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News from UMass Lowell for Week of Feb. 10, 2014

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 Please note that contact names below are for the media and are not for publication.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:
  • Strategies to eat better and get physically fit as part of American Heart Month;
  • The federal government’s plans to expand rights for same-sex couples;
  • The latest round of Syrian peace talks, which began on Monday;
  • How authorities at the 2014 Winter Olympic Games may address potential security threats, such as suicide bombers and other acts of terrorism.
Contact UMass Lowell media relations if you need an expert source on any subject.

Public Offered Free Tour of UMass Lowell’s Robotics Testing Center  

When:     Wednesday, Feb. 12, 10 a.m. to noon

What:      A free tour will introduce the public and members of UMass Lowell’s Learning in Retirement Association (LIRA) to the New England Robotics Validation and Experimentation Center at UMass Lowell. The NERVE Center – the most advanced robotics-testing facility in the country – includes more than a dozen courses that test the strength, design and functionality of robots being developed for business, industry and home use. Leading the tour will be Adam Norton, the center’s manager and a UMass Lowell graduate, who will demonstrate a robot. Through LIRA, semi-retired or retired adults may enroll in college-level courses and programs regardless of their educational background. The LIRA program 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:    NERVE Center at UMass Lowell, 1001 Pawtucket Blvd., Lowell

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

Leaders Gather to Develop Student Service Opportunities  

When:     NOTE: Originally scheduled for Thursday, Feb. 13 at 8:30 a.m., this event has been postponed until further notice.

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 has been named to the President’s Higher Education Honor Roll for Community Service for the fourth year in a row 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

Broadway’s ‘Romeo and Juliet’ Comes to Local Movie Theaters  

When:     Local showings are Thursday, Feb. 13 at 7 and 7:30 p.m., Sunday, Feb. 16 at 3 p.m. and Tuesday, Feb. 18 at 2 p.m.

What:      Movie-goers will experience the power of the theater as the 2013 Broadway production of “Romeo and Juliet – starring Orlando Bloom and Condola Rashad as the star-crossed couple – will be shown in cinemas across North America. Thanks to BroadwayHD, co-created by Tony Award-winning producers Bonnie Comley, a 1981 UMass Lowell graduate, and her husband Stewart Lane, live performances were filmed in high-definition and will be presented to the general public at local movie theaters through a partnership with Screenvision. Comley and Lane’s commitment to the theater world runs deep; a gift from the couple in 2007 allowed UMass Lowell to renovate its stage in Mahoney Hall on South Campus and rename it the Comley-Lane Theatre. Comley, a native of Bedford, was the 2010 recipient of UMass Lowell’s Distinguished Alumni Award. For show times and tickets, visit
Where:    Participating local movie theaters include – Lowell Showcase Cinemas, 32 Reiss Ave., Lowell; Woburn Showcase Cinemas, 25 Middlesex Canal Parkway, Woburn; Regent Theatre, 7 Medford St., Arlington and Cinemagic 12, 11 Executive Park Drive, Merrimack, N.H. 

Contacts for media: Michele Clarke, 203-912-0560 or or Nancy Cicco, 978-934-4944, 

Free Orchestra Concert Celebrates Romance on Valentine’s Day  

When:     Friday, Feb. 14, 7:30 p.m. 

What:      Free and open to the public, UMass Lowell’s Valentine’s Day Concert will feature the University Orchestra in a program that celebrates the holiday. Performed under the direction of conductor Mark Latham, of UMass Lowell’s Department of Music, selections will include “Romeo and Juliet Fantasy Overture” by Tchaikovsky, “Carmen Suite” by Bizet and the “Titanic” film score by James Homer. Acclaimed poet Paul Marion, UMass Lowell’s executive director of community and cultural affairs, will read from his work and baritone Mark Cleveland will perform a variety of arias. Donations accepted at the door will go toward UMass Lowell student scholarships.  

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

Encouraging Artists to Develop as Entrepreneurs 

When:     Wednesday, Feb. 19, 5 p.m.

What:      Artists and musicians will gain insight into how to promote their work in today’s economy – relying less on cultural institutions and more on their own entrepreneurship – during this free, public discussion led by John-Morgan Bush, a member of UMass Lowell’s music faculty. Strategies that can help emerging artists overcome career obstacles will be discussed. Bush is the director of UMass Lowell’s String Project, which provides instruction in stringed instruments to Lowell schoolchildren. The event is presented by UMass Lowell’s DifferenceMaker Program and the Center for Arts and Ideas.

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

Book Discussion Series Explores Lowell’s History

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

What:      The UMass Lowell Libraries are hosting a free, reading and discussion series about the history of Lowell. Remaining events in the series feature local historians including UMass Lowell Profs. 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: 
  • “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; free copies of the 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 Thursday, Feb. 20 and Tuesday, April 8 will be held from 6:30 to 8:30 at Pollard Memorial Library, 401 Merrimack St., Lowell. The Tuesday, March 11 session will be held from 7 to 9 p.m. at 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