Friday, 26 February 2016

Compact Imaging and NUI Galway presentations at US Photonics Conference highlight the dramatic size and cost reductions made possible by MRO™ OCT Technology Researchers and technologists from Compact Imaging, Inc. (CI) and their research collaboration partner NUI Galway, who together are developing miniature optical sensors that noninvasively image and measure subsurface characteristics of human tissue, had featured roles at last week’s (13-18 February) annual SPIE/Photonics West Conference, at the Moscone Center in San Francisco. SPIE/Photonics West is the world’s premier photonics and bio-photonics industry conference. The Conference, which is attended by scientists and industry executives from more than three dozen countries, consists of plenary sessions, presentations and panels on the latest research and developments in optics, photonics and bio-photonics. Martin Leahy, Professor of Applied Physics at the School of Physics in NUI Galway, and a key advisor to Compact Imaging, served as a Conference Chair and presented a significant paper on Compact Imaging’s innovative OCT technology, MRO™ (Multiple Reference OCT), titled, “The How and Why of a $10 Optical Coherence Tomography System.” Professor Leahy’s talk contrasted Compact Imaging’s small low-cost MRO system with conventional clinical OCT machines. When fully integrated, MRO sensors will be about the size of a quarter, fit easily inside a mobile device and cost less than $10 to produce. Although the clinic-scale OCT instruments have revolutionised medical diagnostic imaging and are expected to remain a vital diagnostic tool for medical professionals, they are large, expensive, complex and power hungry - far from mobile at a time when personalisation is a dominant trend in healthcare. Because Compact Imaging’s MRO architecture was developed to leverage mass-produced miniature components commonly found in consumer electronic devices, it is well-suited to integration in high volume devices for applications ranging from personal health monitoring to secure identity authentication. Compact Imaging founder Dr Josh Hogan also participated in the conference. Additional talks were given on various aspects of MRO research and development by post-doctoral researchers and graduate students in Professor Leahy’s Tissue Optics and Microcirculation Imaging (TOMI) laboratories at NUI Galway. Professor Martin Leahy from NUI Galway said: “OCT has had an enormous impact on healthcare, first on eye and now in the coronary artery diseases. With Compact Imaging, we want to extend the impact of OCT to communities and to the six billion people outside of the first world, who will simply never access the benefits of OCT in its current format.” Don Bogue, CEO of Compact Imaging said: “In the field of OCT imaging and biometry, size, price and operating power are three critical elements to commercialisation in mass market applications. Our MRO system is the first version of OCT with the size, cost and operating power profile to address high volume applications in areas such as mobile personal health monitoring and biometric security.” Compact Imaging’s intellectual property base, consisting of 15 US patents and an equal number of pending US and foreign applications, is centered on MRO™ and its use in a wide range of biological and non-biological imaging and biometry applications. ENDS

Friday, 26 February 2016

NUI Galway today announced the appointment of Professor Anne Scott as Vice President for Equality and Diversity. This is the first appointment of its kind in an Irish University. Professor Scott is currently Executive Dean of the Faculty of Education, Health and Community in Liverpool John Moores University. She has worked as an academic and academic leader in the Scottish, Irish and currently the English Higher Education Systems. She held the post of Head of the School of Nursing and Human Sciences, Dublin City University (2000-2006) where she led the development of BSc, MSc and PhD programmes in the school, in addition to founding and developing a vibrant culture of research and scholarship. In February 2006 Professor Scott was appointed Deputy President and Registrar of DCU, a post which she held until late 2012. During this time she led many initiatives across DCU including a review of the academic promotions process; the development of the e-learning roadmap; and the graduate attributes project for the university. She has a proven track record of transformational leadership in academic environments in both Ireland and the UK, working at senior levels, to bring balance to strategic decision making and insight into the organisational culture and concerns of colleagues. Professor Scott is an active mentor for the Aurora women only leadership development programme in the UK; she was recognised by the Women’s Executive Network (WXN) through the Ireland’s Most Powerful Women: Top 25 Awards for her leadership in public service; she has also mentored emerging women leaders and high potentials via the WXN. In welcoming the appointment, Dr Jim Browne, President of NUI Galway, said: “I am delighted to announce this appointment today at NUI Galway and I very much look forward to welcoming Professor Scott to this new role which will lead on addressing issues of equality and diversity across the University.” The position of VP for Equality & Diversity has been established by the University following the establishment of a Task Force on Gender Equality by the University’s Governing Body in February 2015 with the remit ‘To consider the University’s present gender mix among staff, including academic and support staff, and advise the University what measures it should take and over what timescale to develop effective gender equality’. This new post reflects the University’s commitment to transformational change. The Vice President will lead this change to ensure that equality of opportunity is provided to every member of staff as well as developing and implementing a strategy that establishes the University as an exemplar of best practice in the area. In its first report of June 2015 the Task Force, led by Trinity College Dublin’s former Vice Provost, Professor Jane Grimson, submitted four major recommendations to the University’s Governing Authority. With the appointment of Professor Anne Scott all of the four recommendations made in June 2015 have now been implemented: The establishment of a new position of Vice President of Equality and Diversity. Professor Anne Scott has been appointed to this role. All major influential committees should be comprised of a minimum of 40% women and 40% men by the end of 2016, including the University Management Team (UMT), Academic Management Team (AMT) and all promotions committees and interview boards. Gender quotas were applied to recent elections to the Governing Authority, and the new Governing Authority will re-constitute its committees to see this cascade to all committees. Ensure mandatory unconscious bias training for all senior staff. Since September over 160 members of the university leadership have completed this training, including President, Registrar and Deputy President, Vice-Presidents, Deans, Heads of School, Chairs of Committees and interview boards and all other senior decision-makers. External review of all promotion and progression policies and procedures within the University for all grades of staff by external expert in respect of gender equality. This review is now complete and its findings will be published shortly. ENDS Den chéad uair riamh in ollscoil in Éirinn tá Leas-Uachtarán Comhionannais agus Ilchineálachta fógartha ag OÉ Gaillimh Fógraíodh in OÉ Gaillimh inniu go bhfuil an tOllamh Anne Scott ceaptha mar Leas-Uachtarán Comhionannais agus Ilchineálachta. Is é seo an chéad cheapachán dá leithéid in ollscoil in Éirinn. Faoi láthair, tá an tOllamh Scott ina Déan Feidhmiúcháin i nDámh an Oideachais, na Sláinte agus an Phobail in Ollscoil Liverpool John Moores. Tá tréimhsí caite aici ag obair i gCórais Ardoideachais na hAlban, na hÉireann agus anois i Sasana chomh maith. Bhí sí ina Ceann ar Scoil an Altranais agus na nEolaíochtaí Daonna in Ollscoil Chathair Bhaile Átha Cliath (2000-2006) áit a raibh sí i gceannas ar chláir BSc, MSc agus PhD a fhorbairt sa scoil mar aon le cultúr láidir taighde agus léinn a bhunú agus a fhorbairt. I mí Feabhra 2006, ceapadh an tOllamh Scott ina hUachtarán Ionaid agus Cláraitheoir ar DCU, post a bhí aici go deireadh 2012. I rith na tréimhse seo, is iomaí tionscnamh a bhí faoina stiúir in DCU, athbhreithniú ar an bpróiseas d'arduithe céime acadúla; forbairt an phlean oibre r-fhoghlama; agus togra tréithe na gcéimithe don ollscoil. Tá teist chruthaithe aici go dtí seo as ceannaireacht bunathraithe i dtimpeallachtaí acadúla in Éirinn agus sa Ríocht Aontaithe, ag obair ag leibhéal sinsearach, chun cothromaíocht a bhaint amach sa chinnteoireacht straitéiseach agus chun léargas a sholáthar ar chultúr eagraíochtúil agus ar imní comhghleacaithe. Tá an tOllamh Scott ina meantóir don chlár forbartha ceannaireachta do mhná - Aurora - sa Ríocht Aontaithe; d'ainmnigh Líonra Feidhmiúcháin na mBan (WXN) í trí na Gradaim do na Mná is Cumhachtaí in Éirinn: An 25 is fearr as a ceannaireacht sa tseirbhís phoiblí; tá meantóireacht déanta aici chomh maith ar mhná atá nua sa cheannaireacht agus a bhfuil an-mhianach iontu tríd an Líonra WXN. Agus é ag fáiltiú roimh an gceapachán, dúirt an Dr Jim Browne, Uachtarán OÉ Gaillimh: “Tá ríméad orm an ceapachán seo a fhógairt inniu in OÉ Gaillimh agus táim ag súil go mór le fáilte a chur roimh an Ollamh Scott chuig an ról nua seo a thabharfaidh aghaidh ar cheisteanna comhionannais agus ilchineálachta san Ollscoil.” Is ann don phost mar Leas-Uachtarán Comhionannais agus Ilchineálachta mar gheall gur bhunaigh Údarás na hOllscoile Tascfhórsa ar Chomhionannas Inscne i Feabhra 2015 leis an sainchúram ‘Breathnú ar mheascán inscne i measc chomhaltaí foirne na hOllscoile, an fhoireann acadúil agus an fhoireann tacaíochta san áireamh, agus comhairle a chur ar an Ollscoil faoin méid atá le déanamh agus faoin tréimhse a ghlacfaidh sé comhionannas inscne a fhorbairt’. Léiríonn an post nua go bhfuil an Ollscoil dáiríre faoi athrú ó bhun. Beidh an Leas-Uachtarán i bhfeighil an athraithe seo chun a chinntiú go mbeidh comhionannas deiseanna ag gach comhalta foirne agus forbróidh sí straitéis agus cuirfidh sí i bhfeidhm í ar bhealach a chruthóidh an Ollscoil mar eiseamláir dea-chleachtais sa réimse seo. Sa chéad tuarascáil i mí an Mheithimh 2015 chuir an Tascfhórsa, faoi cheannas an Ollaimh Jane Grimson, a bhí ina Leas-Phropast ar Choláiste na Tríonóide roimhe seo, ceithre phríomh-mholadh faoi bhráid Údarás na hOllscoile. Anois agus an tOllamh Anne Scott ceaptha tá na ceithre mholadh sin a rinneadh i mí an Mheithimh 2015 curtha i bhfeidhm ar fad: Post nua a chruthú do Leas-Uachtarán Comhionannais agus Ilchineálachta. Tá an tOllamh Anne Scott ceaptha sa ról seo. Go mbeadh ar a laghad 40% mná agus 40% fir ar gach coiste mór le rá faoi dheireadh 2016, ar Fhoireann Bhainistíochta na hOllscoile (UMT), ar an bhFoireann Bhainistíochta Acadúil (AMT) agus ar gach coiste ardaithe céime agus bord agallaimh san áireamh. Cuireadh cuótaí inscne i bhfeidhm sna toghcháin le gairid d'Údarás na hOllscoile, agus cuirfidh an tÚdarás nua na coistí le chéile ionas go gcuirfear na cuótaí céanna i bhfeidhm orthu sin. Oiliúint éigeantach i gclaontacht neamh-chomhfhiosach don fhoireann shinsearach ar fad. Ó Mheán Fómhair, tá an oiliúint seo déanta ag breis is 160 duine ó cheannaireacht na hOllscoile - an tUachtarán, an Meabhránaí agus Uachtarán Ionaid, na Leas-Uachtaráin, na Déin, na Cinn Scoile, Cathaoirligh na gCoistí agus na mbord agallaimh agus gach cinnteoir sinsearach eile. Athbhreithniú seachtrach ar gach polasaí agus nós imeachta a bhaineann le hardú céime agus dul chun cinn san Ollscoil do gach grád ó shaineolaí seachtrach i ndáil le comhionannas inscne. Tá an t-athbhreithniú seo déanta anois agus foilseofar na torthaí go gairid. CRÍOCH

