Speaker Biographies


This program is funded in part by Mass Humanities​, UMass Lowell, NECC, the Catherine McCarthy Memorial Trust Fund, the ECCF—Rosman Family Fund, and the Lawrence Cultural Council, a local agency supported by the Massachusetts Cultural Council, a state agency.

Mehmed Ali works for the UMass Lowell Libraries as Program and Project Coordinator and wrote his dissertation on urban renewal in Lowell.

Jessica Andors is the Executive Director of Lawrence CommunityWorks, a nonprofit community development corporation forging a network of residents and stakeholders revitalizing the city of Lawrence, MA. Jessica was part of a team of community organizers that spearheaded the organization’s rebirth in 1999. Since then, LCW has grown from a staff of one and a deficit, to a $2.7 million organization with over 5,000 resident and stakeholder members, over $90 million invested in affordable housing, family asset building, and community organizing and development, and numerous awards for its work. Jessica received her Master’s of City Planning degree from MIT, where she was honored for outstanding contributions to the intellectual life of the Department of Urban Studies and Planning. She currently serves on the Boards of the MA Association of Community Development Corporations, Mill Cities Community Investments, and the Lawrence Partnership, a public-private economic development collaborative; she also sits on the MA Brownfields Advisory Group and the New Markets Advisory Group.

Professor Lois Ascher is a member of the College of Arts and Sciences at Wentworth Institute in Boston, into which she was hired as the first full time female faculty member. Her current work in urban culture studies grew from an interdisciplinary course, Boston Voyages By Book and Foot. The course studies the growth of Boston historically and culturally, with significant attention to the struggles and contributions of its immigrant populations. Outside the classroom, Ascher maintains her interest in urban culture as Clerk to the Board at Boston’s West End Museum, and as a member both of its Advisory Board and its programming Committee.

Peter Aucella, assistant superintendent, LNHP, a former executive director of the federal Lowell Historic Preservation Commission (LHPC) and Lowell’s assistant city manager for planning and development.

Adam Baacke, Director of Campus Planning and Development for UMass Lowell since 2014, worked for the City of Lowell's Department of Planning and Development (LDPD) for nearly 15 years, serving as its Chief Planner, Deputy Director, Director, and Assistant City Manager. He oversaw the implementation of two major urban renewal initiatives, the Acre Plan and the Jackson Appleton Middlesex Urban Redevelopment Plan. He has worked in community development, historic preservation, design, and planning for organizations in New Hampshire, New York, and Pennsylvania. He holds an undergraduate degree in American History from Cornell University and a Master of Science in Public Affairs from UMass Boston's McCormack Institute.

Llana Barber, Assistant Professor of American Studies at the State University of New York – College at Old Westbury, teaches courses on immigration and urban history. She moved to Lawrence in 2003 and has spent the past thirteen years researching and writing about the city’s history. Her book manuscript Latino City: Immigration and Urban Crisis in Lawrence, Massachusetts is forthcoming from the University of North Carolina Press. She currently lives in Queens, NY.

Trevor Beauregard has over 20 years of experience in Community Development and Planning. With a Bachelor of Science in Regional Planning from Westfield State University and M.S. in Urban Affairs from Boston University, he has worked for the City of Gardner for 7 years. During his tenure he’s been involved in implementing two urban renewal plans. Over his 20-year career he has worked for the Cities of Beverly and Leominster, MA, and the MA Technology Collaborative’s Renewable Energy Trust. He was recently elected by his peers to a two-year term as President of the Massachusetts Economic Development Council and is the current executive director of the Gardner Redevelopment Authority.

Jim Beauchesne, Visitor Services Supervisor at Lawrence Heritage State Park, has overseen programming and interpretation there since 1998. A member of the Bread and Roses Heritage Committee, he has served on the board of the Lawrence History Center. He did his graduate study at Northeastern University, where he earned an M.A. in Public History. His thesis was an oral history project focused on St. Anne’s Parish and the French-Canadians of Lawrence. While in graduate school he worked as an interpretive ranger at Lowell National Historical Park. Born and raised in Lawrence, he attended the now-defunct St. Anne's parochial grammar school and Central Catholic High School.

