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Topics and Speakers

These speakers are available through the NECC Marketing Communications department. Our speakers’ availability depends upon their personal and work schedules. Presentations vary in length, but most are approximately 30 minutes long followed by a brief question and answer period. Speakers receive an honorarium for their presentations. There is limited funding available for organizations in the college’s service area that don’t have the funds to cover the honorarium.

General Topic Areas

Business and the Workplace

Business and the Workplace

Appreciative Inquiry: Strengths-based Planning and Organizational Development

Appreciative Inquiry is a new way of leading positive change that can be rapid, sustainable, and transformative. It is a way of being and of seeing, a strengths-based approach to change. It assumes that every human system-a department, a classroom, a company, or an entire community-has something that works right, something that gives it life when it is vital, effective, and successful. Appreciative Inquiry begins by identifying this positive core and connecting to it in ways that heighten energy, sharpen vision, and inspire action for change. The process can be used to build teams, conduct strategic planning, improve and enhance communication in organizations, find common ground, and create an appreciative, positive climate for change.
Presenter: Lane Glenn

Education and Workforce Development: Meeting the Needs of Merrimack Valley Employers

In the 19th century, America’s Industrial Revolution was born in the Merrimack Valley, and ever since the region has been known for its industry, its productivity, and its innovation. Riverfront mills and carriage shops have been replaced today by high tech manufacturing facilities, architectural and software design companies, life sciences and financial services operations, and a booming healthcare industry. The workforce in the Valley is growing faster than the rest of the Commonwealth, even as it is getting younger and much more diverse through a rapidly growing immigrant population. This presentation explores what all this means for employers, for education and training, and for public policy.
Presenter: Lane Glenn

Communications

Communications

The Basics of Public Speaking

According to one university survey, the fear of speaking is America’s top phobia. Glossophobia is real, but Northern Essex has a cure for that. Journalism/communication professor Amy Callahan will give you tips for taming the butterflies in your belly during her ” The Basics of Public Speaking” workshop. Her presentation covers the simple techniques you can develop and use to build confidence and connect with the audience to help make you a more self-assured and effective public speaker.
Presenter: Amy Callahan

From Absence to Ellen: A Survey of LGBT Representation in the Mass Media

It wasn’t so long ago that the lesbian, gay, bi-sexual, and transgender (LGBT) community were completely ignored, under represented, or portrayed in a negative and harmful manner in mainstream media. That was then. This is now. How much has changed? Journalism/communication professor Amy Callahan explores how, during the first century of electronic media, the portrayals of LGBT individuals have evolved from nonexistent or negative to today’s more widespread, but still often controversial depictions and why it matters.
Presenter: Amy Callahan

Industry of Spin: The Origins and Impact of Public Relations

It’s hard to believe, with today’s 24-hour news cycle and constant barrage of celebrity “gottcha moments” and mea culpas, that at one time there was no such thing as public relations. Today we know these voices as spin doctors, publicists, spokespersons, and press secretaries. Professor Amy Callahan will discuss who and how the public relations industry started and how it has evolved and adapted with the issues and times to become one of the most influential forces in today’s society.
Presenter: Amy Callahan

Criminal Justice

Criminal Justice

The Real CSI

If you watch television shows like “CSI”, you might think that assessing crime scenes is a relatively simple or routine task. It is not! In this seminar, we will learn about the “do’s and don’ts” of evidence collection and processing. We will review famous American murders (i.e. Nicole Simpson and Marilyn Sheppard cases) and we will find out what happens when evidence is not processed properly.
Presenter: Paul Cavan

Deaf Culture

Deaf Culture

American Sign Language/Deaf Culture

Presenter: Diane Mele

Bridging the Gap-Deaf and Hearing Cultures

Presenter: Diane Mele

Introduction to the Deaf Community

Presenter: Diane Mele

Mental Health and Deafness

Presenter: Diane Mele

Working in Multi-Cultural Settings

Presenter: Diane Mele

Education

Education

Community Colleges: an American Invention

Community colleges, often called “Democracy’s Colleges,” are an American invention. While other countries have traditional universities, vocational schools, and other forms of higher education, America invented the idea of a public, two-year “bridge” between high schools and four-year colleges and universities. Community colleges open their doors to everyone and embody American democratic principles like opportunity, access, and service to local community. In this lively, interactive presentation, you’ll take a community college “quiz” (for prizes!) and learn more about the role of Democracy’s Colleges, including NECC, in our community.
Presenter: Lane Glenn

