Globalisation, Empire and Culture Lectures at NUI Galway

Globalisation, Empire and Culture Lectures at NUI Galway-image

Monday, 22 November 2010

The NUI Galway School of Arts and Humanities, in co-operation with the Mellon Foundation and the Moore Institute, will host two public lectures on Globalisation, Empire and Culture on Monday, 29 November and Tuesday 30 November. The lectures are to be hosted in conjunction with the Text Contexts and Culture Research Programme in the University. The first Lecture entitled: "Marie Guyart of the Incarnation :A Mystic Educating the Women of the New World" will be delivered by Professor Dominique Deslandres (University of Montreal, Canada), and will take place in the Moore Institute Seminar Room, NUI Galway, at 4.30 pm on Monday 29 November. Dominique Deslandres is Professeur Titulaire of History at the University of Montreal. She has published two monographs on French Catholic mission and settlement in seventeenth- and eighteenth-century Canada, and has a particular interest in the socio-religious history of the Jesuits and the Oratorians. She is now working on the cultures of memory in settler societies, and has a particular interest in issues relating to conversion, race and blood in eighteenth-century Canada and France. The second lecture to take place on Tuesday 30 November is entitled 'Renovation and Renewal in the Holy Land: The Franciscan Mission, 1550-1700 . This lecture will be presented by Professor Megan Armstrong (McMaster University, Ontario),and will take place in the Parlour Room, Franciscan Abbey, 8 Francis Street, Galway at 7.30pm Megan Armstrong is Associate Professor of History at McMaster University, and the author of The Politics of Piety: Franciscan Preachers during the Wars of Religion, 1560-1600. Her current research interests lie in transregional history, and she is preparing a study of French Franciscan missions in France, the Holy Land and New Spain during the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries. Dr Alison Forrestal of History in NUI Galway says: "We are delighted in the University to welcome these distinguished scholars to share their research with the local community. Their lectures offer remarkable insights into the private and public worlds of early European missionaries and settlers, as they grappled with the spiritual and political challenges of empire building in the Americas and near East." Texts, Contexts, and Cultures is an interdisciplinary PhD Research Programme in the Arts and Humanities at NUI Galway. It is delivered in cooperation between research hubs at three of Ireland s leading Universities: The Moore Institute for Research in the Humanities and Social Sciences, NUI Galway; The Long Room Hub, Trinity College Dublin; The Graduate School, the College of Arts, Celtic Studies and Social Sciences, University College Cork. The four-year programme is designed to integrate knowledge and use of new technologies and related professional placements into the traditional PhD. It encourages candidates to develop their research interests, ideas and skills in challenging and supportive interdisciplinary contexts. Participants benefit from thorough preparation in research skills, transferable to a wide variety of settings. They also have access to placements and mentoring systems in a broad range of some of the most exciting contemporary organisations in media, the cultural and creative industries, public administration and academe. -Ends-

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NUI Galway Reaches Out to Show Second Level Students Science

NUI Galway Reaches Out to Show Second Level Students Science-image

Wednesday, 17 November 2010

As part of the Galway Science and Technology Festival 2010, Transition Year students from Colaiste na Coiribe visited five research centres at NUI Galway for contemporary science talks and laboratory tours as Gaelige in order to entice them into a scientific field at NUI Galway in the future. Presentations and tours were given by Cathal O'Flatharta and Mary Ni Fhlahartaigh of the Regenerative Medicine Institute (REMEDI) and the National Centre for Biomedical Engineering Science (NCBES), Niamh Bhreathnach and Peter Connolly of the Ryan Institute, James Cooley and Gearoid Hynes of the Digital Enterprise Research Institute (DERI) and Daniel DeBurca of Applied Optics in the University. The day was organised by Galway Region Outreach Network personnel at the five institutes to attract students to science subjects and to promote the study of science at NUI Galway. Students from Colaiste Iognaid attended a similar event on the previous day. Danielle Nicholson, Outreach Officer at the Regenerative Medicine Institute (REMEDI) said, "Outreach personnel get involved in GRO plan Transition Year talks and tours to engage students in dialogue and discussion on contemporary science issues and also to allow young people to see firsthand the types of innovative, creative projects that ensue at NUI Galway." While on campus the students also attended Chairman of the Irish Technology Leadership Group, Dr. Craig Barrett's inspirational talk entitled Education for Innovation. Colaiste na Coiribe science teacher Kathy Ni Fhatharta remarked, "The day gives students an opportunity to see science at work and its application in the real world. The students return to the class with a real interest in science." Davina Clancy Transition Year student at Colaiste na Coiribe says "After hearing the talks, I think it is right that we should allow embryonic stem cell research. It may lead to improvements in the health of people in the future." -Ends-

