The Optimist’s Corner

For as long as I can remember, I’ve been an optimist; someone who, most of the time anyway, tends to see what’s working rather than what’s not, the best in people rather than the worst, and good things ahead, no matter what today might look like.

When I was young, I even wrote a regular column for my high school newspaper called “The Optimist’s Corner.”  Recognizing, even as a teenage journalist, that it was mostly bad news that made headlines, I wanted my classmates and teachers to be able to look forward to something happy and hopeful in each issue of the Del City Eagle Edition.

If you want problems and challenges, you can always find them.  And the same thing goes for successes and stories that will bring a smile to your face and put a little lift in your step.

Just look around.

For example, this week at Northern Essex Community College:

Knight Life

NECC students Kiley Broadhurst and Alejandra Lally launched KnightLife on Instagram, capturing the student experience at Northern Essex in photographs and quick captions.  So far, they have featured the 2ndAnnual NECC Homecoming, the Student Government Open Mic event, the newly renovated cardio room at the Sport & Fitness Center, and some of the furry creatures who live around the campus wetlands.

Follow Kiley and Alejandra at knightlife_necc!

Volleyball Champs

On Saturday, the NECC Knights Volleyball team defeated the Mass Bay Buccaneers and the Bunker Hill Bulldogs to claim their seventh Region XXI Championship.  The Knights will play in the Region XXV District Tournament in New York next week for a chance to advance to nationals in Minnesota in November.

 

 

Hispanic Heritage Month

Topping off a series of fantastic events for Hispanic Heritage Month at NECC, Massachusetts Commissioner of Higher Education Dr. Carlos Santiago (who has also twice been named one of the 100 most influential Hispanics in the United States by Hispanic Business Magazine) attended a reception at El Encanto, the Revolving Test Kitchen, last Monday evening, followed by a presentation and discussion of his book, Puerto Ricans in the United States: A Contemporary Portrait.

Commissioner Santiago praised NECC as the first designated Hispanic Serving Institution in New England and recognized the important work we are doing for Latinx students, even as he described the opportunities ahead for Massachusetts to close gaps in student success between minority and majority students, and help everyone complete their education and find a meaningful career.

Reaching the Heights

After years of planning, the ground was finally broken on Thursday for The Heights, a $30 million, ten-story residential and commercial building on the riverfront in downtown Haverhill that will be the home for the new NECC Hospitality & Culinary Arts Institute and Valley Works Career Center.

NECC’s part of the project is being funded by $3 million from the Commonwealth of Massachusetts and $1 million in private fundraising, and when it opens in late 2019, the Institute will prepare students for exciting careers in Massachusetts’ rapidly growing hospitality and culinary arts industries.

College Service

Each year, I have the privilege of recognizing NECC employees for their service to the college, including those who have worked at Northern Essex for five, ten, fifteen, twenty, twenty-five, thirty, thirty-five, and even forty years or more.

Last Wednesday, I enjoyed lunch and a celebration of service for 92 faculty and staff who, together, had worked for NECC for 1, 270 years!

Special recognition and thanks to these folks who have been helping students reach their goals since at least 1988:

 

30 Years

Ginger Hurajt

Maryann Muhilly

Joni Sheehan

 

35 Years

Cynthia Sawyer

Suzanne Van Wert

 

40 Years

Julie Carey