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NUI Galway EXPLORE Celebrates 39 Innovation Projects That Have Brought Ideas to Life for Over 10,000 People in 18 Months
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-
Gon uige seo, Saothar Mheitheal Scríbhneoirí á sheoladh in Áras na Gaeilge, OÉ Gaillimh
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-
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NUI Galway HPV and Head and Neck Cancer Symposium Commended at the Irish Healthcare Awards.
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-
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Professor Michael O’Flaherty describes comments by Northern Ireland Attorney General John Larkin as ‘deeply unhelpful’
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-
NUI Galway Launch Free Advice Booklet for First Year Students
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-
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NUI Galway Becomes First Third-Level Institution to Win prestigious Appy Award
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-
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NUI Galway Researchers Win Best Paper Award at Top UN Electronic Government Conference
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-
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Winter Conferrings at NUI Galway
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-
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NUI Galway Launches an Hour-by-Hour Air Pollution Forecast Service
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-
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‘Education is the social vaccine that can combat AIDS’ Fr Michael Kelly, speaks about the AIDS crisis internationally
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-