Middlesex Online Criminal Justice Program Ranks 14th in Nation

Middlesex Community College’s online Criminal Justice – Administration of Justice Associate in Science degree program is the 14th best online criminal justice program nationwide according to OnlineColleges.net.

“The online Criminal Justice Program at Middlesex offers flexibility to students who are looking to complete a degree online or complete a degree with a combination of in-class and online courses,” said Lynda J. Pintrich, chair of MCC’s Criminal Justice program. “It is a rigorous program, taught predominantly by full-time criminal justice faculty, who take a great deal of pride in their work, both online and in the classroom.”

With a focus on emerging trends and developments in online education, OnlineColleges.net has been informing prospective students on leading programs since 2009. MCC’s online Criminal Justice – Administration of Justice option degree program is designed for students interested in working in areas such as probation, parole, corrections, victim/witness advocacy and related occupations. Students are able to develop a strong foundation in criminal justice and also study topics such as victimology, juvenile justice and corrections.

The curriculum emphasizes academic and practical approaches to three major areas of criminal justice – police, courts and corrections – while providing students with basic knowledge of legal issues facing practitioners in these fields. Students can also learn important skills including oral and written communication, interpersonal skill building, and developing an understanding of multicultural issues necessary for working with diverse populations.

Students who take courses online at Middlesex complete the same high-quality coursework as those who take courses on campus. And, online students earn the same course credits – which are transferrable to bachelor’s degree programs.

To learn more about MCC’s Criminal Justice Programs, visit https://www.middlesex.mass.edu/criminaljustice/. For more information about Middlesex online, visit: https://www.middlesex.mass.edu/online or call 1-800-818-3434.

UMass Lowell Chancellor Celebrates Completion of First 90 Initiative

LOWELL, Mass. – UMass Lowell Chancellor Jacquie Moloney has devoted her first three months as chancellor to the First 90 initiative (#First90), designed to engage the campus and community in programs and other efforts that will bring the university closer to reaching the goals laid out in its strategic plan, “UMass Lowell 2020.”

The university is halfway through the 10-year plan, of which Moloney led the development during her eight years as executive vice chancellor. Based on UMass Lowell’s Pillars of Excellence, the plan has already resulted in the greatest period of growth in the university’s history, including a 50 percent increase in enrollment, the opening of 12 new buildings, one of the fastest moves up in the nation in rankings for quality and graduates’ return on investment, a 115 percent increase in diversity among incoming students and record fundraising of more than $144 million.

Over those first 90 days, Moloney and the campus community have covered a lot of ground, from meetings with students and faculty to get their feedback on strategic priorities to a “Welcome Back Night” that brought hundreds of students and others from the university to downtown Lowell businesses. There were also the opening celebrations for two new buildings – bringing the total to 12 since 2009 – Riverview Suites East and the McGauvran Center, and Moloney’s inauguration, which raised $1.5 million for student scholarships. In all, Moloney has participated in more than 100 events and engagement activities since the start of UMass Lowell’s academic year.

“My first three months as chancellor flew by and I am grateful to everyone who participated in the events, programs and other opportunities to engage about the future of our university and how we can realize truly transformational education,” said Moloney. “I have heard dozens of new ideas that we will implement as a result of these interactions.”

The #First90 initiative also included the awarding of 2020 Challenge Grants to proposals by faculty, staff, students and members of the community. The 20, $1,000 grants went to ideas for new programs to support the goals of “UMass Lowell 2020,” including strengthening connections in the community, providing opportunities for student learning and promoting innovation and entrepreneurship.

Winners of the final round of challenge grants, announced today, are

·       Karla Cuarezma, civil and environmental engineering student, who will work with a team of students, alumni and faculty to design a permanent working model on stormwater filtration and its impact on the Merrimack River and environment. It will educate visitors to Decatur WAY (Water, Art and You), which was previously an underutilized alley adjacent to UMass Lowell’s University Crossing.

