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News from UMass Lowell for Week of Feb. 26, 2018

Story and Source Ideas for Journalists

Healthy Foods
Two presentations by author Maryn McKenna on Wednesday, Feb. 28 will examine the effect of big agriculture on the food we eat.


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 For more news about UMass Lowell, visit Please note that contact names below are for the media and are not for publication.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:
  • Advertisers’ relationship with the National Rifle Association, as big-name brands, from United Airlines to Wyndham Hotel Group, cut ties with the gun lobby in the aftermath of the Feb. 14 school shooting in Florida;
  • What’s next for the nation’s immigration policy, after the U.S. Supreme Court on Monday declined to hear a Trump administration appeal that sought to end protections afforded to individuals under the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program;
  • The experience of conducting research at the Winter Olympics and how the data will be used to improve future athletic competitions on the world stage. 
Contact UMass Lowell media relations if you need an expert source on any subject.

‘Big Chicken’ Author to Speak on the State of Modern Agriculture  

When and where: Wednesday, Feb. 28 at 2 p.m. at O’Leary Library Learning Commons, Room 222, South Campus, 61 Wilder St., Lowell and a second presentation at Lowell Telecommunications Corp., 246 Market St., Lowell, at 6 p.m.

What: The talk “Losing the Miracle: The FDA and the Fight to Control Farm Antibiotic Use,” will be presented by author Maryn McKenna at two presentations that are free and open to the public. The programs will draw on McKenna’s acclaimed new book, “Big Chicken,” which traces the way the use of antibiotics transformed modern agriculture, for better and worse. The events are presented by UMass Lowell, Lowell Telecommunications Corp. and Mill City Grows, a nonprofit organization co-founded by UMass Lowell graduate Lydia Sisson that provides access to land, locally grown food and education about sustainability to Greater Lowell residents.  

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

Broadway Producer, Alum, Screens Musical at Anniversary Event  

When and where: Thursday, March 1. Reception begins at 5:30 p.m. with screening of “Ernest Shackleton Loves Me” to follow at 7:15 p.m. Comley-Lane Theatre, Mahoney Hall, South Campus, 870 Broadway St., Lowell

What: Tony Award-winning Broadway producer, writer and performer Bonnie Comley – a UMass Lowell graduate and Bedford native – will return to campus with her husband Stewart Lane to celebrate the 10th anniversary of the university theater dedicated in their name. The event will include a reception on the theater’s stage with the couple and a screening of “Ernest Shackleton Loves Me,” by, the online streaming service they founded that brings the excitement of musical theater to viewers around the world through their computers and mobile devices. Tickets for the public are $75 per person for the reception and screening or $10 for the screening only. UMass Lowell students may attend the screening for free. Proceeds will support the Comley-Lane Endowment Fund, which enables professional artists to mentor UMass Lowell theater students. 

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

‘Mothers of Rock’ Concert Salutes Women Musicians

When and where: Saturday, March 3, 7:30 p.m. Durgin Hall, South Campus, 35 Wilder St., Lowell

What: “Mothers of Rock,” a concert that pays homage to women songwriters and performers in popular music, will be presented by UMass Lowell’s chapter of the Music and Entertainment Industry Student Association (MEISA), which provides members with real-world experience and networking opportunities. Songs made famous by Adele, Lady Gaga, Alicia Keys and Tracy Chapman will be among those performed by UMass Lowell students, along with youth who participate in Girls Inc. of Greater Lowell’s after-school programs. The ninth annual event is free and open to the public but donations will be accepted at the door. Proceeds from the show and a raffle of items donated by local businesses will benefit Girls Inc. The concert is part of Lowell Women’s Week, which celebrates the history, contributions and achievements of women in the Greater Lowell community. Free parking will be available across the street from the venue.

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

Forum to Explore Challenges Faced by Individuals with Autism  

When and where: Monday, March 5, 2 p.m. O’Leary Library Learning Commons mezzanine, South Campus, 61 Wilder St., Lowell 

What: Jean Frazier, executive director of the Eunice Kennedy Shriver Center at UMass Medical School, will lead a free program for the public and campus community on the medical and mental health challenges faced by individuals with autism. The talk will include a look at how medical conditions can first appear as emotional or behavioral symptoms that can complicate the diagnostic process. Various psychiatric disorders and how they may manifest in individuals with autism spectrum disorders will also be discussed. The event is presented by UMass Lowell’s Disability Studies Program and the Center for Autism Research and Education (CARE), which educates students and the public about issues relevant to the autism community and partners with local agencies to help improve the lives of those with ASD and their families. 

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

‘Three Mill Girls’ Weaves Tale of Lowell’s Textile Factories

When and where: Tuesday, March 6, 6:30 p.m. Lowell National Historical Park Visitor Center, 246 Market St., Lowell 

What: “Three Mill Girls,” a performance that introduces audiences to the life and attitudes of laborers who worked in Lowell’s textile factories during the Victorian era, will be staged by actor Marcia Estabrook. Open to all, the free event is presented by the Parker Lecture Series and the Tsongas Industrial History Center, a partnership between UMass Lowell’s College of Education and the Lowell National Historical Park that educates thousands of schoolchildren and teachers annually about the American Industrial Revolution. Members of the public who would like to attend should register by calling 978-970-5080 or emailing 

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

Film, Forum Track Success Stories of Women Entrepreneurs

When and where: Wednesday, March 7, 5:30 p.m. UMass Lowell Innovation Hub, 110 Canal St., Lowell 

What: “She Started It,” a documentary that charts the journeys of trailblazing business women in the world of high-tech startups, will be screened at an event presented by UMass Lowell’s Innovation Hub and the Manning School of Business. Following the film, a panel of local entrepreneurs, including UMass Lowell graduate Rajia Abdelaziz, co-founder of invisaWear personal safety system; Nicole Mauro, president of Harmonus medical devices; and Katherine Collins, a director of Prosperity Catalyst, which provides a market for goods made by women in Iraq and Haiti, will share their stories and answer questions from the audience. With locations in Lowell and Haverhill, UMass Lowell’s iHubs are business incubators where entrepreneurs can grow their enterprises while enjoying access to UMass Lowell’s experts and resources. 

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