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NUI Galway Receives Two 'European Award for Languages'
Friday, 3 October 2008
Fifteen projects from Ireland, including two from NUI Galway, have been awarded the European Award for Languages - the Language Label for innovative ways of teaching and learning languages. The awards are coordinated by the European Commission and managed locally by the Irish coordinating body Léargas. The European Award for Languages - the Language Label, which is simultaneously run in over 20 European countries, has been a major event in the languages calendar since 1998. This year's winners were selected on the basis of excellence, innovation, intercultural dialogue and their ability to serve as a model for others. The award-winning projects from NUI Galway are: L Italia in Diretta, NUI Galway: This project is aimed at secondary school students and features an interactive website, www.italianliving.org. The website was created by students undertaking the Bachelor of Commerce International (Italian) Degree. Blogs and forums encourage secondary school students to embrace the Italian language and culture through participation in forum discussions and interactive games. The award was presented to Dr Laura Incalcaterra McLoughlin and Dott. Francesca Magnoni of the Department of Italian, NUI Galway. According to Dr McLoughlin: "We are thrilled to receive the prestigious European Award for Languages. The Award is an important recognition of the work and the level of commitment of students and lecturers in the Department of Italian. Our undergraduate students designed the website, chose the topics, researched and created all the material, and now they keep the site regularly updated. This is an on-going project which will be expanded in future years. We are particularly grateful to the Istituto Italiano di Cultura for their continuing sponsorship and support". The National Digital Learning Repository Modern Languages Community of Practice Blog as a Community Building Medium: This blog is a one-stop-shop online space for anyone involved in teaching languages, including literature and culture, in the Irish higher education sector. The project aims to encourage a sense of community and peer support to facilitate the sharing of information and resources by providing an easy to use, dynamic and accessible web space which highlights a range of community news and activity. The website can be found at www.ndlr.ie/modlang/blog The Award was presented to Project Coordinators Paul Gormley and Michelle Tooher, Centre for Excellence in Learning and Teaching (CELT), NUI Galway. Dr Tooher explained the usefulness of the project: "The blog provides a valuable service to the language community, helping to build and enhance community spirit across all language sectors. Guest editors from across the higher education sector drive the content and focus of the blog, and our regular podcasting series provides a platform to highlight and celebrate the incredible language initiatives being undertaken throughout Ireland. The blog also provides a gateway to the National Digital Learning Repository – an online database of free-to-use resources for all Irish higher education practitioners". Both NUI Galway projects were supported by the University's An Teanglann – Language Laboratories, a part of CELT which primarily supports the teaching and learning of modern languages; specifically French, German, Italian and Spanish. The awards were made by Simon Coveney, T.D. at a special celebration to mark the European Day of Languages on 26 September. -ends-
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Prize for NUI Galway Film Students' Documentary
Wednesday, 1 October 2008
NUI Galway students of the M.A. in Production and Direction at the Huston School of Film & Digital Media have won the Best Short Documentary prize at the Radharc Awards in Dublin. Producer Richard Walsh from Ballybunion, County Kerry, and Director Julian Ulrichs from Galway City, received the award for their short documentary 'F.G.M. – No Way Home'. The documentary deals with the issue of female genital mutilation in relation to African refugees in Ireland. The documentary team travelled to Africa to film some of the footage and the resulting piece is a hard-hitting yet sensitive exploration of the cultural and legal aspects surrounding the issue of female genital mutilation, a subject which was has hit the headlines in Ireland during the last year. The short documentary was based on a brief proposed by students of the M.A. in Public Advocacy, who collaborate with Production and Direction students every year to deliver incisive films addressing societal issues. Commenting on the win, James Finlan, coordinator of the M.A. in Production and Direction said: "This was the first year we had students shooting outside of Ireland which was an exciting development. This project was ideally suited to the competition as many of the original Radharc films dealt with African issues. Winning the award vindicates the collaboration between the Production and Public Advocacy students, which is a unique aspect of these courses". The Radharc Awards honour the memory of the late Fr Joe Dunn, co-founder of Radharc Films. The awards are presented to the producers of documentaries of outstanding quality, which address national or international topics of social justice, morality or faith. Huston School of Film & Digital Media runs a number of M.A. courses including Production/Direction, Screenwriting, Film Studies, Digital Media and Public Advocacy. Earlier this year, another Huston graduate Brian Deane won the Babelgum online film festival prize which was presented by Spike Lee at the Cannes Film Festival. Huston Screenwriting graduates have also won three out of four Stella Artois Pitching Awards at the Galway Film Fleadh. Further information available from: www.filmschool.ie -ends-
