AROUND THE VALLEY
University, City Mark Earth Day With Grants for ‘Green’ Projects
In honor of Earth Day, UMass Lowell (UML) and the city of Lowell awarded the first round of $50,000 in sustainability grants to five projects. The grants are the latest initiative by the leaders of the Green Community Partnership to support efforts to implement and grow sustainable operations around the region.
The alliance to provide leadership, resources and expertise for sustainability initiatives throughout greater Lowell was launched in January 2020. The partnership includes the Green Community Commission, which is co-chaired by philanthropist Nancy Donahue and includes leaders from business, community and environmental organizations. The founding of the partnership included the launch of a sustainability grant program for university-community initiatives funded by a generous donation by Donahue to the university and matched by community partners for a total of $50,000 in available funding.
The criteria for grant funding includes aligning with the sustainability goals in UML’s 2020 Strategic Plan and the city of Lowell’s Sustainable Lowell 2025 Master Plan.
The projects receiving funding are:
- Composting Pilot Program, $10,000 – The project by Mill City Grows and UML will create an urban farm compost hub at their farm site in the Pawtucketville neighborhood. The site will source organic waste from MCG urban farm sites and community/school gardens to produce high-quality compost. The compost hub will offer hands-on education opportunities and volunteerism integrated into the operations of a demonstration composting facility.
- Lowell Energy Efficiency Acceleration Program (LEAP), $10,000 – Led by partners Community Teamwork Inc. and UML, the project aims to reduce energy consumption and promote the financial stability and health of homeowners in the city of Lowell. The program will provide hands-on training and employment opportunities for UML students to develop a “green-collar” workforce in Lowell.
- Northern Canal Overlook Battery Solar Street Lighting, $10,000 – The joint effort of the city of Lowell, Massachusetts Department of Energy Resources and UML will install a series of battery solar streetlights at the recently constructed Northern Canal Overlook at the corner of Pawtucket Street and University Avenue.
- Sustainability Pathway at Lowell High School, $10,000 – Lowell High School and UML will work together to evolve a pathway focused on the environment into the Sustainability Pathway at Lowell High School to offer students a range of educational opportunities to develop them into citizens engaged in creating a sustainable city of Lowell.
- UML Green Schools Program, $10,000 – Lowell Public Schools and UML will work together to identify a partner K-8 school in Lowell and develop a unique set of programs and projects that will serve as the pilot location for a city-wide Green School program.
Since signing on to the American College & University Presidents’ Climate Commitment in 2007, UML has committed itself to net-zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050 through its aggressive Climate Action Plan. The university completed a $23.1 million Accelerated Energy Program resulting in more than $1 million in yearly savings and annual reductions of 1.7 million gallons of water and 9 million pounds of carbon dioxide emissions.
In 2010, the city of Lowell became one of the first communities in the Commonwealth to be designated as a Green Community, reflecting the city’s longstanding commitment to environmental sustainability and its leadership among Massachusetts gateway cities in implementing ambitious renewable energy and energy efficiency initiatives.
Rep. Trahan Announces Over $500 Million in Funding To
Massachusetts Child Care Providers
U.S. Rep. Lori Trahan announced $510,544,054 for Massachusetts child care providers to open safely, keep workers on payroll, and lower costs for hardworking families. This funding will provide both employers and the families they serve with long overdue support.
The funding comes as part of two programs Rep. Trahan voted to create through the American Rescue Plan:
- $314,379,488 from the child care stabilization fund to help child care providers to reopen or stay open, provide safe and healthy learning environments, keep workers on payroll, and provide mental health supports for educators and children, and
- $196,164,566 in more flexible funding for Massachusetts to make child care more affordable for more families, increase access to high-quality care for families receiving subsidies, increase compensation for early childhood workers, and meet other care needs in the state.
This $39 billion funding release will provide a lifeline to hundreds of thousands of childcare providers and early childhood educators, provide a safe and healthy learning environment for more than 5 million children. The funding will go to the state, which will allocate it to specific providers and families.
