Drop Spindle and Wheel Spinning: February

Discover the art of spinning fibers into your own unique yarns in this half-day class. You will learn the process of drawing out the fibers and adding twist to create a continuous thread of yarn, and more!

Schacht Hi-Lo drop spindle available at www.yarn.com under spinning supplies should you wish to purchase one: $21 plus shipping.

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– See more at: http://www.athm.org/programs-events/adult-programs/textile-arts-classes-workshops/#sthash.Gif4e8yr.dpuf

Computer Applications Courses Offered at MCC

Middlesex Community College’s Corporate and Community Education & Training Program offers a variety of noncredit computer applications courses for those interested in careers as personal computer applications specialists. Courses begin Feb. 4 on the Bedford and Lowell campuses.

Courses include:

Practical Computers­ – An Intro to PCs and Windows (TEC 602 30) – This course is an introduction to the computer and computer applications via lecture and hands-on activities. Students will gain an understanding of computer hardware, software and networks. Topics covered include, using Microsoft Windows for running programs, creating folders, and managing files. Students will also learn the basics of programs, such as Microsoft Word, Microsoft Excel and Powerpoint.

Computer Applications Certificate (TEC 618 30) – This course is for students who want to work in businesses that use, or want to use, microcomputer word processing, spreadsheet, presentation and database software packages. Microsoft Windows, Word, Excel, PowerPoint and Access are thoroughly explored in this program.

MS Excel 2013 Beginning/Intermediate (TEC 703 80) – This comprehensive course provides the in-depth, hands-on instruction needed to work with Microsoft Excel 2013. Students will learn the fundamentals of creating workbooks; performing calculations; using built-in formulas; formatting worksheets; combining, sorting and summarizing data; working with charts; and printing.

MS Excel 2013 Advanced (TE 704 80) – This course provides an overview of the advanced capabilities of Microsoft Excel 2013. Topics covered include, performing calculations across multiple worksheets; built-in functions including V-lookup, PMT; using What-if Analysis; analyzing data with PivotTables; automating repetitive tasks with macro; troubleshooting with auditing; and protecting the workbook.

To learn more about these or other Corporate and Community Education & Training programs at Middlesex, contact Mary Wheeler at wheelerm@middlesex.mass.edu or 781-280-3680.

Melissa Manchester to perform at UMass Lowell Feb. 28

LOWELL, Mass. – She’s studied songwriting with Paul Simon, was discovered by Barry Manilow and has written many of pop music’s enduring hits. Next month, consummate musician Melissa Manchester will bring her talents to UMass Lowell for a one-of-a-kind concert for the public and campus community.

“You Gotta Love the Life – An Evening with Melissa Manchester” will celebrate the Grammy winner’s 40 years in show business while raising scholarship funds and featuring young performers enrolled in UMass Lowell’s music-education programs. Manchester will take the stage at Durgin Concert Hall on Saturday, Feb. 28 at 7 p.m. The venue is located at 35 Wilder St., Lowell. This is the only New England show currently scheduled on her national tour.

Best known as a singer-songwriter and vocalist, Manchester is also an accomplished keyboardist. TV audiences may recognize her from her role as the mother on the ’90s sitcom “Blossom,” among other acting credits.

Tickets for the event go on sale Friday, Jan. 16 at noon and are $35 for the public and $15 for UMass Lowell students with valid student ID. Tickets for the concert and a VIP champagne reception with Manchester after the show – where she will be available to autograph “You Gotta Love the Life,” her 20th and first full-length album in nine years – are available for $125. Tickets for the public will be sold at the Tsongas Center at UMass Lowell box office, www.tsongascenter.com and 866-722-8780. UMass Lowell student tickets must be purchased in person at the box office. Prices do not include applicable fees.

A portion of ticket proceeds will benefit the Joyce Pang String Scholarship Fund for the UMass Lowell String Project. Pang was an outstanding violinist and assistant teacher with the String Project, a nationally acclaimed initiative that provides public schoolchildren throughout the Merrimack Valley with instruction in stringed instruments such as the violin and viola, as well as music classes and opportunities to perform for the campus and the public. Pang, who died last year, earned a bachelor’s degree in music performance and a master’s degree in music education at UMass Lowell. A Lowell resident, she also taught in the Lowell and Goffstown, N.H., school districts.

Members of the UMass Lowell String Project through its performance ensemble, the UMass Lowell Youth Orchestra, along with the University Choir and Lowell public-school choral groups will join Manchester on stage during the show for a rendition of her song “Plant A Seed” in tribute to Pang and a life committed to the performing arts.

