Druid and NUI Galway Announce Collaboration

Druid and NUI Galway Announce Collaboration-image

Monday, 13 December 2010

The West of Ireland has always been renowned for the central role played by the creative arts and NUI Galway has provided a breeding ground for the development of artistic talent in successive generations of students. Now, in a groundbreaking initiative, NUI Galway and Druid are coming together to form a partnership that will be crucial in maintaining and developing the performance arts of the region into the future. In an exciting new collaboration, NUI Galway will contribute to the development of Druid's next major theatre event (to be produced in 2012/13) while Druid, in turn, will develop a range of practice-led workshops and seminars including a series of Master classes for BA and MA students. In addition, in a move that highlights the new initiative, a Druid Director-in-Residence will be appointed who will co-ordinate the joint Master classes and workshops and offer classes and mentoring in various aspects of directing and stagecraft to NUI Galway students. These contributions will enhance two successful NUI Galway academic programmes: the MA in Drama and Theatre Studies and BA Connect in Theatre and Performance. The relationship between NUI Galway and Druid is a long and fruitful one. The company was founded on campus in 1975 by graduates Mick Lally, Marie Mullen and Garry Hynes. Through the years the two organisations have collaborated at various times including notably the housing of the Druid archive at the James Hardiman Library at NUI Galway and the establishment of a playwriting award in memory of the late Jerome Hynes who was General Manager of Druid at a formative stage in the company's development. The three founders, as well as being graduates, have all been awarded Honorary Degrees by the University. Commenting on the new partnership, NUI Galway President James J. Browne said, "We are very excited by this new and innovative partnership with Druid, which, I believe, holds wonderful opportunities for both organisations. For the University it represents a new creative thrust for our academic programmes in theatre and drama, which will be enriched by the talent and experience of a world leading professional theatre company. In turn we are able to play a role in Druid's ability to continue to present first class theatre for stages both here in Ireland and abroad." Garry Hynes commented that, "Back in 1975 NUI Galway helped Druid launch into the world with the provision of various facilities and continued to help us informally through the years. Now 35 years later we are at the beginning of a new and very exciting partnership. Without NUI Galway, and other partners, Druid simply would not be able to produce these major projects that have become such central events for our actors and our audience alike. Just as I - informally - took my first steps in the theatre in NUI Galway, I am now, through this programme looking forward to helping the emergence of the next generation of theatre makers from my alma mater." Druid would like to acknowledge the continued support of the Arts Council in funding the company's work and also the support of Culture Ireland in funding its international touring programme. ENDS

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NUI Galway to Host Seminar on Rural Ageing and the Recession

NUI Galway to Host Seminar on Rural Ageing and the Recession-image

Thursday, 9 December 2010

"An Age Old Problem - Where Now for Rural Services" The Irish Centre for Social Gerontology at NUI Galway is hosting a seminar on rural ageing and the recession, in conjunction with the Centre for Ageing Research and Development in Ireland (CARDI), Irish Rural Link and the Rural Community Network Northern Ireland. The seminar, which is part of CARDI's Older People and the Recession Series, is taking place today, Thursday, 9 December and tomorrow, Friday, 10 December in the Martin Ryan Institute (Annex) at NUI Galway. This event will focus on ageing in rural Ireland, North and South, and will examine crucial issues of concern for researchers, policymakers and older people themselves about the impact of the recession. The keynote address will be given by Professor Norah Keating, Co-Director of Research on Aging, Policies and Practice, Department of Human Ecology, University of Alberta, Canada. It will also feature contributions from national experts in the fields of ageing research, policy and practice and will showcase findings from two CARDI funded research projects relating to ageing in a rural context. Professor Thomas Scharf, Director of the Irish Centre for Social Gerontology (ICSG), says the event is particularly timely: "At a time when everyone is facing up to the new realities of economic uncertainty, it is useful to reflect on what works and what doesn't work in meeting the needs and aspirations of older citizens living in rural communities across Ireland. This seminar brings together some of the country's best people to help shape the future of rural services for a growing proportion of our population." Dr Roger O'Sullivan, Director of CARDI says, "Older people make up a significant part of the rural population of Ireland, North and South. This seminar not only addresses the particular issues facing older people in terms of accessing transport and other services but also takes a closer look at the positive contribution older people make to rural communities. The CARDI funded research projects which will be launched at the event underline the importance of listening to older people's voices when making decisions on rural policy and services in Ireland, North and South. Recognising the value of rural communities and older people who live in them will be especially important in the context of the difficult decisions about public spending that lie ahead." Dr Kieran Walsh, NUI Galway, will present findings from a CARDI funded project entitled 'Older people in Rural Communities: Exploring Attachment, Contribution and Diversity in Rural Ireland and Northern Ireland' focusing on case studies of the experiences of older people. The report, which was written in collaboration with colleagues at NUI Galway, Queens University, the Rural Community Network and FORUM Letterfrack, is a part of a larger programme of work on rural ageing being pursued by the Healthy Ageing in Rural Communities (HARC) research network. Dr Aoife Ahern, University College Dublin, will also present a project exploring the issue of rural transport for older people. -Ends-