·       Lynn DiBenedetto, Clinical Lab and Nutritional Sciences Department faculty, who will establish a new pilot program Engineering and Science Explorations (EASE) with the goal of sparking interest in those fields among freshmen at local high schools by providing them with access to UMass Lowell faculty, students and facilities, including a full-day experience featuring hands-on exploration of health sciences, biology, chemistry, engineering and earth sciences.

·       Elissa Johnson-Green, Music Department faculty, who will establish the Musical Playground to provide Lowell schools, community centers and public parks with specially designed and constructed outdoor musical instruments with repurposed materials and with the help of a multidisciplinary team of faculty and students.

·       Stephen Mishol, Art and Design Department faculty, who will work with fellow professors to develop and execute art-making workshops at Central Catholic High School in Lawrence, Lowell High School and Stoklosa Middle School in Lowell to build a dialogue between pupils at those schools and students at UMass Lowell.

·       Ruairi O’Mahony, Administrative Services staff, who will establish “University Walk,” a one-mile stretch along Pawtucket Street in Lowell, using information boards and wayfinding signs designed to encourage members of the UMass Lowell community and the public to engage in physical activity to maintain or improve overall health. It will also promote sustainability through encouraging pedestrian travel.

Grants awarded in the earlier two rounds went to proposals to: use technology to help high-school musicians experience what it is like to play in the Boston Symphony Orchestra; increase voter participation in Lowell’s Cambodian and Vietnamese communities; establish a new alternative spring break program to provide UMass Lowell students with applied learning opportunities through volunteering with local nonprofits; host a regional event for high-schoolers from diverse backgrounds to encourage them to pursue a college education in science and technology-related majors; open a pop-up retail store in downtown Lowell for the holidays featuring the work of local artists and managed by UMass Lowell students; and establish a makerspace at a Lowell school for students in kindergarten through eighth grade where they can learn about science, technology, engineering and math with the help of UMass Lowell students. The 15 previous grant winners are listed at www.uml.edu/2020grants.

“All of the projects demonstrate the creativity of our campus and the community and how each can come together to fuel innovation,” said Moloney.

The 2020 Challenge Grant recipients were selected by a committee comprised of representatives of each of the groups eligible for grants: UMass Lowell faculty, staff and students, and members of the community.

“We were impressed throughout the challenge grant process with the proposals submitted, each of which was an excellent representation of the pillars of our strategic plan, from transformational education to entrepreneurial stewardship in higher education. We know our campus and our community will benefit from these projects when they become a reality,” said Economics Prof. Carol McDonough, who co-chaired the committee with Jack Wilson, UMass president emeritus and UMass Lowell’s distinguished university professor of higher education, emerging technologies and innovation.

Fee Free Days at Lowell National Historical Park for 2016

WASHINGTON – The National Park Service turns 100 years old in 2016 and wants everyone to celebrate! All national parks, including Lowell National Historical Park, will waive entrance fees on 16 special days in 2016.

The 16 entrance fee-free days for 2016 will be:
January 18 – Martin Luther King, Jr. Day

• April 16-24 – National Park Week

• August 25-28 – National Park Service Birthday Weekend

• September 24 – National Public Lands Day

• November 11 – Veterans Day
“In recognition of the National Park Service Centennial, we took a look at the meaning of our fee free days and we wanted to connect to our partners and do more in the spirit of Dr. King”  said  Celeste Bernardo, Superintendent of Lowell National Historical Park.   “I’m pleased by the response from the community and feel our offerings will make an inpact in the Merrimack Valley,” added Bernardo.  Here is a look at whats happening in January:

-January 11 ‐18 – Winter Clothing and Food Drive, Lowell NHP Visitor Center 246 Market St.

-January 18 -Winter clothing and food drive sorting and distribution service event, 10:00 ‐12:00 pm at the  Boott Cotton Mills Counting House.

-January 18– Middlesex Community College “Jumpstart” program day of service, 12:00‐4:30 pm,  Visitor Center Conference Room.

February in Lowell means Kids Week (February 15 -19, 2016).   The Boott Cotton Mills Museum will be Fee Free on Monday, February 15th for Presidents Day.

