February 2019 Trustee Update
Dr. Carolyn Knoepfler wants trustees to know that STEM programs are thriving at Northern Essex.
Knoepfler, who is the assistant dean of STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math) gave the educational report at the February meeting, sharing what’s been happening in her newly formed division.
The STEM area is a team of 92 people including part time faculty and full time faculty, two lab technicians, and an administrative assistant. Programs housed under this umbrella include science, computer information science; engineering; and math.
With the help of grants from the US Department of Labor’s Guided Pathways to Success in STEM (GPSTEM), the Department of Higher Education’s STEM Starter Academy, the Amelia Peabody Foundation, National Grid, and the Women’s Fund of Essex County, the STEM area has introduced some exciting new initiatives in recent years, according to Knoepfler.
Those initiatives have included the STEM Starter Academy, which offers boot camps, summer academies, scholarships, technical support and tutoring, all designed to help attract students to STEM fields and give them the tools to be successful once they are here.
They have also funded a STEM Speaker Series, bringing well-known speakers such as Sy Montgomery, a naturalist and writer, and Will Broussard from the Mount Washington Observatory to campus to share different STEM perspectives.
Knoepfler seems most excited about the STEM Academic Center, which opened to students last fall. Located in Room 219 in the Hartleb Technology Center, the center provides a comfortable, supportive space for STEM students to connect with other students and faculty and staff. Every day from 11 am to 4 pm, the center hosts a “calculus party” says Knoepfler, where students meet to study calculus.
To learn more about STEM programs at Northern Essex, visit the website.
Report from the Administration
Accreditation and a New Strategic Plan on the Horizon
Every 10 years, the college’s accreditation agency, New England Commission of Higher Education (NECHE), formerly NEASC, requires the college go through an intensive evaluation process, which includes a comprehensive self-study and a site visit by NECHE. Northern Essex’s accreditation is due for renewal in the fall of 2020.
The process will culminate with a site visit from NECHE in the fall of 2020, which will also be the beginning of the college’s next strategic plan. “The results of our self study will lead us into the strategic plan,” said Glenn.
Hospitality & Culinary Arts Center in Downtown Haverhill Scheduled to Open in 2019
Construction of the Lupoli Family School of Hospitality & Culinary Arts is moving along, and the college is in the process of hiring a project manager to oversee the project. The building will open this fall.
President Glenn Meets with Governor’s Staff to Discuss Regional Public Safety Center in Lawrence
President Glenn and NECC Vice President of Administration and Finance Mike McCarthy met recently with members of the governor’s staff to discuss a proposed regional public safety center in Lawrence.
A potential partnership between the city of Lawrence and the college, the center has been under discussion for five years. Glenn told trustees that it may be a “decade-long project”. “I do feel like we’re getting some traction this time,” he said.
Three Sabbaticals are Approved
Trustees unanimously approved three sabbatical leaves that were recommended by President Lane Glenn.
Diana Mele, Deaf Studies/Human Services professor, will explore how the college can address a critical need for American sign language interpreters who are prepared to work in clinical mental health settings during the fall of 2019.
Patricia Schade, College Reading/Writing professor, plans to develop a Writing Fusion/English Composition I course for incarcerated individuals, working with partners such as the Essex County Sheriff’s Department. She will also be taking her sabbatical during the fall of 2019.
Elle Yarborough, English professor, will focus on best practices for improving the effectiveness of faculty feedback on student’s written work during the spring semester of 2020.
Trustees affirmed the appointments of four new full-time employees: Jessica Wine, assistant professor, Nursing; Ariel Chicklis, admissions/enrollment counselor; John Scippa, director of police academies; and Kimberly Ortiz, bookkeeper II.