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News from UMass Lowell for the Week of March 19, 2012

Ideas for stories and sources for the media from UMass Lowell Public Affairs

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UMass Lowell Prof. Robert Forrant will discuss the historical significance of the 1912 Bread and Roses Strike in Lawrence.


March 19, 2012: 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.” Please note that contact names below are for the media and are not for publication.

Sources of the week: Interviews are available with UMass Lowell representatives about the university’s ice hockey team selection for the NCAA tournament. John Prendergast, UMass Lowell’s Greeley Scholar for Peace Studies, can discuss his humanitarian work around the world, including Sudan. 

Bread and Roses Strike’s Worldwide Impact Explored

When:         Tuesday, March 20, 6 p.m.

What:          Rising up against one of the largest corporations in the country, some 25,000 workers, including women and children, took to the streets 100 years ago to demand better pay and working conditions for the common man, the 99 percent. A handful would die; hundreds were beaten and jailed as violence erupted in the streets. Before the Occupy Wall Street movement, there was the Bread and Roses Strike of 1912 at the American Woolen Co. in Lawrence, considered by many historians to be a catalyst for U.S. and worldwide labor movements. UMass Lowell history Prof. Robert Forrant, chairman of the Bread and Roses Centennial Committee, will lead a discussion about the strike’s history and resonance in 2012 as part a host of activities this year that pays tribute to the strike’s significance. 

Where:        Massachusetts Historical Society, 1154 Boylston St., Boston

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

Civil War History Expert to Lead Public Discussion Series

When:         Tuesdays, March 20, April 3, April 24, 7 p.m. 

What:          Civil War expert Michael Pierson, a UMass Lowell history professor, will lead a five-part, public reading and discussion series, “Let’s Talk About It: Making Sense of the American Civil War,” on Tuesday nights throughout the spring semester. Pierson is the author of “Mutiny at Fort Jackson: The Untold Story of the Fall of New Orleans” and “Free Hearts and Free Homes: Gender and American Antislavery Politics.” He will lead a discussion of a selected book at each session. For details or to register, visit   

Where:        O’Leary Library Learning Commons, UML South, 61 Wilder St., Lowell

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

Gold-Medal Pianist, UMass Lowell Faculty Member, Performs

When:         Wednesday, March 21, 7:30 p.m.

What:          Yukiko Sekino, the 2006 Gold Medal award winner at the International Russian Music Piano Competition and a UMass Lowell piano instructor, will present an evening of piano music as part of the university’s Faculty Recital Series. The concert is free and open to the public. A versatile pianist whose performances have thrilled audiences, Sekino made her debut with the Boston Symphony Orchestra at age 16. She has appeared as a soloist with the New World Symphony, the Harvard-Radcliffe Orchestra and Nova Vista Symphony, among others. Critics have praised her musicianship as both elegant and energetic. 

Where:         Fisher Recital Hall, Durgin Hall, UML South, 35 Wilder St., Lowell

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

Hellenic Expert Explores Women’s Roles in Byzantine Culture

When:         Friday, March 23, 5 p.m. (rescheduled from March 1)

What:          The Hellenic Studies Center of UMass Lowell will present Prof. Ioli Kalavrezou, who will share perspectives on maidenhood and motherhood in Byzantine culture. Kalavrezou is a senior fellow at the Dumbarton Oaks Research Center in Washington, D.C., an internationally renowned institute for scholarship in Byzantine studies. Her visit to UMass Lowell is made possible through the university’s Zamanakos Endowed Lectureship in Hellenic Studies. This annual lecture showcases the historical and cultural contributions made by Greece and the Hellenes around the world.      

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

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

Award-Winning Cast Leads River Hawks to NCAA Tournament

When:         Friday, March 23, 6:30 p.m.

What:          In their first NCAA tournament bid since 1996, the UMass Lowell River Hawks ice hockey team (23-12-1) will take on the Red Hawks of Miami University of Ohio (24-14-2) in the opening round of East Regional play on Friday. Hockey East Coach of the Year Norm Bazin will lead the 10th-ranked River Hawks, which include Hockey East Rookie of the Year and All-Rookie team member Scott Wilson, Hockey East Turfer Athletic Award winner Matt Ferreira, Hockey East 2nd Team All-Star Doug Carr and Hockey East’s All-Rookie Team member Zach Kamrass. The winner of Friday night’s game goes on to play Saturday at 6:30 p.m. for a spot in the Frozen Four in Tampa, Fla. For ticket information, visit The games will be broadcast on ESPNU and ESPN3. 

