NUI Galway Medical Students Hit the Right Note

NUI Galway Medical Students Hit the Right Note-image

Tuesday, 8 March 2011

Music and medicine will come together at NUI Galway on Tuesday, 22 March when the Medical Orchestra is unveiled at the Arts in Action Traditional Concert. The School of Medicine at NUI Galway is the first to launch this exciting initiative which is giving its multi-talented medical students an opportunity to showcase their musical skills. The 25-piece orchestra will open the concert, which is being headlined by renowned traditional musician Mairtin O'Connor and his five-piece band. Preparations are well underway for the orchestra's first concert under the guidance of Mary McPartlan, Professional Singer and Creative Director of the Medicine and the Arts Module at NUI Galway and Musical Director Carl Hession, a music teacher at Colaiste Iognaid in Galway City. Many of the students who volunteer their time are accomplished musicians who are thrilled to work together under the guidance of Mary McPartlan and Carl Hession, who has composed and arranged the music for their performance. The students have been rehearsing on a regular basis and have been joined by a recent medical graduate, Dr Lisa McAnena, who will be the soloist when the orchestra first performs in public. Third-year Medical student, 22-year-old Julianne Harte is looking forward to the concert. The Loughrea student began learning the viola when she was seven. She has also played with the National Youth Orchestra and the Galway Youth Orchestra. "I am really looking forward to it. It is an interesting project to be part of," she said. One of the highlights of their performance will be an arrangement for the uileann pipes, which will be played by second year Medical student, 20-year-old Elvin Moynagh. Elvin, from South Dublin, has grown up listening and playing traditional music. "My mum plays the button accordion and my father plays the banjo. Traditional music has always been a part of life at home." The Medical School hopes to receive support to invest in a piano and music stands, which would greatly facilitate the orchestra's rehearsals. Dr. Gerard Flaherty, Senior Lecturer in Clinical Medicine and Medical Education at NUI Galway, and Chairperson of the Medical School's new Arts committee, said: "Patients benefit greatly from music as they try to cope with and recover from illness. I firmly believe that music can be the medicine of the mind. Our new orchestra will showcase the wonderful, but sometimes hidden talents of our medical students, and bring some joy to the wider community through their public performances. We are indebted to both Mary McPartlan and to Carl Hession for bringing this idea to life. Both School Administrator, Therese Dixon, and College Director of Strategic Development, Declan Ashe, have provided tremendous support to the project from the outset." Professor Fidelma Dunne, Head of the School of Medicine at NUI Galway, has been strongly supportive of the integration of the arts into the undergraduate medical curriculum. Her daughter, Jennifer Scott, will play violin in the new orchestra. The concert promises to be an exciting evening for lovers of music. Following the first performance of the Medical Orchestra, Mairtin O'Connor and his band (Jimmy Higgins on percussion, Steve Hanks on saxophone, Seamie O'Dowd on guitar, Cathal Hayden on fiddle and banjo and Gary O'Briain on mando cello and piano) will take to the stage. The concert takes place on Tuesday March 22 at 8pm (Doors open at 7.30pm) in the Bailey Allen Hall at NUI Galway. Tickets for this concert are available from the Societies Box at Aras na Mac Leinn, NUI Galway or by calling 091 492852/ 091 492088. Tickets are €10, €5 for students. -Ends-

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Astronomy Public Lectures Continue at NUI Galway

Astronomy Public Lectures Continue at NUI Galway-image

Tuesday, 8 March 2011

The series of public lectures by the NUI Galway Centre of Astronomy will continue with a free lecture, entitled 'Cosmology', taking place on Wednesday, 16 March, in the Larmor Lecture Theatre at NUI Galway at 7.30pm. The lecture will be given by Dr Iain MacLaren, Director of the Centre for Excellence in Learning and Teaching at NUI Galway. During his lecture, Dr MacLaren will give an overview of what we know about the origin and structure of the universe, describing a number of key observations and discoveries that led to the standard Big Bang model and highlighting some of the areas which dominate modern cosmological research. The talk will be suitable all and particularly for students thinking of studying Physics at University. Speaking about the upcoming lecture, Dr Andrew Shearer, Director of the Centre of Astronomy at NUI Galway, said: "One of the most fundamental questions we can ask is where does the universe come from? How did it start? Dr MacLaren's lecture will illustrate our current understanding of coslmology." For more information contact Dr Andy Shearer in the Centre of Astronomy at andy.shearer@nuigalway.ie or 091 493114. -Ends-