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NUI Galway Establishes US Study and Research Ties
Sunday, 30 November 2008
NUI Galway President, Dr James J. Browne has signed a memorandum of understanding with the University of Maryland in the United States. The arrangement has been made to create future study and research ties between the two universities. President Browne, said: "This agreement of cooperation between NUI Galway and the University of Maryland is the product of a culture which is collaborative and where individuals are willing to work together for a common purpose. This collaboration represents an important step in shaping our futures as we share and build on our respective educational and research strengths. I look forward to fostering our relationship with the University of Maryland for our mutual benefit". Governor of Maryland, Martin O Malley also met with President Browne and President of the University of Maryland, Dan Mote Jr.. Governor O Malley visited NUI Galway in June of this year, when he received an honorary Degree of Doctor of Laws from the University. The memorandum signing coincided with the NUI Galway University Foundation Gala event which hosted former President Bill Clinton, Founder, William J. Clinton Foundation and Loretta Brennan Glucksman, Chairman of the American Ireland Fund, in honour of their contributions to delivering peace and prosperity on the island of Ireland over the past two decades. The event was held at the Metropolitan Club in New York City and was attended by NUI Galway alumni and friends including Druid Theatre Director, Garry Hynes; Niall Burgess, Consul General of Ireland in New York; and RTÉ broadcaster Seán O Rourke, who was MC for the night. Loretta Glucksman spoke of her first visit to Galway and recalled when she met then President Colm Ó hEocha, subsequently she interacted with Pat Fottrell and Iognáid Ó Muircheartaigh as Presidents, and she and the American Ireland Fund now looked forward to working with Dr Browne in his presidency role. President Clinton in his opening remarks spoke of when his wife Hilary was conferred with an Honorary Doctorate at NUI Galway some ten years ago and of his own Irish connection through his mother with Roslea, Co. Fermanagh. President Clinton also spoke of his involvement with the peace process and how the people were ahead of the politicians in their desire for peace. He emphasised that research in Universities should focus on alternative energy notwithstanding the fact that oil prices had once again fallen to a low level. In his remarks, President Browne referred to President Clinton's achievements since he left office particularly in relation to the William J. Clinton Foundation, which seeks to strengthen the capacity of people throughout the world to meet the challenges of global interdependence. The President went on to praise the outstanding work of philanthropist Loretta Glucksman for her contribution to Ireland though the American Ireland Fund. He said "The goodwill generated by this event will leave a favourable and lasting impression of NUI Galway on all who attended". The fundraising event was attended by over 300 people including alumni and friends of the University and all proceeds will go towards the development of the Research Library at NUI Galway. Ends
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Leading Personalities Endorse Public Forum on Osteoarthritis
Saturday, 29 November 2008
The Regenerative Medicine Institute (REMEDI), NUI Galway has assembled a distinguished panel of speakers to partake in a free public forum meeting on the subject of Osteoarthritis. The 2008 REMEDI public forum entitled 'Osteoarthritis - current treatments and future therapies' will be held on Tuesday, 9 December, from 7:30pm in The G Hotel Conference Centre, Galway. Osteoarthritis is a major disease focus of the research effort at REMEDI. The annual public forum provides the public with an opportunity to participate in discussions on all sides of the intensive research effort to combat human diseases and to improve the lives of patients. Participating panel members are: Mr. Philip Gleeson, Arthritis Ireland – a patient battling early-onset arthritis. Dr Drew Burdon, Smith & Nephew, UK – a global medical technology company specialist who will highlight several new treatments for Osteoarthritis. Professor Frank Barry, REMEDI, NUI Galway – is an adult stem cell expert with a research focus on cellular therapy for Osteoarthritis. Mr. Bill Curtin, Galway University Hospital - an orthopaedic surgeon with significant international experience. The forum has also been endorsed by leading Irish sporting personalities Pat Spillane and Gary O'Toole. Spillane, the former Kerry GAA great, is currently suffering from severe Osteoarthritis. O'Toole, the former Irish Olympic swimmer is now a consultant orthopaedic surgeon in The Beacon Clinic, Dublin. Both have given extraordinary interviews about their respective experiences with Osteoarthritis and both interviews will be exclusively screened during the REMEDI forum. The forum is free and open to all members of the public. Further information can be obtained by contacting 091-495726, firstname.lastname@example.org or by visiting www.remedi.ie. ENDS
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Minister Devins Presents Enterprise Ireland Awards to NUI Galway
Friday, 28 November 2008
