UMass Foundation hosts second ‘Speaker Series’

By Staff Writer Zach Lunghi. The UMass Foundation hosted two faculty speaker events in Florida this past spring break, one in Palm Beach on the 13 of March and one in Naples on the 14 of March. Over one hundred-seventy-five alumni and friends were in attendance for the programs. This is the second faculty speaker series for the foundation as they’ve hosted its initial Speaker Series last year also in Florida. This year’s speakers were Holly Yanco (PhD), Mark S. Klempner (MD), Cathy Neto (PhD), Nefertiti A.Walker (PhD) and, Kathrin Boerner (PhD). Their topics ranged from human-robotic interactions to how the usage of cranberries can fight off bacteria and other illnesses. Yanco represented UMass Lowell as she kicked the event off. Her speech Sci-Fi to HRI: Designing the robots of tomorrow was a discussion based off of the fantastical robotic systems that are seen in TV/Movies. She compared those to the modern day, top of the line technology we currently possess. Part of her presentation was to also shed light onto how likely these fantastical ideas are to come to fruition. Following Yanco, the representative of the UMass Medical school had the floor. Klempner’s talk AMAZEMENT: The Story of Lyme disease and the key to a happy life focused on Lyme disease and how treat/prevent the bacteria. Cranberry Power: Good chemistry for gut health was Neto’s speaker series installment. Not only did the UMass Dartmouth representative inform listeners of the cranberry’s natural ability to fight off bacteria but also how it can reduce your chances of getting colon cancer. Walker’s presentation The Changing Face of Sport: The significance of embracing diversity and inclusion in sport business tackles the lack of inclusion in sport business and how sexism could actually hinder the growth of the booming sports industry. The UMass Amherst professor also argued how research suggests the industry must adopt a new way of thinking to avoid any downfall. Finally, Boerner would close out the day with Aging Together: Senior children and their parents. The UMass Boston representative examined the dynamic between older children and their parents. Boerner then explored how both group are facing similar challenges in today’s society. The UMass Foundation hosted a similar event to this one last year and Libby Allen, a representative of the foundation, confirmed they have plans to continue. The same goes for their events held in Boston, as they’ve held programs in the past and plan to host more in the future. As of right now, there are talks of another event being planned for the summer which would take place in Boston.

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