Education and Workforce Development: Meeting the Needs of Merrimack Valley Employers

In the 19th century, America’s Industrial Revolution was born in the Merrimack Valley, and ever since the region has been known for its industry, its productivity, and its innovation. Riverfront mills and carriage shops have been replaced today by high tech manufacturing facilities, architectural and software design companies, life sciences and financial services operations, and a booming healthcare industry. The workforce in the Valley is growing faster than the rest of the Commonwealth, even as it is getting younger and much more diverse through a rapidly growing immigrant population. This presentation explores what all this means for employers, for education and training, and for public policy.
Presenter: Lane Glenn

It’s Not How Smart You Are; It’s How You Are Smart

A successful person is not always someone who is “book smart”. In fact, many people are extremely successful because of other strengths such as interpersonal intelligence. This presentation will address the theory of multiple intelligences which was developed in 1983 by Dr. Howard Gardner, professor of education at Harvard University. Gardner’s theory suggests that the traditional notion of intelligence, based on I.Q. testing, is far too limited. Instead, Dr. Gardner proposes eight different intelligences to account for a broader range of human potential in children and adults. These intelligences are:

  • Linguistic intelligence (“word smart”): Logical-mathematical intelligence (“number/reasoning smart”)
  • Spatial intelligence (“picture smart”)
  • Bodily-Kinesthetic intelligence (“body smart”)
  • Musical intelligence (“music smart”)
  • Interpersonal intelligence (“people smart”)
  • Intrapersonal intelligence (“self smart”)
  • Naturalist intelligence (“nature smart”)

This presentation is appropriate for anyone interested in identifying strengths and working from a strengths based perspective, including parents, students, teachers or a general audience. Participants will identify their strongest intelligence and find out how it impacts their abilities in all aspects of their lives including school, work, and within the family.
Presenter: Deirdre Budzyna

Save the Males!

Young men are graduating from high school, enrolling in college, and finishing degrees at rates that are astonishingly lower than young women. And along the way, they require more remediation, earn fewer credits and achieve lower grades.

This is not new-it’s a trend that began thirty years ago and has continued steadily since. Not worried yet? If you have a son, a grandson, a nephew or a pesky kid brother, remember this: Men with a high school education or less are least likely to marry, least likely to be employed, and most likely to end up in prison. It’s been a long time in the making, but we may just now be realizing the devastating academic, social and economic condition of American young men. What’s the deal?
How about video games and the feminization of schools? Helicopter parents and over-inflated self-esteem? Adderall, Ritalin and Dexedrine. Water bottles turning us into “half the man” our grandfather used to be? And how does Homer Simpson fit into all this?

In this presentation we’ll take a run at these things and a few more, then consider what we might do to help Save the Males!
Presenter: Lane Glenn

Health

Health

Did You Sleep Well Last Night?

Sleep issues affect all of us from babies who can’t sleep through the night to teens who simply don’t get enough sleep to elderly people who suffer from insomnia. While having a few sleepless nights can be frustrating, undiagnosed sleep issues can also threaten your health, leading to stroke, hypertension or heart failure. John Murray, coordinator of the Sleep Technology Program at Northern Essex, can provide a general overview of sleep issues or more targeted presentations addressing sleep issues related to pediatrics, women, drowsy diving, high school students, or the elderly.
Presenter: John Murray

See also – Science Topics

Exploring our disconnection with food and the benefits of mindful eating

How much do you know about the common cold?

