NECC Faculty Receive National Award
Six Northern Essex Community College faculty members were recently named recipients of the National Institute for Staff and Organizational Development (NISOD) Awards for Excellence, a national honor which recognizes outstanding teachers in the country’s community colleges. This year’s recipients include Professor Amy Callahan of Newburyport, coordinator of the Liberal Arts: Journalism/Communication Program; Kristen Quinn of Boston, associate professor of Accounting; Robert West of Manchester, NH, laboratory technician and Natural Science safety officer; Abby Thomas of Andover, curriculum coordinator of the English as a Second Language Program; Deirdre Budzyna of Newburyport, professor in the Early Childhood Education Program; and Linda Giampa of Amesbury, academic coordinator of the NECC Reading Center.
Since 1978, NISOD has been dedicated to the professional development of faculty, administrators, and staff; and to the continued improvement of teaching and learning, with the ultimate goal of student success.
Here is additional information on each of the recipients:
In addition to teaching, Amy Callahan served as advisor to NECC’s award-winning student newspaper, the “NECC Observer”. Before joining the NECC faculty, she was a journalist and editor for many years. She was a correspondent for “The Boston Globe” and a staff writer for the “Holyoke Transcript-Telegram” and the “Vineyard Gazette” where her work received awards from the New England Press Association. She currently serves as a member of the Board of Directors of HC Media. She earned a Bachelor of Arts in Journalism from Northeastern University and Master of Fine Arts in Writing from Columbia University
A full-time professor in the business department, Kristen Quinn is the lead contact for the accounting program. She teaches all upper level accounting courses and works to make continuous improvements to the program to enrich the students’ educational experience and provide them with resume-building skills. For the last five years Quinn has worked as a faculty mentor to help faculty at other schools across the country increase the technology used in their classrooms sharing with them best practices and tips to help students in face-to-face and online courses. She holds a bachelor’s degree in accounting from Assumption College and a master’s in accountancy from Suffolk University.
An English as a Second Language teacher for more than 35 years, Abby Thomas began teaching ESL at NECC in 1999. She became curriculum coordinator in 2008. For the last two years she has worked with ESL faculty re-designing the curriculum to comply with state and federal financial standards. She holds a bachelor’s degree in Anthropology from Ohio State University and a master’s degree in Teachers of English to Speakers of Other Languages (TESOL) from the University of Alabama.
Deirdre Budzyna has worked in the field of education for 25 years. She has worked with children as young as three as well as senior citizens. She taught in public schools for 10 years and created a kindergarten program in West Newbury based on Howard Gardner’s “Theory of Multiple Intelligences”. She is also co-owner of “Acting Out Productions” in Newburyport where she teaches acting to children ages 4 to 16. She holds a bachelor’s degree from Mount Holyoke College and a master’s degree from Lesley University.
Before she began working as a part-time tutor at NECC in 1999, Linda Giampa was a stockbroker and retirement specialist. She holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Psychology from the University of New Hampshire and a Master of Education degree from Cambridge College. She became coordinator of the Reading Center in 2008. She also teaches reading in the evening as an adjunct faculty member.
After graduating from Merrimack College with a Bachelor of Science degree in Health Science, Robert West worked in an environmental laboratory analyzing various samples for a multitude of hazardous chemicals. He came to work at Northern Essex in 2010. Since arriving at NECC, he has created standardized laboratory schedules for all natural science courses, employed various safety policies and programs, and overseen the expansion of the natural science department on the Lawrence campus as well as implemented a $1.2 million in renovations and upgrades to the Haverhill facilities.
The 2015 NISOD Conference will be held May 23 through May 26 in Austin, TX.