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NUI Galway Neuroscience Researchers host Brain Awareness Week Event

NUI Galway Neuroscience Researchers host Brain Awareness Week Event-image

Monday, 7 March 2011

Neuroscience researchers at NUI Galway will host a public event during Brain Awareness Week on Thursday, 10 March from 10am to 4pm. The event will give participants the opportunity to learn about the workings of the human brain and about specific neuroscience research that is underway in NUI Galway. Throughout the day, participants will be able to test their hand-eye coordination and challenge their brain with mirror writing which highlights the processes of cognitive functioning. There will be a variety of exhibits, questionnaires and images on display in the museum, depicting the benefits of research for aspects of neuroscience such as brain injury, brain disease and the effects of aging on the brain. Brain Awareness Week was founded and is coordinated by the Dana Alliance for Brain Initiatives in the US and European Dana Alliance for the Brain. Since 1996, more than 2,600 groups have staged events aimed at making the public more aware of the benefits and promises of brain research. Dr Una FitzGerald, Event Coordinator and member of the Neuroscience Research Cluster of the National Centre for Biomedical Science and Engineering at NUI Galway says: "People of all ages are naturally interested in how the brain functions and what can go wrong during brain injury, disease, or through aging. This event will have a broad appeal and it will be interesting fun and interactive. With a wide variety of exhibits, there will be an opportunity for everyone to learn something new about themselves and about the brain in general, and we are very proud to play our part in an important international campaign." The Galway Neuroscience Group is made up of researchers from the NCBES, Pharmacology, Anatomy, Psychology, Psychiatry, Neurology, and Physiology. Diseases and disorders being investigated include multiple sclerosis, Parkinson's disease, pain, depression, spinal cord injury and bi-polar disorder. Researchers have contributed materials for this event and are delighted to have the chance to share their enthusiasm for brain research and all topics related to the brain, with the public. -Ends-

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Irish Student Drama Festival Comes to Galway

Irish Student Drama Festival Comes to Galway-image

Monday, 7 March 2011

The next generation of theatrical talent has arrived in Galway for the Irish Student Drama Association Festival, which runs until 12 March. This is the largest event ever in the festival's 63 year history, with NUI Galway Dramsoc hosting 45 events over nine days. The festival productions are a combination of the work of emerging student writers as well as works by the likes of Brian Friel, William Shakespeare, Tom Murphy, Conor McPherson, Martin McDonagh and Harold Pinter. The Irish Student Drama Association (ISDA) is the umbrella organisation of Ireland's third-level drama societies. Featuring 25 plays from 13 colleges around the country, the event has daily performances in the Druid Theatre, Nun's Island Theatre, and the Bank of Ireland Theatre on campus. Since 1947, the ISDA festival has hosted the finest works of student drama and launched the careers of leading figures such as Garry Hynes, Conor McPherson, Neil Jordan and Jim Sheridan. Outstanding performers have included Pauline McLynn, Marie Mullen, Fiona Shaw and Brendan Gleeson. Festival organiser Neasa O'Callaghan, who is studying BA Connect with Creative Writing at NUI Galway, says the event has a fantastic pedigree: "For those who were involved in drama societies or groups at college, mention of ISDA will revive fond memories. Stimulating, diverse, great training grounds and terrific fun, college and university drama societies have long been the seedbed for people who go on to make their careers in performance arts". As a result of the recently announced partnership between NUI Galway and Druid Theatre Company, the Druid Lane Theatre will serve as a main venue for the festival, with plays being performed at 8pm each evening. Neasa O'Callaghan adds: "Druid Lane has never been an ISDA Festival venue before, and its inclusion in the Festival reflects the company's commitment to promoting drama in the University. Moreover, Thomas Conway, Literary Officer for Druid also served as an Internal Adjudicator for the Drama Society this year - as a means of selecting the three plays which will represent NUI Galway at the Festival this year. He has been very supportive of the society as a whole and is always willing to give advice and feedback to students, which is invaluable." As well as the 25 main shows, there is also an ISDA Fringe Festival, running concurrently with the main festival, featuring daily comedic and musical performances. Moreover, newly written plays from NUI Galway, UCD, UCC, Trinity College Dublin and NUI Maynooth will be performed daily at 1pm in Kelly's Bar, as part of the Fringe Festival. Workshops in Juggling, Stage-combat, stand-up comedy, and acting will be held at 6pm in various venues in the city. The ISDA Festival is supported by the Ardilaun Hotel, Galway Advertiser, Galway City Council, NUI Galway, Kelly's Bar, NUI Galway College Bar, Tigh Neachtain's and Barnacles. The 2011 ISDA Festival, began on the 4 March and runs until 12 March. For full information, please visit www.isdafestival.ie-Ends-

