NECC Educator Named ACE Fellow
The ACE Fellows Program, established in 1965, is designed to strengthen institutions and leadership in American higher education by identifying and preparing promising senior faculty and administrators for responsible positions in college and university administration. Custodia-Lora was one of 50 Fellows, nominated by the presidents or chancellors of their institutions.
“Over the last two years, Dr. Custodia-Lora has been navigating the leadership ranks at our college swiftly, transitioning from faculty member to program coordinator to assistant dean in short order,” wrote NECC President Lane Glenn in nominating her.” She has done so as a result of her capabilities, her accomplishments, and the strong support she has from colleagues and other leaders at the institution, including me, who recognize that she will be a powerful contributor to this college, and likely to other colleges and higher education in general, in the years to come.”
Margarita Benítez, interim director of ACE’s Emerging Leaders Group and the ACE Fellows Program, noted that most previous Fellows have advanced into major positions in academic administration. Nearly 2,000 higher education leaders have participated in the ACE Fellows Program since its inception, with more than 300 Fellows having served as chief executive officers of colleges or universities and more than 1,300 having served as provosts, vice presidents and deans.
“The 2013-14 class of Fellows is a talented, diverse group,” Benítez said. “The ACE Fellows Program will strengthen their leadership skills, expand their networks and prepare them to tackle the wide array of issues facing the higher education community.”
Custodia-Lora joined Northern Essex in 2003 as a faculty member of the Natural Sciences Department. She has served in her current role as assistant dean of Foundational Studies and Liberal Arts & Sciences since August 2011. She primarily oversees the Natural Sciences Department and the Mathematics Department.
For eight years she taught Nutrition, Human Biology and Anatomy & Physiology before becoming the coordinator of the applied sciences associate degree of science in lab science program which welcomed its first class in the fall of 2009. Developed in collaboration with area employers, this program provides three areas of study: biotechnology, chemical analysis, and environmental sciences, and has received the highest endorsement—a gold level—from the Massachusetts Life Science Education Consortium (MLSEC).
In addition to her teaching at NECC, Custodia-Lora is a founding member of the ESL Social/Learning Club which is an initiative aimed at attracting more English as a Second Language students into the disciplines (and ultimately careers) of STEM. She has been involved in several leadership programs including the Chair Leader Academy. She also serves on the board of directors for the Haverhill, MA YMCA.
Before joining NECC Custodia-Lora was a postdoctoral fellow at Tufts Medical School in Boston. She holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Biology from Universidad de Puerto Rico, Rio Piedras, and a PhD in physiology-endocrinology from Boston University.