Tuesday, 19 November 2013

The NUI Galway student and staff collaboration is also announcing the winners of EXPLORE initiative ReelLife Science; Ireland’s only School’s Science Video Competition EXPLORE, NUI Galway’s staff / student collaboration brings ideas to life. Those ideas and initiatives have engaged with over 10,000 people in the 18 months since the scheme was established as a unique, joint initiative of NUI Galway and NUI Galway Students’ Union. Those 39 ideas have seen over 2,000 primary, secondary and third level students gain new experiences; YouTube views of over 8,000 on various projects over 300 have attended social connector meetups through the work of 200 students and staff of NUI Galway. ReelLife Science, Ireland’s first Schools Science Video competition, is one of the innovations of EXPLORE, and today announces the winners (listed below) of their inaugural competition. A showcase of EXPLORE’s work will be held between 12.30 to 14.00 on Wednesday 20th November 2013 in the Bailey Allen Hall, opened by NUI Galway Vice President for Innovation & Performance Professor Chris Curtin and Students’ Union President Seán Kearns. Other initiatives include a locator app for defibrillators in the West of Ireland, bilingual video teaching aids for primary, secondary and third level students, and a mental health awareness initiative for secondary schools. Over 500 primary school students have participated in Cell Explorers science outreach programmes, around 300 people have attended Exponential social connector meet ups, while Video Lab chemistry teaching aids have already had in excess of 2,000 views. Project themes span areas including technology, the arts, outreach, the environment, health, employability, mentoring, and teaching/learning/skills development. ReelLife Science Winners (Can be seen at www.reellifescience.com.) Secondary Schools; St. Enda’s College Transition Year student Michael McAndrew scoops first prize for his production of an animated video entitled ‘Life in Space’. The video combines a fantastic concept and cartoon style with an intelligent script, wonderful delivery and original score.  Second place; Students from St. Mary’s College in Galway who produced an imaginative film about ‘The Future for Stem Cells’. Third place; Claregalway College first year student Natasha Feery Byrne who warns of the perils of ‘Littering’ in her video. Primary School; 5th and 6th class students in Scoil Mhuire Rosmuc, a video as Gaeilge with humorous sketches about the dispersal and germination of different varieties of seeds. Runners-up; Cloghans Hill National School, Tuam with a video called ‘Germ Busters’. Third place; Junior and Senior infants of Belmont National School, Milltown, who described the ‘Five Senses’. -ends-

Wednesday, 20 November 2013

An Dr Lillis Ó Laoire, Ceann Scoile, Scoil na dTeangacha, na Litríochtaí agus na gCultúr a dhéanfaidh an seoladh. Seolfaidh An Dr Lillis Ó Laoire, Scoil na dTeangacha, na Litríochtaí  agus na gCultúr, leabhar nua curtha i dtoll a chéile ag Pádraig Ó Cíobháin in Áras na Gaeilge ag 7.30 i.n.  Déardaoin 21 Samhain 2013. Is é Pádraig Ó Cíobháin, scríbhneoir agus múinteoir teanga páirtaimseartha i Roinn na Gaeilge, OÉ Gaillimh, an t-idirghabhálaí. Sé atá i Gon uige seo, diolaim den ábhar a cumadh le linn shraith ceardlanna feé stiúir Phádraig Uí Chíobháin i Seanscoil Shailearna i gCois Fharraige ó Shamhain 2010 go Bealtaine 2011. Litríocht phobail , sa chiall is leithne, dar le Ó Cíobháin, atá sa bhailiúchán seo. Deir Ó Ciobháin nach saothar éinne amháin a bhfuil fé chlúid ach saothar mheithil scríbhneoirí a chuir a gcroí is a n-éirim go huile is go hiomlán san obair a bhí idir lámha acu. An táirge seo atá mar thoradh air, ábhar léitheoireachta is spreagtha dá bpobal féin, agus do Ghaelaibh go bhfuil d’aidhm acu an teanga gur dual dóibh í labhairt, a chothabháil is a choinneáil beo. Prós, filíocht, seanchas, dinnseanchas, scríbhneoireacht taistil is araile atá sa chnuasach seo, chomh maith le cur síos ar an ileolaí Tony Christofides, scríofa ag Pádraig Ó Cíobháin fhéin. Gréigeach ab ea Christofides, atá i bpictiúir atá ceangailte le seo leis an Uachtarán Michael D. Higgins agus iad ar stailc ag deireadh na seascaidí. Fear ildánach, ileolach ab ea Christofides, a raibh idir theangacha agus mhatamaitic ar a thoil aige. Cailleadh é tamall do bhlianta ó shin. Tá an saothar seo tiomnaithe do Tony i measc daoine eile. Siad Coiscéim atá i mbun a fhoilsithe agus tá fáilte roimh chách ag ócáid a sheolta in Áras na Gaeilge.   -críoch-

Wednesday, 20 November 2013

Co-organiser aims to improve awareness of the role of the Human Papilloma Virus (HPV) in cancers of the oropharynx region An NUI Galway symposium jointly organised by the Department of Economics and the Academic Department of Otolaryngology was acknowledged in the “Best Educational Meeting” category at the annual Irish Healthcare Awards. There were thirteen entries short-listed and the HPV and Head and Neck Cancer symposium received a commendation from the expert judging panel at the recent award ceremony. Professor Ivan Keogh, Director of the Academic Department of Otolaryngology at NUI Galway said “It is a real honour to have our symposium acknowledged at these prestigious awards. I am really very impressed by the extremely high standard of the activities which achieved short listing.” The symposium, held on May 17th 2013, highlighted the significant role that the Human Papilloma Virus (HPV) plays in cancers of the oropharynx region. Symposium co-organiser Mr. Tony O’Connor, ENT Surgeon at the Bon Secours Hospital commented: “Our next step is to bring awareness to GPs of the signs and symptoms of this type of cancer”. The symposium was funded by the Health Research Board (HRB) Knowledge Exchange and Dissemination Scheme Grant. The HRB has also funded the development of the Economics of Cancer Research Group at NUI Galway under the auspices of Professor Ciaran O’Neill and Brendan Walsh. For more information on the HPV and Head and Neck Cancer symposium, please visit http://www.economicsofcancer.com/ -ends-

Wednesday, 20 November 2013

Professor Michael O’Flaherty recently stepped down from his role as Chief Commissioner of the Northern Ireland Human Rights Commission 2013 NUI Galway Professor Michael O’Flaherty, Director of the Irish Centre for Human Rights at NUI Galway has issued a statement in reaction to Northern Ireland Attorney General John Larkin’s stated view on prosecutions linked to events that predate the Good Friday Agreement of 1998. Text of statement; “Today’s intervention in the Northern Ireland peace process by John Larkin, as reported in the media, is deeply unhelpful.  By proposing that a line be drawn in the sand regarding pre-1998 atrocities he is defying everything that has been learned internationally on healing the wounds of conflict.  Northern Ireland needs to confront its past and not run away from it.  Unconditional amnesties can never be countenanced, and, like any other post-conflict society, Northern Ireland needs a comprehensive programme of what is called “transitional justice”. Society, north and south of the border, is suffering because of the failure to address the past.  Some of the most vulnerable in society remain at the margins, with inadequate acknowledgement of their suffering; many are dying without ever being able to share their stories of pain and loss.  There is not a day that goes by without the unresolved senses of neglect and injustice triggering societal problems. The lack of a truth recovery process means that tribal myths will continue to trump actual memory. It is not as if we do not have a decent road map regarding how to proceed.  Back in January 2009, a “consultative group on the past”, chaired by Archbishop Robert Eames and Denis Bradley published a report that proposed a carefully considered process overseen by a Legacy Commission.  The Eames Bradley report reflected the views of a wide cross-section of society and mirrored international good practice.  Just a few weeks ago, the Northern Ireland Human Rights Commission published its own paper that considered how best “to move towards a more integrated and holistic transitional justice policy” and called for a fresh look at the Eames/Bradley recommendations.  If John Larkin’s comments have any merit it is to have triggered media attention to a neglected aspect of the peace process.  Now the debate needs to move past his own comments and to how best to ensure truth, justice and healing for those whose lives were devastated by the Troubles.” -ends-

