Tag Archives: NECC

Knights win at home vs Southern Maine

On Dec. 10, the Knights basketball team took on Southern Maine Community College at home. It was their only home game in December.

The night started with the national anthem as usual, but some things were different than previous home games. Going into the game, NECC had a 9-4 record. They had become an exciting team to watch and people started to notice. The stands were more full than any home game so far this season.

Another thing that was different was that during the anthem, the Knights put their arms around each others’ backs and swayed back and forth together, a sign of togetherness and brotherhood.

Bryan Morales started the game for NECC by scoring a 3-pointer, and went on to score even more points that, by the end of the game, would total 25 — the team high for the night.

8 minutes and 30 seconds into the game, #10 on Southern Maine CC got hit in the nose by an elbow and took the rest of the first half off because of the injury.

At the end of the first half the score was 39-30, NECC leading.

The Knights led the whole game up until there was 10 minutes and 30 seconds left in the game when they finally got the lead and went up on NECC 57-56. The Knights went back and forth with the lead for the last 5 minutes up until NECC pulled off a beautiful breakaway-turned-into-a-layup play that all but sealed the game.

The Knights won 81-76.

The Knights leading scorers were Morales with 25 points, Dominic Dar with 19, and Jonathan Paulino with 13. NECC scored 11-16 free throw attempts.

A voice of literature, Elle Yarborough

Elle Yarborough, who is a full-time professor of the English Department at NECC, didn’t go to college with the mindset of becoming a teacher. While Elle was finishing up her master’s in English and participating in Community Outreach, one of the faculty members came to her with an opportunity.

“I was told one of the teachers quit … and (was asked if) I would be interested in working in her place for the next week or two while the school tried to find a replacement,” Yarborough says.

Because of her decision to work those two weeks, Yarborough was able to find her passion for teaching.

She has now been working as an English Professor at Northern Essex for five years. She teaches English Comp I & II, Art of the Movies and American Literature I & II.

“One thing I love about teaching is seeing a different perspective of others from their writing,” Yarborough says.

In Yarborough’s Art of the Movies course, her sincerity and passion make class discussion on different types of movies brilliantly motivating.

“One of the assignments we had to do was create a short film under 90 seconds on a topic that was found in the movie ‘To Kill a Mockingbird.’ Our group had a hard time trying to contribute to the group, so when we asked Elle what we should do next, she was able to come up with a solution,” says Sarah Smith, a student in Yarborough’s Art of Movies class.

Yarborough has two sons who are under the age of six.  “One of the hardest parts is balancing family, child care and working.

My husband travels which leads me to be a single mom for 2-3 weeks a month,” says Yarborough.  Despite this stress, she manages to come into class each day with a positive attitude.

Ellison Pena, who is also taking a course with Elle, says, “She is always in a good mood, which is something I really enjoy.”

Open forum allows for conversation

About 50 students, faculty and staff attended the “Academy Meet and Greet” on Dec. 2 in the Hartleb Technology Center. The event was held in response to questions and concerns raised regarding the appropriateness of the training activities recently taking place on campus, especially since the addition of the Essex County Sheriff’s Department. A casual lunch of pizza and bottled water from 11:30 – noon gave attendees a chance to meet and interact with each other outside of the usual structured setting.

After a brief introduction by NECC President Lane Glenn, a speech was given by NECC Police Academy Director Tommy Fleming, followed by a speech from Mike McAuliffe, the director of the Essex County Sheriff’s Department Academy. A current student officer and a recent graduate of the Academy, Claudia Maldonado, also spoke about her experiences.

“I couldn’t be more blessed,” she said about her time in training.

At the conclusion of the speeches, the audience asked several questions that covered a range of topics from racial tolerance and affirmative action to the role that the academies would play in the event of a campus emergency to specific questions regarding the curriculum and exam process.

With regards to student and faculty concerns about the Academy causing possible disruptions on the campus, Glenn said that prior incidents, such as the “finger gun” drill on the C lobby stairwell, were a learning experience and part of the adjustment period.

“Those things won’t happen again,” he said.

