March 2012 Archives

23

Twenty-three is a prime number. It is also the number worn by both Calvin Murphy and Michael Jordan during their stellar careers in the National Basketball Association. More importantly, it is now the number of Newbery Medal Winners that are in our growing Honors Library. These winners, like honor students, represent excellence.  Easy to read middle school books - yes. But each of them delivers a message. We encourage you to take these winners out of the library and read them. Going home on the weekend? Take one, read it and bring it back. Easy peasy. holes.jpgThere is one winner each year; to date, 91 of them in all. The selection committee also picks runners-up. They are called Newbery Honor books. We have 4 of them in the library right now too. From Johnny Tremain (1944) to Across Five Aprils(1965) to Roll of Thunder, Hear My Cry (1977) to Bridge to Terabethia(1978) to Holes(1999) to Moon Over Manifest(2011) ... they are all excellent. I know many of them slipped past you on your way to high school. Reading is important. The library is yours. Take a book, read it, and bring it back. The first UMass Lowell Honors student to email me the answer to these two related questions will win a $25 gift card:  What Newbery Honor book chronicles the life of Jethro Creighton, a boy who has a passion for learning during a difficult time in our nation's history? What was his teacher's name?

Fit as a Fiddle

Written by guest blogger Bridget Marshall.

On Wednesday evening, Dr. Kay Doyle of UML's Clinical Laboratory and Nutritional Sciences, presented "Know Your Heart: Cardiovascular Disease" to Honors Students in Eames Hall.  More than a dozen students attended to learn more about heart health, including 
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genetic and lifestyle risk factors.  There were healthy munchies, including veggies and fruit, and I'm pleased to report that they were all eaten, so all attendees are clearly on the path to better cardio health!  In case you missed it, key takeaway advice:
---stay active
---eat healthy (lots of fruits and veg!)
---if you have any medical conditions (hypertension, diabetes) stay on your medications and treatments
---know your risk factors: find out your HDL and LDL (cholesterol) levels!
---stop smoking (or don't start!)
---manage your stress

Professor Doyle introduced her talk with a big promotion of the UMass system.  She earned her undergraduate degree at UMass-Amherst, followed by her MS in Biological Sciences and her PhD in Biochemistry both right here at the University of Massachusetts, Lowell.  She has accumulated an impressive research profile, and reminded students that a UMass degree is of great value.

At the conclusion of her talk, we had the usual raffle for gift cards; we had two winners this week.  Will you be our next winner?  Come to the next Eames Lounge Honors Event, and you too can go home with a $20 gift card to your favorite local eatery.  Up next: Professor Marlowe Miller (English) doing a hands-on workshop on April 18th, 6 - 8 pm, Eames Lounge.  Please join us!

Kazmer Comes to Eames

Dr. David Kazmer spoke with twenty honors students in the basement of Eames Honors House. The topics were careers, money, engineering, and values. "Does education pay?" Kazmer asked and this evoked a number of responses. The strong consensus was that it does pay. Professor Kazmer showed a figure of how an engineer's salary over a career flattens out after thirty years in the profession.  Earning money offers choices, but so does saving it! He encouraged the attendees to save as best they can. Advice on how to behave in an interview was also provided. Kazmer chronicled his own career a bit reminiscing a bit about a job offer from a 1988 start-up called Oracle to being a tenured faculty member at UMass Amherst before he came to Lowell ten years ago. He characterized himself as a generalist engineer. The crowd was lively and a good discussion ensued. Sal's pizza was a big hit too.
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Brockton Resident Excels

Bonie Rosario, Jr. is a senior computer engineering major at UMass Lowell and he is a member of the UMass Lowell Commonwealth Honors Program. Bonie, a resident of Brockton and a commuter student, came to 

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UMass Lowell from Cardinal Spellman High School where he was the class valedictorian. 


As a freshman, he won the UMass Lowell writing award with an essay entitled, “Truth within Fiction: Exaggeration by Compulsive Storytellers”. Now, in his senior year he is completing his Honors Thesis that is an extension of his capstone design project entitled, “Five Senses Sensory Lounge” and it includes a business plan too.


Bonie will be one of only 20 UMass Lowell students who will graduate with Commonwealth Honors in 2012. He is also the president of the UMass Lowell Chapter of Eta Kappa Nu and the recording secretary of the Engineering Honor SocietyTau Beta Pi.


Bonie’s 3.94 overall GPA is impressive considering all that he does and that he commutes from Brockton to Lowell and back each school day. He can play the piano too. The UMass Lowell Honors Program celebrates his initiative and accomplishments.

The director of the Middlesex Community College Commonwealth Honors Program, David Kalivas, recently came to UMass Lowell to exchange information with Jim Canning (UMass Lowell computer science faculty member and UMass Lowell honors director) and to investigate ways to Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for lowellMCC.jpgstrengthen the interaction between the two schools."Middlesex Community College is a first-rate two year school." said Canning. "I remember back in the late 80s and early 90s when the UMass Lowell CS Department and MCC were housed in adjacent space in Lowell's Wannalancit Mill Complex. Their programs were vibrant, varied, and meaningful. They positively changed peoples lives." The two honors programs already share an honors transfer pact by virtue of both being part of the Commonwealth Honors Program that exists across all public higher education schools in Massachusetts. "Curriculum-wise, it is straightforward for MCC honors students to seamlessly merge into the UMass Lowell program". Kalivas and Canning are working on additional ways to challenge, encourage, and celebrate motivated students to excel academically. "David was an enthusiastic champion for his program and his students." commented Canning. "We look forward to an active and engaging relationship in the months and years to come."