Thursday, 21 November 2013

First year students at NUI Galway can now enjoy a new free booklet which gives helpful advice on low and no cost ways to take the stress out of student life. The new publication, ‘Risky Bizzness: Student Wellbeing for Successful Students’, was commissioned by the Health Promotion Service, part of NUI Galway Student Services, which aims to assist students to reach their full potential by providing non-judgemental and up-to-date information to help students make informed decisions. ‘Risky Bizzness: Student Wellbeing for Successful Students’ is based on the popular blog riskybizzness.blogspot.ie which mixes facts and humour to encourage students to look after their health and wellbeing and boost their resilience. A healthy lifestyle has been proven to have a positive impact on grades and on a person’s ability to deal with the stresses of study, research and exams. Like the blog, the new booklet provides information on relationships, study tips, nutrition, budgeting and much more. There are facts, ideas, contact details and also plenty of online links to articles and video clips. Cindy Dring, Health Promotion Coordinator at NUI Galway, said: “One way to help students cope with the challenges of third-level education is to give them the knowledge they need to prevent, or to identify and address common problems. We hope that this booklet provides students with the information necessary to succeed academically and to lead full lives while at university and beyond.” Declan Higgins, Vice-President and Welfare Officer with NUI Galway’s Students’ Union, , said: “The booklet offers students very practical advice and guidance in their day to day lives and affords them a good to guide for a variety of different resources so they know where to turn when they need to.” The booklet was written Rab Fulton, the editor of the riskybizzness blog, with Cindy Dring, Health Promotion Coordinator, NUI Galway student services. For more on Health Promotion in NUI Galway visit http://www.nuigalway.ie/student_services/health_promotion/. More information on Rab Fulton is available at http://rabfultonstories.weebly.com/. -Ends-

Friday, 22 November 2013

App aimed at Leaving Certificate students launched in August 2013 NUI Galway scooped a major award at the prestigious Appy Awards, which took place in Dublin last night (Thursday, 21 November). The University took home a Bronze Award in the ‘Best Educational App’ category for their iPoints app, and was shortlisted in the ‘Best Productivity App’ category. The NUI Galway iPoints app is the first official third-level app designed for students to calculate Leaving Certificate points. The free app was launched in August 2013, ahead of Leaving Certificate results being released and has been downloaded over 6,000 times. The winning entries are judged on the overall strategy, campaign execution, design, innovation and results. With stiff competition within each category, NUI Galway was the only higher education institution to be shortlisted and the first third-level institution to win an Appy award. Past winners for these awards have included brands such as Vodafone, Sky, TV3, The Journal.ie and Facebook. NUI Galway, in partnership with former information technology student Paul Herron, developed the iPhone app. Students using the app can simply enter their results for each subject, indicating whether it is higher or ordinary level and the app calculates the number of points attained in each subject, and indicates the total. The app calculates 25 additional points to be added for Higher Maths if relevant, and allows for Leaving Certificate Vocational Programme (LCVP) scores to be included. Commenting on the awards, Caroline Loughnane, Director of Marketing and Communications at NUI Galway, said “We are delighted to have done so well in such a hotly contested category. The key objective for NUI Galway was to provide a useful app that allows Leaving Certificate students to quickly and easily calculate their points when they receive their exam results.”   The annual Appy Awards celebrate the very best in app development and design. The 2013 Appy Awards received a bumper number of exceptionally high quality apps in this year’s awards programme. The NUI Galway iPoints app is available for all iPhone users on the iTunes store www.tinyurl.com/NUIGalwayApp. -Ends-

Monday, 25 November 2013

Researchers at INSIGHT@NUI Galway have been awarded the ‘Best Paper Award for Completed Research’ at the International Conference on Theory and Practice of Electronic Governance (ICEGOV), which was held in Korea recently. INSIGHT@NUI Galway, formerly known as DERI, hosts the Centre for Data Analytics and is an acknowledged leader in semantic web research. The award-winning paper, ‘Harnessing the Duality of Participation - Social Software Infrastructure Design’, was co-authored by INSIGHT’s Lukasz Porwol and Dr Adegboyega Ojo, along with Dr John Breslin from the College of Engineering and Informatics. The paper describes the design and implementation of the socio-technical infrastructure required for harnessing political deliberations on social media platforms, and outlines the challenges for implementing and sustaining such an infrastructure in governments. The judges praised the manner in which the paper deciphered the area of citizen participation, translating it from art to science. In their comments they said that the paper investigated the very difficult and unbounded area of citizen participation and demystified the art of citizen involvement. The judges described the paper as a pleasure to read, thoughtfully bringing the reader through the reasoning, research and issues that need to be understood and addressed to successfully ensure citizen participation. Lukasz Porwol, the report’s lead author said “It’s great to be recognised for our work at such a high-profile conference, one of the biggest e-government events with participants from over 60 countries.” The ICEGOV conference is attended each year by major stakeholders from academia, government, the UN system and other international organisations, civil society and the private sector involved in the technology-enabled transformation of government. The ICEGOV conference series was founded by the United Nations University and involves several UN organisations in its organisation to highlight its strong UN character. -ends-

Tuesday, 26 November 2013

Over 1,300 students will graduate from across the five colleges at NUI Galway at the University's winter conferring ceremonies, which take place from Tuesday, 26 November to Thursday, 28 November. Dr Marion Broderick will also be conferred with a Master of Health Sciences (honoris causa) degree. A native of Galway, Dr Marion Broderick will receive an honorary degree in recognition of her services to community medicine. As a GP on the Aran Islands for over 30 years, Dr Broderick has been an advocate for better healthcare facilities for the Aran Islands. She featured on RTÉ’s production of ‘Rescue 115 – Ireland’s Air Sea Rescue series. Her work has been described as making a vital contribution to saving lives, not only those resident on the Aran Islands but the many mariners who owe their lives to the swift care administered by Dr Broderick with the assistance of the crews of the RNLI Aran Lifeboat. Speaking in advance of the ceremonies, President of NUI Galway, Dr Jim Browne, said: “I would like to congratulate all those graduating this week during Winter Conferrings. I am especially pleased that the University will honour the achievements of our alumnus, Dr Marion Broderick, a committed advocate for better community and medical facilities for the Aran Islands, which she has served as GP for many years, often in arduous and challenging conditions.” In addition, degrees, higher diplomas, Masters and PhDs will be awarded to students graduating over the three days from the College of Medicine, Nursing and Health Sciences; College of Engineering and Informatics; College of Business, Public Policy and Law; College of Science; and the College of Arts, Social Sciences and Celtic Studies. -Ends- Bronnadh an Gheimhridh in OÉ Gaillimh Bronnfar céim ar bhreis agus 1,300 mac léinn as cúig choláiste OÉ Gaillimh ag searmanais bhronnta céime an gheimhridh san Ollscoil, a bheas ar siúl ó Dé Máirt an 26 Samhain go dtí Déardaoin an 28 Samhain.  Bronnfar céim Mháistreachta le hEolaíochtaí Sláinte (honoris causa) ar an Dr Marion Broderick chomh maith. Is as Gaillimh ó dhúchas don Dr Marion Broderick, a mbronnfar céim oinigh uirthi mar aitheantas ar a cuid seirbhísí don leigheas pobail. Tá os cionn 30 bliain caite ag an Dr Broderick mar Dhochtúir Teaghlaigh ar Oileáin Árann, agus tá sí de shíor ag achainí ar son áiseanna cúraim sláinte níos fearr d’Oileáin Árann. Ghlac sí páirt sa tsraith teilifíse ‘Rescue 115 – Ireland’s Air Sea Rescue’ a bhí ar siúl ar RTÉ. Déantar cur síos ar a cuid oibre mar shaothar a chuireann go mór le saol daoine a shábháil, ní hamháin iad siúd atá ag cur fúthu ar Oileáin Árann ach is iomaí sin mairnéalach atá tugtha slán ag an gcúram sciobtha a chuireann an Dr Broderick ar fáil dóibh le cabhair ó chriúnna Bhád Tarrthála RNLI Árann. Bhí an méid seo a leanas le rá ag Uachtarán OÉ Gaillimh, an Dr James J. Browne, roimh na searmanais: “Ba mhaith liom comhghairdeas a dhéanamh le gach duine a mbeidh céim á bronnadh orthu ag Bronnadh an Gheimhridh. Tá mé thar a bheith sásta go mbeidh an Ollscoil ag ceiliúradh éachtaí duine dár lucht alumni, an Dr Marion Broderick, atá ag argóint de shíor le haghaidh áiseanna pobail agus leighis níos fearr a fháil d’Oileáin Árann, áit a bhfuil sí ina Dochtúir Teaghlaigh le blianta fada, go minic faoi choinníollacha deacra agus dúshlánacha.” Chomh maith leis sin, beifear ag bronnadh céimeanna, ard-dioplómaí, Máistreachtaí agus PhDanna i rith na dtrí lá ar mhic léinn ó Choláiste an Leighis, an Altranais agus na nEolaíochtaí Sláinte; ó Choláiste na hInnealtóireachta agus na hIonformaitice; ó Choláiste an Ghnó, an Bheartais Phoiblí agus an Dlí; ó Choláiste na hEolaíochta; agus ó Choláiste na nDán, na nEolaíochtaí Sóisialta agus an Léinn Cheiltigh. -Críoch-