Dr Jimmy Devins T.D., Minister for Science, Technology and Innovation, yesterday presented Enterprise Ireland's Industrial Technologies Commercialisation Awards. Two out of ten awards went to NUI Galway for its work in developing technologies in the fields of renewable energy and waste management. Since 2005, the Industrial Technologies Commercialisation Awards have recognised those researchers who successfully commercialised their research via a licence deal with an industrial partner or through the realisation of a successful spin-off. The award winners from NUI Galway were: Professor Gerard Hurley of the Electronic Engineering Department and Director of the Power Electronics Research Centre on campus. His project, in partnership with Convertec, is called 'Battery Condition Monitoring and Control'. Dr Michael Rodgers, a senior lecturer with the Department of Engineering, and researchers Edmond O'Reilly and Eoghan Clifford. The team licensed a technology to Bord na Móna called 'Horizontal-flow biofilm systems for small scale wastewater treatment'. NUI Galway has a strong reputation in technology transfer activities, as measured by license agreements, spin-out companies, new invention disclosures, patent applications, collaborative projects with industry and support to campus company formation. -ends-
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John Banville is Subject of Latest Book by NUI Galway Scholar
Friday, 28 November 2008
One of the major writers of contemporary Irish fiction, John Banville, is the subject of a new book by NUI Galway's Dr John Kenny. Entitled John Banville, the book is an accessible yet detailed study that brings to the surface many of the hidden depths of the Man-Booker Prize-winning novelist. With a close eye on chronology, the book begins by establishing the intellectual and cultural contexts of Banville's writing and its reception among readers. It then provides insights into Banville's Irish themes, his crucial theories of the imagination, his preoccupation with morality and immorality, and his idiosyncratic devotion to a self-reflexive art. The book touches on all of Banville's work, from his first book, Long Lankin (1970) to his Man-Booker winning novel, The Sea (2005), and his recent popular fiction written under the pseudonym Benjamin Black. A native of Glenamaddy, Co. Galway, Dr John Kenny lectures in the English Department at NUI Galway where he is Director of the new BA with Creative Writing. For Dr Kenny, Banville is a rich source of insight into creative writing: "For anyone who has read the words 'They departed, the gods, on the day of the strange tide' and then delved further into The Sea, they know the lyrical and emotive strength of Banville's writing". He added: "For this book, I have researched his literary archive and it is a model lesson in the creative process. In the multiple drafts of his novels we can see the way discipline and inventiveness are combined in one of Ireland's great exponents of the imagination. His work is testament to the powerful ways in which dedicated artists of the word can make created worlds come vividly alive on the page". Dr Kenny is also an Academic Director of the John McGahern International Seminar and Summer School and founding editor of The John McGahern Yearbook. He is currently working on a second book on Banville and on a study of Patrick McCabe's fiction. John Banville is published as part of a major new series on Irish writers from Irish Academic Press. -ends-
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Film about Asylum Seeker Wins Second Award for Students
Friday, 28 November 2008
NUI Galway students were among the winners at the 7th Media and Multicultural Awards (MAMA) yesterday. Richard Walsh and Julian Ulrichs, students of the M.A. in Production and Direction at the Huston School of Film & Digital Media, won an award for their short documentary 'F.G.M. - No Way Home'. Dealing with the issue of female genital mutilation, the film tells the story of Pamela Izevbekhai, a Nigerian woman currently seeking asylum with her daughters in Ireland. The MAMAs were established by the newspaper Metro Éireann, to recognise people, groups, companies, institutions and media platforms that promote diversity and multiculturalism in Ireland. In September, F.G.M. - No Way Home was also awarded the Best Short Documentary prize at the Radharc Awards. For their short film, producer Richard Walsh, from Ballybunion, County Kerry, and Director Julian Ulrichs, from Galway City, travelled to Nigeria to film footage for the documentary. The resulting piece is a hard-hitting yet sensitive exploration of the cultural and legal aspects surrounding the issue of female genital mutilation. The short documentary was based on a brief proposed by students of the M.A. in Public Advocacy, who collaborate with Production and Direction students every year to deliver incisive films addressing societal issues. Commenting on the most recent win, James Finlan, coordinator of the M.A. in Production and Direction said: "This was the first year we had students filming outside of Ireland, which was an exciting development. It's important to note the input from NUI Galway's Public Advocacy students Elisa Allen and Jayme Street, who came up with the initial brief on which the film was based. Winning the award vindicates the collaboration between the Production and Public Advocacy students, which is a unique aspect of these courses". Earlier this year, another Huston graduate Brian Deane won the Babelgum online film festival prize which was presented by Spike Lee at the Cannes Film Festival. Huston Screenwriting graduates have also won three out of four Stella Artois Pitching Awards at recent Galway Film Fleadhs. Huston School of Film & Digital Media runs a number of M.A. courses including Production/Direction, Screenwriting, Film Studies, Arts Policy, Digital Media and Public Advocacy. Further information available from: www.filmschool.ie -ends-
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New Communication Aid to Improve Access to Healthcare for Migrant Workers, Refug