Look for additional events that are being planned for the National Park Service Centennial and many of these events will occur around the Fee Free days at the park.

For more information about Lowell National Historical Park, visit www/nps.gov/lowell, or call 978-970-5000. And, look for upcoming happenings related the the National Park Service Centennial celebrations in Lowell and across the NPS at www.nps.gov/centennial.

MCC Math Professor Phil Mahler Given Lifetime Achievement Award

Middlesex Community College Mathematics Professor Philip H. Mahler was recently given the Herb Gross Lifetime Achievement Award by the American Mathematical Association for Two-Year Colleges (AMATYC).

Mahler was presented the award for outstanding contributions and dedicated service to AMATYC during its 42nd national conference, held in New Orleans. Approximately 1,500 mathematics professors from across the U.S. and Canada were in attendance.

“I am delighted and proud to be recognized this way by AMATYC,” said Mahler. “I have been an active member since 1984 and have attended more than 26 annual conferences.” Mahler has served the association in a variety of capacities over the years, including three successive two-year terms as president-elect, president, and past president.

AMATYC is the only organization exclusively devoted to providing a national forum for the improvement of mathematics instruction in the first two years of college, he explained. “Our annual conferences have more than 200 presentations by community-college, four-year-college, and university professors of mathematics,” said Mahler.

“If there is a new initiative on improving teaching mathematics in the two-year college, there will be at least four conference talks on it by faculty who have tried it,” he said. “I am introduced to the very latest ideas in pedagogy, and to people who have experience with them.”

Mahler has been teaching mathematics at Middlesex for 33 years. “Math is a subject that practically every college graduate must take. I like the challenge of making my students successful in this endeavor. Although I love mathematics, the professional reward is in seeing student success.”

Middlesex CC Board of Trustees Adds Three New Members

Three community leaders have joined the Middlesex Community College Board of Trustees.

James J. Campbell and Annie O’Connor, of Lowell, and Bopha T. Malone, of Waltham, have been appointed to the board by Gov. Charlie Baker, and Campbell has been named chairman. The three new trustees were sworn in by Lt. Gov. Karyn Polito during a recent ceremony on the Lowell campus.

As city manager of Lowell during the late-1980s and early ’90s, Campbell led the city’s revitalization and spearheaded construction of 14 new schools. He left the city to become commissioner and CEO of the Massachusetts Department of Industrial Accidents, overseeing the $2 billion workers’ compensation system. He also serves on the Massachusetts Bar Association’s Workplace Safety Task Force. Campbell is currently employed as a client relations advisor to the Boston law firm of Tentindo, Kendall, Canniff and Keefe, the largest firm in New England that handles insurance- and employment-related matters.

O’Connor is an attorney and mediator who specializes in conflict resolution and mediation of civil matters. She has been an adjunct professor at the Massachusetts School of Law since 1994, and also previously served as an adjunct professor at MCC. She is founder and principal of the Center for Negotiation and Mediation. O’Connor has a lengthy history in the legal system, including being founder and director of the Civil Conciliation Program at Lawrence District Court in the early 1990s. She earned a juris doctor from Suffolk University.

Malone is vice president, regional business advisor, of Enterprise Bank in Lowell. She earned bachelor’s and master’s degrees from Lesley University. Malone is active in many community organizations and currently serves as chairwoman of the Cambodian Mutual Assistance Association. She is also a member of Girls Incorporated of Greater Lowell, and Women Working Wonders.

Campbell, Malone and O’Conner join current MCC Trustees James G. Hicks of Framingham, Stephanie J. Cronin of Dunstable, Oscar S. DePriest IV of
Bedford, Tami Dristiliaris of Dracut, Timothy Glaser of Wilmington, Steven Iem of
Lowell, Elia A. Marnik of South Orleans, and Student Trustee Maranda S. Fahie of

Middlesex Community College meets the evolving educational, civic and workforce needs of our local and global communities. As one of the largest, most comprehensive community colleges in the state, we educate more than 13,000 students annually on our campuses in Bedford and Lowell, and online. MCC offers more than 70 degree and certificate programs, plus hundreds of noncredit courses. At Middlesex, everyone teaches, everyone learns.

