Historian, Researcher Earns Top UMass Lowell Faculty Honor

LOWELL, Mass. – Labor and industrial historian Robert Forrant has been named Distinguished University Professor, the highest distinction bestowed on a University of Massachusetts Lowell faculty member.

Forrant, a faculty member in the Department of History, received the honor for his outstanding contributions to teaching, research and service to UMass Lowell, including the development of public history projects, most notably about the cities of Lowell and Lawrence.

Forrant, who lives in Lowell, has taught at UMass Lowell for 22 years and helped to develop its new master’s degree in history. He has secured more than $14 million in research grants, either individually or jointly with colleagues, from agencies and organizations such as the U.S. Department of Commerce, Department of Education and Department of Housing and Urban Development, as well as the Russell Sage Foundation, National Institute of Standards and Technology, Lowell National Historical Park, the National Endowment for the Humanities, Massachusetts Foundation for the Humanities and the UMass President’s Office.

“I really appreciate this honor; I love this place,” he said. “UMass Lowell is a great place to do this work and the History Department has given me a great vehicle, in that I can pretty much teach what I like to teach. In particular, the cities of Lowell and Lawrence are living laboratories and offer a wonderful opportunity to teach students about the birthplace of the American Industrial Revolution.”

Community history and the social and economic development of the Merrimack Valley are hallmarks of Forrant’s work. In the coming year, he will engage UMass Lowell students in researching and writing a history of the Coalition for a Better Acre, a nonprofit organization working to empower residents and drive economic development in Lowell’s Acre neighborhood. He and his students will also conduct research in support of an exhibit about immigration to Lowell for the university’s Saab-Pedroso Center for Portuguese Culture and Research.

Forrant works extensively with the UMass Lowell Center for Asian American Studies, the Tsongas Industrial History Center and Lowell National Historical Park, where he helps train high school history teachers and involves students in creating exhibits, programs and digital archives.

In Lawrence, Forrant serves on the boards of Notre Dame Cristo Rey High School and the Lawrence History Center, where students in UMass Lowell’s Honors College recently presented programs on the local effect of urban renewal. Forrant served as the chairman of Lawrence’s centennial observance of the 1912 Bread and Roses Strike – an event considered by historians to be a watershed moment in the U.S. labor movement. As part of the celebration, he created an honors seminar about the strike for UMass Lowell students, produced commemorative and educational events, led walking tours of Lawrence, and collaborated on an exhibit and two books about the strike.

Forrant led the development of UMass Lowell programs that marked the 50th anniversary of the Voting Rights Act and commemorated the 1964 Civil Rights Act, in order to engage students, faculty, staff and the public about these and related issues. The informative six-month event series brought civil-rights activists to campus, along with a photo exhibit of images from the 1960s depicting African Americans’ quest for equal rights.

Forrant was nominated for the Distinguished University Professor honor by Associate Prof. Mignon Duffy, chairwoman of UMass Lowell’s Sociology Department and associate director of the university’s Center for Women and Work, which researches gender issues in the workplace. She commended him for mentoring students through his classes and the Emerging Scholars Program, which provides a year-long opportunity for undergraduates to apply what they are learning in the classroom to research with faculty members.

“His students praise his ability to challenge them to open their minds to new perspectives, to show them the relevance of history and to share his passion for history and social justice,” Duffy wrote in her nomination.

Beyond UMass Lowell, Forrant has served as a consultant to the United Nations Industrial Development Organization, the International Labour Organization, the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development, the International Metalworkers Federation and other trade unions. Before beginning his career in higher education, he worked as a machinist and union business representative. His book, “Metal Fatigue: American Bosch and the Demise of Metalworking in the Connecticut River Valley,” recounts his time as an employee of American Bosch in Springfield in the 1980s when the company shut down the plant and moved jobs elsewhere.

As part of his appointment, Forrant will deliver the annual Distinguished University Professor lecture during the spring 2017 semester.

UMass Lowell has previously recognized Forrant with the Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Distinguished Service Award. He is also the recipient of the UMass President’s Award for Public Service and a Massachusetts History Commendation from the Massachusetts Foundation for the Humanities.