The academy directors concluded by declaring their commitment to transparency. Interested students are invited to sit in on classes or discuss the curriculum with the directors and McAuliffe expressed his willingness to arrange a tour of the Middleton jail for anyone who would like to go and even offered to arrange transportation.

Glenn’s speech centered around the logic of using community college campuses for the training of police officers. He said that he was contacted by the Methuen chief of police regarding the lack of space available in which to train police officers in Massachusetts, and a plan was created to bring in the first class of student officers last year. This relationship opened the door for another agreement to be reached with the Essex County Sheriff’s Department this semester.

Post 9/11, said Glenn, the increase in desired security led to the addition of many more options in the field of criminal justice which Glenn would like to see offered at NECC. Currently, in Massachusetts, police officers are not required to have a college degree. The requirements include a high school diploma, academy training and sometimes a civil service exam.

But according to Glenn, student officers who have access to higher education are more likely to take advantage of it which would, by definition, lead to better trained officers in the field. Glenn discussed a proposal for a future plan that involves building a 100,000 square foot structure in Lawrence to house future classes of the NECC Training Academies and public safety training. The building would be shared with the Lawrence Police Department, but the project needs $70 million project in funding and is in the early stages of planning.

Students and faculty expressed varied reactions to the Meet and Greet. Some felt that the school had addressed most of their concerns, while others still felt that there were questions left unanswered.

“I think, in general, I feel a little better about it,” said student Katie Formosi. “From a club president point of view, I wish they’d given a heads up about taking over Lecture Hall A. On the other hand, they did say they were learning from complaints.”

Spotlight: Being Muslim in America

Esraa Sadeek moved to the states from Alexandria, Egypt at the age of 3.

Sadeek is now 22, an alumna of NECC, a current Psychology and Victimology major at Endicott College and a single mother to her son Jaden, 3.

“I was raised in a strictly Islamic household,” she said. “I am very open about my faith and have no shame expressing that I am Muslim.”

Amidst the pride in her upbringing, Sadeek does not deny facing adversity.

“The last few months people have displayed more hate and anger towards me when they find out I am Muslim,” said Sadeek, referring to her interactions after the attacks carried out by ISIS, or ISIL. Sadeek went on to say, “ISIS is not Muslim.”

Sadeek said that the garb she wears on normal days garners a different reaction than her attire for special occasions.

“I wear a hijab on Islamic holidays and people absolutely treat me differently,” she said.

She said it is her belief that society has been conditioned to have a strong disliking towards those of the Islamic faith. She added that the belief that women in hijabs are inherently oppressed could not be farther from the truth.

“It is appalling how much some extra fabric on your head can change people’s views on you,” she said.

Meredith Gunning, a philosophy professor at NECC, has been teaching a world religions course since 2005. She said she first became aware of widespread Islamophobia in the wake of the 9/11 terrorist attacks, and offered education as an antidote to ignorance of other faiths.

“I do think it’s really important to study other religions. We live in a globalized world, we also live in a diverse culture in the U.S.,” said Gunning.

With regards to terrorist organizations that use the banner of their faith to justify brutal violence, Gunning said that this is not an indication of the entire religion’s beliefs and that anyone can “cherry pick” from any religion or sacred text to do heinous things.

“I prefer to call them Daesh, because ISIL gives them too much credibility,” said Gunning. “There’s direct things in the Quran that could be used to counter terrorists who kill, supposedly, in the name of Islam.”

Gunning would also like to clarify that — like fellow Abrahamic religions Christianity and Judaism — Islam may have started in the Middle East, but is, in fact, a worldwide religion and the fastest growing religion in the world.

“There will be more people belonging to Islam than Christians in under a decade,” said Gunning.

After 19 years in America, Sadeek still faces problems as an immigrant. “I struggle to provide my son and I with many things,” said Sadeek. “I work my butt off as a full time student and employee … to give him the best life possible.”

With a stable home, a full-time job and the commitment of going to college, one might get the idea that Sadeek feels secure. Unfortunately, the mounting tension against Muslim practitioners — quite visible in the media lately — has left her with a sense of unease.

“I fear that my son and I will pushed out of this country that we call home because of the bias and stigmatization the Islamic (community) is going through,” she said.

