All posts by Sarah Peirson, Correspondent

Panel focuses on book banning and intellectual freedom

On Wednesday April 12th Northern Essex Community College hosted a panel discussion about book banning and intellectual freedom event that took place in Lecture Hall (A) in the Spurk building on the Haverhill campus.
Students, faculty and staff were encouraged to come listen to a panel of hosts discuss their thoughts and research on banning books.

Guest Martin Garnar, director of libraries at Amherst College led the discussion.

The event was sponsored by the Global Studies department and the NECC Library.

Six faculty members from different disciplines joined in on the panel.

Garnar began by asking the audience to get into groups of 4-5 people and the groups were given a piece of paper that gave real life scenarios and each group had to discuss what the people in the scenario should do.

For example, “a teacher thinks her students are plagiarizing; should she go to the library?”

After each group read and discussed the audience formed a large group discussion about their topic and panel members and other groups were allowed to converse through a shared microphone.

Lisette Espinoza, an English professor at Northern Essex and a part of the panel for the banning books event encouraged the audience to read books because “there are many authors banned … because their ideas are complex or controversial.”

Students were able to be challenged with real life scenarios, work together in a group setting to figure it out and gain advice from the panel on different perspectives.

To find out about more events like these you can visit the NECC events tab.

Former U.S. Sen. Scott Brown visits NECC

Former U.S. Sen. Scott Brown stands at a podium and speaks in Lecture Hall A in the C building
Former U.S. senator and ambassador to New Zealand Scott Brown visited NECC on April 10 as part of Professor Richard Padova’s GOV101 class. Photo courtesy NECC Newsroom

On April 10, NECC students, faculty and staff were invited to join GOV101 in listening to former U.S. Senator and U.S. Ambassador Scott Brown speak in Lecture Hall A on the Haverhill Campus.
Professor Richard Padova had some assistance from Liberal Arts Administrative Assistant Tammy Foster to get this event to happen. Padova had Scott Brown come in for his GOV101 class but wanted others who attend Northern Essex Community College to benefit from his presentation as well.

“I was looking for someone who is a good speaker, who has worked in a couple of branches of government and able to share their personal experiences with students, and someone who does not have to travel far and incur travel expenses.” Padova on why he chose Scott Brown.

The event started at 9:30 a.m. on April 10 and ended at 10:45; allowing Scott Brown to tell his story on how he got into politics and answer questions from the audience.

Students would introduce themselves to Brown and then ask questions. There were questions on climate change, transgender rights, and what is next in his political career.

Erin Magner, a student here at Northern Essex studying human services states that she attended for her GOV101 class but would have made time to come voluntarily if it wasn’t required.

“I’m very excited! I voted for Scott Brown … for Senator of Massachusetts. I think this event is beneficial to gain more knowledge on politics” says Magner.

The former U.S. Senator and U.S. Ambassador stayed after his presentation to answer any personal questions and take pictures with the audience.

Professor Padova states “I’ve brought many speakers to campus over the years, mainly from the field of government and politics, and I’m sure that I’ll continue this. I feel very strongly that this helps to round out a student’s education; in other words, being able to also learn outside of the classroom and interact with people “on the frontlines” from the world of government and politics.”.

If you are looking for more events like these, tune into the Northern Essex Community College homepage under the Event’


Re-Uknighted: Student Life fair highlights clubs, organizations

Two women standing by a table in a hall, one of them holding a cutout paper heart.
Aimee Stevens and Adriana Neefus hosted a table at the Re-Unkighted Involvement to represent American Sign Language opportunities with Gallaudet University. Photo by Sarah Peirson

On February 8th 2023, NECC hosted a Re-UKnighted Involvement Fair to help students get involved with different clubs and organizations.

The event was organized by Student Life and was designed to help students find new ways to excel through their own personal needs and interests.

Tables decorated with the theme of each club/organization were lined up against the wall in the Spurk (C) Building on the Haverhill campus to catch the eyes of students walking by.

Aimee Stevens, program coordinator for the American sign language program at Gallaudet University and Adrianna Neefus, an administrative assistant at Gallaudet University, hosted a table to represent American Sign Language opportunities at Gallaudet University.

“We hope to bring awareness to this club for students who are learning ASL. There is a program that happens once a month on the Lawrence Campus to help students practice and immerse themselves in the ASL community called ‘Shared Reading Saturday’ that would be beneficial for anyone wanting to learn ASL,” shared Neefus.

“We live in a diverse world, acknowledging those beyond yourself creates a more equitable environment for those who are struggling.” added Stevens.

Both Neefus and Stevens wanted to acknowledge how this organization can help those in all fields communicate with other people.

If you or someone you know are looking for more ways to get involved with NECC, go to the events category on the NECC website to find more information on events like these.

Panel highlights mental health

A group of people sit in audience while speakers speak on stage.
A crowd turned out in the Spurk lecture hall on Dec. 1 for a panel discussion, “Personal Stories on Mental Health Struggles, Recovery and Advocacy.” Panelists shared their stories. Sarah Peirson, Correspondent

On Dec. 1 students and staff members of Northern Essex Community College were invited to a mental health panel located in the Spurk building.