With “You Gotta Love the Life,” Manchester pays homage to show business and her craft as a singer-songwriter. Mining a variety of musical styles, the album includes contributions from Stevie Wonder, Keb’ Mo,’ Dionne Warwick, Al Jarreau, Dave Koz, Joe Sample and actor Paul Reiser, with whom Manchester co-wrote the track “No There There.” Four cover songs, including Manchester’s emotional take on the Ronettes’ “Be My Baby,” a Latin-influenced mashup “Let’s Face the Music and Dance” and “From This Moment On,” highlight her love of pop standards and show tunes.  The new album is due out Feb. 10.

The Feb. 28 concert will cap Manchester’s three-day stay at UMass Lowell as an artist-in-residence. Her visit will include teaching classes and mentoring students in the university’s renowned music education, performance, business and sound recording technology programs.

“I’m really looking forward to my time there,” Manchester said about working with UMass Lowell students. “We can talk about performing, songwriting, the life. I will teach them about the music industry. They’re barely out of the starting gate and I can remember getting out of the starting gate. There’s so much ahead of them.”

Manchester’s residency has been made possible by UMass Lowell Prof. Gena Greher, coordinator of music education and the 2014 Nancy Donahue Endowed Professor of the Arts. The professorship was established in 2009 by Lowell philanthropists Nancy and Richard Donahue to promote music, art and theater education at the university.

“As a Grammy Award-winning singer-songwriter, performer, music businesswoman and teacher, Melissa Manchester is a living embodiment of the musical entrepreneurship we advocate for all our music students at UMass Lowell,” Greher said. “During her residency and benefit concert, many of our students will not only be learning from her, they will be working side-by-side with her as they assist, plan and perform with Melissa and her creative team.”

The concert offers local schoolchildren with a unique chance to interact with a master.

“Events like this are the special moments when music performance is made very real to students of the UMass Lowell String Project and Youth Orchestra. When they have the opportunity to perform with world-class artists, their music has a deeper meaning for their audience and for themselves,” said John-Morgan Bush, the programs’ executive director and a faculty member in the Music Department.

Born in the Bronx, Manchester signed her first publishing deal as a teenager with Chappell Music, advancing the rich songwriting tradition of the New York scene that thrives to this day. She began writing advertising jingles and later was one of a handful of students selected to study with Simon. Early in her performing career, she became one of Bette Midler’s backup singers, the Harlettes, after catching the eye of Manilow, a frequent Midler accompanist.

As a solo artist, she struck gold in the 1970s with hits such as “Midnight Blue” and “Don’t Cry Out Loud.” In 1978, she co-wrote “Whenever I Call You Friend” with Kenny Loggins, whose duet of the song with Stevie Nicks reached No. 5 on the Billboard chart. Manchester reached No. 5 on the chart herself with “You Should Hear How She Talks About You,” which earned her a Grammy for Best Female Pop Vocal Performance in 1983.

Along with writing and performing, Manchester teaches music to college and university students in southern California. In 1997, the National Academy of Arts and Sciences honored her with a Governor’s Award for her contributions to music and the recording arts. Throughout her career, her songs have been covered by artists from Barbra Streisand and Dusty Springfield to Indigo Girls and Alison Krauss. Along with Loggins, Manchester’s songwriting partners include Carole Bayer Sager and the incomparable Hal David, with whom she wrote “Other End of the Phone,” a new track for “You Gotta Love the Life.”

Histories of Lowell, Lawrence Focus of Free, Public Series

LOWELL, Mass. – The UMass Lowell Libraries will host a free, four-part reading and discussion series featuring local experts and authors who will share insights into the history of Lowell and Lawrence.

Back by popular demand this year, the local history series will begin on Tuesday, Jan. 27 and will feature UMass Lowell History Prof. Robert Forrant, UMass Lowell librarians Martha Mayo and Tony Sampas, and Lowell Fire Department Capt. Jason Strunk. Each will lead discussions on selected books from Arcadia Publishing’s “Images of America” and “Postcard History” series.

All sessions will run from 7 to 9 p.m. and be held in the O’Leary Library Learning Commons on UMass Lowell’s South Campus at 61 Wilder St., Lowell. Free parking is available across the street.

The sessions will be held on the dates and cover the book noted below:

  • Tuesday, Jan. 27 – “Lawrence and the 1912 Bread and Roses Strike,” led by Forrant, the book’s author;
  • Tuesday, Feb. 24 – “Lowell: The Mill City,” led by Mayo;
  • Tuesday, March 11 – “Lowell Firefighters,” led by Strunk, the book’s author;
  • Tuesday, April 9 – “Lowell: The River City,” led by Sampas.