Medical Quakery

Radioactivity in your life

The Science of Sunshine

Science & Travel

Science & Travel

Alternative Careers in Science

This presentation will explore nontraditional career pathways in the science field, from artists to food critics. Included will be information on the college’s Laboratory Science Program; a new associate degree program at Northern Essex which prepare students to become laboratory technicians.
Presenter: Noemi Custodia-Lora

The Belize Barrier Reef: Great Things in Small Packages

Belize is a small Central American country on the Caribbean Coast, which hosts what Charles Darwin called “the most remarkable reef in the West Indies”. It is part of the Mesoamerican Barrier Reef System which stretches for nearly 200 miles, from Cancun to Honduras, making it second only to Australia’s Great Barrier Reef in size. The Belize Barrier Reef is composed of a contiguous series of reefs that run parallel to the coastline within sight of the shore. In 1971 Jacques Yves Cousteau made an offshore dive site called the “Great Blue Hole” on Lighthouse Atoll famous, when he visited aboard Calypso. He called this area one of the top 10 best scuba diving sites in the world.

In 1996, UNESCO labeled the Belize Barrier Reef a World Heritage Site. The reef system is the country’s most popular tourist destination and hosts nearly half of all visitors to Belize. As a result the reefs are exposed to pressures associated with tourism, along with other stressors, both natural and man-made. The Belizean government is acting to protect these natural wonders and have recently banned bottom trawling. They have also designated seven reef areas as protected marine reserves including the pristine Hol Chan Marine Reserve.

Come join us as we examine coral reefs in general, then view some of the fascinating corals, invertebrates, fishes and other animals that occupy Belize’s Barrier Reef.
Presenter: Ken Thomas

Be Happy! The Science of Happiness and How to Be Happier

Do you ever find yourself wishing you could feel happier? Many of us do and we think we will feel happier as a result of something – such as finding a new job, finishing a project, losing 10 pounds, etc. However, psychologists and neurologists are now realizing that happiness can be more readily achieved through changing the way we think. Lizzie Linn Casanave, professor of philosophy at NECC, will explain this revolutionary concept and provide you with practical tools for achieving this new mindset.
Presenter: Lizzie Linn Casanave

Biodiversity of the Galapagos Islands

Located in the Pacific Ocean, the Galapagos Islands are famous for offering some of the best wildlife viewing in the world. Biology Professor Ken Thomas recently returned from a trip to the islands and in this presentation he will share his experiences exploring the unique biodiversity of this area. The geology of the islands will be covered as well as background on the many birds, reptiles, and mammals that make the islands their home, including Galapagos penguins, sea lions, and the highly endangered Galapagos tortoises.
Presenter: Ken Thomas

Chocolate: The Secret Indulgence

Learn which chemicals elicit biochemical reactions in the human brain, making chocolate the perfect indulgence. During the presentation, you will also learn how to taste chocolate for quality and how to eat it, too!
Presenter: Michael Cross or Noemi Custodia-Lora

Coral Reefs and the threat of Global Climate Change

Coral reefs are some of the most biologically diverse ecosystems on Earth, providing critical habitat to approximately 25 percent of marine species. Professor Thomas’ presentation will introduce the audience to coral reefs and include a discussion of the importance of preserving them. He will also cover the potential impact of global climate change and global warming including the dynamics of both processes. Findings from the Pew Report on Global Climate Change will also be touched on. This 50 to 60 minute presentation is geared toward high school students and scientifically curious adults.
Presenter: Ken Thomas

CSI: Fact & Fiction

Do popular crime shows on television accurately depict the role of forensic science in solving crimes? Discuss the myths and realities of crime scene investigations with Professor Mike Cross. You’ll learn the strengths and limitations of modern forensics and have the chance to test your own skills at crime solving!
Presenter: Michael Cross

Debate – Using Animals for Food and Medical Research, Right or Wrong?

This topic explores the ethical issues raised when using animals for research purposes.
Presenter: Noemi Custodia-Lora

Exploring Our Disconnection With Food and the Benefits of Mindful Eating

Are you eating in front of the TV and not remembering how the meal tasted? Are you forgetting if you ate or not? There are reasons why. In this presentation, you will learn how to make your eating more mindful, leading to better health, more pleasurable eating, and weight loss.
Presenter: Noemi Custodia-Lora

Genetically Modified (GM) Food

Did you know that genetically modified food is not new and that it’s been around for centuries? In this presentation, we will explore the world of GM food, including how it’s created and how abundant it is in our food supply.
Presenters: Michael Cross or Noemi Custodia-Lora

How Much Do You Know About the Common Cold?