The Distinguished University Professor, a three-year designation, is awarded annually by UMass Lowell. Forrant’s term runs through August 2019. Other honorees include Computer Science Prof. Holly Yanco, UMass Lowell’s 2015 recipient, and Civil and Environmental Engineering Prof. Pradeep Kurup, whose appointment runs through 2017. Past recipients include Work Environment Prof. Laura Punnett, Plastics Engineering Prof. Stephen McCarthy, Education Prof. Regina Panasuk, Physics Prof. Robert Giles, Work Environment Prof. Ken Geiser and Biological Sciences Prof. Susan Braunhut.

Middlesex Awarded Massachusetts Cultural Facilities Grant

Middlesex Community College has been awarded a $113,000 Massachusetts Cultural Facilities Fund grant to support renovation and transformation of the former Boston & Maine Railroad Depot into a performing-arts education center on the Lowell campus.

The Massachusetts Cultural Facilities Fund (CFF) is a state program that fosters growth of the creative economy by supporting building projects in the nonprofit arts, humanities and sciences. MCC’s award was part of $9.3 million in new grants recently approved by the MassDevelopment Board of Directors. Grants must be matched one-to-one from private and/or other public sources.

“Middlesex is honored to receive a Cultural Facilities Fund grant to support transformation of the historic B&M Depot into a performing-arts education center,” said MCC President James C. Mabry. “It provides a vital injection of public/private-sector support for this exciting project, and plays a critical role in helping the college continue our focus on student success.”

In 2008, Middlesex acquired the former Boston & Maine Railroad Depot from the Lowell Historic Preservation Commission. Built in 1878 in High Victorian Gothic style, the building, located at 240 Central St., is a significant landmark in the Downtown Lowell Historic District. Upon completion, it will provide space for dance, music and theater rehearsals and performances currently lacking on MCC’s Bedford and Lowell campuses.

CFF grants have helped restore many treasured historical and cultural landmarks. MassDevelopment and the state Cultural Council jointly administer the program. CFF grants remain highly competitive: The fund received 146 applications in this round.

For more background on CFF and its impact, visit: http://www.massculturalcouncil.org/facilities/facilities_about.htm

Middlesex Awarded $2.2 Million Grant to Foster Student Success

Middlesex Community College has been awarded a $2,205,024 U.S. Department of Education grant to expand its work on student success. To be distributed over a five-year period, the grant is part of the Title III Strengthening Institutions Program. This program helps eligible institutions expand their capacity to serve low-income students by providing funds to improve and strengthen academic quality, institutional management, and fiscal stability.

Grant funds will be used to implement the “eMCC: Success From the Start” program to improve the student experience and better assess academic performance. Funds will be used to improve the technology infrastructure used by both students and the institution.

“Middlesex plans to use this grant support to employ smart data and focus on student retention and success programs that will help keep our students on campus through the successful completion of a degree and position them for an educated entry into the workforce,” said President James C. Mabry.

The program will be implemented in two parts. First, the Student Experience portion of the plan will include the development of a comprehensive self-service program for students that will help them with enrollment, planning, advising, and success.

Second, the Academic Progress portion of the plan will help shape student success by providing faculty and staff with an analytical 360-degree digital view of student progress. This data will allow faculty and staff to better assess academic progress and provide timely interventions or guidance to promote student success.

“This is thrilling news for Middlesex Community College and will have a direct and immediate impact on students who are seeking to further their education at our campuses in Lowell and Bedford,” said Mabry. “Once again, the support of our federal partners Congressmen Tsongas and Moulton is helping further the mission of higher education and provide pathways to success for our students.”

Middlesex Community College Helps ITT Tech Students

In response to the closure of the ITT training facility in Wilmington and ITT students contacting Middlesex Community College for assistance with their education, MCC will host a Walk-In Registration & Consultation session from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. this Friday, Sept. 9, at the Lowell Campus Cowan Center, 33 Kearney Square. The event is open to the public and no appointment is necessary.

As the Commonwealth of Massachusetts works together to find solutions to assist the ITT students, Middlesex has been working with its local, state and federal legislators to seek ways to provide ongoing services to the impacted ITT students.

