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News From UMass Lowell


March 20, 2003: A notice of upcoming events, photo opportunities and story ideas at UMass Lowell, compiled by the Communications and Marketing Office, (978) 934-3224. For more stories on UMass Lowell, visit and click on NEWS.

 Click on the following links to learn more about what's in this issue:

Robots Unlimited at UMass Lowell Festival and Tournament

UMass Lowell Prof. to Discuss Health of State Economy

Worker Photography Project Exhibit Kicks off April 1 (Photo Attached)

Symposium Examines Democracy and Higher Education

Robots Unlimited at UMass Lowell Festival and Tournament

 When: Saturday, March 29 from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.

 Where: UMass Lowell Campus Recreation Center, Pawtucket Street, Lowell


Inventors, young and old, will push the limits of robotics at Botfest, a festival, and Botball, a competitive tournament on Saturday, March 29 in the UMass Lowell's mew Campus Recreation Center on Pawtucket Street in Lowell. The public is welcome.

Botfest, from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m., is an exhibit of interactive robots, build-it-yourself robots and demonstrations of creations by students from fourth grade to adult.

From 1-4 p.m., lots of high-spirited, fast-paced competition will be the scene for Botball, one of the regional competitions under the auspices of the KISS Institute for Practical Robotics. Botbal seeding rounds run from 10-noon. Head to head, double elimination rounds conclude at 4 p.m. with the awards ceremony.

Ten Massachusetts and Rhode Island schools are sending teams Chelmsford High and Algonquin Regional High School from Northboro.

For information, visit

 Contact: Sandra Seitz, University Communications, (978) 934-3225.

UMass Lowell Prof. to Discuss Health of State Economy

When: Saturday, March 29, 2 p.m. (Part of the Moses Greeley Parker Lectures


Where:  Pollard Memorial Library, 401 Merrimack St., Lowell


UMass Lowell Prof. Robert Forrant, a noted expert on the regional economy, next week will offer his view on Massachusetts' economic health as part of the Moses Greely Parker Lecture Series.

            Forrant, professor of Regional Economic and Social Development, will speak on "The Up and Down Massachusetts Economy since 1980 and the University's Possible Role in Smoothing the Ride" on Saturday, March 29 at 2 p.m. at the Pollard Memorial Library in downtown Lowell.  Admission is free.

            Forrant said the talk will review the commonwealth economy's recent history with a particular focus on the northeast region.

            "The talk will be short on economic 'big words and academic concepts' and long on a very practical assessment of the health of the state economy," he said.

            Forrant said issues to be considered include: the job market for laid-off high tech workers and young people just starting their search, the slump's impact on socioeconomic equality, new innovations that could help stimulate industries and jobs, and the role higher education can play in economic revitalization.

            Forrant is a researcher for the economics journal "Benchmarks," which analyzes the Massachusetts economy, and has worked as a community development consultant for several cities and towns.  He also has worked as a development consultant and researcher for the United Nations International Development Organization and the International Labor Organization. He is co-editor of two essay collections on sustainable regional development, the author of numerous articles on the Massachusetts economy and recently completed a history of the rise and decline of the machinery and metalworking industries in the Connecticut River Valley.

Contact: Patti McCafferty, University Communications, (978) 934-3238


Worker Photography Project Exhibit Kicks off April 1 (Photo Attached)

When: Tuesday, April 1, 3 to 6:30 (opening reception); exhibit through June 27 (weekdays, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.; weekends, 1 to 5 p.m.)

Where:  Patrick J. Mogan Cultural Center, 40 French St., downtown Lowell


For several months, local teenagers and union workers have looked through the lenses of their cameras to capture images from their daily lives.  About 30 of these photos, the result of the Worker Photography Project, will be displayed this spring at the Patrick J. Mogan Cultural Center, 40 French St., downtown Lowell.

            "Community Clicks:  A Photographic Journey of Workers and Youth" runs from April 1 to June 27, weekdays from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. and weekends from 1 to 5 p.m.  The opening reception on Tuesday, April 1 from 3 to 6:30 p.m. will feature refreshments and entertainment, including break-dancers, steppers and a Double Dutch team.  The exhibit is sponsored by the UMass Lowell Labor Extension Program and Photography Department, Mogan Cultural Center, United Teen Equality Center of Lowell and many unions and organizations in the region.

            "We ended up with some great photos," says Susan Winning, UMass Lowell Labor Extension Program coordinator.  "The students and workers took photos of their friends, the community, their relatives.  People who visit the exhibit will see a little slice of Lowell that they probably haven't seen before."

            Through six workshops, the eight high school students from Lowell and six adult workers learned about the history of photography and how to tell a story through their photographs and use the darkroom for developing and enlarging.  They also embarked on field trips to a few local manufacturing facilities for photo sessions of workers in action.

            The photographers include students Moises Baez, Daneris Cruz, Ryan Clancy, Mini Nanthavong, Jennifer Ortiz, Peary Sophin, Shusi Srey and Thra Srey, all of Lowell, and adults Francisco Brea, Lawrence; Terrie Gillis, Milford; Solomon Jamina, Lowell; Joseph Koroma, Lynn; Gwen Lay, Merrimac; and Carolyn Mathews, Worcester.

Contact: Patti McCafferty, University Communications, (978) 934-3238

Symposium Examines Democracy and Higher Education

When: Wednesday, April 2, Activities throughout the day, keynote address at 3:30 p.m.

Where: 205 Coburn Hall, UMass Lowell South, Broadway Street, Lowell


A one-day symposium entitled "Literature, Communication and Democracy" takes a hard look at the study and practice of democracy in higher education on Wednesday, April 2 at UMass Lowell's Coburn Hall, 205. The public is invited.

The keynote address will be made at 3:30 p.m. by Prof. Patrick Brantlinger, the Rudy Professor of English at the Indiana University will discuss "The Humanities in the Information Age."

For information, call Prof. Todd Avery, English, (978) 934-4184.

 Contact: Rick Sherburne, University Communications, (978) 934-3232


For more information, contact or 978-934-3224