Celeste Bernardo is Superintendent at Lowell National Historical Park (LNHP) and a 30-year veteran of the National Park Service.

Russell Burke, Director of Planning with BSC Group, is an urban planner with extensive public and private sector experience, who has served in senior positions in public planning agencies and major real estate development firms.

Brad Buschur, a project director with Groundwork Lawrence, is responsible for managing the community input, design, and construction of park and infrastructure improvements. He most recently worked for the developer Cabot, Cabot & Forbes. He holds a B.A. in Urban Planning and Political Science from Miami University and a Masters in Landscape Architecture from UMass Amherst.

Dan Cahill is an award winning urban planner noted for redevelopment and urban renewal work in New England and Florida. A native of Lawrence, Mr. Cahill’s grandfather worked for the Essex Co. and his father was the long serving Postmaster of Lawrence after World War II. Cahill started the community development efforts for Orange County (FL), then given national recognition for his work. He worked with the oldest African American community in the country and implemented a new kind of ‘urban renewal’ in numerous neighborhoods. He returned to MA, becoming Director of Planning and Development for Lawrence, where he worked on the city’s last large urban renewal project and helped initiate the Lawrence Visitor’s Center and Museum Square Apartments among other projects. He was the Director of the MA Home Mortgage Finance Agency and started the Fleet (Bank) Community Development Corporation.

P.J. Carlino is a PhD candidate in American & New England Studies at Boston University (BU). He is an industrial designer by training, and taught design and manufacturing at Parsons School of Design in NYC through 2012. A historian of product design with a particular knowledge and interest in the intersection of manufacturing and design history, his dissertation will investigate the social history and the built environment in furniture-making cities in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. As a fellow with the Boston Furniture Archive he spent the summer of 2014 researching and cataloging 400 years of Boston furniture held in local institutions. In the spring of 2016 he helped coordinate the Dynamic City conference at BU, bringing together scholars, mayors and urban planners to discuss the opportunities and challenges of historic preservation in the future of cities.

Maggie Super Church is an independent consultant working with mission-driven clients to help build healthy, sustainable and equitable communities. Her expertise spans multiple fields, including urban planning and design, community development, real estate finance and non-profit management. She has nearly twenty years of professional experience working in Lawrence and communities across the country. As the past Executive Director of Groundwork Lawrence, she helped lead the organization’s growth from a small start-up to a dynamic statewide and national model for public-private partnership. She earned her M.A. in City Planning at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, where she was the recipient of the Wallace Floyd Award for City Design and Development and the MIT/DUSP Excellence in Public Service Award. She received her Master’s degree in Urban Design from the Edinburgh College of Art and her B.A. in Architecture from Yale University. A member of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation’s County Health Rankings Scientific Advisory Group, past Board Chair of Groundwork USA and a former Board member at the Lawrence History Center, she lives in Lawrence with her husband and two children.

Keith Clements, a senior at UMass Lowell will graduate in May 2016 with a B.A. in History and will then work toward a Master’s in Education so that he can teach high school history in Massachusetts.

Mark Cutler, born in Lawrence and raised in Andover, is on the Lawrence History Center board. With an M.A. in Spanish,since 2003 he has worked at Phillips Academy, where he teaches Spanish and facilitates intercultural exchanges through P.A.’s Learning in the World and Community Engagement programs. He is a 2015-16 fellow in the Tang Institute at Andover, exploring place-based and socially conscious collaborations in the Merrimack Valley. Through work with young people, he promotes language and cultural competency as important life skills for the 21st century. He and the students that present with him today have developed long-term partnerships in Lawrence, exploring issues of immigration, home, and identity in collaboration with Lawrence CommunityWorks, the Lawrence History Center, and Lawrence High School's ENLACE classes.