As for the Syrian refugees, she said America should allow them in. “Provide the refugees with a means to succeed such as English lessons, resources to receive enough food and temporary housing for a month, until they can get a job on their own,” said Sadeek. “That does not mean to give them free housing, 5 years of food stamps, a business and the world on a silver platter.” She understands that there is a level of struggle to overcome as an immigrant, because she saw her family go through it.

Gunning said that certain politicians’ “grandstanding” against the Islamic faith has not helped matters; for example, Donald Trump and Ted Cruz’s calls for a complete halt to Muslim immigrants, legal or otherwise, only helps to perpetuate irrational fear.

Gunning said, “Part of Islamophobia is claiming that those who are Muslim plan on taking over the whole world and forcing people to convert to Islam.” Americans using another’s religion against them as grounds for a ban, are falling victim to the effects of Islamophobia, and forgetting about our constitutionally-granted right to freedom of religion, said Gunning.

Ray Florent, a third-year Elementary Education major, has witnessed Islamophobia in class with Gunning. During Gunning’s world religions class. Florent recalls a particular student’s malice towards Muslims.

“She would say things like, ‘All Muslims are terrorists’ and ‘They all hate Americans,’” said Florent. One student, a Muslim whose identity was not provided for his safety, was so upset by this woman’s remarks that he left and never returned.

“I have friends who are Muslim,” said Florent. “No one deserves that kind of treatment.”

As for Sadeek, she is raising her son as a Muslim and has no plans of backing down to the criticism, still keeping her hopes up for the future.

“Everyone deserves to go to bed at night with the peace of mind that the sun will rise and they will still be breathing,” she said.

No end in sight for contract negotiations

This “celebration of solidarity” comes after months of failed negotiations and passive protests by the faculty, including informational pickets and the implementation of “work to rule,” which restricts the faculty to performing only those duties specifically required by their contract. Recently, flyers were distributed by the union asking students to show their support for a favorable resolution by calling or emailing NECC President Dr. Lane Glenn.

Glenn said that he has received a few calls and emails but went on to say that he is not directly involved in the negotiations and that he already fully supports the faculty’s position. “The faculty and professional staff in Massachusetts are underpaid, as compared to the state universities and UMass, and as compared to faculty and professional staff in other states,” Glenn said.

Delays to this new contract exist both in the financial proposal and some changes desired in the language of the contract from both sides, according to Glenn. Though he was not able to discuss the actual details of the contract since the negotiations are ongoing, he said, “This is the first time in many years, I think at least 15 years, that there have been any substantive changes suggested to this contract, so that’s one of the reasons … (for the delay). And there’s a new administration in the state. The last two times were under Deval Patrick, and he just rolled salary increases forward.”

In addition to fair wages, the flyer distributed by the MCCC stated that the union members are fighting for a contract that “protects [their] academic freedom rights.” Dictionary.com broadly defines academic freedom as “The right of teachers and students to express their ideas in the classroom or in writing, free from political, religious or institutional restrictions, even if these ideas are unpopular.” This could include any sort of intrusion by the government including censoring a teacher’s curriculum, the implementation of standardized testing, discontinuation of funding for controversial groups or research and a variety of other interferences. Glenn said he is unaware of anything in the proposed contract that threatens the academic freedom of the professors and that no standardized testing or disruption to the curriculum is in any way being considered by the state.

Joe LeBlanc, MCCC president, said that the flyer refers to “…a possible threat from management’s student learning outcomes proposal,” but that the threat is not specific, and he was not able to elaborate.

He does not feel that any progress has been made towards resolution of the contract and said that the state’s financial offer has stubbornly remained at the initially proposed 2 percent raise in year one, 2.5 percent raise in year two and 2.5 percent raise in year three, which is a rate significantly lower than those employed in similar higher education positions at the state universities whose contracts were negotiated under the Patrick administration.

LeBlanc said in an email interview that since the implementation of work to rule, “many college committees are moving to adjourn. College governance has been negatively affected. This will grow worse over time. Employee morale will also worsen.” About the chances of the contract being settled before the start of the Spring semester, LeBlanc said that he is “not confident, but always hopeful.”