Monday, 29 February 2016

As part of its ongoing initiative towards integrating mindfulness into the University’s culture, NUI Galway will host a day of Mindfulness classes with Tibetan Buddhist Monk, Gelong Thubten. The classes will take place in NUI Galway’s Aula Maxima Lower on Wednesday, 9 March, throughout the day from 8.15am to 5pm. The Mindfulness theme will focus on Deepening our Mindfulness through the technique of ‘breathing’, followed by a reflection practice on ‘Cause and Effect – the importance of ethical living’. Classes are free and open to all university staff and students, the general public, researchers, student counsellors and advisors, healthcare professionals, mindfulness practitioners, and anyone with an interest in mindfulness. Tibetan Buddhist Monk, Gelong Thubten, based at the Kagyu Samye Ling Monastery in Dumfriesshire in Scotland, and one of the very popular expert speakers at last October’s NUI Galway Mindful Way Conference, will deliver the Mindfulness classes, as part of the University’s ‘Mindful Way Initiative’. Gelong Thubten has already delivered monthly Mindfulness classes to NUI Galway staff and students in January and February of 2016 and will continue to do so over the coming months. Due to the enthusiastic response to classes, they have now been opened up to the public, and for those attending for the first time in March, there is an opportunity to cover the previous two sessions at the 12pm class. Last October, NUI Galway’s Mindful Way Conference shared the evidence-based impact of mindfulness on students and staff performance, well-being and culture. The University is now focusing on the benefits of integrating mindfulness within the University setting to continue to serve the 21st century needs in delivering its core principles: teaching, research and contribution to society through innovation and entrepreneurship, and understanding the role mindfulness can play in providing a more enriching experience for students and staff. Professor Lokesh Joshi, Vice-President for Research at NUI Galway, said: “NUI Galway is starting on this journey to adopt a mindfulness culture. Last year the University hosted a conference of mindfulness experts, leaders in society and entrepreneurs, along with students, staff and university leaders, to discuss the importance of mindfulness in higher educational institutions. To date there has been such a great response to Gelong Thubten’s classes, which have been well attended by both students and staff that we would like to open it up to the wider community.” Commenting on what people can expect from the Mindfulness classes Gelong Thubten said: “The purpose of the monthly classes is to provide a thorough training in mindfulness, to be practiced between each module. Each class consists of a Theme, Technique and Reflection Practice. In January, I introduced Relaxation and Confidence using a ‘body scan’ technique followed by a reflection practice focusing on realising our full potential. In February, I introduced Honing Our Focus and Learning Flexibility using the technique of ‘sound’ followed by a reflection practice focusing on impermanence and change. The March sessions will introduce people to deepening our mindfulness through breathing.” Class Schedule for Wednesday, 9 March, 2016: 8.15am – 9:00am 10.45am – 11.30am 12:00pm – 12.45pm 13.15pm – 14:00pm 17: 00pm – 17:45pm To register attendance and for further information about NUI Galway’s Mindful Way initiative and additional classes visit: www.nuigalway.ie/mindfulway ENDS

Tuesday, 5 January 2016

NUI Galway recently announced that the Galway Clinic will now be recognised as an affiliated teaching hospital of the University. The partnership between both institutions will offer clinical placement opportunities to final year Medical Students in the Galway Clinic as part of their final year Training Programme at NUI Galway. Student nurses from the University currently fulfil part of their degree course training in the Galway Clinic. The Dean of the College of Medicine, Nursing and Health Sciences, Professor Timothy O’Brien, highlights the importance of this partnership to the University: “The College welcomes the opportunity to integrate more from an educational and research perspective with public and private healthcare providers within our region, consistent with the strategic plan of NUI Galway. The partnership with the Galway Clinic will provide our medical and nursing students with excellent exposure to clinical practice in the private hospital setting and also greatly facilitates enhanced educational and research opportunities across both organisations.” Mr Joe O’Donovan, CEO of the Galway Clinic said: “The staff and management of the Galway Clinic are proud of its recognition as an affiliated teaching hospital of NUI Galway effective from the 01 January, 2016. As part of this arrangement, the Galway Clinic will provide clinical placements for the University’s undergraduate medical students as part of their final year studies. The medical education programme will also compliment the NUI Galway School of Nursing Degree course with training partly delivered at the Galway Clinic.” Mr O’Donovan added, “The Galway Clinic, with its 146 beds, has the potential for a mutually beneficial collaborative partnership with NUI Galway in continuing medical education programmes and joint consultant appointments. The Clinic has impressive, state of the art, clinical and diagnostic facilities and provides extensive specialist patient services including joint replacement, cardiothoracic and robotic prostate surgery, interventional cardiology, CT and MRI scanning, medical oncology/ radiotherapy, and emergency and intensive care medicine.” The medical curriculum at NUI Galway is a five-year programme with an annual intake of approximately 180 students. The curriculum is innovative and integrates the life sciences with clinical practice, provides for early patient exposure, immersion in a variety of clinical environments and, from the 2015-2016 academic year onwards, will also be emphasising intern preparedness to a greater extent. For more information on NUI Galway’s School of Medicine visit www.nuigalway.ie/medicine/ and for more information on the Galway Clinic visit http://www.galwayclinic.com/ ENDS

Tuesday, 5 January 2016

Secondary school students interested in studying at NUI Galway are invited to an information evening in Cavan on Thursday, 14 January. Parents and guardians are also particularly welcome to the event which runs from 7 to 9pm in the Cavan Crystal Hotel, Dublin Road, Co. Cavan. The evening will begin with short talks about NUI Galway and some of the 60 courses it offers. Afterwards, current students and NUI Galway staff will be on hand at information stands to answer any individual questions in relation to courses offered by the University and about practical issues like accommodation, fees and scholarships, and the wide range of support services available to our students. The ever-increasing popularity of NUI Galway is in-part due to a suite of innovative programmes, developed in response to the changing needs of the employment market. Unique programmes include a suite of Arts degree programmes including Drama, Creative Writing and Human Rights, an Energy Systems Engineering degree which is taught in the University’s new Engineering Building, Ireland’s largest School of Engineering, a Maths and Education degree aimed at training Maths teachers, and a Marine Science degree. Visitors to the information evening will also get information on NUI Galway’s newest degree programmes, a Bachelor of Commerce (Global Experience), Bachelor in Children’s Studies and the new Bachelor of Arts (Joint Honours). Celine O’Donovan, Schools Liaison Officer at NUI Galway, said: “NUI Galway has a great deal to offer. Our own students tell us our lecturers are inspirational and challenge them to achieve their full potential. The student experience in Galway is second to none, and we want to bring a taste of that to County Cavan, while also providing all the practical information on accommodation, CAO points, fees, scholarships and courses. With so many courses on offer, this event in Cavan is a perfect opportunity for prospective students to meet current students and lecturers to see what degree might be the right fit for them.” To find out more about the information evening in Cavan, contact NUI Galway's Schools Liaison Officer, Siobhan Dorman on 086 0421591 or siobhan.dorman@nuigalway.ie. -Ends-

Tuesday, 5 January 2016

NUI Galway is hosting a Mature Students Open Evening on Wednesday, 13 January at 6pm in the Aula Maxima, Quadrangle. The open evening is an opportunity to find out more about degree programmes on offer, entry requirements, CAO application procedure, mature scholarships and practical student supports within the University.   The information evening is designed those aged 23 and over who are considering embarking on full-time or part-time undergraduate degree programmes at NUI Galway. In attendance will be representatives from each of the University’s five colleges to answer questions on degree options available, and the University’s Careers Office will also be on hand to provide advice on careers opportunities and CV preparation. Also in attendance will be the Graham Doyle, Communications and Customer Service Manager from Student Universal Support Ireland (SUSI), who will be on hand to advise on application for grants and financial supports. Trish Bourke, Mature Students Officer at NUI Galway, said: “Currently, over 650 Mature Students study at NUI Galway and they play a large part in the student undergraduate population and experience. The Mature Students Open Evening is specially designed for those who wish to find out more about the degree programmes on offer, the services that the university provides, CAO application procedure, funding and life as a mature student on campus. This year, we are particularly delighted to have representatives from the Shannon College of Hotel Management, who is now a college of NUI Galway, and will be exhibiting their range of programmes.” Embarking on third-level education can be quite a challenge for many mature students. Some may have been out of formal education for some time but it is important to highlight that there are routes to university through NUI Galway’s Access courses. Many mature students perform very well academically each year with 30 mature scholarships awarded for excellence in September 2015. For more information on future upcoming public information events see http://www.nuigalway.ie/mature/publicevents.html or email Trish Bourke at maturestudents@nuigalway.ie.  A Mature Students Guidebook is also available with further information at www.nuigalway.ie/mature. -Ends-

