NECC Faculty/Staff Receive National Recognition
Five Northern Essex Community College faculty were recently named recipients of the National Institute for Staff and Organizational Development (NISOD) Awards for Excellence, a national honor that recognizes outstanding faculty and staff working at the country’s community colleges.
This year’s recipients include Tom Greene of Salem, MA, professor, English; Scott Joubert of Oxford, professor, criminal justice; Sharon McDermot of Amesbury, adjunct professor, business; Kristen Sparrow of Haverhill, assistant professor, computer information sciences; and Sue Tashjian of Haverhill, coordinator of instructional technology and online learning.
Since 1978, NISOD has been dedicated to the professional development of faculty, administrators and staff; and to the continued improvement of teaching and learning, with the ultimate goal of student success. NISOD’s Excellence Awards recognize men and women each year who have demonstrated an outstanding commitment and contribution to their students and colleagues. Excellence Award recipients are recognized during NISOD’s annual international conference, to be held virtually April 28-30, 2021.
Here is additional information on each of the recipients:
Tom Greene has been teaching English at Northern Essex since 2008. He was nominated by Amy Callahan, dean of liberal arts, who wrote “Tom has served the English Department in its efforts toward better evaluation and placement methods; he has successfully worked with Early College students; and he has been on the leadership team exploring and promoting equity efforts at the college. He has also served his peers as a trusted union official, advocating for labor rights while also facilitating positive workplace relations.”
Callahan called Greene “a superb professor” and said students “seek out his writing classes.”
Greene received his bachelor’s in English from Trinity University, San Antonio, Texas and his master’s in fiction writing and his PhD in English literature from UMass Amherst.
Scott Joubert was nominated by Kelly Sullivan, dean of business and professional development at Northern Essex, who praised his leadership in both course assessment and online course development.
Over the summer of 2020, the college transitioned 200 courses to online delivery, and Joubert was a faculty leader during this effort. “He worked all summer with CIT (Center for Instructional Technology) to ensure that the college and faculty would have a successful semester. Scott is always willing to help his colleagues and share his expertise,” wrote Sullivan.
Joubert has been teaching at Northern Essex for 11 years. He graduated from Quinsigamond Community College with an Associate Degree in Criminal Justice and went on to earn a bachelor’s in history from Worcester State University, and a master’s in criminal justice from Boston University.
In 2016, Joubert received the Massachusetts Colleges Online (MCO) Course of Distinction Award recognizing innovation in online course development for his Criminal Law course.
Sharon McDermot has been a staff member at Northern Essex for over 20 years and is currently chief of staff for the academic area of the college. She has been teaching part-time at the college since 2013.
McDermot was nominated by Kelly Sullivan, dean of business and professional studies, who recognized her efforts to help every student succeed. Sullivan wrote “She uses multiple technologies in all of her classes and is constantly improving the delivery. She has attended many training sessions to improve her teaching…Sharon is beloved by her students and she is always willing to go the extra mile.”
McDermot has a bachelor’s in business administration and a master’s in organizational leadership and a certificate in human resources from Southern New Hampshire University.
Nominated by Carolyn Knoepfler, dean of STEM, Kristen Sparrow has been teaching part-time at Northern Essex for 18 years and she joined the full-time faculty three years ago.
According to Knoepfler, Sparrow has been instrumental in developing courses that are accessible to all learners. “For example, Kristen created an accessible syllabus template that’s been widely shared within the STEM division and adopted by many other faculty.”
Two years ago she received a COD Award from Massachusetts Colleges Online for her hybrid course, Introduction to Computer Science.
With a proven track record in online teaching, she helped faculty in her division who were new to online learning transition to online learning this summer.
Sparrow has a bachelor’s in English/secondary school teacher of English and is working on a master’s in education curriculum and instruction. She is a Sun/Oracle certified Java programmer.
Among other responsibilities, Sue Tashjian coordinates the college’s iTeach program, a six-week online training module, the college created to help faculty develop courses for online delivery.
Tashjian was nominated by Kimberly Burns, dean of academic innovations and professional development, and Melba Acevedo, director of CIT, who wrote “Sue is skilled at keeping faculty on track in the development of their online courses. She excels at instructional coaching, which requires a high level of patience and technical knowledge, and tailoring support to the needs of the faculty member.”
Tashjian also co-chairs the college’s Textbook Task Force, and has supported more than 70 Northern Essex faculty in adopting, adapting, and creating Open Educational Resources (OER) for their classes. The result has been $1.5 million in savings for Northern Essex students. She currently serves as co-chair for the OER Advisory Council of the MA Department of Higher Education and as the co-president to the Community College Consortium for Educational Resources.
Tashjian has a master’s of education in instructional design from UMass Boston.