Glenn said that he planned to stop by the tailgate party and say hello to the union members later that day. “I, this college, and the other colleges, to the extent that I speak for them, want a swift resolution to this contract, and a fair one, obviously. And while we work on it, I think it’s important that we are civil and collegial to one another and that students don’t suffer,” he said.

The Knights are road warriors

All of the NECC Knights basketball team’s losses have been at home, while they have gone undefeated during away games with a record of 4-0.

The Knight’s season started off on the road for 2 games, with an opener at NHTI and a game two days later at Great Bay.

At NHTI, the Knights posted a 91-68 score to win their first game of the season. Matthew Jameson led the scoring with 18 points. Andres Hernandez scored 17 points and Dominic Dar scored 13. NECC hit 50 percent of their 3-point attempts and racked up 51 rebounds, 14 of them came from Jonathan Paulino.

Two days later, the Knights arrived in Great Bay and brought their best game, winning 105-55. It was a very impressive early season win. They scored 59 points in the 1st half alone. Dar scored 14 and Paulino kept the rebound train chugging with 15 on the game.

The early road wins put NECC in a good position to keep their record moving up and have made a good foundation for later in the season.

Knights player Julio Vicente spoke about the team doing well on the road.

“I think we’re good on the road … I feel like my team is more focused when we are on our way over to the games. I just put some headphones on and I zone out.”

The Knights’ next road game was on Nov. 19 at Bristol. Coach Darren Stratton was suspended from NECC two games beforehand, so assistant coach Joe Tardif took the reins and led the Knights to their third road win of the season at Bristol. NECC won 101-93.

The Bristol game was a closer score than the other road games. The Knights scored 53 of their points in the first half. Paulino had 14 rebounds on the game. Jameson and Dar scored 22 and 23 points respectively. The scoring was more well rounded this game, with everyone getting a piece of the 101 points.

NECC’s most recent road game was at Quinsigamond, where they won 81-70 in their closest road win of the season so far. Jameson continued his domination and scored 24 points, with the next closest point-getter being Bryan Morales, who scored 16 points.

The Knights have four road games coming in December.

Relieve stress with fun and games

With the end of the semester nearing and stress levels rising among students, the Sports and Fitness Center has some events to help you relieve stress.

In the coming week there will be three tournaments going on to help relieve some of the stress. The first event will take place on Friday, Dec. 4, from 12-1 p.m. This tournament is a foosball tournament. Foosball is a soccer game where you turn the knobs on a table to control your soccer players and try and score. On Monday, Dec. 7, there will be an 8-Ball pool tournament which will also take place from 12-1 p.m.

Students enjoy the tournaments for more than stress relief, They enjoy the camaraderie that the tournaments create. They enjoy being around other students and meeting new people.

Joe Bray, a movement science student said,  “It’s a lot of fun and I make new friends and it’s also great competition.”

On Wednesday, Dec. 9, is the one tournament that attracts the most students. The tournament is going to be mattball. Mattball is a lot like kickball, except instead of bases you run to giant mats. The mat can hold more than one runner on it as opposed to kick ball where only one runner can be on base at a time.

Maureen Saliba, the assistant athletic director said, “Matt Ball attracts the most students. It’s a lot of fun.”

When organizing events, Saliba likes to make sure she keeps the excitement level in mind for the students. She wants to attract as many students as she can with many different activities. They even have events such as flag football, ultimate frisbee and soccer that happen out on the quad. Weather permitting, of course.

Saliba said, “We like to do things for the students 2-3 times a week, I like to pick things that people like to do.”

With finals around the corner and students feeling the pressure, students will find a way to relax without having to leave campus. They can either watch and cheer on their favorite students or participate in the actual events.

Saliba also said, “It’s a great way to relieve stress during finals, what is better than running around letting off a little steam.”

They also go on trips to shows as well as other fun things that students enjoy.

Ray Florent, an Early Education major said, “The events are a lot of fun, they also do field trips to shows in Boston as well as other things.  I went on a trip to see Blue Man Group in the spring.”

