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UML’s CITA Conference Highlights


University-Community Links Hundreds of Worldwide Experts Coming to Lowell 

LOWELL ߝ UMass Lowell’s Committee on Industrial Theory and Assessment (CITA) will host experts on university-community partnerships from around the world at its upcoming annual conference on April 26 and 27.     

The conference has already attracted more than 200 practitioners, including some from as far away as South Africa, India and Mexico, announced conference co-chairs, Profs. Linda Silka and Robert Forrant.  More than 60 presentations will be delivered in over 20 sessions held during the two days.   

Conference goals include highlighting successes and identifying barriers to community-university partnerships; understanding the needs and challenges of local, national and international partnerships; identifying strategies for evaluating partnerships, and promoting the integration of partnerships into research, teaching and outreach. 

“It’s enlightened self-interest, really,” says Silka. “UMass Lowell has very deep roots in this area, and we’ve always been an integral regional engine ߝ from training and graduating excellent job-ready students, to partnering with cultural groups in the city, to actively supporting local school systems.” 

Of particular interest this year, is the participation of Dr. Barbara Holland.  Holland is the preeminent scholar in the growing area of university-community partnerships.  She coordinates the university-community efforts for the entire state university system of California.  
Other highlights of the conference include:
* Academic leaders: The presidents of public higher education institutions in Northeastern Massachusetts will share their visions for economic development and how universities can make a difference.  Massachusetts Lt. Governor Tim Murray will lead this session.
* International:   An Indira Gandhi National Open University professor will discuss strategies to promote sustainable international partnerships;
* Student-focused:  a Gordon College professor will describe student academic and co-curricular volunteer work which has led to a successful partnership and university-community development;
* Economic Development:  A University of Maine professor will showcase a program targeting downtown Bangor’s poorest neighborhoods, raising intriguing questions about ownership, access and rights of information dissemination;
* Environmental/Health:   A doctoral candidate from Syracuse University will identify important frameworks required for community/environmental health partnerships;
* Ethics, power sharing and tenure:  a Loyola University professor speaks to the ways a community-engaged research agenda can provide a rewarding path to tenure; and,
* School/university:  an Appalachian State University professor will outline coordination and outreach by bringing together university faculty with public school social studies teachers.
For additional information such as registration and schedule, visit

UMass Lowell, a comprehensive university with a national reputation in science, engineering and technology, is committed to educating students for lifelong success in a diverse world and conducting research and outreach activities that sustain the economic, environmental and social health of the region. UML offers its 11,000 students more than 120 degree choices, internships, five-year combined bachelor’s to master’s programs and doctoral studies in the colleges of Arts and Sciences, Engineering and Management, the School of Health and Environment, and the Graduate School of Education.

For more information, contact or 978-934-3224