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NEC Restructures and Reinvigorates Manchester Campus

November 16, 2020

Posted in News

The Institute of Art and Design (IAD) at New England College formed in 2019 when the College merged with the New Hampshire Institute of Art. Since the merger, New England College has been busy improving the IAD campus in Manchester so that it can better serve art and design students. IAD now offers additional majors—3D Studies, Animation, and Game and Digital Media Design—new renowned faculty, and a reinvigorated campus that maximizes spaces for students to create, learn and gather.

These student-focused spaces include a new photography lab and studio in Rogers Williams Hall and the relocated and redesigned John Teti Library with gathering space in French Hall.

The new photography lab was custom designed to accommodate critique space, the best digital equipment and a state-of-the-art darkroom. These features provide students with one of the best photography programs in the region.

Teti Library’s new home includes an adjacent student gathering space. Students can do research, study or gather between classes, thanks to open access between the library and gathering space, comfortable seating and full technology access.

The new photography lab, library and gathering space were completed in time for the fall 2020 semester. While these facilities are not yet open to the public due to COVID-19, IAD will begin public exhibitions in Williams Hall and French Hall when it is safe to do so.

Additional plans for the Manchester campus include visiting artist in animation Christopher Ottinger, an MFA graduate of Washington University in St. Louis, and graphic designer and photographer Thomas Wedell, who will join IAD’s professional practice team.


New England College Hosts Virtual Alumni Awards Celebration

October 16, 2020

Posted in News

Three outstanding alumni are honored for representing the values of New England College.

Henniker, NH (October 16, 2020)—On October 13, New England College (NEC) hosted its annual Alumni Awards Celebration recognizing outstanding achievement and service to the College by its most distinguished alumni. Despite unprecedented times, the College and its dedicated community are committed to staying strong and true to NEC’s identity by maintaining its traditions. Held virtually, this year’s ceremony honored three individuals who represent the values of New England College.

The Deborah Spring Reed Outstanding Alumni Achievement Award recognizes an alumnus/na who demonstrates prominence in his/her profession and contributes significantly to the betterment of society, thus contributing to the honor and distinction of New England College. This year’s recipient was Ryan Jaziri ’08, an individual who has achieved remarkable success in his career in the 12 short years since he graduated from NEC. He is the youngest recipient of an Alumni Award in the College’s history. Ryan earned a degree in Political Science, graduating top in his class. He was also an outstanding athlete at NEC, earning four varsity letters in basketball and setting a new program record for career points that remains unsurpassed. He completed his JD from New England School of Law, in the top 5% of his class, in 2011. Ryan is now partner at Morgan, Brown & Joy, Inc. and specializes in counseling and representing employers in labor and employment matters locally and nationally across various industries. He has been recognized for his achievements and services, including multiple “Rising Star” designations by New England Super Lawyers in the field of labor and employment law. His career success and connection to NEC put a positive face for the College in the public sphere, and New England College is honored to announce Ryan as its 2020 Deborah Spring Reed Outstanding Alumni Award recipient.

The Lee Clement Outstanding Alumni Volunteer Award recognizes an alumnus/na who displays outstanding volunteer service, leadership, and commitment to goals that enhance the reputation of New England College. This year, the award went to Adam Kapner, class of 2002 and member of the NEC Board of Trustees. Adam received his degree in Business Finance and, as noted by VP of Academic Affairs Dr. Wayne Lesperance, is someone who challenged Lesperance as a new professor at NEC and made an impact on his decision to remain at NEC. Adam is the Founder and Principal of NYC Apartment Management Inc., which was founded to provide personalized property management to New York City co-ops, condos, brownstones, foreign investors of single units, and developers. Over the past few years, Adam’s expertise was instrumental as a resource for real estate-related matters stemming from NEC’s merger with NHIA. His dedication to NEC as a member of the President’s Advisory Board and now the Board of Trustees is commendable, and New England College is honored to call him its 2020 Lee Clement Outstanding Alumni Volunteer Award recipient.

The William C. Troy Award is the highest honor presented by the New England College Alumni Association. This award is dedicated to an alumnus/na who has demonstrated outstanding service, dedication, and leadership to New England College throughout their life. The William Troy Award is named for an individual who graduated from NEC in 1952 and made the ultimate sacrifice to his country when going to the aid of a comrade during the Korean War. The life of Bill Troy exemplified service, dedication, and leadership, and this award was established to honor others who share these attributes. This year’s award was bestowed on an alumnus who has had a significant impact on NEC as the President of the Alumni Board, Louis Pakula ‘85. He is the owner of Roso & Pakula Food Brokers, which is a family-owned food brokerage firm with more than 100 years of combined industry experience, providing the highest quality products and service to customers throughout the East Coast. Louis has achieved great success as both a business owner and valuable NEC Alumni Association President. He has made a great impact on NEC alumni of all graduating years and on the operations of the office of Advancement and Alumni Relations. Louis is incredibly passionate about NEC, his classmates, lacrosse teammates, and fraternity brothers, and all that he does in service to NEC is fueled by his love for the College. New England College is incredibly proud to name an outstanding alumnus such as Louis to be its 2020 William C. Troy Award recipient.

