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NECC Faculty Nationally Recognized with NISOD Awards

Submitted by on January 22, 2024 – 2:52 pm

Two members of the Northern Essex Community College faculty were recently named recipients of the National Institute for Staff and Organizational Development (NISOD) Awards for Excellence. This national honor recognizes outstanding faculty and staff at the country’s community colleges.

Dean of STEM Carolyn Knoepfler, Liberal Arts Dean Amy Callahan, President Lane Glenn, Professor Kristi Arford, Professor Doug Leaffer, Provost Paul Beaudin

Kristi Arford, Professor of Anthropology, is the longtime chair of the Behavioral Sciences Department. She designed and taught a study abroad course, Archaeological Site Explorations, which included traveling with students to Turkey. In 2019, Professor Arford published an anthropology textbook, Coming Full Circle: Rediscovering Ancient Wisdom for the Modern World through Cultural Anthropology. The textbook covers gender, spirituality, and belief systems through a theme of sustainability, and 100 percent of the proceeds are donated to NECC’s Study Abroad Program. In the words of one faculty peer: “Kristi shows passion and knowledge in her field and teaching and is committed to student success and learning.”

Engineering Professor Doug Leaffer came to the college seven years ago from Framingham State University. Since his arrival, he has been involved in running a summer STEM academy, a robotics project with CIS, many grant opportunities, is active in Engineering Week, and most importantly, has been creating a relationship between Northern Essex Community College Department of Engineering and the University of Massachusetts Lowell Department of Engineering. STEM Dean Carolyn Knoepfler wrote in his nomination, “This relationship is vital for our aspiring engineers to learn about what UML has to offer in terms of their programs as well as meeting and getting to know their faculty and students.  UML benefits by learning about our program, our students and Northern Essex as a whole. Doug has led this initiative and is instrumental in its success.”

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 college employees each year who have demonstrated an outstanding commitment and contribution to students and colleagues. Excellence Award recipients are recognized during NISOD’s annual international conference, which will be held in Austin, Texas, May 25-28.