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International Week Spotlights Diversity

Culture, History, Food and Festivity

UMass Lowell joins the other four system campuses and universities from more than 100 nations worldwide in celebrating International Education Week from Nov. 15 through 19.

By Sandra Seitz

New ideas, heightened enthusiasm, cross-cultural experience ߝ UMass Lowell is a campus on the move with expanded international programs and partnerships.

“International activity makes academic life more exciting for the faculty and the students,” says Provost Ahmed Abdelal.

UMass Lowell joins the other four system campuses and universities from more than 100 nations worldwide in celebrating International Education Week from Nov. 15 through Nov. 19.  This year's theme is "International Education: Striving for a Sustainable Future."

UMass President Jack M. Wilson noted that International Education Week holds special significance for UMass, given the University's ever-expanding global reach.

"This important week highlights the enduring relationships the University of Massachusetts has formed with partners and colleagues from every corner of the world. Our diverse portfolio of global initiatives, coupled with UMass faculty engaged in international teaching, research and service, underscores the University's commitment to preparing students to compete and collaborate in an increasingly global society," President Wilson said.


At UMass Lowell, the first International Week event kicks off on Monday, Nov. 15, with “Iran: Music and Culture from a Personal Perspective.” Traditional Iranian desserts will be served in the Trustees Room in Cumnock Hall, 3 ߝ 4 p.m., sponsored by the International Students and Scholars Office, ISSO.

Prof. Majid Charmchi, alumna Dr. Samira Farboodmanesh and Ph.D. student Dena Saadat, all from the Mechanical Engineering Department, will share their perspectives.


On Tuesday, Nov. 16, a panel discussion on the history and culture of Nigeria will start at noon in Alumni Hall on North. Sponsored by ISSO, a Nigerian-style lunch will be served.

Assoc. Prof. Oliver Ibe, of the Electrical and Computer Engineering Department, will anchor the panel, joined by undergraduate students Merrytime Ebhohon, electrical engineering major, and Solomon Ileanaju Ugbane, mechanical engineering major. Graduate student in energy engineering, Chukwuemeka Michael Udeji, completes the panel.             

Nonviolence Studies

On Wednesday, Nov. 17, promising new social science research is the focus of “The Power of Nonviolence Around the World,” a presentation by Prof. David Cortright, the director of policy studies at the Kroc Institute and chairman of the board of the Fourth Freedom Forum in Goshen, Ind.

Cortright will review historical and recent examples of nonviolent resistance ߝ including the struggles in Serbia, Ukraine and Nepal ߝ and his own experience as an activist to explain why nonviolence is so effective.

The nonviolence presentation begins at 5 p.m. in the Durgin Hall recital hall (lower level) on South. The Middle East Center for Peace, Development and Culture is sponsoring the event.


On Thursday, Nov. 18., UMass Lowell students from Turkey will present posters and a slide show about Turkish culture from 2 to 3:30 p.m., in Room 222 of O’Leary Library, South. Turkish tea and dessert will be served and the event is sponsored by ISSO.


Also on Nov. 18, the UMass Lowell Hellenic Studies Center and the UMass Lowell Center for Arts and Ideas are co-sponsoring “The Violin and Lyras of Greece.” A lecture-performance featuring traditional folk music from all regions of Greece, the event features two student performers: Beth Bahia Cohen on violin and lyras, and Mac Ritchey on laouto and percussion.

Starting at 7 p.m. in Fisher Hall at Durgin Hallon South, the performance is free to members of the Hellenic Culture and Heritage Society; $10 for the general public.

Festival -- Music, Dance and Food

International Week wraps up on Saturday, Nov. 20, with a gala Intercultural Festival ߝ a night of music, dance and food from around the world. Taking place from 6 to 11 p.m. in Cumnock Hall on North, the event is sponsored by ISSO. Students, faculty and staff are encouraged to wear international or western semi-formal attire.