In light of the sudden closing of all 137 campuses of the ITT Technical Institute, including two in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, the Massachusetts Community Colleges Executive Office (MCCEO) is working with 15 campuses to offer support and assistance to all affected students. These abrupt closures are dislodging more than 35,000 students from their programs nationwide, including hundreds here in the Bay State.

Massachusetts Community Colleges are ready to partner with the U.S. Department of Education, the Massachusetts Department of Education, and the Massachusetts Attorney General’s Office to assist these former-ITT students. We urge all displaced ITT students in Massachusetts to contact your local community college to be advised on your educational transition options.

“The students at ITT have been placed in an unfortunate situation, but we at Middlesex, like the rest of the community colleges in the state, are prepared to step in to assist those displaced students with options to finding ways to continue with their education,” said MCC President James Mabry.

“It’s great to see Middlesex Community College stepping up to help ITT students,” said U.S. Senator Elizabeth Warren. “The Education Department was right to put a stop to ITT’s deceptive practices, and now it’s important that we help Massachusetts students who were victims of ITT’s fraud,” Senator Warren said. “MCC is showing the way as they help ITT students navigate their options so that they can restart or finish their education, and I hope community colleges across the country will follow their lead.”

“My office stands ready to assist the ITT Technical Institute students impacted by the recent campus closings and who are looking for answers during this confusing time. First and foremost our focus should be on helping these students avoid financial penalty and find a path forward to complete their education,” said Congresswoman Niki Tsongas, 3rd District. “Middlesex Community College deserves great credit for stepping in to assist with their expertise and valuable offerings, and their actions demonstrate once again what a great partner they are to our community and the Commonwealth.”

“I’m grateful to the faculty and staff at Middlesex Community College (MCC) for offering their support and assistance to ITT Technical Institute students as a result of the Institute’s sudden closure,” said Congressman Seth Moulton (D-MA). “Local community colleges like MCC provide a high-quality education, and we’re fortunate to have their presence in our Bedford community.”

“I have nothing but gratitude to express to the staff and faculty of Middlesex Community College who have made themselves and their expertise available to the students who have been displaced by ITT Technical Institute’s closure. I encourage all students who find themselves in these unfortunate circumstances that have resulted from this closure to reach out to MCC or my office at James.Miceli@mahouse.gov or 617-722-2305 if any guidance or assistance is needed,” said Representative James R. Miceli, 19th Middlesex District, who represents Wilmington.

During the Walk-In Registration & Consultation session, students can get more information about MCC’s more than 70 degree and certificate programs, and learn about financial aid and other student support services – including tutoring, career counseling and disability support.

Prospective students will be able to meet with admissions counselors and fill out an application; qualified students can register for courses. Placement testing will be available from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Students can also learn about MCC’s many transfer agreements with four-year colleges and universities. Transfer counseling and transfer-credit evaluation will also be available. (Transfer students should bring their transcripts.)

For more information about MCC’s Walk-In Registration & Consultation session, call 1-800-818-3434 or visit www.middlesex.mass.edu

Learn the Art of Beer Brewing at Middlesex Community College

This fall, Middlesex Community College’s Corporate and Community Education & Training Program is offering a variety of noncredit courses to help you learn more about craft beer and home brewing. Classes begin Saturday, Sept. 17 at Merrimack Ales, 92 Bolt St. in Lowell.

Courses include:

“Home Brewing” (PER 777 33) – In this class students will team up to create a beer! Topics include brewing terminology, as well as brewing process with notes on the scale considerations between home brewing and commercial brewing. This class meets three times to learn to brew the beer, ferment the beer, and bottle the beer.


“Introduction to Craft Brewing” (PER 776 33) – This course is an introduction to craft brewing, as well as a “walking tour” of the brewing process – from building a recipe to using raw materials, brewing, fermenting, and bottling. Students will be able to describe in detail the finished beers they taste during class.


To learn more or to register for these courses, visit www.middlesex.mass.edu/careertraining or call 1-800-818-3434.