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New Economics Book Published by NUI Galway Lecturer

New Economics Book Published by NUI Galway Lecturer-image

Wednesday, 17 November 2010

A new book entitled Transition Economics: Two Decades On has been co-authored by NUI Galway lecturer, Dr Gerard Turley. Dr Turley, along with his co-author Dr. Peter Luke designed the book to be the core textbook for undergraduate courses in transition economics and comparative economic systems. Given the passage of time, Transition Economics: Two Decades On reviews and accounts for the outcomes in the so-called transition economies and, from an academic perspective, takes the reader through developments and issues in the twenty years of transition from plan to market. The textbook covers a wide range of both contemporary microeconomic and macroeconomic issues, in over thirty ex-socialist European and Asian countries, including Russia and China. The authors of Transition Economics: Two Decades On believe that the study of the economics of transition gives the reader an insight into theories, policies, reforms, legacies, institutions, processes and lessons that have application and relevance, beyond the specific transition from plan to market, to other parts of the world and to other times in history. Dr Gerard Turley, Lecturer with the J.E. Cairnes School of Business and Economics, NUI Galway, said: "It is over 20 years since the collapse of the Berlin Wall and the demise of the socialist system. The motivation for writing this book was to commemorate the anniversary of transition from socialism to capitalism and from plan to market by providing an account of developments in the sub-branch of economics called transition economics and of outcomes in Easter Europe, Russia, China and other transition countries." Peter J. Luke was a senior lecturer in economics at London South Bank University before joining the UK Civil Service. He is currently teaching economics in Beijing, China. Transition Economics: Two Decades On is available to buy from Routledge at -Ends-

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NUI Galway Participate in 16 Days of Activism Campaign Against Gender Violence

NUI Galway Participate in 16 Days of Activism Campaign Against Gender Violence-image

Tuesday, 16 November 2010

The 16 Days Campaign of Activism against Violence against Women is an international campaign with participants in over 164 countries and involving more than 3400 organisations. The campaign links 25 November International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women, to 10 December, International Human Rights Day in order to symbolically connect violence against women and human rights and to emphasise that such violence is a human rights violation. The Global Women's Studies Programme in the School of Political Science and Sociology at NUI Galway are hosting a series of events in recognition of the 16 Days Campaign. The schedule of events commences with a cultural evening celebrating women in the arts organised by the Global Women's Studies Postgraduate Students. An Evening Celebrating Women in Action will take place in the Crane Bar on Friday, 26 November from 6pm to 9pm. This event is part of the Women in Action – Active Genders postgraduate feminist and gender studies conference taking place in NUI Galway on Saturday 27 November. This event will showcase the work of professional and up-and-coming female artists and performers. Tickets for this event cost €10 with all proceeds donated to Galway Rape Crisis Centre. On 1 December, a roundtable event will be held in conjunction with the Rape Crisis Network Ireland, from 2pm to 4pm followed by a reception. More than a hangover: youth, alcohol and rape in Ireland, will examine the nexus of drinking, sexual violence and young people in Ireland. Speakers include Dr. Padraig MacNeela of the School of Psychology at NUI Galway and expert in female student alcohol use; Caroline Counihan, Legal Policy Director of the Rape Crisis Network Ireland and Dr. Stacey Scriver, of the Global Women's Studies Programme and co-author of Rape and Justice in Ireland (Liffey Press, 2009). This free event will be held in CA107 of the Cairns Building at NUI Galway. Throughout the 16 Days, undergraduate and postgraduate students of the Global Women's Studies and the BA CONNECT in Global Women's Studies programmes will be running White Ribbon Stands with all proceeds going to COPE to support women survivors of domestic abuse. The final event of the campaign, designed to mark International Human Rights Day, is an evening roundtable featuring the distinguished speakers: Gemma Hussey, Chair of the Ireland Romania Cultural Foundation, founding member of the Women's Political Association, and former member of the Seanad and Dail; Professor David Farrell, Professor of Politics at UCD, EU Advisor and expert in the study of parties, elections and members of Parliament and Dr. Mary Murphy, Lecturer in Politics and Society at NUI Maynooth, Director of Fingal ICTU Centre for the Unemployed, advisor to TASC and Combat Poverty Agency and member of Is Feidir Linn and Claiming our Future. 'Renewing our democracy, reviving our economy: time for more women at the helm? will consider the links between achieving gender equality in decision making and access to resources, at all levels and across all sectors of society, both as a matter of fairness/representation in a democratic society and as a key element of any strategy aimed at managing our way out of the current crises to a fair and sustainable future. Michael D. Higgins, President of the Labour Party, Professor at Large and Adjunct Professor in the Centre for Human Rights at NUI Galway, will chair the event which will begin at 7pm in MY 243, Aras Moyola Building, NUI Galway and will be followed by light refreshments. The 16 Days Campaign events hosted by the Global Women's Studies Programme are open to the public and all are welcome to attend! For further information please contact: Stacey Scriver Furlong at and administrator Gillian Browne or 091 493450. -Ends-