Lowell Folk Festival Receives Arts Award of $35,000

Lowell, Massachusetts – The National Endowment for the Arts and the National Park Service announced $797,500 in support of support 33 grants in 16 states, including an award of $35,000 to the Lowell Festival Foundation for the 2016 Lowell Folk Festival.

“Imagine Your Parks” is a new grant initiative from the National Endowment for the Arts to support projects in which the arts are used to engage people with memorable places and landscapes of the National Park System.

NEA Chairman Jane Chu said, “As the National Endowment for the Arts celebrates its 50th anniversary and the National Park Service observes its centennial, we want people to remember that our cultural and natural treasures are part of what makes America great. ‘Imagine Your Park’ projects from the Grand Canyon in Arizona, to downtown Atlanta, Georgia will inspire the imagination of people across the country. We are proud to support projects from organizations like the Lowell Festival Foundation to offer more opportunities to engage in the arts.”

“The ‘Imagine Your Parks’ grants build on a strong tradition of the arts in national parks, from the first stunning photographs of Yosemite and Yellowstone more than a century ago, to artists-in-residence and other programs in parks today,” said NPS Director Jonathan B. Jarvis. “Inviting a new generation of artists to connect with Lowell National Historical Park is a great way to celebrate the National Park Service Centennial, and to inspire more Americans of all backgrounds to connect with these remarkable places.”

“Lowell National Historical Park is pleased that the Lowell Festival Foundation has been awarded this generous grant for the 30th Lowell Folk Festival,” said park superintendent Celeste Bernardo. “The funding will not only help us celebrate the NPS Centennial, it will help us engage master traditional artists and the public in this special place that is such an important part of the American experience.”

Craig Gates, the Executive Director of the Lowell Festival Foundation, was “thrilled and extremely honored that the National Endowment for the Arts saw fit to choose the Lowell Folk Festival, again as one of the 2016 grant recipients. The fact that the NEA is awarding us $35,000 shows how much the Lowell Folk Festival is revered in this country! It is a great success story in that it has lasted for almost 30 years and has been able to keep admission “FREE” for the three day cultural event! We are hoping all of our past sponsors and donors will follow the NEA’s lead and increase their support as we celebrate this milestone in 2016!”

The Lowell Folk Festival, with continuous music on five outdoor stages, is slated to take place on July 29 – 31, 2016 in historic downtown Lowell, Massachusetts. A family friendly event, the Lowell Folk Festival has presented an international array of traditional folk music, ethnic foods, folk craft demonstrations, craft artisans, and children’s activities to enthusiastic regional, national, and international audiences for the past 29 years. The Lowell Folk Festival is committed to presenting these artists in a way that allows a large cross section of people to experience and share rich traditional culture. It is the longest running “FREE” folk festival in the nation.

Lowell General’s $1M CHART Grant to Target Chronically Ill

Lowell, Mass. – Lowell General Hospital is rolling out a new initiative that will provide outreach and support to Greater Lowell’s most vulnerable patient populations in an effort to strengthen care and reduce readmissions to the hospital.

The program, called the Community Medical Home, is funded in part by a $1 million grant from Phase 2 of the state’s Community Hospital Acceleration, Revitalization & Transformation (CHART) Investment Program.

At a press conference this week at Lowell General Hospital’s Main Campus, the hospital’s leadership detailed the program alongside leaders from the state’s Health Policy Commission, which is distributing $60 million in CHART grants to 28 community hospitals across the state in an effort to improve quality and reduce costs.

“This CHART grant provides resources to help us transform how we deliver care to members of the community who need it most,” said Normand Deschene, CEO of Lowell General Hospital and Circle Health. “It will allow us to reach out beyond the hospital’s walls and bring health care to our most vulnerable patient populations, keeping them healthier and reducing readmissions to the hospital.”

