Monday, 27 June 2022

Six projects selected to celebrate NUI Galway’s institutional history

NUI Galway has selected six projects by current and retired staff to showcase the breadth of the history of the institution.  NUI Galway was established in 1845 as Queen’s College Galway, and following construction of the iconic Quadrangle building, the University opened its doors four years later to the first cohort of just 68 students.   The six projects selected aim to draw on the history and heritage of the institution and to deepen its connection to the community and its focus on working for public good. Following the announcement of the six projects NUI Galway President Professor Ciarán Ó hÓgartaigh said: “I am particularly pleased that these research projects are rooted in our university community in all of its diversity. They include research on the history of LGBTQ in our university, as well as that of the Irish Traveller community here. They draw on the collective memory of our retired staff, who hold so much institutional knowledge and social history of this place.  “The projects include the beginning of Irish language scholarship in the university through the figure of Tomás Ó Máille, as well as the development of our Library and archives – both of which set this university apart. And they engage students in using the most up-to-date technologies to record our current shape and size for future scholars.” The initiative to select six projects follows on from the celebration of the university’s 175th anniversary in 2020.  They are:  Culture and Citizenship: Tomás Ó Máille by Professor Lillis Ó Laoire and Dr Deirdre Ní Chonghaile  This exhibition celebrates the life and work of Professor Tomás Ó Máille (1880-1938), Galway's first Professor of Irish from 1909 to 1938. A folklore collector, linguist, newspaper editor, one-time Irish Volunteer and founding member of An Taibhdhearc, he is best known for his books An Béal Beo and An tIomaire Rua.  Ó Máille recorded hundreds of wax cylinders - recently digitized - of songs and stories from Irish speakers from every county west of the Shannon.  A key figure in the emergence of the modern Irish state, culture and citizenship are the cornerstones of Ó Máille's legacy.  The exhibition will run in the Hardiman Research Building from September 16 until December before touring. Exploring LGBTQ+ Lives at NUI Galway by Dr Declan Coogan and NUI Galway LGBT+ Staff Network Committee The key question this project will seek to answer is who/what were the people, places and events within or led by our university that influenced progress on human rights for LGBTQ+ people?  The project will also ask about the issues that remain to be resolved and co-develop strategies the university and partners might adopt to promote future progress.  MincéirsArchive – An Online Digital Archive of the Irish Travelling Community by Owen Ward, the Traveller History and Culture Sub-Working Group, Mincéirs Misl'd in Education Committee, Mincéirs Whiden Society, and Kieran Hoare, NUI Galway Library This is a digital archive of a growing collection of all types, complemented by historical documents and scholarly texts.  It will illustrate NUI Galway’s positive relationship with the Irish Traveller community, enhancing our university’s reputation as a champion for equality, inclusion and diversity.  The collection will include items from numerous archives and the team are making a public call for donations of historical materials linked to Traveller culture. History of the Library in 100 Objects by Marie Boran, Caitriona Cannon, Geraldine Curtin, Patricia Ffrench and Emma Goode, with assistance from Eimhin Joyce and NUI Galway Library The Library opened in 1849, with the distinguished scholar and historian, James Hardiman, as the first librarian.  One hundred objects will be chosen from collections - including books, manuscripts, archival collections, letters, photographs, newspaper issues, library furniture, stationery or artefacts - to tell its story. A Virtual and Tactile Record of the NUI Galway Campus Today by Eileen Kennedy and MakerSpace student volunteers Drone photography and photogrammetry will be used to generate a snapshot of the University campus as it stands, 177 years since its founding, and create a 3d virtual campus map. A Visual History Archive for NUI Galway: The Retired Staff Collection by Professor Jane Conroy, Professor Gerard Jennings, and Dr Séamus Mac Mathúna on behalf of the Retired Staff Association/Agallamh na Seanórach Drawing on private collections of photographs and film, this project will create a visual record of the University’s past. It will be the first university in Ireland to document and preserve its history and the history of its people and community in this way.  Ends

News Archive

Thursday, 16 June 2022

Minister for State for Public Health, Wellbeing and the National Drugs Strategy, Frank Feighan T.D. has today opened the international Health Promotion Conference at NUI Galway. National and International experts are presenting on topics under the theme of this year’s event - “Health Inequality: Action for Change”. The annual Health Promotion Conference at NUI Galway is in its 26th year and is co-hosted by the Health Service Executive, the Department of Health, the Association for Health Promotion Ireland and the Institute of Public Health.  Minister Feighan addressed the conference, saying: “The annual conference provides a great opportunity for more cutting-edge health promotion research, as well as expanding links between knowledge and implementation and broadening connections between researchers, policy makers and practitioners. Ultimately in society, everyone should have a fair and just opportunity to be as healthy as possible.” The aim of the conference is to address health inequalities associated with socio-economic factors in Ireland and internationally, and the impact these factors have on life expectancy rates, mortality, chronic conditions depending on education, employment, income level, living environment and ethnicity.  The conference will hear how these factors have been exposed and amplified by the pandemic. This will be specifically addressed by Sir Michael Marmot, keynote speaker from the Institute of Health Equity in University College London.  Professor Margaret Hodgins, Conference Co-Chair, Health Promotion Research Centre and Discipline of Health Promotion, NUI Galway, said: “This conference is bringing together the best of NUI Galway and national and international experts on health inequalities to look to highlight cutting-edge research and innovation initiatives as well as to expand links between research and action, and to broaden connections among a diverse community of researchers, policymakers and practitioners. It will provide the opportunity to discuss meaningful action for change and to learn from the experiences of international colleagues.”  The conference will focus on reframing lifestyle approaches to health improvement to ensure they are underpinned by an approach that recognises and addresses the wider determinants of health. This is consistent with the Sláintecare Healthy Communities Programme, launched by the HSE in 2021 to address health inequity, a place-based approach that aims to focus on local areas in which health and wellbeing risk factors are particularly concentrated.  International and national keynote addresses include  Sir Michael Marmot, Professor of Epidemiology at University College London since 1985, Director of the UCL Institute of Health Equity and advisor to the WHO Director-General on social determinants of health.  Professor Jane South, Professor of Healthy Communities at Leeds Beckett University, UK and the Office for Health Improvement & Disparities, will explore the importance of community-centred approaches as a way of reducing health inequity. Professor Jennie Popay, Distinguished Professor of Sociology and Public Health at Lancaster University. Dr Helen McAvoy. Director of Policy, Institute of Public Health, Ireland. Greg Straton. Assistant Principal Officer, Health and Wellbeing Unit, Department of Health, Ireland. For further information on the conference and full programme details, visit:  Ends

