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News from UMass Lowell for Week of Oct. 17


This a notice of upcoming events, photo opportunities and story ideas at UMass Lowell, compiled by the Office of Public Affairs, 978-934-3224. For more stories about UMass Lowell, visit and click on News.  Please note that contact names below are for the media and are not for publication.

Sources of the week: UMass Lowell experts are available for interviews to discuss climate change, women in science and technology, and Middle East democracy movements.

Third Annual Climate Change Teach-In Features Expert Presenters 

When:         Thursday, Oct. 20, 11 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.

What:          Geoffrey Haines-Stiles, writer and producer of the media project, “Earth: The Operators’ Manual,” will be the featured guest during the third annual Climate Change Teach-In, presented by the UMass Lowell Climate Change Initiative, a group of faculty and students. This year’s theme is “Old Media, New Media: the Promise and Perils of Communicating Climate Change.” “Earth: The Operators’ Manual,” presented by geoscientist Richard Alley, and funded by the National Science Foundation, explores climate-change science and sustainable energy solutions in accessible, innovative ways. The event will also feature short films on climate change by UMass Lowell students. The event is free and open to the public but space is limited. Register at For more, visit

Where:       Cumnock Hall, UML North, 31 University Ave., Lowell

Contacts for media:  Christine Gillette, 978-934-2209, or Nancy Cicco, 978-934-4944,

Carbon Smarts to Educate Public About Communicating Change 

When:         Thursday, Oct. 20, 6 to 9 p.m.; Friday, Oct. 21, 7:30 a.m. to 4 p.m.

What:          The Carbon Smarts Conference will bring together informal science educators, communication experts, marketing professionals, mass transit administrators and scientists to look at ways communication vehicles such as billboards, subway posters, radio and smart phone applications can foster an understanding of climate-change science among commuters. Hosted by the UMass Lowell Graduate School of Education, the event is funded by a grant from the National Science Foundation. To register or for details, go to

Where:        UMass Lowell Inn & Conference Center, 50 Warren St., Lowell

Contacts for media:  Christine Gillette, 978-934-2209, or Nancy Cicco, 978-934-4944,
Man Exonerated Through Innocence Project Brings Story to UMass Lowell

When:         Friday, Oct. 21, 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m.
What:         Dennis Maher spent 19 years incarcerated for crimes he did not commit after being convicted of two attacks on women in 1984 and sentenced to life in prison. He was later exonerated by DNA evidence and is now married with two children. Maher will tell his story and talk about his work with the Innocence Project, a national litigation and public policy organization that strives to exonerate wrongfully convicted individuals through DNA testing and judicial-system reform. The event is presented by UMass Lowell’s departments of Psychology and Criminal Justice and the Office of the Dean of Fine Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences. 

Where: O’Leary Library, Room 222, UML South, 71 Wilder St., Lowell

Contacts for media:  Christine Gillette, 978-934-2209, or Nancy Cicco, 978-934-4944,

Acclaimed Author Headlines Symposium on Immigrant Identity 

When: Saturday, Oct. 22, 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., Gish Jen talk begins at 1:45 p.m.
What:        What are the internal and external factors that shape immigrant communities? UMass Lowell’s Idea Community on National Identity aims to find out as it hosts a symposium titled “Negotiating Identities: From the Outside In and the Inside Out.” Presenters from the university and beyond will explore the issues and influences that define the immigrant experience. The session will feature a talk and reading by Cambridge-based author Gish Jen, whose acclaimed novel “World and Town,” explores these topics through the character of Hattie Kong, “the spirited offspring of a descendent of Confucius and an American missionary to China.”     

Where:        The Revolving Museum, 290 Jackson St., Lowell
Contacts for media:  Christine Gillette, 978-934-2209, or Nancy Cicco, 978-934-4944,

Students Hold Second Annual Merrimack River Cleanup 

When:         Saturday, Oct. 22, 9 a.m. to noon

What:    Volunteers are welcome to roll on down the river during the UMass Lowell second annual cleanup of the Merrimack River, presented through the Office of Student Activities and Leadership. In so many ways the heart of the city, the river is home to swimming, kayaking, rowing and a host of outdoor events. Participants should bring gloves and meet at the UMass Lowell Bellegarde Boathouse at 8:30 a.m. for refreshments and they are asked to complete a volunteer form, available at 