To sign up for the tournaments, students can go to the Sports and Fitness Center and sign up on the signup sheets to the left of the Knights Table or just join in if you see students playing in the quad.

Stay tuned for other events going on in the Sports and Fitness Center like the Seasonal Celebration.

Internships inspire NECC students

Students majoring in communications, business and accounting were able to take advantage of the internship opportunities through NECC this semester, gaining real-world experience in their major.

Darian Denis, Brett Davekos and Fausto Caba are just a few of the students who did internships this semester and were glad they did.

Denis, a Business Transfer major, recently completed an internship at Strategic Talent, a recruiting firm and an affiliate company of MFA Financial in Tewksbury.

“This internship is great for students who know what they want and just want to get their foot in the door, but it’s also great for people who have absolutely no idea what they want because it can give them some sort of direction,” she said.

Her main responsibilities were to help the team with research; she would prescreen resumes and make initial calls to candidates to find out what they were seeking.

One of the biggest challenges for her was maintaining a balance between school, her internship, her other job and personal time for herself.

Although it’s recommended that you take fewer classes while you’re doing the internship, she didn’t necessarily listen.

“It’s a lot of work! But it’s all such a positive experience,” Denis said.

One of her favorite parts of the internship class was being able to connect with other people in the same position as she was and expand her network with other students in various fields.

“I am also someone who has no idea what I’m doing after college, so the internship was a great opportunity for me to try out a field to see if I like it, and kind of give me some direction for a future career path,” she said. “Once I got in there and I started doing it, I realized that this is something I could do for years to come.”

Brett Davekos is majoring in business management, but his interest is in the healthcare industry, so he did an internship at Anna Jaques Hospital in Newburyport.

His goal was to figure out what field in healthcare he wanted to pursue, such as nursing, radiology or medical assisting.

Since his internship was more education–oriented, he was placed in various places in the hospital, the two main locations being the Comprehensive Pain Clinic and the Operating Room.

“The duties I had in the pain clinic related to my degree the most because I did a lot of secretarial work such as filing, billing, scheduling and mail runs. However, it wasn’t all office work; my supervisor would have me sit in and see patients with her and the head physician of the clinic would invite me to sit in on some of his procedures,” said Davekos.

In the Operating Room, his main duties were to stock supplies, clean rooms after operations and assist nurses.

During down time, doctors invited him to observe various operations.

His favorite part of the internship was the people that he got to work with, who were knowledgeable and supportive of his education.

“They taught me so many things that I wouldn’t have been able to learn from a classroom; about how to interact with different kinds of patients, such as the elderly, drug addicts or ones going through chemotherapy,” he said.

Every staff member at the hospital expressed to Davekos that they wished they could have done what he was able to do, since many people entering the healthcare industry have limited knowledge of what they are getting themselves into.

When a student’s knowledge is limited to textbooks, it’s difficult for a professor to accurately inform the student of what an actual job in the field would be like.

“This program not only gave me on-site experience, connections and relationships with influential people, but it also helped me pick out that nursing, out of numerous certificates and degrees I could pick from, was the best fit for my work ethic and personality,” he said.

Fausto Caba, an accounting major in his last semester at NECC, did an internship at Bradford & Bigelow in Newburyport, a book manufacturing company. It was his first time working in an office environment.

His two main responsibilities were handling accounts payables and accounts receivables, or paying bills and billing customers.

Each day he would find a stack of papers for him, find invoices, and start working on them at the computer.

Caba’s boss turned out to be an accounting professor, and his boss exposed him to a lot of different parts of accounting.

“There’s no doubt I would recommend this internship to other students. This experience is life–changing,” he said.

Presidential Scholarship winners

Twenty-seven local 2015 high school graduates were accepted to Northern Essex Community College’s Presidential Scholars Program, an honors program devoted to high academic achievement. The 16-year-old program is designed to reward motivated high school students who will be attending NECC.

“Most plan to transfer to a four-year college or university after getting an associate’s degree from Northern Essex.” said Lane Glenn, president of NECC.

