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Welcome to SOAR!

The SOAR program is a student support program created for you, the NECC student. SOAR provides opportunities for students to strengthen their academic skills, explore career and transfer choices, express their identities, and grow their leadership experience.

We know you are busy, so we will be hosting our events in person, virtually and we will be recording them (when possible) so that you will have access to them on your schedule. We strive to uplift our students to achieve their own version of success. We seek to create a familial, trusted community focused on empowering students through care, challenge, and celebration.

For more information about becoming a SOAR Scholar email or stop by the SOAR Center in room 209 in the SC building, Haverhill Campus.


SOAR will uplift historically underrepresented students to achieve their own version of success.


SOAR staff, in collaboration with participating students, will promote increased persistence of academic and career goal completion by creating a trusted, familial community through forming connections, empowerment, and holistic, individualized support.


Back this Spring: SOAR After Dark!

Feeling stuck with an assignment?

Our Academic Fellows are available Monday through Thursday from 5:00 p.m. – 9:00 p.m. virtually and in-person.

Our Fellows can assist you with assignment planning and completion! Just have a quick question? Our Academic Fellows are here to help. 

Want to join virtually?

Click HERE

Monday – Thursday 5:00 p.m. – 9:00 p.m.

Want to join in person?

Mondays and Wednesdays in SC Room 209 in Haverhill

5:00 p.m. – 9:00 p.m.

Tuesdays and Thursdays in Dimitry Room L146

5:00 p.m. – 9:00 p.m.

Who We Are

SOAR Staff

Rachel Harnish (She/Her/Hers)

Hello! I am an Academic and Transfer Advisor for SOAR, and I’m so excited to be working with you! I have a B.S. in Elementary Education and ESL, and a Masters in Adult and Higher Education. I have taught at all levels, from preschool through college, and have worked in Advising and Student Support for the last eight years. I truly love what I do, and my goal is to help make your educational journey the best it can be!

When I’m not working, I like to unwind by making jewelry, playing the piano, or watching 90s sitcom reruns or cheesy reality shows. I’m also very active in animal rescue and have two rescue pets of my own. I live for the spring and summer, and love walking the beach and going to fairs and festivals when the weather is nice. I’m looking forward to getting to know you – stop by and say hi!


Jacques Morrow (He/Him/His)

Hi! My name is Jacques Morrow and I am an Academic and Transfer Advisor for SOAR.

I hail from the Rocky Mountains of Colorado and Idaho, and have been teaching, tutoring or advising in some form for the last 15 years. I have a B.A. in Theatre and a Masters in Theatre Education, and my graduate thesis delved into how attitudes between students and teachers affect information retention. I believe teaching is ultimately a position of service, so I am here to help, even if that just means a cup of coffee and a sympathetic ear.

My passion is yoga, which I began twelve years ago in conjunction with work as a mime, clown and acrobat. I am the quintessential geek, consuming everything from Marvel to Harry Potter, to The Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy (Earth: Mostly Harmless). I am also the father of three precocious children and the husband of one long-suffering wife.


Faniel Adames (He/Him/His)

Hello, my name is Faniel Adames and I am the Student Support Coordinator for the Liberal Arts and STEM. I graduated from the University of Massachusetts of Amherst with a theater degree and a minor in psychology. I’m a first-generation college student, so I understand how confusing it can be in a new environment, not knowing what to ask or expect. That’s why I’m here!

Don’t be shy to reach out with any concerns, questions, or even if you just want to chat about movies and shows. I’m a resource that NECC wants you to have, and part of my job is to connect you to the other resources you’ll need. If I know, then you’ll know. If don’t know, then I’ll find out. So, don’t hesitate to stop by!


Kelley Biedermann (She/Her/Hers)

My name is Kelley Biedermann and I am an Academic Coach with the SOAR program. If you need support or are feeling overwhelmed with your classes, I’m here to listen and help you get back on track. I want to help you reach your success goals.

Prior to joining NECC I was a first-grade classroom teacher. My prior work experience also includes working at a non-profit organization, helping young children living at homeless family shelters. I also have extensive experience in consulting & training.

A fun fact about me is that I love to decorate for the holidays, my office will always have various decorations. I am the owner of what many might describe as ‘tacky yard blow-ups’ – which will be proudly on display in our front yard during Halloween and Christmas! Please stop by my office in Haverhill in the Student Center/SC209 to say Hi.