LGH Golf Challenge Tournament Raises $439,000

Bolton, Mass. – Under a beautiful blue sky at The International golf resort in Bolton on Monday, Aug. 22, a sold-out group of 252 golfers enjoyed a day of fun, food and prizes, and raised more than $439,000 for Lowell General Hospital’s new Intensive Care Unit along the way.

New to the event this year was the Helicopter Ball drop, a 50/50 raffle with a dramatic twist. Each entry bought a golf ball, which was delivered via a swooping helicopter that dropped the entries onto a golf hole. Lowell General Hospital medical secretary Gail Williams was the lucky owner of the golf ball that dropped closest to the pin, landing her $4,500 in winnings.

The donations from golfers and sponsors will support the expansion of Lowell General Hospital’s Intensive Care Unit on its main campus, which is scheduled to open next year. The project will renovate former emergency room space in the hospital’s Hanchett Building into an expanded ICU unit with 11 beds, providing improved access and the latest technology for patients who need it most.

The golfers were treated to breakfast before heading out on The International’s impeccable Pines and Oaks courses, where they were served an on-course barbecue lunch. Golf was followed by cocktail hour and a surf and turf dinner with lobster, as well as a live auction and prizes.

“This tournament has grown to become one of our biggest and most successful fundraisers, and thanks to the incredible support of this community, our hospital is improving our ability to serve our sickest patients,” said Lowell General Hospital President Jody White. “Thank you to all of those who came out and to our sponsors, especially our lead Tournament Sponsors, Enterprise Bank, PrideStar EMS and Cerner. Without them, this wouldn’t be possible.”

UMass Lowell Welcomes Largest, Most Diverse Incoming Class Ever

UMass Lowell will welcome its largest-ever group of new students – approximately 2,900 freshmen and new transfers – beginning Friday, Aug. 26. 

The 1,700 first-year students beginning their UMass Lowell careers this week represent the most ethnically diverse incoming class ever and the most academically qualified, with an average high-school GPA of 3.58 and average SAT score of 1179. This year’s freshman class also includes the first group of students to use the university’s SAT-optional admissions program – approximately 130 students with an average high-school GPA of 3.7.

With the addition of the new first-year students and 1,200 new transfers, UMass Lowell’s enrollment will surpass 17,500 for the first time, a more than 50 percent jump in enrollment since 2007. The Chronicle of Higher Education recently ranked UMass Lowell as the ninth fastest-growing public doctoral institution in the nation. 

This fall, 4,300 students will live in university housing, including more than 1,500 in 23 living-learning communities that offer residents with common interests the opportunity to engage in academics and research where they live.

More than 400 students in UMass Lowell’s Honors College living-learning communities will be among the first to move back to campus this week. They also include hundreds of participants in the Lowell-focused First Year Seminar in Honors, through which students read the works of authors like Lowell native Jack Kerouac while using the city as a classroom that teaches them about all Lowell has to offer including history, culture, government and community.  

Move-in is Friday, Aug. 26, noon to 2 p.m. – Students enrolled in the Honors College’s living-learning communities will move into University Suites and will be available to discuss participating in residential learning as well as the Lowell-focused first-year seminar. 327 Aiken St., Lowell, Mass.

Convocation is Wednesday, Aug. 31 at 10 a.m. – Chancellor Jacquie Moloney and other representatives of the university will offer a formal welcome to all new students. Keynote speaker Corey Ciocchetti, author and University of Denver faculty member in business ethics, will discuss the importance of achieving authentic success – a solid character, strong personal relationships and a sense of contentment – and living an ethical life. Tsongas Center at UMass Lowell, East Campus, 300 Martin Luther King Jr. Way, Lowell.

Welcome Back Night is Thursday, Sept. 1 from 4 to 8:30 p.m. – UMass Lowell students, faculty and staff will be welcomed back to Lowell’s vibrant downtown with a series of activities including tours led by the Lowell National Historical Park staff and Cultural Organization of Lowell (COOL), a Snapchat scavenger hunt, discounts at local businesses and a social at Mill No. 5, the home of an eclectic collection of locally owned shops and other businesses located at 250 Jackson St., featuring food and fun. Tours start at the UMass Lowell Inn & Conference Center, 50 Warren St., Lowell.

