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NECC to Hold Inaugural Impact Awards

Submitted by on March 27, 2023 – 5:13 pm

Haverhill, MA (March 27, 2023) – Northern Essex Community College is proud to recognize those who have made lasting contributions to the college and its students with the inaugural NECC Impact Awards. The following five outstanding community members will be honored at a breakfast ceremony on Wednesday, May 3, at 8:30 am on the Haverhill Campus. Purchase tickets and learn more about sponsorship opportunities here.

View of Bentley Library on the Haverhill Campus

Award Recipients


Covanta, Community Partner Award
This award honors an individual, group, or organization who, through their support, has made a lasting impact at Northern Essex. Covanta has long been a partner for Northern Essex, supporting numerous causes, initiatives, and projects. In 2011, the local sustainability company established an endowed scholarship for students pursuing an associate degree in natural, laboratory, or engineering science. Most recently, Covanta matched a $100,000 grant from the Commonwealth for the Haverhill Promise Program. The program allows Haverhill High School students who have participated in early college at NECC to complete their associate degrees tuition-free following graduation. Covanta’s Business Manager, Mark Van Weelden, serves on the NECC Foundation Board.

Jouel Gómez, Outstanding Alumni Award
This award recognizes an alumnus/a who has achieved career-related success, is active in the community, and/or has exemplified active support for the college’s efforts. Jouel Gómez is a senior manager at Massachusetts General Brigham: Newton-Wellesley Hospital. After graduating from Northern Essex in 2015 with a Business Transfer Degree, Gómez earned his bachelor’s degree from Boston University in management and an MBA from Bentley University. He became involved in alumni association efforts in NECC in 2016, becoming the vice-chairperson and president and chairperson in 2021. Gómez also serves on the NECC Board of Trustees as the alumni representative.

Jeffrey Linehan, Philanthropy & Volunteerism Award
This award is given to a member of the Northern Essex community who has demonstrated commitment to NECC through financial support, volunteering, and leadership. Entrepreneur Jeffrey Linehan graduated from Northern Essex in 1977. After earning his bachelor’s and MBA, Linehan returned to his roots, serving as a long-standing member of several local and college boards, including time as the chair of the NECC Board of Trustees. Currently, Linehan serves as the secretary for the NECC Foundation Board.

Diana DiZoglio, Public Service & Advocacy Award
The Public Service and Advocacy award honors an individual who has made a tremendous impact on the lives of our students through public service or advocacy. Diana DiZoglio was recently elected as State Auditor. As the former State Senator from the First Essex District and the Representative for the 14th Essex District, DiZoglio has been an advocate for Northern Essex, its students, and its efforts in Lawrence, Haverhill, and surrounding communities.

Vilma Martinez Dominguez, Equity and Social Justice Award
This award recognizes individuals, organizations, or initiatives that have impacted the NECC community through values such as a commitment to equity, diversity, and the advancement of human rights and social justice. Vilma Martinez Dominguez is the COO of the Greater Lawrence Community Action Council (GLCAC) and the former Community Development Director for the City of Lawrence. GLCAC partners with hundreds of local organizations to provide wraparound services for area residents living in poverty, including numerous collaborations with NECC. This year, GLCAC partnered with NECC to expand the availability of high-quality ESOL instruction in the Greater Lawrence region, addressing the expansive waitlist of more than 2,000 people.