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Former Beirut hostage to address Building Resilience in Families conference at N
Thursday, 14 June 2007
L-R: Mr Fergus Finlay, Chief Executive of the children's charity Barnardos and Dr. Pat Dolan, Director of the Child & Family Research Centre, NUI Galway Above: Mr. Brian Keenan addressing the Conference at NUI Galway. Building resilience in children, families and communities is the focus of a conference at NUI Galway that will see international experts from the fields of Child Care, Social Work, Psychology and Sociology address the need to ensure families are resilient to stress and tragedy. The conference is hosted by the Child and Family Research Centre, from Thursday 14 June to Friday 15 June. Over 300 delegates are due to attend the conference where special guest speaker Mr Brian Keenan will reflect on how he used coping skills learned in his childhood, to cope with captivity and social isolation during the four and a half years in which he was held hostage in Beirut in the 1980s. Mr. Fergus Finlay, Chief Executive of the children's charity Barnardos, who will deliver the opening address, said: "Every childhood lasts a lifetime, and a childhood of poverty can leave scars that never fade away. This is made all the more real in that one in nine Irish children live in the type of poverty that means going without adequate food and proper clothing". Other key speakers include Dr Robert Chaskin, Associate Professor at the School of Social Service Administration, University of Chicago; Professor Sheila Green, Director of the Children's Research Centre, Trinity College Dublin and Professor Jean E Rhodes, Professor of Psychology, University of Massachusetts. "Professionals need to be more proactive in ensuring families are resilient to stress and tragedy according to Dr Pat Dolan, Director of the Child and Family Research Centre, NUI Galway. "Apart from the need for more preventive services in communities, many children and their families need to be better equipped with the necessary skills to be able to 'bounce back' from tragedy or on-going stress. Furthermore, better use can be made of families' own capacity to overcome difficulties with professionals' support. It is somewhat ironic that although rightfully much emphasis is now placed on the protection of children who experience adversity and are in crisis, far less attention is given to the need to equip their families to cope at the earlier stages in their problems or in their aftermath." Delegates from a range of social care backgrounds are due to attend the conference at the Child and Family Research Centre, Áras Moyola, NUI Galway. The Child and Family Research Centre (CFRC) is a partnership between the Health Service Executive and the National University of Ireland Galway. Based at the Department of Political Science and Sociology, NUI Galway, the Centre is in receipt of significant support from The Atlantic Philanthropies Ireland towards its future development. The vision of the CFRC is to improve outcomes for children and their families, and advance practice and policy in Ireland and internationally, through research, evaluation and service development. ENDS For further information please contact: Dr. Pat Dolan, Director, Child & Family Research Centre, National University of Ireland, Galway. Tel: 091-492930 or 087-2342649.
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NUI Galway to host Irish National and University Library Staff Conference
Tuesday, 12 June 2007
NUI Galway this year has the honour of hosting the Irish National and University Library Staff (INULS) conference for the first time since 1996. INULS commenced in 1965 and is a landmark event in the annual calendar of academic and national library staff in Ireland, north and south. The conference affords an opportunity for staff to catch up on key developments in the library and information world, to share experience and to reconnect in an enjoyable social ambience. Marie Reddan, Librarian, NUI Galway, observes; "INULS is unique in attracting such a mix of library staff to its conference. NUI Galway Library staff have a genuine curiosity in developments in other libraries but can take great pride in embracing huge change both socially and technologically and not least seeing a doubling of student numbers since INULS was last hosted in Galway." The theme of this year's conference is Collaborating and Competing. Libraries have a strong tradition of collaboration but competition is an increasing factor and the boundaries between the two are often fuzzy as universities strive with each other to attract the best students and researchers. Speakers will address a range of issues including: Collaboration and competition between universities Relationships between libraries and departments within the same institution The impact of global forces like Google and