Wednesday, 6 January 2016

Students of NUI Galway’s Masters in Literature and Publishing programme are currently looking for submissions for this year’s ROPES. Submissions for ROPES 2016 Journal are now being accepted. ROPES (Review of Postgraduate English Studies is a literary journal produced by the students of the MA in Literature and Publishing at NUI Galway. The theme of the journal this year is independence, and the ROPES team is seeking poetry, prose and artwork that explore gaining, losing, rejecting and sustaining independence. ROPES 2016 will be the journal’s 24th volume and is due out in spring 2016. All proceeds of ROPES 2016 will benefit the Galway Simon Community, a charity that provides housing, support and health care services for people who have become homeless or are at risk of becoming homeless in the West of Ireland. Submissions can be sent to ROPES2016.submissions@gmail.com by 11 January 2016. The max word count is 1,700 words and the format accepted is .doc for text files and .png, .jpeg and .eps for artwork. For more info about ROPES 2016, follow the MA Literature and Publishing on Twitter @NUIG_MALP and find the MA programme on Facebook at facebook.com/NUIG.MALP. -Ends-

Wednesday, 6 January 2016

A Research Fellow from the School of Physics and Centre for Climate Change and Air Pollution Studies at NUI Galway has received an award for ‘World Class Research Excellence and Collaborative Efforts with Lithuania’. The award was presented to Dr Darius Ceburnis from NUI Galway by the Minister for Education and Science of Lithuania, Minister A. Pitreniene, who said: “It is a great pleasure to congratulate Lithuanian scientists who have achieved research excellence and maintained connections with their homeland, acting like true ambassadors by representing their country in the global scientific community and supporting Lithuanian colleagues in establishing scientific networks.” This national award was introduced by the Ministry of Education and Science in Lithuania several years ago to recognise and strengthen relations with Lithuanian scientists abroad. Dr Ceburnis received his award for excellence in research services provided to his home country and for shared collaborative publications with Lithuanian colleagues, and the outreach and support of young scientist visits to Ireland and NUI Galway. Dr Darius Ceburnis, who is among the top 1% of cited authors in the geosciences discipline, joined the Atmospheric Research Group at the Department of Experimental Physics at NUI Galway in 2001, now called the Centre for Climate and Air Pollution Studies (C-CAPS) where he has been working to date. The NUI Galway researcher provides critical technical and research support for Mace Head Atmospheric Research Station in Carna, Co. Galway, which has significantly contributed towards the Station becoming the top atmospheric research infrastructure in the world. He provided critical scientific information during the Volcanic Ash crisis in 2010, highlighting the stations capabilities of providing 24/7 observational data. Darius Ceburnis graduated from Vilnius University, Lithuania in 1992 and received his PhD degree in Natural Sciences in 1997 from the Institute of Physics in Lithuania. He received a Young Scientists Award from the Lithuanian Academy of Sciences in 1999 before joining NUI Galway in 2001. Dr Ceburnis co-founded the Lithuanian Community in Ireland and also co-founded the Association Futura Scientia journal for the promotion of scientific reform in Lithuania. He sits on expert panels evaluating proposals for the Lithuanian Science Council. His research excellence has been recognised with a Lithuanian National Science Award in 2012, the most prestigious award in the country. For more information about NUI Galway’s Centre for Climate and Air Pollution Studies visit: http://www.nuigalway.ie/c-caps/ ENDS

Wednesday, 6 January 2016

It is with sadness that NUI Galway noted the passing of legendary golfer, Christy O’Connor Jnr. today (06 January 2016) at the age of 67. In 2006 Christy O’Connor Jnr. was awarded an honorary degree by NUI Galway in recognition of his sporting achievements as a golfer of the highest international renown. The Galway-native is best known for his famous 2-iron approach shot to the 18th hole that secured a Ryder Cup victory for Europe at the Belfry in 1989. President of NUI Galway, Dr Jim Browne paid the following tribute: “On behalf of NUI Galway I extend condolences to Christy’s wife, Ann and to his family and wide circle of friends. Our University is honored to be associated with the late Christy O’Connor Jnr. We recall with great fondness the occasion of Christy’s honorary conferring, along with that of his uncle, Christy Senior in 2006. On that occasion, we were privileged to honour his success as an international golfer and his achievements as one of Ireland’s best sporting ambassadors. Mike Heskin, Director of Sport & Physical Activity at NUI Galway, said: “We are shocked at the news of Christy's passing, our thoughts are with his family at this time. Christy was a proud Galwegian and a wonderful ambassador for Galway, Irish golf and Irish sport in general. We will all remember his great performances in the Ryder Cup but also his inspirational leadership in Irish sport and his performances on the World stage, which set the pathway for so many others to follow. Christy will be remembered fondly by all for his kindness showed to everyone he engaged with. May he rest in peace.” Christy O’Connor’s most notable of 17 events won world-wide included the Irish Open (Woodbrook, with a record score of 22 under par) in 1975, and the British masters in Woburn in 1992. He also won the Nigerian and Kenyan Opens. He had many excellent performances in the British Open and was 4th to Johnny Miller in 1976, tied with Jack Nicklaus, 5th in 1983, and 3rd in 1985, beaten 2 shots by Sandy Lyle. He represented Ireland 6 times in the Dunhill Cup, and was twice a member of the Ryder Cup team. Mr. O’Connor won the British Seniors Open consecutively in 1999 and 2000. On the American PGA Seniors Tour, he won twice in 1999, the Home Farm Classic in Baltimore and the Foremost Insurance Classic in Michigan. In 2006 NUI Galway conferred Christy O’Connor Jnr. and his Uncle Christy O’Connor Snr. with an honorary degree, a Doctor of Arts, honoris causa. To read the text of the full citation, given by then President of NUI Galway, Dr Iognáid Ó Muircheartaigh, see Notes to Editors below. ENDS

Friday, 1 January 2016

NUI Galway lead an international collaboration consisting of astronomers from the US and France to take optical and gamma-ray observations of the Crab Nebula The Centre for Astronomy at the School of Physics in NUI Galway are the lead researchers and authors of a recent international study published today (01 January 2016) in one of the world’s leading primary research journals in astronomy and astrophysics, Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society (MNRAS). A joint Irish-French-US set of observations have led to a better understanding of the unexpected flaring activity seen coming from the Crab supernova remnant. The project led by Irish astronomer Professor Andrew Shearer from the Centre of Astronomy at NUI Galway, involved using the NUI Galway developed, Galway Astronomical Stokes Polarimeter (GASP) polarimeter on the 200” Palomar telescope in California. Their work for the first time tied together changes in the optical polarisation with apparent changes in the gamma-ray (high energy x-ray) polarisation. A supernova remnant occurs when a star explodes and spews its innards out across the sky, creating an expanding wave of gas and dust known as a supernova remnant. Arguably, the most famous of these remnants is the Crab Nebula, which exploded in 1054. The Crab Nebula has been studied extensively over the last fifty years and recently found to be the source of gamma-ray and X-ray flares. It is not yet known where the flares are coming from and in an effort to understand their origin NUI Galway led the research programme of optical observations, which were carried out in association with gamma-ray observations using the European Space Agency’s (ESA) Integral gamma ray observatory. Uniquely both studies looked at the polarisation of both the light and the gamma rays in order to understand the origin of these flares. For many years, the flux from the whole Crab Nebula was expected to be constant, in such a way that the Crab was always thought of as a ‘standard candle’ (known brightness). Some doubts were cast on this status from high energy gamma-ray and hard X-ray observations made by the Fermi and INTEGRAL satellites, both European Space Agency satellite missions used to detect energetic radiation that comes from space. Since 2007 strong high energy flaring activities have been detected by the Agile and Fermi gamma-ray telescopes at a rate of about 1 per year. Although, currently they have no clear origin, these high energy flares show the complex timing behavior of this source. The NUI Galway team published observations of the polarisation of optical and hard X-ray photons from the Crab Nebula and pulsar system using the GASP, which was installed on the 200” Hale telescope at Mount Palomar in California, the Hubble Space Telescope/Advanced Camera for Surveys (HST/ACS) and the International Gamma-Ray Astrophysics Laboratory satellite, Integral. The NUI Galway study when compared to the Integral observations show that the polarisation of the optical light and gamma-ray seem to change in the same way, which was an unexpected result. Professor Andrew Shearer from the School of Physics at the Centre of Astronomy in NUI Galway, said: “Our studies show how Galway’s GASP polarimeter will be important for future observations of these high energy astronomical sources. After the recent Government announcement that Ireland will join the European Southern Observatory (ESO) we hope to contribute to future world class telescope projects such as the European Extremely Large Telescope.” Indeed, a change in the optical polarisation angle has been observed by this work, from 109.5° in 2005 to 85.3° in 2012. On the other hand, the gamma-ray polarisation angle changed from 115° to 80° during a similar period. Strong flaring activities at higher gamma-ray energies have been detected in the Crab nebula during this period and magnetic reconnection processes have been suggested to explain these observations. The change in the polarised optical and gamma-ray emission of the Crab Nebula/pulsar system as observed, for the first time, by GASP and the Integral satellite may indicate that magnetic reconnection is possibly at work in the Crab Nebula. The study also reported for the first time, a non-zero measure of the optical circular polarisation from the Crab pulsar + knot system. These results outline the strong scientific potential of polarimetric studies in particular in systems like the Crab Nebula where magnetic fields play a key role. The research was part-funded by a Ulysses grant for Irish-French collaboration. To read the study published in MNRAS visit: http://arxiv.org/pdf/1511.07641v1.pdf ENDS