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Launch of Joe Heaney Website

Launch of Joe Heaney Website-image

Tuesday, 16 November 2010

On Saturday, 20 November, Liam Mac an Iomaire will launch a new website of Joe Heaney's songs at NUI Galway's centre, Áras Shorcha Ní Ghuairim in Carna at 8pm. Joe Heaney's sudden death in May 1984 came as a shock to his supporters and followers in Seattle and to his pupils at the University of Washington, Seattle where he had worked as resident artist-teacher of sean-nós singing. Although he had only lived there for two years, his impact had been tremendous. As a way of dealing with their loss and as a way of commemorating the great singer's achievement, a call was issued to those who had worked with Joe during his years in America to contribute copies of their recordings of him to archive in his memory. The material came pouring in and over the years was catalogued and organized by Laurel Sercombe, the ethnomusicology archivist at the University of Washington and Sean Williams, among others. Both of them had been students of Joe and remained staunch in their support after his death. A request from Micheál Ó Cuaig, who was organising the annual Joe Heaney Festival at Carna, that a copy of the archive be sent to the Carna community was granted in 1992 and Micheál received a complete copy of it through the assistance of Údarás na Gaeltachta. In 2003 the Joe Heaney Festival Organising Committee, headed by Mícheál Ó Cuaig, bestowed this copy of the archive on Áras Shorcha Ní Ghuairim, Carna so that the community would have access to it. In 2009, an application by Dr Lillis Ó Laoire, of the Irish Department at NUI Galway, to the Irish Research Council for the Humanities and Social Sciences was successful. The research plan proposed to finish a book on Joe's life and work already partly written and the creation of a digital online archive that could be accessed free by anyone interested. Dr Virginia Stevens Blankenhorn, herself an authority on traditional singing and culture, was hired as a one year post-doctoral researcher to compile and edit an inventory of items to be uploaded to the digital online archive. Also on the research team were Séamas Ó Concheanainn, Director of Áras Shorcha Ní Ghuairim, Dr Seathrún Ó Tuairisg, Administrator of the Information Technology Unit, NUI Galway and Micheál Mac Lochlainn, metadata architect and designer, ably assisted by Marian Ní Chonghaile, all of whom cooperated to prepare and organise the online archive. Up to 400 items, some with visual content, may be accessed in the archive. The majority are from the archives of the University of Washington, Seattle. Due to the generosity of the Delargy Centre for Irish Folklore, and the National Folklore Collection, UCD, however, some of Heaney's earliest recordings, dating from the 1940s are also included. Additionally, a rare performance of Joe's interpretation of the caoineadh, recorded by the late Liam Clancy, and presented by Máire Nic Fhinn is also a part of the material. A search engine will enable any user to conduct detailed searches songs, story and other spoken word items. Full texts of all songs are provided, enhanced by spectacular photographs of the Carna area taken by Dr. Blankenhorn. 2009 was the 25th anniversary of Joe Heaney's untimely death and this website provides a fitting monument for his life's achievement. It will now be available world wide to anyone who wants to access it, whether simply from interest or for scholarly purposes. It will also serve as an important teaching resource for classes in Irish culture both in Ireland and the U.S. The website is available at -Ends-

