be developed to inspire, provide and offer hope and insight of another who succeeded when the odds seemed against them and how they managed to overcome the odds and succeed. Over time other stories will include others who also succeeded in college and STEM related fields all through the use of imaginative venerates.

Engaging college scholars in STEM related fields through imaginative narratives based on those who succeeded. telling stories of success incorporating approaches, examples, and perspectives others have / done in dealing with real world issues can have our non-traditional college students of color who lack the confidence, skill sets, and self-esteem reflect and maintain their dream of succeeding. Scholars need other avenues of assistance and problem solving in order to develop confidence in their desired STEM fields and these stories will provide examples of others. Additionally, engaging scholars to be proactive, look for mentors to help them on their college journey in STEM related fields, can improve their attitudes toward their choices and themselves while providing stories of those who in the face of adversity still managed to succeed.


Deb LaValley, Administrative Assistant, Student Success

Toolkit for Student Success for Faculty and Staff

There are a great many initiatives and resources here at NECC to enhance student success. The focus of my leadership project is to address the need for faculty and staff to be fully aware of, and to easily locate, all these initiatives and resources to help students be successful. The vision is to create an inventory of all the resources in a central location that is easily accessible. Once this toolkit is created, the long range plan is to transform the Achieving the Dream webpage into the Student Success webpage with strategies and detailed data that is accessible and digestible to all.


Despina Lambropoulos, Financial Aid

Financial Literacy for NECC

My project for the Leadership Academy was to create a much needed Financial Literacy webpage on the Northern Essex Community College website. The webpage will provide information to current and prospective students on such topics as budgeting, credit card debt and loan borrowing. Current students will also have the option to register online for in-person workshops held by the NECC Financial Aid Office.