Monday, 11 January 2016

Researchers at the Apoptosis Research Centre led by Professor Afshin Samali at the SFI Centre for Research in Medical Devices (CÚRAM) at NUI Galway are embarking on a new research project, aimed at understanding a disorder known as Alpha-1 antitrypsin deficiency (AATD) and identifying new therapy targets for emphysema and liver disease. Alpha-1 antitrypsin deficiency is a rare genetic disorder that affects the lungs and/or the liver and is caused by abnormal expression of the alpha-1 antitrypsin (AAT) protein. Prevalence of the disease is higher in Ireland than in most other countries. Alpha-1 antitrypsin is a protein that is made in the liver and released into the bloodstream. AAT protects the lungs so they can work normally, but without it, lungs can be damaged and breathing becomes difficult. Symptoms range from shortness of breath with mild activity, to repeated respiratory infections, fatigue, rapid heartbeat upon standing, vision problems and unintentional weight loss. Some individuals with AATD have advanced lung disease and emphysema and other common diagnoses include chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), asthma or chronic bronchitis. Liver disease is another symptom of AATD which occurs in 10% of affected children and 15% of affected adults. CÚRAM post-doctoral researcher Mila Ljujic, who secured grant funding for the project through the global healthcare company Grifols, explains that autophagy, the degradation of unnecessary or dysfunctional cellular components, plays an important role in the development of AATD. Dr Ljujic explains, “Beclin-1, a protein produced by humans, is a key initiator of autophagy. A previous study on a similar form of the Beclin-1 protein in yeast has shown that it helps dispose of the harmful version of the AAT protein (Z-AAT). However, studies on its role in mammalian cells are lacking and we would like to find out more about it. Our aim is to identify how autophagy affects and regulates the cells response in AATD and to explore whether changes in Beclin-1 expression affect the response to Z-AAT overexpression.” Congratulating Dr Ljujic on her success in being granted funding for the project, Professor Abhay Pandit, Director of CÚRAM said: “Our researchers are exploring the disease mechanisms of a wide range of clinical targets to design ways of working with the body to overcome and manage the effects of chronic illness and increase quality of life for patients and continue to attract top level funding to tackle these important issues.” Based at NUI Galway and backed by Science Foundation Ireland and Industry funding, CÚRAM works with industry and clinical partners to radically improve health outcomes for chronically ill patients through the development of the next generation of ‘smart’ implantable medical devices. ENDS

Monday, 11 January 2016

NUI Galway’s School of Education will host the Second International Conference on Mobile Technology in Teacher Education (MiTE) on 15 and 16 January in the Ardilaun Hotel, Galway. On Friday, 15 January, the conference will provide an academic platform for emerging research, and on Saturday, 16 January, the focus will be on the practitioner application of mobile technology in the classroom, in the form of hands-on workshops and showcases on mobile apps for teaching, learning and assessment. NUI Galway’s School of Education is aware of the potential that mobile technology has for improving the teaching and learning experiences of pupils in the classroom. This two-day conference will celebrate the possibilities and explore the challenges of integrating mobile technology in teacher education and in the broader field of education in order to promote best practice by teachers, students and schools. Contributors include experts in the field of mobile technology, including representatives from mainland Europe, the US, Nordic countries and Asia. Seán Ó Grádaigh, NUI Galway’s School of Education, and Co-Chair of the MiTE 2016 Conference, said: “Mobile Technology has the ability to change how we Teach, Learn and Assess. Students can now learn when, where and how suits them best and Teacher Education can play a central role in the integration of this technology in the classroom.” Keynote Speaker Stephen Heppell is a Professor at Bournemouth University, Chair in New Media Environments, Emeritus Professor Anglia Ruskin University, and Visiting Professor of the University of Wales, Newport. Professor Heppell is best known for his work at Ultralab, part of Anglia Polytechnic University. There, he worked on education projects such as ‘Learning in the New Millennium’, ‘Schools OnLine’, development of ‘Think.com’ and ‘Talking Heads’. In 2003, he left UltraLab and is now CEO of the education consultancy firm, Heppell.net, a global and flourishing policy and learning consultancy, which now has an enviable portfolio of international projects all around the world. Dr Mary Fleming, Head of School of Education at NUI Galway, said: “My colleagues and I are delighted to be involved in this conference again this year. Mobile Technology is a significant and growing area of educational research and we welcome this opportunity to build on the School of Education’s engagement with new teaching and learning practices and approaches in the classroom.” MiTE 2016 is open to parents, teachers and students who are interested in seeing and hearing how mobile technologies, for example, smartphones/tablets, can contribute positively to the learning processes within our classrooms today. To find out more see http://www.gratek.ie/mite2016/index.php -Ends-   

Monday, 11 January 2016

With the CAO deadline fast approaching on 1 February, NUI Galway will host a CAO Parents’ Information Evening for parents and Leaving Certificate students. The event will take place in Aras Moyola on campus on Tuesday, 19 January from 7–9pm. NUI Galway recognises the key role that parents play in supporting students as they take this important next step, and the CAO Information Evening will ensure that parents have access to all of the information needed in supporting their child through their University career. With over 50 degree courses on offer by NUI Galway, the evening will begin with an exhibition where lecturers and staff will be available to answer any questions. This will be then followed by College specific talks on Arts, Business, Law, Engineering and Informatics, Science, Medicine, Nursing and Health Sciences. NUI Galway’s Student Recruitment Officer, Celine O’Donovan, said: “This is an excellent opportunity to talk to representatives from all NUI Galway’s Colleges about the subjects your son or daughter is interested in and to find out about practical issues and the wide range of support services available to our students.” If you would like to find out more about the CAO Parents’ Information Evening contact Celine O’Donovan on 087 2391219 or email celine.odonovan@nuigalway.ie -Ends-   

Tuesday, 12 January 2016

The 11th annual Teddy Bear Hospital at NUI Galway will take place Thursday and Friday, 21 and 22 January. The event will see over 1,200 sick teddy bears admitted to the hospital, accompanied by their minders, 1,200 primary school children. The event is organised by the Sláinte Society, the NUI Galway branch of the International Federation of Medical Students Associations, and up to 200 medical and science students will diagnose and treat the teddy bears. In the process, they hope to help children, ranging in age from 3-8 years, feel more comfortable around doctors and hospitals. Over the years, children have come along with teddy bears suffering from an imaginative range of sore ears, sick tummies and all kinds of other weird and wonderful ailments. Hannah Kielty, a second year medical student at NUI Galway and co-auditor of Sláinte Society, said: “This year we are celebrating the 11th year of Teddy Bear Hospital. Each year it gets bigger and better with more and more schools applying to attend. We will have a total of 1,200 children attending over the two mornings. We hope to create a fun, friendly and relaxed atmosphere for both the children and our volunteers, and are looking forward to a busy couple of days!” This year, 30 local primary schools are participating in the event. On arrival at the Teddy Bear Hospital on campus, the children will go to the ‘waiting room’, which contains jugglers and face painters. Then the children and their teddy bears are seen by a team of Teddy Doctors and Teddy Nurses, who will examine them. The students will have specially designed X-ray and MRI machines on hand, should the teddy bears need them.  Recuperating teddy bears can avail of medical supplies from the Teddy Bear Pharmacy, stocked with healthy fruit from Burkes Fruit and Veg, along with medical supplies sponsored by Matt O’Flaherty Chemist. After all this excitement the children can enjoy a bouncy castle and entertainment from the juggling society in the college. Further sponsorship for these came from Electric Garden and Theatre, MPS, and Childsplay Creche Riverside. Ríona Hughes, NUI Galway’s Societies Officer, said: “The Teddy Bear hospital is a magical opportunity for the society to invite the children and their teddies to campus and provide a valuable learning experience for all. It is one of the NUI Galway societies’ most colourful and endearing community outreach programme and we are thrilled with its success. Congratulations to Sláinte Society who engage such a large number of our students in this event for such a positive purpose and we look forward to a rewarding few days for all involved.” -ends- Déanann Mic Léinn Leighis OÉ Gaillimh ceiliúradh ar aon bhliain déag d'Ospidéal na mBéiríní Den aonú bliain déag as a chéile, beidh Otharlann na mBéiríní, ar oscailt in OÉ Gaillimh, Déardaoin, an 21 agus Dé hAoine, an 22 Eanáir. Tiocfaidh breis agus 1,200 béirín tinn chun na hotharlainne lena bhfeighlithe, 1,200 páiste bunscoile. Is é an Cumann Sláinte, craobh OÉ Gaillimh de Chónaidhm Idirnáisiúnta Chumann na Mac Léinn Leighis, agus suas le 200 mac léinn leighis agus eolaíochta a bheidh ar láimh le scrúdú leighis a dhéanamh ar na béiríní agus le cóir leighis a chur orthu. Tá súil acu go gcuideoidh an ócáid le páistí, idir 3-8 mbliana d’aois, a bheith ar a suaimhneas nuair a bheidh siad ag an dochtúir nó san otharlann. Thar na blianta, thug páistí béiríní chuig an otharlann agus iad ag samhlú go raibh réimse leathan tinnis ag gabháil dóibh cosúil le cluasa tinne, boilg bhreoite agus gach cineál gearán eile faoin spéir. Bhí an méid seo a leanas le rá ag Hannah Kielty, mac léinn leighis sa dara bliain in OÉ Gaillimh agus comh-iniúchóir an Chumainn Sláinte: “I mbliana táimid ag déanamh ceiliúradh ar aon bhliain déag d'Ospidéal na mBéiríní. Tá sé ag méadú bliain i ndiaidh bliana agus tá tuilleadh scoileanna ag déanamh iarratais le freastal ar an ócáid. Beidh breis is 1,200 páiste san iomlán ag freastal thar dhá mhaidin. Tá súil againn atmaisféar spraíúil, cairdiúil agus réchúiseach a chruthú do na páistí agus do na hoibrithe deonacha araon, agus táimid ag tnúth le dhá lá ghnóthacha!” I mbliana, tá 30 bunscoil áitiúil páirteach san ócáid. Nuair a thagann na páistí chuig Otharlann na mBéiríní ar an gcampas, rachaidh siad chuig an 'seomra feithimh', áit a mbeidh lámhchleasaithe agus maisitheoirí aghaidheanna ag fanacht orthu. Ansin buailfidh na páistí agus na béiríní le foireann de Dhochtúirí Béiríní agus d’Altraí Béiríní a chuirfidh scrúdú leighis orthu. Beidh meaisíní speisialta X-gha agus MRI ag na mic léinn ar fhaitíos go mbeidís ag teastáil ó na béiríní.  Beidh Cógaslann Béiríní ann chomh maith, agus beidh torthaí sláintiúla ó Burkes Fruit and Veg ann mar aon le soláthairtí leighis urraithe ag Cógaslann Matt O’Flaherty le cóir leighis a chur ar na béiríní. Nuair a bheidh an méid sin curtha díobh acu féadfaidh na gasúir am a chaitheamh ar phreabchaisleán agus beidh cumann lámhchleasaíochta an choláiste i mbun siamsaíochta. Fuarthas urraíocht bhreise ó Electric Garden and Theatre, MPS, agus Childsplay Creche Riverside. Bhí an méid seo a leanas le rá ag Ríona Hughes, Oifigeach na gCumann in OÉ Gaillimh: “Is deis iontach é Ospidéal na mBéiríní don chumann chun cuireadh a thabhairt do pháistí agus a mbéiríní chuig an gcampas agus chun taithí luachmhar foghlama a thabhairt do chách. Tá sé ar cheann de na cláir for-rochtana pobail is deise agus is spraíúla atá idir lámha ag cumainn OÉ Gaillimh agus táimid an-bhródúil as chomh maith agus a éiríonn leis an ócáid. Comhghairdeas leis an gCumann Sláinte a thugann deis do líon chomh mór dár gcuid mac léinn a bheith rannpháirteach san ócáid seo do chúis chomh dearfach agus tá súil againn go mbainfidh gach a mbeidh páirteach an-sult as an gcúpla lá seo.” -críoch-

