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News from UMass Lowell for Week of Sept. 9, 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 Please note that contact names below are for the media and are not for publication.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 are available on: 
  • The nation’s security and anti-terrorism efforts since Sept. 11, 2001;
  • The evolving nature of the U.S. Constitution, including same-sex marriage rulings, and significance of Constitution Week, Sept. 17 through Sept. 23; 
  • The new discovery of the world’s largest volcano beneath the Pacific Ocean;
  • How the recent arrest in Mexico of the head of a major drug cartel may affect trafficking in New England.
Contact UMass Lowell media relations if you need an expert source on any subject.

  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 at a convocation ceremony. Through LIRA, semi-retired or retired adults may enroll in college-level courses and programs regardless of their 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, Office of University Advancement and 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


  Constitutional Ramifications of Same-Sex Marriage Rulings Explored

When:     Wednesday, Sept. 18, noon

What:      Two UMass Lowell faculty members will discuss the U.S. Supreme Court’s rulings on same-sex marriage as they relate to the constitutional principles of equal protection, due process and federalism, alongside the public’s shifting attitudes on the topic. The presentation will mark Constitution Week, observed nationally Sept. 17 through Sept. 23 in honor of the Constitution’s signing in 1787. Leading the session will be Morgan Marietta, assistant professor of political science and author of “A Citizen’s Guide to the Constitution and the Supreme Court,” and Frank Talty, author of “Massachusetts Practice” and assistant dean of the College of Fine Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences. 

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 or


  Career Planner 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 and motivational speaker Rod Colon will share his thoughts during “The Latin Difference: Leveraging Your Heritage for Success,” one of several campus events recognizing 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 UMass Lowell’s university’s Office of Multicultural Affairs, Latin American Student Association and 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


  UMass Lowell Celebrates Opening of Residence Hall 

When:     Thursday, Sept. 19, 1 p.m.

What:      UMass Lowell students, faculty and staff, the UMass Building Authority and elected officials will celebrate the opening of University Suites, a $54 million, 472-bed residence hall on the university’s East Campus that includes the Hawk’s Nest Café and Red Mango frozen yogurt shop, which are open to the public. University Suites is one of two, brand-new residence halls that have opened in the past month that together provide housing to nearly 1,000 UMass Lowell students. Building tours will be offered after a brief speaking program.  

Where:    University Suites Courtyard, East Campus, 327 Aiken St., 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:      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


  Archaeologist Sheds Light on Life of Irish Immigrants in Lowell 

When:     Thursday, Sept. 19, 7 p.m.

What:      Colm Donnelly, an archaeologist from Queen’s University Belfast in Northern Ireland, will share what life was like for early Irish immigrants in Lowell during “From Tyrone to Lowell: Transatlantic Archaeological Research.”  The presentation will showcase the findings from excavations in the lawn of St. Patrick’s Church in Lowell, an area that was the heart of an Irish settlement in the early to mid-19th century. Since 2010, archaeologists from Queen’s University and UMass Lowell students have conducted digs in Lowell and Northern Ireland as part of the project. Free and open to the public, the event is hosted by the Northeast chapter of the Massachusetts Archaeological Society.   

Where:    R.S. Peabody Museum of Archaeology, Phillips Academy, 175 Main St., Andover

Contacts for media: Suanna Crowley, 627-877-6268 or or Nancy Cicco, 978-934-4944, 


  Center for Terrorism and Security Studies Launches

When:     Tuesday, Sept. 24, 1:30 to 4 p.m.

What:      Boston Police Commissioner Ed Davis will headline “New Security Challenges,” a symposium introducing UMass Lowell’s Center for Terrorism and Security Studies. UMass Lowell graduate Roger Cressey, former National Security Council deputy for counterterrorism, and Nicholas Rasmussen, deputy director of the National Counterterrorism Center, are also scheduled to speak at the event, which will bring together public- and private-sector professionals to discuss how the center’s experts will help address new concerns for leaders in the field. The center, part of UMass Lowell’s School of Criminology and Justice Studies, will conduct collaborative research on terrorism, cybersecurity, transnational crime and other related topics. The event is presented by UMass Lowell’s College of Fine Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences.

Where:    UMass Lowell Inn & Conference Center, 50 Warren St., Lowell

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


  Researchers, Investors, Educators Shape Nanotechnology’s Future  

When:     Tuesday, Sept. 24, 8 a.m. to 6 p.m.
                Wednesday, Sept. 25, 8 a.m. to 2 p.m.

What:      Entrepreneurs, investors, educators, researchers and policy-makers involved in expanding the fields of nanotechnology and advanced manufacturing will come together for the two-day conference, “Destination Nano 2013: Creating the Next Industrial Revolution.” Focused on exploring emerging opportunities in the medical, defense and industrial sectors, the event will feature a host of internationally renowned speakers, including UMass Lowell faculty, and showcase the plastics research and manufacturing capabilities of the Mark and Elisia Saab Emerging Technologies and Innovation Center at UMass Lowell. The conference is presented by UMass Lowell and Prince Lobel Tye LLP of Cambridge. For more information, visit

Where:    Mark and Elisia Saab Emerging Technologies and Innovation Center, North Campus, 40 University Ave., Lowell

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