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Former Intel Boss Speaks at NUI Galway

Former Intel Boss Speaks at NUI Galway-image

Tuesday, 16 November 2010

Former Intel Boss Tells NUI Galway Audience 3% Investment of Ireland's GDP into Research No Longer Reasonable Target The former chief executive of Intel has called for increased investment from the government into research and development projects. Speaking at the 'Education for Innovation' seminar in NUI Galway, Dr Craig Barrett said a sustained plan of funding needed to be implemented if Ireland wishes to keep up with the world's larger and more business savvy nations. "We cannot jerk around with the R&D policies of our Government and expect to get good results," said Dr Barrett. "It needs to be a sustained commitment. Why can't we have a Silicon Valley in our own country? What is it about society that makes that work? Universities are the key and they are wonderful spots to create wonderful ideas. Smart people and smart ideas combined in the right environment can create wealth. "There has got to be a synergy between the public and private sectors. We have got to see our private sectors involved with the universities. They have the great ideas. We need to see them acting as mentors and partners in research. It is vital," he said. The former Intel boss is in Ireland this week in his role as Chairman of the Irish Technology Leadership Group, and was keynote speaker at an event at NUI Galway. His address was followed by a discussion panel with John Ryan, Macrovision; Professor Patrick Cunningham, Ireland's Chief Scientific Advisor; Tom McDermott, Georgia Tech Research Institute; Dr Martina Newell-McGloughlin, ITLG and University of California; and Professor Terry Smith, Vice President of Research at NUI Galway. Prior to his keynote address, Dr Barrett met with representatives of NUI Galway's leading research institutes The Digital Enterprise Research Institute (DERI) and the National Centre for Biomedical Engineering Science (NCBES) two major research groups: REMEDI and MDRG as well as University of Limerick's Research Centres, LERO and the Materials and Surface Science Institute (MSSI) plus Georgia Tech Ireland. The Digital Enterprise Research Institute (DERI) is the world leader in Semantic Web (Web 3.0) research. At today's event DERI showcased a portfolio of over 25 of the latest cutting edge technologies emerging from the institute. REMEDI is a leading biomedical research centre focusing on gene therapy and stem cell research. REMEDI were joined by industry partner Ovagen who are working with the institute to develop technologies for the production of novel biotherapeutics. The Molecular Diagnostics Research Group (MDRG) at NUI Galway has 20 years experience and an international track record of achievement in the development and application of molecular diagnostics tests for microbial species identification. The MDRG were joined by research partners at Beckman Coulter Ireland with whom they are developing molecular diagnostics for clinically relevant bacterial and fungal pathogens. Each year the ITLG leads a delegation of Silicon Valley technologists and venture capitalists to Ireland to support high potential emerging technology companies from the island of Ireland. This year's events are held in partnership with NUI Galway, University of Limerick and Shannon Development. As part of his key note address, Dr Barrett also claimed that a three percent investment of Ireland's GDP into research and development "is no longer a reasonable target and that we "have now to compete with the rest of the world to get paid". "Look at Microsoft," he said. "They have a research budget of approximately $8 billion per year. That is huge, and is more than all of Ireland spends in R&D. Israel now invests five percent of its GDP into research and development. And Israel has 140 new companies listed on the NASDAQ. Europe only has between 30 and 40. That is the future for Ireland and if we fail to pursue it with vigour, passion and resources, there will be no future for us because our lunch will be eaten by somebody else. We must outsmart them and outthink them," said Dr Barrett. -Ends-

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NUI Galway Researchers take part in European Osteoarthritis Project