the social networking movement Professor Jim Browne, Registrar and Deputy President at NUI Galway notes; "Irish Universities must work together to develop a network of collaborating Universities each of which aspires to, and achieves, excellence in particular, and complementary areas that respond to the social, cultural and economic needs of its hinterland." "A university cannot effectively meet the needs of its various stakeholders unless it operates at the level of excellence. If, for instance, NUI Galway is to support the further development of the medical-devices industry or the marine sector in Ireland, it must create and sustain excellent research and teaching programmes in these areas. Anything less is a disservice to an industry that competes in a global market." The increasingly online environment in which libraries now supply their services, and the extent to which collaborative initiatives like IReL (the Irish Research e-Library) deliver a common pool of resources, highlights a need for distinctiveness too in support of institutional competitiveness. But competition for libraries and universities comes not only from each other, as services like Google promise instant gratification to information searchers. Libraries need to identify themselves clearly and to maximise partnerships with the rest of the university in delivering an enhanced learning experience. Delegates will have opportunities to engage fully with these topics through presentations and workshops, a sponsors exhibition, and a very active and social programme. A first for INULS this year will be the publication of some of the conference papers in the journal Library Management. ENDS
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NUI Galway to host 6th International Workshop on Adaptive Optics
Monday, 11 June 2007
The Applied Optics Group at NUI Galway will host an International Workshop on Adaptive Optics for Industry and Medicine from 12-15 June 2007, where international speakers will focus on the latest developments and technologies in adaptive optics for industry and medicine. The conference will provide scientists and engineers, from both industry and academia, with opportunities to explore recent developments, current practices and future trends in adaptive optics and related fields. Professor Chris Dainty, SFI Professor of Applied Physics and Applied Optics said, "The fact that this meeting is the largest in this series of international workshops, together with the strong industrial presence, demonstrates the high regard for NUI Galway in the field of Adaptive Optics." The workshop is the sixth in a series that has seen previous conferences held in: Shatura, Russia (1997); Durham, UK (1999); Albuquerque, USA (2001); Munster, Germany (2003) and Beijing, China (2005). This year's programme of events will include the following speakers: Bruno Berge (Variopic SA): Liquid lens technology for miniature imaging systems Martin Booth (Oxford University): Wavefront sensorless adaptive optics for imaging and microscopy Joshua Fernandez (University of Murcia): Adaptive optics for the human eye Guoqiang Li (University of Arizona): Liquid crystal lenses for correction of presbyopia Masakazu Ogasawara (Pioneer Corporation): The application of liquid crystal aberration compensator for optical disc systems Workshop subjects will include: wavefront sensing; wavefront correction devices; MEMS mirrors; liquid crystal SLMs; new technologies for correctors; control systems and strategies; complete adaptive optics systems; image sharpening; varifocus and other novel lens technologies; applications of adaptive optics; microscopy, lasers, communications, vision science; and a special session on recent commercial products. The workshop is organised by the Applied Optics Group in the Department of Experimental Physics at the National University of Ireland, Galway. Sponsors for the event include: Adaptive Eyecare Ltd. (UK); Andor Technology plc (N.Ireland); Bausch & Lomb Ireland; Boston Micromachines Corp. (U.S.); CILAS (France), Fraunhofer IPMS (Germany); Hamamatsu Photonics UK Ltd., HOLOEYE Photonics AG (Germany); Imagine Eyes (France), Imagine Optic (France), Iris AO Inc. (U.S.); Night-N Ltd. (Russia); Flexible Optical B.V. – OKO Technologies (The Netherlands); Optos (Scotland); PHASICS S.A. (France); SciMeasure Inc. (U.S.); European Optical Society (EOS); Optical Society of America (OSA); IDA Ireland; Science Foundation Ireland (SFI); Enterprise Ireland; and Fáilte Ireland - Ends –
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Civic Engagement is Topic of New NUI Galway Book
Monday, 11 June 2007
