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News from UMass Lowell for Week of Oct. 10, 2017

Story and Source Ideas for Journalists

Earth as seen from space
Students, faculty, staff and members of the community will gather at UMass Lowell on Thursday, Oct. 19 for the David Lustick Climate Change Teach-In.


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 For more news about UMass Lowell, visit Please note that contact names below are for the media and are not for publication.

Sources of the week 
UMass Lowell faculty experts are available to discuss: 
  • Amazon’s plans to move into the multi-billion dollar pharmacy market; 
  • How President Trump’s tax-reform proposal would affect the middle class; 
  • National Employment Disability Awareness Month, including tips for employers on how to help integrate workers with disabilities into the workplace;
  • How new discoveries about black holes are changing astronomers’ understanding of the nature of the universe. 
Contact UMass Lowell media relations if you need an expert source on any subject.

UMass Lowell Astronomer to Provide Free Talk on Celestial Phenomena
When and where: Tuesday, Oct. 10, 7 p.m., Pollard Memorial Library, 401 Merrimack St., Lowell

What: The Magellanic Clouds, which are two dwarf galaxies visible in the southern hemisphere’s skies, will be discussed by UMass Lowell astronomer Prof. Silas Laycock at a free presentation as part of the Pollard Memorial Library’s “Lowell Reads” program. This year, the initiative encourages members of the community to read “The Glass Universe” by Dava Sobel. The book recounts the true story of a group of women who helped advance the field of astronomy in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. Weather permitting, the event will include star-gazing through telescopes. Members of the public who would like more information should call the library at 978-674-4120.   

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

DifferenceMaker Event Toasts the Success of Student Entrepreneurs

When and where: Wednesday, Oct. 11, 6:30 p.m., University Crossing, 220 Pawtucket St., Lowell

What: UMass Lowell will celebrate the success of its DifferenceMaker Program, which teaches students entrepreneurship skills and enables them to launch new ventures with guidance from faculty and other mentors. Student teams also have the chance to vie for seed money to grow their ideas at a variety of pitch contests, including the DifferenceMaker Idea Challenge, held each spring. The event will include presentations by students behind the medical device “clot catch,” a new type blood-clot filter, and Green Roofs, which seeks to build environmentally friendly study spaces atop UMass Lowell’s libraries and residence halls. Over the past five years, the program has involved more than 25,000 UMass Lowell students, given rise to 17 student-led companies and supported the filing of seven patents. To date, DifferenceMaker teams have raised nearly $500,000 to support their ideas and enterprises.

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

Program Celebrates Lowell Author Jack Kerouac’s Legacy
When and where: Thursday, Oct. 12, 2 p.m., O’Leary Library Learning Commons, Room 222, South Campus, 61 Wilder St., Lowell 

What: The impact of Beat Generation icon and Lowell native Jack Kerouac – whose best-known work, “On the Road” was published 60 years ago – will be  highlighted in “The Origins of Cool in Post-War America.”  The event will explore how Kerouac’s work, along with those of his contemporaries and the artistic contributions of actors and jazz musicians in the 1950s, created a new definition of what was hip, according to author Joel Dinerstein, who will lead the conversation. Presented by UMass Lowell’s Jack and Stella Kerouac Center for the Public Humanities, the forum will close the “Lowell Celebrates Kerouac!” festival, which annually draws people from around the world to Lowell. Members of the public who would like more information about the event may email

Contacts for media: Nancy Cicco, 978-934-4944, or Christine Gillette, 978-934-2209,
Urban Planner Shares Work to Improve Residents’ Health
When and where: Thursday, Oct. 12, 5 p.m., Youth Development Organization, Everett Mill, No. 563, 15 Union St., Lawrence

What: How the neighborhood where people live can affect their health will be the topic of the second Ellen Swallow Richards Annual Lecture, which focuses on breakthroughs in science and engineering, as well as efforts to solve environmental problems. This year’s program is led by urban planner Mariana Arcaya, whose research seeks ways to better design communities that enhance physical and economic well-being. The lecture is named for the first woman to attend and teach at MIT. Richards conducted groundbreaking experiments of water in Lawrence that led the city to become the first in the U.S. to filter its entire water supply to prevent disease. The event is presented by UMass Lowell Prof. Chad Montrie and is funded by a creative economy grant from the UMass President’s Office. Members of the public who would like to attend the free event should RSVP to

Contacts for media: Nancy Cicco, 978-934-4944, or Christine Gillette, 978-934-2209,
UMass Lowell Pride to Shine at River Hawk Homecoming

When: Thursday, Oct. 12 through Sunday, Oct. 15

What: The public is invited to celebrate UMass Lowell’s River Hawk Homecoming, an event-packed weekend that will bring generations of alumni and friends of the university to campus and inspire current students. Family-friendly activities will include:
  • “Rise Up, A Celebration of Sport” – The gala will highlight UMass Lowell’s great moments in athletics and look to the future, as the transition to the NCAA’s Division I is complete and all teams are now eligible for post-season competition. Performers are scheduled to include Nashville recording artist and UMass Lowell graduate Jilly Martin and the UMass Lowell Gospel Choir. Members of the public who wish to attend should register at Thursday, Oct. 12, 5 p.m., Lowell Memorial Auditorium, 50 E. Merrimack St., Lowell.
  • “Hawkey Way” – A fan favorite, this free outdoor festival for all ages is filled with carnival games, food, music and more. Saturday, Oct. 14, 3 to 6 p.m., Tsongas Center at UMass Lowell, 300 Martin Luther King Jr. Way, Lowell.
  • Jennifer’s Fun Run/Walk – Held annually in memory of UMass Lowell graduate Jennifer D’Amour ’98, the 5K race benefits a scholarship fund for UMass Lowell women’s cross-country and track-and-field student-athletes. Registration begins at 9:30 a.m. and the race starts at noon. 
Events will also include hockey games on Friday, Oct. 13 and Saturday, Oct. 14. A full schedule is available at

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

Memorial Reception to Honor Life of First UMass Lowell Chancellor

When and where: Friday, Oct. 13, 10 a.m., UMass Lowell Inn & Conference Center, 50 Warren St., Lowell

What: Members of the UMass Lowell community will come together to remember William Hogan, the university’s first chancellor who is known as “the father of UMass Lowell.” The new William T. Hogan Scholarship Fund for Innovation and Engagement is one way UMass Lowell will continue to honor the legacy of Hogan, who passed away in July. Members of the public interested in attending the event or donating to the scholarship fund can do so at

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

Climate Change Action Leaders to Headline University Teach-In

When and where: Thursday, Oct. 19, 4 p.m., Cumnock Hall auditorium, North Campus, 31 University Ave., Lowell

What: Carl Spector, commissioner of Boston’s Environment Department, and Vanessa Rule, founder of Mothers Out Front, a nonprofit political action group working to mainstream renewable energy, will headline UMass Lowell’s David Lustick Climate Change Teach-In. The program “Building Communities for Climate Action” is expected to include remarks from UMass Lowell Chancellor Jacquie Moloney, along with interactive simulations that demonstrate the consequences of a variety of environmental scenarios. The annual event, named posthumously in honor of College of Education Prof. David Lustick, is presented by UMass Lowell’s Climate Change Initiative and faculty working on the university’s Climate Change Plan. Both the initiative and the plan inspire the UMass Lowell community to take action to achieve carbon neutrality on campus and throughout the community. 

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