NECC Observer

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

NECC student Olivia Lucey takes on NECC and UNH

NECC student Olivia Lucey is crouched on a hardwood floor holding her two large breed dogs, Buddy and Maisy.

Photo by Christina Hillner. Olivia Lucey with her two dogs, Buddy (left) and Maisy (right).

Classes are back in session at both NECC campuses, and student Olivia Lucey will be attending not only NECC, but the University of New Hampshire as well.

This is Lucey’s second semester at NECC; she also completed a semester in the fall of 2013. UNH will be Lucey’s third college: she transferred the credits she received last fall and took her studies to the University of New England for the spring 2014 semester.

“I started off as a General Studies major at NECC, only wanting to get my core classes done so I can save some money, and focus on Animal Behavior at UNE,” said Lucey.

Lucey has been interested in animal behaviors since she was very young. She’s has had three dogs in her lifetime: a female Cocker Spaniel named Clover, a male mutt named Buddy and a female lab named Maisey.

Buddy was adopted into her family because the previous owner could no longer care for him. He joined Clover for a couple years until she passed on in 2011 due to kidney failure.

“For the last couple months of her life, we had to give her IV fluids to help her,” said Olivia’s mother, Maryanne.

Soon after Clover passed, Maisy was introduced to the family as a puppy.

“I’ve seen a lot happen over the years with my dogs. Whether it was the way they acted lazy, energetic, or what has happened with them medically, It has helped steer me toward my goal of becoming a seeing eye dog trainer and veterinarian technician,” said Lucey.

After Lucey’s fall semester in 2014, she attended UNE for the spring semester only.

“I chose UNE for the program they had, which was well known for animal behavior. It is one of six colleges that I know of in the United States that has an excellent program-major,” Lucey explained.

During the summer, Lucey reconsidered what she wanted to do for the fall 2014 semester.

“It took a lot of thought, but in the end I withdrew from UNE. It was my dream college since high school, but it turns out I had other plans in mind instead,” said Lucey.

Throughout the summer, Lucey had been gathering all of the necessary material needed to transfer her credits from UNE to NECC and UNH this semester. Lucey is taking one class at NECC and three at UNH at the Thompson School of Applied Animal Science.

“I have to take the one class at NECC because it is just one class I need to get out of the way,” said Lucey.

She will be a commuter student at UNH this semester because she’s not a full time student there, and it was a last minute decision.

“I plan on attending UNH as a full time student in the spring of 2015. If all goes well, I will hopefully stay there,” says Lucey.

It will be difficult to manage this upcoming semester, because of the commute. 

Lucey resides in Methuen, Mass. which is approximately an hour from UNH in Durham, N.H. and 15 minutes from the NECC Haverhill campus.

“I live close to the highway, which is beneficial, and I may stay with my aunt in Hampton, N.H. some nights. I know the travel will become too much, and it is pointless to go home some days because of the times and the classes I am taking,” says Lucey.

Lucey also volunteers at the Service Dog Project in Ipswich, Mass. and has a babysitting job near home.

“It will be very interesting to see how this semester plays out. I have a lot on my plate, and it comes down to time management. I have to play my cards right, because this semester is no easy walk,” said Lucey.

Lucey’s major at UNH will be Small Animal Care. She is currently trying to tie the pieces together to have the outcome she wants, which is to be a trainer and work with guide dogs, with the additional specialty of being a veterinarian technician.