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Merrimack’s new course Global Pandemics: Challenges and Opportunities in the Context of COVID-19 offers students the opportunity to examine COVID-19 through the lens of multiple fields of study and practice.
Lawrence Mayor Dan Rivera will be the featured speaker at the 19th Annual St. Germain Memorial Lecture at Merrimack College that will include a reception at 6 p.m. Weds., March 20, followed by the lecture and Political Science Honor Society inductions at 7 p.m. in Cascia Hall.
Rivera is the second-term mayor of Lawrence. He served in the Army as a military police officer before graduating from the University of Massachusetts at Amherst with a bachelor’s degree and Suffolk University with a master’s degree.
He managed one of the city’s housing projects, served on the Lawrence City Council, and worked as economic development director for then-Congressman Marty Meehan. He has also worked in the private sector in marketing.
Rivera took on popular but controversial Mayor William Lantigua in the 2014 elections and won by just 81 votes. He then fended off a strong comeback attempt by Lantigua in 2017 and won by a 51.4 percent to 48.6 percent margin.
Rivera has had to face grave problems as the leader of the city, including receivership of its public schools, an opioid epidemic and high unemployment.
The lecture is named for the late professor James J. St. Germain, who was a renowned figure on campus. He taught in Merrimack’s History, Political Science and Social Science departments from 1951-1981. St. Germain founded the Political Science Department and served as its first chairman for 13 years.
The lecture is presented by the Political Science Department and International Studies Program.