Most people know that colds are caused by a viral infection but did you know the symptoms are not caused by the viral infection but by an inflammatory response? Also, the best remedy for the common cold might not be what you think.
Presenter: Noemi Custodia-Lora

Jungle Talk – The Amazon Basin

Explore the Amazon Basin in South America, which is home to 60 percent of the planet’s remaining tropical rainforests. Professor Thomas will share how the region-which is the size of the continental United States-is like a huge bowl that collects water and sends it thousands of miles to the Atlantic. He will introduce one of the tributaries, the Rio Napo in Ecuador, where he has spent time, and also touch on the Andes Mountains, the rivers, and the rainforest and the ways they are all tied to one another. His presentation will include photographs of the animals and plants that thrive in the area. This 30 to 40 minute presentation can be tailored for audiences ranging from middle school age to adults. A longer presentation could include a discussion of the Amazonian indigenous tribes and the plight they face with the western invasion into the Amazon.
Presenter: Ken Thomas

Medical Quackery

The late 19th and early 20th century is considered the “Golden Age of Quackery”; a time when snake oil salesmen sold patent medicines to an unsuspecting public. This lecture presents many of the scientific and medical “quack” tonics and devices so prevalent during this time period as well as their modern counterparts. Can you tell scientific fact from fiction or will you fall prey to the snake oil hucksters of today?
Presenter: Michael Cross

Microorganisms

Are you afraid of microbes? Learn about how microbes have impacted humanity, from the beneficial microbes found in yogurt to those that led to the black plague. Let’s explore them.
Presenter: Noemi Custodia-Lora

Old Wives’ Tales and Science. So Many Myths and So Little Time

In this presentation, common myths are discussed and classified as TRUE or FALSE based on scientific evidence. Is it dangerous to hold your sneeze? Would cracking the knuckles cause arthritis? Carrots, do they really help with vision? Can you swim immediately after eating?
Presenters: Michael Cross or Noemi Custodia-Lora

Paddling the Florida Everglades: A Hundred Mile Journey

This talk chronicles Professor Thomas’ “trip of a lifetime” from its planning and preparation stages to the actual trip itself. Hear about the pain of fire ant and no-see-um attacks, the beauty of paddling under a full moon, the frustration of running aground at super low tides, and the challenge of paddling during small craft advisories. This talk can be tailored for middle school through adult audiences and can run 40 minutes or longer, depending on time constraints.
Presenter: Ken Thomas

Radioactivity in Your Life

Are you aware of your exposure to radiation? Is this something you should be worried about? We always worry about nuclear power plants, but smoke detectors, cigarettes, and even table salt contain radioactive material. Learn how you encounter radiation in your daily life and whether this exposure should concern you.
Presenter: Michael Cross

Science: The Problem, the Solution, or Neither?

Is science to blame (or to thank) for the conditions we live in? Every day we see examples of science gone wrong: oil spills, pollution, toxic waste. But many of the things we take for granted in life were also created by science. Is science really the problem? Maybe Spider-man was right and with great power comes great responsibility.

Presenter: Michael Cross

The Science of Sunshine

Yes, we need to be concerned about skin cancer, but did you know more sun can be healthy. In this presentation, we will discuss “healthy” doses of sun and the benefits of more sun exposure.
Presenter: Michael Cross or Noemi Custodia-Lora

Serendipity in Science

Genius is one percent inspiration and 99 percent perspiration, but sometimes a little luck can help. From penicillin to Silly Putty, NutraSweet to amazing anti-cancer drugs, some of the most incredible breakthroughs have been accidental. Learn about how the 2010 Nobel Prize in physics was awarded for something that you have surely created in kindergarten.
Presenter: Michael Cross

Technology

Technology

Digital Life: Gizmos and Gadgets

Technology can enrich our lives but many of us are too intimidated to take advantage of all it has to offer. In this presentation, the audience will learn about some of the new technology that has been recently introduced to the market. Professor Schuster will bring her suitcase filled with new technology and give the audience a chance to try it themselves.
Presenter: Ethel Schuster

Integrating Science Into Your Classroom

An exciting presentation for any teacher, Michael Penta, professor of Computer and Information Science, will show you how to easily and imaginatively use science in almost any classroom. At a time when Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) courses are taking center stage in education and careers, it is more important than ever to introduce science and math to children in the early stages of their development. Former program developer for grades K-12 at UMASS Lowell’s Future Engineers Center, Penta is known for his work with robotics, artbotics and video game development. This presentation can be tailored for any teaching level.
Presenter: Michael Penta

Robotics and Artbotics: Science Is Fun!