Tuesday, 12 January 2016

Secondary school students interested in studying at NUI Galway are invited to an information evening in Clonmel on Thursday, 28 January. Parents and guardians are also particularly welcome to the event which runs from 7 to 9pm in the Clonmel Park Hotel, Cahir Road Roundabout, Clonmel, Co. Tipperary. The evening will begin with short talks about NUI Galway and some of the 60 courses it offers. Afterwards, current students and NUI Galway staff will be on hand at information stands to answer any individual questions in relation to courses offered by the University and about practical issues like accommodation, fees and scholarships, and the wide range of support services available to our students. The ever-increasing popularity of NUI Galway is in-part due to a suite of innovative programmes, developed in response to the changing needs of the employment market. Unique programmes include a suite of Arts degree programmes including Drama, Creative Writing and Human Rights, an Energy Systems Engineering degree which is taught in the University’s new Engineering Building, Ireland’s largest School of Engineering, a Maths and Education degree aimed at training Maths teachers, and a Marine Science degree. Visitors to the information evening will also get information on NUI Galway’s newest degree programmes, a Bachelor of Commerce (Global Experience), Bachelor in Children’s Studies and the new Bachelor of Arts (Joint Honours). Celine O’Donovan, Student Recruitment Officer at NUI Galway, said: “NUI Galway has a great deal to offer. Our own students tell us our lecturers are inspirational and challenge them to achieve their full potential. The student experience in Galway is second to none, and we want to bring a taste of that to County Tipperary, while also providing all the practical information on accommodation, CAO points, fees, scholarships and courses. With so many courses on offer, this event in Clonmel is a perfect opportunity for prospective students to meet current students and lecturers to see what degree might be the right fit for them.” To find out more about the information evening in Clonmel, contact NUI Galway’s Student Recruitment Officer, Celine O’Donovan on 087 2391219 or email celine.odonovan@nuigalway.ie. -Ends-      

Tuesday, 12 January 2016

As part of its programme of commemoration of the 1916 Easter Rising, NUI Galway’s Centre for Irish Studies will present a series of public lectures in Galway City Library. ‘Lectures in the Library/Léachtaí sa Leabharlann’ will explore the lives of individuals who were involved in the Irish revolution, including Peadar Kearney who wrote the ‘Soldier’s Song’, the anarchist Captain Jack White, Éamonn Ceannt, and Fr Richard Henebry, who is best known for his pioneering work on Irish traditional music. The first lecture in the series will take place on Tuesday, 26 January and will focus on Liam S Gógan (1891-1979), who coined the term ‘poblacht’, the first word in the proclamation of the Irish republic. Gógan was directly involved in the revolutionary politics that led to the Easter Rising and remained an unregenerate Irish republican throughout his life. He was also the most significant poet writing in Irish between 1916 and 1945. ‘Liam S Gógan: The poet, the pedant, and the revolutionary’, will be delivered by Dr Louis de Paor, Director of the University’s Centre for Irish Studies, and will explore the life and work of one of the most accomplished and unusual Irish poets of the twentieth century. The lectures will run each Tuesday for six weeks from 6.30-8.30pm at the Galway City Library in Augustine Street. For more details on each of the lectures visit the Centre for Irish Studies Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/NUIGalwayCentreforIrishStudies. -Ends-

Thursday, 14 January 2016

NUI Galway study highlights the discharge of antibiotic resistant bacteria from inadequately treated sewage to the environment in Ireland, Europe and the wider world is a serious risk to health Scientists at the School of Medicine in NUI Galway together with colleagues in UCD have carried out a study on whether antibiotics and antibiotic resistant bacteria are present in hospital sewage, and city sewage. The results found high levels of bacteria resistant to all antibiotics in urban sewage from hospitals and from general city sewage, but that risk can be reduced greatly by an effective wastewater treatment. Antibiotic resistance is one of the greatest threats to public health. Bacteria are becoming resistant to more and more antibiotics and infections are more and more difficult to treat. Hospitals today are fighting the problem of infections caused by bacteria resistant to so many antibiotics that patients with these infections are very difficult to treat. Antibiotic resistance is driven by contact between bacteria and antibiotics. When we take antibiotics to treat an infection the antibiotic impacts on all the bacteria in the body not just the one causing the infection. This can drive many bacteria in the gut and skin towards antibiotic resistance. In the past we have paid much less attention to contact between antibiotics and bacteria outside the body. However a lot of the antibiotics we swallow come out in urine or faeces. Bacteria are also shed in faeces and become mixed with water and soil bacteria in sewers and treatment plants. In recent years there has been growing interest in the way in which this melting pot of bacteria and antibiotics might also contribute to this major problem of antibiotic resistance. Hospitals use a lot of antibiotics. About 1 in 3 patients in hospital are on antibiotics at any one time. Hospitals tend to use high doses or the newest and most broadly acting antibiotics because of the nature of the infections in hospitalised patients. Scientists at the School of Medicine at NUI Galway and colleagues at UCD, funded by the Environmental Protection Agency, looked at whether antibiotics and antibiotic resistant bacteria are present in hospital sewage, and city sewage. They tested to see if the antibiotic resistant bacteria can survive wastewater treatment processes and examined what is the possible risk of antibiotic resistant bacteria that are discharged into seawater from treatment plants getting back into people. The research team found high levels of bacteria resistant to all antibiotics in urban sewage from hospitals and from the general city sewage. Hospital sewage was different in that there were high levels of bacteria resistant to a number of “newer” antibiotics. The number of antibiotic resistant bacteria present were reduced greatly by effective wastewater treatment but some antibiotic resistant bacteria survive and are discharged to seawater. The team consider that the chance that people will pick up antibiotic resistant bacteria from swimming in seawater receiving properly treated sewage is very low. The team found that the predicted discharges of antibiotics into the environment from hospitals is substantial. There is evidence that some antibiotics may persist in the water and soil for long periods. Because of the effects of dilution and other factors, it is unlikely that people are exposed to sufficient antibiotics to cause direct harmful effects. However the persistence of antibiotics at low levels in soil and water may contribute to the development of antibiotic resistant bacteria. Dr Dearbhaile Morris, Bacteriologist from the School of Medicine at NUI Galway said: “This study highlights a part of the problem of antibiotic resistance that does not receive very much attention. Our work shows that there is a risk related to antibiotics and antibiotic resistant bacteria in sewage but that a high standard of sewage treatment goes a long way to reduce that risk. This is one more reason why the discharge of untreated or inadequately treated sewage to the environment in Ireland or indeed anywhere in Europe or the wider world is an unacceptable risk to our health.” For a link to the study visit: http://www.epa.ie/pubs/reports/research/health/researchreport162.html#.VpaBUFLXsSk ENDS

Thursday, 14 January 2016

Times Higher Education World University Rankings includes NUI Galway in Top 200 List of Most International Universities in the World NUI Galway has moved to the Top 200 list of the most international universities in the world 2016, announced today, 14 January in the Times Higher Education (THE) World University Rankings. Times Higher Education used the ‘international outlook’ indicator of the World University Rankings to create this list where all institutions in the top 800 of the ranking have been considered. This makes the inclusion of NUI Galway in the list of the top 200 most international universities a significant achievement. This ‘international outlook’ acknowledges that NUI Galway continues to attract the very highest calibre of staff and students. THE look at both the diversity of a university’s student body and the extent to which its academics collaborate with international colleagues, which indicate how global an institution really is, and these factors were among the 13 carefully calibrated performance indicators that allowed Times Higher Education to produce the most comprehensive global university rankings in the world. This ranking further cements NUI Galway’s reputation as a top destination for International Students, having recently been awarded the Excellent International Student Satisfaction Award 2015 and also ranked 2nd in Ireland for the International Student Experience 2014-2015, with Ireland being ranked number 1 in Europe. The awards, which recognises and rewards the universities that give their international students their best study experience, are based on reviews submitted by 17,000 international students studying across Europe, who are surveyed by StudyPortals, a Netherlands-based university course site. Dr Jim Browne, President of NUI Galway said: “This is a significant achievement for NUI Galway and reflects a sustained upward trend in these very competitive global rankings. This consistent improvement in NUI Galway’s THE World University Rankings is an affirmation of our very focused approach to developing our international reputation. As part of the University’s ambitious vision for the future we are committed to becoming a top 200 ranked university by 2020, attracting the best students, teachers and researchers, and creating a network of relationships of substance that span the globe. Today’s inclusion of NUI Galway in the THE ranking of the top 200 most international universities in the world is a tremendous reflection on our ambitious internationalisation agenda.” Professor Brian Hughes, Dean of International Affairs at NUI Galway, added: “NUI Galway continues to cement its place as an internationally vibrant university, reflecting the rich cultural heritage and global reach of Galway city. One-in-five of our full-time students come here from outside Ireland to study, representing over 110 countries around the world. One-in-five of our staff are international too, bringing a huge wealth of intellectual capital and global experience to our campus, city, and region. Universities are global places, and we are proud that NUI Galway is at the forefront of this tradition.” Mr Phil Baty from Times Higher Education said: “An institution’s global outlook is one of the key markers of a prestigious university. The top institutions hire faculty from all over the world, attract students from a global market of top talent and collaborate with leading departments wherever they happen to be based. It is great news for all the institutions in the list of the most international universities in the world. It is a sign of great potential, competitiveness and dynamism.” View THE Top 200 Most International Universities 2016 World Rankings here: https://www.timeshighereducation.com/features/200-most-international-universities-world-2016 NUI Galway World University Rankings: http://nuigalway.ie/rankings ENDS