Loren DiForte was born in Lowell, raised in Chelmsford and graduated from Chelmsford High School in 2013. A junior at UMass Lowell in the nursing program, she is expected to graduate in May 2017. Interested in Maternity and Pediatric Nursing, she currently works at Harvard Vanguard Medical Associates as a medical assistant in the Pediatrics department.

Anthony DiFruscia is President and Founder of A.D. Management and Realty in Lawrence. He served in the MA Legislature from 1966 to 1972 and founded the DiFruscia Law Office in 1967. Born and raised in the so-called Plains area of the city, he experienced life there pre-urban renewal. He has a B.A. from Emerson College and a J.D. from New England School of Law. His love for the city of Lawrence is a source of great pride and he endeavors to participate in the preservation and renewal of the city through participation in projects like the Urban Renewal Symposium.

Michael DiPasquale, AIA, AICP is a registered architect and certified urban planner with a small practice in Northampton, MA, whose work consists of urban design and mixed-use developments, including housing for persons with special needs. At UMass Amherst/LARP he teaches courses and coordinates community outreach activities. In 2009, he founded the UMass Amherst Design Center in Springfield. Special interests include community participation and the role it plays in the equitable redevelopment of post-industrial cities.

Brianna Doucette is an honor’s student at UMass Lowell and is expected to graduate in December 2016 with a Bachelor’s of Science Degree with a specialty in nursing. Brianna grew up in Lynn, MA, which is similar to cities like Lowell and Lawrence in terms of urban life. This contributed to her interest in urban redevelopment and through her Honor’s Seminar she has been given the opportunity to explore the city in more depth.

Fred Faust is CEO of The Edge Group in Lowell, a private real-estate developer and property management firm. He helped write the legislation for Lowell’s national park while on the staff of Congressman and later U.S. Senator Paul Tsongas. He was the first executive director of the LHPC (1978-1986).

Kathleen Flynn was an early supporter of the Immigrant City Archives (now the LHC) during the 1980s and 1990s, volunteering and serving in several board capacities, including president. A graduate of Regis College, she received advanced degrees from Northeastern University in counseling and Fitchburg State College in educational administration. Kathy was a founding member of the Bridge Over Troubled Waters Program in Boston, MA. After 33 years of service she retired as an administrator from Whittier Regional Vocational Tech High School in Haverhill, MA. Currently she supports LHC as a volunteer and researcher and also authored Sacred Spaces, a history of St. Mary and Immaculate Conception Cemeteries. She is a board member and annual walker for the Just'Cause 60-mile Walk for Breast Cancer.

Ben Forman, research director at MassINC, a nonpartisan think tank that uses research, civic journalism, and public forums to stimulate debate and shape public policy, coordinates MassINC’s research agenda and oversees production of research reports. Prior to joining MassINC, he served as a researcher at the Brookings Institution. With previous positions at the District of Columbia Department of Parks and Recreation and the economic consulting firm Nathan Associates, he has experience in city government and the private sector.

Lara Furtado, a Ph.D. student in the Regional Planning department at UMassAmherst, is a trained architect from the Federal University of Ceará in Brazil and was a visiting student at Parsons, The New School for Design in New York. She has worked in architecture firms and also as researcher in a laboratory in Brazil focused on guaranteeing affordable housing for marginalized communities. Her work in the UMass Amherst Design Center consists of studying Legacy Cities such as Springfield and how design institutions and community-based groups can have a transformative role in revitalizing post-industrial cities.

Nairoby Gabriel is a political science-honors student at UMass Lowell. Born in Salem MA, raised in Lawrence MA, and currently residing in Haverhill. She works at her alma matter at Northern Essex Community College in the Financial Aid department, helping students like herself find ways to fund their academics. She also serves as a community leader in the Mount Washington area organization called "Urban Kindness", which aims to unify and connect the diverse and large residential area. She has interned in the offices of Mayor Fiorentini in Haverhill and Mayor Rivera in Lawrence.

Richard Garcia is an undergraduate student at UMass Lowell majoring in Entrepreneurial Studies. Born and raised in Boston, he currently works for a private equity firm as an intern. In the future he hopes to go to law school.

Katie Gilligan is an undergraduate History major at UMass Lowell. She is planning to be a teacher somewhere in Middlesex County. Born and raised in Lowell, she is a graduate of Lowell High School.

Mary Guerrero, M.A., Bread Loaf School of English at Middlebury College, is a retired Lawrence public school teacher and Lawrence History Center board member. Her family lives in Lawrence and own two businesses in the city– El Taller and Café Azteca. She won a 2014 innovations in education grant from The Sandbox to create the “My City is a Museum” Project in Lawrence and has worked with Andover Bread Loaf for several years. She brings her expertise in teaching and place-based learning in an immigrant community to Mapping Our World.

Alessha Guzzi, an undergraduate honors nursing student, works at UMass Medical in Worcester. At UMass Lowell her classes included Western Civilization, Sociology, and Child and Adolescent Psychiatry. Completed clinicals include Psychiatric and Pediatrics. A student of the city, Aleesha has developed an interest in Lowell and its residents.

Dr. Susan Hanson holds a Ph.D. in American Studies from the University of Maryland at College Park. Since 2001, she has been Principal of History Behind the Scenes, which provides consulting services to history museums, historic sites, cultural institutions and private clients in the areas of Master, Strategic and Interpretive Planning. She has more than 30 years of experience in planning, collections and archives management, and public programming. Her extensive professional experience includes her role as the director and assistant director of living history farm museums in both Texas and Virginia. Hanson has been involved with the Association for Living History, Farm and Agricultural Museums since 1983, serving as President of the organization from 1999-2001. She joined the West End Museum in 2013 and currently serves as its President and Director.

Armand Hyatt is admitted to practice law in Massachusetts, California and New Hampshire. Since 1976, he has maintained his primary law office in the North Common neighborhood of his boyhood. His general practice includes civil and criminal trial work, contract law, estate planning and handling hundreds of secured real estate transactions. His experience includes several affordable housing developments (700+ units). Armand has remained pro bono General Counsel for Lawrence CommunityWorks---and a member of the Board and Executive Committee---continuously since he co-founded that CDC in 1986 to fortify a resident-based struggle in the North Common neighborhood which successfully overturned an illegal land disposition process and then secured the acquisition and ultimate development of 140 units of affordable housing on that urban renewal site.

Emily Keys Innes is an urban planner with The Cecil Group and Harriman. Her professional focus is on the use of urban renewal legislation to create tools for the redevelopment of New England’s cities and downtowns. Her interest in historic preservation has led to planning projects that investigate methods for creating conditions for economic growth that leverage the assets of historic downtowns and protect historic buildings and development patterns. Ms. Innes recognizes the complex interactions among community desires, urban design, market realities, and zoning requirements and enjoys working with communities to define their own responses to these interactions. A member of the Urban Land Institute, she participates in their Technical Assistance Program for cities and towns and is the former Chair of her town’s Planning Board.

Michelle Janiak is an undergraduate Psychology major with a minor in education at UMass Lowell. Learning about urban renewal in Lowell is interesting because she lives in nearby lives in Chelmsford, MA. It is important to her to learn about the history of her surroundings. She is especially interested in people’s opinions on urban renewal, especially individuals impacted by the process.

Sarah Sycz Jaworski is the Community Engagement Assistant for Historic New England, the nation’s largest and oldest regional heritage organization. A graduate of the Tufts University Museum Studies program, she has worked at New England museums as a museum educator and public program developer. In addition, she served as the director for the Kingston Community Library in Kingston, NH, where she helped lead a $2.8M new library construction project. In 2015 Sarah directed Woolworth’s: Remembering Haverhill’s Shopping District, an oral history based documentary film that tells the universal story of small urban communities rise and fall and eventual revitalization through the 20th and 21st centuries.

