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New Chancellor, Programs and Faculty Kick off School Year

On a Campus Rising, A Time of Elevation

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Chancellor Jacquie Moloney will welcome students back to campus with new faculty, campus improvements and expanded programs this fall.

08/26/2015
By David Perry

Anyone who thought summer meant stasis at UMass Lowell was wrong. On a campus rising, it was a time of elevation.

In August, Jacquie Moloney became the first woman to serve as chancellor at UMass Lowell in its 121-year history, following the election of her predecessor, Marty Meehan, as president of the UMass System. Moloney, a UMass Lowell alumna, served as Meehan’s executive vice chancellor and is well known on campus and beyond for establishing such programs as the Centers for Learning and Difference Makers and especially for her pioneering efforts in online education. The first 90 days of Moloney’s first academic year as chancellor (#First90) will include meetings around campus and a challenge grant competition to spur advances toward the university’s strategic goals. 

Throughout the summer, momentum of campus growth and development continued unabated. New buildings continued to rise, new faculty and staff arrived and the university continued to deepen its connection to the city’s downtown.

That growth comes as UMass Lowell’s enrollment has increased to 17,500, the largest in its history and a 50 percent rise since 2007. The largest group of new students ever – more than 2,800 freshmen and transfers – has enrolled for the fall 2015 semester. 

New Programs, New Faculty

The College of Fine Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences starts the school year with 17 new associate and assistant professors who come from across the country and represent numerous areas of expertise. Several instructors will teach interdisciplinary subjects including digital humanities (the intersection of computing and the humanities) and classes in women in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) fields, a new area of focus for the college. 

In the College of Health Sciences, there’s a new Health Sciences and Engineering collaboration that encourages freshmen research co-op students to work together on DifferenceMaker projects. A series of events will connect 60 health sciences and 100 engineering students, faculty and alumni with the goal of inspiring students to work on teams to solve real-world problems. A mixer event on Sept. 28 will feature keynote speaker alumna Wendy LaBate, senior vice president of operations at Genesis Healthcare.

With new programs and an increase in enrollment, Health Sciences welcomes 15 new faculty members in fields of public health, clinical sciences, nursing and physical therapy.
  
Undergraduates interested in the teaching profession have a new path for career exploration. The new iTeach program offers a living-learning community for first-year students. Students reside in Fox Hall and have opportunities for hands-on experiences in the classroom through job-shadowing, tutoring with local schools and direct interaction with a School of Education faculty adviser. 

For first-year engineering majors, there’s a unique chance to peek behind the curtain of their chosen profession with the living-learning community on Engineering Leadership on the first floor of Leitch Hall. Limited to 30 students, the community provides an opportunity to gain an inside look into career development for engineers, with access to alumni and local businesses. 

Also new this fall is the Maker Space for engineering students in the former North Campus bookstore. It’s a 100-student-capacity work and learning space, spread over 8,500 square feet, holding everything from 3-D printers to electronics and machining workstations.

Ten new faculty members are joining the College of Engineering, bringing expertise in a range of disciplines.

The College of Sciences is offering a new data sciences option in computer sciences and has updated the curriculum in its environmental science, geoscience and atmospheric science programs. Seven new tenure-track faculty members have been hired across a range of disciplines within the college.
 
Construction of the future home of the Manning School of Business moved ahead this summer.  Work will continue in the coming months, with move-in to the $45 million Pulichino Tong Business Building scheduled for spring 2017. 

The Manning School, which welcomes six new faculty members this fall, has joined the SAP University Alliances Program, which allows more than 2,300 member institutions worldwide to download resources and engage with the multinational enterprise software maker. Ernst & Young and PricewaterhouseCoopers will be recruiting on campus for the first time this fall, while Interim Dean Scott Latham will continue to lead the school for the 2015-16 school year.

Transportation

Students who want to take advantage of all that downtown Lowell has to offer – from numerous restaurants to eclectic shops to treasured national history – now have an easier way to get there.  Beginning this fall semester, a new “Downtown Express” bus line will run Wednesday through Friday, from 8 p.m. to midnight. The express line will loop from East Campus to University Crossing to a new downtown stop on Merrimack Street, across from the Jimmy John’s sandwich shop. The same Merrimack Street stop will also now be serviced, by request, by the Yellow North line during the day.

Dining Services

New dining options will be available on campus this fall. At Fox Hall, Rowdy’s Roadhouse and Sal’s Pizza will get new digs and offer late night dining until 1:30 a.m. University Crossing’s Crossroads Café, striving to offer more local brands on campus, is serving authentic Italian gelato from Dolce Freddo, which has stores in Methuen, Newburyport and Portsmouth, N.H.

University Dining Commons at Fox Hall and Mill City Restaurant on South Campus have added continental breakfast to their weekend menus from 8 to 10 a.m.

South Campus dining will get a completely new look in spring 2016 as part of a $34 million renovation to McGauvran Student Center. Look for 52,000 square feet of new dining space and choices that run from deli sandwiches to salads, pizzas, pasta stations and gluten-free options. Retail food options Subway and Freshii will be on tap, as will a bakery and grab-and-go options. 

Student Leadership

The Office of Student Activities & Leadership has expended its Leadership in Motion program, offering students new opportunities to development skills. The three-part program prepares students for leadership roles on campus and for life after graduation.

Sometimes, You Need a Run

Students, faculty and staff who want to establish a running routine can head to the Campus Recreation Center. A staff trainer will lead weekly 5K runs this semester. The runs leave the CRC at 4:45 p.m. on Tuesdays from Sept. 8 through Oct. 27.

For those who want to use the campus bicycle share program, you can plan your trip ahead of time through the Free Wheeler web app, which allows you to see how many bikes are available at each location and reserve a bike up to 10 minutes ahead of time. 

The new headcount ticker on the CRC website will also help you plan your workout schedule by showing how busy the basketball courts, CRC Fitness Center or Riverview Suites Fitness Center are. Visit the site and look under “Current Usage” on the home page.

Sustainability Starts at Move-In

What to do with all those empty boxes and packing materials after you’ve moved in to your residence hall? The Office of Sustainability has set up two Dumpsters at every residence hall on campus — one for zero-sort recycling and one for trash. You can’t miss them.