Tuesday, 26 November 2013

The  Centre for Climate Change & Air Pollution Studies (C-CAPS) pilot forecasting service will provide an air pollution prediction for the following 2-3 days for Ireland and the greater European area NUI Galway's Centre for Climate & Air Pollution Studies (C-CAPS) at the Ryan Institute has launched an air pollution forecast service will help advise the public of periods of imminent outdoor pollution levels likely to exasperate health problems, in particular, those associated with heart and lung conditions. The advanced service demonstrates the new air quality forecasting capacity that has been developed in NUI Galway. The forecasts can also provide a warning system and planning aid for potential large-scale air pollution events such as that associated with the 2003 heat-wave which led to high numbers of air pollution-related deaths across Europe. The forecasts can be accessed via http://www.macehead.org/ under 'Air Quality Forecasts' menu bar. NUI Galway’s development of advanced air quality forecasting capacity is has been facilitated through meteorological support from Met Éireann and has been produced via the supercomputing services by the Irish Centre for High-End Computing (ICHEC). The main pollutants forecast are Ozone (O3), Nitrogen Oxides (NOx), Sulphur Dioxide (SO2), and Particulate Matter (PM). Professor Colin Dowd said "Ireland’s location on the western boundary of Europe means that it generally experiences better air quality than other European counties and pollutant levels are typically below the level prescribed by the EU. However, even in Ireland, meeting the World Health Organisation (WHO) guidelines, which are more conservative than the current EU regulatory limits, remains a challenge. Given the lower WHO limits, the need for forecasts informing potential exposure levels and risks is pressing" The forecast model is continually under development to improve the predictions for the Irish environment; to implement improved and higher-resolution emissions inventories as they become available; and to implement the most up-to-date pollution evolution modules.  In addition, the model is also being used and further refined to predict volcanic ash cloud dispersion and to advise the aviation industry and to assess the effects of air pollution on climate change.   This work was predominantly funded by the Environmental Protection Agency’s Climate Change Research Programme with contributions from synergetic programmes funded by the European Space Agency, Science Foundation Ireland and the Higher Education Authority’ s  Programme for Research in Third Level Institutes. -ends-

Thursday, 28 November 2013

Conference on ‘Health and Gender Equity in a Period of Global Crisis’ in Galway, jointly organised by the Development Studies Association (DSA) Ireland, Irish Forum for Global Health & Gender ARC on the eve of World AIDS Day,December 1st. Fr. Michael Kelly, based in Zambia, is a noted AIDS activist who has written and spoken extensively about the need to curb the spread of AIDS, using education as a ‘social vaccine’ to empower women to make informed choices.  Fr. Kelly presents the keynote speech on ‘Gender, Sexuality and HIV’ at a major conference on ‘Health and Gender Equity in a Period of Global Crisis’ on 28-29 November, ahead of World AIDS Day on 1st December. The conference is being held in the Galway Bay Hotel & Conference Centre, Salthill, Galway. Fr. Michael Kelly says “Gender inequalities continue to be a major driving force behind the AIDS epidemic. Many factors increase the vulnerability of women and girls to HIV, such as denying women sexual health knowledge as well as practices that prevent them from controlling their bodies or deciding the terms on which they have sex. This is made worse by their limited access to economic opportunities and the multiple household and community roles they are saddled with, as can be seen very clearly in my own country Zambia”. The conference is hosted by NUI Galway and jointly organised by the Development Studies Association (DSA) Ireland, Irish Forum for Global Health & Gender Advanced Research Consortium and sponsored by Irish Aid. The conference heard that health, gender and employment issues are emerging as major challenges as the Millennium Development Goals (MDG) period draws to a close in 2015.  The speakers described how the current economic downturn has affected poorer countries, worsening their problems and reversing earlier improvements in gender and health equality in the developing world.  Olivia Mitchell TD, member of the Women’s All-Party Interest Group on Development and Sexual Reproductive Health & Rights said “the participation of women is indispensable to development that is sustainable and equitable. Barriers to women’s participation must be addressed and initiatives to bring about the advancement of women must be prioritised. Unless women’s reproductive health is central to development policy, the poorest women in the most disadvantaged societies will continue to be trapped in cycles of poverty and ill health, to the detriment of their countries’ development. When women’s reproductive health needs are met, women can transform their countries’ future.” Speaking on the importance of the decent work agenda in the post MDG period, Sally Anne Kinahan, Deputy General Secretary of the Irish Congress of Trade Unions said “Workers’ rights and a decent work agenda are crucial if we are to deliver on development.  Development and decent work are inextricably linked”. The conference brought new perspectives from the emerging large economies of Brazil and India to the discussion of global development prospects. Dr Ram Reddy, editor of the popular Indian publication, The Economic and Political Weekly, spoke about the role of democratic institutions, giving an assessment of what is happening in India, while Sue Branford of Latin America Bureau discussed striking trends of reducing poverty and lessening inequality in Brazil. Leading experts stress how the on-going economic crisis from 2008 creates a significant challenge to women and men across the globe with adverse effects on health and gender inequality.  The gaps between rich and poor and between men and women are widening between and within countries. While the provision and access to quality health services has improved for some people, overall economic, food and fuel poverty create negative effects on physical and mental health, making poor people more vulnerable and affecting the ability of individuals and communities to cope. -Ends-

Thursday, 28 November 2013

Over 100 young people from second and third-level institutions across County Galway and Mayo were honoured with a Gaisce Medal for their outstanding community work and significant personal achievements at a special awards ceremony at the University last week. Organised by the University’s Gaisce Society the Awards were presented by NUI Galway Deputy President and Registrar, Dr Nollaig MacCongáil on behalf of the Patron of Gaisce -The President’s Award, President Michael D. Higgins. Gaisce – The President’s Award, is a programme that aims to foster and develop young people's potential. It is a guided and supported framework is provided for young people to explore their natural skills and gain confidence in their abilities, while contributing to their community. This year’s Award recipients included young people who spent time volunteering with charity organisations, working with the poor, the elderly, people with disabilities, and getting involved in youth groups and clubs. Gaisce Award recipients also worked with community groups, sporting organisations and charity shops. Two NUI Galway students, Cathy Gormley from Trim, Co. Meath and Ciara Luke from Cork City, were presented with a Gaisce Bronze Award.  This year’s Bronze and Silver Award recipient bodies include: Coláiste Iognáid Galway City; Dunmore Community School, Co. Galway; Dominican College, Taylors Hill, Galway City; Mount St. Michael’s, Claremorris Co. Mayo; St. Brigid's School Galway City; St. Killian's College Ballinasloe Co. Galway; and Youthreach, Galway City. Rebecca Tierney, Auditor of Gaisce Society and Bachelor of Arts student at NUI Galway said “it was an honour for the society to host the awards for the exceptional people receiving their awards as the Gaisce Award allows young people all over Ireland to show what they are capable of and we are more than happy to enable this to continue to happen.” On average, Gaisce participants contribute over 100,000 voluntary hours in their local communities each year. A total of six million voluntary hours have been completed since the Gaisce Award programme was established in 1985. For more information on the Gaisce Awards visit www.gaisce.ie. -Ends -

Tuesday, 1 October 2013

Secondary school students interested in NUI Galway are invited to an information evening in Tralee on Wednesday, 16 October. Parents and guardians are also particularly welcome to the event which runs from 7 to 9pm in the Brandon Hotel, Tralee, Co. Kerry. The evening will begin with short talks about NUI Galway and some of the 60 courses it offers. Afterwards, current students and NUI Galway staff will be on hand at information stands to answer any individual questions in relation to courses offered by the University and about practical issues like accommodation, fees and scholarships, and the wide range of support services available to our students. The ever-increasing popularity of NUI Galway is in-part due to a whole suite of innovative new programmes, developed in response to the changing needs of the employment market. Unique programmes include a Bachelor of Arts in Human Rights, an Energy Engineering degree which is taught in the University’s new Engineering Building, Ireland’s largest School of Engineering, and a Maths and Education degree aimed at training Maths teachers. Visitors to the information evening will also get information on NUI Galway’s newest degree programme, a BA in Drama, Theatre and Performance Studies, BA in Journalism, BA in Science (Physics- degree options in Applied, Astrophysics, Biomedical or Theoretical) and a Bachelor of Commerce (Gaeilge) which is brand new for 2013-14.  “NUI Galway has a great deal to offer. Our own students tell us our lecturers are inspirational and challenge them to achieve their full potential. The student experience in Galway is second to none, and we want to bring a taste of that to Kerry, while also providing all the practical information on accommodation, CAO points, fees, scholarships and courses. With so many courses on offer, this event in Tralee is a perfect opportunity for prospective students to meet current students and lecturers to see what degree might be the right fit for them”, says Caroline Loughnane, Director of Marketing and Communications at NUI Galway. To find out more about the information evening in Tralee, contact NUI Galway's Schools Liaison Officer, Celine O’Donovan on 087 2391219 or celine.odonovan@nuigalway.ie. -Ends-