‘Father of UMass Lowell’ Honored with Dedication of Space on Campus
UMass Lowell (UML) paid tribute to the institution’s first chancellor with the unveiling of a space on campus dedicated in his memory.
Known as the “Father of UMass Lowell,” William Hogan served UML in nearly every capacity – as a professor, department head, college dean, vice president, president and chancellor – through all of the university’s modern incarnations over more than 40 years.
Now, the William T. Hogan Engineering Dean’s Suite, located in Southwick Hall, will serve as a testament to Hogan’s visionary leadership for future generations of River Hawks.
Across four decades, Hogan worked tirelessly to expand opportunities for tens of thousands of students, faculty and staff, and to strengthen the university’s education and research programs. After serving as an engineer in the U.S. Army and with General Electric, he joined Lowell Technological Institute, one of UML’s predecessor institutions, in 1963 as a professor of mechanical engineering. There, he rose to become head of the department.
In 1973, Hogan was named the first dean of the institute’s newly organized College of Engineering and in 1975, Hogan was appointed the first vice president for academic affairs when the institute merged with Lowell State Teachers College to form the University of Lowell. Within six years, he became the institution’s first president.
When the University of Lowell joined the UMass system in 1991, Hogan became its first chancellor. Under his leadership, enrollment at UML increased and accreditation soared. Shortly before retiring in 2006, Hogan helped develop a plan for a $266 million renovation of the university’s three campuses, taking the first steps toward establishing UML as a world-class research and development center.
Hogan also worked to grow the region’s economy beyond campus, launching several revitalization initiatives in cooperation with the city of Lowell, including the Riverwalk, LeLacheur Park, the Lowell Summer Music Series, the expansion of the Tsongas Industrial History Center and the construction of what is now the Tsongas Center at UMass Lowell. He passed away in 2017.
Hogan’s commitment to higher education lives on at the university through the William T. Hogan Scholarship Fund for Innovation and Engagement. Chantohn Louangphixai, a 2020 UML graduate from Dracut who received his bachelor’s degree in history, is the latest of more than a dozen scholarship recipients assisted by the fund since its inception in 2007. Members of the public who would like to honor Hogan and his legacy with donations to the fund may do so here.
Lowell General Vaccine Program Administers 100,000th Dose to Newton Woman
Lowell General Hospital’s (LGH) Mass Vaccination Program administered its 100,000th dose of COVID-19 vaccine on Friday, April 23, to Emily Church, of Newton, who received her first dose of Pfizer vaccine.
LGH was one of the first hospitals in the state to start vaccinating employees on Dec. 15, 2020. It opened a regional vaccination site at Cross River Center in Lowell and quickly ramped up from 400 to 3,000 doses per day, five days a week. The site is staffed by LGH employees and more than 200 volunteers from across the Merrimack Valley.
“This milestone is a credit to the way the Greater Lowell community comes together in a time of crisis,” said Jody White, President and CEO of LGH. “This successful vaccination effort isn’t possible without the support of our volunteers and the incredible commitment of our staff.”
Church, who is originally from Pepperell and was born at LGH, said she came to the Lowell vaccination site on the recommendation of her mother who received her shot there. Church’s shot was given by Lowell General nurse Alison Faulhaber, who administered the MVP program’s first dose on Dec. 15, 2020.
MOVERS & SHAKERS
Pentucket Bank Welcomes Sean O’Connell at Vice President & Information Security Officer
O’Connell joins the bank with over thirty years of experience in information technology and information security. O’Connell’s role at the Bank will include establishing and maintaining a corporate-wide information security management program to ensure that information assets are adequately protected. O’Connell has his Bachelor’s degree in information technology from Western Governor’s University in Salt Lake City, Utah. He resides in Lebanon, Maine with his wife and has four children. Outside of work, O’Connell enjoys working on projects, nature and hiking, but most of all spending quality time as a family.