NUI Galway Honours John Cunningham and Dónall Ó Luanaigh

Monday, 23 October 2006

23 October 2006: NUI Galway will confer Honorary MA degrees this week on John Cunningham, editor of the Connacht Tribune, and Dónall Ó Luanaigh, former Keeper of Collections at the National Library of Ireland. The ceremonies will take place Monday 23 October and Tuesday 24 October 2006, in conjunction with the Autumn Conferring Ceremonies which will see the graduation of over 4,750 students. John Cunningham will be recognised for his contribution to civic society through regional and national journalism and for his role as a lecturer of journalism. Since joining the Connacht Tribune as a reporter in the sixties, and as Editor since 1984, John Cunningham has been a consistent and steady presence in Irish journalism. He has also contributed to broadcast journalism as a commentator on RTE current affairs programmes. For the last 18 years, John has been a lecturer on the MA in Journalism programme at the University, recently adding a module on Government and Politics. According to Bernadette O'Sullivan, Department of Journalism, NUI Galway, "There aren't many who can compete with John Cunningham, and his particular brand of journalism teaching excellence. John is a passionate and gifted media practitioner. He is also a passionate and gifted teacher. Few have that dual talent: the talent for doing the job, and in equal measure, the talent for teaching the profession of journalism." Dónall Ó Luanaigh will be honoured for his immense contribution to research and scholarship in his role as Keeper of Collections at the National Library of Ireland (NLI). Born and educated in Galway, where he graduated with a Masters in French, Dónall went on to join the staff of the NLI in 1968, until his retirement this year, following 43 years of service. He was the acknowledged expert on the library's collections, and will be particularly remembered for his work on the 'Union list of current periodicals and serials in Irish libraries', and his editorial work on the three-volume 'Supplement to Manuscript Sources for the History of Irish Civilization', published in 1979. Marie Reddan, Librarian, James Hardiman Library, NUI Galway said, "Dónall has a particular interest in Franco-Irish relations and has published widely on the topic. His attachment to his native city has never waned and he has contributed many articles of Galway interest, in Galway Roots and other publications. He has always been supportive and generous to the James Hardiman Library with his time and specialist knowledge of archives and special collections." - ends -

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NUI Galway Bequeathed Unique Property for Community Use

Monday, 23 October 2006

Cartographers and publishers, Tim and Máiréad Robinson, have bequeathed their house on the sea wall at Roundstone, Co. Galway, to the National University of Ireland, Galway. According to Tim's new book Connemara: Listening to the Wind (Penguin, Ireland 2006) the Robinsons wish the house to be used "as a small conference venue, as accommodation for writers, thinkers and researchers on sabbatical or residencies … When we tell anyone of this plan, the response is always, "How generous!" - but as we will not be here to make any sacrifice in the matter, generosity does not come into it. However, this exchange serves to remind us that neither will be here to share in the delight and fun of other people's discovery of the place; and so we have begun to anticipate that future by opening up the house to such events … We feel relieved of the burden of ownership, as if we were now just the temporary caretakers of the house, and we revel in the freshening wind of futurity blowing through it, wafting away the spiderwebs of anxiety." The Robinsons continue to reside in the house, Folding Landscapes. At the same time the house will become a venue for the University to engage with the local community and to share the resources and knowledge of the institution's many visitors, academics and practitioners. The Robinsons have a long-standing relationship with NUI Galway. Tim received an Honorary Degree in 1997 from the University. Best know for his book Stones of Aran, he has published a range of maps, essays and books on the western region. 'We are honoured and grateful for the thoughtfulness of the Robinsons. The University will put every effort into creating at Folding Landscapes new connections with the cultural life of the region, while also contributing to the social and economic fabric of the village. Our shared plan is to exchange reflections and informed judgements about what is important in knowledge at this time", said Professor Kevin Barry, Dean of Arts at NUI Galway. NUI Galway has launched a Colloquium Series under the title Unfolding Ideas. The series provides a forum for scholars, educators, and artists to engage in a series of public talks, group discussion and workshops, to be held at the Robinson home and in Roundstone's Community Hall. At the launch, Tim Robinson read from his latest publication Connemara: Listening to the Wind. Unfolding Ideas will be an annual series of events. The events in the house Folding Landscapes are by invitation. The events in the Community Hall are open to the public. - ends - The programme is organised by the Faculty of Arts and Galway University Foundation. For further information contact Aileen Shaw 091-493879 or Aileen.Shaw@nuigalway.ie