The Community Medical Home initiative will utilize community health and social workers to seek out patients who have been admitted to the hospital at least four times in a single year. By helping these patients comply with their treatment plan, arrange follow-up appointments and keep up with their prescriptions, the program’s goal is to reduce hospital readmissions by 25 percent, reducing health care costs for everyone.

“Community hospitals play a critical role in the Health Policy Commission’s efforts to achieve the Commonwealth’s cost containment and quality improvement goals,” said David Seltz, Executive Director of the Health Policy Commission. “In making these vital investments, CHART hospitals were issued a challenge: propose initiatives that will put you on a path of transformation, while meeting critical health care needs of your community. We look forward to continuing to partner with Lowell General Hospital and the communities they serve to build a more coordinated and affordable health care system.”

Support Lowell General Hospital on Giving Tuesday

Giving Tuesday is a campaign to create a national day of giving at the start of the annual holiday season. This year, after the shopping frenzy of Black Friday, Small Business Saturday and Cyber Monday, we ask that you consider supporting Lowell General Hospital with a contribution in honor of Giving Tuesday.

Your donation will not only help us continue strengthening diagnostics and the patient experience, but will also move us one step closer to expanding our Intensive Care Unit, allowing us to take care of the sickest patients in our community.

Please consider making a gift today so that we can continue to meet our mission to put “Patients first in everything we do.” Your generosity will help us realize our vision to become one of the best community hospitals in America.

We hope we can count on you to make a difference in the lives of the community’s sickest patients. Our $5 million ICU project is only one of many initiatives we are undertaking for 2016. Your support is paramount to our success.

Thank you for your contribution. We wish you a joyful holiday season. For questions, please contact Amy Werner, Director of Philanthropy, at 978-937-6430 or amy.werner@lowellgeneral.org.

NPS Announces 2015-2016 Winter Schedule and Holiday Hours

Lowell, Massachusetts.  Lowell National Historical Park, one of 409 units of the National Park Service, engages people in the exploration and preservation of the dynamic human stories of the American Industrial Revolution in Lowell, MA. Nearly 200 years ago, Lowell’s water-powered textile mills catapulted the nation into a new industrial era. The park, in downtown Lowell, includes historic cotton textile mills, 5.6 miles of power canals, operating gatehouses, and worker housing. The Park offerings from November 29, 2015 through March 6, 2016 are adjusted for the winter season.


Begin your visit at the National Park Visitor Center where you can plan your exploration of the park and the city. “Lowell: The Continuing Revolution,” the orientation film, introduces visitors to the story of how people, technology, and capital came together to revolutionize textile production—and a way of life—in Lowell and other American cities.

VISITOR CENTER HOURS:  November 29, 2015 through March 6, 2016: 9:00 am to 5:00 pm, daily. Closing at 4:00 on December 24 and CLOSED: December 25, 2015 &

January 1, 2016.   Admission: FREE.


The Boott Cotton Mills Museum, the park’s primary exhibit, includes a 1920s weave room with operating power looms, interactive exhibits and video programs about the Industrial Revolution, labor, and the rise, fall, and rebirth of Lowell.   Be sure to join us for our Hidden History Museum Talks at the Boott Cotton Mills starting at 12:15 p.m.

MUSEUM HOURS:, November 29, 2015 through March 6, 2016: 12:00 pm to 4:00 pm; daily. CLOSED: December 25, 2015 & January 1, 2016.  Admission: Adults, $6.00; Youth (6-16) & Students $3.00; Children 5 and under, free. Ask about Senior Discount.


Explore the history of the working people of Lowell in a former Boott Mill boarding house. The Mill Girls and Immigrants Exhibit, located in the Patrick J. Mogan Cultural Center, tells the human story of the Industrial Revolution.

EXHIBIT HOURS:, November 29, 2015 through March 6, 2016: Open daily, 1:30 pm to 4:00 pm. CLOSED: December 25, 2015 & January 1, 2016.  Admission: FREE.   Hidden History Museum Talk at the Mill Girls and Immigrants Exhibit will be held at 2:15

For more information about Lowell National Historical Park, visit www.nps.gov/lowell, or call 978-970-5000. And, look for upcoming happenings related the the National Park Service Centennial celebrations in Lowell and across the NPS at www.nps.gov/centennial.