Dr. Patricia Jaysane holds a Ph.D. in historical linguistics from Laval University. While teaching at Merrimack College in North Andover, she became founding director of Merrimack College’s Urban Resource Institute, focusing on education, development and sustainability in Lawrence. Leaving Merrimack, she became director of the Lawrence History Center, where she produced presentations, exhibits and reports on topics ranging from education to economic development to public health. Her study entitled The Community Context of Health in Lawrence, Massachusetts provided the basis for examining the complex causes of poor health outcomes in the City. She produced a film on the history of Lawrence. Publications include articles in The Encyclopedia of Religion and proceedings from the fourth conference of the Small City and Regional Community.

Fabiana Kelley, an immigrant from Brazil, graduated with a Bachelor’s Degree in History from UMass Lowell in December of 2015. Her Honor’s College thesis was on urban renewal in Lawrence.

Amita Kiley was raised in Lawrence and graduated from Northeastern University with a B.A. in American History in 2004. Her experience growing up in Lawrence fostered a love of the city and a strong sense of wanting to preserve its history. In 2001, as part of Northeastern’s Co-operative Education program, she found herself working at the LHC as a preservation assistant. She continued her professional career after graduation at the archive. In 2014, she moved into her current role as collections manager and research coordinator. She works closely with LHC’s director and local historians, coordinates and supervises volunteers, handles walk in visitors and manages membership correspondence from the LHC office.

Duane Lucia has lived in the West End of Boston for over 25 years. He is one of the founders of the West End Community Center and has served as President of the West End Civic Association, as well as the West End Museum where he currently serves as curator of exhibits. Professionally, Mr. Lucia is CEO of the Gallery East Network, a company he co-founded in 1979, which provides exhibit consulting services and event planning for artists, and various art related educational programming.

Dale Lucier grew up and currently resides in Winchendon, MA. A former 33-year furniture worker, her grandfather and uncle also worked in furniture. She got her first job at Nichols & Stone when she was 19 years old. She was one of the last employees working there when the factory closed in 2008. She currently spends her time caring for family, working on projects around the house, and enjoys quiet time sitting on her front porch. Dale’s story was the inspiration for the Chair City Oral History project.

Kathleen Mahoney is a second year Master’s student in the Public History program at University of Massachusetts Amherst, where she focuses on 20th century American urban history. She received a B.A. in History from Boston College and completed a post-baccalaureate program in Urban Studies at Columbia University’s Graduate School of Architecture, Planning and Preservation. Her current research looks at a controversial urban renewal project in her hometown of Albany, NY that displaced a residential neighborhood in the 1960s. She serves on the collections committee at the Loring-Greenough Historic House in Jamaica Plain and volunteers on the archives team at Girls Rock Campaign Boston.

Paul Marion, author of Mill Power: The Origin and Impact of Lowell National Historical Park, is president of the Lowell Heritage Partnership, a community alliance whose motto is “Caring for Architecture, Nature, and Culture.” The group’s new initiative involves revitalizing Lowell’s historic canal system.

Olivia Marshall is an Honor’s student at UMass Lowell. She is currently working towards her Bachelor’s of Science Degree with a specialty in nursing, which she is expected to receive in December 2016. Originally from Boxford, MA, she grew up in a suburban neighborhood and moved to Lowell to experience life on an urban college campus. Since moving to Lowell in September 2013, she has been extremely interested in the history and growth in the city of Lowell.

Esther Mawhinney, an undergraduate Honors student at UMass Lowell majoring in nursing. Raised in Lynn, a graduate of Lynn Classical High School in 2013, at UMass Lowell her classes included Sociology, and Child and Adolescent Psychiatry. Completed clinicals include Psychiatric, Maternity and Pediatrics.

