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News from UMass Lowell for Week of Nov. 26, 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 Please note that contact names below are for the media and are not for publication.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 on Middle East foreign policy can discuss the protests in Egypt over the country’s constitutional crisis. The university’s economics experts can provide analysis behind efforts to avoid a national recession as the “fiscal cliff” looms. 

Music Students, Faculty Share Talents at Free Holiday Concerts

When:        Through Tuesday, Dec. 10
What:         Performing in a variety of instrumental and vocal ensembles, UMass Lowell music students and faculty will share their talents during free public, holiday concerts. Performances include: 
  • Small Jazz Ensemble, Tuesday, Nov. 27, 7:30 p.m. – Directed by Platt, the ensemble will perform contemporary and classic works from the bands of Randy and Michael Brecker, Art Blakey and Horace Silver, and original compositions. Durgin Concert Hall, South Campus, 35 Wilder St., Lowell. 
  • Glee Club, Saturday, Dec. 1, 7 p.m. – Student Jacob Hajjar directs this concert that includes performances by UMass Lowell student vocal groups Hawkapella and Vocality and dance teams. Durgin Concert Hall, South Campus, 35 Wilder St., Lowell.
  • Concert Band, Thursday, Dec. 6, 7:30 p.m. – Directed by faculty member Dan Lutz, the 90-piece ensemble performs traditional and modern wind band literature and orchestral transcriptions. Durgin Concert Hall, South Campus, 35 Wilder St., Lowell
  • Opera Workshop, Friday, Dec. 7 and Monday, Dec. 10, 7:30 p.m. – Directed by faculty member Janice Giampa, workshop members will perform scenes and acts from their opera and American musical theater repertoire. Fisher Recital Hall, Durgin Hall, South Campus, 35 Wilder St., Lowell

Contacts for media: Nancy Cicco, 978-934-4944, or Christine Gillette, 978-934-2209,
Economic Development Coalition Meets on Expanding Life Sciences Industry

When:        Tuesday, Nov. 27, 8 to 10:30 a.m. 
What:         The Middlesex 3 Coalition – a group made up of public and private sector leaders from the communities along the Route 3 corridor with common goals including growing the economy, diversifying the tax base and creating and retaining jobs – will meet at UMass Lowell to discuss the potential that the life sciences industry holds for the region. Speakers and panelists are scheduled to include UMass Lowell Chancellor Marty Meehan; Pamela Norton of the Massachusetts Life Sciences Center; Peter Abair of the Massachusetts Biotechnology Council; Marybeth Campbell, director of education and workforce development for the Massachusetts Executive Office of Education; Lowell City Manager Bernie Lynch; Prof. Stephen McCarthy, co-director of the Massachusetts Medical Device Development Center (M2D2); Robert Buckley of Riemer & Braunstein; UMass Lowell Vice Provost for Research Julie Chen; Nancy Briefs of InfoBionic; Rick Geoffrion of Mitralign; and Renee Connolly of EMD Serono. The event is hosted by UMass Lowell’s Office of Commercial Ventures and Intellectual Property.

Where:       Alumni Hall, North Campus, 34 University Ave., Lowell

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

Temple Leader Discusses Buddhism, Holds Meditation Session

When:        Tuesday, Nov. 27, 4 p.m.  
What:         Vice Abbot Ajahn David Chutiko, a leader of the Wat Buddhabhavana Temple (Great Wisdom Center) in Westford, will discuss the tenets of Buddhism and lead a meditation session after his talk. Ordained as a Buddhist monk in Thailand in 1996, he co-leads the temple, which welcomes people of all backgrounds. The talk, one of UMass Lowell’s Focus on Faith Forums, is presented by the Interfaith Student Association as part of participation in the President’s Interfaith and Community Service Campus Challenge for the academic year.

Where:       Alumni Hall, North Campus, 84 University Ave., Lowell

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

‘Islam Explained’ Series Explores Religion’s Facets

When:        Wednesday Nov. 28, 6 p.m.
What:         The UMass Lowell Muslim Student Association will present a comprehensive study of Islam, covering topics such as articles of faith, worship, purpose of creation and economics. The series, part of International Education Week, will be presented by Prof. M. Riaz Khan of the UMass Lowell Operations and Information Systems Department. The workshop series is free and open to the public.