Middlesex Community College Provides Services for Veterans

The Middlesex Community College Veterans Resource Center (VRC) is dedicated to helping veterans achieve their educational and career goals. Military service members who are beginning a college career or returning to complete an academic program can choose from a variety of academic programs offered during the day, evening, weekend and online. Fall semester classes begin Wednesday, Sept. 7, and it’s not too late to register!

MCC’s Veterans Resource Center has been established to serve as a place where veterans can receive information about educational programs, assistance with accessing college resources, and answers regarding eligibility for government, state and community sponsored services.

Resource advocates are available to assist military service members and their families in finding answers to help aid in the transition from military service to higher education through support and guidance during the application, admissions and academic process. The VRC also provides a support system where veterans meet other veterans as they become members of the Middlesex college community.

Middlesex is currently ranked sixth on a list of military-friendly community colleges nationwide. Additionally, MCC has been designated a Military Friendly School by Victory Media every year since 2011. The list of Military Friendly Schools honors the top 20 percent of colleges, universities and trade schools in the country that are doing the most to embrace America’s military service members, veterans and spouses as students and ensure their success on campus. For more information, visit www.militaryfriendlyschools.com.

MCC’s Veterans Resource Centers are located in the Bedford Campus Center, Room 206, or in the Lowell City Building, Room 117. For more information about MCC’s Veterans Resource Center, contact Maryanne Mungovan, Director of Multicultural and Veterans Affairs, at mungovanm@midldlesex.mass.edu or call 978-656-3267.

For registration information, visit www.middlesex.mass.edu or call 1-800-818-3434.

NASA Awards $200K to UMass Lowell to Build a Satellite

LOWELL, Mass. – NASA recently awarded $200,000 to a team of UMass Lowell students to design and build a satellite the space agency hopes to launch into orbit in 2018.

More than 50 UMass Lowell science and engineering students are developing the “SPACE HAUC” satellite under the direction of Physics Prof. Supriya Chakrabarti, who leads the university’s Lowell Center for Space Science and Technology. Once the spacecraft is ready, NASA hopes to deploy the satellite into orbit around the Earth for a yearlong mission to test its ability to collect and transmit research data at faster speeds than ever before possible. The satellite’s name, pronounced “Space Hawk,” is a tip of the hat to UMass Lowell’s athletic teams, the River Hawks. The acronym stands for Science Program Around Communications Engineering with High-Achieving Undergraduate Cadres.

The UMass Lowell team’s proposal to build the satellite received the maximum amount of NASA funding available through the agency’s Undergraduate Student Instrument Project. The initiative engages college students across the country to flex their technical, leadership and project-management skills by offering them real-world opportunities relevant to NASA missions. In awarding the grant, NASA called SPACE HAUC a top-notch training program.

SPACE HAUC will be what’s known as a cube satellite or “CubeSat,” which is a miniaturized, low-cost alternative to larger models. The finished spacecraft will measure about a foot in length and four inches in both width and height – about the size of a large loaf of bread – and will weigh nine pounds. Once launched, the satellite will reach altitudes between 99 and 1,200 miles while circling the Earth approximately every 90 minutes at about 17,000 miles per hour. Four solar panels will supply electricity to power the satellite’s electronics.

The project’s goal is to demonstrate the satellite’s ability to transmit data at up to 50 to 100 megabits per second – significantly faster than current models. It will collect images of the sun and return them to Earth to test its data-transmission capabilities.

“SPACE HAUC will be UMass Lowell’s first mission to actually go around the Earth and the satellite will do so many, many times during its lifetime,” Chakrabarti said.

The project’s program manager is Dat Le, a UMass Lowell mechanical engineering major from Billerica who will begin his final semester in September.

“SPACE HAUC will give me and my fellow students valuable hands-on experience in astronautical engineering research and development,” Le said.

The UMass Lowell team is comprised of 53 engineering majors in the mechanical, electrical, computer, chemical and plastics fields, along with computer science and physics students. Other project collaborators include the university’s Raytheon-UMass Lowell Research Institute (RURI) and the Printed Electronics Research Collaborative (PERC), as well as the Massachusetts Space Grant Consortium, BAE Systems and Draper Laboratory.