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Senior Management at NUI Galway go 'Back-to-the-Floor'

Wednesday, 18 October 2006

18th October 2006: Library staff, mail-room personnel, gardeners and administrators at NUI Galway received a boost in numbers today (Wednesday) when nine senior managers went 'Back-to-the-Floor' for an initiative aimed at increasing mutual understanding between staff at all levels in the rapidly expanding university. Each of the nine senior managers, including President of NUI Galway, Dr. Iognáid Ó Muircheartaigh, assumed the role of a front-line administrative or service worker at the University, taking on the full range of their tasks for the day and working alongside their colleagues to gain an insight into the issues facing them on a daily basis. NUI Galway is one of the largest employers in Galway city, employing over 1,800 people. In the last five years, staff numbers have risen by almost 40%, to support the growing number of students and education programmes. NUI Galway management is intent on ensuring the lines of communication between management and staff remain open and that the University's inclusive and cohesive atmosphere is retained. Having sorted post in the mailroom and answered student queries at the Students Union front desk, Dr. Iognáid Ó Muircheartaigh, was very enthusiastic about the initiative, "This was a great opportunity for me to really appreciate the fantastic work carried out at ground level in this University. It allowed me to have a real feel for the issues confronting staff and students daily on the front line. It's very important to ensure the lines of communication stay open between all levels at our university and it's part of our culture to promote openness and inclusion, building a positive working environment for our staff, resulting in a better learning environment for our students." The 'Back-to-the-Floor' initiative was originally the brainchild of a staff member at NUI Galway, submitted through the University's staff suggestion scheme, and employees were asked to vote on positions for senior management, contributing €2 per ballot to charitable causes. - ends - Note to Editors: Roles undertaken by NUI Galway senior managers on Back to the Floor Day: 1. Dr. Iggy Ó Muircheartaigh, President: University Mail Centre and Students Union 2. Prof. Jim Browne, Deputy President and Registrar: Admissions Office Reception Desk 3. Ms Mary Dooley, Bursar: Accounts Payable Office 4. Dr Séamus Mac Mathúna, Rúnaí: Exams Office Reception desk 5. Mary O'Riordan, Vice-President for Student Services & Human Resources: Students Services Information Desk 6. Marie Reddan, James Hardiman Librarian: Library stewarding 7. Mr. John Gibney, Director of Physical Resources: Gardening and Grounds 8. Dr. Kieran Loftus, Director of Computer Services: User Support 9. Chris McNairney: Director of Human Resources: HR Reception Desk

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Secondary School Students Challenged to Mathematics Contest