Tuesday, 1 October 2013

On a recent public lecture visit to NUI Galway, Professor Jocelyn Bell Burnell, world-renowned astrophysicist and strong supporter of gender equality in science, congratulated the University’s School of Physics on receiving the Juno Practitioner Award of the Institute of Physics. Professor Bell Burnell, who was the first female President of the Institute of Physics, met with members of the Juno committee at the lecture and expressed her delight that NUI Galway was the first university in Ireland to achieve Practitioner status. Professor Bell Burnell is best known for her discovery in 1967 of pulsars, rapidly rotating neutron stars, and has won numerous awards for her strong role in promoting science. The Juno Programme aspires to redress the long-standing issue of the under-representation of women at the highest levels of physics academia in the UK and Ireland, and recognises and rewards departments that can demonstrate a proactive approach in this area. While women make up 20% of physics undergraduates across Ireland and the UK, this number drops to 7% further along academia at the level of university professor, suggesting that female physicists are less likely than their male counterparts to progress into the most senior positions in physics. The Juno principles improve working culture for all staff, creating, for example, flexible working arrangements, provision for childcare and a more transparent organisational structure. The potential for improvement has driven high levels of engagement amongst Irish and UK physics departments.  Dr Miriam Byrne, Chair of the NUI Galway Juno Committee, said: “It is a significant achievement for NUI Galway to obtain recognition for our work on promoting gender equality in Physics, and to be the first university in Ireland to do so. The lack of female role models in senior positions in the physical sciences is an issue that must be addressed, as it may discourage our female undergraduates from considering scientific careers. For this reason, the Juno committee is delighted to support the initiative taken by the NUI Galway Astronomy Society in inviting such a leading role model as Jocelyn Bell Burnell to Galway”. Further information on the Institute of Physics’ Juno programme can be found at http://www.iop.org/policy/diversity/initiatives/juno/. -Ends-

Tuesday, 1 October 2013

Tánaiste Eamon Gilmore TD says that the Forum will support growth and job creation The Tánaiste and Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade, Mr Eamon Gilmore, T.D., today announced the Galway element of the Global Irish Economic Forum. NUI Galway will host a Regional Roundtable, including a public forum, on October 3 ahead of the Dublin Castle events on October 4 and 5.   An Tánaiste, a graduate of NUI Galway said “The forum will focus on opportunities in technology, education, industrial development and the SME sector. We will also examine high potential sectors including financial services, smart ageing technologies, food and agri-tech, social innovation and the digitisation of the global economy.”   The Global Irish Economic Forum is organised by the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade. The programme includes the regional event to be held in Galway, in partnership with Enterprise Ireland and NUI Galway which will bring together members of the Global Irish Network, SMEs in the West region, and the academic community.   NUI Galway President, Dr Jim Browne, said “We are delighted to host this new element of the Global Irish Economic Forum at NUI Galway.  The Forum is an important national initiative and ensures that Ireland can benefit from the advice and engagement of many global Irish leaders, which will ultimately help this country’s economic, social and cultural development.  I am also very pleased to welcome a number of distinguished alumni back to campus as part of the Regional Roundtable event.  I look forward to hearing their perspectives on Ireland’s future.”   Members of the Network who will participate in the public forum, moderated by NUI Galway graduate Dr Gavin Jennings of RTÉ,  include  fellow graduates Irial Finan, Executive Vice President of Coca-Cola and Aedhmar Hynes CEO of Text100 along with Gerald Lawless, President of Jumeirah Group and Martin McCourt, Executive Vice-President, of Gemalto. Places are limited and those wishing to attend the public forum are required to register in advance at www.conference.ie The forum will be in the Aula Maxima (Lower), Quadrangle Building, NUI Galway. The event begins at 1pm.  The event will be streamed live online at www.nuigalway.ie   This is the third Global Irish Economic Forum. The 2009 and 2011 Fora transformed the way in which the Government does business with leading international figures that are connected to Ireland. For example, the earlier fora lead to the launch of The Gathering, the largest ever tourism initiative organised by the State and the Global Irish Contacts Programme, which directly links the leading business figures abroad with Irish companies seeking to break into new markets and increase their exports.   -ends-

Tuesday, 1 October 2013

Run forms part of the NUI Galway Alumni Gathering schedule for students, staff and alumni NUI Galway, in association with the Kingfisher Club, will host a charity 8K Run on Saturday 12thOctober at 10am. This is a spectacular run around the University Campus along the banks of the river Corrib. The official charity partner for this event is Jigsaw Galway. Jigsaw Galway is a free and confidential support service for young people, their mental health and wellbeing, aged 15 – 25 living in Galway city and county. All funds raised from this event will go to Jigsaw Galway. This Charity event is forming part of the NUI Galway Alumni Gathering schedule which takes place the weekend of the 11th to the 13th of October 2013 on the NUI Galway campus. The event was launched by NUI Galway alumni Paul Hession and Olive Loughnane. NUI Galway Vice President for the Student Experience Dr Pat Morgan said ‘this is a wonderful opportunity to welcome staff, students and alumni to the campus as part of the Gathering 2013. Equally, however, it is part of a wider campus initiative to encourage physical activity, and I want to thank our alumnus Olive Loughnane and student Paul Hession for agreeing to launch the Fun Run.’ As 2013 is the year of the gathering, this event gives a great opportunity to bring together students, staff, alumni and friends of NUI Galway in one place to take part in a fun event for all ages and abilities. The run is open to everyone, and runners and walkers of all fitness levels will be catered for. To register for this fantastic event please log on to the Kingfisher Club Website http://www.kingfisherclub.com/nuigalway8k.html. Registration is quick and easy. So why not set yourself the goal and register today. All queries on the event can be sent to nuigalway8k@kingfisherclub.com. -ends-

Wednesday, 2 October 2013

REDDSTAR, an EU project co-ordinated by NUI Galway, has partnered with eight other collaborators to deliver the All-Ireland schools’ science debate competition, Debating Science Issues. Now in its seventh year, the biomedical, bioethical programme involves a workshop series and debate competition and involves 36 schools across the island of Ireland. The workshop phase of the Debating Science Issues project has recently launched. However, many partners are still recruiting schools. The pre-competition workshops provide an open and impartial environment and challenge the students to consider the ethical impacts of contemporary research. After the workshops, a debate competition ensues narrowing the field of 36 schools down to one 2014 All-Ireland winner. Debate adjudicators represent various stakeholder sectors including science, communications/journalism, religion, medicine, ethics, patients, and interested publics. Debating Science Issues encourages young people to engage in debate on the cultural, societal and ethical implications of advances in biomedical science. The project addresses contemporary scientific issues such as lifestyle-related disease, stem cells, nanotechnology, genetically modified food, immunology practices, organ transplantation allocation and health and self-testing.  “We are thrilled to continue this cross border science project for another year and welcome the University of Ulster as a new collaborator. Students involved in Debating Science Issues will shape the future direction of biomedical science; they will govern legislation within which biomedical research is carried out; as taxpayers they will fund future research; they will work at our lab benches. Consequently, they may be opposed to the direction some of this research takes, and this is important as public engagement with science needs to be a dialogue not a lecture”, says Danielle Nicholson, REDDSTAR Dissemination Officer. For 2013-14, nine collaborators are involved in organising the workshop series and debates: REDDSTAR, an EU project co-ordinated by NUI Galway partnering with APC at UCC, BDI at DCU, W5 in Belfast, CRANN at Trinity College, INSIGHT at UCD, NUI Galway, CIT, Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland and the University of Ulster.  For information and updates on the progress, please see www.debatingscienceissues.com.  -Ends-