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NUI Galway Alumni Christmas Gathering

NUI Galway Alumni Christmas Gathering-image

Thursday, 9 December 2010

The NUI Galway Alumni Association invites all graduates, returning to Galway for Christmas, to the annual Alumni Christmas Gathering. Now in its sixth year, the Christmas Gathering is a great reason to return to campus and catch up with old friends over a glass of mulled wine and some mince pies. To ensure a festive atmosphere, the Orbsen Choir will be on hand singing carols to get everyone in the mood for Christmas. "Coming back to NUI Galway at this time of year is a wonderful experience, especially as a graduate. Unlike your time spent here as a student, there are no exams to worry about, and you never know who you'll bump into" says Mairin Gilvarry, Chairperson of the Alumni Association Board. "We encourage all graduates to come along, bring a friend and pass on the message to former classmates." The Christmas Gathering, a free event, will take place on Friday, 17 December, in the Quadrangle from 5:30 to 7:30pm. Please RSVP to Colm O'Dwyer, Alumni Office, on 091 493 750 or alumni@nuigalway.ie. -Ends-

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€3.7 Million EU Grant Awarded to the Centre for Disability Law and Policy

€3.7 Million EU Grant Awarded to the Centre for Disability Law and Policy -image

Tuesday, 7 December 2010

The Centre for Disability Law and Policy at NUI Galway has been awarded an EU Framework 7 grant worth €3.7 million to develop and lead a Pan-European doctoral research project over four years. The focus of the research will be to find practical ways of making the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities a reality in the daily lives of people with disabilities in the EU. The FP7 grant will enable the Centre to lead a network of six other leading disability policy research Centres across Europe (including the Netherlands, UK, Norway, Spain, and Iceland). Several leading disability research institutes in the world will also contribute to its work including the Harvard Project in Disability. The project – called DREAM (Disability Rights Expanding Accessible Markets) – is premised on the idea that smart EU policy initiatives on disability are not just good for people with disabilities, but also help expand markets and increase overall levels of economic activity. Digital Europe, the main umbrella body for European software and hardware manufactures and services, acts as a key commercial partner. All of the researchers will also have the opportunity to gain invaluable and funded work experience with leading European civil society groups such as Interights (London), Mental Disability Advocacy Centre (Budapest), the European Disability Forum (Brussels) and the European Group of Human Rights Commissions. This will help sharpen their analysis and lead to policy recommendations that are well grounded in experience. The Centre, which is based in the School of Law at the College of Business, Public Policy and Law at NUI Galway, is part of the emerging Lifecourse Institute at the University which combines the research strengths of three NUI Galway Centres on ageing, children and families as well as disability. Director of The Centre for Disability Law and Policy at NUI Galway, Professor Gerard Quinn says, "This places the Centre at the very forefront of research that points the way toward better European law and policy on disability. It will train a new breed of policy entrepreneur in the disability field. This is the vital bridge to creating better living conditions for the over 60 million Europeans with disabilities. We are honoured to have been chosen to lead on this project which has European level significance. The researchers will have unrivalled access to world authorities on disability from Australia to Harvard." NUI Galway President Dr James J. Browne says, "This is great news for the University and indeed for Ireland. It is a good example of university research that is both socially responsible and that also aims at increasing economic activity. I understand it is the single largest FP7 grant given to a research Centre at an Irish Law School. It augurs well for the new Lifecourse Institute at the University of which this Centre is a part". ENDS