Wednesday, 18 October 2006

18 October 2006: Tomorrow, (Thursday), nearly 7,000 students in 200 secondary schools across the country are taking up a maths challenge from NUI Galway. The inaugural PRoblem-solving for Irish Second level Mathematicians (PRISM) contest is the brainchild of NUI Galway mathematicians Dr. James Cruickshank and Dr. Rachel Quinlan, and aims to encourage students to take an interest in problem-solving from an early age. Each participating school will hold separate hour-long contests for pre-Junior Certificate and post-Junior Certificate students. The contests will feature a series of twenty problems, in multiple-choice format, to challenge the problem-solving dexterity of participants. Marking of answer sheets will be carried out at NUI Galway and other universities. "We are amazed by the huge interest in and positive response to the contest, commented Dr. James Cruickshank of NUI Galway's Maths Department. "One of the key skills in mathematics is the ability to solve problems. It is also one of the most enjoyable aspects of mathematics - anyone who enjoys a sudoku, or who has solved Rubik's cube can attest to the satisfaction of solving a hard mathematical problem. Mathematical contests, such as PRISM, are a good way to introduce young people to the challenges and rewards of solving interesting mathematical puzzles and problems. We hope that at least some of the PRISM contestants will be inspired by the contest to further develop their problem solving skills". Another aim of the contest is to identify interested and talented students who might enjoy and benefit from participating in a mathematical enrichment programme at NUI Galway, NUI Maynooth, UCC, UCD or UL. Successful participation in one of these programmes will entail regular attendance at lectures and problem-solving sessions at one of these centres, as well as extensive independent practice at problem solving, supported by correspondence with mentors. Participants in the enrichment programmes usually expect to compete in the Irish Mathematical Olympiad, which takes place in May 2007. "There has been much talk lately of declining standards in second level mathematics. Amid this negativity, it is often forgotten that there are still many excellent teachers and talented students who are interested in mathematics. These people deserve recognition and encouragement from their colleagues in third level institutions. We hope that initiatives like PRISM will help us to develop links with our post primary counterparts, so that students can be encouraged to develop their mathematical skills outside the school curriculum", commented Dr. Rachel Quinlan, NUI Galway's Maths Department. PRISM is being co-organised by Dr Mark Dukes, School of Mathematical Sciences, UCD, Gordon Lessells, Department of Mathematics and Statistics, UL and Dr Richard Watson, Department of Mathematics, NUI Maynooth. A list of participating schools can be found on http://www.maths.nuigalway.ie/PRISM/ - ends -

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Graduate Recruitment Fair Features Best of Business

Tuesday, 17 October 2006

Over 75 national and multinational companies will feature at NUI Galway's Graduate Recruitment Fair, which takes place in Áras na Mac Léinn/Student Centre from 12.00pm to 4.00pm, on Tuesday 31 October 2006. The annual event is an ideal opportunity for current students, graduates and post-graduates to meet prospective employers and find out what's on offer in the job market. Organisations from across a wide range of sectors will attend, including Accenture, IBM, Intel, Kerry Group, KPMG, Medtronic, Quinn Group, SAP, Johnson & Johnson, The Marine Institute, Kingspan, Engineers Ireland, Pfizer, Ulster Bank, Masterfoods and Hewlett Packard. The Public Appointments Service, which recruits for all government departments will also be in attendance and interested in meeting graduates from all disciplines. The Graduate Recruitment Fair is very timely for those who intend getting a foothold on the career ladder as this year it follows one week after some 4,000 students will graduate from NUI Galway. A special service provided at the Fair is a 'CV Clinic', where the NUI Galway Careers Service will review CVs and provide advice and recommendations on how this key document may be improved. Peter Keane of NUI Galway Careers Office, advises those wishing to attend to bring their CVs and take advantage of the opportunity of having so many prospective employers present in the one place, ready to recruit staff. He comments, "Every year, this event goes from strength to strength. The prospective employers will be recruiting for scientists, engineers, administrators, business analysts, language specialists – the list goes on. NUI Galway graduates have an excellent reputation for being highly motivated, used to working in project groups and often with valuable work experience, having participated in our Professional Employment Programme (PEP). It is not surprising that there is almost 100% employment among our graduates every year." The event is co-ordinated by the Careers Service at NUI Galway in association with the Bank of Ireland. Tom Forde, Manager, Bank of Ireland, University Branch, said that he was pleased to continue the bank's involvement in this important and successful event. Individuals and companies interested in participating should contact the Careers Service Coordinator, Deirdre Sheridan, on 091 493 169 or by e-mail at careers@nuigalway.ie.

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