Thursday, 3 October 2013

NUI Galway only Irish university to increase ranking in both QS and THE world rankings NUI Galway is one of only three Irish universities to move up the Times Higher Education (THE) World University Rankings for 2013-14. With an increase of 22 places, NUI Galway is now ranked 314th in the THE Rankings 2013/2014.   NUI Galway is now the only Irish university to increase its position in the two main international rankings, having recently increased to 284th in the world in the QS World University Rankings 2013/2014.   NUI Galway President Dr Jim Browne said: “This is very good news for NUI Galway. As the only Irish university to increase our position in both the 2013 THE World University Rankings and the recently published QS World University Rankings, I am pleased to see that our position globally is on the rise. We have experienced significant cuts in overall funding at third-level in Ireland, while student numbers have continued to rise. Despite this, our university has gone against the tide to secure a marked improvement in these very competitive rankings. This is a testament to our high standards in teaching and research, and an affirmation of our very focused approach to developing an international reputation in a select set of research areas.”   The Times Higher Education World University Rankings were developed in concert with rankings data provider, Thomson Reuters, with expert input from more than 50 leading figures in the sector from 15 countries across every continent.   The Times Higher league table of the world’s top universities is based on 13 separate performance indicators covering all of the core missions of a world class university; teaching, research, knowledge transfer and international outlook. The survey also includes the world’s largest academic reputation survey, with more than 10,000 academics asked to rate the world’s best universities for the 2013 ranking.   President Browne added: “It will be critical for Ireland to maintain its investment in its universities if we are to remain internationally competitive. Every year, rankings such as this are broadened to include a burgeoning number of world-class universities. While the rankings evaluate universities against a limited range of measures, there is no doubting their influence on a University’s ability to attract international students. We operate in a global market, competing for students and research support on an international playing field. Support on a national level must be maintained for universities such as NUI Galway to continue with their success.”   The Times Higher Education (THE) World University Rankings for 2013-14 is available to view online at:  http://www.timeshighereducation.co.uk/world-university-rankings/  -ends-   Léimeann OÉ Gaillimh 22 áit i Ranguithe Domhanda mór le rá Times Higher Education OÉ Gaillimh an t-aon ollscoil in Éirinn a rinne dul chun cinn i ranguithe domhanda THE agus QS   Tá OÉ Gaillimh ar cheann de thrí ollscoil in Éirinn a rinne dul chun cinn i Ranguithe Ollscoile Times Higher Education (THE) 2013-14. Tá OÉ Gaillimh anois sa 314ú háit i Ranguithe THE 2013/2014, sin ardú 22 áit ó anuraidh. D’éirigh linn le gairid an 284ú háit a bhaint amach ar domhan i Ranguithe Ollscoile QS an Domhain 2013/2014, agus is í OÉ Gaillimh anois an t-aon ollscoil in Éirinn a rinne dul chun cinn sa dá phríomhrangú idirnáisiúnta. Bhí an méid seo a leanas le rá ag an Dr Jim Browne, Uachtarán OÉ Gaillimh: “Is iontach an dea-scéala é seo do OÉ Gaillimh. Ó tharla gur muid an t-aon ollscoil in Éirinn a rinne dul chun cinn i Ranguithe Ollscoile THE an Domhain 2013 agus i Ranguithe Ollscoile QS an Domhain a foilsíodh le gairid, táim ríméadach go bhfuil ár stádas domhanda ag dul ó neart go neart. Tá gearradh siar uafásach déanta ar mhaoiniú ag an tríú leibhéal in Éirinn agus ag an am céanna tá líon na mac léinn ag dul i méid. In ainneoin sin, tá an ollscoil s’againne ar a mine géire chun dul chun cinn a chinntiú sna ranguithe seo atá thar a bheith iomaíoch. Is cruthúnas é seo ar an ardchaighdeán teagaisc agus taighde atá againn agus deimhníonn sé an cur chuige dearfach atá againn chun cáil idirnáisiúnta a bhaint amach i réimsí áirithe taighde.” Cuireadh Ranguithe Ollscoileanna an Domhain Times Higher Education le chéile i gcomhar le soláthróir sonraí na ranguithe, Thomson Reuters, le hionchur sainiúil ó bhreis is 50 duine iomráiteacha san earnáil ó 15 thír i ngach mór-roinn. Tá tábla sraithe an Times Higher de na hollscoileanna is fearr ar domhan bunaithe ar 13 tháscaire feidhmíochta ar leith ag clúdach gach croímhisean a bheadh ag ollscoil den scoth; teagasc, taighde, aistriú eolais agus dearcadh idirnáisiúnta. Tá an suirbhé is mó ar domhan maidir le cáil acadúil áirithe sa suirbhé seo chomh maith. Fiafraíodh de bhreis is 10,000 duine acadúil na hollscoileanna is fearr a rátáil do rangú 2013. Dúirt an tUachtarán Browne chomh maith: “Is den riachtanas é go gcoinneoidh Éirinn ag infheistiú ina cuid ollscoileanna le gur féidir leo bheith iomaíoch go hidirnáisiúnta. Gach bliain, leathnaítear ranguithe den chineál seo chun ollscoileanna eile den scoth a thógáil ar bord. Cé go measann na ranguithe ollscoileanna de réir slat tomhais atá sách srianta, níl aon dabht ach go bhfuil an-tionchar acu ar chumas Ollscoil mic léinn idirnáisiúnta a mhealladh. Táimid ag feidhmiú i margadh domhanda, san iomaíocht do mhic léinn agus do thacaíocht taighde ar pháirc idirnáisiúnta. Caithfear an tacaíocht ag leibhéal náisiúnta a choinneáil d’ollscoileanna cosúil le OÉ Gaillimh chun go mbeidh an rath céanna uirthi amach anseo.” Tá Ranguithe Ollscoile Times Higher Education (THE) 2013-14 le feiceáil ar líne ag:  http://www.timeshighereducation.co.uk/world-university-rankings/  -críoch-      

Monday, 7 October 2013

            NUI Galway’s fully accredited online Diploma in Italian is first of its kind in Ireland NUI Galway’s Diploma in Italian Online, launched in September 2012, has been a major success and has just been awarded the prestigious European Language Label, which recognizes innovation in the field of language teaching and learning. Italian Studies at NUI, Galway is the first discipline in Ireland to offer a fully accredited Online Diploma in Italian so that it is now possible to study Italian anywhere and any time. Dr Laura McLoughlin, programme co-ordinator said “unlike many distance learning programmes designed for independent learning, this diploma course is based on a collaborative, communicative approach and students are encouraged to participate in virtual class activities with their peers and e-tutors”. The Diploma is open to everybody and is designed for those who have no previous experience of the language. It is particularly suited to those who need flexibility in their time and mode of study and/or live away from Galway. Basic computer skills are sufficient. Professor Paolo Bartoloni, Head of Italian at NUI Galway, said “learning Italian provides invaluable transferable skills. There is no doubt that the profile of the professional of the future will be that of a person who can adapt quickly and effectively to new situations and environments, who speaks more than one language, and who is at home in more than one country.” He added “He and she will be mobile, cosmopolitan, and ready to embrace and negotiate different cultures and traditions. We in Italian at NUI Galway are committed to introducing and exploring new technology in the area of second language acquisition, while enhancing learning and teaching flexibility which respond to the needs of the community.” The course concentrates on all four main language skills (listening, speaking, reading and writing) and provides a gradual introduction to the structures of the language. In addition, a module on oral and intercultural skills introduces aspects of Italian life from an intercultural prospective. Italian is a major language and its culture had and continues to have a central place in the shaping of Europe. Italian is also the language of a vibrant and creative EU country that has made extraordinary contributions to all forms of culture down through the centuries. For further information contact: Dr Laura Incalcaterra McLoughlin, 091-492240 or laura.mcloughlin@nuigalway.ie -ends-

Tuesday, 8 October 2013

8k to raise funds for services and support for young peoples’ mental health and well-being Jigsaw Galway, the free and confidential support service for young people in Galway city and county has called on people of Galway to join in next Saturday’s (12th October) 8k run around the University Campus along the banks of the river Corrib. All funds raised from this event will go to Jigsaw Galway. Jigsaw support young people aged 15-25 experiencing difficulties that affect their mental health and well-being.  Jigsaw also provides advice and guidance to anyone concerned about a young person in their life.  Justin McDermott of Jigsaw says “All the team here in Jigsaw are so delighted to involved with the NUI Galway Kingfisher 8K this Saturday, and we are calling on the people of Galway to get on their gear and take part in the NUI Galway Kingfisher 8K to raise funds for our services and support for young peoples’ mental health and well-being.”  This Charity event is forming part of the NUI Galway Alumni Gathering schedule which takes place the weekend of the 11th to the 13th of October 2013 on the NUI Galway campus. The Classes of 1963, 1973, 1983, 1988, 1993 and 2003 are returning to NUI Galway this weekend to celebrate the anniversaries of their graduation. Events will include a special dinner for the class of 1963 in the Aula Maxima on Friday 11th with entertainment provided by renowned jazz singer Bertha Hope accompanied by some of Galway's leading session instrumentalists fused with the traditional singing of Mary McPartlan. Alumni are invited to walk part of the 8k route if they so wish. From 2pm events will include bus and walking tours of the campus, visits to the new wing of the Hardiman Library, home to archive material, the Natural History Museum and the iconic Engineering Building. There will also be a topical economics lecture ‘Taking Stock: A Conversation on the Irish Economy’ with Dr Alan Ahearne and Professor Tom Boylan. The day’s entertainment will close with Gala Reunion Dinner in the Bailey Allen Hall. As 2013 is the year of the gathering, this event gives a great opportunity to bring together students, staff, alumni and friends of NUI Galway in one place to take part in a fun event for all ages and abilities. The run is open to everyone, and runners and walkers of all fitness levels will be catered for. To register for this fantastic event please log on to the Kingfisher Club Website http://www.kingfisherclub.com/nuigalway8k.html  Registration is quick and easy.  All queries on the event can be sent to nuigalway8k@kingfisherclub.com. -ends-

