NECC Observer

The student news website of Northern Essex Community College, Haverhill and Lawrence, Mass.


In memory of the legend, this word search is made up of Prince song titles

R.I.P. Prince

“Warner Bros took the name [Prince], trademarked it, and used it as the main marketing tool to promote all of the music I wrote. The company owns the name Prince and all related music marketed under Prince. I became merely a pawn used to produce more money for Warner Bros. I was born Prince and did not want to adopt another conventional name. The only acceptable replacement for my name, and my identity, was a…

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NECC student Tracy Mukami wore her traditional garb for the fashion show

African students hold fashion show

By: Cleo Brigham Staff Writer On Wednesday, April 20, the African Students Club held an African attire fashion show in Spurk’s Hawrylciw Theater. In addition to the many items of traditional clothing modeled, club member Ercania sang a Haitian song. The club was also joined by former NECC professor Jane Thiefels. In addition to previously teaching English as a second language at Northern Essex, Thiefels is also a nurse and has traveled to Africa as…

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Rosie Pena gave a speech about the power of positivity.

Journalism/Communication students celebrate free speech with free speeches

By: Cleo Brigham Staff Writer Last Wednesday, Northern Essex students and public speakers alike gathered in Spurk’s Lecture Hall A to celebrate their freedom of speech as well as one of the final events held before the Spurk building is closed for renovations. This semester marks the one year anniversary for the Speechapalooza event which is organized, promoted, and hosted each semester by NECC’s Journalism/Communication program coordinator Professor Amy Callahan’s principles of public relations students.…

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News Bytes

NECC COG supports Walk for Hunger

On Wednesday April 20, Community Outreach Group had a bake sale for the Walk for Hunger organization.  Nick Stuart, the president of COG has been an active member for four semesters.  “The club has gained a lot of new members as of late and that’s really exciting,” he said.  For the most recent bake sale, they raised about $225.  Additionally, club members have been getting donations from friends and family that all go to the…

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Sy Montgomery speaks at NECC

Many audience members stayed after the presentation to have their book signed by the author, including NECC professor Mike Cross

Sy Montgomery, the author of The Soul of an Octopus, naturalist and author of “The Good Pig,” spoke at the STEM Speaker’s Series at NECC on April 6. Montgomery based her lecture on her book, and her incredible experiences working with octopuses at the New England Aquarium. She began her talk by referring to the octopuses not as a “something,” but as a “someone,” giving the impression of octopuses being capable of complexity and personality…

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Dance students light up the stage

The annual NECC Dance Recital took place April 22 and 23 at Lawrence High School. Opening the show were the students in the NECC Dance Club, shaking and grooving to the funky beats of “Feel Good Inc.” by the Gorillaz. The electric feel of the dancers lithely moving across the stage in synchronization was infectious to the audience, who tapped their feet watching the students perform the pieces they’ve been working on all year. “Empty…

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Boston Red Sox host Journalism Night

As an aspiring journalist, more specifically a sports journalist, meeting and networking with professionals in the field is essential to furthering my career. The Boston Red Sox organization emailed multiple colleges about some of their “theme” nights throughout the season that coincided with college majors. The first theme night of the season was Journalism Night on April 12. Going to Journalism Night also came with a free ticket to the game against the Baltimore Orioles after the event. The Faculty Adviser of the Observer, Mary Jo Shafer, made sure the email with details about the event made it to me. I saw the message and knew right away that I had to attend. Two of my idols and famous sports journalists, Bob Ryan and Gordon Edes, were going to be there — and Edes was the master of ceremonies. Ryan is a former sports writer for the Boston Globe. He wrote about the Boston Celtics and Red Sox there from 1969 until 2012. He is also a voter for the Baseball Hall of Fame and is occasionally on “Around the Horn” on ESPN. Edes is the Red Sox team historian. Before taking that position, he had been the Red Sox…

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African students hold fashion show

NECC student Tracy Mukami wore her traditional garb for the fashion show

By: Cleo Brigham Staff Writer On Wednesday, April 20, the African Students Club held an African attire fashion show in Spurk’s Hawrylciw Theater. In addition to the many items of traditional clothing modeled, club member Ercania sang a Haitian song. The club was also joined by former NECC professor Jane Thiefels. In addition to previously teaching English as a second language at Northern Essex, Thiefels is also a nurse and has traveled to Africa as an ESL teacher. After the show’s finale, the club asked their audience to stand and dance with the club members instead of applauding.  After the show the students gathered for a reception including a meal of sweet plantains, spicy jollof rice, and chicken. The garments worn in the show ranged from casual street or market wear like dashikis, brightly colored tunics from West Africa to formal wear such as men’s suits, printed dresses, and long robes called agbadas. Many of the items the students already had in their closets. Psychology professor Peter Flynn, the club’s co-adviser, explained that the garments displayed in the show were contemporary pieces as opposed to costumes or festival wear. Secretary of the club and Kenyan native Tracy Mukami described it…

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Union conclusion

After nine months of negotiations that have been referred to as “grueling” and “hostile” by union representatives, the Massachusetts Community College Council (MCCC) finally has a tentative agreement with the Massachusetts Board of Higher Education (MBHE). Union members voted 965 to 91 on March 23 to ratify the agreement, which remains in effect for 3 years and includes a 2 percent pay increase for the first year, retroactive to July 1, followed by a 2.5 percent increase for each of the following 2 years. This is somewhat lower than the 3, 3.5 and 3.5 percent pay increases achieved by faculty’s counterparts in state universities just two years before. Counted as a huge win for the union is the elimination of language proposed by the MBHE that would have made changes that some feared were a direct threat to their academic freedom. According to the tentative agreement summary, “Management sought to require the use and assessment of SLOs (Student Learning Outcomes) from unit members which would have been a significant change in workload and practice. Moreover, management’s proposal, as written, could have made Student Learning Outcomes evaluative…” Union members had feared that this measure could have linked teacher’s raises, and perhaps…

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