“A project of this magnitude and scope would not have been possible without the help and support of many parties,” Chakrabarti said.

SPACE HAUC is the latest of many UMass Lowell collaborations with NASA. In 2012, physics professor Timothy Cook, Chakrabarti and a team of students, researchers and engineers, launched the NASA-funded IMAGER rocket to observe dust formation in a remote galaxy known as M101. Three years later, the same team launched another rocket-borne experiment known as PICTURE-B to take images of intergalactic dust around the star Epsilon Eridani. And, in 2017 and 2019, a team led by Chakrabarti will use huge helium balloons to send an instrument known as PICTURE-C to the edge of the atmosphere to take images of disks of debris that are orbiting stars in the Milky Way.

NASA is also working with UMass Lowell robotics researchers at the university’s New England Robotics Validation and Experimentation (NERVE) Center to develop the capabilities of “Valkyrie,” the space agency’s 6-foot, 300-pound humanoid robot. NASA selected researchers from UMass Lowell and Northeastern University last fall to receive “Val,” to expand the robot’s capabilities for use in future space exploration, including interaction with human astronauts.

UMass Lowell students participating on the SPACE HAUC team are listed below.
· Barnstable – Jacob Hempel
· Billerica – Darrien Glasser and Dat Le
· Boxborough – Joseph Murphy
· Burlington – Alexander Casperson
· Canton – Liam Murphy
· Chelmsford – Rebecca Campelli and Stephen Kender
· Deerfield – Yusuf Yildiz
· Dracut – Kevin Sargent and William Taylor
· Easton – Timothy Barrett
· Everett – Edward Finos
· Fairhaven – Alec Golas
· Grafton – David Paluzzi
· Groton – James Lynch
· Leominster – Jeffrey Cheng, William Kammerer and Jake Maguy
· Lexington – Matthew Dolan
· Lowell – Silverio Johnson, Sanjeev Mehta and Sean Webster
· Lynnfield – Matthew Parziale
· Mansfield – Nicholas Christo
· Medford – Daniel Dangora
· Methuen – Jacob Hulme, George Le and Nicholas Sacco
· Natick – Alexander Light
· North Andover – Sohit Pal
· Northborough – Divyanshu Verma
· Peabody – David Connolly and Kris Tite
· Phillipston – Matthew Songer
· Reading – Connor McGrory
· Rutland – Nicholas Dean
· Sandwich – Joshua Hassler
· Saugus – David Baumann
· Tewksbury – Michael Zurawski
· Tyngsborough – David Donahue
· Westborough – Justin DiPlacido
· Westford – Eric Carey
· Woburn – Mikayla Essigman
· Worcester – Chuck Barbon and William Mann

New Hampshire:
· Atkinson – Patrick Donegan
· Hampton – Michael Gallagher
· Londonderry – Clint Perry
· Windham – Daniel Borcoche and Shyam Sheth

· Boulder – William Chambers

Moloney Marks First Anniversary as UMass Lowell Chancellor

LOWELL, Mass. – This week marks the end of the first year of UMass Lowell Chancellor Jacquie Moloney’s visionary leadership of her alma mater, which has brought continued growth to the university, expanded its commitment to serve the region and laid the groundwork for its future.

Moloney, the first woman to lead the university in its history, was named chancellor with the unanimous support of the UMass Board of Trustees on Aug. 3, 2015. In the 12 months since, UMass Lowell has reached milestones including an all-time high in enrollment (17,500, a 50 percent gain since 2008), record totals for fundraising and investment in research, increases in student success and the opening of the 11th and 12th new buildings since 2009. The university also surpassed $920 million in positive economic impact, supporting more than 7,000 jobs on- and off-campus.

“I would like to thank our faculty, staff and students, as well as the community, for the support and inspiration you have given me during my first year as chancellor. I am proud of what we have been able to accomplish together,” said Moloney.