NUI Galway Researchers take part in European Osteoarthritis Project-image

Monday, 15 November 2010

Researchers at the Regenerative Medicine Institute (REMEDI) at NUI Galway are involved in a new multi million euro European Union funded project which aims to develop new methods for the treatment of osteoarthritis. The project entitled: 'Gene Activated Matrices for Bone and Cartilage Regeneration in Arthritis' (GAMBA) is coordinated by the University Hospital rechts der Isar, Munich Technical University, Germany with a total budget of €3.2 million. REMEDI with 12 per cent of the funding, joins a team of international specialists from nine research groups from Germany, France, Italy, the Netherlands and Switzerland to investigate new methods for inducing regenerative processes within the body. The project aims to develop novel methods for the treatment of osteoarthritis by stimulating the self healing capacity of damaged cartilage and bone. Stem cells with the capacity to make bone or cartilage will be placed on different materials within the knee. Whether the cells become bone or cartilage can be controlled externally with drugs or heat application for example. This will be achieved through the use of gene therapy and will provide control both in space and time of what happens in the damaged knee joint offering improved treatment options for the future. Another aspect of this research will focus on developing strategies to engineer cells found in the joint to produce an anti-inflammatory agent in direct response to any inflammation that might occur as osteoarthritis develops or progresses. An essential part of the project will be to initiate a public debate on ethical, legal and societal issues connected to the research. Novel ways of outreach methods called patient and citizen panels will be used. Galway will host one of these efforts to enhance awareness of nanomedicine in the general public and appreciation of public expectations and reservations in the research community. Arthritis is a serious national health problem in Ireland affecting nearly three quarters of a million men and women with more than one in six people affected. A significant majority of people suffering from arthritis have osteoarthritis. This is the 'wear and tear' form of arthritis and results in joint and cartilage damage and increased risk of orthopaedic dependencies. The majority of Irish people over 55 years of age have x-ray evidence of osteoarthritis at some joint in their body. The cause of osteoarthritis is still unknown and current treatments mainly address the symptoms by reduction of pain and inflammation. These therapies are not restorative and often end in total joint replacement. "GAMBA brings nanomedicine to Osteoarthritis research and, uniquely, will involve both patients and the general public in an effort to promote understanding and acceptance of its potential. We are delighted at REMEDI to be part of such an innovative and important project," says Dr Mary Murphy, the GAMBA leader at REMEDI. -Ends-

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NUI Galway Academic Receives National Excellence in Teaching Award

NUI Galway Academic Receives National Excellence in Teaching Award-image

Monday, 15 November 2010

NUI Galway Academic Dr Dagmar Stengel recently received a 2010 National Academy for Integration of Research Teaching and Learning (NAIRTL) Annual Award for Excellence in Teaching. This is the third year in a row that an NUI Galway academic took an award, something that no other Higher Education institution has achieved. Five awards were presented nationally this year by Hon. Mrs Justice Catherine McGuinness who noted the outstanding contribution of the award recipients to both teaching and research in Higher Education. Dr Dagmar Stengel, Lecturer in Botany and Plant Science in the School of Natural Sciences NUI Galway and a researcher in the Ryan Institute for Environment, Marine and Energy at the University received specific praise for her approachable and empathetic manner with students, which encourages them to strive for her high standards of excellence. Her inclusion of new research in lectures and her ability to relate marine botany and plant science to the local area was also noted particularly as this enables the students to investigate the topics for themselves and greatly enhances their own learning and their interest in the subject. Dr Stengel says "I am absolutely delighted to receive the award and am overwhelmed by the support from staff and students at NUI Galway that I have received. It is great that teaching is recognised within Higher Education besides research. It is essential to integrate research into undergraduate teaching at an early stage. It takes personal and institutional investment, but is essential if a research community is to be built up, i.e. to train future researchers but also develop students' problem solving skills." The winners of the Awards were nominated by their institutions and selected by a committee which included international representatives as well as representatives of the Irish University Association, the Institutes of Technology Ireland and the Union of Students in Ireland. The award winners come from diverse disciplinary backgrounds but display a shared commitment to and passion for teaching while also being innovative researchers. These Awards testify to the fact that excellence in teaching and in creative and scholarly work go hand in hand. Dr Gerry Morgan, former Dean of Science and former Acting Head of Botany at NUI Galway says: "Dr Dagmar Stengel represents all that is best in a student-centred, research-intensive University. She has a natural ability to integrate her excellence in research with her teaching. She enthuses students to achieve while interacting empathetically with them. It is always a pleasure to discuss science and science teaching with Dagmar." In the three years since the introduction of the National Academy Annual Awards for Excellence in Teaching, awarded to staff from any of Ireland's 37 recognised institutions of Higher Education, NUI Galway has won a disproportionate number of honours. Previous winners of the award are Dr Aisling McCluskey (Mathematics), Dr Ray Murphy (Human Rights) and Dr Peter Cantillon (General Practice). -Ends-