Tuesday, 19 January 2016

NUI Galway researchers study the culture of antibiotic prescribing and consumption for Urinary Tract Infections and find the need for more dialogue among GPs and Patients Researchers from NUI Galway’s School of Medicine have carried out a study to explore the culture of antibiotic prescribing and consumption in the community for Urinary Tract Infections (UTIs), from the perspective of the General Practitioners (GPs) and community members. Their results were published in the medical journal BMJ Open. This research provides insight into the decision-making processes contributing to the continued prescription and consumption of antibiotics for Urinary Tract Infections. An antibiotic is not a satisfactory outcome from every UTI GP consultation. As a result of this qualitative research, behavioural interventions should focus on: Improving the quality of antibiotic prescribing for UTI by encouraging GPs to reflect on their current antibiotic-prescribing practices, including when they prescribe and what antibiotics they choose. Supporting a dialogue between the GP and the patient within the consultation about the positive and negative aspects of antibiotic treatment for UTI particularly when symptoms are non-specific. Building changes into routine care without elongating the consultation. As part of the study the NUI Galway researchers carried out in depth interviews with 15 GPs practicing in rural and urban locations in Ireland, and six focus groups were held with community members who had direct or indirect experiences with urinary tract infection. The study found that decisions made to prescribe or consume an antibiotic for a UTI is a set of complex processes. It includes recognising that you are unwell (need recognition), seeking advice from various sources like the web and family members prior to visiting the GP (information search), and deciding whether to go to the GP (evaluation process). All of these processes are governed by the relationship and interactions between the GP and the patient. Different GP and patient decision-making profiles emerged, emphasising the diversity and variety of general practice in real-life settings. The GP findings showed a requirement for more microbiological information on antibiotic resistance patterns to inform prescribing decisions. Focus group participants (patients) wanted a conversation with the GP about their illness and the treatment options available. Dr Sinead Duane from the School of Medicine at NUI Galway and co-author of the study said: “Many patients are open to delaying antibiotic treatment if the GP takes time to explain the reasons why and provides advice on which symptoms they should look out for. This research highlights that patients visiting their GP often only want reassurance and advice on how to manage their symptom, and not necessarily an antibiotic.” Collectively, this research identified the consultation as a priority intervention environment for stimulating change in relation to antibiotics. The BMJ Open paper demonstrates how qualitative research can identify the interacting processes which are instrumental to the decision to prescribe or consume an antibiotic for a suspected UTI. Qualitative research empowers researchers to investigate the what, how and why of interventions in a real-life setting. Qualitative research can play a critical and instrumental role in designing behavioural change strategies with high impact on practice. The results of this research were used to design a complex intervention informed by social marketing. To view the full BMJ Open paper visit: http://bmjopen.bmj.com/content/6/1/e008894.full.pdf+html ENDS

Tuesday, 19 January 2016

Children who experience chronic pain are invited to take part in first online pain management programme of its kind in Ireland to be trialled at NUI Galway Researchers from the School of Psychology and Centre for Pain Research at NUI Galway are currently recruiting children age 6-10 years with chronic pain and their parent(s) or care-giver(s) to take part in an online pain management programme for children. An online pain management programme called Feeling Better has been developed at NUI Galway to help children and parents to manage chronic pain for a better quality of life. This web-based programme is based on the principles of cognitive behavioural therapy, a psychological therapy which has shown to be effective in the management of chronic pain, in traditional face-to-face therapy and group treatment. The Feeling Better study is unique in that a trial of this nature has not been investigated to date in Ireland. The programme is currently the only, widely available, source of interactive, online therapeutic support for school age children with chronic pain in Ireland. The researchers would like to enlist families coping with chronic pain to aid in the testing of this online pain management programme. Chronic pain is pain which persists for a period of three months or more. It affects up to 35% of the Irish population and is increasingly prevalent in young people. Recent studies suggest up to 10% of 5-12 year old Irish children report chronic or persistent pain including abdominal pain, back pain, musculoskeletal pain, headache and widespread pain. Chronic pain is often associated with psychological effects, which may include changes in mood and difficulty with focusing attention and performance at school. This can have a significant impact on day-to-day quality of life. The Feeling Better study is open to children with any type of chronic or persistent pain (pain which has lasted for three months or more). The study will take place over the coming months and children and their parent(s) from across Ireland are invited to take part. Pain support groups, parent-led networks, GPs and physiotherapists around the country are encouraged to get in touch and to refer suitable people with pain to the study. Benefits to participants include access to a free online pain management programme and training in cognitive and behavioural techniques tailored for chronic pain management and school age children. The online programme was developed by clinical psychologists and researchers at NUI Galway with input from families currently coping with chronic pain. School age children with chronic pain and their care-givers were involved in the design and development process. Evidence-based psychological strategies were selected to address areas of pain management children and parents identified as most challenging and important. This influence ensures Feeling Better is a fun and engaging form of online therapeutic support designed by children with pain for children with pain. The programme involves 9-weekly online sessions. Each session is designed to take approximately 30-minutes to complete and all participants are guided through the programme by a ‘Coach’ who is available to provide feedback and advice on a regular basis. Each week, this fun, pirate-themed, interactive programme will introduce children to new skills in the form of ‘Challenges’ and weekly ‘Missions’ (treatment sessions) which they must complete in order to progress in their training. Participating children will begin the programme as a ‘Powder Monkey’ and must earn a promotion with each Mission until they succeed to ‘Captain’ and claim their treasure. Parents are encouraged to take the role of ‘Coach’ and are separately guided through a complementary section of the programme where they are provided with information, tips for practice and tools to help with day-to-day pain management. Weekly sessions are tailored to participants goals, support needs and coping preferences. Children and parents will learn more about psychological strategies which focus on techniques such as relaxation training, activity pacing, attention management, communication skills and the influence of thoughts and emotions on the experience of pain. This programme is part of a research project being carried out at NUI Galway by PhD candidate and Hardiman scholar, Angeline Traynor and led by Professor Brian McGuire from NUI Galway’s School of Psychology and the Centre for Pain Research. Angeline Traynor has been researching chronic pain management and working with families to develop an effective and accessible pain management programme. Ms Traynor says: “Chronic pain is thought to be predictive of long term complaints and disability. Given the impact of chronic pain it is essential to provide a means of support for young children with respect to pain management. Learning coping strategies at an early age may have long term benefits for the child and the family as a whole. Our hope is that this online programme will overcome access and resource issues which may be preventing families from receiving psychological treatment to support pain management.” Participation is voluntary. Children and parents who take part will be helping researchers decide if web-based technology is an acceptable means of treatment delivery. The researchers are looking for volunteers to help them trial the programme and determine what works and what doesn’t work. To participate in the study or for further information, please contact Angeline Traynor at team@feelingbetter.ie and 086 0378562 or visit www.feelingbetter.ie The study is supported by Galway University Foundation and the Centre for Pain Research at NUI Galway. ENDS

Wednesday, 20 January 2016

Two new smoke-free zones are launched outside some of the University’s busiest buildings NUI Galway has introduced two smoke-free zones on campus. The new smoke-free zones are centred around two designated smoking shelters in the north and south campus, and cover some of the most popular buildings on campus, including the James Hardiman Library, the Arts Millennium Building, the Engineering Building, Áras Moyola and the Cairnes Building. In 2013, a University-wide survey was carried out to gauge the campus community’s attitudes towards smoking at NUI Galway. While an outright ban on smoking was rejected, a majority of staff and students expressed their preference for restricting smoking to designated areas only. Since then, a working group of University staff and Students’ Union representatives has been working on designing and implementing the smoke-free zones. While it will take some time to build awareness about the new smoking restrictions, there is already a marked reduction in smoking at many building entrances. The new smoke-free zones are supported by both the University and the Students’ Union, and members of the Student Cancer Society are helping to grow awareness around the campaign. Like many public places, smoking creates second-hand smoke and litter on the campus, in particular at the entrances to buildings. The new smoke-free zones are aimed at making the University a cleaner and healthier place for everyone to work and study. Signage on the new designated smoking shelters includes information on supports to quit smoking. Commenting on the new smoke-free zones, Vice-President for the Student Experience, Dr Pat Morgan said: “A healthy campus will deliver long-term benefits for all our community. One of the first steps is to establish smoke-free zones.  Students and staff are united in this particular initiative.” For more information on why and where NUI Galway is going smoke-free, visit: www.nuigalway.ie/smokefree. -Ends-

