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Women Professionals Explore Their Power, Potential at Event

UMass Lowell Conference Shares Strategies for Fulfilling Careers, Lives

Taniya Nayak
Interior designer and TV star Taniya Nayak, a UMass Lowell graduate, will be one of the keynote speakers during "The Power and Potential of Women" leadership conference on Tuesday, June 21.


Media contacts:  Nancy Cicco, 978-934-4944 or and Christine Gillette, 978-934-2209 or

* M E D I A   A D V I S O R Y *

Tuesday, June 21

8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. 

WHAT:  Successful interior designer and TV personality Taniya Nayak, a UMass Lowell graduate, and humorist Gina Barreca will headline “The Power and Potential of Women,” which will explore avenues for women’s success in the workplace and in their personal lives.

The conference will bring together professionals in business, education, government and the nonprofit sector to delve into topics that include negotiating salaries, building influence, mentoring and leading a healthy life. The event, which will feature more than 25 panel discussions and speakers, was founded by UMass Lowell Chancellor Jacquie Moloney – a national pioneer in higher education and an advocate for women’s success – in her inaugural year as the first woman leader of the university.

Nayak’s remarks will kick off the event at 8:45 a.m. Nayak is the brand ambassador for talk-show host Ellen DeGeneres’ home décor product line and counts actors and rock stars among her clients. Known for her appearances on HGTV and the Food Network, her success is also on display at a variety of Boston eateries, where her company, Taniya Nayak Design LLC, has created interior and exterior spaces. Raised in Weymouth, she earned a bachelor’s degree in business marketing from UMass Lowell and credits the university with teaching her the entrepreneurial skills that launched her career.

Barreca’s talk will begin at 2:30 p.m. Barreca uses humor to shine a light on gender politics and is the author of several books that tackle topics such as the workplace, aging, relationships and personal power. A professor of English literature and feminist theory, she has appeared on a variety of TV shows including “Oprah,” “Today” and “Dr. Phil.”

Other speakers are scheduled to include Chai Feldblum, commissioner of the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, and former Massachusetts Lt. Gov. Evelyn Murphy, who is the founder and president of The WAGE Project, Inc., a nationwide organization that seeks to eliminate the gender-pay gap.

WHERE:  UMass Lowell Inn & Conference Center, 50 Warren St., Lowell. Contact UMass Lowell media relations for directions and parking information.