NASA to Launch UMass Lowell Research Mission Nov. 16

LOWELL, Mass. – A NASA rocket carrying technology developed by UMass Lowell will blast off Monday, Nov. 16 to explore parts of the universe that are normally hidden from view.

The rocket is equipped with a telescope and optical-imaging system designed by UMass Lowell to block direct light from stars so that objects close to them – such as planets, asteroids and interplanetary dust – can be identified, photographed and studied. Known as Planet Imaging Coronagraphic Technology Using a Reconfigurable Experimental Base (PICTURE-B), the apparatus was developed at UMass Lowell with a $1.4 million grant from NASA and includes equipment provided by Northrop Grumman Corp.

PICTURE-B will launch aboard a Black Brant IX – an 18-foot-long, two-stage rocket capable of carrying up to 1,200 pounds of scientific equipment. Dependent on the weather, lift off will be at 2:30 a.m. EST (12:30 a.m. MST) from the U.S. Army’s White Sands Missile Range in New Mexico. The rocket is headed to the edge of the atmosphere, where PICTURE-B will block the light from the star Epsilon Eridani in order to capture images of the objects in space that surround it.

The third-closet star to Earth visible to the unaided eye, Epsilon Eridani is approximately one billion years old, smaller than the sun and 10.5 light years away. Scientists believe the star is harboring planets, asteroid belts and a disk of planetary dust that remain largely unseen because of the star’s glare.

After collecting data, PICTURE-B will fall back to Earth, deploying a parachute that will slow its descent and allow it to land at White Sands. The mission is advancing the design of space telescopes capable of imaging planets beyond the solar system with the hope of one day discovering Earth-like planets capable of supporting life.

“PICTURE-B seeks to train and inspire the next generation of scientists and researchers, develop new technologies and techniques for use in space exploration and gather data that will help us better understand the universe,” said UMass Lowell Physics Prof. Supriya Chakrabarti, director of the university’s Lowell Center for Space Science and Technology.

NASA awarded Chakrabarti $1.4 million to develop the project, which is providing UMass Lowell science and engineering students with hands-on experience in all of its phases.

UMass Lowell’s PICTURE-B team includes Newton resident Timothy Cook, an assistant professor of physics who is leading the research with Chakrabarti, of Weston, and Glenn Howe, a doctoral candidate in physics from Malden. Working with them is Ewan Douglas, a researcher from Boston University. Along with Northrop Grumman, the project’s collaborators include NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center.

Critical to the success of mission is a primary mirror coupled to the telescope on PICTURE-B that will aid in observing the debris surrounding Epsilon Eridani. The 22-inch-diameter mirror, which is made of silicon carbide, has proven its soundness for flight through extensive analysis and environmental testing. Engineered and built by AOA Xinetics, a Northrop Grumman company, it was donated to UMass Lowell to support this important research.

“AOA Xinetics is honored to work with Dr. Chakrabarti and his team on the PICTURE-B mission and proud to support the efforts to identify Earth-like planets,” said Michael Sheedy, business area manager of AOA Xinetics. “Our silicon carbide mirrors are a new generation of high-performance, lightweight mirrors for astrophysics.”

“This is an extremely exciting project and we are very pleased to have worked with AOA Xinetics to help make this mission a success,” Chakrabarti said. “We are grateful to our partners at NASA and Northrop Grumman for providing the resources and support essential to accomplish our goals.”

The UMass Lowell team is already working on a follow-up mission, known as PICTURE-C. The five-year project, which is supported by NASA with a $5.6 million grant, seeks to capture more intricate images of Epsilon Eridani and other nearby stars. Plans call for the PICTURE-C apparatus to launch on two separate flights in the fall of 2017 and 2019 from the Columbia Scientific Balloon Facility in Fort Sumner, N.M.

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