AROUND THE VALLEY
Local Students Graduate from NECC
Northern Essex Community College (NECC) held its 59th commencement ceremony on Saturday, May 15. Since their graduation was virtual last year, 2020 graduates were also included, .
Each ceremony involved a student speaker and an address from President Lane Glenn. Over 1300 graduates from 2020 and 2021 were celebrated and associate degrees and certificates from over 70 academic programs were awarded.
President Glenn typically shakes the hand of each graduate, which wasn’t possible this year due to safety guidelines. Instead, each graduate received a foam hand that proclaimed “NECC Grads are #1.” As they crossed the commencement platform, they were given the option of high-fiving (by far the most popular); waving, top tapping, or elbow bumping.
Of this year’s graduates:
- 67.4% are women
- Close to half are first generation college students, meaning they are the first in their family to attend college
- About half are students of color, including 37% who are Latino
- 35 are veterans
- The youngest grad was 17 and the oldest grad was 69
The five commencement speakers included: Shanna Guy of Newburyport for business and accounting; Shania Berard of Methuen for professional studies; Rosanna Lara of Lawrence for liberal arts; Vladimir Ventura of Lawrence for STEM; and Paola Sierra de Valerio of Lawrence for health professions.
$3.3M Grant Announced to Fuel Response to Post-Pandemic Challenges
A group of Massachusetts research institutions and organizations led by UMass Lowell (UML) has received a $3.3 million federal grant to continue its efforts to ensure the commonwealth is prepared to face the ongoing challenges of COVID-19, future pandemics and other public health crises.
Through UML, the project has been awarded a $3.3 million CARES ACT grant by the U.S. Department of Commerce’s Economic Development Administration (EDA). The funding will go to continue the production of personal protective equipment (PPE), expand into other medical supplies, devices and equipment, and to develop related training and curriculum with the goal of creating new jobs and economic opportunities following the pandemic.
The Addison Gallery Celebrates 90 Years With Exhibition of Treasures From Its Permanent Collection
One of the first museums devoted solely to the art of the United States, the Addison Gallery of American Art has made prescient acquisitions and organized pioneering exhibitions over nine decades, and now holds one of the world’s most significant and dynamic collections of American art across media.
In celebration of its 90th anniversary, the museum presents “Learning to Look: The Addison at 90,” an exhibition that features iconic masterworks, exceptional but lesser-known pieces, and new acquisitions that embody the Addison’s illustrious history and ongoing commitment to groundbreaking artists. This exhibition playfully and provocatively juxtaposes works by artists such as Jacob Lawrence, Winslow Homer, Jay DeFeo, Martin Puryear, Georgia O’Keeffe, Thomas Eakins, Agnes Martin, Edward Hopper, Laurie Simmons, Martin Wong, Jackson Pollock, and Donald Judd, among many others.
In addition to the well-known paintings that comprise the core of the Addison’s original collection, many of the works in the exhibition reflect the museum’s longstanding commitment to fostering and championing the work of living artists.
Trahan Leads Introduction of Social Media Data Transparency Legislation
U.S. Rep. Lori Trahan led the introduction of the Social Media Disclosure and Transparency of Advertisements (DATA) Act, legislation that will lift the curtain on key data regarding online targeted advertisements that is currently held under lock and key by dominant platforms.
Large digital platforms have the largest repository of online behavioral data in the world, cementing their dominance in digital ad targeting. While online advertising has become the most common method for small and medium sized businesses to reach consumers, it has also emerged as a leading source of disinformation and harmful or defective product promotion that can be targeted to vulnerable populations. The digital marketing industry has allowed ads promoting high interest credit cards to target older women, junk food and pill parties to target younger users, predatory for-profit colleges to target veterans, fraudulent opioid rehabilitation centers to target potential patients, and more.
MCC’s Education Department Ranks No. 1 for Best Value in Mass.
