AROUND THE VALLEY
Harbor Seal Pup Spotted Near Merrimack River
On Friday morning, Dan Graovac, president of the Merrimack River Watershed Council (MRWC) board of directors, spotted and photographed a harbor seal pup on a beach near the mouth of the Merrimack River.
Founded in 1976, the MRWC is a nonprofit organization that works to improve and conserve the Merrimack River watershed with advocacy, education, recreation and science.
The harbor seal photographed above is approximately four weeks old and recently weaned from its mother, and most likely resting before heading back to the ocean. It is important to note that, per federal law, people should get no closer than 150 feet to these seals on a beach as this close proximity puts unnecessary stress on the seal. If you believe a seal is injured or sick, please reach out to the Marine Mammal Rescue at Seacoast Science Center in Rye, N.H., who will send a staff member or volunteer to evaluate the seal.
Photo courtesy of Dan Graovac.
NECC Faculty and Staff Complete National Mental Health First Aid Training
Recognizing that many college students suffer from anxiety and depression, Northern Essex Community College (NECC) is working proactively to help identify students who are struggling and connect them with help.
In the two years it’s been offered at the college, 130 members of the faculty and staff have completed the national Mental Health First Aid (MHFA) certification training through the college’s center for professional development.
The eight-hour training course teaches how to identify, understand and respond to signs of mental illness and substance abuse disorders. The course is taught by behavioral science and human services professor Kathleen Bartolini, who transitioned to teaching after a 20-year career as a child and adolescent psychotherapist.
Individuals enrolled in the program will grow their knowledge of signs, symptoms and risk factors of mental illnesses and addictions; be able to identify multiple types of professional and self-help resources for individuals with a mental illness or addiction; and increase their confidence in helping an individual in distress.
The Lowell Review Announces First Issue
The Lowell Review is a new publication springing from the RichardHowe.com blog, which shares the stories and creative works of “Voices from Lowell and Beyond.” This publication offers a space for creative and intellectual expression and brings together writers and readers in the Merrimack River watershed and connects them with those who share their curiosity about the small and large matters of life. Each issue includes essays, poems, stories, criticism, opinion and visual art.
Visit here to check out the first issue, which features the works of a number of MVM contributors, including Paul Marion, Doug Sparks and Charles Gargiulo.
New Initiative Inspires Ways to Activate Vacant Storefronts in Downtown Lawrence
In partnership with MassDevelopment TDI, Creative Collective — a business program offering opportunities for small businesses, entrepreneurs, nonprofits and individuals a modern and creative approach to business growth and brand awareness — was invited to Lawrence to facilitate new and exciting ways to pilot temporary activations of key vacant downtown Lawrence storefronts.
Creative Collective administered a six-month community engagement process through virtual info sessions, direct partner outreach, one-on-one conversations with community members and stakeholders, leadership team meetings and a variety of survey distributions. The information collected from these efforts led to inform the themes of every program slated for the Imagina Essex series, including Imagina Comercio, Imagina Gastronomia, Imagina Arte, and Imagina Teatro.
On Saturday, July 17, from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m., residents and visitors will once again have an opportunity to engage with this process at the second of four events in the Imagina Essex series, Imagina Gastronomia. Food will be the focus of this event with a pop-up farmers market, access to food-aligned organizations and samples and information of local dining hotspots.
Mills42 FCU Teams Up with Lowell Parks & Conservation Trust
In late June, members of the Mills42 Federal Credit Union team worked with Lowell Parks & Conservation Trust.
Their primary mission was to tackle invasive plant species that can be damaging to a waterway’s ecosystem, especially one as critical to the region as the Concord River Greenway.
CCA’s Susan Gates Receives DCU’s Hometown Hero Award
This week, the DCU Hometown Hero award was given to Susan Gates, volunteer executive director of the Chelmsford Center for the Arts (CCA). Gates received the award during Boston 25 News’ Zip Trip to Chelmsford. Watch it here.
Gates has volunteered in this role since the CCA opened in 2009, helping establish the building as a welcoming one for numerous creative organizations. She volunteers over 40 hours each week to help run the center, which boasts live events, an artist residency program, and rehearsal space for musicians.
MOVERS & SHAKERS
MCC Appoints Interim Provost & VP of Student & Academic Affairs
Arlene Rodriguez was named interim provost and vice president of academic and student affairs. With over 20 years of experience working in the Massachusetts community college system, Rodriguez has maintained a lifelong commitment to diversity, equity and inclusion, which was exemplified when she co-led the initiative “100 Males to College” to create a college-bound culture for low-income males and young men of color. Outside of academia, Rodriguez has been appointed to the Barnstable County Human Services Commission, Cape Cod Chamber of Commerce, and was on the Springfield YWCA’s board of directors, among other titles. She has also won several awards dedicated to her human service and leadership.
MCC Names 2021-2022 Student Trustee
Brooke Stevenson, of Winchester, has been named as 2021-2022 student trustee of Middlesex Community College (MCC). Stevenson, who transferred from a four-year college, is member of the Commonwealth Honors Program, Phi Theta Kappa honors society and student government association. With a passion for helping others, Stevenson is working toward both an associate in criminal justice and a certificate in paralegal studies. Her goal is to work as a paralegal as she earns her bachelor’s degree from the University of Massachusetts Lowell after she graduates from Middlesex. In the future, Stevenson is considering going to law school and starting a career as a lawyer or forensic scientist.
Greater Lowell Community Foundation Elects Three to Board of Directors
Stephanie Cronin, of Dunstable, Mass., has been appointed to executive director of the Middlesex 3 Coalition, a regional economic development organization which fosters business development, job growth and retention. Cronin also currently serves on the MCC Foundation board of directors, MassHire Greater Lowell Workforce Board, FORGE Northeast Massachusetts Advisory Council, Burlington Area Chamber of Commerce, and Hanscom Air Force Civic Leader Program.
Diana Nguyen, of Westford, is currently project manager at MilliporeSigma in Burlington, Mass., where she has been managing strategic projects and developing a global talent pipeline of aspiring and curious leaders since 2017. Nguyen is a Lowell High School graduate, and received a bachelor of science degree in management and psychological science from Worcester Polytechnic Institute. She is pursuing a global executive master of business administration degree from the Rotman and SDA Bocconi schools.
Daniel Donahue of Lowell, earned his associate degree in architectural engineering technology from Wentworth Institute of Technology. That same year he worked for the National Park Service in the North Atlantic Regional Office as an architectural, mechanical, and electrical draftsman. In 1985, he joined Gavin & Sullivan Architects Inc. as an architectural designer/draftsman and has remained with the company ever since.