Everyone was greeted with refreshments before taking a seat in lecture hall A for the event that was from 2 to 3:30 p.m. Raffle tickets were given out to help encourage people to stay the duration of the event.

Associate Professor and Psychology Program Coordinator Krista Titone was the organizer of this event and announced at the beginning of the speeches, “We want to help reduce the stigma surrounding psychological disorders.”
Four guest volunteers, were Pamela Gaudreau, Michelle Howard, Melissa Richardson and Jason Martin, shared their stories. They sat at the front of the room and one by one each person shared their personal connection with psychological disorders.


Bipolar Depression, Anorexia, Alcoholism and ADHD were discussed during the event. Pictures and self produced music were shared during two of the speeches.

Michelle Howard who was accompanied by her sister who suffered for 39 years with anorexia, shared awareness of her book “The Thin Woman” and shared some of the excerpts from the text.

Guests sitting in the audience were allowed to ask questions about treatment and careers.

If you are interested in going into a career in the psychology field or are in need of support through personal psychological problems, Northern Essex Community College is here to support you. Check the calendar on the Northern Essex homepage for further information about similar upcoming events.
See related story about mental health on Page 5

Radiologic Tech club holds food drive

From November 1st to December 1st, the Radiologic Technology Club is hosting a food drive for students and staff to participate in as a part of this holiday season.

On the Lawrence campus the boxes are set up in the Dimitry building and on the Haverhill campus the boxes areset up in the student center.

Food donation bins
Donation boxes in the Dimitry building on the Lawrence campus for the Radiologic Tech Club’s food drive. Sarah Peirson, Correspondent

The Radiologic Technology Club at Northern Essex participates in alot of fundraising to help raise money for their seminars.

During the seminars students are able todiscuss what they have learned through their programs, talk about fundraising,how they can helpeach other and how they can help the community as a whole. The food drive is usually once a semester, but the club tries to target Thanksgiving to help students with money or food insecurities.

Emma Luce the President of the Radiologic Technology Club states that she enjoys the fundraising aspect of the club because it helps you get involved with the community and help them outside of just the medical field.

“We hosted some coat drives that did really well and we wanted to continue to help people so we hosted the food drive as well,” Luce states.

This semester was the first time in three years the club has been meeting on campus

Luce talks about how you meet a lot more people in this program that you may have never met in your classes and how it’s a great way to make connections.

“If any students are interested in anything regarding radiology or the Radiologic Technology Club, definitely contact Angela Bowers,” Luce encourages.

You can take your non-perishable food items to either Dimitry Building or Student Center to help out those in need this holiday season.

Mobile Market fights food insecurity

People look at the food available at the Mobile Market on the Haverhill campus
NECC community members explore the free food options at the Mobile Market on the Haverhill campus on Sept. 27. Sarah Peirson, Correspondent

Food insecurity within community college systems has increased leaving roughly half of school populations to struggle with maintaining food presence in their homes, according to Rutgers Graduate School of Education.

Northern Essex Community College provides a program under the name “Mobile Market,” which is a farmers market for students, staff and faculty who are in need of healthier food options.

The group members of this committee meet once a month to provide some relief to people who are struggling with food insecurity.

Students and staff are able to access the exact date and times of the market by going to the NECC homepage, click events and scroll through the month they are looking for to find the Mobile Market’tab.


Once you click on the tab there is a summary with all of the information you might need.

Natalie Wooldridge is a community resource assistant at Northern Essex CommunityCollege and also manages the food pantry.

She has participated in the ‘Mobile Market’ program for just over a year, and urges awareness of this program that happens once a month at the Student Center on the Haverhill campus and the Dimitry building on the Lawrence campus.

“We hope to limit food insecurities within community college systems starting here at NECC. It is not a well known topic amongst college students so with this we hope people feel supported,” Wooldridge states.

Wooldrige and her colleagues wish for more awareness of the program and hope more people in need utilize this resource.

On Tuesday, Sept. 27, the program set up tables and signs outside of the Student Center.
Fruits and vegetables of a wide variety were laid out for students and staff to grab in a shopping bag provided by the Mobile Market. You are required to register either online prior to the event or in person.

Once you are registered you are eligible to grab whatever it is you might need for free.

Savanna Masters, a student here at Northern Essex for over a year states that she had not heard of this program before.

“I feel like more should be done by everyone to eliminate food insecurity,” she said. “It is inspiring to learn that NECC has joined in on trying to provide for those in need.”

In hopes to help the program, Masters suggests how different students and staff members could present meal plan ideas for the month or for holidays.

“This would add a wide variety of meals that are in a cost effective and healthy manne,” Masters said.

If you or a loved one who attends Northern Essex Community College are in need of food support, this program is here to support you and your needs.

Register today on the NECC homepage website to ensure your food supply for next month.

Upcoming Mobile Markets:

Tuesday, Oct. 25
Tuesday, Nov. 22
Tuesday, Dec. 6

Locations and Times
Haverhill: Behrakis Student Center, Noon to 1 p.m.
Lawrence: Dimitry “L” Building, 1 to 2 p.m.

Registration is required once a semester for the Mobile Market.
Registration is limited to NECC students, faculty, and staff.

To register, visit: