School of Education Students Create Digital Teaching Methods of the Future

School of Education Students Create Digital Teaching Methods of the Future  -image

Friday, 11 March 2011

A new initiative which gives teachers an opportunity to use digital resources in the classroom was officially launched last evening in NUI Galway. Students of the Dioplóma Iarchéime san Oideachas (DIO) at the School of Education, NUI Galway have created interactive multimedia lessons as Gaeilge using Matchware Mediator. This one of a kind technology is sponsored by COGG (Comhairle um Oideachas Gaeltachta agus Gaelscolaíochta), and will be available for both students and teachers nationwide to use. They afford teachers the opportunity to use digital resources in the classroom in an exciting, creative way. They target both the teaching of Irish and the teaching of other subjects across the curriculum through the medium of Irish. This dovetails with COGG's vision of serving the educational needs of Gaeltacht and Irish medium schools. Muireann Ní Mhóráin, CEO of COGG officially launched the initiative last night. Head of School of Education, Professor Chris Curtin, said, "This development will deliver meaningful and engaging experiences to help students learn in exciting ways." -Ends-

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Former NUI Galway Students, including Taoiseach, take senior roles in Cabinet

Former NUI Galway Students, including Taoiseach, take senior roles in Cabinet-image

Thursday, 10 March 2011

Welcoming the formation of the 31st Dáil, NUI Galway President, Dr James J. Browne extended congratulations former NUI Galway students, who will play key roles in Government. An Taoiseach Enda Kenny; Tánaiste Eamon Gilmore; Minister for Communications, Energy and Natural Resources, Pat Rabbitte; Attorney General Máire Whelan and Minister of State at the Department of Enterprise, Jobs and Innovation and the Department of Education and Skills with responsibility for Research and Innovation, Seán Sherlock are all former students of the University. Eamon Gilmore graduated from NUI Galway with a BA in 1976 while Enda Kenny, T.D. was a student at the University from 1974 to 1975. Pat Rabbitte graduated three times from the University, with a BA in 1970, a Higher Diploma in Education in 1972, and a LLB in 1977. Máire Whelan holds both a BA 1978 and LLB 1980 and Seán Sherlock holds a BA 1998. "On behalf of NUI Galway, I wish Enda Kenny, Eamon Gilmore, Pat Rabbitte, Máire Whelan and Séan Sherlock every success in addressing the challenges of national leadership which lie ahead. I congratulate both leaders on their parties election performance and I assure them of the support of their alma mater as they begin their terms of office." The University looks forward to welcoming the Taoiseach, Tánaiste, Ministers and the Attorney General back to campus in the not too distant future. NUI Galway has a network of alumni numbering more than 80,000 worldwide. -Ends-

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NUI Galway Lecturer Publishes New Book on Botany

NUI Galway Lecturer Publishes New Book on Botany-image

Wednesday, 9 March 2011

Botany students and scientists can now avail of a new book which explores plant cell walls. The book is edited by Dr Zoë Popper, lecturer in Botany and Plant Science, School of Natural Sciences, NUI Galway. The Plant Cell Wall: Methods and Protocols consists of chapters, written by experts in the field, which detail current and state-of-the-art methods applied to investigate the many aspects of the plant cell wall. These include its structure, biochemical composition, and metabolism. Plant cell walls control nearly all plant processes including their growth and development, and ultimately how plants interact with their environment. However, understanding the cell wall is not only fundamental to the plant sciences but is also pertinent to aspects of human and animal nutrition and health, as dietary fibre is derived from cell walls. This area is also a major focus for agricultural research as cell walls are a target of many herbicides and biofuel research as cell wall components are the major deposit of useable renewable energy. Many familiar everyday products are derived from cell wall components, such as paper and cotton, are almost entirely cellulose and jams and jellies are set using pectins. Dr Zoë Popper, Lecturer with the School of Natural Sciences, NUI Galway, said: "The increased interest in Plant Cell Wall research is just one aspect of Botany and Plant Sciences. Technological advancements, as well as specific government and EU policies, have led to a huge increase in the range and number of job opportunities within Botany and Plant Science. The teaching programme at NUI Galway is aimed at giving students opportunity and support to find out what aspects of this discipline most interest them whether it be algal and plant evolution and diversity, the industrial uses and applications of algae and plants, conservation and environmental protection, or the application of biotechnologies to these organisms". Dr Popper also pointed out that the NUI Galway Discipline of Botany has a flourishing seminar series and a student-run Botany Society (BotSoc) which will visit Poland this summer, and has strong collaborations with other disciplines within the School of Natural Sciences, College of Science, and National and International research groups. The Plant Cell Wall: Methods and Protocols is written in Methods in Molecular Biology series format. For over 20 years, biological scientists have come to rely on the research protocols and methodologies in the Methods in Molecular Biology series. The series was the first to introduce the step-by-step protocols approach that has become the standard in all biomedical protocol publishing. For further information on Botany and Plant Science at NUI Galway visit -Ends-

