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NECC Observer Wins Two New England Newspaper and Press Association Awards

Submitted by on May 10, 2023 – 3:19 pm

Haverhill and Lawrence, MA (May 8, 2023)– The award-winning Northern Essex Community College student newspaper, the NECC Observer, received even more accolades this past weekend.

NECC Observer journalists Jose Rodriguez, Daniela Valdivia-Terres, Daniel Henrick, and Shantely Aquino

Former Editor-in-Chief Jose Rodriguez won second place for the College Rising Star Award at the recent New England Newspaper and Press Association awards. And the paper’s staff won third place for best college news website for content spanning 2021 to 2022.

“I would like to recognize former Editor-in-Chief Isa Grullon, who led the NECC Observer in 2021, as well as Jose, who took over in that role after Isa graduated,” said Mary Jo Shafer, NECC Journalism/Communication Program Coordinator and Advisor to the NECC Observer. “It’s also a nice recognition of all the hard work journalism students put in while we were still in the midst of the pandemic, figuring out ways to be relevant and serve the community even while campus life and community were fractured.”

During his time with the Observer, Rodriguez worked tirelessly to cover campus life, in particular sports. He also worked at the Eagle-Tribune as a freelancer sportswriter and was the play-by-play announcer for the NECC Knights home basketball games. Rodriguez graduated from Northern Essex in December and transferred to Salem State, where he is pursuing his bachelor’s degree in journalism. Shafer says this Rising Star second-place award is especially meaningful because the New England Newspaper and Press Association typically only recognizes one student in that category.

Former Editor-in-Chief Jose Rodriguez won second place for the College Rising Star Award

“The fact the NENPA judges sought to include him in this award is a real testament to his hard work, dedication, and determination. I am really proud of Jose for competing and being recognized against students from big four-year colleges and universities,” she said.

The Observer is published monthly during the academic year by NECC journalism students. Observer staff works to inform the college community, including students, faculty, and staff. The Observer also serves as a public forum for the Haverhill and Lawrence campuses and accepts letters and guest columns from the college community.

The NECC Observer is a member of the Associated Collegiate Press, College Media Advertisers, Inc., the Columbia Scholastic Press Association, and the New England Press Association.

To learn more about NECC’s Journalism/Communications program, visit the website or contact Mary Jo Shafer via email.

Former Editors-in-Chief Jose Rodriguez and Isa Grullon