Support for the series is provided by the UMass Lowell Center for Arts and Ideas.

“We are excited to offer our second reading and discussion series on local history and to enable these experts to share their knowledge with the public. This is our fourth series overall and we look forward to many more successful programs,” said Sara Marks, UMass Lowell’s instruction and outreach librarian. Previous discussion series focused on the works of Beat Generation writer and Lowell native Jack Kerouac.

Pre-registration is not required, but highly encouraged. Participants who pre-register will receive a copy of “Lawrence and the 1912 Bread and Roses Strike” by mail. Free copies of the other titles will be distributed at each session. Members of the public may pre-register at http://uml.beta.libguides.com/programming or by contacting Marks at 978-934-4581 or Sara_Marks@uml.edu.

The University of Massachusetts Lowell Libraries consist of the O’Leary Library Learning Commons on South Campus, Lydon Library on North Campus and The Center for Lowell History, located at the Patrick J. Mogan Cultural Center in downtown Lowell. Information regarding library services, hours and more can be found at http://libweb.uml.edu/.

MCC Receives Community Engagement Classification from Carnegie Foundation

The Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching has selected 240 U.S. colleges and universities to receive its 2015 Community Engagement Classification. Of this number, 83 institutions are receiving the classification for the first time, while 157 are now re- classified, after being classified originally in 2006 or 2008. These 240 institutions join the 121 institutions that earned the classification during the 2010 selection process. The Foundation congratulates all 361 campuses on gaining this important designation.

Colleges and universities with an institutional focus on community engagement were invited to apply for the classification, first offered in 2006 as part of an extensive restructuring of The Carnegie Classification of Institutions of Higher Education. Unlike the Foundation’s other classifications that rely on national data, this is an “elective” classification—institutions participated voluntarily by submitting required materials describing the nature and extent of their engagement with the community, be it local or beyond. This approach enabled the Foundation to address elements of institutional mission and distinctiveness that are not represented in the national data on colleges and universities.

“The importance of this elective classification is borne out by the response of so many campuses that have demonstrated their deep engagement with local, regional, national, and global communities,” said John Saltmarsh, Director of the New England Resource Center for Higher Education. “These are campuses that are improving teaching and learning, producing research that makes a difference in communities, and revitalizing their civic and academic missions.”

“This is the first time that there has been a re-classification process,” noted Amy Driscoll, Consulting Scholar for the Community Engagement Classification, “and we are seeing renewed institutional commitment, advanced curricular and assessment practices, and deeper community partnerships, all sustained through changes in campus leadership, and within the context of a devastating economic recession.”

Central to the classification process is a “documentation framework” developed by a team of advisors to help applicants (and reviewers) assess the nature of an institution’s community engagement commitments. This year, 241 first-time applicants registered to receive the application, 133 institutions submitted applications, and 83 were successfully classified as community engaged institutions. Similarly, 188 campuses were eligible for re-classification, 162 submitted an application, and 157 were successfully re-classified.

Among first-time recipients of the classification, 47 are public institutions and 36 are private. In terms of Carnegie’s Basic Classification, 28 are classified as research universities, 28 are master’s colleges and universities, 17 are baccalaureate colleges, four are community colleges, and five institutions have a specialized focus—arts, medicine, and other health professions. They represent campuses in 33 states and U.S. territories. In order to be selected, institutions had to provide descriptions and examples of institutionalized practices of community engagement that showed alignment among mission, culture, leadership, resources and practices.

The Foundation, through the work of the Carnegie Commission on Higher Education, developed the first typology of American colleges and universities in 1970 as a research tool to describe and represent the diversity of U.S. higher education. The Carnegie Classification of Institutions of Higher Education (now housed at Indiana University Bloomington’s Center for Postsecondary Research) continues to be used for a wide range of purposes by academic researchers, institutional personnel, policymakers and others.

A listing of the institutions that hold the Community Engagement Classification can be found on NERCHE’s website.

UMass Lowell Receives Grants to Solve Critical Issues in Criminal Justice

LOWELL, Mass. – Human trafficking. Sexual assault. Child sexual abuse. They are some of the most serious issues society faces today and the U.S. Department of Justice has turned to UMass Lowell faculty to conduct research needed to address those problems.

The National Institute of Justice (NIJ) – the research, development and evaluation agency of the Department of Justice – has awarded three grants totaling nearly $2 million to UMass Lowell faculty to conduct research that will guide federal and state policy in these and related areas. With the latest grants, UMass Lowell has received $4.2 million from the NIJ to support eight research projects addressing pressing topics including terrorist behavior, police discipline and the control and monitoring of sex offenders.

