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News from UMass Lowell for Week of March 24, 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. 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 Please note that contact names below are for the media and are not for publication.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 to discuss:
  • Why so many potholes happen this time of year and new laser technology that can help transportation agencies address the problem;
  • Innovative programs being developed for teens with autism-spectrum disorders, in advance of World Autism Day, Wednesday, April 2;
  • Changes for the 2014 tax season and tips on filing returns.
Contact UMass Lowell media relations if you need an expert source on any subject.

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

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

What:      Fifteen teams of entrepreneurs from early-stage companies will pitch their new product ideas at the M2D2 New Venture Competition. Presentations will focus on new ways to address industry needs in sports medicine, joint reconstruction and trauma. Competitors – who hail not only from Massachusetts but also Ireland, South Africa and other points across the globe – will vie for a share of $50,000 in in-kind services, including facilities, engineering, legal, business and medical-device assistance from the contest’s sponsors, the Massachusetts Medical Device Development Center (M2D2), a joint initiative of the University of Massachusetts Lowell and Worcester campuses; Smith & Nephew; and Nutter McClennen & Fish LLP, where the competition’s winners will be announced in a ceremony on April 8.  

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

  River Hawks Hockey Team Soars into NCAA Regionals  

When:     Saturday, March 29, 7:30 p.m. and Sunday, March 30, 5 p.m., if applicable  

What:     Fresh off clinching their second consecutive Hockey East tournament championship, the red-hot UMass Lowell River Hawks will face off against the Mavericks of Minnesota State University Mankato in the NCAA Northeast Regional Tournament. The teams will play a semifinal game on Saturday, March 29 at 7:30 p.m. with the winner moving on to the next round to face either the Boston College Eagles or the University of Denver Pioneers on Sunday, March 30 at 5 p.m. UMass Lowell’s berth marks the team’s third consecutive year in the regionals on the road to the NCAA’s national championship Frozen Four tournament, where the River Hawks competed last year. Tickets for the regional games are available through Ticketmaster at or through the DCU Center at

Where:    DCU Center, 50 Foster St., Worcester

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

  High School Students Debate Global Issues at Model UN Event   

When:     Monday, March 31 through Wednesday, April 2, 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.

What:     High school students from eastern Massachusetts and southern New Hampshire will learn about nations’ involvement in selected issues, develop writing and public-speaking skills and test their ability to negotiate at UMass Lowell’s fifth annual Model U.N. Conference, a simulation exercise that challenges students to advance selected countries’ positions on critical issues facing the global community. 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

  Meryl Streep Visits UMass Lowell for Chancellor’s Speaker Series   

When:     Tuesday, April 1, 7:30 p.m. Media check-in from 6:30 to 7:15 p.m.

What:      Fresh off her latest Academy Award nomination for her performance in “August: Osage County,” Meryl Streep will talk about her art, her life and her goals during the latest installment of the Chancellor’s Speaker Series. “A Conversation with Meryl Streep” will be moderated by bestselling author Andre Dubus III, a professor in UMass Lowell’s English Department. Proceeds from the event will support two UMass Lowell scholarship funds established by Streep, one for outstanding English majors and the other for students who excel in math. Streep’s appearance is co-sponsored by the university’s Theater Arts Program and the College of Fine Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences.  

Where:    Tsongas Center at UMass Lowell, 300 Martin Luther King Jr. Way, Lowell

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

  Students Dine and Dress for Success in the Professional World   

When:     Wednesday, April 2, 5 to 8 p.m.

What:      UMass Lowell students will participate in a simulated business dinner that will give them a chance to practice their etiquette and networking skills. Joining them for the meal will be representatives of Prudential, Northwestern Mutual Financial Network, Enterprise Rent-a-Car and other event sponsors, who will help them prepare for the professional world and life after graduation. The event is presented by UMass Lowell’s Career Services and Cooperative Education Center. 

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

  Schoolchildren Educate the Public through Cool Science Initiative   

When:     Friday, April 4, 3 to 5 p.m.

What:      UMass Lowell will honor 24 students from across the state for their contributions to an education project that is teaching thousands of Lowell Regional Transit Authority riders about climate change. Students from Belchertown, Cambridge, Chelmsford, Easthampton, Fitchburg, Holbrook, Lee, Lowell, Mattapoisett, Millbury, Milton, North Andover and Rochester are scheduled to attend a ceremony for the university’s second annual Cool Science Contest winners. The contest asked students in kindergarten through 12th grade to create artwork that addresses climate-change issues; the winning entries are displayed on and in Lowell Regional Transit Authority buses. The project is headed by David Lustick and Jill Lohmeier, professors in the Graduate School of Education. Cool Science is funded by a grant from the UMass President’s Creative Economy Initiatives Fund and UMass Lowell’s Graduate School of Education.

Where:    O’Leary Library Learning Commons, mezzanine, South Campus, 61 Wilder St., Lowell

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