Steve Meacham, Organizing Director at City Life/Vida Urbana, has been an organizer for over 40 years, working around issues of housing, labor rights, and war. He worked in Quincy Shipyard for nine years as a welder until it closed in 1986. Since coming to City Life in 1999 he has helped further develop that organization's radical approach to organizing, using the sword-shield model (public protest and legal defense).

Zachary Najarian-Najafi is a senior history major at UMass Lowell, and his primary area of interest is 20th century history; he is planning on pursuing an M.A. in library science.

James C. (Jim) O’Connell is planner for the Boston Office of the Northeast Region of the National Park Service. O’Connell is also an Adjunct Professor in the City Planning/Urban Affairs program at Boston University. He holds a B.A. from Bates College and an M.A. and Ph.D. from the University of Chicago. His books on urban history include The Hub’s Metropolis: Greater Boston’s Development from Railroad Suburbs to Smart Growth (MIT Press, 2013) and, with Michael F. Konig, Shaping an Urban Image: The History of Downtown Planning in Springfield, Massachusetts (Connecticut Valley Historical Museum, 1990). He has served as Deputy Executive Director of the Springfield (MA) Redevelopment Authority and Economic Development Director of the Cape Cod Commission.

Katelin Olson is a Ph.D. Candidate in the Department of City and Regional Planning at Cornell University. The former Executive Director of the Albion Main Street Alliance, Katelin received her M.A. in Historic Preservation Planning from Cornell in 2009. She serves on the Ithaca Landmarks Preservation Commission and is currently completing her dissertation on the decline and adaptive reuse of Buffalo’s East Side.

Madeline Ormaza is a third year undergraduate student and a member of the Honors College at UMass Lowell where she is pursuing her Bachelor’s degree in Business Administration with a concentration in Accounting and Finance. Her goal is to graduate within five years with a Master’s degree in Accounting. Her future aspiration is to be a public accountant in one of the big four accounting firms.

Lisa Owens, the Executive Director at City Life/Vida Urbana, has dedicated the last 25 years to building, nurturing and sustaining radical grassroots organizations fighting for racial, economic, and social transformation. Lisa is a popular educator, adjunct professor, an occasional consultant and a board member of several racial and economic justice organizations.

Richard Padova, M.Ed, M.A., is an instructor of history, geography and government in the Global Studies Department at Northern Essex Community College in Haverhill, MA. Courses at Northern Essex have included Urban Geography and Honors Urban Planning. A native of Lawrence, MA with an interest in both its history and its future, Richard serves on the Board of Directors of the Lawrence History Center and is a member of the Citizens Advisory Committee of the Lawrence Redevelopment Authority, helping to create a new urban renewal plan for the city of Lawrence.

Charles Parrott, historical architect at LNHP, previously served in a similar role at the LHPC, where he provided the design management of the downtown building facade rehabilitation grant program. He has been involved in the ongoing Lowell Canalway program of greenway development and preservation along the city’s canals.

Tracie Pouliot is a community-based visual artist from central MA. She holds a BFA in Fine Art Printmaking from Pratt Institute and an MA in Community Art from the Maryland Institute College of Art. Her father worked in the furniture industry for over 30 years in Gardner, MA. Her current community based art practice is inspired and informed by her time spent working in the Nichols & Stone furniture factory. The Chair City Oral History Book Series turns first hand accounts from furniture workers into hand-printed, hand-bound books using old-fashioned methods of bookmaking. She is a member of local and national organizations including the Gardner Area League of Artists and Groundswell, a network of oral historians, cultural workers, community organizers, and documentary artists.

Danielle Ringler is a UMass Lowell senior, with a dual major in Marketing and Management. She came to Lowell on a track scholarship. After her sophomore year she decided to focus more on her studies, left track behind and joined the University’s co-op program. Being a part of the program allowed her to work full-time for 6 months at a company and then extend her employment for six additional months.