Middlesex Community College (MCC) was ranked number one for the 2021 Best Value Teacher Education Grade Specific Associate Degree Schools in Massachusetts and in the New England Region by Teaching Degree Search. The Education department at Middlesex provides students with academic excellence, affordable tuition and accessible content and materials.
On the Teaching Degree Search website, students can access information about teaching colleges and programs in ranked lists based on research. Middlesex was named the Best Value Teaching Schools on the site’s most recent ranking for both Massachusetts and New England, and is described as “an affordable, quality education to students.”
For over two years, MCC’s Education department has also offered free courses to Early Childhood Education (ECE) students who are working in the field and want to start their academic pathway. Classes are funded through the ECE Career Pathways grant and the Mass. Department of Early Education and Care (EEC).
NECC Observer Earns Gold Medal from the Columbia Scholastic Press Association
Despite the challenges of the pandemic, Northern Essex Community College’s (NECC) student newspaper, the NECC Observer, received a gold medal from the Columbia Scholastic Press Association (CSPA) for the 2019-2020 school year. The newspaper had the additional distinction of All Columbia Honors for receiving an exceptionally high judging score.
The NECC Observer is an award-winning newspaper published by NECC journalism students. The Observer is published twice monthly during the academic year. The NECC Observer staff works to inform the college community, including students, faculty, and staff. The Observer also serves as a public forum for the Haverhill and Lawrence campuses and accepts letters and guest columns from the college community.
Greater Lawrence Summer Fund Offers YWCA $6,000 To Help Fund Camp Y-Wood Summer Camp
YWCA Northeastern Massachusetts announced that the Greater Summer Fund has granted the organization $6,000 for the purpose of funding Camp Y-Wood, the YWCA’s summer camp located in Salem, N.H.
The funding that will aid in allowing the summer camp to remain an affordable, safe, and unforgettable time by covering staff salaries, camp supplies, camperships and other costs.
Camp Y-Wood serves children ages 5 to 13 on a 22-acre campsite, right on the shore of Captain’s Pond. Campers have the opportunity to learn swimming, boating, arts and nature crafts, sports, fishing, outdoor living, hiking, and survival skills, all while experimenting with new things, discovering their own creativity and passion for the outdoors, and making new friends
Museum of Printing Commemorates Haverhill Ties to Bible Translation and 19th Century Missionary Movement
Not only did the American missionary movement of the 19th century began in Haverhill, Mass., but Haverhill was also a center for Bible translations. Adoniram Judson, American linguist and Baptist missionary in Myanmar (Burma) translated the Bible into Burmese with his wife Ann Hazeltine Judson.
To commemorate the Haverhill Bible connection, Haverhill’s Museum of Printing has consolidated its extensive Bible collection and reference material in one exhibit and resource room.
Included in the exhibit is a replica of the Gutenberg and over thirty historic Bibles plus many other printed religious publications and artifacts such as leaves from Luther’s German translation are on display.
The museum also has one leaf from every Bible printed in Colonial America, including the first Bible printed in America, the Eliot Bible of 1663 in the Algonquin Indian language, and giant Folio-sized Bibles and pocket-sized Bibles on display.
MOVERS & SHAKERS
Touchstone Closing Welcomes New Partner Mary L. Cataudella
Cataudella has more than 25 years of experience in private practice and also as in-house managing counsel for a national title insurance company, which will truly enhance Touchstone’s service offerings. Cataudella earned her undergraduate degree from Holy Cross and her law degree at Northeastern University School of Law. She is a member of the Mass., N.H. and R.I. bars and the Real Estate Bar Association. Cataudella has been a panelist and author for continuing legal education seminars on real estate matters. She currently resides in Andover with her husband and two college-aged daughters.
Merrimack Valley Planning Commission Appoints Jerrard Whitten as Executive Director
Whitten has been a key contributor to the Merrimack Valley Planning Commission for 26 years. Prior to being named executive director, he served as geographic information system and information technology manager and environmental planner. Whitten is a graduate of the University of New Hampshire with a Master of Science in resource administration and management and a Bachelor of Science in resource economics. Whitten resides in Newbury.