Those accomplishments are rooted in “UMass Lowell 2020: A Strategic Plan for the Next Decade,” which Moloney led the creation of in 2010 as executive vice chancellor. The strategic plan served as the blueprint for the university’s ongoing progress in all areas over the last year. It also inspired Moloney to begin her tenure as chancellor with her #First90 initiative, which brought faculty, students and staff together with the community to lay out the next steps toward reaching the ambitious goals of “UMass Lowell 2020,” including the awarding of 2020 Challenge Grants to projects that support those goals.

The 20 micro-grants of $1,000 each were presented to projects including: an alternative spring break program through which students gain valuable experiential education while volunteering with a Lowell-based nonprofit organization; a proposal to bring high-school musicians from the Merrimack Valley together with Boston Symphony Orchestra and use technology to simulate what it is like to be a member of the ensemble; and a plan by the community development organization Made in Lowell to use a remodeled RV to gather stories from residents of each of the city’s neighborhoods that will then be available to the public through programs and events. Moloney intends to launch a second round of 2020 challenge grants during the fall semester that will once again bring the campus and community together.

UMass Lowell met another goal of the strategic plan under Moloney’s leadership this year, the launch of the university’s first-ever comprehensive fundraising and alumni engagement campaign. That effort, “Our Legacy, Our Place: The Campaign for UMass Lowell,” was announced in April with the goal of raising $125 million by 2020 to support student scholarships, faculty recruitment and research, campus improvements and Division I Athletics. Already, it has attracted more than $84 million in private donations.

The theme of Moloney’s October 2015 inauguration, which raised $1.5 million for scholarships, was “Making a Difference Together, Leading through Innovation.” Over the course of the year, that theme was illustrated through a number of efforts designed to further increase the university’s positive impact on the regional economy and the community while also expanding opportunities for students.

Last fall, UMass Lowell opened the new Innovation Hub (iHub) in downtown Lowell, home to a brand-new business incubator for technology-focused startups and an expansion of the Massachusetts Medical Device Development Center (M2D2) incubator for new ventures in that sector. M2D2, a joint effort of the UMass Lowell and Worcester campuses, has assisted more than 100 startups since it was founded. The openings of the iHub and M2D2 incubators were among five new university projects unveiled over the course of just eight days during the fall 2015 semester and also included the Riverview Suites East residence hall, an exhibit of beat generation icon Jack Kerouac’s personal belongings and the naming of the Kennedy College of Sciences.

Students have also been inspired to become innovators through the growth of the university’s DifferenceMaker program, which Moloney founded in 2012, which teaches students from all majors entrepreneurial skills to create new ventures to address issues in business and the community. Student-run ventures such as NonSpec, now a tenant at the iHub, have already been spun off from DifferenceMakers, which awards seed funding to the most promising entries in its annual Idea Challenge.

Innovative research by faculty this year yielded the largest-ever deal for intellectual property developed at UMass Lowell, a $3.8 million equity payout to the campus and UMass system for technology acquired by pharmaceutical giant Allergan. To lead the university’s growing research enterprise, which has seen investment from numerous sources climb from $36 million nine years ago to more than $70 million, Moloney recently elevated the position of vice provost for research to vice chancellor for innovation and research. Moloney has also overseen the successful hiring of a new provost, who in turn is streamlining academic affairs to focus even more intently on student and faculty success, as well as workforce development.

Moloney filled other vacancies in her leadership team including vice chancellor for advancement, dean of the Kennedy College of Sciences and dean of the Manning School of Business, who joins UMass Lowell as the school’s new home, the Pulichino Tong Business Center, is being completed. The opening of the new building, as well as the associated collaboration space in the adjacent Lydon Library, will be among the highlights of the year to come. The building, which will feature a state-of-the-art trading room, will not only be the 13th opened by the campus since 2009, it will serve as an important part of the North Campus Innovation District that also includes the Mark and Elisia Saab Emerging Technologies and Innovation Center, which kicked off the university’s building boom.

“We have achieved much over the last year as a university. I know that we are committed and ready to take on the challenges to come as we continue our positive momentum while remaining focused on efficiency and effectiveness in times of increased financial pressure,” Moloney said.

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