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News from UMass Lowell for Week of Sept. 10, 2012

Story and Source Ideas for Journalists


Sources of the week: As the nation marks the 11th anniversary of the Sept. 11, 2001 attacks, a UMass Lowell security expert can discuss where the country stands in the ongoing war against terrorism. The country’s economic outlook is playing a central role in the 2012 presidential race. UMass Lowell economics experts can talk about how gas prices, jobless rates and the housing market may affect voting trends in November. A new climate-change educational program is engaging students across the state. The UMass Lowell expert behind the effort can introduce the aims of Cool Science. 

  Activists Share Efforts to Forge Solution to Israeli-Palestinian Conflict   

When:        Tuesday, Sept. 11, 2:15 to 3:30 p.m.

What:         Israeli and Palestinian peace activists working to achieve a two-state solution to the conflict will discuss their efforts during “Peace is More than a Handshake: Israeli and Palestinians Building a Non-Violent Future.” The activists, from the grassroots movement OneVoice, will give their perspective on the political atmosphere on the ground, the mobilization of young people toward the cause and offer an account of the human cost of the conflict. The event, which is open to the public, is hosted by UMass Lowell’s Middle East Center for Peace, Development and Culture, the Peace and Conflict Studies Program and the Political Science Department.

Where:       Dugan Hall, Room 207, South Campus, 883 Broadway St., Lowell

Contacts for media: Christine Gillette, 978-934-2209, or Nancy Cicco, 978-934-4944, 
  ‘Townie,’ ‘The Fighter,’ Part of ‘Common Text’ Book and Film Series

When:        Wednesday, Sept. 12, 6:30 p.m.
What:         The public is invited to a screening of “The Fighter,” director David O. Russell’s 2010 Academy Award-winning true story about Lowell native Micky Ward, a welterweight boxer attempting a comeback with the help of his brother, Dicky Eklund, Jr. The film is featured as part of UMass Lowell’s Common Text Book and Film Series, in which first-year English students and members of the community read the same book to share their experiences with it and watch films with complementary themes. This semester’s book is “Townie” by Andre Dubus III, an English professor at UMass Lowell. “Townie” tells the story of Dubus’ rough-and-tumble formative years growing up in Haverhill. Helping to kick off the series, cast extras and crew members who worked on “The Fighter” – which was shot in Lowell – have been invited to join the discussion after the film. The screening is free and handicapped accessible.    

Where:       O’Leary Library Learning Commons, Room 222, South Campus, 61 Wilder St., Lowell.     

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

  High-Schoolers Study Merrimack River through Hands-On Ecology Program 

When:        Thursday, Sept. 13 and Friday, Sept. 14, 9:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m.  

What:         More than 100 chemistry and urban ecology students from Lawrence High School will learn firsthand about the Merrimack River’s health when they take water samples of the river and nearby Claypit Brook and study aquatic life in these waters. Their visit is part of the Bridging the Watershed environmental education program, which is new to the Tsongas Industrial History Center and Lowell National Historical Park. A partnership between the Alice Ferguson Foundation and the National Park Service, the program promotes student achievement and environmental stewardship through hands-on, curriculum-based outdoor studies in national parks and public lands. Only a handful of northeast regional parks have been selected to participate in the program. The Tsongas Industrial History Center is a partnership between UMass Lowell and Lowell National Historical Park.

Where:       UMass Lowell Bellegarde Boathouse, 500 Pawtucket Blvd., Lowell

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

  Pitch Contest Scouts for the Next Great Business Idea

When:        Thursday, Sept. 13, 6 to 8:30 p.m.  

What:         Fledging entrepreneurs in the education, environment and human services sectors who are looking to turn their bright idea into the next great venture will make their pitches to professionals and others in the community during this networking event sponsored by the Merrimack Valley Sandbox. Winners of this competition will earn a spot in a winner’s showdown next month. The Merrimack Valley Sandbox – one of three such initiatives in the world – was established by the Deshpande Foundation through the Merrimack Valley Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship at UMass Lowell. The initiative is a partnership between the university, Northern Essex Community College, Middlesex Community College and Merrimack College to promote social entrepreneurship and leadership in Lowell and Lawrence. 

 Where:       Chester’s Bell at Tower Square, 60 Island St., Lawrence

Contacts for media: Emil Kuruvilla, 978-934-6619, or Christine Gillette, 978-934-2209,  

  Improvisational Theater Workshop Welcomes Public

When:        Saturday, Sept. 15, 1 to 4 p.m.