Known for his work with robotics and video game programming for high school children, Michael Penta, professor of Computer and Information Sciences, provides an entertaining and instructional presentation guaranteed to capture any student’s imagination. At a time when Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) courses are taking center stage in education and careers, it is more important than ever to introduce science and math to children in the early stages of their development. This presentation can be tailored to any age level.
Presenter: Michael Penta

Theater, Music, Art & Literature

Theater, Music, Art & Literature

Ansel Adams as an Environmentalist

A slide presentation of photographer Ansel Adams and his long career starting at age 12 in Yosemite with a box camera. Find out about his work with the Sierra Club, The National Park Service, and his work in the environmental movement of the 1960s. The presenter, Lance Hidy knew Ansel Adams personally and has designed several books featuring his photography.
Presenter: Lance Hidy

Children’s Literature

So many of us have a special place in our hearts for children’s literature, yet many people don’t realize what a powerful, vital and contentious body of literature it is. It is a burgeoning field which has changed over time as it reflects the society that produces it. Whether you would like to take an introductory look at the world of children’s literature, review its history, or look closely at an individual children’s book, author, or illustrator, Dr. Juchniewicz will be happy to tailor her talk to the interests of your audience.

Dr. Juchniewicz has been teaching courses in children’s and young adult literature for more than 15 years. She is a member of the Foundation for Children’s Books, and was a Book PALS volunteer, taking books into shelters and literacy centers to read to underserved children. For five years she wrote the “Book Beat” column for the Journal of the New England Reading Association, and has written about and reviewed children’s literature for other journals as well.
Presenter: Melissa Juchniewicz

Memoir Writing: Share That Story of Yours!

You are the only one to tell the stories that have made you who you are; no one else has seen the world through your eyes. Maya Angelou cautioned against “…bearing an untold story inside you.” But where do you start? What do you need to begin? Do you have to be a great writer? What if others don’t like what you have to say? Melissa Juchniewicz will show you that with just your memories and pencil and paper, you can begin to voice your wonderful stories. She will provide ideas for structure and techniques for results worthy of your experiences. Dr. Juchniewicz has facilitated memoir writing workshops for nearly 20 years around the Merrimack Valley, and has overseen the production of thousands of pages of people’s life stories. Bring something to write with, and you’ll leave with something written that may be the start of a great journey.
Presenter: Melissa Juchniewicz

Tricksters and the Marketing of Breakfast Cereals

Did you ever wonder why so many breakfast cereals for kids are marketed by cartoon characters? And why breakfast cereals in particular so much more so than other kinds of foods? The answers to these questions may surprise you as Tom Greene, Professor of English at Northern Essex, traces the interconnected threads of breakfast foods from their semi-mystical, religious origins, their mating with the trickster figure from depth psychology, to their ultimate arrival on your televisions and grocery store shelves, and what it all says about how Americans think about their food choices.
Presenter: Tom Greene

Why Are Vampires Sexy?

Vampires have fascinated the English-speaking world ever since Bram Stoker’s novel Dracula became a smash hit more than a hundred years ago. Dracula is probably the most-filmed horror novel of all time, and Stoker spawned an entire genre of tales about night-walkers who drink the blood of the living. Yet legends of the nosferatu and other revenants have been common all over the world since time immemorial. What is it about vampires since Dracula that has kept people so deeply enthralled? Tom Greene, Professor of English at Northern Essex, outlines the evolution of the modern vampire legend and reveals how vampires captivate us by addressing not only to our deepest fears, but also our most secret desires.
Presenter: Tom Greene

More Information

For more information please contact us:
Phone: 978-556-3862
Email: speakersbureau@necc.mass.edu

To schedule a public speaker from NECC Speakers Bureau, submit the Speaker’s Bureau Request Form.

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