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News from UMass Lowell for Week of Jan. 21, 2013

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 University Relations, 978-934-3224. For more stories about UMass Lowell, visit and click on “Media” at the top of the page. Please note that contact names below are for the media and are not for publication.

Sources of the week: A UMass Lowell housing stock expert can discuss the significance of the current five-year high in home sales.  Experts can also discuss this week’s vote on the debt ceiling. 

What:      Division I rivals the UMass Lowell River Hawks and the Northeastern University Huskies will join forces to raise breast cancer awareness on pink ice during Saturday night’s game at the Tsongas Center at UMass Lowell. The Hockey East Skating Strides Against Breast Cancer event will include a ceremonial puck drop with a breast-cancer survivor and the sale of pink wristbands for $2 each to raise money for the cause. The wristband sale is presented by the UMass Lowell student group Males Achieving Leadership, Excellence and Success (M.A.L.E.S.). Those purchasing wristbands will be entered into a raffle to win a signed hockey stick. Now in its seventh year, the Skating Strides program involves all Hockey East men’s and women’s teams and has raised nearly $200,000 for breast-cancer charities in each of the New England states.   

Award-Winning Artist, Students, Exhibit Work

When:     Exhibit runs from Monday, Jan. 28 through Friday, Feb. 15. Artists’ reception, Thursday, Feb. 7, noon. Gallery hours are Mondays through Thursdays, 11 a.m. to 4 p.m., and Fridays and evenings by appointment.

What:      Award-winning Egyptian photographer Wael Kamal, a visiting professor and UMass Lowell’s interim director of journalism and media studies, teams up with UMass Lowell art students Duy Hoang and Lars-Erik Miller to present “Sound of Light: Photography and Sculpture from the Middle East and Massachusetts.” The show is presented by the university’s Art Department and Middle East Center for Peace, Development and Culture. 

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

Contacts for media: Nancy Cicco, 978-934-4944, or Michele Gagnon, 978-934-3491 or

What:      The DifferenceMaker $25,000 Idea Challenge invites UMass Lowell students and alumni who have graduated within the past year to develop and unveil a plan for a business, service or product that helps solve a real-world problem affecting the region and its future. Teams of students and young alumni interested in different fields but a common goal will be mentored by UMass Lowell faculty members as they work on their projects. The challenge begins Jan. 28 and 29. The project application deadline is Friday, Feb. 15. Applicant finalists will be invited to submit their plan by Friday, April 12 and pitch their plans before a panel of judges on Wednesday, April 17 at the UMass Lowell Inn & Conference Center. Prize money will help fund teams’ work on the winning projects through the coming year. The challenge is presented by DifferenceMakers, a new UMass Lowell program designed to engage students as they develop solutions to real-world issues through innovative and entrepreneurial leadership.    

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 UMass Lowell’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 Support for the series is provided by the UMass Lowell English Department, Office of Community and Cultural Affairs, and the Massachusetts Humanities Council.

What:      The Massachusetts Medical Device Development Center (M2D2), a joint UMass Lowell and UMass Medical School initiative, is sponsoring a medical-device venture competition that aims to find the best new medical device startups – and award them $20,000 in product development services. Now in its second year, the M2D2 competition, which promotes entrepreneurship, is sponsored by Nutter, McClennen & Fish and will culminate in an award ceremony in April. All new medical device ventures and entrepreneurs are encouraged to apply. The application fee is $25 and the entry deadline is 5 p.m. Friday, Feb. 1. A panel of expert judges will hear from finalists at 6 p.m. Wednesday, March 27 and a winner’s ceremony will be held in April. For more, visit and click on “events.”

Where:    Finalists’ presentations – Massachusetts Medical Device Development Center, Wannalancit Mills, East Campus, 600 Suffolk St., Lowell; winner’s ceremony – Nutter, McClennen & Fish, 155 Seaport Boulevard, Boston.

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