The new grants are:

  • $1 million to conduct the first-ever comprehensive nationwide assessment of sex offender registration and notification systems. The study – driven in part by a congressional mandate in the 2006 Adam Walsh Child Protection and Safety Act – is led by Andrew Harris of UMass Lowell’s School of Criminology and Justice Studies, who is one of the nation’s leading experts on sex offender registries. Working with Harris will be Joshua Dyck of the Department of Political Science and Vinod Vokkarrane of the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering.
  • $498,000 for research into the factors that influence the prosecution of child sexual abuse cases, led by Stephanie Block of the Psychology Department and Linda Williams of the School of Criminology and Justice Studies.
  • $490,000 to research the effects of new forensic-testing policies and protocols on the outcome of sexual assault cases, including the impact of state laws that require such testing. The research will be conducted by Williams, along with fellow School of Criminology and Justice Studies faculty members Melissa Morabito and April Pattavina.

All of the research efforts are designed to offer solutions to the problems of sexual violence and victimization, according to Harris, associate dean for research and graduate programs of UMass Lowell’s College of Fine Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences.

“The NIJ has increasingly evaluated research proposals based on their capacity to inform policy and practice,” said Harris. “Although our projects are varied in their focus, they are similar in their potential for application. These are not merely academic exercises; they are driven by our commitment to generating knowledge that will make a difference and enhance the safety of our society.”

“The selection of UMass Lowell faculty research projects for NIJ funding reflects the university’s growing reputation as an innovator and leader in criminal justice research and the expertise of our faculty researchers,” said Luis Falcon, dean of the College of Fine Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences.

MCC Trustees Vote to Name James Mabry Fourth President

The Middlesex Community College Board of Trustees has voted unanimously to recommend Dr. James Mabry be named MCC’s fourth president. Mabry currently serves as Vice President of Academic Affairs for Mesa Community College in Mesa, Ariz.

“The changing nature of education today requires that we have a president who understands those challenges and is able to adapt this college to meet them,” said Royall Mack Sr., chairman of the MCC Board of Trustees. “Dr. James Mabry has what it takes to move Middlesex to the next level.”

“It will be an honor to serve as the next president of Middlesex Community College,” said Mabry. “I will come to Middlesex, ready, willing and able to engage and inspire, to lead and to serve, to challenge and support. I am committed to providing progressive and visionary leadership, and will work tirelessly to serve the entire community.”

The result of a five-month Presidential Search process, the Board’s recommendation that Mabry become MCC’s next president will be submitted for final approval by the Board of Higher Education, which will vote in a special meeting to be held at noon, Tuesday, Dec. 16, in the BHE offices, 1 Ashburton Place, Boston.

Mabry holds a Ph.D. in U.S. History from Columbia University and a Master of Science degree from The London School of Economics. He earned his bachelor’s degree in political science from Columbia University’s School of General Studies, and his associate degree from the University of Maryland Overseas Division. He also holds a post-graduate certificate from Harvard University’s Graduate School of Education.

Prior to his current role, Mabry was Dean of Academic Affairs at Palm Beach State College, South Campus, in Boca Raton, Fla. He also served as Associate Dean of Academic Affairs at Dutchess Community College in Poughkeepsie, N.Y., where he was also an Assistant Professor of history. Mabry began his career as a high school social studies teacher in the New York City public school system.

Lowell General Hospital Partners with New England Organ Bank for the 2015 Rose Parade

Lowell General Hospital is pleased to partner with New England Organ Bank to honor and remember those who gave the gift of life through organ and tissue donation. On January 1, 2015, the Donate Life Rose Parade float titled ‘Never-Ending Story’ will include a garden of roses with handwritten dedications from hospital administrators across the country, including Amy Hoey, Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer of Lowell General Hospital.

“With this rose dedication, Lowell General Hospital recognizes our dedication and commitment to organ and tissue donation,” says Hoey. “We are excited to be part of this incredible celebration of life and are proud to help bring awareness to this important topic.”

Since its debut on New Year’s Day 2004, the Donate Life Rose Parade Float has become the world’s most visible campaign to inspire people to become organ and tissue donors. This year’s ‘Never-Ending Story’ float features 60 butterflies – one for each life that can be transformed by a single deceased donor – emerging from an open book. The butterflies ascend above 72 volumes adorned with floragraph portraits of deceased donors. The float will transport 30 riders, including transplant recipients, living donors and family members of deceased organ, eye and tissue donors.