Where:        Webster Bank Arena, 600 Main St., Bridgeport, Conn.

Contacts for media:  Chris O’Donnell, Athletics, 978-934-2306, or Christine Gillette, Public Affairs, 978-934-2209,

Mass. Memories Road Show to Create Photographic History

When:         Saturday, March 24, 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.

What:          The Mass. Memories Road Show project seeks to compile a digital photographic history of Massachusetts’ 351 cities and towns. Local residents are encouraged to drop by the Boott Cotton Mills Museum with two or three photographs that depict themselves, their families and their community. The photos will be scanned on site and immediately returned to their owners. Visitors may share a brief story about their photos for a video. The resulting photo and video catalog will be available to today’s students, scholars and community organizers and those of future generations. The program is part of the Tsongas Industrial History Center’s slate of 20th anniversary events. 

Where:        Tsongas Industrial History Center, Fourth Floor, Boott Cotton Mills Museum, 115 John St., Lowell

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

Appreciation Dinner Honors Women Leaders on Campus

When:         Monday, March 26, 6 p.m.

What:          Female leaders at UMass Lowell  – students, faculty and staff – will be honored during the annual Women’s Appreciation Dinner hosted by Males Achieving Leadership Excellence and Success (M.A.L.E.S.) student group. 

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

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

La Boniche Chef Dishes Out Meals for University, Community

When:         Wednesday, March 28

What:          Chef Anna Jabar of La Boniche Bistro in Lowell will serve up her delectable meals to the UMass Lowell community as part of the university’s ongoing Visiting Chef Series. The cuisine will be featured across campus in residential dining halls. The menu will include La Boniche’s signature black bean soup, grilled pork chops, pan-roasted chicken breast, berry bread pudding and crème brulee. Mill City Restaurant on South Campus will serve lunch from 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. Fox Hall and the UMass Lowell Inn & Conference Center will host dinner from 4:30 to 7 p.m. The public may purchase these meals. The all-you-can eat lunch is $6.95 and dinner is $7.95.

Where:        Mill City Restaurant, UML South, 1 Solomont Way, Lowell; Fox Hall, UML East, 100 Pawtucket St., Lowell; UMass Lowell Inn & Conference Center, 50 Warren St., Lowell

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

Innovators to Coach Next Generation of Leaders

When:         Wednesday, March 28, 5:30 p.m. 

What:          Who are the Steve Jobs, Mark Zuckerberg and Bill Gates of tomorrow? Regional business entrepreneurs will mentor the next generation of inventors and innovators during this networking night presented by the Merrimack Valley Sandbox, an initiative working to invigorate the region’s innovation ecosystem. Sandbox activities are coordinated through the Merrimack Valley Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship at UMass Lowell, a partnership between the university, Deshpande Foundation, Middlesex Community College and Merrimack College.

Where:         Middlesex Community College, 33 Kearney Square, Lowell

Contacts for media:  Emil  Kuruvilla, Merrimack Valley Sandbox,, 978-934-6620 or Christine Gillette, UMass Lowell, 978-934-2209,  

Housing, Economic Development Secretary Speaks

When:         Thursday, March 29, 5:30 p.m. (rescheduled from Feb. 29)

What:          Massachusetts Secretary of Housing and Economic Development Greg Bialecki will meet with more than 100 medical device entrepreneurs and economic development professionals from throughout the region to talk about the Commonwealth’s strategic plan for economic development, which was recently submitted to the Legislature. The plan outlines five initiatives including increased support for innovation and entrepreneurship  that build on the Patrick-Murray administration’s job creation and economic development strategy. The event is co-sponsored by the Merrimack Valley Venture Forum and the Massachusetts Medical Device Development Center (M2D2), a joint venture of UMass Lowell and UMass Worcester.

