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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 Please note that contact names below are for the media and are not for publication.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. 

Contemporary Artists Combine Forces for Exhibit

When:     Exhibit runs from Wednesday, Jan. 23 through Friday, Feb. 15. Artists’ reception, Wednesday, Jan. 23, 3 p.m. Gallery hours are Mondays and Wednesdays, 11:30 a.m. to 6 p.m.; Tuesdays and Thursdays, 11 a.m. to 7:30 p.m.; Fridays, 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.; and evenings and Saturdays by appointment.

What:      Artist Fran Bull’s print series “Barcelona!” and new sculptures by Boston-based artist Anne Lilly combine in a unique way for this UMass Lowell exhibition presented by UMass Lowell’s Art Department. Both established contemporary artists work in divergent media and materials. Together, the works engage each other in energetic and unexpected ways, as the lines of Bull’s prints react with Lilly’s graceful, interactive sculptures. 
Where:    Artist reception, O’Leary Library Learning Commons, South Campus, 61 Wilder St., Lowell; exhibit, University Gallery, McGauvran Hall, South Campus, 71 Wilder St., Lowell. 

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

Celebration Rings in Vietnamese New Year

When:     Saturday, Jan. 26, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

What:      Hundreds are expected to celebrate the Vietnamese New Year at an event presented by the Vietnamese Student Association and several local community groups. The day will feature food, music, artwork and performances by members of the UMass Lowell community and other special guests. Admission is $5 per person, $3 for UMass Lowell students with a valid ID, and free for children. For information about the event, contact Constanza Cabello at 978-934-4336 or

Where:    Cumnock Hall, North Campus, 31 University Ave., Lowell

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

‘Pink at the Rink’ Raises Breast Cancer Awareness

When:     Saturday, Jan. 26, 7 p.m.

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.   

Where:    The Tsongas Center at UMass Lowell, 300 Martin Luther King Jr. Way, Lowell

Contacts for media: Christopher O’Donnell, 978-934-2306, or Nancy Cicco, 978-934-4944,

MLK Events Advance Work of Civil Rights Leader

When:     Sunday, Jan. 27 through Thursday, Jan. 31

What:      The Rev. Martin Luther King Jr.’s vision and quest for social equality will be honored and advanced during a week of events that will unite the UMass Lowell community and the public now that the spring semester has started. Events will focus on the topic “His Dream, Our Awakening.” Sponsored by the university’s Office of Multicultural Affairs, the event series will kick off Black History Month. It will include a student Day of Service on Sunday Jan. 27 from 11 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. starting at the Campus Recreation Center, East Campus, 100 Pawtucket St., Lowell. Other events include:
  • Solidarity March – Monday, Jan. 28, 5 p.m. Members of the UMass Lowell community and the public will walk for peace. The event is co-sponsored by student groups the Association of Students of African Origin (ASAO); Males Achieving Leadership, Excellence and Success (MALES); Sisters of Integrity Striving Towards Empowerment, Respect and Success (SISTERS); the Latin American Student Association; and the National Society of Black Engineers. The walk will start on South Campus and end on East Campus.
  • Student Oratorical Contest – Tuesday, Jan. 29, 7 p.m. Students will speak on the topic “My Dream, My Awakening,” competing for prizes in this annual contest. Alumni Hall, North Campus, 34 University Ave., Lowell.
  • MLK Celebration Dinner – Wednesday, Jan. 30, 6 p.m. The Office of Multicultural Affairs will bestow its annual Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Distinguished Service Award to a student, faculty, staff and community member whose service exemplifies King’s work. The centerpiece of the week of events, the program will feature Avis Jones-DeWeever, executive director of the National Council of Negro Women and include award presentations to Lowell schoolchildren for their artwork and essays. 

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

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

Students, Alumni Vie for $25K for Best Ideas to Solve Problems

When:     Kickoff events are Monday, Jan. 28 and Tuesday, Jan. 29, 5 to 6:30 p.m.

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.    

Where:    Kickoff events Monday, Jan. 28, Alumni Hall, North Campus, 84 University Ave., Lowell; Tuesday, Jan. 29, 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 or

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 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.

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

Medical-Device Contest Seeks New Ventures, Entrepreneurs

When:     Entry deadline is Friday, Feb. 1; finalists’ presentations to be held Wednesday, March 27; winner’s ceremony to be held in April. 

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