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Board of Trustees February 2024 Update

Submitted by on February 15, 2024 – 8:18 pm

Haverhill, MA (February 14, 2024) – The Northern Essex Community College Board of Trustees convened for its first open meeting of the calendar year on the Haverhill Campus. Among other topics, the Trustees heard updates on the budget, plans for the second annual Impact Awards, and a brief summary of the recent National Legislative Summit put on by The Association of Community College Trustees. NECC President Lane Glenn, Board of Trustees Chairwoman Jennifer Borislow and NECC Chief of Staff Chris Sicuranza attended.

President Glenn, Chairwoman Borislow and Chief of Staff Sicuranza in Washington, D.C.

“It was clear that Northern Essex is well regarded and well represented,” remarked Borislow on her experience at the Summit. “The work of our faculty, staff and leadership is affecting legislation.”

Where STEM Meets the Workforce

Carolyn Knoepfler, Dean of Science, Technology, Engineering, & Math (STEM), shared some exciting updates from her division. “With the launch of MassReconnect as well as a grant from the Department of Labor, we have been developing ways to provide credit for work experience, entice entrance into our IT pathway, and create novel internship experiences for our students,” said Knoepfler.

Northern Essex is part of a consortium utilizing that grant from the Department of Labor. Knoepfler said one initiative it has made possible is the creation of new Challenge Exams. These are designed for individuals with a lot of experience in a subject matter to demonstrate their knowledge and get college credit for it. “If people have the knowledge and the skills, why are we going to make them take these classes? This is huge, especially in the IT field.”

Knoepfler is working on a new grant that, if awarded, will create a cybersecurity clinic. Students will train to do cyber security assessments and then provide assessments to small entities or groups that otherwise might not be able to afford large surveys. She expects they’ll learn about the grant in the next month or two.

Institutional Advancement Report: FY23 Fundraising Overview

Vice President of Institutional Advancement and Executive Director of the NECC Foundation, Inc., Allison Dolan-Wilson, gave Trustees a look at successful fundraising efforts from fiscal year 2023. In fact, not only was it a successful year, it was one for the record books, with more than $2 million raised. “We raised the most we ever had in 2023,” said Dolan-Wilson. She pointed out that many factors contributed to that success: unlocking matching funds from the state, engaging with new donors, securing major gifts and creating new giving societies for long-time supporters. She also noted her appreciation for the number of people who contributed to the annual fund, which is unrestricted, meaning funds can go where there is the greatest need.

“Whether it’s $5, $10, $50, it’s many people giving what they can. The power of the collective is amazing.”

In FY23, the Foundation provided more than a million dollars to various projects and needs at Northern Essex, including $212,000 for scholarships for more than 200 students. Funds also went to faculty projects, student research, an internship stipend program, and capital improvements.

“People have come here and changed their lives, and it continues to resonate with them,” said Dolan-Wilson of the generosity of NECC’s donors. “It’s a testament to the impact of Northern Essex.”