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Gala 2011 Celebrates Alumni

Gala 2011 Celebrates Alumni -image

Monday, 7 March 2011

A celebration of the achievements of NUI Galway's alumni took place in the Bailey Allen Hall on campus Saturday night. Over 450 people gathered for the 11th Annual Gala Banquet, a glamorous occasion hosted by RTE's Siún Nic Gearailt. Among the guests were alumni, staff, students and friends of the University. The feature of the night was the presentation of the Annual Alumni Awards to: • Gabriel D'Arcy, CEO Bord na Móna, who received the Bank of Ireland Award for Business, Public Policy and Law • Michael Conroy, General Manager, Cisco Product Group, Ireland who received the Bank of Ireland Award for Engineering and Informatics • Dr Gerald Farrell, Managing Director of Eli Lilly (ROI) and former President of Irish Pharmaceutical Healthcare Association (IPHA) who received the Seavite Alumni Award for Science • John Walshe, Education Editor, Irish Independent who received the AIB Award for Arts, Social Sciences and Celtic Studies • Dr Brian Griffin, Cleveland Clinic, USA, Director, Cardiovascular Disease Training Programme and The John and Rosemary Brown Endowed Chair in Cardiovascular Medicine; US Associate Editor, Heart who received the Medtronic Award for Medicine, Nursing and Health Sciences and • Colm Murray, RTÉ Sports Presenter who received the Aer Arann Alumni Award for Sports Achievement and Leadership Addressing the assembled guests, NUI Galway President, Dr James J. Browne, said: "The people we honour tonight have made a difference. They have distinguished themselves as individuals and in doing so they add lustre to the reputation of NUI Galway". A special message from former NUI Galway student, Enda Kenny T.D., was also read out to the guests, citing how "education is at the very heart of Irish society" and how the evening "highlights the importance and indeed the calibre of Irish graduates". Reflecting the cultural focus of the Bailey Allen Hall venue, entertainment was provided by internationally recognised mezzo soprano, Imelda Drumm, and by Youth Ballet West, a registered charity offering young dancers in the West of Ireland the opportunity to perform in professionally choreographed ballets. The Annual Alumni Awards celebrate the life-long value of an NUI Galway education and recognise individual achievements among the University's more than 80,000 graduates worldwide. -Ends-

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Digital Media Exhibition to Showcase Talent

Digital Media Exhibition to Showcase Talent-image

Monday, 7 March 2011

A digital media exhibition will be held on Thursday, 10 March, to showcase projects from NUI Galway's MA in Digital Media programme. The MA in Digital Media was shortlisted for the 'gradireland postgraduate course of the year' in 2010. It attracts bright, creative and students with a strong sense of identity and individuality from a variety of undergraduate disciplines. In recent years, a number of projects have gone on to win national Digital Media awards. The categories and projects to be exhibited are in e-learning, interactive media and animation. In the e-learning section, student Claire McNelis, has created a website called SpellingRules.ie that teaches spelling in a dyslexia-friendly way. Aengus Bates has created heritagetreehunt.ie, an interactive map of heritage trees in Ireland, which is part of a larger Tree Council of Ireland survey. These and many more diverse and innovative projects will be showcased. In the animation category, four short animated films explore themes including conflict in Israel, a sci-fi dystopian future, computer gaming and nature. The MA programme is run by the Huston School of Film and Digital Media in conjunction with the discipline of Information Technology, and the Digital Enterprise Research Institute (DERI). The exhibition is part of the NUI Galway Arts in Action 2010-2011 initiative, which aims to cultivate awareness of the creative arts across campus. According to Mary McPartlan, Director of the Arts in Action Programme at NUI Galway: "It is vitally important that students at NUI Galway are aware of the benefits of Arts in Action and attend free events like the Digital Media Exhibition on Thursday. It affords them the opportunity to explore the high professional quality of knowledge and skills generated within the university." The exhibition will open from 2pm at The View in Áras na MacLéinn, NUI Galway. At 6pm Paul Cummins, CEO of Telegael, will launch the event and show some award winning pieces produced by his company. From 7 to 8pm, the animation section of the Digital Media exhibition will be screened followed by a reception and an opportunity to network. Admission is free and all are welcome. For further information contact Valerie.Butler@nuigalway.ie -ends-

