AROUND THE VALLEY
The Palace Theatres to Reopen This Summer
The Palace Theatres have announced that they will be retaking the stage Friday, June 4. Venues including the historic Palace Theatre, the Rex Theatre, the Spotlight Room and Forever Emma Studios will be open to the public for the first time since December.
As the school year comes to a close, the Palace will present the Bank of New Hampshire’s Children’s Summer Series beginning June 30. This year’s series will feature magician BJ Hickman, “Snow White,” “Peter Pan,” “Wizard of Oz,” “The Little Mermaid,” and more.
From Palace Artistic Director Carl Rajotte comes “Queen of the Night,” a new show celebrating the music of Whitney Houston. “Queen of the Night” will be The St. Mary’s Bank 2021-2022 Performing Arts Series opening show on September 10.
Also showcased in the professional series will be longtime favorites including “Mama Mia!” which returns in October. Holiday tradition will continue in November and December with “The Nutcracker” and “A Christmas Carol.” The new year will bring back theater classics including “The Full Monty,” “Bye Bye Birdie,” “The Producers” and “Legally Blonde.”
Friday Night Comedy is back at The Rex Theatre in Manchester, and will kick off with Juston McKinney on June 4 and 5. Other comedians include Tony V, Kelly MacFarland, Joe Yannetty, Corey Rodrigues and Christine Hurley. In addition to comedy, live music is much anticipated at the Rex this summer. Purchase tickets for No Shoes Nation Band, The Youngsters, American Elton, Panorama, The Spain Brothers online or by calling the box office.
Patron safety continues to be a top priority for the organization. The Palace and Rex will operate at a reduced capacity. Face masks are recommended, and health and safety guidance regarding occupancy and masks is subject to change as summer goes on. He encourages people to visit the Palace website in advance.
Baker-Polito Administration Re-Files Bill to Honor Veterans Lost to Service-Related Illness
The Baker-Polito administration this week re-filed legislation to establish the Massachusetts Medal of Fidelity, which will be presented by the Massachusetts National Guard to the families of veterans who lost their lives to service-related illnesses and injuries.
The bill, entitled “An Act Relative to Establishing the Massachusetts Medal of Fidelity,” will authorize the Commonwealth to award the Medal of Fidelity to the next-of-kin of Massachusetts service members who “died as the result of service-connected diseases, conditions or injuries that are related to either exposure to harmful toxins, herbicides, agents, and materials or service-related post-traumatic stress disorder.”
MCC’s Class of 2021 Graduates Amid Pandemic
Amid the pandemic and unprecedented challenges, Middlesex Community College (MCC) celebrated the successes of the graduating Class of 2021. MCC conferred 1,065 degrees and certificates to 983 graduates.
MCC held a virtual ceremony to celebrate commencement on Thursday, May 27. The video includes speeches from President James Mabry, President-elect Phil Sisson, and two student speakers, Nicole Smay and Mannuery Arias.
After the conferring of degrees, the virtual ceremony showed a photo montage and messages from the MCC community from faculty, staff and local politicians. In individual division breakout videos, student names were displayed in a slideshow presentation, including honors and distinctions. Graduates and their families could select which division they wanted to watch.
Serving a diverse population of learners, the age range of MCC’s Class of 2021 is 16 to 69, with the graduates representing 10 states and 56 countries. There are 39 veterans, 10 dual-enrollment high school graduates, 74 MCC employees and 410 first generation students.
There were 194 associate in arts, 687 associate in science and 184 certificates, as well as 82 students who earned more than one award. MCC’s health programs pinned 198 graduates and 57 students received department awards for their achievements. MCC’s Commonwealth Honors Program graduated 27 scholars, and 113 graduates are members of Phi Theta Kappa, the national honor society for two-year colleges.
Hannah Ditmars, Gianna Tringali and Riana Willsie were named to the 2020-2021 All-Massachusetts Academic Team, and MCC nursing student Micaela Rainha was named MCC’s “29 Who Shine” by the Mass. Department of Higher Education.
NDA Establishes First All-Girls Golf Team in the MV
The Academy of Notre Dame (NDA) in Tyngsboro, Mass., has put together the first female golf team in the Merrimack Valley.
