Would You Shave Your Head for Charity?

These NCC faculty and staff will - if you help!

The object: From l-r:  Mitchell Murtha, Matthew Bartholomew, Mark Henry (standing), Jeffrey Armstrong
For the Northampton Community College Psychology Club to raise money for autism research, prevention and support.

The targets: 
Jeffrey Armstrong, assistant professor of psychology; Matthew Bartholomew, assistant professor of counseling, Mark Henry, director of Advising, Transfer & Accommodation Services; and Mitchell Murtha, assistant dean of students.

The deal:
When fundraising goals are met, the above faculty and staff members have agreed to the following, to take place in Laub Lounge for the entire college community to witness:

$500 - Armstrong and Bartholomew will shave off their beards.

$750 - Armstrong, Bartholomew and Murtha will have their legs waxed. (Ouch!)

$1000 - Armstrong, Henry and Murtha will shave their heads. Bartholomew, whose head is already shaved, will don an ugly wig for a week.

$2500 - Armstrong will style his moustache into a handlebar.

$5000 - Armstrong will get a real tattoo of a puzzle piece, the symbol for autism awareness, on his arm.  

"We are hoping to raise more than last year," student Annisa Amatul Muqtadir said. "When the idea of head-shaving and a tattoo came up, everyone ran with it. I suggested instead of only our advisor, Jeff, we should include other well-known people on campus."

Although Muqtadir said that "it wasn't as hard as people assume" to talk the staff into helping, Murtha stated that "Annisa is very persuasive. She knows what she's doing."

However it came about, Muqtadir is "very thankful to Mitch, Jeff, Matt and Mark for sacrificing themselves - that's how Jeff describes it -- for such an awesome cause. I am so glad I have the honor to help!"

The Psychology Club raised money last year by participating in walks for Autism Speaks and Live, Learn and Play.

What have they gotten themselves into?

"We identified it as a need and felt it was important to continue," Armstrong stated.

Club members will participate again this semester in the walks. To reach their goals, they'll also be selling wristbands, t-shirts, baked goods, and other items on Tuesday, March 29, from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m., in the Food Court. Stop by and donate - help turn this "before" picture into the "after!"

What do their significant others think?

"She doesn't know yet, but when I go home with my head shaved, she'll be surprised," Henry deadpanned.

Armstrong laughed. "This is the kind of thing I normally get myself into. She's supportive, except for the tattoo. I told her $5,000 is too much and it probably won't happen." (Prove Armstrong wrong! Donate online here or here!)

"My wife is really excited I'm shaving my beard," Bartholomew shared.       

Talking about it, the group started to get a little bit nervous.

"It's starting to feel real now," Henry admitted. "I'm afraid my hair won't grow back. Or it will grow back all grey!"

"I'm expecting pain with the leg waxing," Murtha said.

"We'll all hold hands," Bartholomew reassured him. "We'll get through this. We'll do some deep breathing."

None of this will happen if the Psychology Club does not reach its goals! The fundraising deadline is April 10. Come out and show your support at the sale on March 29. Donate online at the club's Autism Speaks page or the Live, Learn, Play page. All members of the college community are invited to join the club's team for either or both walks.

On Tuesday, April 12, at 11 a.m. in Laub Lounge, these brave faculty and staff members will honor their promises for all to see. Don't miss it!