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Winter 2016

Winter 2016 Schedule

The 2016 Winter Intersession, given between semesters, offers to retirees and those semi-retired, a sample of LIRA’s almost year- round program and friendly community. The program is planned and much of it provided by the members themselves. The general public is invited to all intersession programs. The time for the all intersession programs is 10 a.m. – Noon. Programs on campus will meet at University Suites, Room 106A, 327 Aiken Street, Lowell, Mass. except for January 27 and February 3. Parking for on campus programs is in the garage directly across the street from the Campus Rec. Center or in the Perkins Parking lot. Your ID is needed to enter the garage or lot. Please use your parking hangtags wherever you park. Get directions using UMass Lowell's interactive Google maps.

  • On January 13 we will meet at the Campus Recreation Center, 292 Aiken Street, Lowell, Mass.
    You will need your UMass Lowell Photo ID to enter this building.
  • On January 27 we will meet at the Public Health Museum at 297-321 East St, Tewksbury, Mass.
  • On February 3 we will meet at the Pollard Memorial Library (Lowell’s Public Library) at 401 Merrimack Street, Lowell, Mass.

December 18: Book Discussion

Facilitator: Toby Hodes*
10 a.m. to Noon The Dante Club by Matthew Pearl (Fiction)

January 6: Nanotechnology

Presenter: Carol Forance Barry
Carol Forance Barry is the Co-Director, Nanomanufacturing Center, University of Massachusetts Lowell. Over the last 20 years, the US government, other governments, and industry have invested in nanotechnology and nanomanufacturing research. The work has fostered a better understanding of nanotechnology and new methods for fabricating materials and devices with nanoscale components. This presentation examines selected findings and the current and emerging products resulting from that research.

Coordinator: Jean Schott*

January 13: Murderous Boston: Mystery and Detective Fiction

NOTE: Meet at the Campus Recreation Center

Presenter: Melissa Pennell
Melissa Pennell makes a return engagement for a program that will focus on mystery and detective novels and series set in Boston and nearby. It will include cozy, hard-boiled, and historical novels. We will talk about some old favorites and some newcomers to the Boston mystery scene. Pennell is a Professor of English at UMass Lowell. Her field of expertise is 19th and early 20th century American literature and in mystery and detective fiction and in New England regional writers.

Coordinator: Russ MacLeod*

January 20: Cyber Safety

Presenter: Bob Hanlon*
According to the FBI, seniors are highly targeted by scammers of all kinds because they are expected to have money saved up, own their own home and have good credit. Learn what you can do to protect yourself from people trying to steal your identity, damage your computer, invade your privacy or steal your sensitive financial information. We live in world where, for better or worse, the use of the internet occupies an ever-growing and necessary part of our lives. Some people may shy away from going online to do shopping, banking, selling and other activities that involve sharing personal information, but yet with some simple precautions, you can make full use of your computer online, while minimizing your risk.

Coordinator: Carol McCarthy*

January 20: Book Discussion

Facilitator: Toby Hodes*
12:30 – 2:30 p.m. The Wright Brothers by David McCullough

January 27: Public Health Museum Tour

The Public Health Museum was incorporated in 1990 and opened in the 1894 administrative building on the grounds of the Tewksbury Hospital. Learn about its beginnings in 1859 as an almshouse, and see how medicine evolved over the last century, including the history of smallpox and polio. You’ll see handwritten prescriptions from 1905, tools used for bloodletting, a bottle of “Beef from Wine” and other patent medicines, cuffs and ankle restraints that were used to hold down patients, and an iron lung. The amazing murals were painted by the WPA. There is ample parking. The guided tour fee is $5, payable at the door. The museum is at 297-321 East St, Tewksbury, MA 01876. Please plan to arrive 15 minutes (9:45 a.m.) before the tour begins.

Meet at the Chelmsford Hannaford side parking lot at 9:15 a.m. to carpool.

Coordinator: Dorothy Bromage*

February 3: Literary Lowell and the Pollard Memorial Library

Lowell has a rich and varied literary tradition over its nearly 200 year history with many homegrown writers and luminary visitors. Learn about some of the stories behind the visits to Lowell of famous literary icons such as Charles Dickens and Edgar Allen Poe and some of our native success stories such as Lucy Larcom, Jack Kerouac and other contemporary writers. This talk will feature a tour of the Pollard Memorial Library, a building built nearly 125 years ago to commemorate the union soldiers and as a storehouse of information for future generations. The library has many original paintings, civil war artifacts and a special Kerouac commemorative corner. Sean Thibodeau is a writer and poet and the Coordinator of Community Planning at the Pollard Memorial Library (City of Lowell's Public Library).

This program will be in the Community Room, ground floor of the Pollard Memorial Library (Lowell’s Library) at 401 Merrimack Street. There is a small parking lot on corner of Moody and Coburn Streets. Park at the Tsongas Arena and it is a short walk to the library from that lot.

Coordinator: Nancy Pitkin*

February 10: Rebuilding Iraq and Afghanistan

Presenter: Mehmed Ali
Mehmed Ali served for five years as a diplomat for the U.S. State Department in Iraq and Afghanistan where he oversaw development projects focused on rebuilding those war-torn nations. His talk will present an overview of ethnic and religious minorities in Iraq and their culture, heritage, over time and their current status in areas controlled by the Islamic State. Ali currently works as the Program and Project Coordinator for the University of Massachusetts Lowell Libraries.

Coordinator: Nancy Pitkin*

February 17: The British Army in Boston and the Massachusetts Rebellion

Presenter: Paul O’Shaughnessy
Paul O'Shaughnessy lives in Lexington, Mass., and is a Commanding Officer and Honorary Colonel of His Majesty's 10th Regiment of Foot, a recreated 1775 British Army unit. He has been a member since 1972. In a previous lecture, we heard about descent into civil war as Parliament, King and Colonies became progressively estranged in the 1770’s. We heard about the military and political structures, weapons and men of the Army and Royal power in North America. Now, we’ll delve into the conflict that became the American War for Independence. What was the British strategy and what resources did they have to pursue their objectives? What was the American strategy? How did a civil conflict that began with riots and tea parties in Boston turn into eight years of open warfare involving the major powers of Europe and sea battles around the globe? And, importantly, how and why did it end?”

Coordinator: Dorothy Bromage*

February 17: Book Discussion

Facilitator: Toby Hodes*
12:30 – 2:30 p.m. Go Set a Watchman by Harper Lee

February 24: Nutrition in Developing Countries

Presenter: Sabri Bromage
Sabri Bromage is a third year doctoral student in the Department of Nutrition at Harvard School of Public Health. Sabri's research focuses on nutritional epidemiology in developing countries. Nutritional epidemiology is the study of the relationship between nutrition and disease in populations. Globally, it is estimated that more deaths are attributable to poor diet than any other factor. At the moment, his projects include designing a wheat fortification program for Mongolia, designing a calcium supplementation program for pregnant women in Bangladesh, and investigating how trends in the global food supply are associated with trends in overweight and chronic diseases.

Coordinator: Dorothy Bromage*

*Denotes LIRA member