Wednesday, 20 January 2016

NUI Galway are co-authors of an international study that finds stock market crashes can be compared to unexpected ecological disasters and natural calamities An interdisciplinary team of scientists from NUI Galway, the Indian Institute of Science (IISc) and Ecole Normale Supérieure Cachan in France, came together to examine if market crashes exhibited the same early warning signs as natural calamities. Their investigation reveals interesting answers and suggests improved metrics for forecasting a market crash. The study was published in the open access science journal, PLOS ONE. While financial analysts can guide you through the daily ups and downs of the stock market, accurate forecasts of an imminent crash is still difficult to predict. Just like natural calamities, stock market crashes occur frequently and often have repercussions for the global economy. Experts are now looking at natural disasters for clues to understand economic ones. Currently volatility in stock prices is used as a basic risk indicator. However, the recent financial crisis of 2007-2008 that caused global markets to shut down temporarily, reminded experts that this is not enough to prepare for a crash. Are there any other signs that we could watch out for? Whispers of a probable answer came from an unexpected field – ecology. Professor Vishwesha Guttal, Mathematical Ecologist at the Centre for Ecological Sciences at the Indian Institute of Science and lead author of the published study, said: “There is a lot of interest in the exchange of ideas between ecology and economics.” This study sprung from Professor Guttal’s discussions with Dr Srinivas Raghavendra, an Economist at the J.E. Cairnes School of Business & Economics at NUI Galway, looking at the behaviour of financial markets as complex systems. Financial markets are suggested to be akin to ecological systems with complex feedback loops and sudden critical transitions, also known as ‘tipping points’. A stock market crash can be compared to unexpected natural transitions such as the onset of the Ice Age, desertification of a fertile area, and the collapse of local fisheries, are just some examples. In recent years, ecologists have been looking for behavioural clues of complex systems in these natural events. It turns out that many complex systems in nature exhibit ‘critical slowing down’ behaviour before reaching their tipping point. This means that just before a critical transition, it takes longer for them to recover from small disturbances because their internal stabilising mechanisms become weak. Hence, the system stays ‘disturbed’ for a longer time than usual, which means that the system becomes highly correlated in the disturbed state. To test this theory on stock market crashes, Professor Guttal and his team rigorously analysed the daily closing data of three major U.S. (Dow Jones Index (DJI), S&P 500 and NASDAQ) and two European (DAX and FTSE) markets spanning the last century. In all cases, they found that variability did increase prior to every known market crash in history. Which means the financial system does get significantly ‘disturbed’ before a crash. But curiously, there was no increase in the autocorrelation of data. Autocorrelation indicates how similar the data is across different time samples. This means that, once markets are ‘disturbed’, market recovery happens as usual without a ‘slowing down’. This trend is consistent for all crashes across all markets studied by the team. “Many papers suggest that financial meltdowns are also transitions near tipping points, but here our research shows that they are not”, added Professor Guttal. Then why do markets crash? Professor Guttal explains, “We suggest this is because the system is dominated by high stochasticity (randomness). Our results indicate that if random disturbances in the market grow stronger with time, they can lead to a financial meltdown even if the market is not close to a tipping point. Variability can therefore be an important statistical indicator in early warning signals (EWS) for market crashes, complementing existing indicators such as volatility.” Could this study have policy implications? NUI Galway Economist, Dr Srinivas Raghavendra and co-author of the study says, “To build robust policies and corrective measures in the future, we need to understand the origin of randomness that drives market meltdowns. This may arise from complex interactions between financial institutions, market microstructure and individual agent behaviour, all adapting at different time scales. Deconstructing such a complex system is necessary for effective policy intervention.” However, there are two major limitations in predictability of such indicators. They don’t indicate when a crash may happen and they only suggest a high probability of a crash. In this detailed study of Dow Jones data, 16 early warning signals emerged from the variability calculations. Of the 16, seven were false alarms. But the good news is that there were no failed alarms and the remaining nine covered every major crash in American market history. Mr Nikunj Goel, an undergraduate physics student who worked with Professor Guttal on this study, has developed a basic web application that provides current trends in markets around the globe. It also shares analysis on historical meltdowns from their published study. The team hopes to add more features to this app and make it more user-friendly. To read the full study in PLOS ONE visit: http://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0144198 Nature-India, Nature Publishing Group, carried an in-depth article on the paper here: http://www.natureasia.com/en/nindia/article/10.1038/nindia.2015.178 ENDS

Friday, 22 January 2016

NUI Galway’s Centre for Irish Studies has announced the appointment of Páraic Ó hOibicín as Sean-nós Dancer in Residence for 2016. A native of Leitir Mucú in Connemara, Páraic Ó hOibicín is one of a generation of dancers who led the revival of sean-nós dance in the late twentieth century. Key to Páraic’s style of dancing, is a faithful nod to older dancers and the tradition that he saw in his youth. He credits Máirtín Beag Ó Gríofa as the most important influence in his development as a sean-nós dancer. Páraic’s style is highly individual, with a lightness and individuality of step recognisable the world over. Like many of his generation, Páraic was resident for a number of years in the UK, but returned to Leitir Mucú in 1984, and quickly reconnected with the dancing community of his youth through sean-nós and set dancing. A winner of the Oireachtas competition in 2004, Páraic is a sought after performer and teacher, and has been invited to give work-shops and master-classes of sean-nós dance nationally throughout Ireland, in Zurich and this year in America. Among his many dance students over the years are two of his own children Patrick and Soina, who have both been successful in Oireachtas competitions, continuing the family tradition. During his residency, Páraic will participate in a series of performances and workshops at the Centre for Irish Studies and other venues in Galway. A selection of his repertoire will also be recorded to deposit in the Sean-Nós Archive at the Centre for Irish Studies. A series of five free sean-nós dance workshops will take place in An Taibhdhearc and commence on Wednesday, 10 February and are open to the public. This project is funded by Ealaín na Gaeltachta, Údarás na Gaeltachta and An Chomhairle Ealaíon, in association with the Centre for Irish Studies at NUI Galway. -Ends- Rinceoir Sean-Nóis Cónaitheach ceaptha ag Ionad an Léinn Éireannaigh, OÉ Gaillimh Tá sé fógartha ag Ionad an Léinn Éireannaigh, OÉ Gaillimh, go bhfuil Páraic Ó hOibicín ceaptha mar Rinceoir Sean-Nóis Cónaitheach as seo go ceann bliana. D'fhás Páraic suas i Leitir Mucú i gConamara agus is ó Mháirtín Beag Ó Gríofa a fuair sé a chuid damhsa ar dtús. Tá Páraic dílis i gcónaí don seantraidisiún rince agus é ar dhuine desna damhsóirí is tábhachtaí in athbheochaint an tsean-nóis a tharla ag deireadh na haoise seo caite. Bhí Páraic ag maireachtaint i Sasana ar feadh blianta, agus d’fhill sé thar n-ais go Leitir Mucú i 1984. Tá neart duaiseanna bainte amach aige, san Oireachtas mar shampla i 2000. Bíonn sé ag damhsa agus ag múineadh ar fud na tíre agus éileamh air thar lear, i Zurich agus i Mericeá. Beidh an tsraith cheardlann san Taibhdhearc ag tosnú ar an 10 Feabhra. Tá na ceardlanna saor in aisce agus beidh fáilte roimh chách. Is iad Ealaín na Gaeltachta, Údarás na Gaeltachta agus An Chomhairle Ealaíon i bpáirt le hIonad an Léinn Éireannaigh atá ag maoiniú an togra seo. -Críoch-

Friday, 22 January 2016

Innovative New Business Degree for NUI Galway The new Bachelor of Commerce (Global Experience) course at the J.E. Cairnes School of Business and Economics in NUI Galway adds another innovative degree to the school’s portfolio of global business programmes. Formerly known as the Bachelor of Commerce (International Experience) this NUI Galway degree has been significantly enhanced by extending study abroad opportunities through English, to China, Australia and the United States in addition to existing partner countries throughout the European Union. “This new degree offers the unique opportunity of a work placement and a study abroad in the same year, while still delivering a broad business degree combined with a business specialism in final year. This four year degree is designed to prepare students for the challenges of working in today’s global business environment, explained Programme Director, Dr Gerard Turley. Students complete modules from all different areas of business in the first two years of the degree. In year three, students undertake a work placement and/or study abroad. In final year, students specialise in one of the following eight streams: Accounting and Performance Measurement; Economics and Public Policy; Management of Human Resources; Marketing Management; Digital Business and Analytics; Finance; Business Law; or International Business. Speaking at the official launch of the new programme, Dr Tom Acton, Head of NUI Galway’s J.E Cairnes School of Business and Economics said: “The Bachelor of Commerce (Global Experience) builds on the success of 100 years of business education at NUI Galway. It is offered in addition to the full suite of business degrees in NUI Galway including the highly popular Bachelor of Commerce, Bachelor of Commerce (International with Continental Language), Bachelor of Commerce (Gaeilge), Bachelor of Commerce (Accounting), Bachelor of Science in Business Information Systems and Bachelor of Science in Financial Mathematics and Economics.” President of NUI Galway, Dr Jim Browne said: “Studying abroad in the business schools of leading universities whilst immersed in the culture of our partner countries is a strategic element of preparation of the student for a successful career in international business. The introduction of partnerships in China, Australia and the United States results in a truly international business degree which builds student networks and understanding on a global scale.” Dr Ann Torres, Vice-Dean of Internationalisation at NUI Galway, said, “In order to flourish future business graduates will need to adapt to an ever more global work environment. Global business requires globally confident and culturally aware graduates. The Bachelor of Commerce (Global Experience) course responds to the needs of employers and will produce highly sought after graduates in all areas of business.” For more information please contact the J.E. Cairnes School of Business and Economics 091 492 612 or email business@nuigalway.ie. ENDS

Tuesday, 26 January 2016

Inspired by the recent #WakingTheFeminists movement, #wakingthefeministswest is a Galway-based season of plays and performances by Irish women led by NUI Galway Drama and Theatre Studies students and supported by the Centre for Drama, Theatre and Performance.  The programme’s mission is to stage the work of Irish women playwrights and theatre-makers, both past and present, as well as to provide strong roles for female performers.  This season will commence in January 2016 and conclude in May 2016, featuring multiple events each month. The season particularly seeks to highlight a diverse range of female voices from the west of Ireland and will include theatre, dance, devised work, work from the archive and offerings from new and developing writers. This initiative is being led by Drama and Theatre Studies Ph.D. students Justine Nakase and Nelson Barre, and involves participation from students from first year to Ph.D. level, as well as staff.  Nakase and Barre offer that they are interested in ‘excavating historic women’s voices and elevating contemporary ones’ and hope that this programme actively challenges the argument that women’s lack of representation in theatre as playwrights among other roles is due to a ‘lack of female talent.’ The programme will be launched by Irish Times Theatre award nominated designer, arts manager and leader of #WakingTheFeminists, Lian Bell, on 28 January at 7PM in the Hardiman Research Building, Room G010 and all are welcome.  January and February #wakingthefeministwest performances will include:  Lady Augusta Gregory, Grainne, directed by Justine Nakase, (28 and 29 January, Bank of Ireland Theatre, 8PM) 100 Shades of Grey, devised by the ensemble, directed by Charlotte McIvor, (8 and 9 February, Bank of Ireland Theatre, 8PM) Elizabeth Connor, Mount Prospect, directed by Ciara O’Dowd and Thomas Conway, Druid Director-in-Residence, (25 and 26 February, Town Hall Studio Theatre, 8:30PM) The further programme will be announced in February.  NUI Galway and the Centre for Drama, Theatre and Performance is an ideal base for #wakingthefeministswest. The season’s programme will draw on resources unique to the university, including specialised archives such as the Abbey Digital Archive, a thriving local arts scene, the expertise of the faculty at the Centre for Drama, Theatre and Performance and the connection to the Irish language. #wakingthefeministswest builds on the West of Ireland’s rich history of strong female figures, both in theatre and at large. From the Abbey’s Lady Augusta Gregory to Druid’s Garry Hynes, from the pirate queen Graínne Mhaol to Mary Robinson, the women of the west have had a huge impact on Ireland’s history and culture. #wakingthefeministswest celebrates and honours the women of the west by giving them life and a voice on the Irish stage. For further information on the programme or ticket reservation, contact wakingthefeministswest@gmail.com  -ends-