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NUI Galway Co-hosts Irish Open Data Hackathon

NUI Galway Co-hosts Irish Open Data Hackathon -image

Tuesday, 7 December 2010

The Digital Enterprise Research Institute (DERI) at NUI Galway and the Galway community space 091 Labs co-hosted the only Irish Open Data Hackathon on December 4 2010. The event led to the creation of useful websites and software applications which improve citizens' access to public data and services and knowledge and understanding of work of governments. A piece of data is described as open if people are free to use and redistribute it, subject only to the requirement to attribute and share-alike. The goal of the one day Hackathon event was to encourage the adoption of open data policies by the world s local, regional and national governments. Open Data policies increase government transparency, spur the digital economy, and improve civic participation. Applications created on the day in Galway included a website that helps citizens track the latest planning applications submitted to Galway City Council, and an integrated online bus schedule for all Galway-Dublin coach connections. Another website allows users to utilise an improved way of accessing Dublin Bus schedules. A team produced an online visual report that shows where Arts Council funding goes. A new application showing all the public toilets in Galway city including wheelchair accessible toilets was created. The NUI Galway based Hackathon was part of a global series of events, ranging from Bangalore to Los Angeles and from Brasilia to Thailand, celebrating and highlighting the use of Open Data for citizens. More than 1000 people in over 73 cities on five continents dedicated time to helping foster both a local and international community of open data hackers, advocates and citizens. Professor Stefan Decker, Director of DERI Galway, said: "DERI's participation in the Open Data Day shows that Irish researchers do not only publish academic papers, but are actively involved in shaping their community. To maximise the value I would like to encourage local and national governments to make their data available." Declan Elliott, founder of 091 Labs in Galway, said: "Open Data is a grassroots effort. In times when politics cannot solve major problems, collaborative community spaces like 091Labs in Galway encourage public participation. This fosters creativity which in turn produces value by creating new ideas which enable entrepreneurs and spur economic growth." ENDS

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NUI Galway Students Attend National Volunteering Conference

NUI Galway Students Attend National Volunteering Conference-image

Monday, 6 December 2010

Students from NUI Galway recently attended 'Building a Voice for Student Volunteering', a National Conference where students from over 15 colleges across the island of Ireland gathered in anticipation of the EU Year of the Volunteer in 2011, to share experiences and ideas on the impact of third level student volunteering. It was sponsored by Campus Engage, the HEA funded network to support civic engagement within higher education in Ireland. The conference provided a space for student volunteers to meet together for the first time with an opportunity to share effective practice and create 'how to guides on student volunteering. The forum took the approach that the experts in student volunteering are the student volunteers themselves and addresses were delivered by students for students. Richard Manton, Student Volunteer in NUI Galway says: "I found the conference to be thoroughly enjoyable and informative. From the outset, the informal and open nature of the event was clear - emphasis was placed on the pooling of ideas by those actively involved in student volunteering, rather than a series of lectures. I found that I was able to draw from my own volunteering experience and discuss with others the best ways to build a voice for student volunteering in Ireland." In the last seven years there has been an upsurge in student volunteering activities across the third level sector with the ALIVE Volunteer Programme at NUI Galway, Trinity Volunteer Opportunities Forum and Dean of Students Roll of Honour, the Uaneen Programme at DCU, DIT's volunteer programme, President's Award for Volunteering at UL and GIVE at LIT. All of these recognise diverse activities that students undertake as volunteers within a community that ultimately gives them an extra edge on graduation. Lorraine Tansey, Student Volunteer Coordinator at the University says: "NUI Galway has built of its rich history of student engagement and activism to lead at the forefront of pioneering student volunteering programmes across higher education in Ireland. Our students benefit enormously from national opportunities to meet fellow student volunteers and highlight their contribution to society." This event is the first in a series of Campus Engage sponsored events that will harness and recognise the positive contribution that students make through volunteering to community. During 2011, the We Volunteer! mobile exhibition showcasing images of diverse student volunteering contributions will travel across Ireland and Europe. -Ends-

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Four NUI Galway Students Receive National Presidential Award

Four NUI Galway Students Receive National Presidential Award-image

Monday, 6 December 2010

Four NUI Galway students have been awarded the prestigious Gold Gaisce Award. President Mary McAleese presented the awards to the students in recognition of their outstanding contribution to community and personal development at the 25th Anniversary of the Gaisce Award ceremony last week. Awardees included Mary Gavaghan, from Charlestown Co. Mayo, Lauren Martin, from Athy Co. Kildare, Máiread Felle, Portumna, Co. Galway and Lisa Carney from Kiltamagh, Co. Mayo. Gaisce, the President's Award is Ireland's National Challenge Award, the country's most prestigious and respected individual award programme, and a challenge from the President of Ireland, to young people between 15 and 25 years of age. There are four different challenge areas including Community Involvement, Personal Skill, Physical Recreation and Adventure Journey. Congratulating the NUI Galway students on their success, Lorraine Tansey, Student Volunteer Coordinator at NUI Galway, said, "The Gold Gaisce Award is bestowed to individuals who have not only took on a personal challenge but make a contribution to their community. We are very proud of these students who have stepped outside their comfort zone and engaged with new challenges and experiences to earn the highest award, the Gold Gaisce Medal. At NUI Galway we seek to engender our students with the characteristics of selflessness and leadership these students emanate." -Ends-

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NUI Galway Historian Awarded Humboldt Fellowship

NUI Galway Historian Awarded Humboldt Fellowship-image

Thursday, 2 December 2010

NUI Galway lecturer in History, Dr Róisín Healy, has recently been awarded a prestigious Research Fellowship by the Alexander von Humboldt-Stiftung, Bonn. The Fellowship, which is for Experienced Researchers, is funded by the German Government. Dr Healy lectures on nineteenth and twentieth century German and European history in NUI Galway. She will be on sabbatical leave throughout the Fellowship. During her stay in Germany, from January to June 2011, she will be affiliated to the Global and European Studies Institute at the University of Leipzig where she will research pre-First World War German/Polish relationships. Nineteenth-century Irish nationalists liked to claim that Ireland and Poland, which had been partitioned between Prussia, Russia, and Austria in the late eighteenth century, were the most oppressed nations of Europe. Drawing on sources in four languages (English, Irish, German and Polish), Dr Healy will investigate to what extent British colonial practice in Ireland, in matters such as land, religion and language, mirrored that of Prussia in the Polish provinces under its control (Posen and West Prussia) during the period 1795–1918. Humboldt Research Fellowships, which are highly competitive, are awarded to approximately 600 senior researchers annually. The awards are made solely on the basis of past research performance and future potential. In addition to receiving funding to undertake research in Germany, recipients of the Humboldt Fellowship become members of a global academic network of Humboldt Scholars that provides a life-long supportive framework for the scholarly activities of Humboldt Fellows. In receiving the award, Róisín becomes the newest member of Humboldt-Club na Gaillimhe, an association that includes former NUI Galway Humboldt Fellows and German scholars who have researched in NUI Galway, for at least a year, supported by the Humboldt Foundation. Previous NUI Galway Humboldt Fellows include Professors Peter McHugh (Biomedical Engineering), Michael O'Connell (Botany), Dáibhí Ó Cróinín (History); Emeritus Professors Martin Newell (Mathematics), Angela Savage (Chemistry) and John Shiel (Engineering); and the late Professor Anthony Moran (Microbiology). Professor Dáibhí Ó Cróinín a former NUI Galway Humboldt Fellow says: "In the world of international scholarship, the Humboldt Research fellowships are for the Humanities what the Max Planck fellowships are for the Sciences. Dr Healy's recent award is another feather in the cap for NUI Galway, and further international recognition for the first-class quality of our work in the University." -Ends-

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November 2010

UN Special Rapporteur on Disability is Keynote Speaker at Disability Conference

UN Special Rapporteur on Disability is Keynote Speaker at Disability Conference-image