Lisa Walters (She/Her/Hers)

Hello. My name is Lisa Walters, and I am an Academic coach at SOAR. I love the title “Seize Opportunities, Aspire to Rise”, as I am excited to help make this happen for our students! In my previous role at Northern Essex I worked as the English as a Second Language Placement Specialist, evaluating students’ level in English and then placing them in the appropriate classes. I have a Ph.D. in French Studies as well as a background in ESL and Spanish. I have taught at numerous colleges including UMass Lowell, Salem State, Merrimack College, Tufts University, and Brandeis. I like yoga, travel, crochet, music and dance (merengue, salsa, bachata and more!)


Sarah Cooper (She/Her/Hers)

I’m excited to be your Director of SOAR. Our passion is helping students define and achieve their version of success. My partner nicknamed me “the professor” because I am a teacher at heart: From helping a fellow shopper find gooseberries to guiding our children through life, I love to help people harness the power of knowledge to make informed choices. I have a master’s degree in the Art of Teaching from Johnson and Wales University in Providence, RI and a Master’s in Interior Design from the New England School of Art and Design at Suffolk, and they have certainly opened doors in my profession. I look forward to meeting you soon!


Martha Mazeika (She/Her/Hers)

My name is Martha Mazeika and I am the Assistant Director of SOAR! I have been working at community colleges for 25 years in Massachusetts, Virginia, and Illinois with my main focus being advising and student success. Like all of you, I’m in school as well, to add to my collection of degrees. I am a quilter and love sewing (especially hand sewing!) with friends. Please stop by my office in the Dimitry Building L134 if you need help, want to share your story, and/or have ideas of how the SOAR program can help you!!!


Dermot Luddy (He/Him/His)

Hi! I am the Assistant Director of SOAR for Academic Support, and I look forward to helping you plot a smooth course forward in your journey here.

I studied philosophy, computers, and theology in Ireland, then studied at Fordham University in the Bronx. I’ve taught at Fordham, Stonehill College, SNHU, Curry College, UML, Bridgewater State, Northern Essex, as well as fifteen years at a high school. I’ve worked in the Center for Liberal Arts here and continue to advocate for liberal arts as a critical part of any curriculum.

I live on the edge of a swamp with my wife and life partner, our brood of young adults, in addition to two dogs and three cats. I am never happier than when pontificating on the state of American politics. I enjoy movies, live music, and spending time with friends and family.


Eudania-Chucha Aquino (She/Her/Hers)

Hello, my name is Eudania Aquino but everyone calls me Chucha. I have been with NECC on and off since 2009, and I recently completed my Associates Degree in Human Services. I just became a part of the SOAR team after being one of the students in the program. I seized the opportunities and look forward to seeing you all SOAR! Hope to meet you all this semester!


Jazmine Mateo (She/Her/Hers)

Hello, my name is Jazmine and I am the Administrative Assistant for the SOAR program. Welcome! I have a Bachelor of Science degree in Business Management as well as a Bachelor of Arts in Theatre from Salem State University. I love the arts – music, dance, theatre, etc. I love Disney, and I also love to travel. If you visit campus, please stop by to say hello.


Our Services

Peer Ambassadors

Peer Ambassadors

Student Ambassadors are here to assist students in becoming acclimated to Northern Essex campus and culture. They work collaboratively to engage students in activities that increase their peers’ success and involvement in a positive college experience. Their mission: to make connections with an accepting, supportive SOAR staff and peer community!



SOAR plans a variety of workshops to set our students up for success in a variety of areas, such as informative financial, personal health and wellness activities, as well as academic skills and tips workshops tailored to SOAR students. Specific topics we have planned include study tips, financial literacy, self-care, career planning, and more! Don’t forget the FUN!

Here are our upcoming Spring events:

03/30/23 Thoughtful Thursdays: Meditation & Light Yoga 12:30pm – 1:30pm Lawrence Campus Room L244

04/06/23 Coffee and Conversations: 12:30pm – 1:30pm Haverhill Campus, SC 209 

To RSVP for SOAR events click HERE


SOAR is joining Student Life for the following events: 

04/12/23 Spring Jam on the Haverhill Campus Gym (D Building)

To RSVP for these events click HERE

1:1 Assistance

1:1 Assistance

Whatever you need, our team of SOAR staff are here for you; providing individualized, holistic assistance in eliminating barriers with a common goal of helping you succeed. Our friendly, caring staff members are here to help! Whatever assistance you may need, we are here to talk, and provide guidance. When you don’t know where to go, come to us and we can help you! Just a few of our many services include:

  • 4-year college visits and transfer assistance.
  • Career and academic exploration with a focus on your personal values, skills, and interests.
  • Assistance connecting with useful campus resources.
  • Academic coaching and individualized homework help, including after hours.
  • Meeting and connecting with your peers and having fun!


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