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Northern Essex Staff Receive National Recognition

Submitted by on March 30, 2017 – 8:12 pm

NISOD recipients include (l to r) Steve Russell, Jennifer Jackson-Stevens, Marilyn McCarthy, and Donna Felisberto.

Four Northern Essex Community College faculty and staff members were recently named recipients of the National Institute for Staff and Organizational Development (NISOD) Awards for Excellence, a national honor which recognizes outstanding faculty and staff in the country’s community colleges. This year’s recipients include Donna Felisberto of Newton, NH, coordinator of student assessment, credit for life learning & high school equivalency chief examiner; Jennifer Jackson-Stevens of Boston, program coordinator for respiratory care; Marilyn McCarthy of Andover, professor of college reading, and Stephen Russell of Pepperell, professor of history and government.

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:

Donna Felisberto has worked at NECC for 30 years in areas including student activities and the bursar’s and registrar’s offices. For the past 16 years, she has worked in the assessment center, most recently as the coordinator of student assessment.

Felisberto can be credited with raising the profile of credit for life (prior learning assessments,) which allows students to attain academic credit for work history. Her other contributions to the testing center include her work with area high schools and private partners to seamlessly deliver Accuplacer testing remotely. In addition she played a key role in the testing center becoming certified by both local and national testing associations.

She earned three associate degrees from Northern Essex, a bachelor’s in computer information systems from Southern New Hampshire University, and a master’s in education from Cambridge College.

Jennifer Jackson-Stevens  joined Northern Essex’s respiratory care program in 2006. Under her leadership as coordinator, the program has grown in stature among both education and healthcare communities which offer practicum sites and jobs to NECC students and graduates.

The Respiratory Care Club, which she advises, participates in many community service activities throughout the year.

She earned an associate degree in respiratory care from Massasoit Community College and a bachelor’s in biology and a master’s in higher education administration from Eastern Nazarene College.

Marilyn McCarthy began at NECC in 1998 teaching college reading, philosophy, logic, and world religions. She became a full-time developmental reading faculty member in 2001. In 2005, she earned the prestigious certification as a developmental education specialist at the Kellogg Institute for Training and Certification of Developmental Educators through Appalachian State University.

Her practicum focused on assessment and helped NECC shape a useful approach to assessment of its developmental reading curriculum and its impact upon students. She has supported her colleagues in transforming the curriculum to better meet the needs of the developmental student. In spring 2017 she began a sabbatical to learn how to more effectively help students on the autism spectrum succeed at NECC.

She holds a Bachelor of Arts in Philosophy & Humanities from Merrimack College with minors in English and history and a Master of Theology from Andover Newton Theological.

Dr. Steven Russell is recognized as someone who sets high standards in the classroom and is committed to helping each student achieve success.  He has chaired the Global Studies Department, been an active member of several college-wide committees, and served as the faculty advisor to the Contemporary Affairs Club where he has organized countless field trips, guided students during debates, and imparted the value of scholarly activities and research to support and sometimes change a position on current key event topics.

Russell explains complex historical moments while sharing his enthusiasm with students. He has been known to meet for hours with students as they struggle with difficult academic material or decisions about the next step on their academic path. Each semester, he arranges field trips to museums so students can see artifacts of the civilizations they have been studying.

He holds a bachelor’s in history from St. Anselm’s College, a master’s from the University of New Hampshire with a concentration in European History, and a Ph.D from the University of Connecticut with a concentration in Modern European and Russian History.

Recipients are invited to attend NISOD’s International Conference on Teaching and Leadership Excellence May 27 through May 30 in Austin, Texas.