Admission to the program includes a $1,000 scholarship, which is renewable provided the recipient maintain a GPA of 2.5 or higher while attending NECC. Accepted students also receive a staff or faculty mentor who acts as an academic resource throughout the student’s time on campus.

This year’s Presidential Scholars include students from Haverhill, Lawrence, Methuen, Plaistow, N.H.,  and other surroundings town and cities. For more information on the NECC Presidential Scholars Program, please contact Lindsay Graham at scholarships@necc.mass.edu or at (978) 556-3629.


Haverhill High School

Gabrielle Ouellette, General Studies: Health Specialization

Wyatt Pepe, Law Enforcement Certificate

Xionnett Pla, Accounting

Haverhill Technical High School

Abigail Monson: Liberal Arts


Finance High School

Lindsey Costello, Early Childhood Education

Greater Lawrence Technical High School

Janelle Lopez, General Studies, Health Specialization

Glendaliz Restos, General Studies, Health Specialization

Jacqueline Rosales, Liberal Arts

Central Catholic High School

Chelsea Lynch, Liberal Arts

Lawrence International High School

Lys Ortiz, General Studies, Health Specialization

Crisleidy Paula, Liberal Arts, Psychology Option


Methuen High School

Rocherly Difo, Early Childhood Education

Ariorca Herrera Abreu, Liberal Arts, Middle-High School Teaching Option

Rayhon Perez, Biology

Deric Sutton, General Studies, Health Specialization


Triton High School

Joseph Simon Liberal Arts


Newburyport High School

Caitlyn Cole, General Studies, Art

North Andover

North Andover High School

Joseph Donofrio, Business Management

Plaistow New Hampshire

Timberlane Regional High School

Aurora Sidor, General Studies, Business Option

Salem New Hampshire

Salem High School

Erin Lehner, Liberal Arts, Theater Option

West Newbury

Pentucket High School

Emily Galligan, Biology


Masconomet Regional High School

Megan Gibson, Engineering Science

Derry, New Hampshire

Pinkerton Academy

Anthony Bowers, General Studies, Individualized Option


Georgetown High School

Abby Sippel, Liberal Arts


Pentucket Regional High School

Madison Lesiczka, Early Childhood Education

Natalie Scott, Liberal Arts

Knights basketball off to a 4-2 start

Last season, the NECC Knights basketball team ended the season with a record of 12-16, leaving much to be desired.

This season, the Knights are off to a fast 4-2 start. They opened the season at NHTI with a 91-68 win. Matthew Jameson was the top scorer with 18 points, with Andres Hernandez and Dominic Dar right behind scoring 17 and 13 points respectively. Jameson also scored five three-pointers.

In the second game of the season, the Knights faced Great Bay Community College at Great Bay. There was more all-around scoring in this game, with everyone getting a piece of the pie. Dar scored a team-high 14 points. The Knights got the “W,” beating Great Bay 105-55.

The first two games saw the Knights greatly improve on last season’s rebound problem, which coach Darren Stratton stressed the importance of in the preseason. There were 51 total rebounds between the two games, with Jonathan Paulino having 29 of them.

The first loss of the season happened at the Knights home opener against Dean College. They lost 103-83. Jameson kept rolling though, scoring five three-pointers and 20 points in the game.

The Knights got back on track after their first loss, beating Daniel Webster 89-62 at home. NECC got off to a good start getting up 20-9 halfway through the first. Daniel Webster had some passionate fans at the game who were cheering in the first half but by the second half the Eagles were down 54-24 and stayed down by 30 points for most of the remainder of the game. The Knights showed their growing defensive ability all game long. Paulino had 13 rebounds and Julio Vicente had 5 steals.

NECC then went on to beat MassBay Community College on Veterans day, 99-91, in their closest game of the season. Jameson scored 19 points and Bryan Morales scored 18. In addition, Morales hit four three-pointers.

On Saturday, Nov. 14, the Knights fell to Holyoke Community College, 87-82. Hernandez scored 20 points in the losing effort.

The Knights upcoming games are: Nov. 17 vs. Massasoit, Nov. 19 at Bristol Community College, Nov. 21 vs. UConn at Avery Point and Nov. 24 at Quinsigamond Community College.