Wednesday, 9 October 2013

Professor Stefan Decker, Professor of Digital Enterprise at NUI Galway, is appointed to the Board of Informatics Europe, the association of computer science departments and research labs in Europe. Professor Stefan Decker, Professor of Digital Enterprise at NUI Galway, has been appointed to the Board of Informatics Europe, at the Annual General Assembly of Informatics Europe in Amsterdam this week. Professor Decker is the Director of INSIGHT@NUI Galway and is one of the leading computer scientists in Ireland. Informatics Europe is the association of computer science departments and research laboratories in Europe and neighbouring areas. The mission of the association is to foster the development of quality research and teaching in information and computer sciences, also known as Informatics. Professor Decker said “I am looking forward to work with Informatics Europe. This appointment enables me to help shape the European and Irish research and teaching landscape. Informatics is one of the driving forces in societal, technological and economic development”. NUI Galway is an acknowledged leader in the field of Semantic Web and Linked Data and Professor Decker has played a key role in that development through his research. The ability to link currently unlinked data and information in a world with exponential data growth is an area of societal, economic and academic interest and a key focus of the Government’s smart economy. Ireland’s economy is heavily influenced by IT and Informatics – Ireland is the host and European headquarter of Companies like IBM, Fujitsu CISCO, HP, Avaya, EMC, Facebook, Google, and many others.  Influencing the European Research and Education environment is of importance for Ireland and its IT industry. About INSIGHT@NUI Galway INSIGHT@NUI Galway, Ireland (formerly known as the Digital Enterprise Research Institute). The INSIGHT Centre for Data Analytics is a joint initiative between researchers at NUI Galway, University College Dublin, University College Cork, and Dublin City University, as well as other partner institutions. It brings together a critical mass of more than 200 researchers from Ireland's leading ICT centres to develop a new generation of data analytics technologies in a number of key application areas. For more information see: http://www.informatics-europe.org/ http://www.stefandecker.org/ http://www.insight-centre.org/ http://www.deri.ie/   -ends-

Wednesday, 9 October 2013

Sinead Hayes, NUI Galway civil engineering graduate and Bursary winner, will make her RTÉ National Symphony Orchestra debut on Friday, 25 October conducting Mozart’s ‘Paris’ Symphony at the National Concert Hall as part of the RTÉ National Symphony Orchestra’s 2013–2014 Season. Ten years after she first stood in front of an orchestra as a conductor, she will conduct as part of an all-Mozart concert programme which features violinist Baiba Skride, a major international artist, directing three Mozart concerti in the conclusion of her Mozart violin concerti cycle with the RTÉ NSO. Full concert information below. From Corofin, Co. Galway, Sinead studied violin and piano during her school years. Following training as a structural engineer (BE (Civil), First Class Honours, National University of Ireland, Galway, 2000; Winner National University of Ireland Bursary in Civil Engineering, 2000; MSc (DIC) in Structural Steel Design, Imperial College, London, 2001) and a period working in London as a structural engineer ‘on some very interesting projects’ she returned to music. A weekly orchestral conducting course at Morley College, London, an adult education institute, was followed by further music study and graduation in 2008 with a BMus, First Class Honours, in violin and composition from City University, London and a MMus in Conducting from the Royal Northern College of Music, Manchester (2009), winning the Mortimer-Furber Conducting Prize for her final recital. Sinead says that she is ‘equally at home working with choir, orchestra and in opera’. She is currently principal conductor of the Amaretti Chamber Orchestra and has recently relocated to Berlin to learn the German language and to further her conducting experience. From 2009 – 2013 she was music director of Bury Choral Society, with whom she conducted major choral works for choir and orchestra, and was assistant conductor and chorus master for British Youth Opera’s 2011 production of Le nozze di Figaro. In June 2011 she was invited to participate in the Orkney Conductor’s Course, working with Martyn Brabbins, the Scottish Chamber Orchestra and London Sinfonietta.  Sinead has a strong interest in contemporary music, particularly the work of Irish composers. In March 2012, working with an orchestra of what she describes as ‘Irish and honorary Irish string players, mostly studying/living in Manchester/London’, she devised and conducted a sell-out concert for the Manchester Irish Festival featuring the UK premiere of John Kinsella’s Symphony No. 9, Strings A-stray by Elaine Agnew and music by Micheál O Súilleabháin. She called it ‘Beyond the Shamrock’, describing it as a ‘reaction against the Plastic Shamrock perception of Ireland.’ She has participated in masterclasses with Johannes Schlaefli, Jorma Panula and Sylvain Cambreling and has worked with the Chamber Orchestra of Luxembourg, Orquestra do Algarve, North Czech Philharmonic, Bochumer Symphoniker, Essener Philharmoniker and Ensemble and Orquestra de Cadaqués. As she prepares for her RTÉ National Symphony Orchestra debut, Sinead has commented: ‘It is fantastic to get to work with the RTÉ NSO, a world-class orchestra, and Irish also! The ‘Paris’ Symphony was one of the first pieces I conducted at Morley College. If someone had said that ten years later I would be conducting it with the RTÉ NSO, I just would not have believed them!’ Welcoming Sinead’s impending debut, Assumpta Lawless, General Manager of the RTÉ National Symphony Orchestra said: ‘The RTÉ National Symphony Orchestra is committed to supporting Irish artists. It is particularly exciting to offer Sinead her RTÉ National Symphony Orchestra debut in our 2013–2014 Main Season, to do so at a key stage in the development of her conducting career and to invite her to conduct Mozart’s adrenalin-packed ‘Paris’ Symphony as part of an all-Mozart evening which features the acclaimed Latvian violinist Baiba Skride directing three Mozart concerti.’    

Wednesday, 9 October 2013

The Value of Arts in the Lives of Children is the title of a module specially commissioned by Baborówhich forms one part of a unique partnership Baboró International Arts Festival for Children has with NUI Galway. It is being delivered for the first time this autumn, to third year students studying for a Degree in Youth And Family Studies. The module was designed and is presented by playwright and Baboró Board Member Rebecca Bartlett. Research shows that 75% of a child’s brain develops during the first five years of their life, and half of all intellectual and developmental potential of a child is established by age four. Keeping childhood front and centre, this module offers a different means of exploring the extrinsic and intrinsic importance of Arts in a child’s life. The module is intended to encourage students to examine the role that the arts play in providing children with safe and creative environments in which they can learn to make sense of the world around them. As well as seminars and guest lectures by among others, Baboró Founder and Childrens’ Author, Patirica Forde and Baboró’s own Artisitc Director, Lali Morris. The students will attend shows at Baboró 2013 and take part in post event reflections and de-construction . In her introduction to the module Rebecca Bartlett commented, “It is hoped that by taking the students on this Baboró journey they will have a deeper understanding of the value of arts as the natural medium for child learning. They will reflect on childrens’ real experiences and the ways in which  arts activities enhance childrens’ cognitive, sensual and physical development. Students will be introduced to the ethos of  the Fesitval, exposed to other ground breaking projects that Baboró has undertaken, such as the BEAST! project, and explore the crucial ‘learning triangle’of the Child, Parent and Teacher. Ultimately Baboró would hope that these students would  consider the arts as playing an intrinsic role  in any career they may choose that has young people as its centre.” Dr. Cormac Forkan, coordinator of the Degree in Youth and Family Studies at NUI, Galway added, “This is an extremely exciting time for us all, especially the students. They are being afforded the opportunity to critically reflect upon and internalise the skills, feelings and ideas central to Baboró’s ethos, which will no doubt inform their practice as frontline practitioners in the future.” Baboró International Arts Festival for Children will open next Monday 14th October and run until Sunday 20th October. For tickets phone the Town Hall Theatre on 091 569777 or book online at www.tht.ie and for programme details see www.baboro.ie Ends.

Thursday, 10 October 2013

NUI Galway is offering open nights at the Imbusch Observatory in Dangan, on 16 October, 13 November and 11 December at 7pm. An informative hour-long lecture and 3D tour of the universe will be followed by a hands-on viewing of the sky by night, weather permitting. The Imbusch Astronomical Observatory was opened in 2004 and is used by students studying Physics and Astronomy at NUI Galway. The observatory is equipped with a modern computer controlled 16" telescope and camera, and a radio telescope with a hydrogen line spectrometer, which is able to map out and measure the velocity of the sun and the Milky Way. There is also a 10" portable telescope - computer controlled – for visual observations of planets, star clusters, nebulae and other bright objects. Admission is limited to two per person and is strictly by ticket only, on a first come first served basis. All bookings are by email and those interested should send requests to tara.shanahan@nuigalway.ie. -Ends-

