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University of Massachusetts Celebrates International Education November 17-21

Lecture by Padraig O'Malley Kicks-off Events Across UMass Campuses


BOSTON- University of Massachusetts Boston Professor and Moakley Chair Padraig O'Malley, known for his peace and reconciliation work in Northern Ireland, South Africa and Iraq, spoke to students and faculty at UMass Lowell and Middlesex Community College last week about directing the Helsinki talks on Iraq. The talks, which concluded in July with Iraqi representatives agreeing to 17 principles defining the framework for conducting future negotiations, brought together veteran negotiators from Northern Ireland and South Africa and powerful political figures in Iraq.

He shared his model for reconciliation explaining, "People from divided societies are in a better position to help other people from divided societies because they share similar behavioral characteristics that cross cultural barriers, ethic barriers, racial barriers and religious barriers even though the conflicts are different." 

O'Malley's lecture, coming just before he left for Belfast and other divided cities across Europe, Africa and the Middle East to invite city leaders to participate in a new forum, kicked off a series of events at UMass Lowell and across the University's campuses in celebration of International Education Week. Created by the U.S. State and Education Departments, International Education Week celebrates the fundamental importance of international education, study abroad programs, and collaboration among nations through education. This year it is being marked from November 17-21. 

University of Massachusetts President Jack M. Wilson underscored the importance of O'Malley's work as well as the contributions of all UMass faculty who engage in international teaching, research and service. 

"Professor O'Malley's incredible body of work is both an academic account of peace and reconciliation in our time and an expression of his uncompromising dedication to promoting dialogue among representatives of differing factions. He is shaping a brighter future for divided nations and cities around the world," Wilson said. "UMass faculty touch every continent with their teaching, research and service, making significant contributions to scholarship and sharing with students the broader understanding, background and perspectives they need to succeed in our global society. We can only adequately prepare our students to lead in this century if we expand their awareness of other societies, cultures and economies." 

As in previous years, each UMass campus will host a number a special events throughout International Education Week, including:

  • UMass Amherst: The Isenberg School of Management is organizing a series of activities including a competition for a $1,000 Study Abroad Scholarship, a display of flags, and a study abroad fair. Other campus programming includes an international photography exhibit, a Global Health Institute reception, several film screenings and a chef offering a "Taste of Italy" in various Dinning Commons.

  • UMass Boston: The Boston campus will host a four-day conference, "Rebuilding sustainable communities for children and their families after disasters" from November 16-19 which will cover international disasters and conflicts.

  • UMass Dartmouth: UMass Dartmouth will host an informational study abroad table, foreign language discussion groups, and a variety of international music performances throughout the week.

  • UMass Lowell: Faculty from UMass Lowell will attend the Massachusetts Council for International Education annual conference "Mapping a New World: Access, Equity and Education" on November 21st at Massasoit Community College in Brockton.

  • UMass Medical School: Faculty from UMass Medical School are also participating in the Massachusetts Council for International Education conference. In addition, the campus will host the 3rd annual International Craft Sale.

Last year over 3,000 international students studied at the University's five campuses and the University offers more than 100 study abroad opportunities to UMass students. 

"International relations permeates everything that we do at the University. Our commitment to preparing students for a global society reaches from a student's first year experience to their graduation and beyond," said Marcellette Williams, Senior Vice President Academic Affairs, Student Affairs and, International Relations. "International Education week is a wonderful opportunity to further our global engagement and to reflect on the mission of the University." 

The University of Massachusetts' long history of embracing international relations began in 1876 when the University's third president, William Smith Clark, was invited to Japan to help found Hokkaido University. The University is presently hosting Chisato Akibayashi who was selected from Hokkaido University to participate in the prestigious Long-term Educational Administration Program sponsored by the Japanese Ministry of Education, Sports, Science, and Culture (MEXT) and managed by the Montana State University, Office of International Programs. This is the first year the University of Massachusetts has been selected to host a LEAP applicant and Akibayashi will visit all five UMass campuses and the President's Office during her fellowship. 

For more information on International Education week please visit  and to learn more about the global initiatives taking place at UMass, please visit

Robert P. Connolly, 617-287-7073 

Libby DeVecchi, 617-287-7023


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