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October Trustee Report

Submitted by on October 13, 2017 – 3:03 pm

Graduate Thanks Faculty

President Lane Glenn opened the trustee’s meeting by sharing a thank you letter he received from a grateful alumnus, an immigrant from the Dominican Republic who is on track for a PhD.

Joanel Vasquez graduated from Northern Essex in 2014 with an associate degree in engineering science and from UMass Lowell in May with a double major in mechanical engineering and mathematics and a double minor in robotics and computer science.

Vasquez hopes to earn a PhD in robotics and mathematics and in his letter, he writes “this was all possible because of the education that I received from Northern Essex Community College.”

“I was able to learn and strengthen my knowledge of mathematics and science, which ended up making the difference for me during the years I attended UMass Lowell.   Northern Essex helped me adapt and learn more about what it’s like to live in America.  The faculty and staff helped me strengthen my English with ESL classes, and taught me how to give a good presentation.”

Vasquez singled out Professors Habib Maagoul (math) and Mike Cross (chemistry) saying “These two really inspired me.”

Students and Faculty Spend Time on Isle of Shoals on Gull Research

For the past three years, Northern Essex students, under the guidance of Natural Sciences Professor Sarah Courchesne, have spent time during the summer eight miles off the New Hampshire Seacoast on Appledore Island’s Shoals Marine Laboratory doing biological field research.

Finding the ecological role of gulls in our environment is the purpose of the research, according to Professor Courchesne, and the work involves catching birds and placing permanent bands on them so their movement can be studied.

Two of Professor Courchesne’s students reported on their experiences to the board of trustees, using language such as “life changing.”

David Mesta, who just graduated from the Lab Science Program at Northern Essex, spent 10 weeks on the Isle of Shoals, researching the gull population on the islands.

Calling it not just educational but also an opportunity for personal growth, Mesta admitted it was “hard work.”  “It won’t always be a perfect sunny day but you need to go out there and get that data.”

Jinette Galarza, a liberal arts major, loves new experiences which is what prompted her to apply for the internship when she received a college-wide email.  This summer was her second visit to the island.

With a smile, she describes the experience as “we chase the birds, and the birds chase us.”

Calling it a “great experience, working hands on with skilled professionals”, Galarza says she was the “main phlebotomist”, responsible for taking blood samples from the gulls.

Northern Essex program includes short-term research assistantships, 10-week summer internships, and lab based work performed at the college after the field season concludes.  It is funded in part by the Verizon Foundation.

Trustees Approve Revised College Budget

Trustees voted unanimously to approve a revised FY2018 budget that has been adjusted based on updated fall enrollment figures and additional supplemental budget requests received after June.

The revised budget is $43,898,645, close to $67,000 less than the earlier budget of $44,566,482.

The cuts were accomplished in a number of ways, according to President Glenn, including partnering with the MVRTA to save money on shuttle costs between campuses.

Trustees also unanimously approved a revised Student Activity Fund Budget of $525,074, a decrease from the $540,938 budget approved in June.  This adjustment was made based on fall enrollments.

Report of Administration

Strategic Plan:

The Student Career Opportunities Goal was the focus of this month’s report.

Kim Waligora, coordinator of the Lab Sciences Program, is the new co-chair of this goal team replacing Professor Pat Morrow, according to President Glenn.

Also, this fall a new career center opened in the newly renovated Spurk Building.  This comfortable space is for faculty who want to bring classes; for students looking to schedule and/or drop in for career exploration or career education services; and for career workshops.

Other highlights include a Virtual Job Shadow pilot that will embed career exploration into course curriculum; a Keys to Career Success Program, leading to a certificate of professional development for students who complete the full program; and the college’s first part-time job fair, held on October 5.

President Glenn also reported on the event celebrating the Spurk Building renovations; the ribbon cutting for new space at 420 Common St, Lawrence, for Bachelor’s Degrees at NECC; and the kick start campaign for a new façade for the Buckley Transportation Center in Lawrence.