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NECC Fund Grants Enhance Student Experience

Submitted by on September 25, 2013 – 3:10 pm
NECC Fund Grants Enhance NECC Student Experience

NECC Professor Jim Sullivan demonstrating a Smart Pen

What do mountain bikes, a prestigious poet, and Smart Pen technology have in common? They were all provided to the NECC community this spring through grants from Institutional Advancement and the NECC Fund.

This year, 17 requests for funds were submitted by faculty and staff for programs, items, or services that enhance the experience of the NECC student—and over $15,000 was awarded to 10 recipients.

Among this year’s grants is $2,000 for 12 mountain bikes to be used for the General Studies: Physical Education, Exercise Science, and Sport Studies Program’s Adventure Education class. According to Rob Parker, coordinator of sport fitness and leisure studies, the goal of the course is to give students the skills to succeed in the adventure education marketplace. The addition of the mountain bikes will provide students with hands-on lessons on fitting a bike for an individual and fixing a bike on the go. Students will also be exposed to various trail-riding tips.

Also awarded this year, is $2,000 to Enrollment Management and Student Services to engage Poet Richard Blanco as a White Fund lecturer for the fall 2013 series. Blanco was chosen by President Obama to write and read an original poem, which Blanco entitled “One Today,” during the President’s swearing-in ceremony of his 2013 inauguration. He also participated in the star-studded “Boston Strong: An Evening of Support and Celebration.” In his presentation, “What it Means to be an American,” Blanco will share his poetry and inspirations with the NECC Community. The event is scheduled for September 24 from 8:45 to 10 a.m.

A $645 grant, awarded to Jim Sullivan and Academic Preparation/ Foundational Studies and Liberal Arts and Sciences Division (FSLAS), provides math faculty with Smart Pen technology. This program allows faculty to create digital lessons that can be stored in Blackboard and used in traditional, online, and hybrid courses. Five Smart Pens and special magnetized paper were purchased with the grant. According to Sullivan, the technology allows students to see and hear a professor run through a math problem using the magnetized paper to record what is written and the pen’s built-in speaker to record voice. Captured information can then be downloaded onto a computer for later use. The program will initially be rolled out to faculty teaching developmental math, but all math faculty will have the opportunity to participate in a demonstration of the technology.

Other grants awarded include:
• $2,100 for iclicker2 remotes and an instructor console to provide this technology on both the Haverhill and Lawrence Campuses – Dina Brown, Student Engagement Center
• $1,500 to support the 2013-2014 Hispanic Cultural Enrichment Program – Gisela Nash, Access & Community Building
• $2,250 to allow the art space to expand on their offerings by bringing to campus two or three internationally recognized artists of stature who would present public lectures and conduct Master Classes for NECC students – Marc Mannheimer, Art & Design
• $2,959.50 to purchase two classroom kits of Arduino microcontrollers and supporting material – Michael Penta, CIS
• $600 for three student stipends/scholarships for participating in a project sponsored by the Division of FSLAS – Patricia Machado, Global Studies
• $675 to institute the Smart Pen Technology Program which will give math faculty the ability to create digital lessons that can be stored in Blackboard – Academic Preparation/FSLAS
• $1,000 in funding assistance for Parnassus, NECC’s literary magazine – Patrick Lochelt, English Department

With a focus on improving the student experience at NECC, the NECC Fund provides scholarship awards to students, program grants to faculty and staff, and support for the college’s endowment. Over its nine-year existence, the NECC Fund has provided over $175,000 in support to academic and student programs.

Each year, faculty and staff are invited to submit an application for grants that will enhance the NECC student experience. Applicants provide a brief description of the proposed program and how it will benefit NECC students. Recipients are chosen by NECC President Lane Glenn and Vice President of Institutional Advancement Jean Poth. If you are interested in applying for a NECC Fund grant, applications will be available beginning in February. Applications are due in late March.

The NECC Fund relies on individuals, businesses, and the community at-large to contribute to the NECC Fund and help make a difference in our students’ successes. To contribute, visit the NECC Fund website at and click “donate now.”