NECC Observer

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

The Perspectives of NECC professor and philosopher, Dermot Luddy

In South Ireland, in the big city of Cork, Dermot Luddy grew up quite adventurously. He felt a sense of belonging in his historic, neighborly community. To Luddy, a prodigious music fan, the theaters excited him as well as Cork’s annual jazz music festival. He says “When I was old enough, I used to enjoy going to some of the sessions in hotels and pubs around the city. Once I saw Dave Brubeck perform. It was magical.” 

 Back in Ireland, Luddy attended Maynooth University where he received his under-grad and graduate degree in philosophy and theology. He then went on to receive a graduate diploma in applied computing and computer programming at the University of Limerick. And after careful consideration from one of his professors, Luddy decided to move to the states and undertake a doctoral program at Fordham University. 

Like many philosophers, Luddy has always enjoyed thinking about the large notions of life.

He says “When I was an undergrad I really liked metaphysics. I was intrigued by weird questions about how there was anything at all, and why, if there is a divine being…”.

Moving further in his academic career he became more interested in ethics and social justice issues.

He then goes on to say “Today, I think I’d say that ethics is the area that lights my fire most. It’s not quite that I enjoy ethics most, but I think that it is an area that many people can relate to and understand its implication in their own lives.”

Here at NECC, he is positioned as an academic counselor and one of the administrators of the SOAR Program, an empowering, communal program that helps students succeed in their academic career. He is also an adjunct professor in Philosophy and World Religion.

 Luddy has an inherent desire to help others as well as a knack for looking at where someone is, where they want to go and then knowing just how to get them there.

He is most proud of his family and raising healthy and happy children as well as the work he does with the SOAR Program. He strives to improve his teaching by creating an environment built on trust and connection in the classroom. 

Luddy is a natural teacher. He is driven by justice and an inspiration to see his students succeed and fulfill their passions. He says “I want to help them to navigate their studies as painlessly as possible. In particular, I want to ensure that those who were shut out of higher education when I was young are given a fair chance to succeed.”

 He often thinks about the well-being of his loved ones and chooses to focus on the things he is in control of, the things he can “do something about.”

 If there is any legacy Luddy would like to leave, it would be, naturally for him, to establish an organization of some sort that will help others and continue to have an impact.

He says “I think that sometimes we work hard for a future time when we might achieve a level of comfort and satisfaction with life. But, as I always tell my own kids and my students, it is important to acknowledge moments of joy every day. If not, we may not recognize what happiness looks like if it were to look back at us from a mirror.”