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News from UMass Lowell for Week of Feb.11, 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 “News” on the lower right corner of the page. Please note that media contact names below are not for publication.

In case of inclement weather, please call 978-934-2121; if the university is closed, all on-campus events are canceled, unless otherwise noted.  

Sources of the week: UMass Lowell political science experts can share their insights about President Obama’s State of the Union address. Robotics experts can discuss the new report on the state of the industry in Massachusetts.

  Premier Robotics Testing Center in Nation Opens at UMass Lowell

When:     Tuesday, Feb. 12, 10:30 a.m.

What:      The most advanced robotics test center in the nation will open at UMass Lowell with a program that includes demonstrations of robots running obstacles, climbing through honeycombs of tunnels, soaking themselves in simulated rainstorms and testing their vision. The New England Robotics Validation and Experimentation (NERVE) Center will fuel robotics research and development across the region by providing access to state-of-the-art test courses and UMass Lowell faculty researchers’ expertise. Developed in collaboration with the U.S. Department of Commerce’s National Institute of Standards and Technology and the U.S. Army, the NERVE Center is the only robotics test site in the Northeast and one of only three in the United States. At the opening, the Mass Technology Leadership Council will officially announce the results of its new report measuring the state of the industry in Massachusetts, including growth in sales, venture funding, employment and more. 

Where:    1001 Pawtucket Blvd., Lowell. (Media only: Enter on right side of building.)

Contacts for media: Nancy Cicco, 978-934-4944, or Christine Gillette, 978-934-2209,
  Community Partners Explore New Service-Learning Opportunities
When:     Wednesday, Feb. 13, 8:30 a.m. 

What:      UMass Lowell faculty and representatives from Greater Lowell’s community organizations will come together during this fourth annual Community Connections Breakfast to expand service-learning opportunities in the community for UMass Lowell students. This networking session will help university faculty shape future course work designed to provide students with hands-on experience that gives them a chance to put into practice what they are learning in the classroom.

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

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

  River Hawks Welcome Pooches to ‘Pucks and Paws Night’

When:     Saturday, Feb. 16, 7 p.m.

What:      UMass Lowell and the Lowell Humane Society will present the second annual “Pucks and Paws Night” as the River Hawks Division I ice hockey team faces off against the Minutemen of UMass Amherst in Hockey East play. Fans may purchase seats in the arena’s Section 110 for $15 and $5 for their dogs, which will enter the arena through a special doggie door. All dog-ticket proceeds will go to support the Lowell Humane Society, which will showcase pets up for adoption during the night. Pet owners are required to purchase tickets in advance by calling 978-934-5751 and must provide proof their dogs have up-to-date vaccinations. Season ticket holders may exchange tickets for their usual seats for seats in Section 110 at no charge with the purchase of a $5 dog ticket. Dogs in attendance must be on a non-retractable leash. Hydration and waste-management stations will be provided for pets on the arena’s concourse. Tickets are available through the Tsongas Center at UMass Lowell box office, or by calling 866-722-8780. 

Where:    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, 
  Sociologist Sings about Labor History

When:     Tuesday, Feb. 19. Talk, 2 p.m., singing performance, 5 p.m. 

What:      Sociologist Corey Dolgon will sing folk songs that teach the history and theory of the American labor and other social movements during a performance that will follow a speaking presentation. Co-author of the book “Social Problems: A Service Learning Approach,” Dolgon will discuss the benefits and challenges of this teaching method that gets students to solve real-life problems by applying classroom-learned theory. Dolgon’s talk and singing performance are hosted by UMass Lowell’s Sociology Department and are free and open to the public. Dolgon is a professor of sociology and director of community-based learning at Stonehill College.

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,

  Fidelity Executive Shares Experience, Advice with Students

When:     Tuesday, Feb. 19, 4:30 p.m.

What:      Laura Pollard, a UMass Lowell graduate who is now an executive vice president at Fidelity Investments, will return to the classroom to talk to students about her career path and the world of high finance. Pollard began her career at Fidelity after her graduation in 1989. Her talk is the first in this semester’s Manning Speaker Series, which welcomes back alumni to speak to UMass Lowell Manning School of Business students.

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,

  UMass Lowell Libraries Host Jack Kerouac Book Series

When:     Tuesdays, Feb. 19, March 19, April 9, April 30, 7 to 9 p.m.

What:      The UMass Lowell Libraries will host a free 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. Members of the public may attend one or all of the sessions, which will cover the books noted on the following dates: 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 and 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 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,
  Keyboard Wizard Jordan Rudess to Perform for Public

When:     Thursday, Feb. 21, 7 p.m.: tickets on sale now.

What:      Progressive-rock icon Jordan Rudess will come to UMass Lowell to perform a public concert to benefit student scholarships. As a solo artist and with the group Dream Theater, Rudess has been a pioneer in electronic music and prog rock, taking the concept of playing the keyboard beyond instruments to the iPhone and iPad and developing apps that allow others to follow his musical journey. Rudess – who studied at Julliard School of Music at age 9 – will also teach master classes to UMass Lowell music students. Concert tickets are available to the public at the Tsongas Center at UMass Lowell box office, at, and by calling 866-722-8780. Tickets are $33 and $40 and UMass Lowell students with valid ID receive a 10 percent discount. A portion of proceeds from ticket sales will fund scholarships for UMass Lowell music students. Terry Chance of First and Last Chance Productions is the concert’s equipment sponsor. More information on sponsorships is available by contacting University Advancement at 978-934-3243.

Where:    Durgin Concert Hall, Durgin Hall, South Campus, 35 Wilder St., Lowell 

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

  Etiquette Expert Shows Students How to Dine, Dress for Success

When:     Monday, Feb. 25, 5:30 p.m.

What:      More than 100 UMass Lowell students and local employers are expected to take part in a multi-course business dinner that will be led by etiquette expert and author Jodi Smith, founder and president of Mannersmith Etiquette Consulting. The dinner is hosted by UMass Lowell’s Career Services and Cooperative Education Center.

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

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