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CIS Professor Nominated for Award

Submitted by on November 19, 2018 – 7:58 pm

Michael Penta, Computer Information Sciences professor, was recently nominated for Haverhill Educator of the Year.

Northern Essex Community College Computer Information Sciences Professor Michael Penta of Lowell, was recently one of 16 educators nominated for the Haverhill YMCA Educator of the Year Award.

Tracy Fuller, executive director of the Haverhill YMCA, said a committee reviewed every nomination on a variety of criteria, including youth development, healthy living, and social responsibility, which she said are the “key driving factors of the Y.”

He was nominated for the award by Carolyn Knoepfler, PhD, assistant dean of Northern Essex’s STEM Program. In her nomination she wrote, “Michael has been in our Computer Information Sciences Department since 2012 and from the moment he arrived, he has brought with him a level of enthusiasm like no other.  Michael is student centered in every aspect of his work here at the college. Every project he works on, he thinks of our students first and if it will benefit them.”

A stickler for curriculum design, she noted, that he makes sure his students receive the most up-to-date trends in a rapidly changing field.

“His classroom is lively and engaging even at 8 am.  His students hang on every word and the rapport he has with them is impressive.  Computer science is challenging to learn and his courses are rigorous, but he will attempt to meet the needs of all his students so they can learn,” she wrote.

His scope goes beyond the classroom. He applied for and received a grant to fund a panel discussion of CIS professionals and NECC alumni. A portion of the evening’s discussion revolved around “balancing” work and life. An issue he believes is important for individuals in this field.

He is also involved with NECC’s summer STEM Academy. He has taught in this summer program and consistently receives positive reviews from the rising 7th through 10th graders who enroll in his courses.

“It does not matter if the student is 12 or 52, they will learn computer science in his classroom.  Michael’s passion is limitless and infectious and his involvement in any project or course benefits everyone.   In summary, Michael Penta is the consummate educator.  He brings his excellence to every facet of his work: from the classroom, to his department, to the college community and the people of Haverhill,” she wrote.

Penta earned an associate degree in computer science from Middlesex Community College and both a Bachelor of Science and a Master of Science in Computer Science from the University of Massachusetts Lowell.

Northern Essex offers associate degrees/certificates in computer science transfer, information technology, networking and security, technology and business, computer networking, computer security, and wed page design and development.

The programs prepare students for career in computer information science or for transfer into a four-year program.

For additional information of the Northern Essex CIS programs contact Penta, at or call 978-556-3892.