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News from UMass Lowell for Week of May 6, 2013

Story and Source Ideas for Journalists

05/06/2013

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 www.uml.edu 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 Please note that contact names below are for the media and are not for publication.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: Members of the Class of 2013 can discuss their UMass Lowell experience, accomplishments and plans for the future. A UMass Lowell expert can discuss researchers’ quest to develop safer, more sustainable materials and the aims of the upcoming Greener Materials Research Symposium at the university’s Toxics Use Reduction Institute. 


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What:      Fledgling entrepreneurs who want to break into the technology market will present their ideas to a panel of expert judges and the public as they vie for more than $2,500 in seed money for their innovations. Judges are scheduled to include Nancy Saucier, associate director of venture development at UMass Lowell; Matt Pettine, managing director of Internet technology practice at Moody, Famiglietti & Andronico; and Chester Szablak, executive vice president of Enterprise Bank. Presenters include UMass Lowell student Philip Colangelo, who developed a robotic arm that helps people with disabilities feed themselves. The contest, which will also award seed money to the presenter deemed the audience’s favorite, is presented by the Merrimack Valley Sandbox Initiative, which promotes social entrepreneurship and leadership in Lowell and Lawrence. The Sandbox was established by the Deshpande Foundation through the Merrimack Valley Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship at UMass Lowell and is one of four such initiatives in the world. 

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What:      Scientists and researchers from biopharmaceutical manufacturers, technology and system providers, raw material suppliers and related agencies will unite to talk about the challenges behind creating medications using biotechnology and to share breakthroughs and success stories. Representatives of companies including Genzyme, PBS Biotech, Shire, Tarpon Biosystems Inc. and Chromworks are among those who are expected to attend. The event is the second summit presented by the Biopharmaceutical Process and Quality Consortium. Established last year, the BPQC is a research, development and education collaborative based at the Massachusetts BioManufacturing Center at UMass Lowell that assists biotechnology companies in bringing their scientific discoveries to market. For a conference agenda, visit www.uml.edu/Research/Centers/BioManufacturing/BPQC/Workshop/Agenda.aspx.

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What:      UMass Lowell students, faculty, alumni and honored guests will celebrate the achievements of the Class of 2013 and raise money for student scholarships during the sixth annual Commencement Eve gala. Participants are scheduled to include Boston Police Commissioner Edward Davis and social entrepreneur Harish Hande, ’98, ’00, this year’s Commencement speakers; philanthropist Nancy Donahue; Elisia and Mark Saab ’81, co-founders of Advanced Polymers Inc.; and Distinguished Alumni Award winner Bernard Shapiro ’56. Gary Mucica ’71 will be honored posthumously with a Distinguished Alumni Award. The event will also honor students who have excelled in academics, community service and service to the university. In the past five years, the Commencement Eve celebration has raised more than $2.2 million for student scholarships and will this year will include the UMass Lowell Boston Marathon Scholarship Fund. The fund will assist members of the university community, including their families and alumni, who have been affected by the tragedy and would like to pursue a UMass Lowell education. Gala admission, which includes cocktails, dinner and entertainment, is $125 per person. For tickets, contact Kathleen Sullivan at 978-934-3236 or Kathleen_Sullivan@uml.edu. For sponsorship information, contact Louise Griffin at 978-934-3243 or Louise_Griffin@uml.edu.

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What:      Boston Police Commissioner Ed Davis, whose leadership in the aftermath of the Boston Marathon bombings has personified the spirit of “Boston Strong,” will deliver the Commencement address to the Class of 2013 at UMass Lowell’s undergraduate ceremony. Social entrepreneur Harish Hande ’98, ’00 – who as the co-founder of Solar Electric Light Co. India is pioneering access to solar electricity for more than half a million people in India – will deliver the graduate ceremony address. For the sixth year in a row, a record number of graduates – 3,169 – will receive degrees from UMass Lowell. Davis and Hande will receive honorary degrees from the university, along with philanthropist Nancy Donahue and Elisia and Mark Saab ’81, co-founders of Advanced Polymers Inc. Distinguished Alumni Awards will be presented to Bernard Shapiro ’56 and Gary Mucica ’71 (to be honored posthumously). A champion of predictive and community policing, Davis leads the 20th-largest law enforcement agency in the U.S. with more than 2,000 officers and 800 civilian employees. A Lowell native, he previously served as the superintendent of police in the Mill City for 12 years.