Where:        M2D2 Innovation Hub, Wannalancit Mills Office & Technology Center, UML East, 600 Suffolk St., Lowell
Contacts for media:  Christine Gillette, 978-934-2209,  or Nancy Cicco, 978-934-4944,  

Dickens in Lowell’ Explores City’s Impact on Author, Legacy

When:        Opening weekend starts Friday, March 30 

What:         Two hundred years after his birth, Charles Dickens (1812-1870) remains one of the world’s best-loved writers. Dickens’ love for Lowell goes way back – to 1842, when the young literary sensation visited the city as part of his first American tour, calling it “the most pleasant” day he spent in the country. “Dickens in Lowell” is the largest bicentenary event in New England, and an official part of the Dickens 2012 Worldwide Bicentenary Celebration. The festival, which opens March 30, features seven months of programs for all ages, including the landmark exhibit “Dickens and Massachusetts: A Tale of Power and Transformation,” curated by UMass Lowell English Prof. Diana Archibald and David Blackburn, chief of cultural resources and programs, Lowell National Historical Park. It is sponsored by UMass Lowell, in partnership with the Lowell National Historical Park, the Tsongas Industrial History Center, Worcester Polytechnic Institute and the Charles Dickens Museum London. Most events are free and open to the public, including:
  • “Dickens and Massachusetts: A Tale of Power and Transformation” Grand Opening – The exhibit will feature rare artifacts not shown to the public in generations and interactive, hands-on displays. Presented by the Cultural Organization of Lowell (COOL), the grand opening celebration will include music, guest speakers and refreshments. Friday, March 30, 5 to 7 p.m., Boott Cotton Mills Museum, Fourth Floor, Lowell National Historical Park, 115 John St., Lowell.
  • “Heroes and Bringers of Light: Dickens and the Struggle for International Copyright” – Florian Schweizer, director of the Charles Dickens Museum of London and the chairman of the Dickens 2012 Bicentenary Committee, explores Dickens’ efforts to gain legal protection for artistic creations. Saturday, March 31, 4:30 p.m., Boott Cotton Mills Museum, Lowell National Historical Park, 115 John St., Lowell
  • “Whose Art is it Anyway?” Best-selling author and UMass Lowell English Prof. Andre Dubus III; photographer and UMass Lowell art Prof. Arno Minkinnen; and musician and UMass Lowell music Prof. Alan Williams will lead a performance and panel discussion about their work and international property rights in the Internet Age. Thursday, April 5, 5 p.m., O’Leary Library Learning Commons, Room 222, UML South, 61 Wilder St., Lowell. 
For a complete schedule of events, visit

Contacts for media:  Beth Brosnan, 603-205-4344,, Christine Gillette, 978-934-2209, or Nancy Cicco, 978-934-4944,

Human Rights Activist is 2012 Greeley Scholar for Peace

When:         Monday, April 2 through Monday, April 9

What:          Fresh off testimony on Capitol Hill and arrest at an embassy in protest to conditions in Sudan and South Sudan with actor George Clooney, human rights activist John Prendergast will visit UMass Lowell as its 2012 Greeley Scholar for Peace Studies. Last year’s honoree, Leymah Gbowee, went on to win the 2011 Nobel Peace Prize. A participant in the “KONY 2012” video viewed online by more than 80 million people, Prendergast has spent 25 years working to stop human rights violations around the world and foster peace in Africa. Co-founder of The Enough Project, he also serves as a board member and adviser to Clooney, Brad Pitt, Matt Damon and Don Cheadle’s international advocacy and humanitarian aid group, Not on Our Watch. Prendergast previously worked for the Clinton administration, the U.S. Department of State, UNICEF, Human Rights Watch, the National Intelligence Council, the International Crisis Group and the U.S. Institute of Peace, among others. His visit to UMass Lowell will include the following free programs for the public:
  • “Day Without Violence” on Tuesday, April 3. From 12:30 to 1:45 p.m., Prendergast will speak about his human rights work at the annual program for the campus and community that will also feature Executive Vice Chancellor Jacqueline Moloney and Provost Ahmed Abdelal. This event will be followed by a dialogue with Prendergast for UMass Lowell students. O’Leary Library Learning Commons, Room 222, UML South, 61 Wilder St., Lowell.
  • Film screening and community conversation on Monday, April 9. From 7 to 9 p.m., Prendergast will present a film about his international human rights work and discuss the issues with members of the public. UMass Lowell Inn & Conference Center, 50 Warren St., Lowell.
More on Prendergast and his visit is available at

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