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UMass Lowell Earns National Honor for Work in Community


Carnegie Foundation: University Is a ‘Community-Engaged’ Campus

LOWELL, Mass. ߝ UMass Lowell is among the top universities in the country when it comes to community engagement and service learning, according to the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching.

The California-based foundation recently honored UMass Lowell with the designation of “community-engaged university” for its classroom-related efforts and non-academic outreach and partnerships.

“This national designation is a great tribute to the values that we honor every day in our teaching, research and service,” said Chancellor Marty Meehan. “UMass Lowell has a long history of innovative partnerships that have benefited the people in our region as well as our students.”

The University of Massachusetts is the only public university system in the country in which all campuses have earned the “community-engaged” designation.

The Carnegie Foundation recognized UMass Lowell for work across disciplines, including the Assistive Technology program, which develops creative solutions to the needs of disabled people; the Memory XL project, research done to develop a “smart pill” to delay the onset of Alzheimer’s disease; and the Artbotics program, which brings technology and creativity together to encourage participants to create public art.

“The Carnegie Foundation has certified the excellence of our service learning, industrial partnerships and urban engagement,” said UMass Lowell Provost Ahmed Abdelal. “We are grateful for this distinctive honor that has been earned by our University community.”

The foundation’s community engagement designation, conferred for the first time in 2006, is an opportunity to “address elements of institutional mission and distinctiveness not represented in the national data.” It was initiated, according to Carnegie President Anthony S. Bryk, partly as a means “to encourage other colleges and universities to move in this direction. Doing so brings benefits both to the community and to the institution involved.”

An interdisciplinary team from across UMass Lowell compiled detailed information about the university’s work in the community for the application process. Directed by Paul Marion, executive director of community relations, the team included Patricia Coffey, project manager; Lisa Abdallah, a professor of Nursing; Judith Boccia, director of the Office of School Partnerships; Robin Toof, assistant director of the Center for Family, Work and Community; and Linda Barrington, campus coordinator for Service Learning Integrated Throughout the College of Engineering (SLICE). Other contributors included former UMass Lowell Nursing Prof. Stephanie Chalupka; Linda Silka, professor and director of the Center for Family, Work and Community; Public Affairs Office staff member Morgan Hough; and student assistant Devonne Sutton.

“This designation is a tremendous honor for the students, faculty and staff at UMass Lowell,” Marion said. “It puts us in Division 1 nationally with respect to community engagement.”

UMass Lowell, 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 12,000 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. .

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