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Maths Week- A Great Success at NUI Galway

Maths Week- A Great Success at NUI Galway-image

Monday, 15 November 2010

The School of Mathematics, Statistics and Applied Mathematics at NUI Galway hosted a number of very successful events as part of the 5th Maths Week Ireland. Several workshops were held during Maths Week with the key aim of promoting awareness, appreciation and understanding of maths amongst the general public as well as school audiences. During Maths Week, Dr Fernando Blasco, author of several books, television personality and one of Spain s best known mathematicians gave a workshop on Maths and Magic . This workshop entertained, explored and explained the mathematics behind many well known and not so well known magic tricks. Blasco again performed his "magic" to a primary and a secondary school audience on the following day. It was a huge success with well over 400 students attending from several primary and secondary schools. Dr David O Keeffe, chief organiser of Maths Week in Galway says: "The key idea of maths week is to promote awareness and to illustrate the usefulness of maths. It is especially important to highlight the crucial role maths plays within society at large." Workshops that explored how blind people read and do maths took place. The primary schools that took part in Maths week were Bushy Park National School, Scoil an Croi Ro Naofa, Belclare National School, Tuam, and Scoil Íde, Salthill while the secondary schools were represented by Colaiste Mhuire Tourmakeady, Co Mayo, Oranmore Secondary school, St Joseph s College (The Bish), Colaiste Iognaid (The Jes), and the Mercy Convent Tuam, and Dominican College Taylor's Hill. Dr O Keeffe continues: "Maths week could not have reached the audiences it did reach if it was not for the support, interest and endeavour shown by the participating schools. I would like to take this opportunity to acknowledge and praise each of them for their invaluable support and interest. I would also like to thank the public and students for generating such a fun and memorable atmosphere during the week." ENDS

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NUI Galway Graduate Wins RTÉ's Reality Volunteering Show

NUI Galway Graduate Wins RTÉ's Reality Volunteering Show-image

Friday, 12 November 2010

NUI Galway graduate, Carol Leonard from Cloghan, Co. Offaly, was announced the co-winner of RTÉ's reality show Do the Right Thing. Carol, who graduated from NUI Galway with a Bachelor of Arts in 2006, was awarded a unique fully paid one-year package volunteering in Ghana, India and Thailand. From over a thousand applicants, fifty were shortlisted for an assessment weekend in Barretstown Camp in County Kildare, where, following a series of tests and monitoring, sixteen (eight men, eight women) were chosen as the final contestants. The finalists had to prove they have what it takes to make the grade in the tough, challenging world of international volunteering. Over the course of the show the contestants were trained and tested in all areas of volunteering including: initiative, leadership, emotional strength and supportiveness. Following each episode the contestants had the opportunity to choose a man and woman to leave the group until Carol, along with fellow contestant, Johnny Finegan Jr., were left as 'Ireland's Ultimate Volunteers'. Last year over 3,000 Irish people went overseas as short-term volunteers where they built houses and schools, taught children, planted rain forests and administered healthcare. It can be quite difficult to be selected as a volunteer. Large aid organisations like Goal, Concern and VSO seek highly skilled graduates, the building charities like Haven, Niall Mellon and Habitat for Humanity requires you to raise money to pay your way, and even the independent volunteering agencies like USIT have a very tough application procedure to prevent the wrong people being sent into difficult and delicate environments. As a student at NUI Galway, Carol volunteered through the university's volunteer programme, ALIVE, with Youth Work Ireland's Le Chéile and Rahoon Youth Project. NUI Galway's strategic plan through ALIVE seeks to engender students with a sense of active citizenship. Congratulating Carol on her success, Lorraine Tansey, Student Volunteer Coordinator at NUI Galway, said "Carol is an inspiration to current student volunteers to strive for the opportunities volunteering has to offer. We are so proud of Carol and her achievement as she demonstrates a true civic graduate who is engaged with their community creating positive social change." -Ends-

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