To register as an organ and tissue donor, contact your state’s driver license renewal provider or visit www.DonateLifeNewEngland.org.

MCC Theater Department Presents Shakespeare’s ‘The Tempest’

Middlesex Community College’s Theater Department presents Shakespeare’s “The Tempest” in six performances Dec. 4 – 7, in the Lowell High School Burgoyne Theater, 40 Paige St., Lowell.

Curtain times are 7 p.m. Thursday and Friday, Dec. 4 and 5; 2 p.m. and 7 p.m. Saturday and Sunday, Dec. 6 and 7.

With “The Tempest,” Shakespeare sweeps the audience through stormy seas to an island where airy and earthly spirits captivate or free us. In his final play, Shakespeare turns to fantasy and magic as a way to explore romantic love, sibling hatred, and the love of a father for his child.

Tickets to “The Tempest” are $15 for the general public $10 for MCC students, staff and faculty and $8 for senior citizens. Tickets may be purchased in advance online or at the door. To purchase tickets by phone, call the box office at 978-458-5429 or purchase tickets online at: https://www.middlesex.mass.edu/performingarts/default.aspx

For more information about the MCC Theater Arts Department fall production, contact Karen Oster at osterk@middlesex.mass.edu or call 781-280-3939.

Designer Taniya Nayak Returns Home to UMass Lowell for the Holidays

LOWELL, Mass. – One of the country’s most engaging interior designers – best known for her appearances on the Food Network’s “Restaurant Impossible” and HGTV – will return to UMass Lowell next month to share insights about her dynamic career and her time on campus in a program for alumni and the public.

UMass Lowell graduate Taniya Nayak will give a motivational talk about her design work, life at UMass Lowell, family and how she balances it all. She will also offer design ideas for the holidays and everyday living at the event on Wednesday, Dec. 10 at 6 p.m. in Moloney Hall, located on the second floor of University Crossing, 220 Pawtucket St., Lowell. A question-and-answer session during the program will allow audience members to seek Nayak’s opinions about home-improvement and interior-design projects.

Tickets for the event are $30 per person and are available at http://alumni.uml.edu/homefortheholidays. A portion of the proceeds will support scholarships for UMass Lowell students. Members of the public who would like more information should call 978-934-3140.

Born in India and raised in Weymouth, Nayak’s love of decorating was evident at UMass Lowell where she adorned her room with painted furniture and handmade curtains. A member of the dance team who credits the university with helping to teach her entrepreneurial skills, she earned a bachelor’s degree in business marketing from UMass Lowell before receiving her master’s degree in interior design from Boston Architectural College.

Television soon came calling and her bold personality proved to be a good fit for the small screen. Audiences may recognize Nayak from her turn as a host of ABC Family’s “Knock First” or for the looks she has created for HGTV’s “FreeStyle” and “Designed to Sell.” She has appeared on “The Today Show,” “Good Morning America” and the “Rachael Ray Show” and has been featured in Architectural Digest India, Design New England, People magazine and Cosmopolitan.

As an interior designer on the Food Network’s “Restaurant Impossible,” she has transformed the décor of struggling businesses to rave reviews. Her success has also been on display at Boston hotspots such as Abby Lane, Back Bay Harry’s, Bostonia Public House, Petit Robert Central and many others, where her company, Taniya Nayak Design LLC, has created interior and exterior spaces.

“The education I received at UMass Lowell served as the ideal launching pad for me to pursue my passion for architecture and design,” she said. “I’m looking forward to seeing the university’s ongoing transformation firsthand and reconnecting with friends and faculty to help support the next generation of exceptional students.”

Along with designing commercial spaces, Nayak brings her talents to homes, counting actor Jesse Metcalfe of “Desperate Housewives” and “Dallas” fame and Aerosmith lead guitarist Joe Perry among her clients. She is an honorary board member and supporter of the Room to Dream Foundation, which remodels and brightens the living areas of Greater Boston children and teens who face physical and health challenges.

“We are so grateful for the tremendous pool of outstanding alumni who continue to give back to the university, including Taniya,” said Heather Makrez ’06, ‘08, UMass Lowell’s director of alumni relations. “We are very excited to have her share her experiences and her inspirational ideas with the public and her fellow graduates during this first-of-its-kind event to benefit student scholarships.”

Nayak’s talk is being held at University Crossing, which opened in September as UMass Lowell’s new hub for student services and amenities, along with community events. The complex includes the Crossroads Cafe and the River Hawk Shop, UMass Lowell’s newly expanded bookstore, both of which are open to the public.

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