What:         Does the comedic heart of Robin Williams beat inside you? Could you hold your own on the famed “Saturday Night Live” stage? Acting hopefuls age 16 and older interested in learning about the art, skills and motivation behind improvisational theater will have their chance during this workshop hosted by the university’s Theatre Arts Program. Members of the public along with UMass Lowell students, alumni, faculty and staff are welcome. No prior acting experience is necessary. 

Where:       Comley-Lane Theatre, South Campus, 870 Broadway St., Lowell

Contacts for media: Christine Gillette, 978-934-2209, or Nancy Cicco, 978-934-4944,
  University, Partners Bring Diversity to Nursing

When:        Tuesday, Sept. 18, 4:30 to 6:30 p.m.  

What:         Career training programs for Lowell and Lawrence students interested in nursing will expand this year under UMass Lowell’s Bring Diversity to Nursing program. Funded by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, the initiative looks to train students from diverse cultures and ethnic backgrounds for nursing careers, filling the need for nurses who understand the heath beliefs, religious practices and cultural and linguistic needs of diverse patients. This partnership meeting will bring together officials from UMass Lowell’s Nursing Department, the Lowell and Lawrence school systems, Greater Lowell Regional Vocational Technical High School and the Merrimack valley YMCA to talk about the program’s progress and goals. UMass Lowell Provost Ahmed Abdelal is scheduled to speak.  

Where:       Allen House, South Campus, 2 Solomont Way, Lowell

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

  Dickens’ Descendant to Perform Author’s Work

When:        Thursday, Sept. 20, 7:30 p.m.

What:         Gerald Dickens – an actor, producer and the great-great-grandson of Charles Dickens – will perform “Doctor Marigold,” a one-man show based on an original public reading Charles Dickens gave during his 1867 tour of America, which stopped in Lowell. A favorite with the author’s Victorian audiences, “Doctor Marigold” tells the heartwarming story of a traveling salesman who adopts a young deaf girl as his friend and companion. The show will be simultaneously interpreted into American Sign Language. Presented by UMass Lowell and the Perkins School for the Blind, the performance is part of Dickens in Lowell, a seven-month celebration of the author’s life, work and his travels in Lowell and throughout America. Tickets are $5 for students and seniors and $10 for all others at the door or through Gerald Dickens will autograph books after the show. For more, visit

Where:       O’Leary Library Learning Commons, Room 222, South Campus, 61 Wilder St., Lowell 

Contacts for media: Christine Gillette, 978-934-2209, or Nancy Cicco, 978-934-4944,
  Evocative Work of Visiting Photography Professor on Display 

When:        Exhibit runs through Friday, Sept. 21. Gallery hours are Monday through Thursday, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., Friday, 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. and Saturday by appointment.
What:         The work of photographer and UMass Lowell visiting art professor Chehalis Hegner will be displayed in the exhibit “Re-Visioning in the Garden of Eden.” Hegner, who grew up outside Chicago on her parents’ tree farm in the 1960s, cites her mother’s involvement in the feminist movement as an influence in her work. The exhibit will feature black-and-white photographs and images that incorporate varying media applied and collaged onto archival digital photographs. In 2010, Hegner received the Gjon Mili Photography Prize, an honor named for the famed Life magazine photographer. 

Where:       University Gallery, McGauvran Hall, South Campus, 71 Wilder St., Lowell 

Contacts for media: Michele Gagnon, 978-934-3491 or or Christine Gillette, 978-934-2209, 
  Author Discusses How Rust Belt Cities Can Go Green

When:        Monday, Sept. 24, 11:45 a.m.  

What:         With her presentation “Small, Gritty, and Green” – based on her book of the same name – journalist and historian Catherine Tumber argues America’s small-to-mid-size Rust Belt cities could play a central role in a greener, low-carbon, re-localized future. Her talk kicks off the Lunchtime Lectures series, co-sponsored by the UMass Lowell Center for Arts and Ideas and the Moses Greeley Parker Lectures, with support from Prof. Bill Mass of the UMass Lowell Center for Industrial Competitiveness and Middlesex Community College. Free and open to the public, the program includes a buffet lunch. Reservations, which are required, may be made at
Where:       UMass Lowell Inn & Conference Center, 50 Warren St., Lowell

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