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News from UMass Lowell for Week of Dec. 18, 2017

Story and Source Ideas for Journalists

CCI Director Juliette Rooney-Varga leads the simulation Photo by Ed Brennen
UMass Lowell Assoc. Prof. Juliette Rooney-Varga will headline a Jan. 11 event at which she will lead interactive exercises that will demonstrate how to take action against climate change and move toward a more sustainable future.


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, events are canceled. For more news about UMass Lowell, visit Please note that contact names below are for the media and are not for publication.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:
  • President Trump’s national security strategy, announced today, and its potential effectiveness;
  • What the near-record box office performance and merchandising  success of “Star Wars: The Last Jedi” means for Walt Disney Co., which owns the movie franchise;
  • Strategies for coping with holiday stress, from how to enjoy airplane travel to what to do when that other driver steals your parking spot at the mall.
Contact UMass Lowell media relations if you need an expert source on any subject.

Art and Design Majors Share Their Work, Inspirations at Events

When and where: Artists’ reception – Wednesday, Dec. 20, 5 to 7 p.m. University Gallery, Mahoney Hall, South Campus, 870 Broadway St., Lowell. 
What: UMass Lowell students studying for their bachelor of fine arts degrees will display their senior thesis projects during a free exhibition for the public and university community that features a variety of media, including photography, sculpture, 3D animation, web and app design, interactive installations and motion graphics. The students – from Amesbury, Andover, Billerica, Dracut, Lawrence, Leominster, Lowell, North Andover, North Reading and Wilmington – will talk about what inspired their art with fellow students, family, faculty and the public during an artists’ reception that will kick off the show. Members of the public who wish to view the exhibit after Dec. 20 should contact Deborah Santoro at 978-934-3491 or

Contacts for media: Deborah Santoro, gallery coordinator, 978-934-3491, or Nancy Cicco, 978-934-4944,

Enrichment Program for Seniors Kicks Off Winter Session

When and where: Wednesdays, each week from Jan. 3 through Feb. 21 at 10 a.m. University Suites, Room 106A, 327 Aiken St., Lowell

What: UMass Lowell’s Learning In Retirement Association, which offers enrichment classes and activities for adults, will kick off its eight-week winter session with a program on the revitalization of Lowell. More than 200 members strong, LIRA presents programs on a range of topics that promote academic and community engagement. Upcoming classes include presentations by UMass Lowell faculty on research into the potential causes of autism, mystery novels written by Canadian authors and philosophical theories that seek to answer questions about the meaning of life. Members of the public who would like more information on how to join may visit
Contacts for media: Nancy Cicco, 978-934-4944, or Christine Gillette, 978-934-2209,

Interactive Event to Explore How to Slow Climate Change

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

What: Internationally renowned climate-change expert Juliette Rooney-Varga will lead an interactive program that will demonstrate what it would take to create a stable climate and a thriving “green” economy – and what doing so could mean for the future of Massachusetts. Rooney-Varga, director of UMass Lowell’s Climate Change Initiative and an environmental biology professor, is the developer of role-playing exercises that show what it’s like to negotiate international climate-change agreements, such as the pacts arrived at by the United Nations. The simulations have been performed by hundreds of people, from students to world leaders. The event, which benefits student scholarships, is the latest in the university’s Faculty Showcase Series. Admission is $25 per person ($20 for UMass Lowell alumni from the classes of 2007 through 2017). Members of the public who would like to attend should register at or email

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

Vietnamese Festival Celebrates Lunar New Year

When and where: Sunday, Jan. 28, 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. UMass Lowell Inn & Conference Center, 50 Warren St., Lowell

What: The Lunar New Year – one of the most important events in Vietnamese culture – will be celebrated at a free festival for the public that showcases the traditions behind this holiday. Filled with games, music and live performances, the program ushers in the Year of the Rooster and is presented by UMass Lowell’s Vietnamese Student Association in partnership with the Lowell’s Vietnamese community. Members of the public who would like more information should email
Contacts for media: Nancy Cicco, 978-934-4944, or Christine Gillette, 978-934-2209,