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News from UMass Lowell for Week of Dec. 17, 2012

Story and Source Ideas for Journalists


 This is 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.” In case of inclement weather, call UMass Lowell’s weather hotline at 978-934-2121; if the university is closed, all events are canceled. Please note that contact names below are for the media and are not for publication.

Sources of the week: UMass Lowell experts can discuss how parents can talk to their children about tragedy; how to stay fit and avoid diet pitfalls through the holidays; and the economic and political ramifications of the “fiscal cliff.”

What:           People looking to make their great business ideas a reality will find valuable assistance during a Social Innovator Mixer networking night hosted by the Merrimack Valley Sandbox Initiative, which works to develop entrepreneurs and startup ventures. The event’s theme will be “Image and Access to Opportunity: Empowerment of Elders and People with Disabilities.” Featured speakers are slated to include Robin Ellington of the Citizen’s League for Adult Special Services (CLASS) and Jeffrey Gentry of Triangle Inc., two organizations that provide employment and support services to people with disabilities; Henry Winkelman of the Clark Cos.; and Trisha Blanchett, an early-stage entrepreneur who founded Operation Canine, which rescues homeless dogs and trains them to be service dogs for military veterans. The Sandbox was established by the Deshpande Foundation through the Merrimack Valley Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship at UMass Lowell.  A collaborative effort between UMass Lowell, Merrimack College and Middlesex Community and Northern Essex community colleges, the Sandbox – one of three such initiatives in the world – works to strengthen economic and social development in local communities including Lowell and Lawrence.        

What:           Anyone interested in learning about UMass Lowell’s graduate, continuing education and online offerings are welcome to attend an open house that will introduce them to the university’s 20 doctoral, 35 master’s degree and more than 70 graduate certificate programs. New programs include a doctoral program in criminal justice and criminology and master’s degree programs in autism studies and peace and conflict studies. Faculty program coordinators and continuing-education student support specialists will also share information about the university’s part-time degree and certificate programs, online courses and project management seminars. UMass Lowell programs are nationally accredited. Many graduate certificates and degree programs are available on campus, online or in a blended format. An expanded pool of scholarships is available. 

UMass Lowell Hosts Jack Kerouac Book Series 

When:          Tuesdays, Jan. 29, Feb. 19, March 19, April 9, April 30, 7 to 9 p.m.     

What:           The UMass Lowell Libraries will host a free five-part reading and discussion series on three of Jack Kerouac’s Lowell-centric novels: “The Town and the City,” “Visions of Gerard” and “Maggie Cassidy.” The series will feature Prof. Todd Tietchen, a member of the university’s English faculty, who will lead discussions about each novel. A Beat Generation scholar, Tietchen is an internationally known Kerouac expert. The sessions will cover the books noted on the following dates: Tuesday, Jan. 29, “The Town and the City,” parts 1 and 2; Tuesday, Feb. 19, “The Town and the City,” parts 3 through 5; Tuesday, March 19, “Visions of Gerard” with the community group Lowell Celebrates Kerouac!; Tuesday, April 9, “Visions of Gerard;” and Tuesday, April 30, “Maggie Cassidy.” Participants who register in advance will receive a copy of “The Town and the City” by mail. Free copies of the other titles will be distributed at the program. To register, go to or contact Sara Marks at 978-934-4581 or Support for the series is provided by the university’s English Department and Office of Community and Cultural Affairs.        

Where:         All programs will be held at O’Leary Library Learning Commons, South Campus, 61 Wilder St., Lowell except for Tuesday, March 19, which will be held at Pollard Memorial Library, 401 Merrimack St., Lowell.   

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

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