Thursday, 27 November 2008
Pfizer Healthcare Ireland and NUI Galway, in collaboration with the Health Service Executive (HSE) have launched a Multilingual Project for General Practice settings, which includes a poster and a quick reference guide for GP staff. The aim of the Multilingual Project is to facilitate communication with patients with limited English proficiency (LEP), to provide a tool to overcome minor language barriers during consultations and to serve as a welcome poster in GP surgeries for patients coming from different ethnic backgrounds. To date, the Irish health sector has not had to address diversity in healthcare delivery on such a large scale or for such a wide variety of cultural groups. Research at the Department of General Practice, NUI Galway highlights that language differences between patients with LEP and their GPs are a serious barrier to health care access. The Multilingual Project contains words and phrases commonly used in a GP consultation. These are translated into ten languages that are frequently spoken in modern Ireland including English, Irish, French, Polish, Chinese (Mandarin), Lithuanian, Latvian, Portuguese, Arabic (Classic) and Russian. In light of a recent successful piloting of the Multilingual Project among GPs in Co Galway it will be distributed to all GPs in the Republic of Ireland. Dr Hans-Olaf Pieper, Fellow in Asylum Seeker and Refugee Healthcare, NUI Galway commented, "It is vital that all people living on the island of Ireland have access to healthcare. While this tool is not designed to replace the use of a professional, trained interpreter, it is intended to facilitate a path of communication between a GP and their patient. The display of the poster has the potential to indicate to patients with LEP that their doctor is aware of, and concerned about their language differences. The poster also has the potential to facilitate communication exchange between doctors and patients where there is a minor language barrier. Patients may have some English but may need help identifying medical terminology, specific body parts and so on." Ms Claire Murphy, Corporate Responsibility Programmes Manager, Pfizer Healthcare Ireland, stated "Currently, Ireland is a diverse society with migration named as the dominant factor responsible for the increase of Ireland's population. The development of the Pfizer Health Connect Project is timely as earlier this year the HSE National Intercultural Health Strategy identified information, language and communications as one of four main priorities and areas of development. As part of the Pfizer Health Connect Project we are launching today the Multilingual Project which addresses that need. People with LEP can now visit their GP with more confidence that they can overcome minor language barriers." Richard Broderick, Primary Care Manager, HSE West, remarked, "The Multilingual Project was developed and related research undertaken as part of the work of the Fellow in Asylum Seeker and Refugee Healthcare, NUI Galway. This post is a collaborative project between the Department of General Practice at NUI Galway, the Galway Refugee Support Group and the HSE West Primary Care Unit, which provides funding for the post. It is an inspiring achievement that in partnership between these organizations and Pfizer Healthcare Ireland this new communication aid is made available to all GPs in Ireland." Language diversity is a reality in modern Ireland and problems can arise when a communication breakdown occurs. This problem is felt especially in the General Practice setting whereby health barriers can exist due to a patient presenting with limited English. The new communication aid will hopefully assist in easing the challenging role of a General Practitioner and also facilitate a more worry free consultation for the patient. ENDS
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Minister Officially Launches Arts and Humanities Research Programme
Thursday, 27 November 2008
A Ph.D. research programme in the Arts and Humanities entitled 'Texts, Contexts, Cultures' has been formally launched by the Minister for Education, Batt O'Keeffe, T.D.. The multidisciplinary programme is delivered in co-operation between research hubs at three Irish universities: The Moore Institute, NUI Galway; The Long Room Hub, Trinity College Dublin; and The Graduate School, the College of Arts, Celtic Studies and Social Sciences, UCC. Texts, Contexts, Cultures has recruited its full cohort of students after an international competition, with an intake of over 30 students from Ireland, Europe and the Americas. Over the course of four years, the programme will offer students a structured path to the completion of a Ph.D., while allowing them to engage with the research knowledge and skills of scholars from three universities. The programme is designed to integrate knowledge and use of new technologies and related professional placements into the traditional Ph.D. At NUI Galway, Texts, Contexts, Cultures is administered by Professor Nicholas Allen and Dr Sean Ryder. According to Professor Allen: "The project has five strands that cross European history and culture from the earliest period to the contemporary moment. Focussing on a wide range of expressive forms, from writing to visual art, the project incorporates the latest technology into its delivery, using internet teaching tools and video conferencing to give students access to the wider world". The five areas of specific research focus at NUI Galway are: Protecting the Inscribed Stones of Ireland: Led by Professor Dáibhí Ó Cróinín, students will gather and analyse data on the inscribed stones of Ireland, at a time when such monuments are increasingly threatened with physical