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Colleges

UMass names astrophysicist Neil deGrasse Tyson as commencement speaker

Wednesday, April 1, 2015

AMHERST — Astrophysicist Neil deGrasse Tyson will speak at the undergraduate commencement of the University of Massachusetts Amherst on May 8, the school announced Wednesday. Tyson is executive editor and on-camera host for “Cosmos: a Spacetime Odyssey,” the 21st-century remake of the hugely popular “Cosmos,” hosted by Carl Sagan in 1980. Tyson’s series ran for 13 episodes in 2014. Tyson will speak before roughly 5,500 students receiving bachelor’s degrees at …

Hack@Smith takes on gender imbalance in software field; teams tackle weekend of computing projects

Saturday, March 28, 2015

NORTHAMPTON — A little after noon Saturday, Smith College senior Melissa Chenok pulled a photo up on her laptop, that of sinister “Harry Potter” character Draco Malfoy. Then she fetched another: celebrity Kim Kardashian, sporting blond tresses. The resemblance? Striking, actually. But the pressing question for Chenok was this: Could these two familiar …

Training drill for emergencies could draw 275

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

AMHERST — If an emergency shelter needs to be activated for Hampshire County residents during a major storm, those in charge of overseeing the site need to be prepared to safely and orderly accommodate people and their pets. This ability to ensure families have a safe place to stay is a primary objective of a six-hour emergency exercise hosted by the University of …

Bacteria, the good kind: UMass researcher thinks salmonella could be player in cancer battle

Tuesday, March 3, 2015

AMHERST — Some day, cancer patients may owe their survival to creatures now considered harmful and even lethal in their own right — salmonella bacteria. In the mind of Neil S. Forbes, a chemical engineering professor at the …

Science for the People continues revitalization at UMass with panel discussion Saturday

Monday, March 2, 2015

AMHERST — Less than a year after a group focused on using science to pursue social and environmental justice held a reunion at the University of Massachusetts — a quarter century after the original Science for the People was dissolved — the group plans to continue its revitalization …

After delays in deportation trial, DREAMer Bryan Torres now a student at Amherst College

Friday, February 27, 2015

AMHERST — Bryan Torres was 12 when he made a three-week journey from El Salvador to Northampton. He cried nearly every day. He didn’t know if he would see his grandmother again — the woman who had raised …

MassPIRG report urges expanded use of open-source textbooks

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

AMHERST — Four years into a campus initiative aimed at reducing textbook costs by making course material available for free online, University of Massachusetts students and staff are pushing for more faculty to use this option. While the Open Source Initiative has already saved an estimated $1 million …

Amherst College outlines actions in quest for carbon-neutral campus

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

AMHERST — Amherst College trustees released a blueprint Tuesday for achieving a carbon-neutral campus, outlining steps to reduce carbon dioxide emissions, increase recycling and serve more homegrown food in its dining commons. The “Statement on Sustainability and Investment Policy” acknowledges the threats posed by climate change, states that …

UMass bans most vehicles without valid permits from campus parking lots between March 6 and 8

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

AMHERST — The University of Massachusetts Amherst will ban all vehicles from its lots without valid parking permits the weekend of Blarney Blowout, except for some planned events on campus. The university’s parking services department posted a statement on its website that the ban would be in effect …

Drug sickens 11 students at Wesleyan

Monday, February 23, 2015

Police in Middletown, Conn., on Monday said they are searching for the source of what is likely a bad batch of Molly, an illegal synthetic party drug that sickened at least 11 students at Wesleyan University, two critically, after many used the drug Saturday. The drug, often found …

State rules that peer mentors at UMass may vote on joining Resident Assistant Union

Monday, February 23, 2015

AMHERST — Live-in peer mentors at the University of Massachusetts Amherst will have the opportunity to join the Resident Assistant Union after a ruling by the Commonwealth Employment Relations Board. The board issued a decision Friday ordering a vote among the approximately 75 peer mentors at UMass to …

Warren asks people’s support for more just education policies

Friday, February 20, 2015

GREENFIELD — Speaking Thursday at Greenfield Community College, U.S. Sen. Elizabeth Warren asked for people’s support to help make college more affordable, to support early childhood education and to make education a priority and an opportunity for everyone. …

Faculty, students blast UMass misstep on Iran

Friday, February 20, 2015

AMHERST — One day after University of Massachusetts Amherst officials reversed a ban on admitting Iranians to certain graduate programs, the university chancellor apologized to faculty and students, many of whom expressed outrage and remorse over the policy. …