Tuesday, 30 November 2010

The NUI Galway Centre for Disability Law and Policy will host the International Conference on National Disability Strategies on Friday, 10 December, in the Radisson Blu Hotel in Galway. This conference will launch the recent findings of the Centre's research project on National Disability Strategies and the critical success factors which enable strategies to make a difference for people with disabilities at grassroots level. The keynote speech will be delivered by United Nations Special Rapporteur on Disability, Shuaib Chalklen. South African Shuaib Chalklen plays a leading role in monitoring progress around the world and nurturing Governments in the right direction. The conference will be formally opened by Minister John Moloney T.D., Minister of State for Disability and Mental Health. Other key international figures involved in disability law reform speaking at the conference will include: Anne Hawker, current President of Rehabilitation International and Advisor on disability to the New Zealand government; Stefan Trommel, key drafter of the UN disability convention, member of the International Disability Alliance Secretariat and former Director of European Disability Forum; Siobhán Barron, Director of the National Disability Authority and Angela Kerins, Chairperson, Equality Authority. Dr Eilionóir Flynn, the researcher for this project in the Centre for Disability Law and Policy at NUI Galway, has written a book for Cambridge University Press on a global comparative study of National Disability Strategies, entitled From Rhetoric to Action: Implementing the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities – the use of National Disability Strategies which is due to be published in 2011. Some of the key recommendations for improvements in the Irish National Disability Strategy in this book will be highlighted at the conference. Professor Gerard Quinn, Director of the Centre for Disability Law and Policy, said, "This is an exciting event for NUI Galway. Some of the most influential disability reformers and activists in the world will be here to share ideas about how to link national disability strategies to the achievement of the UN disability convention and ensure that such strategies work well. This is even more important in a recession. I would urge all those who have an interest in advancing disability policy in Ireland and abroad to attend this important event." The conference is open to all members of the public. The conference programme and further information including how to register for the event is available at www.nuigalway.ie ENDS

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NUI Galway wins 28 National University Awards

NUI Galway wins 28 National University Awards-image

Tuesday, 30 November 2010

NUI Galway graduates and students have received 28 of the 101 NUI Awards 2010 presented last week. The national awards are granted by the National Universities of Ireland annually. Four NUI Galway recipients were awarded the NUI Travelling Studentships in the Humanities and Social Sciences and in the Sciences. They are: Francis O'Connor, Peadar Ó Muircheartaigh, Leon Harding and Lisa Mulee. Michelle Farrell was awarded the NUI EJ Phelan Fellowship in International Law. Michelle Farrell will take up her Fellowship at the Irish Centre for Human Rights at NUI Galway. Anne Molloy was awarded the French Government Medal and NUI Prizes for Proficiency in French. NUI Galway also featured prominently in the Dr Henry Hutchinson Stewart Literary and Medical Awards, winning twenty-two medals in this competition. The literary Awards went to Áine Uí Fhoghlua (Ghaeilge), Jacinta Hennigan (3rd prize German), Florry O'Driscoll (Italian), Anna B Sikora-Carelse (Spanish) and Sinead Cawley (3rd prize Spanish). Fourteen of the twenty-two Dr Henry Hutchinson Stewart Scholarships were awarded to NUI Galway's School of Medicine. Six of these students were granted first place scholarships. These students received €1000 and a medal, with a further five students being awarded medals for second place and three more awarded medals for third place. The awards span thirteen different subject areas within the School of Medicine. Medical Scholarships were also awarded in Biochemistry, Occupational Therapy and Speech and Language Therapy. Professor Fidelma Dunne, Head of the School of Medicine at NUI Galway says: "This is a fantastic result for NUI Galway and NUI Galway's School of Medicine and follows on previous high achievements in past years in these annual awards. We are very proud of all our students who both competed for these awards and those who were successful. It reflects the very high standard of medical education and commitment from teaching staff and engagement in learning by the students. It complements successes already received this year in student research bursaries from the health Research Board (HRB), completion of special study modules (SSM) by students in Medicine and the Arts and community engagement initiatives; Ms Melanie Hennessey was chosen as one of ten top young adults in the world by Junior Chamber for her Humanitarian efforts in Nepal. These achievements illustrate the commitment of the School of Medicine to the holistic development of our students to produce well grounded and well rounded doctors of the future. We will strive to continue with these successes into the future with plans to initiate a School of Medicine Orchestra in this Academic Year." Professor Dunne adds. Congratulating the winners, University President Dr. James J. Browne said, "NUI Galway's recent success at the NUI Awards highlights the calibre of students studying on our programmes, as well as underscoring the quality of the teaching programmes here at NUI Galway. These awards will add significantly to each student's academic reputation and I commend them on their well-deserved accolades." ENDS

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