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Political Web Visibility Rankings Website Created by NUI Galway Student

Political Web Visibility Rankings Website Created by NUI Galway Student -image

Friday, 4 March 2011

An online visibility tracking website created by postgraduate student of NUI Galway, David Dolphin, has shown that the fifteen independent candidates elected to the 31st Dáil, topped web visibility rankings in their constituencies, highlighting the importance of having a web presence during the recent General Election. The website td2011.com monitored the number of news articles, blog posts and websites which mentioned each candidate's name in the week running up to the election. According to the results, twelve of the elected independents were the most visible independent candidate in their constituency, while three others had the second most visible web presence. All elected independents were one of the top five most visible candidates in their constituency. In order to determine candidates positions, David wrote an algorithm to rank all 566 candidates based their web presence. Web visibility then was monitored for the candidates from 1 February until the day before the election Thursday, 24 February. David Dolphin, creator of td2011.com says: "The results extracted from the website show that the internet is a useful tool independents can use to inform the electorate of the issues they stand for. It highlights the growing role of internet presence as a factor in Irish elections. The Web is particularly important for independent candidates as it gives them a voice when they don't have the brand recognition that comes with party membership." Full rankings for all independent candidates can be found online at: http://www.td2011.com/indy. -ends-

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'Humanities in the West' Visits Mayo, Roscommon and Sligo

'Humanities in the West' Visits Mayo, Roscommon and Sligo-image

Friday, 4 March 2011

The folklore and philosophy of the West of Ireland was explored by NUI Galway's Dr Tom Duddy in Castlebar yesterday (3 March). In a free, public talk, Dr Duddy spoke about 'From Folklore to Philosophy: the life and work of William Larminie of Castlebar'. William Larminie was born in Castlebar in 1849. A poet and collector of folklore, he also translated the work of the great Irish-born philosopher, John Scottus Eriugena. The talk, which took place in the Linenhall Arts Centre in Castlebar, gave an account of Larminie's own life and discussed his contribution to Irish cultural life. Dr Duddy's lecture was part of the 'Humanities in the West' series of talks, sponsored by the School of Humanities at NUI Galway. Throughout this series, University lecturers visit different regional centres (Castlebar, Roscommon and Sligo) to lecture on a range of topics from philosophy to Gaelic games to ideas of space and mobility in contemporary Ireland. 'Humanities in the West' is an initiative of the Civic Engagement Committee in the School of Humanities and is one of a number of annual initiatives designed to publicise the teaching and research that takes place in Humanities at NUI Galway. Further talks are planned in Roscommon on 29 March, where Dr Seán Crosson of NUI Galway's Huston School of Film & Digital Media, will discuss 'Representing the Nation through Sport: The National Film Institute's Gaelic Games Films, 1948 – 1968'. His presentation will consider a series of films made in Ireland during the period that were centrally concerned with representing and promoting the nation through sport. The talk, which will include rare highlights footage of Roscommon competing in the all-Ireland football finals of 1943, 1946 and 1962, takes place in the Roscommon Arts Centre at 8pm. In Sligo on 5 April, Dr Nessa Cronin of the Centre for Irish Studies, will talk about 'Haunted Landscapes: Place, Space and Mobility in 21st Century Ireland'. This illustrated talk will look at the changing face of the Irish landscape from 1993 to the present day. In particular, it will focus on issues relating to the legacy of urban sprawl and rural 'development' in contemporary Ireland and how such changes have been represented in the Irish literary sphere. Of interest to a wide audience, from local community development groups to individuals interested in Irish heritage and contemporary literature, the talk takes place in The Model, Sligo, at 8pm. Further information is available from Karen Walsh 091 495689. For more information on the work of the School of Humanities (including podcasted lectures), visit http://www.nuigalway.ie/humanities/. -Ends-

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Research Provides Communication Guidelines in Cross-Cultural GP Consultations

Research Provides Communication Guidelines in Cross-Cultural GP Consultations-image