Where:       Ball Hall, Room 210, North Campus, 185 Riverside St., Lowell 

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

Women’s Works Craft Fair Celebrates Creativity

When:        Thursday, Nov. 29, 2 to 7 p.m.
What:         Crafts, artwork and food made by women connected to UMass Lowell and other talented regional artists will be for sale during “Women’s Works: A Celebration of the Creativity of Women.” The event – which includes handcrafted jewelry, soaps, knitted items, refurbished furniture, music, performance art and more – is a fundraiser for UMass Lowell’s Center for Women and Work, which advances knowledge about the relationship between gender and work through research, enhances understanding of this relationship through education and training, and challenges inequalities by fostering institutional change.

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

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

‘House of Sand and Fog’ Screened in Common Text Series

When:        Thursday, Nov. 29, 6:30 p.m.
What:         The public is invited to a screening of “House of Sand and Fog,” a film adaptation of best-selling author and UMass Lowell English Prof. Andre Dubus III’s 1999 novel of the same name. The Academy Award-nominated film is featured as part of UMass Lowell’s Common Text Book and Film Series, which invites first-year English students and members of the community to read the same book and watch films with complementary themes. This semester’s book is another of Dubus’ noted works, “Townie,” which tells the story of his rough-and-tumble formative years growing up in Haverhill.

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

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

U.S. and China’s Pursuit of Solar Energy Examined

When:        Friday, Nov. 30, 2 p.m.
What:         UMass Lowell alumnus Matthew Hopkins ’10, a research associate with the UMass Lowell Center for Industrial Competitiveness, will discuss “Clean Tech and Capital: Solar Energy in the U.S. and China.” Hopkins is also a research associate at the nonprofit Academic-Industry Research Network. His talk is presented by UMass Lowell’s College of Fine Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences; the School of Health and Environment; the Economic and Social Development of Regions Program; the Climate Change Initiative; and the Center for Industrial Competitiveness. 

Where:       O’Leary Library Learning Commons, Room 500M, South Campus, 61 Wilder St., Lowell

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

Works of Latin American Authors Examined

When:        Through Tuesday, Dec. 4
What:         UMass Lowell celebrates the cultural impact of Latin American authors in this lecture series. Upcoming talks are:
  • “Risking Death While Reading Borges: An Encounter with ‘La Otra Muerte’” – Friday, Nov. 30, 1 p.m. UMass Lowell Cultural Studies Prof. Max Ubelaker Andrade will provide a revealing look at the work of Argentinean writer Jorge Luis Borges. Coburn Hall, Room 207, South Campus, 850 Broadway St., Lowell. 
  • “Beyond the Nation” – Tuesday, Dec. 4, 2 p.m. Foreign languages expert Michele Davila Goncalves will provide analysis of contemporary Puerto Rican poetry. O’Leary Library Learning Commons, Room 222, South Campus, 61 Wilder St., Lowell

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

Student Entrepreneurs Pitch New Products, Service Ideas

When:        Friday, Nov. 30, 5:30 p.m.
What:         UMass Lowell students and other young entrepreneurs will present their ideas for new products and services during the Merrimack Valley Sandbox’s Fall 2012 Catalyst Pitch Contest. Ideas include a smartphone reading application, a youth mentorship program and a cost-effective device that creates an emergency power supply in homes. Audience members may vote for their “fan favorite” while contestants vie for $1,000 in prize money. The 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. A partnership between UMass Lowell, Merrimack College, Northern Essex and Middlesex community colleges, the Sandbox promotes social entrepreneurship and leadership in Lowell and Lawrence.

Where:       Mahoney Hall, South Campus, 870 Broadway St., Lowell

Contacts for media: Nancy Cicco, 978-934-4944, or Christine Gillette, 978-934-2209,
Former Apple Executive Shares Business Experience with Students

When:        Tuesday, Dec. 4, 4:30 p.m.    
What:         Ken Ratcliffe ’71, a financial officer at Apple Computer from 1987 to 1993, will share his insights into his career with UMass Lowell Manning Business School students and others during this Manning Speaker Series event. An early backer of, Radcliffe left Apple and became Mediaflex’s chief financial officer. Prior to working for Apple, he worked for Data General in Paris where he was responsible for managing the corporation’s financial operations in Europe, the Middle East and Africa. He is the author of the novel “Manhook,” which draws on his business experience and offers a glimpse into the world of venture capitalists. Ratcliffe earned a bachelor of science in business administration with distinction in economics from Lowell Technological Institute, one of UMass Lowell’s predecessor institutions.  

Where:       Falmouth Hall, Room 313, North Campus, 201 Riverside St., Lowell

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