Five Northern Essex Staff Receive National Awards

NECC’s 2016 NISOD recipients are, from left to right, Patricia Schade of  Newbury, Liliana Brand of Andover, Tricia Butler of Haverhill, Patricia Willett of Groveland, and John Davidson of Lowell (not shown).

Five Northern Essex Community College faculty and staff members were recently named recipients of the National Institute for Staff and Organizational Development (NISOD) Awards for Excellence, a national honor which recognizes outstanding faculty and staff in the country’s community colleges.

This year’s recipients include Liliana Brand of Andover, a member of the math faculty; Tricia Butler of Haverhill, administrative assistant for the Division of Technology, Arts and Professional Studies; Jack Davidson of Lowell, human services faculty; Patricia Schade of Newbury, professor of developmental reading and college success seminar, and curriculum coordinator of developmental reading; and Pat Willett, of Groveland, radiologic technology faculty.

Since 1978, NISOD has been dedicated to the professional development of faculty, administrators, and staff; and to the continued improvement of teaching and learning, with the ultimate goal of student success.

Trish Schade, who has taught English composition, literature, and developmental reading and writing for more than 25 years, has been a professor of developmental reading at Northern Essex since 2007. Her colleagues say her passion for teaching reading is rooted in her belief that if a student can read effectively in college, the student will succeed in college. As reading coordinator, she led the initiative that resulted in the creation of a new accelerated developmental course, “Reading, Writing, and Reasoning.”  She is involved in numerous professional organizations and sits on several committees including the Teaching Academic Survival Skills (TASS) advisory board. This year she served as a faculty fellow and recently completed the Chair Academy through NECC.

She earned her Bachelor of Arts degree in English with a German minor from the University of New Hampshire and a Master of Arts and Sciences in English from Boston College. She has received numerous awards including NECC’s quarterly Employee Recognition Award and the TASS Outstanding Service Award in 2015. Schade holds a brown belt in judo, writes poetry and has traveled extensively through Europe, Russia, Mongolia, China and Japan. She has traveled the Trans-Siberian Railroad from China through Mongolia to Moscow.

Liliana Brand, a native of Colombia, has taught a variety of math courses at Northern Essex since 2003. She is known for making her math courses interesting and encourages her students to not only exercise their minds, but their bodies as well. She is eager to explain the correlation between exercising and learning.

She has served on various committees and served as an officer for her union. She volunteers both on campus and off at area high schools. Brand earned her Bachelor of Science degree in Electrical Engineering from the Universidad del Valle in Colombia, South America, and a Master of Science in Mathematics from the University of Massachusetts Lowell.

Tricia Butler has worked at Northern Essex in a number of positions for nearly 17 years. She began her career as a word processor in NECC’s Secretarial Support Center. She went on to work as an administrative assistant in Academic Affairs, the Division of Law, Education, and Social Professions, and currently the Division of Technology, Arts, and Professional Studies.

The faculty members in the division agree Butler is dedicated to her job, the division, and the college. She is known to remain calm during the most turbulent times and is often the voice of reason. In a division that has a number of programs that have comprehensive accreditation requirements, Butler assists with the reams of paperwork and reports allowing coordinators to concentrate on the content of the reports instead of the minutiae.

In addition, Butler has participated in search committees to hire faculty and staff and is a member of the NECC Commencement Committee.

She earned a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Psychology from Merrimack College.

For the last 10 years, John W. Davidson has been an adjunct instructor at Northern Essex, teaching a variety of psychology, sociology, and human services courses. Fellow faculty members agree that he demonstrates a commitment to student success that is exceptional. He regularly extends himself to meet with students and provides academic advising that exceeds the expectations for adjunct faculty. It is not surprising that his students consistently volunteer that they enjoy and benefit from classes led by him. He works successfully with a diverse group of students who range in age, academic skills, motivation, maturity, and health.

He holds a Master of Education in Psychology with an emphasis on Addiction Counseling, from Cambridge College and a Bachelor of Science in Industrial Management from Lowell Technological Institute. He is an addiction counselor in private practice and a member of the Board of Directors at the Lowell House, Inc.

For 23 years Patricia Willett has taught as a full-time faculty member NECC’s radiologic technology program. Students and colleagues alike attest to her caring attitude and dedication in preparing her students to successfully complete the national credentialing exam. She has a reputation for being an “early adopter” when it comes to new technology both in the classroom and in the profession. She always stays abreast of new and emerging technologies including computed radiography, direct capture digital radiography, computed tomography, and magnetic resonance imaging.

Willett is the informal, go-to person whenever RT computer software questions arise.

She is a registered technologist in both radiology and computed tomography and continues to work part time in the radiology departments of local hospitals.

An [email protected] computer applications course was developed by Willett. She has taken on the leadership role of chair of the Academic Affairs Committee and is a recognized leader in the Massachusetts Society of Radiologic Technologists (MSRT) having served as president-elect, president, chairman of the board, and member-at-large.

Over the past several years she has worked directly with the Commonwealth of Massachusetts Public Health’s Radiation Control Board toward updating and revising the current Massachusetts licensing regulations for radiologic technologists.

The NISOD recipients will attend the annual NISOD conference May 28 through May 31 in Austin, Texas.