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News from UMass Lowell for Week of Sept. 3

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 Please note that contact names below are for the media and are not for publication.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: 
  • Health and fitness experts can provide insight into a new government study that finds 200,000 deaths a year from heart disease and stroke could be avoided through healthier lifestyle choices.
  • An expert on the Middle East who formerly served as a staff member to the Senate Foreign Relations Committee can discuss the Obama administration’s effort to get Congress’ support for military action against government forces in Syria.  
Contact UMass Lowell media relations if you need an expert source on any subject.

  Campus ‘Water Park’ Makes a Back-to-School Splash with Students 

When:     Wednesday, Sept. 4, 6 to 10 p.m.

What:      Break out the Slip ’N Slide. Students feeling the heat after the first day of classes will cool off and have some fun during “Wet ‘n’ Wild Wednesday,” when the Donahue Quadrangle on East Campus will be transformed into a water park, complete with music and snow cones. One of UMass Lowell’s many back-to-school activities presented by the Office of Student Activities and Leadership, the event encourages students to get involved in all university life has to offer. 

Where:    Donahue Hall, East Campus, 91 Pawtucket St., Lowell

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


  Exhibit Showcases Talents of Art Department Faculty

When:     Artists’ reception is Thursday, Sept. 5, 3 p.m.; exhibit runs from Wednesday, Sept. 4 through Friday, Sept. 20. Exhibit hours are Monday through Thursday, 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. 

What:      UMass Lowell’s acclaimed instructors and professors don’t just teach art, they live it. The exhibit “Across Sections: A Cross Section II” showcases works by the entire Art Department faculty and includes traditional and new disciplines, including painting, photography, mixed media, sculpture, digital works, installation and time-based media.

Where:    University Gallery, McGauvran Student Center, South Campus, 71 Wilder St., Lowell 

Contacts for media: Leah Craig, 978-934-3491 or or Nancy Cicco, 978-934-4944,  


  Retirees Return to Class, Mark 25th Anniversary of Program 

When:     Monday, Sept. 16, 11 a.m. 

What:      Young adults aren’t the only UMass Lowell students headed to class this fall.  Members of the Learning in Retirement Association will mark the organization’s 25th anniversary and the start of the group’s academic year during this event. Through LIRA, semi-retired or retired adults may enroll in college-level courses and programs regardless of their age or educational background. This year’s keynote speaker will be Steven Tello, the university’s associate vice chancellor for entrepreneurship and economic development. Tello, who is also the adviser of the DifferenceMaker Program, educates students on how to think like innovators and pursue entrepreneurship in all of its forms. LIRA is co-sponsored by UMass Lowell’s Office of Community and Cultural Affairs, the Office of University Advancement and the Office of Conference and Event Services. 

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

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


  Career Expert Helps Students Map their Futures

When:     Wednesday, Sept. 18, 7 p.m.

What:      What does it take to build a successful career in today’s marketplace? What are employers looking for from skilled professionals? Master networker, motivational speaker Rod Colon will share with students his thoughts during “The Latin Difference: Leveraging Your Heritage for Success,” one of several events held on campus as part of Hispanic Heritage Month, celebrated nationwide Sept. 15 through Oct. 15. With nearly 30 years of experience in corporate management and recruitment, Colon is an expert in job-search and networking strategies who can also be heard as a co-host of the college-radio show “Your Career is Calling.” His talk is presented by the university’s Office of Multicultural Affairs, the Latin American Student Association and the Association of Latino Professionals. 

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

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


  Ergonomics Expert Honored as Distinguished University Professor 

When:     Thursday, Sept. 19, 4 p.m.

What:      The UMass Lowell community will officially recognize Laura Punnett as the newest Distinguished University Professor. The distinction is the highest honor bestowed to faculty for exceptional teaching achievement, research and service to the university. A Medford resident, Punnett teaches ergonomics and epidemiology and is an expert in the patterns, causes and effects of work-related musculoskeletal disorders and how to heal them. A founder of UMass Lowell’s Department of Work Environment within the College of Health Sciences, for seven years she led the Center for the Promotion of Health in the New England Workplace, a research center funded by the National Institute of Occupational Safety and Health with more than $9 million to date. She has been a visiting scientist at research institutions around the world.

Where:    Allen House, South Campus, 2 Solomont Way, Lowell

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