For those who were unable to attend the event live, you may watch the Alumni Award Celebration recording at


October 8, 2020

Posted in News

Dear Colleagues,

I have long believed that each of us has a responsibility to participate in our democracy. In these difficult times of a global pandemic, in which more than 200,000 Americans have died, and where serious questions about our leadership in Washington have been raised, I believe voting may be more important than ever. So, I am asking each and every one of you to join me in registering to vote and in casting a vote in the November 2020 election. I am also asking you to support our students in their desire to register and cast their votes as well.

As you might know, we have partnered with TurboVote to make voting easier for everyone at New England College. TurboVote’s online service provides our community members with all the information and materials they need to vote in every election—local, state, and national. Students can sign up in one place to start the registration process, request an absentee ballot if they want to vote by mail, and subscribe to text and email alerts about deadlines and elections that affect them as voters.

This partnership makes it easy to encourage all community members to get involved in the coming election. Taking your first step is as simple as browsing to the link:

Deadlines are approaching quickly! In some states we are just days from the last day to register to vote for the upcoming election. Remember, registration and vote-by-mail deadlines vary by state, and it’s important to plan to have enough time to submit any necessary forms.

I want to thank you in advance for joining me in our participatory democracy. Your vote counts. Your voice matters. Let’s send a message this November!


Michele D. Perkins, EdD

NEC Releases Redesigned College Magazine

October 5, 2020

Posted in News Uncategorized

Welcome to the redesigned New England College Magazine, featuring articles that celebrate NEC’s 75th anniversary; look to our future; and spotlight faculty, students, and alumni. The goal of New England College Magazine is to share the uncommon stories of growth, transformation, and creativity in the lives of those who have walked through NEC’s doors.


August 23, 2020

Posted in News

To the NEC Community,

Together we face a challenge. Today the NEC website reports updated information on testing results for students who have arrived for living and/or learning on campus. With 689 test results, screening has identified five student cases who were asymptomatic when they arrived: four in Henniker and one in Manchester. Three of the five students have returned home, one is a commuter who will isolate at home, and one, who remains asymptomatic, is quarantined in Henniker.Each positive result concerns us, but the incidence rate is well within expectations and within our management ability. We are following the ill students closely and wish them a speedy recovery.

The results indicate that the five students arrived after being infected, but we must not let down our guard. Working with New Hampshire authorities, we have identified others who were in contact with the affected students and taken appropriate actions, including relocating students to different, more self-contained rooms. Staff who came in contact with the students will work from home until they can return safely.

As Vice President Lesperance cautioned last Saturday, “You must do your part by avoiding risky behaviors to protect yourself and others.” With the testing results, and with knowledge that some students have undertaken risky behaviors on and off campus in Henniker, we are directing all students on the main campus to remain on campus.Students who have received negative test results are encouraged to take full advantage of the campus, get outside, exercise, gather appropriately, wear masks, and practice social distancing.Students who have not yet received a negative result should remain in their residence until they receive their test results which will happen shortly.Commuters and those living off the main campus may also come to campus.

Manchester students may leave campus but are expected to adhere rigorously to social distancing guidelines and wear masks when outside their rooms. Students on the main campus in Henniker, however, may not leave campus without permission from Student Affairs and should not under any circumstances participate in large gatherings on or off campus. This restriction was implemented because of observed unsafe behavior. College staff will rigorously enforce this policy.

Bottom line: Don’t gather in large groups. “Partying” without masks has led to the spread of the virus at other colleges.We must prevent that from happening here. Please keep the Pilgrim’s Promise to be safe and increase the chances for a full semester on campus, with fewer restrictions as conditions stabilize.

As planned, remote classes begin tomorrow for two weeks. In-person classes will begin as scheduled on September 7, 2020.We will need to be flexible, however, as we see additional testing results, and, most importantly, how well we can work together to stay safe.

When I walked the Henniker and Manchester campuses during move-in –sporting my snazzy, logo mask –I saw joy radiating through face coverings, the poignant moments between parent and child.These are your moments.In this year of the virus, college, with all its promise and hope for the future, cannot be taken for granted: you are earning your time, your opportunity, through your courage in the face of an invisible enemy. I share your confidence.Let’s face the challenge squarely and safely, together.