Monday, 14 October 2013

Dr Dugon who received his PhD in NUI Galway to use his ‘creepy crawlies’ to bring ecology and biology to life NUI Galway is to collaborate with Dr Michel Dugon, the presenter of RTÉ’s new children’s television programme on creepy crawlies; ‘Bug Hunters’, in bringing stick insects, tarantulas, giant millipedes, stag beetles, scorpions and other stars of the RTÉ shows to primary and secondary schools. The RTÉ Bug Hunters series will be broadcast this October as part of the Awesome Autumn series of children’s programming. It will begin today (October 14th) on RTÉ 2 and will also be broadcast on RTÉ Jr on October 21st. Further information at rte.ie/bughunters Bug Hunters’ Michel Dugon will take his Eco EXPLORERS on school visits joining forces with Cell EXPLORERS part of NUI Galway’s School of Natural Sciences outreach programme. The Cell EXPLORERS programme, led by Dr Muriel Grenon, promotes biological and biomedical sciences in schools and to the general public. Professor Vincent O’Flaherty, Head of the NUI Galway School of Natural Sciences says that “the outreach programme is a practical and effective way of bringing science to life in the classroom for primary and secondary school children. Allowing children to engage with the natural world begins a lifelong relationship with learning and scientific exploration that has led many of our students to study at NUI Galway’s School of Natural Sciences.” To mark the beginning of the RTÉ Bug Hunters series, Dr Dugon and NUI Galway are offering 5 schools a free half-day Eco EXPLORERS course hosted at NUI Galway. Schools are invited to register for the courses at www.nuigalway.ie/bughunters. The Eco EXPLORERS course is non-profit but does charge schools a fee to cover expenses. During the Galway Science and Technology Festival, schools can register at http://www.galwayscience.ie/ for Cell EXPLORERS. These school visits are free and feature ‘Fantastic DNA’ and ‘Little Cells’. The programme, run by Dr Muriel Grenon, aims to inspire scientific interest in children, provide teaching resources for teachers and engage the general public in the role of science and its importance in society. About Dr Michel Dugon A former teacher, Michel came to NUI Galway holding a Bachelor’s degree in Linguistics and Education and a Masters degree in Ecology.  He completed a PhD in Zoology under Professor Wallace Arthur, Professor Emeritus of Zoology at NUI Galway. Prior to joining NUI Galway, Michel spent several years studying venomous snakes, spiders, scorpions and centipedes in various parts of the world, including France, Vietnam, Malaysia and the UK. -ends-

Monday, 14 October 2013

NUI Galway’s School of Psychology is currently recruiting people of all ages to take part in a study exploring Wellbeing in Ireland. The study makes use of a new collective intelligence thinking tool that helps people to structure relationships between national wellbeing objectives, and will be used to shape government policy into the future. Internationally, there is increasing interest in, and analysis of, human wellbeing and the economic, social, environmental and psychological factors that contribute to it. Current thinking suggests that to measure social progress and national wellbeing we need something more than economic indicators, which are traditionally used by governments to track progress. Experts across a range of disciplines have increasingly highlighted a number of key values and domains of measurement that are influencing the way governments in different countries are thinking about wellbeing measures and policies. Different countries have focused more or less on citizen consultation in the design of new wellbeing measures and policies.  However, recent international studies highlight the dangers of failing to consult with citizens and the importance of citizen consultations in the design of wellbeing measures and policies. Researchers at the Whitaker Institute for Innovation and Societal Change, NUI Galway have strongly argued for the value of citizen consultations.  The Health and Wellbeing research group at NUI Galway are working to understand how best to optimize collective intelligence of experts, citizens and politicians using simple and powerful systems thinking tools.  They have used their systems thinking methods to consult with participants at the recent national Wellbeing in Ireland Conference.  During the conference participants explored goals that need to be achieved in order to improve wellbeing in Ireland.  There was a strong focus on strategic wellbeing goals focused on Education, Community, Health, Governance, Democracy, Environment, Equality, Lifestyle, Business and Employment, and Sustainability. The Health and Wellbeing research group at NUI, Galway now seek participants for an important study that will expand on these initial conference findings.  They will be holding workshops with Irish people of all ages and backgrounds. Participation in the study offers people a unique opportunity to offer their opinion on what goals we should pursue to enhance the wellbeing of the people of Ireland, thereby helping to shape what is measured at a national level. Dr Mike Hogan of the School of Psychology at NUI Galway said: “One of the most important lessons we can learn from an analysis of the international wellbeing movement and various attempts by different countries to design a national wellbeing index is that you must consult with citizens in the design of your national wellbeing measure. It is the citizens who must decide what our national priorities should be.” Workshops will be held in Dublin, Sligo and Galway in October and November, with a workshop for people of working age on Tuesday, 22 October at 6.45pm in NUI Galway. To participate in a workshop, please contact Claire McMoreland at c.mcmoreland1@nuigalway.ie or 087 9232489, or online through the Wellbeing in Ireland Facebook page. -Ends-

Tuesday, 15 October 2013

App aims to improve the public’s perception of maths, and let them ‘solve’ their way around NUI Galway! Gafa le Mata, a new bilingual mathematical walk app of the NUI Galway campus was launched yesterday (14th October) by the University’s Vice-President for Innovation and Performance, Professor Chris Curtin. This free app is designed to help visitors, students and staff to explore and learn about the many mathematical features associated with the campus. This app invites all people, irrespective of mathematical ability, to participate successfully in mathematical problem solving and to be ‘Gafa le Mata’. Funded by EXPLORE, the development of this bilingual mathematical walk of the campus is the first for NUI Galway and the first to be developed on any third-level campus in Ireland. EXPLORE supports NUI Galway students and staff to collaborate on innovative, new projects to benefit NUI Galway and the wider community.  This project was undertaken with eight BA in Mathematics and Education student teachers.  Dr Máire Ní Ríordáin, staff partner on the project, emphasised that “by participating in this project, the student mathematics teachers had to work collaboratively together to develop material and content for the app, while also designing the app interface. They developed new skills, while also developing awareness of the potential of mathematical learning taking place outside the classroom and the importance of improving the public perception of mathematics.” Technical development of the app was carried out by INSIGHT @ NUI Galway (formerly the Digital Enterprise Research Institute). Professor Stefan Decker, Director of INSIGHT, said: “The project demonstrated the multi-disciplinary nature of modern app development that we are embracing at NUI Galway. It was designed by the School of Education, developed at INSIGHT and the main software developer on the project was a recent graduate of the NUI Galway’s Higher Diploma in Software Design and Development (Industry Stream).”    This app is available and free to download from both the Apple and Android stores. -Ends- Aip Dhátheangach Matamaitice Saor in Aisce do Champas OÉ Gaillimh seolta  Tá súil go bhfeabhsóidh an aip dearcadh an phobail i leith na matamaitice agus go gcuideoidh sé leo a mbealach a éascú timpeall OÉ Gaillimh! Sheol an Leas-Uachtarán do Nuálaíocht agus Feidhmíocht, an tOllamh Chris Curtin, aip nua dhátheangach matamaitice a threoróidh tú timpeall champas OÉ Gaillimh, Gafa le Mata, inné (14 Deireadh Fómhair). Tá an aip saor in aisce seo deartha chun cuidiú le cuairteoirí, le mic léinn agus le comhaltaí foirne tuiscint níos fearr a fháil ar ghnéithe matamaiticiúla den champas. Cuideoidh an aip seo le gach duine, is cuma cén cumas matamaiticiúil atá iontu, fadhbanna matamaiticiúla a réiteach agus a bheith ‘Gafa le Mata’. Tá an togra maoinithe ag EXPLORE. Is í an tsiúlóid dhátheangach mhatamaiticiúil seo den champas an chéad cheann dá leithéid forbartha ag OÉ Gaillimh agus an chéad cheann a forbraíodh ar aon champas tríú leibhéal in Éirinn. Cuidíonn EXPLORE le mic léinn agus le comhaltaí foirne OÉ Gaillimh comhoibriú ar thograí nua, nuálacha ar mhaithe le OÉ Gaillimh agus an pobal i gcoitinne. Thug ochtar múinteoir faoi oiliúint ar an BA le Matamaitic agus Oideachas faoin togra seo.  Dúirt an Dr Máire Ní Ríordáin, páirtnéir foirne ar an togra go raibh ar “na múinteoirí matamaitice faoi oiliúint comhoibriú le chéile chun ábhar a fhorbairt don aip, agus comhéadan na haipe a dhearadh chomh maith. D’fhoghlaim siad scileanna nua, agus fuair siad amach faoi fhoghlaim na matamaitice taobh amuigh den seomra ranga agus an tábhacht a bhaineann le dearcadh an phobail i leith na matamaitice a fheabhsú.” Rinne INSIGHT@OÉ Gaillimh, ÉIRE (Institiúid Taighde na Fiontraíochta Digití (DERI) roimhe seo) an aip a fhorbairt go teicniúil. Dúirt an tOllamh Stefan Decker, Stiúrthóir INSIGHT: “Léiríonn an togra seo an mianach ildisciplíneach atá i bhforbairt na n-aipeanna nua-aimseartha seo a bhfáiltimid roimhe in OÉ Gaillimh. Dhear Scoil an Oideachais í, d’fhorbair INSIGHT í agus is céimí de chuid an Ard-Dioplóma i nDearadh agus i bhForbairt Bogearraí (An Tionscal) in OÉ Gaillimh a d’fhorbair an bogearra don aip.”    Tá an aip ar fáil le híoslódáil saor in aisce ó shiopa Apple agus Android. -Críoch-

