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News from UMass Lowell for Week of May 14, 2018

Story and Source Ideas for Journalists

Paul E. Tsongas Center at UMass Lowell
Members of UMass Lowell's Class of 2018 will receive their diplomas at Commencement exercises on Saturday, May 19 at the Tsongas Center at UMass Lowell.


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. This is the last edition of “UMass Lowell this Week” for the academic year. For more news about UMass Lowell, visit Please note that contact names below are for the media and are not for publication.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:
  • The U.S. embassy in Israel’s move to Jerusalem and its impact on international relations as deadly protests erupt; 
  • The national poll that found a majority of American fans support legalizing betting on sports, which is now possible in light of a U.S. Supreme Court decision today; 
  • The Federal Drug Administration’s regulation of stem-cell therapies as the agency pursues lawsuits against two medical clinics;  
  • Strategies for parents to avoid empty nest syndrome as countless graduates across the country prepare to move on and out.  
Contact UMass Lowell media relations if you need an expert source on any subject.

Dandeneau Hall to be Dedicated to Outstanding Alumnus 

When and where: Friday, May 18, 10 a.m. North Campus quad, 1 University Ave., Lowell

What: The UMass Lowell community will celebrate the dedication of Dandeneau Hall in honor of outstanding alumnus James Dandeneau ’80 and his family at an event that will feature students, faculty, staff and university leaders. Thanks to the Dandeneau family – which also includes wife Deb, daughter Lauren and son Ryan, a 2010 UMass Lowell graduate – the building has been renovated and will be home to student computer and robotics labs and space for engineering and computer science faculty. Speakers are scheduled to include UMass Lowell Chancellor Jacquie Moloney, James Dandeneau and Jennifer Barrington, a plastics engineering major from Chelmsford who is a recipient of a Dandeneau Family Scholarship. Dandeneau, of Dayville, Conn., is a graduate of UMass Lowell’s plastics engineering program and the founder, president and CEO of Putnam Plastics, which makes catheter assemblies and other medical devices. He will also receive an honorary degree during the morning Commencement ceremony on Saturday, May 19.

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

Commencement Eve Honors Best in Class of 2018, Alumni 

When and where: Friday, May 18, 5:30 p.m. University Crossing, 220 Pawtucket St., Lowell

What: UMass Lowell’s Commencement Eve Celebration will honor outstanding graduating seniors who have excelled in academics and service to the campus and community, along with alumni and distinguished guests. The event, which is a fundraiser for student scholarships, features the presentation of top student awards, which will go to residents of Andover, Burlington, Charlton, Chelmsford, Dracut, Fall River, Haverhill, Hudson, Lowell, Medford, Methuen, Milford, Monson, North Andover, Shirley, Somerville, Tewksbury, Vineyard Haven, Waltham, Westford and Worcester, along with Plaistow, N.H. The event also recognizes the recipients of honorary degrees and the Distinguished Alumni Award, who will participate in a question-and-answer session moderated by bestselling author and UMass Lowell English Prof. Andre Dubus III. U.S. Rep. Niki Tsongas, who will be awarded a Chancellor’s Medal for Distinguished Service at the Commencement ceremony the next morning, is also scheduled to participate. The annual event has raised millions of dollars for student scholarships since 2008. 

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

Pulitzer Prize-Winning Author, Legislator to Address Graduates 

When and where: Saturday, May 19 ceremonies at 9 a.m. and 2:30 p.m. Tsongas Center at UMass Lowell, 300 Martin Luther King Jr. Way, Lowell 

What: Pulitzer Prize-winning author Jon Meacham and U.S. Rep. Niki Tsongas will address graduates of UMass Lowell’s Class of 2018 at Commencement ceremonies. In recognition of their outstanding achievements, Tsongas will be presented with the Chancellor’s Medal for Distinguished Service and Meacham will receive an honorary doctoral degree, along with alumnus James Dandeneau ’80, founder, president and CEO of Putnam Plastics, and Groton School Headmaster Temba Maqubela. Mark Russell ’83, Raytheon Co. vice president, will receive the Distinguished Alumni Award. Meacham, a presidential historian, will address graduates during the morning ceremony, while Tsongas – who in 2007 became the first woman in 25 years to represent Massachusetts in Congress – will speak during the afternoon ceremony. Members of the media interested in covering this event should contact UMass Lowell media relations for credentials and other details. 