Wednesday, 15 June 2022

ICHEC (Irish Centre for High-End Computing) welcomes EU support for supercomputing  The Irish Centre for High-End Computing (ICHEC) at NUI Galway has been selected by the EU as the home for a new supercomputer. Ireland is one of five successful countries, along with Germany, Hungary, Greece and Poland, chosen to operate the next generation of European High Performance Computing. The announcement of EU funding is the first step in a process which will be completed subject to national co-funding arrangements.  President of NUI Galway Professor Ciarán Ó hÓgartaigh said: “The key benefit of a super-computing technology of this excellence is its capacity to model complexity and to radically expand our research opportunities. “Our core values at NUI Galway include openness and respect and computing infrastructure of this capacity will be a significant asset in that regard as it futureproofs our approach to research, respecting the evidence and making a major contribution to openly supporting the scientific research community in Ireland. It also fits with so many aspects of our research strategy, using data to support research and policy-making in the environment, marine, healthcare, and in supporting a good society.” Commenting on the successful bid Professor. J-C Desplat, ICHEC, said: “A new supercomputer, expected to be around 25 times more powerful than the current national supercomputer Kay, would provide a national competence development platform for both numerical modelling and for the next generation of data-centric techniques and platforms and, as such, accelerate the adoption of powerful new hybrid techniques embedding machine learning within mainstream computational science models and Grand Challenges.”  Professor Jim Livesey, Vice President Research and Innovation, NUI Galway, said: “The key feature of machine of this nature is its capacity to model complexity. As weather patterns change, as the future of distributed energy networks change, as we attempt to predict food supply needs of the future, we need a totally new kind of computing capacity to support our endeavours in these areas for the public good.” EuroHPC supercomputers will be available to serve a wide range of European users, including  the scientific community, industry and the public sector, powering new applications in a wide range of areas, from designing medicines and new materials to fighting climate change, they will advance science, boost the innovation potential of enterprises while ultimately improving the citizens’ quality of life. Ends

Tuesday, 14 June 2022

Honorary doctorate awarded to world renowned creator of music scores for hit films and video games as university celebrates summer conferring  World renowned composer and conductor Eímear Noone was today awarded an honorary doctorate by NUI Galway.  The award-winning artist and creator of scores for 26 film and video game titles was conferred a Doctor of Music honoris causa at the university’s summer conferring. Almost 300 NUI Galway students were conferred at the ceremony. The largest cohort included more than 180 doctors who received their Honours Bachelor of Medicine, Bachelor of Surgery, and Bachelor of Obstetrics (MB, BCh, BAO) degree. Eímear Noone said: “I am delighted to be getting this honorary Doctorate of Music and it’s particularly poignant that it’s the same year that the first students of the university’s Bachelor of Music are graduating from NUI Galway.  “To be honoured in my own home county, in Galway, is so meaningful and overwhelming. If I was to offer any advice to the graduates of today it’s this -  take the ‘don’t be bold’ that we are told as kids, and turn it on its head, and go out there and be bold.”  A world-renowned conductor and award-winning composer, Eímear Noone is based out of Los Angeles and Dublin. Originally from Kilconnell, Co Galway, she made history in 2020 when she became the first woman to conduct the orchestra at the Academy Awards.  Eímear Noone has composed extensively for film and video games. Her portfolio of scores for 26 film and video-game titles has reached more than 100 million people worldwide and has won multiple industry accolades including the Hollywood Music in Media Award for Best Video Game Score. The honorary conferring took place at a special graduation celebration for more than 150 former students who completed studies in 2021 and whose winter conferring was postponed, along with graduates who completed studies in 2020 and were conferred in absentia due to public health restrictions during the pandemic.  President of NUI Galway, Professor Ciarán Ó hÓgartaigh, said: “On behalf of NUI Galway, I congratulate each of the graduates on their hard work and achievement in challenging times. We in NUI Galway are determined that this University will continue play its full part in developing graduates who make a profound difference in the world and for the world, and shape the future needs of our society. “I would also like to extend my congratulations to Eímear Noone. We are delighted to be able to recognise her outstanding contribution to the world of music and gaming.” Twelve Final Medical Medals were presented to seven graduates for their outstanding academic performance in the studies, with Dr Róisín Thornton from Corcullen, Co Galway receiving five medals. Every year the College of Medicine, Nursing and Health Sciences presents the medals to students who receive the highest grade in each subject area.  Ends

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