damage and destruction. The research will focus especially on Clonmacnois, and will incorporate new technologies for archaeological research, such as laser-based tools. Columbanus - Life and Legacy: Led by Conor Newman and Dr Mark Stansbury, the research strand will investigate the textual and visual evidence for the life and work of the medieval Irish missionary Columbanus. The project will result, among other things, in the creation of new digital editions and archaeological surveys. Texts, Transmission and Cultural Exchange: Led by Dr Daniel Carey and Professor Jane Conroy, this strand will illuminate the impact of travel writing and images on the transmission and exchange of culture within Europe and between Europe, Asia and the Americas from the 17th to the 19th centuries. Among the results of this research will be several new databases and editions of historical, literary and visual material. Irish Landed Estates: Led by Professor Gearóid Ó Tuathaigh, this will expand an IRCHSS-funded database project on the landed estates of Connaught from the 18th to 20th centuries by producing a similar online database of the estates of Munster, thus facilitating access to valuable information that has hitherto been dispersed and disorganised. Researchers on this project will also produce analyses of the economic, social and cultural impacts of Irish landed estates. Globalisation, Empire and Culture: Led by Dr Lionel Pilkington, research will trace some of the relations between European imperialism and media of various types, including newspapers, popular theatre and religious texts. Among its tasks will be the construction of an online archive of primary materials for further study in this area. Further details are available here -ends-
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Managing Challenge through University Collaboration
Thursday, 27 November 2008
As a small to medium sized enterprise (SME) operating in the very competitive IT services sector, Storm Technology has limited resources for product research and development. The 40+ strong team at Storm primarily focus on providing high quality software consultancy and web integration services to a wide range of public and private sector clients. What Storm does have, literally on its doorstep in Galway, is NUI Galway's Digital Enterprise Research Institute (DERI). With over 125 staff, the Institute is an internationally recognised institute in semantic web research, education and technology transfer. For Storm, commercialising some of DERI's research was an obvious stepping stone to meeting a customer need. Storm and its client Nortel had identified the challenge of connecting Nortel's structured product catalogue with relevant documents from their multiple unstructured information sources. Nortel wanted users of its product catalogue to be easily able to retrieve context relevant documents from their corporate document repositories. Through collaboration with the team at DERI, Storm was able to scale up its R&D capability, while DERI had access to a real-world industrial scenario for its work. The project, which was called INDRA focused on tackling a key challenge within the enterprise, the management of unstructured information (document repositories, websites, intranets, etc). The question was whether the leading-edge semantic techniques developed at DERI could provide the solution? The Semantic Web is an evolving extension of World Wide Web where data and services are defined and have meaning. This enriching of web content is opening semantically-powered solutions and is applicable to day-to-day business issues such as Nortel's document management process. Part of DERI's remit is the bringing together of academic and industrial partners to boost innovation in science and technology, with its research focused on the Semantic Web. DERI has worked extensively with multi-national industrial partners, including Hewlett Packard, and the INDRA project provided an opportunity to work closely with an Irish SME. Dr Edward Curry, INDRA Project Manager DERI, commented, "Research commercialisation is an important avenue for smaller companies as well as larger enterprises. Working with indigenous companies such as Storm, DERI and the University can provide a huge amount of research expertise and know-how". Working closely with Nortel, the teams from DERI and Storm were able to deliver a successful solution after 11 months of collaboration. The solution provides simple user friendly product search across all of Nortel's repositories with relevant context information from the product catalogue included within the search results. The project utilised DERI's techniques for information identification using ontology-based entity detection and disambiguation. Bill McDaniel, a Senior Research at DERI, described the usefulness of the project, "The INDRA project gave DERI the opportunity to build a serious, real world semantic application while researching new ideas in how semantics can make a difference in the emerging science of knowledge discovery". The day-to-day interaction between DERI and Storm personnel leads to knowledge transfer opportunities between both parties. The potential benefits of this transfer were emphasised by Karl Flannery, Managing Director of Storm Technology, "Equally important to the development of a product is the actual knowledge transfer and the opportunity to innovate across both organisations". The INDRA project was supported by Science Foundation Ireland (SFI) and both DERI and Storm own the part of the project they worked on, with some limited joint ownership. Based on its successful participation within the INDRA project, Storm has committed to further collaboration with DERI. -ends-
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