Jeremy Poulin, a first year UMass Lowell Commonwealth Honors student and 2011 graduate of Alvirne High School in Hudson, NH, has received a $4,000 research co-op. Jeremy is a computer science major and this summer he will be working as an Android developer on the iSense team under the direction of Dr. Fred Martin. The UMass Lowell research co-op program provides research poulin.jpgfunding for exceptional students to work in campus labs over the summer and in the sophomore year provided they maintain a solid academic record. Jeremy's current GPA is 4.0. As a member of the UMass Lowell Commonwealth Honors Program he has chosen to pursue a course of academic excellence culminating in an undergraduate research thesis in his senior year. "Jeremy was a top student in his first computer science class he took last semester.", said Professor Jim Canning. "He was an active learner and a pleasure to have in class."

Littleton Resident Excels

UMass Lowell honors student, Anthony Fill, a resident of Littleton, will be graduating with a degree in mechanical engineering in May. During his college years, he excelled in a number of different areas. In the classroom he earned an overall GPA of 4.0. He is an impact member of the UMass Lowell concert band where he is the 1st chair euphonium player. He works as an assistant mechanical engineer in the campus’s Submillimeter-Wave Technology Laboratory which has supported

 his honors thesis project entitled: Motorization of Horn Antennae.  Mr. Fill is a member of the UMass Lowell Commonwealth Honors Program and he has lived in the Eames Honors House all four years on campus.  He is a 2008 graduate of Immaculate Heart of Mary School in Harvard where he identifies teachers Muriel Brooks and Anthony Vernaglia as important influences on his education.  This spring he will complete the honors program by submitting his thesis and then defending it in a public presentation.

Sandyha Balasubramanian, from UMass Lowell's Career & Coop Center, recently met with folks from GE Intelligent Platforms to enable UMass Lowell students to compete for Coops and full-time jobs at the Foxboro, MA facility. Sandyha explained how Coop works at UMass Lowell. In attendance from GE were Melanie Collins, Human brian2.jpgResource Manager; Lisa Lawless, Coop Manager; Chris Egeberg, Technology Manager (not shown in photo) ; and GE General Manager Brian Courtney. Brian is a 1988 alum of UMass Lowell's Computer Science Department. Also at the meeting, but not shown in the photo were Deme Gys from the UMass Lowell Advancement Office and Dr. Jim Canning, Director of UMass Lowell's Commonwealth Honors Program. "It was a terrific meeting.", said Canning. "We very much want to get our honor students and our computer science majors on GE Intelligent Platform's radar."  Courtney and Canning reminisced about the CS Department years ago. "Brian was a great student, very conscientious", said Canning. "We had great students then and we have great students now." Deme Gys facilitated the meeting and she explained about the many wonderful projects going on at UMass Lowell these days and how the campus has become a destination for high-achieving, motivated students.

UMass Lowell Assistant Professor, Shakil Quayes, came over to Eames Honors House on the evening of  March 7th and treated honors students to a talk about micro-financing and its affect on women in the impoverished world. Dr. Quayes received his Ph.D in Economics from the University of Illinois. Professor Quayes is a member of the Honors Council and serves on the curriculum and thesis subcommittees as well. Shown in the post-talk photo are Shakil, along with Erin Webster, Shalini Shah, Molly Caslin, Kathleen Campbell, and Adam Beauvais. Small loans given to women enable them to improve their lot in life. Such loans permit some women to gain power and influence while improving the health of their children. Statistics show that women are more likely than men to repay the non-collateral loans. The talk was part of the Eames Hall speaker series. Pizza was served and a gift-card drawing was held. Two students won certificates to Suppas and Starbucks. The banana cupcakes supplied by Dr. Bridget Marshall were fantastic. Thank you Dr. Quayes!!

The UMass Lowell Commonwealth Honors Library has hit a new milestone! Where the Red Fern Grows has now become the 100th book purchased this year and entered into the growing library. A great mix of books are now in the library as donors to the Honors Endowment Scholarship Fund not only help the fund grow, but also get recognized in one or more books inserted into the library under their name.  "Reading is a hallmark of any honors program." said director Jim Canning. "We encourage the honor students to incorporate reading into their lives on a regular basis.  There are lots of diverse books. Students recommend books, donors pitch in and help out the scholarship fund, and we enter a new book into the library." 
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Faculty, staff, and parents are all participating in the Buy a Book Initiative. "We've just had our first Corporate donation too, which is fantastic. We need the area companies to help us achieve our goal of 1,000 books. This is an easy and fun way for companies who hire our students to give back to us a little bit. Many streams make a river." From Classics to Shakespeare to Graphic Novels to Sci - Fi to mass media fiction to all the books we should have read while we  were in middle and high school, but they slipped by us - are starting to appear in the expanding library. Students can just borrow books as they wish. By virtue of the donations that these 100 books represents, the scholarship endowment fund has now grown by $7,500. Where exactly does the Red Fern Grow?

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