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NECC Students Present Honors Projects

Submitted by on December 19, 2017 – 7:47 pm

Luis Robles of Lawrence explored the caffeine in both store bought and coffee shop coffee.

How do you identify and treat college students with depression? What coffee brand has the most caffeine? Is a vacation retreat viable in Zambia? Are all learning techniques equal? These are just a few of the subjects Northern Essex Community College Commonwealth Honors students researched, hypothesized, and presented for their final presentations.

Luis Robles, 25, of Lawrence, a laboratory science major, used a high performance liquid chromatography machine to determine which popular coffee brands had the most caffeine per eight ounce cup. The verdict? Market Basket brand had 120 mg. of caffeine compared to Maxwell House which had 69.6 and Folgers which had 68.6. For coffee shop coffee, Starbucks perked to the top with 158 mg of caffeine while NECC’s Jitters had 118 mgs.

Rovimbi Donovan with her presentation on “The River Horse” Resort she created.

As the owner of a large swath of land in Zambia, Africa, Rovimbi Donovan, 37, was curious as to whether she could create a destination vacation locale. A business major with a hospitality minor, the North Andover resident, researched a business plan and designed marketing materials for “The River Horse,” a resort nestled in the heart of the Kafue River, for vacations, events, and conferences.

Blood pH was on Meghan Jacobs mind. The 20-year-old Amesbury resident who majors in biology wondered about the effects of blood pH on bone health. What she discovered she said, “is that the endocrine system has more to do with bone health than the blood actually does.”

Nearly a dozen students presented their final projects to the college community in the Hartleb Technology Center on the Haverhill campus.

Northern Essex’s Commonwealth Honors Program is open to any students who have earned a B+

Meghan Jacobs researched blood pH on bones.

average in high school or are a current NECC student or transfer student with a 3.3 GPA. Successful completion of the program guarantees admittance to the Commonwealth Honors Program at any of Massachusetts’ state colleges or universities where they are accepted.

Participants need to complete three honors components; two projects or honors courses plus the honors seminar or honors humanities.Students must participate in research or creative projects with guidance from a faculty mentor and engage in service learning activities.

English Professor Ginger Hurajt is the program coordinator.

For additional information on the Commonwealth Honors program, contact Hurajt at

Program information can also be found here.