Tuesday, 26 January 2016

NUI Galway is currently recruiting participants for a new study on the efficacy of Pilates in falls prevention in healthy older adults over 65 years old. The outcomes assessed will include questionnaires and tests of physical activity, balance, foot pressure, mobility, gait, cognition and falls. One hour classes will take place in Áras Moyola twice weekly for three months with three participants in each class. There will be a total of 24 sessions for each group for the main study and participants are advised to wear comfortable clothes for exercises. There will be a further smaller study of 12 sessions for six weeks with two groups of four participants.   Conducting the study is Larissa Donatoni da Silva, an NUI Galway PhD Health Science, physiotherapist and Pilates instructor. Larissa said: “Our study is looking at the effect that participating in Pilates has on balance, breathing, stretching, and coordination. In particular, we are interested in people over 65 years old, who enjoy doing exercises. We want to measure your level of function with questionnaires and tests so that we can compare it with people who are not practising Pilates.” Participants will get a home Pilates exercise programme and a DVD with exercises demonstrated by the Pilates instructor. The study is supervised by NUI Galway’s Professor Agnes Shiel and Professor Caroline McIntosh. For more detail or to participate in the study contact Larissa Donatoni da Silva at 089 4592533, laridonatoni@gmail.com or l.donatonidasilva1@nuigalway.ie. -Ends-

Tuesday, 26 January 2016

The Irish Software Research Centre (Lero), in conjunction with the discipline of Business Information Systems at NUI Galway, recently welcomed female transition years’ students from Galway secondary schools for its inaugural Transition Year Innovation workshop. The purpose of the workshop was to heighten awareness of the many exciting opportunities and careers in the ICT sector for women. According to recent Accenture Ireland research, women constitute only 25% of the workforce in STEM related jobs. The workshop was funded by a grant from the GoogleRISE Award. The Lero group at NUI Galway is lead by Professor Kieran Conboy, Dean of the University’s College of Business, Public Policy and Law, and was one of 37 worldwide recipients of this award in 2015, in recognition of its ongoing education and outreach programmes throughout Ireland. During the workshop the students from Holy Rosary College in Mountbellew, St. Brigid's in Loughrea and the Salerno Secondary School in Salthill, were tasked with designing a mobile app for a health and fitness club. To complete their assignment, the students formed three and four member teams, with each team supported by mentors: Carol Guilfoyle and Christina Callanan, Hewlett Packard; Emma Curley, Accenture; Orla Shaughnessy, Storm Technology; Saima Clohessy, Fidelity Investments; Elizabeth Grier, Jessica Tyrrell and Lillian Hughes, fourth year students of the Business Information Systems programme, and Ann O’Brien, Coleen Griffin and Mary Loftus, NUI Galway PhD candidates. Each workshop session featuring a talk from female ICT professionals on their experience of working in technology, before introducing the teams to the activity for the team break out session that followed. The breakout sessions involved “hands on” learning for the Transition Year students, working with their mentors on activities such as systems analysis, user interface design, application development, innovation thinking, collaboration and presentation skills. “We were delighted with the great reaction and engagement of the Transition Year students with the format and conduct of the workshop, with the student, mentors and organisers enjoying the experience,” said Neil Keane, lead organiser of the workshop. The event was organised by Neil Keane, Ann O’Brien and Coleen Griffin, with support from Lero, the Business Information Systems discipline NUI Galway, Hewlett Packard, Storm Technologies, Fidelity Investments, and the Accenture centre for Innovation, Dublin. -Ends-

Tuesday, 26 January 2016

NUI Galway’s Societies Office has launched their Spring Programme highlighting the number of major events which will take place on campus this semester. With 115 societies the programme is packed with a variety of theatre, music, dance, guest speakers, debates, workshops and classes. As part of the Spring Programme, the Societies will present the Midterm Festival, from 8-12 February, to promote involvement in the social and cultural life of the campus. In this first year, the Festival will celebrate the arrival of spring with many of the events open to the public. Festival highlights include: Galway University Musical Society (GUMS) production of ‘The Addams Family’, at the Black Box Theatre. The African Caribbean Society will be hosting their version of the hit TV programme “Take me Out”. Dramsoc will host a workshop with the award-winning Blue Teapot Theatre Company, Performing Arts School and Outreach programme for people with intellectual disabilities. The Literary and Debating Society’s annual Alumni Debate. Witless Band Competition, organised by the Music Society and Rock Society. Other events in the Spring Programme include: Rainbow week, organised by GigSoc (LGBT). Potterfest Galway, organised by Pottersoc, a family friendly weekend for Harry Potter fans. Dramsoc will host the National Student Awards (ISDA) in five theatres across the city and on campus featuring over 25 productions from colleges all over Ireland. The Choral Society will host the National Choral Intervarsity. Dansoc will present ‘Strictly Come Dancing’. Mental Health Week organised by Psychology Society. Brain Awareness Week organised by Neuro Society. A number of conventions and conferences will also feature including: Writers Convention; Fansci ‘Itzacon XII’ a Fantasy and Science Fiction Convention 2016 Convention; Cumann Staire Irish History Students Association, 66th Conference; the Association of Celtic Students of Ireland and Britain; and JugglingCon Galway 2016. Throughout the year the societies engage in numerous outreach and schools programmes, such as schools debating competition, organised by the Literary and Debating Society, the annual Schools Musical Awards, organised by the Musical Society, Suas Society facilitate homework clubs in local schools and the Bike Gang Society promote cycling and sustainable transport with schools and youth groups. Societies work with community groups through the world and fundraise extensively for charity, raising over €224,000 last year, and a number of charity events will also feature in this year’s programme. According to Ríona Hughes, NUI Galway Societies Officer and Chairperson of The Board of Irish College Societies, said: “In addition to significantly contributing to the social, cultural and community life of the campus and Galway’s wider community, the societies also play a vital role in educating and preparing their members and in particular their committee members to fully realise their potential as engaged contributing members of society, ensuring they receive a holistic education and graduate as skilled leaders with integrity, creativity, vision and passion for life.” Last year the Societies Office launched their new leadership programme which aims to instil positive leadership qualities and train the society committee members in the necessary skills to run successful societies, which deliver a quality experience for their members and target communities. The programme also aims to explore how people learn and the role of experimental learning through student led extra-curricular activities. The outcomes of the initial pilot programme have been very positive showing a clear correlation between skill ‘shortfalls’ as identified by employers and the skills the committee members identified they had learnt such as communication, problem solving, confidence and team work. A full list of events taking place is available at www.socs.nuigalway.ie, where you can also subscribe to the mailing list, or call the SocsBox, Áras na Mac Léinn on 091 492852. In addition to the box office at the SocsBox, which is open 10am – 7pm weekdays and until 5pm on Fridays, the Societies Office has also launched their new on-line webstore at www.socsbox.nuigalway.ie. -Ends-

Thursday, 28 January 2016

Feature talks from SUSI Grants Authority and NUI Galway graduate Móna Wise NUI Galway will host the Spring Postgraduate Open Day on Wednesday, 3 February, from 12 to 4pm in the Bailey Allen Hall, Áras na Mac Léinn. The Open Day will showcase over 400 of NUI Galway’s full-time and part-time postgraduate programmes, including taught and research masters, as well as doctoral research options. Galway native, award winning blogger of Wise Words, freelance writer, all-round entrepreneur and NUI Galway double-graduate, Móna Wise will give a talk on her experience of graduate studies at the Open Day. Her talk, which will take place at 1pm, will focus on her experience of returning to postgraduate study, and how her Masters qualification furthered her career. SUSI (Student Universal Support Ireland), the national Awarding Authority for all higher and further education student grants, will deliver their talk at 2pm, providing students with an opportunity with information on the funding opportunities and application process for postgraduate grants. With over 3,500 postgraduate students currently attending NUI Galway, over 100 information stands will provide details on postgraduate opportunities at the University, with academic staff and current students on hand to answer questions about specific courses. The Open Day will focus on the benefits of doing a postgraduate programme and the practicalities of making an application. Josephine Walsh, Head of NUI Galway’s Career Development Centre, said: “Irish graduates are ranked first in Europe in terms of how employers rank graduates, and postgraduate study boosts employability. The number of postgraduates in employment has grown consistently in recent years and NUI Galway’s well-established links with industry allows them to take the first step in building their career. Over 91% of NUI Galway graduates are currently employed or are in further study within six months of graduating, which is higher than the HEA national average for postgraduates.” NUI Galway offers a wide range of fourth-level courses, developing programmes based on its traditional academic strengths of Arts, Social Sciences, Celtic Studies, Commerce, Medicine, Nursing, Health Science, Law, Engineering, Informatics and Science. These areas have been augmented with innovative research centres in areas as diverse as Biomedical Science and Engineering, International Human Rights, Digital Media and Film Studies, and Regenerative Medicine. New courses being introduced for 2016 include an MSc in Biomedical Genomics, a part-time MSc in Medical Technology and Regulatory Affairs and an MSc in Clinical Neuroscience. To view NUI Galway’s new and unique postgraduate programmes and to book your place at the Open Day visit www.nuigalway.ie/postgraduate-open-day  or simply call in on the day. To apply for an NUI Galway postgraduate course visit www.pac.ie/nuigalway or find out more on Twitter using the hashtag #GetTheEdge. -Ends-

Thursday, 28 January 2016

‘A Soldier’s Song’, the second in a series of lectures curated by NUI Galway’s Centre for Irish Studies as part of its programme of commemoration of the 1916 Easter Rising, will focus on Peadar Kearney, composer of the Irish national anthem. Kearney survived the struggle for independence and experienced poverty and neglect in the Free State for which so many of his close friends had given their lives. Disillusion led to depression but there seems to have been a conspiracy, involving political parties, families and friends, to mythologise him as a serene patriot rather than reveal him as a damaged veteran. The lecture will be delivered by Colbert Kearney, Professor Emeritus of English at UCC, and author of The Writings of Brendan Behan, The Glamour of Grammar, a study of Seán O’Casey, and The Consequence. The lecture will begin at 6.30pm on Tuesday, 2 February at Galway City Library in Augustine Street. -Ends-