Thursday, 3 March 2011

NUI Galway researchers have won a prestigious award for their work on the development of guidelines to support communication in cross-cultural general practice consultations. Dr. Anne MacFarlane, Lecturer in Primary Care, Discipline of General Practice, School of Medicine has led the Health Research Board Partnership Award with colleagues Mary O'Reilly-de Brún and Tomas de Brún, Directors of the Centre for Participatory Strategies (CPS), Galway and Alice O'Flynn and Diane Nurse of the HSE Social Inclusion Unit. This research has used innovative participatory research methods to enable the meaningful involvement of health service users from the migrant community and health service providers in the development of a guideline to support communication in cross-cultural general practice consultations. This research was recently awarded the Professor James McCormack medal for best research presentation at the Association of University Departments of General Practice Annual Scientific Meeting. This is important research for service users with limited English and their general practitioners who face significant challenges on a daily basis in their consultations because they do not have a shared language or cultural background which results in frequent misunderstandings and communication breakdowns. According to Dr. MacFarlane; "A key finding from the research is that all those involved with the research do not think the current status quo of using family members including children and friends as interpreters, is acceptable. They wish to have access to formal, trained interpreters who are monitored and evaluated in practice." Members of the migrant community from Polish, Russian, Portuguese, Urdu, French Congolese speaking and Nigerian communities in the Galway region, who participated in the research last April, were invited back to the University recently to hear details of the key findings and to provide feedback about the emerging content of the guideline to the research team. Seven representatives of the migrant community have formed a research team with academic researchers. The Service User Peer Researchers (SUPERS) are Khalid Ahmed, Jean Samuel Bonsenge Bokanga, Maria Manuela De Almeida Silva, Aga Mierzejewska, Lovina Nnadi, Florence Ogbebor and Katya Okonkwo. They trained in participatory research methods with the Centre for Participatory Strategies, Galway and this training enabled them to give members of their wider communities an opportunity to 'have a voice' in the development of the guideline, working in their own languages and with SUPERS from their own cultural backgrounds. As one SUPER (Florence Ogbebor) remarked, "This type of research actually brought the voices of the people upstream to the policy makers, where their voices could be heard". The use of participatory research approaches for research based on academic-community partnerships is very innovative in Irish primary care and the involvement of the Centre for Participatory Strategies has been instrumental in the design and delivery of the project. Directors of the Centre for Participatory Strategies (CPS), Mary O'Reilly-de Brún and Tomas de Brún said, "In this research project, we found it very exciting to experience the enthusiasm and creativity of the SUPERS. Together, we co-designed the research process, and culture-proofed all the research materials - this ensured that no migrant participants would be offended by the visual images we use with groups where not everyone readily reads and writes. This is one of the strengths of the participatory approach used, no one is disenfranchised and everyone's voice counts." -Ends-

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Photos of Actor Arthur Shields on Display at NUI Galway

Photos of Actor Arthur Shields on Display at NUI Galway-image

Tuesday, 1 March 2011

The general public are invited on a trip down theatrical memory lane at NUI Galway, as images from the archive of the Abbey Theatre actor Arthur Shields (1896-1970) are exhibited. The selection of photographs from the Shields Family Archive will be on display in the foyer of the James Hardiman Library until 18 March with many more images featuring in a powerpoint display. John Cox, Librarian at James Hardiman Library, says this is a fascinating display: "As well as photographs, visitors will also be able to view correspondence and publicity material from the Abbey Theatre's tours of North America, which were managed by Arthur Shields in the 1930s. As an interesting footnote, in Easter 1916, Arthur Shields fought with the Citizen Army in the GPO when he was just 19 years old, and several items relating to the uprising are on display." The exhibition is just part of the Shields Family Archive collection which is housed at the James Hardiman Library, and includes posters, programmes and playscripts. In addition, there is a large audio-visual collection of tapes and video, including around fifty hours of interviews with Abbey players recorded in the 1970s. Also in the Archive are the papers of Barry Fitzgerald, Arthur's brother. Both brothers had successful acting careers in Hollywood, each appearing in more than fifty films, beginning with John Ford's production of The Plough and Stars in 1936. The exhibition takes place in the foyer of the James Hardiman Library at NUI Galway until 18 March (closed on 17 March). The Library is open until 10pm Monday to Friday, and until 5.30pm at weekends. Admission to the exhibition is free. The University has also made over 150 images from the Shields Family Archive available online at http://archives.library.nuigalway.ie/shields. -Ends-

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