November 7, 2017

The Quad [Nov. 8]: Four things to know from Anna Maria, Worcester State, QCC and UMass Medical School

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Anna Maria College hosts sculpture walk with Gloria Hall

Anna Maria College announced that Art in the Park Executive Director Gloria Hall will join the Department of Art and Design for a sculpture walk at noon today.

The tour will start in front of the Bishop Flanagan Campus Center and continue down Sunset Lane. During the walk, Ms. Hall will discuss Art in the Park, the partnership with Anna Maria College and stories and nuances of each sculpture. The walk will conclude at the Art Center Gallery in Miriam Hall with hot apple cider and the current exhibit, “Frank Poor, From the Road.” This event is free and open to the public.

Art in the Park, Worcester at Anna Maria College features four sculptures on display from Sept. 15 to May 13, 2018. The exhibiting artists hail from Vermont, Massachusetts and Rhode Island. This collaborative effort introduces public art to the college campus. Materials and information about the sculptures are available by visiting the Office of Admission or the Art Center in Miriam Hall.

Worcester State students raise money for Puerto Rico and area food pantries

Worcester State University kicked off more than a week of altruism as the Student Government Association and other WSU groups undertake a 10-day fundraising campaign to benefit Unidos Por Puerto Rico and offer an “Empty Bowl” fundraiser today in conjunction with National Hunger and Homelessness Awareness Week.

Today, faculty and staff will offer an “Empty Bowl” fundraiser from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. in the Student Center’s Blue Lounge. The event’s slogan is, “Buy a bowl, feed our community.”

Attendees can purchase soup and two raffle tickets for $10 ($3 for WSU students), while dessert can be purchased for $2. Food for the event will be provided courtesy of Chartwells, WSU’s food service provider, and Panera Bread.

Proceeds will benefit St. Paul’s Food Pantry, Pernet Food Pantry, Worcester County Food Bank, Chandler Magnet Elementary School Food Pantry, and St. John’s Food Program. The event is sponsored by the WSU Student Government Association and the Urban Action Institute in the WSU Department of Urban Studies.

A student-led crowdfunding initiative with a goal of raising $5,000 for Puerto Rico relief efforts kicked off on Monday and run until Wednesday, Nov. 15 — designated a “Day of Solidarity” — where giveaways will be offered to those donating cash at several locations across campus.

At 2 p.m. Nov. 15, in the Student Center’s Blue Lounge, Worcester City Councilor Sarai Rivera will speak about the status of the recovery effort in Puerto Rico to close the fundraising campaign. All money raised will be donated to Unidos Por Puerto Rico, a fund created by Beatriz Rosselló, the wife of the governor of Puerto Rico, to help the island’s residents.

As part of the innovative fundraising initiative, academic and administrative departments can join in on “Make a Change Por Puerto Rico” Penny Wars, competing to see which department can raise the most money through spare change. Chartwells will host a breakfast for the winning department. Collection jars will also be visible throughout campus.

“So many students know someone who is affected by the devastation in Puerto Rico, and we want to stand in solidarity with our friends,” says Monica Bhakhri ’18, Student Government Association president, who is leading the effort. Other student groups involved include the Student Senate, Third World Alliance, CLEWS (Community and Leadership Experience at Worcester State), and the Student Events Committee.

QCC Future Focus program accepting applications

The Future Focus program at Quinsigamond Community College is accepting applications for its spring semester cohort.

The Future Focus Program is designed for adult learners from adult basic education programs. Students will have the opportunity to explore both academic and career interests in a supportive environment.

Application deadline is 2 p.m. Dec. 8. Students must complete the application packet entirely and the Accuplacer test, in both English & Math. The program will accept 25-30 students.

For more information, visit

Abraham Brass receives grant from Gilead for HIV research

Abraham L. Brass, M.D., Ph.D., assistant professor of microbiology & physiological systems at UMass Medical School, is one of five investigators nationwide to share a $7.5 million grant from California-based biotechnology company Gilead Sciences Inc. for translational research aimed at curing HIV.

The HIV cure grants program, initially announced in February 2016 by Gilead, seeks to cure and ultimately eradicate HIV and AIDS through the company’s research and development and philanthropic leadership. The first set of HIV cure grants, totaling more than $22 million, were awarded to 12 projects in January.

Brass’s lab studies the interactions between viruses, such as HIV, and their hosts.

“Antiviral therapy blocks viral replication and prevents the destruction of host immune cells,” Brass said. “However, when this therapy is stopped, latent HIV-1 can re-emerge. Our goal is to find host factors that are critical for this reactivation. These efforts will improve our understanding of viral latency and may help to identify a means to cure HIV-1 infection.”

“Finding a cure for HIV is a formidable challenge to the scientific community. Together with our newest grant recipients, all of whom have a record of excellence in their research, we can take collective steps to help end this devastating epidemic,” said William Lee, Ph.D., Executive Vice President, Research, Gilead Sciences. “We are proud to support these leaders in HIV research and are confident in their ability to make meaningful and measurable contributions in this area of unmet medical need.”

Read the entire story on the UMass Medical School website or Gilead Sciences website

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