Dr. Michele Perkins
New England College


New England College Student Tests Positive for COVID-19

August 21, 2020

Posted in News

To the New England College community:

On Wednesday, August 19, 2020 a female NEC student was notified of a positive COVID test result. The student, who arrived at the College on Sunday Aug 16, 2020, was tested for COVID following the College’s protocol to test all students residing or attending classes on its campuses in Henniker and Manchester. The student, who resided briefly in Henniker, returned home prior to learning of the test result Wednesday morning after experiencing a dry cough and feeling ill.

Following discussions with New Hampshire’s Department of Health and Human Services – Public Health Unit and consistent with College policy, all those who were in contact with the student – both other students and staff – will be placed in isolation and will receive follow up COVID tests. These individuals will remain in quarantine for 14 days per the guidelines of the State of New Hampshire and the Center for Disease Control until they show no evidence of infection and have received a COVID test with a negative result. The College is working with State authorities to trace all possible contacts with the student in question and will isolate any additional individuals as appropriate following professional guidance. Similarly, we have notified local authorities of this case.

At this time, the College has tested 361 students on our Henniker campus, and this is the only occurrence of a confirmed COVID infection on either campus since the pandemic began. Currently, we are working to confirm a possible second case involving a student who is in medical care for a condition unrelated to COVID-19. The College will continue its testing program throughout the fall semester for all students who are living and learning on campus. All facilities are sanitized regularly with special attention to any areas that may be used by an infected individual. Faculty and staff who are no longer working remotely were required to have a negative test prior to returning to campus and will participate in ongoing testing throughout the term.

Fall in-person classes are limited to 10 students. Students who are ill and need to return home or must be in quarantine will be able to participate in classes remotely.

There is no single tipping point for a transition to remote instruction. I, with counsel from senior team, will be monitoring every exposure and positive COVID case members of the community experience and will plan accordingly as needed to transition from in-person to remote instruction. The “hyflex” model of instruction was effectively deployed last Spring with little time to transition. With the benefit of that experience and ample time to plan over the course of the Summer, we are positioned to transition to remote learning on a temporary or longer-term basis as required. We are also able to make determinations about appropriate transitions by campus as well.


Michele Perkins

Dr. Michele Perkins
New England College
98 Bridge Street
Henniker, NH 03242

NEC’s Response to Federal Requirement that International Students Attend Classes in Person

July 13, 2020

Posted in News Press Release


New England College’s Response to Federal Requirement that
International Students Attend Classes in Person

Henniker, NH (July 13, 2020) – Amid a national health emergency, the federal government just reversed its own policy to now require that all international students attend college in person, under threat of deportation. This move imposes an unjust hardship on international students already residing legally in the United States and upsets plans by colleges and universities to use online and remote learning to support students during this difficult time of an unprecedented pandemic. The administration’s decision also casts aside months of work that institutions of higher education have completed to support the educational goals of all of our students in this time of COVID-19.

I place an enormous value on in-person education. But a pandemic makes us all adjust and provide quality education to all our students in various modes of delivery.  Times like these call for quick wits and cool heads. Not scapegoating. Therefore, as New England College President and Chair of the New Hampshire College & University Council (NHCUC), I support the legal challenge put forth by Harvard and MIT and  have joined my colleagues at the National Association of Independent Colleges and Universities (NAICU) and the American Council on Education (ACE) in a letter to Congress expressing our opposition to this decision. We will ask legislators to convince the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) to withdraw the July 6 Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) directive affecting international students or immediately pass legislation granting the flexibility both students and institutions need during a pandemic.

Educating international students is a long and proud endeavor for U.S. higher education. Our country’s post-secondary offerings draw the most brilliant and talented minds from almost every country on earth.  The intellectual energy and the tireless pursuit of knowledge so evident in our students from abroad set an example for us all. Some of these students do remain in the U.S. after graduation and add to the talent pool that continues to make our country the world’s leader in technology, medicine, business, and the arts.  The majority who return home leave with a positive attitude toward the United States, which also benefits our country in many ways.  I have presided at thirteen commencements during my tenure as President of New England College and at these ceremonies I have proudly shaken the hands of thousands of accomplished international graduates.  These students personify the very yearnings that built the country we cherish. It will be a great error to dampen their spirits with an unfeeling and unneeded rule.

We must not remain silent in the face of this action, but rather follow Thurgood Marshall’s urgent counsel: “Where you see wrong or inequality or injustice, speak out, because this is your country. This is your democracy. Make it.” By stepping forward and asking for redress, we in higher education may, I hope, provide a valuable civic example for our students and the larger community. Let’s hope we can resolve this problem quickly and get back to the work of education in the time of COVID-19.

Joint Media Advisory from New England College and the New Hampshire College and University Council

June 12, 2020

Posted in News Press Release

This afternoon we were delighted to learn that Governor Sununu designated $10 million from CARES Act funds for COVID-19 related support for private colleges and universities in New Hampshire. This step represents the most recent effort by the Governor to support all of higher education, both public and private, in New Hampshire. 