A new book that offers an original and powerful contribution to debates about the civic purpose of higher education will be launched by the Community Knowledge Initiative (CKI) at NUI Galway tomorrow (Tuesday, 12 June). 'Higher Education and Civic Engagement: International Perspectives' suggests that universities can best realise their civic mission by making it central to their policy and practice. Edited by Lorraine McIlrath and Iain Mac Labhrainn, of the Centre for Excellence in Learning and Teaching (CELT) at NUI Galway the book moves from conceptual considerations of citizenship, to institutional concerns, offering insights from academics, community members and students experiencing civic engagement initiatives within institutions of higher education. Iain Mac Labhrainn, Director of CELT, of which CKI is a part, said; "The articles in this book raise some very pertinent issues in the relationship between higher education institutions and civil society. This is also particularly topical in Ireland with, for example, the recent work of the Active Citizenship Taskforce and continuing debate about the role of universities in the knowledge economy." The collection of diverse articles relating to the civic purpose of higher education includes contributions from senior and internationally recognised experts in the field such as: Professor Ron Barnett (University of London); Professor Richard Taylor (University of Cambridge); Michael Edwards (Ford Foundation); Professor Andrew Furco University of California, Berkeley); Professor Edward Zlotkowski (Campus Compact, US); Nan Kari from the Jane Adams School for Democracy, Minnesota; and contributors from across the island of Ireland. Reviewing the volume, Professor John Annette, Birkbeck College, University of London, UK, commented; "This book is a major contribution to the international study of higher education, civic engagement and also service learning. It offers some insightful and powerful analyses of conceptual issues, the institutionalising of civic engagement and the pedagogy and professional practice of service learning in higher education." 'Higher Education and Civic Engagement – International Perspectives' emanates from the 3rd Teaching and Learning Conference held in NUI Galway in 2005, and is published by Ashgate Publishing, as part of the CKI's research and knowledge sharing dimensions. To order copies please visit www.ashgate.com The Community Knowledge Initiative (CKI) is a project at NUI Galway that promotes partnership with communities and aims to reinvigorate the civic mission of higher education in Ireland. -ends-
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McGahern Summer School to attract high level students of literature
Tuesday, 31 July 2007
Pictured at the John McGahern International Seminar at Lough Rynn Castle Hotel, Mohill, Co. Leitrim on Saturday 28 July, 2007 (l to r): Dr John Kenny, Seminar Co-ordinator from NUI Galway; Professor Ger Hurley, Vice-President for Strategic Initiatives & External Affairs, NUI Galway; Olive Braiden, Chairperson, The Arts Council; Séamus O Grady, Director of Adult Education, NUI Galway; and Séamus MacMathúna, Academic Secretary, NUI Galway. NUI Galway, in partnership with Leitrim County Council, have confirmed details of the future of the John McGahern International Seminar, following a hugely successful inaugural event held over the weekend in Carrick-on-Shannon, Co. Leitrim. From 2008, the Seminar will extend to include an International Summer School, aimed at advanced undergraduate and graduate students, as well as researchers. The school, which will carry academic credits from NUI Galway, commemorates the life and work of John McGahern. Speaking at the inaugural Seminar, Professor Ger Hurley, Vice-President for Strategic and External Affairs, NUI Galway said: "This programme will be located between Galway and Leitrim and it is our intention that going forward from 2008, this Summer School will become an annual feature of the University's Summer School programme. "Given the impressive scale of interest this year, we envisage attracting high level students of literature and of Ireland who will contribute to our growing knowledge of McGahern, of his homelands, and of the nature of contemporary fiction." Meanwhile, a special book celebrating the longstanding relationship between John McGahern and the University is to be published in the Autumn. John McGahern at NUI Galway contains contributions from a range of University staff including Séamus O'Grady, Director of Adult & Continuing Education; Marie Reddan, Librarian; Fergus Fahey, Archivist; Keith Warnock, Vice-President For Physical Resources, Dr Riana O'Dwyer, Senior Lecturer, English Department; Dr John Kenny, English Department; Professor Gearóid Ó Tuathaigh, History Department with an Introduction by Dr Iognáid G. Ó Muircheartaigh, President, NUI Galway. The volume is illustrated, with eight colour portraits of John McGahern by Brian Bourke RHA which were commissioned by NUI Galway, following the deposition of his literary archive in the James Hardiman Library in 2003. ENDS
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