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

Art and Design Students to Exhibit Senior Projects 

When and where: Exhibit runs through Saturday, May 19 at Mahoney Hall – including in the University Gallery and Mahoney Gallery – located on South Campus at 870 Broadway St., Lowell 

What: UMass Lowell art and design students who will receive their degrees at Commencement on Saturday, May 19 will showcase their senior thesis projects at a free artists’ reception and exhibit for the campus and public. Works include paintings, photography, 3-D animation, mixed media, web design and interactive installation projects. Participating students are from Ashby, Billerica, Burlington, Chelmsford, Dracut, Dunstable, Everett, Groton, Lawrence, Leominster, Lowell, Lunenburg, Lynn, Methuen, North Andover, Tewksbury, Townsend, Wellesley, Westford, Woburn and Worcester, along with Hampton and Salem, N.H., and Tobyhanna, Pa. Gallery hours are Monday through Friday, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. and Saturday, May 19, from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Members of the public who would like more information should contact

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

Medical-Device Business Incubator Hosts Pitch Contest   

When and where: Wednesday, May 30, 5 p.m. UMass Medical School, Amphitheater No. 3, 55 Lake Ave. North, Worcester 

What: Entrepreneurs looking to bring their innovations to market will pitch their ideas before expert judges at a competition presented by the Massachusetts Medical Device Development Center (M2D2). Contestants will share their work, including developing a biosensor that can identify cells in real time, creating biomarkers for neurological diseases, advancing technology to improve cancer treatments and designing noninvasive imaging to help identify skin cancer. M2D2 draws on the resources and expertise available at UMass Lowell and UMass Worcester to assist entrepreneurs in the medical-device and biotech sector in moving new products from concept to commercialization. MDG Boston is co-hosting the event, which includes a networking opportunity and tours of M2D2’s new lab. Members of the public who would like to attend should contact

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

Event Explores Mid-Term Election’s Predicted Impact on Country - Event postponed until fall

When and where: Thursday, May 31, 6 p.m. University Crossing, 220 Pawtucket St., Lowell

What: UMass Lowell experts will discuss how the 2018 mid-term election could shape the national conversation and policy on topics including politics, business and the environment at a forum for the campus and public. Speakers are scheduled to include UMass Lowell Political Science Prof. Mona Kleinberg; Public Health Prof. Joel Tickner; and Erica Steckler, a professor in UMass Lowell’s Manning School of Business and co-director of the Richard and Nancy Donahue Center for Business Ethics and Social Responsibility. The event is one in the university’s Faculty Showcase Series. Admission is $15 per person; proceeds benefit student scholarships. Members of the public who would like to attend should email or call 978-934-3140.  

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

Meteorologist, Publishing Exec Headline Women’s Conference 

When and where: Tuesday, June 19. Keynote speakers at 8:45 a.m. and 2:30 p.m. UMass Lowell Inn & Conference Center, 50 Warren St., Lowell

What: Meteorologist and UMass Lowell graduate Danielle Niles and Linda Gadsby, vice president and deputy general counsel of publishing house Scholastic Inc., will deliver keynote remarks at UMass Lowell’s 2018 Women’s Leadership Conference. “The Power and Potential of Women” is a forum for professionals in business, education, government and the nonprofit sector to explore career and personal development topics and to connect with each other. Women leaders in medicine, financial services, marketing, professional and personal development, and higher education – including professors in UMass Lowell’s Manning School of Business and the Center for Women and Work – will be featured panelists. Members of the public may register to attend and find more information about the event at

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