On behalf of all our private college and university colleagues in the New Hampshire College and University Council, we want to express our gratitude and appreciation to the Governor for this decision. As you may know, private colleges contribute $5.6 billion to New Hampshire’s economy, educate 121,000 students (FY2018) and employ thousands of Granite Staters.

The Governor’s decision sends a clear message that private colleges and universities are an integral part of the higher education enterprise, committed to educating students who then choose to work and live in New Hampshire. These funds are critical to ensuring that every college student in New Hampshire has access to a safe and productive educational experience as we open our campuses again this fall. In addition, this funding reassures the communities home to private colleges and universities that each institution has the resources to open its doors safely and responsibly.

We are most grateful to Governor Sununu for his leadership and his steady and responsible stewardship of resources during this unprecedented time of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Michele D. Perkins, Ed.D
President of New England College
Chair of the NHCUC Board of Directors
Debby Scire, Ed.D
President of the New Hampshire College and University Council
Chair of the NHCUC Board of Directors
June 11, 2020

New England College Announces New Bachelor of Fine Arts in 3D Studies

May 29, 2020

Posted in News Press Release

Reshapes Ceramics Program to Include all Three-Dimensional Media.

The Institute of Art and Design (IAD) at New England College (NEC) announces a new Bachelor of Fine Arts (BFA) in 3D Studies. This program launches for the fall 2020 semester and prepares students for careers based on a variety of three-dimensional art forms, from ceramics and sculpture to installations and time-based art.

This new 3D Studies program exposes students to the expanding scope of three-dimensional studio practice and provides students with a wide range of processes, including mold making, casting, and construction. Students will pursue their personal artistic interests within three-dimensional art and be encouraged to incorporate technologies—such as video, sound, and new media—into their studio practice.

“Our 3D Studies program is very exciting,” comments Lars Jerlach, Associate Professor of Art at IAD’s campus in Manchester. “By making ceramics a component of this new program, we’re building upon our ceramics curriculum to offer students a broader study of contemporary sculptural practices that will strengthen the individual areas of study and enhance our students’ experiences as they continue to develop into artists.”

This new academic program allows IAD to better serve current students and to meet the needs of prospective students who are looking for innovative and exciting new educational opportunities. The 3D Studies BFA is rooted in rigorous study of contemporary sculptural practices. It emphasizes the development of technical skills and theoretical understanding as students work through an inclusive hands-on studio program that combines a customizable education and tangible learning.

One Thousand Virtual Participants Attend New England College’s Fourth Annual Higher Education Assessment Conference

May 15, 2020

Posted in News Press Release

Recordings for keynote address and 22 sessions now available.

On May 12, New England College (NEC) hosted the fourth annual Higher Education Assessment Conference with the theme of “Assessment and Equity: Methods Matter.” The conference focused on student success and program improvement within higher education. Due to COVID-19, this year’s conference was presented in a virtual format, becoming one of the first full higher education assessment conferences in the country to be offered virtually.

The remote nature of this year’s conference did not deter higher education professionals from participating. In total 1,000 registrants representing 500 institutions from 48 states and 13 countries were in attendance. Registration reached capacity quickly; with all 1,000 spots filled within 14 hours, with another 700 attendees added to a waiting list.

This level of interest prompted New England College to record the sessions for higher education professionals unable to join the virtual sessions. The keynote address from Dr. Jillian Kinzie, Associate Director of the Indiana University Center for Postsecondary Research and the National Survey of Student Engagement Institute, and 22 break-out sessions will be posted at in the coming days as they are edited and embedded with closed captioning.

In her keynote address, “Equity-Minded Assessment to Advance Student Learning and Success,” Dr. Kinzie provided a foundation for this year’s conference theme. She described how assessment can be used in higher education to promote inclusivity and equitable outcomes—one of the hottest topics in higher education assessment today—and provided specific strategies to accomplish this goal.

The conference then moved to 22 break-out sessions that covered Equity and Assessment, Student Learning Assessment, Program Assessment, and General Assessment. The session topics are included in the conference program booklet at

“As colleges and universities continue to cut professional development budgets, I’m very proud that this year’s conference was free for attendees. Generous sponsors covered 85 percent of the conference costs, and New England College covered the rest,” explains Gavin Henning, Professor of Higher Education at New England College and primary architect of the Higher Education Assessment Conference. “And we now know that we can present a high-quality virtual conference. In fact, other conference organizers have asked me how we did this, as they are transitioning their conferences online as well. We’re happy to share what we learned along the way.”

The new virtual format posed some technical and organizational challenges for the conference organizers, but it also offered some exciting new opportunities—for reaching wider audiences, reducing the cost of travel for conference attendees, and improving the diversity of participants from around the globe. The virtual environment allowed moderators to better control the flow of discussions and questions which proved to be more inclusive for the audience members.