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News from UMass Lowell for Week of March 17, 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.

Sources of the week are available to discuss:
  • Changes for the 2014 tax season and tips on filing returns;
  • The potential public-health effects and business impact of states’ request to retailers to stop selling tobacco products; 
  • The prevalence, assessment and treatment of autism, in advance of World Autism Day, Wednesday, April 2;
  • U.S. interception of a hijacked Libyan oil tanker and what it could mean for the nation’s stability.
Contact UMass Lowell media relations if you need an expert source on any subject.

River Hawks Head to TD Garden to Defend Hockey East Title   

When:     Friday, March 21, 5 p.m.

What:     The UMass Lowell River Hawks – the top-seeded team in this weekend’s Hockey East playoffs – will defend their 2013 league tournament crown in the semi-final round of the championships when they take on the Fighting Irish of Notre Dame at the TD Garden. The second game in the semi-finals, between the Providence College Friars and University of New Hampshire Wildcats, will follow at 8 p.m. The winners of Friday’s games will play for the league championship on Saturday, March 22 at 7 p.m. Before the puck drops on Friday, River Hawks fans will gather at The Harp at 85 Causeway St., Boston to cheer on the home team. Tickets are available locally through the Tsongas Center at UMass Lowell box office, at or by calling 866-722-8780. 

Where:    TD Garden, 100 Legends Way, Boston

Contacts for media: Peter Souris, 978-934-3771, or Nancy Cicco, 978-934-4944, 

Women’s Appreciation Dinner Honors Students, Faculty and Staff  

When:     Monday, March 24, 5 to 7 p.m.

What:      The fifth annual Women’s Appreciation Dinner will celebrate the contributions of UMass Lowell women students, faculty and staff members to the university community and beyond. The keynote speaker is UMass Lowell graduate Paula Alexander ’93, who retired from Eastman Kodak Co. as its human resource director of global functions and has 35 years of experience in the field. The event is free and open to the public; those interested in attending are asked to register in advance by contacting Joseph Guzman at The event is presented by UMass Lowell student group Men Achieving Leadership Excellence and Success (M.A.L.E.S.).

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

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

Medical-Device Innovators Vie for Share of $50,000 at Competition   

When:     Wednesday, March 26, 5 to 9 p.m.

What:      Fifteen teams of entrepreneurs from early-stage companies will pitch their innovative ideas for new products at the Massachusetts Medical Device Development Center (M2D2) during its New Venture Competition. Presentations will focus on new ways to address industry needs in sports medicine, joint reconstruction and trauma. The teams – which hail not only from Massachusetts but also Ireland, South Africa and other points across the globe, will compete for a share of $50,000 in in-kind services, including facilities, engineering, legal, business and medical device assistance from the competition’s sponsors, Smith & Nephew, Nutter McClennen & Fish LLP and M2D2, a joint initiative of the University of Massachusetts Lowell and Worcester campuses.  

Where:    M2D2 Innovation Hub, Wannalancit Business Center, second floor, East Campus, 600 Suffolk St., Lowell

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

Students, Faculty Simulate Negotiation of Climate-Change Pact  

When:     Thursday, March 27, 4:30 to 8 p.m.

What:      What does it take for world leaders to mitigate climate change? UMass Lowell students and faculty members will find out when they participate in a real-world simulation of the negotiations of an international agreement that addresses the crisis. Associate Prof. Juliette Rooney-Varga, who teaches biological sciences and is director of the UMass Lowell Climate Change Initiative, will lead the session.

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

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

Free Electronic Music Concert Recreates Pink Floyd Classic   

When:     Thursday, March 27, 7:30 p.m.

What:      Showcasing the future of electronic music, UMass Lowell students, graduate Dan Tang and Mike Testa, a faculty member in the university’s sound recording technology program, will present a free public concert that will feature an interpretation of Pink Floyd’s classic “Dark Side of the Moon” album and other compositions performed on keyboards, iPad technology and prototypes of new musical instruments. A light show and special effects will complete the experience. The album, released in 1973, has sold an estimated 50 million copies and remained on Billboard’s top-selling chart until 1988. Free public parking will be available in the nearby Wilder Street lot.   

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

C areer-Building Program Gives Student-Veterans an Edge   

When:     Friday, March 28, 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.   

What:      Student-veterans at UMass Lowell are learning how to translate their military experience into job skills and potential new careers in the life-sciences industry through the Edge4Vets program. Participants who complete the program will earn a guaranteed interview for an internship from one of the program’s four sponsors: Covidien, Vertex Pharmaceuticals, Fresenius Medical Care and Haemonetics. Mentors will help participants assess their strengths, develop confidence and make connections that will help them find career success after graduation. With a growing national reputation for success helping veterans land civilian jobs, Edge4Vets was developed by Tom Murphy of the Human Resiliency Institute at Fordham University. UMass Lowell is the first Massachusetts university to offer the national program. More than 1,450 student-veterans attend UMass Lowell, which is ranked among the most military-friendly schools in the nation by G.I. Jobs magazine.  

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