Where:        UMass Lowell Bellegarde Boathouse, Pawtucket Boulevard (Route 113), Lowell

Contacts for media:  Christine Gillette, 978-934-2209, or Nancy Cicco, 978-934-4944,

Open House Gives Prospective Students, Families a Look at UMass Lowell  

When:         Sunday, Oct. 23, 8:30 a.m. to noon 

What:          The Open House is the largest on-campus recruitment event for prospective freshmen, transfer and graduate students. Packed with activities and information, the event gives students a snapshot of life at the university. Special emphasis is placed on undergraduate and graduate academic programs. The schedule is flexible so students can fit in as much as possible. Students and families will be able to meet with faculty, staff, current students and alumni.

Where:       Tsongas Center at UMass Lowell, 300 Martin Luther King Jr. Way, Lowell

Contacts for media:  Christine Gillette, 978-934-2209, or Nancy Cicco, 978-934-4944,

Women in Technology Day to Inspire Study of Science, Engineering 

When:          Sunday, Oct. 23, 12:30 to 3 p.m.

What:          Women professionals who have distinguished themselves on the job will engage female students thinking about pursuing a career in science or engineering during Women in Technology Day immediately after the campus open house. Students and their families will enjoy lunch and hear from speakers including Mary Beth Smrtic, a doctoral candidate in the Institute for Visualization and Perception Research and the Center for Biomolecular and Medical Informatics at the university. The students will then attend panel discussions with female UMass Lowell students majoring in science and engineering, recent alumnae and women faculty. Parents will meet with representatives of the university.
Where:        Cumnock Hall, UML North, 31 University Ave., Lowell

Contacts for media:  Christine Gillette, 978-934-2209, or Nancy Cicco, 978-934-4944,

‘We Are Egypt:’ Documentary and Discussion Features Experts Roundtable 

When:         Tuesday, Oct. 25. Film at 11 a.m., discussion 12:15 p.m.

What:          “We Are Egypt,” is a documentary about the struggle for democracy in Egypt that led to the historic uprising in early 2011. Filmed in Egypt over the preceding 14 months, the story is told through the eyes of Egypt’s youth activists, labor movements and political opposition figures. A panel discussion after the film will include UMass Lowell political science Prof. Deina Abdelkader, who has lived in Egypt and is the author on a book about Middle East democracy movements; Greg Aftandilian, former foreign policy adviser to Sen. Edward M. Kennedy and is an associate at UMass Lowell’s Center for Middle East Peace, Development and Culture; Paula Rayman, the center’s director, and Lillie Paquette, the film’s director.

Where:        Alumni Hall, 1 University Ave., UML North, Lowell

Contacts for media:  Christine Gillette, 978-934-2209, or Nancy Cicco, 978-934-4944,

Cartoonist Lynda Barry Presents Two Events 

When:     Talk and book-signing – Tuesday, Oct. 25, 3 to 5 p.m.
      Workshop – Wednesday, Oct. 26, 3:15 to 5:45 p.m.

What: Critically acclaimed cartoonist, author and painter Lynda Barry, the Fall 2011 Artist in Residence for UMass Lowell’s Center for Arts and Ideas, will offer a talk, book-signing and creative workshop to the campus community and public. Barry’s syndicated weekly comic strip, “Ernie Pook’s Comeek,” is nationally known. She has published several illustrated novels, such as “The Good Times are Killing Me,” which won the Washington State Governor’s Award. Barry’s bestselling book, “What It Is,” won the Eisner Award for Best Reality-Based Graphic Novel. Come find out why cartoonist Matt Groening calls Barry “The Funk Queen of the Galaxy.” During Tuesday’s event, Barry will talk about her creative process and discuss her recent work. Books will be available to be signed after her talk. On Wednesday, a free public workshop will focus on storytelling through words and images. The session is limited to a maximum of 60 people. To reserve a space, contact Tiffany Avilla at Participants are asked to bring a sketchbook or notepad, pens and other writing and drawing implements.

Where:        O’Leary Library, Room 222, UML South, 61 Wilder St., Lowell

Contacts for media:  Christine Gillette, 978-934-2209, or Nancy Cicco, 978-934-4944,