Skip to Main Content

News from UMass Lowell for the Week of Jan. 21

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. In case of inclement weather, call UMass Lowell’s weather hotline at 978-934-2121; if the university is closed, all events are canceled. Please note that contact names below are for the media and are not for publication. 

Sources of the week are available to discuss:  
  • Authorities’ hunt for suspected terrorists in advance of the Winter Olympics in Sochi;
  • President Obama’s upcoming State of the Union Address and his priorities for the year;
  • The outlook for the winter flu season.

Contact UMass Lowell media relations if you need an expert source on any subject.

Exhibit Showcases Mexican, American Popular Culture 

When:     Artists’ talk, Tuesday, Jan. 28, 3 p.m. Exhibit runs through Friday, Feb 14. Gallery hours are Monday through Friday, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.

What:      Acclaimed visual artists Elaine Bay and Raul Gonzalez III will share their artwork during a talk and the exhibit “Riding toward Ninguna Parte,” which reveals Mexican and American culture. Described as comic, dark and graphic, their pieces are influenced by sources such as Mad magazine, Japanese prints, early American folk art, and Mexican-American border culture. The show is presented by the UMass Lowell Art Department.
Where:    Artists’ talk – O’Leary Library Learning Commons, Room 222, South Campus, 61 Wilder St., Lowell; Exhibit – University Gallery, first floor, McGauvran Student Center, South Campus, 71 Wilder St., Lowell

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

Community Celebrates Vietnamese New Year on Campus

When:     Saturday, Jan. 25, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

What:      The community will ring in the Vietnamese New Year with food, music, artwork and performances by UMass Lowell groups and other guests during this celebration presented by the university’s Vietnamese Student Association. Admission is $5 for the general public, $3 for UMass Lowell students and free for children. Members of the public interested in more information about attending should contact Constanza Cabello at or 978-934-4336.
Where:    Cumnock Hall, North Campus, 31 University Ave., Lowell

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

Local Schoolchildren Perform Free Concert with String Project

When:     Sunday, Jan. 26, 3 p.m. Rescheduled from Sunday, Dec. 15.

What:      The UMass Lowell String Project, comprised of 88 Lowell schoolchildren ages 8 to 18, will present a free concert for the public. Three ensembles featuring students playing violin, viola and cello, as well as the UMass Lowell Youth Orchestra will perform during the Winter Showcase. The String Project, directed by John-Morgan Bush of the UMass Lowell Music Department, provides instrumental music lessons to Lowell public school students with master teacher Donna Nagle and UMass Lowell student teachers. Through the support of UMass Lowell and 2013-2014 season sponsor Johnson String Instrument of Newton, the project plays an integral role in local arts culture and music education for children. Free parking is available in the Wilder Lot. More information is available at

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

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

Programs Honor Martin Luther King Jr.’s Legacy

When:     Sunday, Jan. 26 through Wednesday, Jan. 29  

What:      As the UMass Lowell community returns from the semester break, it will honor and advance the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr.’s quest for social equality with programs that embrace his legacy. The series will center on the topic “Until All Are Free.” The series is presented by the university’s Office of Multicultural Affairs. Events include:
  •  Day of service – Sunday, Jan. 26, noon to 3 p.m. Students will participate in a variety of public service activities, from packaging books to be distributed to children to writing letters to senior citizens. University Suites, Room 106, East Campus, 327 Aiken St., Lowell.
  • Oratorical contest – Monday, Jan. 27, 7 to 9 p.m. Students will speak on the topic “Freedom for Me, Freedom for You” in this annual competition that will award $150 to the winner. Alumni Hall, North Campus, 84 University Ave., Lowell.  
  • MLK Celebration Dinner – Wednesday, Jan. 29, 6 to 8 p.m. Charles Desmond, chairman of the Massachusetts Board of Higher Education, will be the keynote speaker at this event, which will include the presentation of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Distinguished Service Awards to representatives of UMass Lowell’s faculty, staff and student body, and the community who exemplify King’s mission and his life’s work. Cumnock Hall, North Campus, 31 University Ave., Lowell.

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

DifferenceMaker $25K Idea Challenge Teaches Entrepreneurship

When:     Monday, Jan. 27 and Tuesday, Jan. 28, 6 to 7:30 p.m. 
What:      The 2014 DifferenceMaker $25,000 Idea Challenge invites UMass Lowell students and young alumni to create and present a plan for a business, service or product that addresses a need in the community. The challenge is presented by UMass Lowell’s DifferenceMaker Program, which teaches students how to be innovators by engaging them in developing real-world solutions to problems. Participants pursuing different fields but a common goal will form teams and be mentored by UMass Lowell faculty members. The challenge begins with two kickoff events on Jan. 27 and Jan. 28 and continues throughout the spring semester, culminating in pitch contests before a panel of judges in April. Prize money will help fund teams’ work on the winning projects through the coming year. Two of last year’s winners have already seen success developing a new type of prosthetic limb and launching a business that offers a website streamlining options for restaurant customers. For more, visit

Where:    Monday, Jan. 27 – Mark and Elisia Saab Emerging Technologies and Innovation Center, Perry Atrium, North Campus, 40 University Ave., Lowell. Tuesday, Jan. 28 – O’Leary Library Learning Commons, South Campus, 61 Wilder St., Lowell  

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

Free Book Discussion Series Explores Lowell’s History

When:     Tuesday, Jan. 28; Thursday, Feb. 20; Tuesday, March 11 and Tuesday, April 8

What:      The UMass Lowell Libraries will host a free, four-part reading and discussion series about the history of Lowell. The series, which will begin on Tuesday, Jan. 28, will feature local historians including Richard Howe Jr. and UMass Lowell professors Robert Forrant and Marie Frank, along with Librarian Martha Mayo. Each will lead discussions on books on the city’s past. The sessions will cover the books noted on the following dates: 
  • “Legendary Locals of Lowell” on Tuesday, Jan. 28, led by Howe; 
  • “Images of America: Lowell Vol. 1” on Thursday, Feb. 20, led by Forrant; 
  • “Campus History: UMass Lowell,” on Tuesday, March 11, led by Frank; 
  • “Images of America: Lowell Vol. 2” on Tuesday, April 8, led by Mayo.
Anyone interested in participating is encouraged to register in advance; those who do will receive a copy of “Legendary Locals of Lowell” 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 Center for Arts and Ideas.

Where:    Sessions on Tuesday, Jan. 28 and Tuesday, March 11 will be held from 7 to 9 p.m. at O’Leary Library Learning Commons, South Campus, 61 Wilder St., Lowell. Sessions on Thursday, Feb. 20 and Tuesday, April 8 will be held from 6:30 to 8:30 at Pollard Memorial Library, 401 Merrimack St., Lowell

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

Leaders Gather to Develop Student Service Opportunities  

When:     Thursday, Feb. 13, 8:30 to 10:30 a.m.

What:       UMass Lowell faculty and representatives of Greater Lowell’s service organizations will strengthen their partnerships during the annual Community Connections breakfast. During the networking event, participants develop existing and new service opportunities outside of the classroom for UMass Lowell students to enrich their academic studies and enhance their civic engagement. UMass Lowell students, faculty and staff donate more than 120,000 hours in the community every year. The university was named to the President’s Higher Education Honor Roll for Community Service for the fourth year in a row in 2013 and holds the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching’s designation of community-engaged campus.

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

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