Tuesday, 15 October 2013

NUI Galway’s School of Humanities have organised a series of free public lecture series on the humanities, commencing on Wednesday, 23 October. All lectures are open to the public and will be held in the Galway City Library on Augustine Street at 6.30pm. Professor Lionel Pilkington, Personal Professor in English at NUI Galway, will deliver the first of the series of talks entitled 'What's the use of Acting? Thoughts about Theatre and a Market Economy' on Wednesday, 23 October. This talk will examine the connection between theatrical acting and the ways in which we think about how we might act socially and politically. Specifically, Professor Pilkington will look at particular issues of labour, poverty and social justice in the Irish Free State in the mid-1920s and then move on to consider these alongside Ria Mooney’s tour de force performance of the prostitute Rosie Redmond in the first 1926 production of Sean O’Casey’s The Plough and the Stars. On Wednesday, 13 November, Professor Patrick Lonergan, Personal Professor in Drama and Theatre Studies at NUI Galway, will discuss ‘Irish Theatre and Social Media/Social Media as Irish Theatre’. He will explore the relationship between theatre and social media, showing that social media resources can be seen as a performance space - like a theatrical stage - in which people "perform" versions of themselves to the outside world. He will also consider how authors are developing, and changing, their reputation by engaging with audiences on Twitter, and how major theatre companies, such as the Abbey Theatre and the Royal Shakespeare Company, are using social media to interact in new ways with audiences. The third and final lecture will be delivered by Professor Máirín Ní Dhonnchadha, School of Humanities at NUI Galway, on Wednesday, 22 January. Professor Ní Dhonnchadha will pose the question ‘Medieval Irish literature, why read it today? '. Professor Ní Dhonnchadha will argue that we should take a long view of culture and that medieval and even earlier writers may be regarded as our contemporaries. She will call attention to some of the customary ways of reading pre-modern Irish literature, and ask how we can move beyond these to a fuller appreciation of the riches of pre-modern Irish writing and its authors. For further information, contact Karen Walsh in the School of Humanities, NUI Galway at 091 495689 or email karenm.walsh@nuigalway.ie. -Ends-

Tuesday, 15 October 2013

A step on the road towards real-time drug delivery for those living with Parkinson’s Disease A wearable device to help improve the quality of life for Parkinson’s disease patients is being developed in a €4.7 million project involving NUI Galway. The project has completed its first phase which was gathering data on the movements of those living with Parkinson’s Disease. The completed ‘Personal Health System’ will include a portable system, capable of identifying the motor status of patients, guiding them to walk more easily, and delivering real-time data to their medical care teams. Real-time data, it’s hoped will lead to real-time drug delivery which will increase the efficiency of the drug treatment for a longer time. The REMPARK (Personal Health Device for the Remote and Autonomous Management of Parkinson’s Disease) EU FP7 project involves 11 partners across Europe, including NUI Galway and Irish electronics manufacturing company M&M Qualtech, also based in Galway. After Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s disease is the second most common neurodegenerative condition, with estimates that there are approximately 8,000 living with the condition in Ireland. The REMPARK project expects to ultimately improve the management of the disease, reduce the hospitalisation of patients, and improve medical knowledge on Parkinson’s through the quantitative evaluation of associated motor problem states. Professor Gearóid Ó Laighin, Professor of Electronic Engineering at NUI Galway and REMAPRK Principal Investigator for NUI Galway says “one of the main problems associated with Parkinson’s is the motor fluctuations suffered by the patients. These include tremors, changes in walking speed, freezing of gait and falls, and the severity of these depends on the patient and the stage of progression of the disease.” NUI Galway’s technical contribution to the project will be in the development of a novel electrical stimulation system to help manage these motor fluctuations. The University will work closely with M&M Qualtech in developing the device. As one of four clinical partners, NUI Galway/University Hospitals Galway will also provide access to Irish Parkinson’s patients to test and evaluate the system under development, with the support and assistance of patient groups such as the Galway Parkinson’s Association and the European Parkinson’s Disease Association. The REMPARK project will also use smart phone technology to feed information to a central computer server, to enable easy interaction with neurologists supervising patients. Dr Tim Counihan, Consultant Neurologist, University Hospitals Galway and Senior Lecturer, NUI Galway explains that “at the moment, medication is used to mitigate the set of symptoms. Neurologists try to set the medication dose in order to avoid the presence of motor fluctuations as much as possible. The problem that neurologists currently face is the lack of quantitative information on the intensity of the symptoms and their duration. Neurologists would be able to manage the disease more effectively if this information could be provided, which we hope is what the REMPARK project will deliver.” The REMPARK group at NUI Galway is a multidisciplinary effort and involves an important collaboration with the Discipline of Physiology, led by Dr Leo Quinlan. Dr Quinlan says “this is a wonderful example of translational research, capitalising on the synergies between Engineering and Biomedical Sciences to deliver solutions to an unmet clinical need and a real-life daily challenge for Parkinson’s patients.” -ends-

Wednesday, 16 October 2013

Those interested in taking part in the App study are invited to the IBD patient open day in Salthill, Galway October 19th 2-5pm The HRB Clinical Research Facility (CRFG) at NUI Galway is supporting research utilizing smartphones for the care of patients with Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD). Professor Laurence Egan, gastroenterologist at University Hospital Galway and Professor of Clinical Pharmacology/Consultant Clinical Pharmacologist and Head of the Department of Pharmacology & Therapeutics at NUI Galway is the Principle Investigator for this research study. The research aims to assess a new smartphone application or ‘app’ in the care of patients with IBD (Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis) to see if patient care can be improved by using this smartphone application. Patients record their IBD symptoms daily on the ‘app’. This information is then sent securely to the clinical research team at HRB Clinical Research Facility, Galway. The data is reviewed twice weekly by the IBD research nurse Áine Keogh. If patient symptoms deviate from a normal level, this will alert the IBD nurse who will then contact the patient and consult with the medical team to direct the patient’s care appropriately.  Many patients with Crohn’s and colitis struggle to take the medication. Along with recording symptoms patients can record if they have missed their medication dose. It is hoped that this reminder will help improve medication compliance. Previous studies have demonstrated that using static telephones to follow up IBD patients improves patient satisfaction with their care. However, the use of smartphones to help deliver more personalised health care has not been tested in a scientific setting. This study will test the technology and explore if patients using a smartphone software application to record their daily symptoms will help prevent flare ups of their condition through close monitoring by clinicians and therefore reduce hospitalizations and improve their health and well being. It is envisaged that that the use of smartphone technology may also help improve the care of other groups of patients with chronic medical conditions. Patients with asthma, diabetes, chronic pulmonary disease and depression may benefit from the use of mobile phone technology. The ‘app’ was designed by Open Brolly (http://openbrolly.com/) Scotland in collaboration with an NHS Scotland Highland surgeon, Angus Watson. It is funded through the Implementing Translational Telemedicine Solutions by the Northern Periphery Programme (http://www.transnational-telemedicine.eu/projects/ibd/) in collaboration with the Discipline of General Practice NUI Galway (Monica Casey, Patrick Hayes, Liam Glynn) and the HRB CRFG (Professor Laurence Egan and Aine Keogh). Recruitment for the study will take place at Irish Society for Colitis and Crohn’s disease meeting being held on Saturday 19 October 2-5pm at the Salthill Hotel Galway. Further information can be found on http://www.iscc.ie/. For more information on the study please contact the HRB Clinical Research Facility Galway on 091 494281/086 7845554 (www.crfg.ie). -Ends-

Thursday, 17 October 2013

NUI Galway PhD student Nora Duggan will host single channel video projection exhibition, Quad, in the University’s Art Gallery from 18-26 October from 12-4pm daily. The temporal relations between stillness and movement constantly drive Nora's art practice. Taking the original Quadrangle building of NUI Galway as her subject, she compiled a series of digital photographs and videos over the past year, recording the movement of light in and around the building and its surrounds. These images are then reconfigured, manipulated, cut and collaged together in order to investigate the ambiguous nature of time. As she reaches the mid-point of her practice-based PhD at the Huston School of Film & Digital Media, NUI Galway, Nora looked to Quad for evidence of how her research has progressed to date, but also to inform her future direction. Nora explains: “The work questions how our experience of time can be informed/influenced/reflected through combined stillness and movement in digital imagery. Here, linear and chronological time are abandoned, and replaced by the possibilities suggested when time is understood as a multitude of simultaneous temporal relations that expand and contract, existing not merely as past, present and future but as future pasts, present futures, and so on.” The opening reception for the exhibition will take place at Friday, 18 October at 1pm. This exhibition coincides with the Practice-based Research Symposium titled 'The Intelligence of Art: Art Practice as Research' at the Huston School of Film and Digital Media, NUI Galway, running from 24-26 October. -Ends-