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NECC Celebrates STEM Programs and Careers

Submitted by on November 2, 2018 – 2:07 pm
Stem Week Panel

The Stem Week panel includes (left to right) Carolyn Knoepfler, Eliannah Linehan; Jeanmarie Ward, Demetria Williams, Lane Glenn, Gabriella Bradt, Annette Lee, Beth Blomquist, Tracy Mitchell

Northern Essex Community College joined educators across the state—and Governor Charlie Baker and Lt. Governor Karyn Polito— to celebrate STEM (Science Technology Engineering & Math) Week, Oct. 22-26.

The college’s STEM Center sponsored a series of events that included a networking event for STEM students who are first generation college students, a panel discussion exploring international perspectives on STEM, and a STEM gaming session where students learned how to play a custom-madeboard game that teaches biology created by Professor Dianne Cahaly.

A highlight of the week was a Women in STEM panel on Wed, Oct. 24, featuring STEM professionals, who shared their experiences and offered advice to a room packed with students.

President Lane Glenn spoke with panelists before the event started.

The panel included Demetria Williams, ’04, systems administrator, Northrup Grumman Corporation; Beth Blomquist, ’90, associate director of CMC and patient safety QA, Vertex Pharmaceuticals; Jeanmarie Ward, vice president of architecture for Stock Plan Services, Fidelity Investments; Eliannah Linehan, senior mechanical design engineer, Pratt and Whitney; Tracy Mitchell, vice president of preclinical development & manufacturing, LIB Therapeutics, LLC; Gabriella Bradt, marine biologist, University of New Hampshire; and Annette Lee, co-owner, Throwback Brewery.

Practical Advice from Those Interested in STEM Fields

Advice for students focused on how to be successful in a STEM career and included:

·         Make sure you speak up for yourself if someone is not acknowledging your work

·         Don’t be afraid to pat yourself on the back for a job well done

·         Practice your people skills

·         Tailor your resume to job postings by reading the qualifications and using similar language to describe your experiences

·         Have a best friend at work who you trust and can talk to about what’s going on at work.

·         Don’t be afraid to try new things

·         Be a lifelong learner; keep up with your field

STEM Fields are a Good Choice for Community College Students

In introducing the panel, Carolyn Knoepfler, NECC’s assistant dean of STEM, shared some facts about STEM fields.

According to Knoepfler, 17% of the total state workforce or 600,000 people work in STEM occupations in Massachusetts; 20% of entry-level, STEM jobs don’t require more than an associate’s degree or certificate; by 2026, STEM jobs are expected to increase by 11.2% compared to overall expected job growth of 7.4%; and in Massachusetts, there are 2.5 men to every woman in STEM jobs.

“There are lots of job opportunities in STEM fields and many are available to certificate or associate degree graduates,” said Knoepfler.

Northern Essex offers over 40 STEM certificate and associate degree programs, ranging from engineering science to health.

STEM Week was sponsored by the Governor’s office as well as the STEM Advisory Council.  NECC President Lane Glenn is the community college representative on the council, which is responsible for expanding access to STEM education for students across the Commonwealth.

To learn more about STEM programs at NECC, contact Knoepfler at 978 556-3541 or