According to head coach Patrick Moriarty, the team’s record is 2-2-1. “[They are an] impressive group of girls who work hard and enjoy the game,” Moriarty says. The team is made up by co-captains sophomore Mya Shanahan and junior Kate McNamee; sophomore Caroline Hanson; freshmen Molly Shanahan, Lily Golden and Halianna Gacek; and seventh graders Ella Hanson and Elizabeth Beauregard.
Trahan Announces Nearly $82 Million in American Rescue Plan Funding for Local Colleges and Students
U.S. Rep. Lori Trahan announced $81,819,954 in emergency funding for colleges, universities, and students in Massachusetts’ Third Congressional District under the American Rescue Plan. The relief funding will help local colleges address severe financial challenges caused by the COVID-19 pandemic and continue serving their students safely.
At least half of the funding each institution receives will be distributed in the form of emergency cash assistance grants to students who are facing hunger, homelessness, and other hardships. The American Rescue Plan allocated $36 billion for nearly 3,500 public and private, nonprofit colleges and universities nationwide.
The colleges and universities in Massachusetts’ Third District receiving funding under the American Rescue Plan are:
- UMass Lowell: $27,551,474
- Fitchburg State University: $11,428,049
- Merrimack College: $7,228,654
- Middlesex Community College: $13,649,527
- Northern Essex Community College: $12,426,922
- Mount Wachusett Community College: $9,535,328
UML Engineering Researcher Receives $450K Grant
UMass Lowell (UML) researcher Marianna Maiaru, assistant professor of mechanical engineering, was recently recognized by the U.S. Air Force with funding for her work on process modeling of composite materials.
Maiaru’s three-year, $450,000 Young Investigator Program (YIP) grant from the Air Force Office of Scientific Research will support her work to advance the development and processing of high-strength, high-temperature structural materials for the next generation of aerospace vehicles.
The Air Force awards the YIP grant to faculty researchers who “show exceptional ability and promise” in conducting creative, fundamental research in science and engineering. Maiaru is among the 36 scientists and engineers from 27 research institutions across the country selected by the Air Force for the recognition.
Maiaru is working on process modeling of advanced composites for structural applications and integrated computational materials engineering under the sponsorship of the National Science Foundation, NASA and the Air Force Research Laboratory.
Baker-Polito Administration, MassDevelopment Announce $1M in Funding for Coworking Spaces
The Baker-Polito Administration and MassDevelopment announced up to $1 million in funding for the sixth round of the Collaborative Workspace Program, a MassDevelopment program that accelerates business formation, job creation, and entrepreneurial activity in communities by supporting infrastructure that fuels locally based innovation. The funding will help coworking spaces plan, expand, buy equipment and make COVID-19 safety improvements.
Since its pilot launch, and through the first five rounds of grants, the Collaborative Workspace Program has made 164 awards totaling $9,842,041 for the planning, development, and build-out of collaborative workspaces.
M2D2 Programs Explore the Clinical Trial Process
Biotech and medical device entrepreneurs preparing to test their innovations in clinical trials will gain insights into that process during free programs presented by the Massachusetts Medical Device Development Center (M2D2).
The Clinical Trial Program Series, which begins next month via Zoom, will unite entrepreneurs with industry and government leaders to share best practices, challenges, funding issues and a road map for successful clinical trials. M2D2 is a joint venture of UMass Lowell (UML) and UMass Medical School in Worcester. The center assists entrepreneurs with all aspects of moving new products and technologies from the drawing board to the marketplace. Each program in the three-part series will focus on a different topic and feature a variety of leaders in this sector.
M2D2 operates lab-based business incubators in Lowell and Worcester and provides networking opportunities, pitch competitions and other programs for startups. The clinical trials series is the latest contribution to these efforts. Visit here for more on M2D2.
MOVERS & SHAKERS
Home Health Foundation Promotes Kelli True to Director of Referral Management and Transitions of Care at Home Health Foundation
True joined Home Health Foundation as a nurse case manager in 1999. In her new position, True will play a strategic role in executing the organization’s marketing and referral growth plans. True earned her BSN from Northeastern University and is currently pursuing an MBA in healthcare administration/management from Fitchburg State University. Even with nearly 25 years of experience as a registered nurse, True said she feels the same sense of commitment each day while working with her team to make a difference for patients and families throughout the region. True lives in Hampstead, N.H.