NECC Observer

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

A moment with Professor Michael Cross

Michael Cross is an adjunct professor at Northern Essex Community College and has a passion for science.

Cross has a PHD in organic chemistry from the University of Utah.

He has been working here at Northern Essex Community College for 11 years now.

Cross is also very interested in forensic science specifically.

He says, “I love all kinds of science (chemistry, physics, biology, etc.) and I especially love the application of science. So when

Paul Cavan and I began discussing the need for a forensic science course I was very excited to create and teach the course.”
Cross teaches primarily online classes at NECC now.

He says, “I taught full-time at NECC for 11 years. In 2020 I moved to Utah and now teach online as an adjunct instructor.”

When asked what the most difficult thing about online teaching was, he said, “It’s hard to keep the class engaged. With face to face classes I can see when my students lose interest and we can switch up what we’re doing in class. But with online classes it’s much harder to gauge where students are at.”

However, he does like the fact that online classes offer a wide range of different students who may not normally be able to attend in person classes. He also says that there could be certain disadvantages to students who take online classes.

He says, “It is extremely easy to fall behind in online classes. Without a professor there to remind you in person about upcoming assignments, it is easy to procrastinate and fall way behind.”

Despite certain challenges, Cross is a very passionate professor who enjoys working at Northern Essex Community College.

When asked what it was that he liked about NECC specifically, Cross said, “I really enjoy teaching such a wide variety of students. At a community college you get to work with students of all ages and from all walks of life. It’s great to have such a wide variety of life experiences in a classroom.”