Anthony Sampas is the Archivist and Metadata Specialist with the UMass Lowell Libraries where he specializes in Congressional records and local history.

Louise Sandberg, a transplant to New England from Tulsa, Oklahoma, received her B.A. from Brandeis University and right after college worked at the Brown University Archives. She spent a year in graduate school at Hebrew University and worked at the Rockefeller Museum, both in Jerusalem. Her MSc is from Simmons College in Library and Information Science with a concentration in Archives Management. She came to the LPL in 1996 as a library assistant and started organizing the historical materials by the summer of 1997. This now has become a separate department with its own reading room with thousands of linear feet of city and corporate records, personal papers, manuscripts, monographs, microfilm, serials, maps, plans, photographs, artifacts, and ephemera.

Moe Savoie, the sixth of seven children, was born and raised in Gardner, MA, after his parents immigrated to the U.S. in the early 1960’s from New Brunswick, Canada, to work in the factories of Greater Gardner. He holds an associates degree in Data Processing from Mount Wachussett Community College, a bachelors degree in Computer Science from Framingham State University and currently works as a Principal Software Performance Engineer for Constant Contact in Waltham, MA. He became a volunteer with the Chair City Community Art Center when he learned that his brother, Guy Savoie, would be featured in the Chair City Oral History Book Series.

Karl Seidman is an economic development consultant and Senior Lecturer at MIT’s Department of Urban Studies and Planning. His research and practice interests include local economic development strategy, development finance, neighborhood rebuilding, and commercial district revitalization. He is the author of Coming Home to New Orleans: Neighborhood Rebuilding after Katrina, (2013), Economic Development Finance (2004), and Revitalizing Commerce for American Cities: A Practitioner’s Guide to Urban Main Street Programs (2004).

Elise Selinger is a second year Masters in City Planning student at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology where she is studying real estate development and housing policy. She is also working in the Real Estate division of Jewish Community Housing for the Elderly (JCHE). Prior to MIT, Elise was Co-op Preservation Associate at the Urban Homesteading Assistance Board in New York City, advising limited equity housing cooperatives on legal issues and major capital improvement projects.

Craig Thomas is Chief Design Planner in the LDPD. He leads a team that directs public construction projects, oversees management of the City’s assets, and secures grant funding for signature initiatives. His previous work included management of Lowell’s urban renewal areas, which include the City’s signature $800M+ public-private partnership redevelopment initiative known as the Hamilton Canal District. He received a Bachelor’s degree from Wesleyan University in Middletown, CT and a Master’s degree in Economic and Social Development of Regions from UMass Lowell.

Katie Vooys is a nursing major at UMass Lowell and is a member of the Honors College. She is expected to graduate in December 2016. She grew up in Chelmsford and currently resides in Lowell. In her free time, Katherine enjoys reading and playing the piano.

Richard “Rick” Wetmore’s professional career as a Program Manager and Systems Engineer spanned over 40 years with a background in maritime radar and navigation technologies. Born and raised in Lawrence, his immigrant ancestors are deeply rooted in Lawrence’s history, having emigrated in the late 19th and early 20th Centuries from England, Scotland, Ireland and Canada to work in the mills. A longtime member of the LHC and in recent years a volunteer, Rick has collaborated on a number of projects, the most recent being the Urban Renewal Map Project.

Bernice Yeboah is a third year student at UMass Lowell where she is pursuing her Bachelor’s degree in Business Administration degree with a dual concentration in Accounting and Finance. Her goal is to finish her undergraduate degree and start on her master’s degree right away as part of the UMass Lowell 4+1 program. She strives to one day become a forensic accountant. An Honors student and very active on campus, she takes part in many student organizations. Her actions are guided by the philosophy “Do something today that your future self will be proud of”.


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Founded in 1978 as the Immigrant City Archives, the mission of the Lawrence History Center is to collect, preserve, share, and animate the history and heritage of Lawrence and its people.