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Musician Mairtin O'Connor Launches his First Book at NUI Galway

Musician Mairtin O'Connor Launches his First Book at NUI Galway-image

Wednesday, 9 March 2011

Traditional Irish Musician and honorary graduate of NUI Galway, Máirtín Ó Connor, will launch his first book of tunes on Tuesday, 22 March at 6pm in the College Bar at the University. It will be launched by Director of the Arts Council, Mary Cloake. The beautifully illustrated book entitled, 'Inside the Box, Outside the Box' has been compiled by Máirtín himself and its composition reflects the depth of his connection to Irish Music. It includes transcriptions of some of Máirtín's popular tunes as well as some tunes that have not previously been recorded. The tunes range from those that are easy-to-play and some that are more technically demanding. The book stems from a demand from fans and followers of Máirtin's music who have requested sheet music from the music spanning his distinguished musical career. It is hoped that the book will be an educational resource for musicians and teachers across the country. The book presents many insights into Máirtín's style of playing. Described as being technically brilliant with an infectious flamboyant style, Mairtin's first book is a must for anyone with an interest in the man and his music. Máirtín began playing the accordion at the age of nine and his remarkable career has seen him work with many musicians nationally and internationally. He has worked as a session musician on many recordings with bands such as The Chieftans, The Dubliners, Mark Knopfler and as a member of the bands De Danann and Skylark. Máirtín Ó Connor says: "This book has given me the opportunity to write down tunes that I relish in playing, so that other musicians can enjoy them as much as I do. I am delighted it is being launched and I would like to thank Mary Cloake for making the trip to do so. I owe a debt of gratitude to all the wonderful musicians I have worked with down through the years and I am privileged to work with so many of them. I would also like to thank my wife and family for their support and of course to all involved with the book including, Garry O Bríain, Tony Corr and Joe Boske." The book is funded by Deis, an Arts Council initiative aimed at supporting traditional music initiatives throughout the country. The launch will be followed by a reception. -Ends-

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RTE's Tommie Gorman to Present Journalism Awards at NUI Galway

RTE's Tommie Gorman to Present Journalism Awards at NUI Galway-image

Tuesday, 8 March 2011

RTE news correspondent Tommie Gorman will present two awards to NUI Galway journalism graduates at the University on Monday, 21 March at 12pm in the Siobhán McKenna Theatre, Arts Millennium Building. The Fourth Annual Donna Ferguson Memorial Award and the Connacht Tribune Medal will be presented to the top achieving students in the MA Journalism class of 2010. Lorraine O'Hanlon will receive the Donna Ferguson Award for achieving the highest mark in the broadcasting module of the MA programme. The Connacht Tribune Medal will be presented to Antoinette Giblin who achieved the highest overall mark in the MA in Journalism at NUI Galway. Donna Ferguson was posthumously conferred with an MA in Journalism at NUI Galway, following her untimely death in a car accident in December 2006. The Donna Ferguson Memorial Award was initiated by her family and community in Belleek, Co. Fermanagh, and commemorates Donna's achievements while she was a student on the journalism programme in 2006. Tommie Gorman, Northern Editor for RTE News, was conferred with an Honorary Degree from NUI Galway in 2009 for his dedication and accomplishment in the profession of Journalism. He began his career at the Western Journal based in Ballina, Co Mayo and has since become a household name having been RTE Europe Editor and carried out many high profile television interviews including one with Roy Keane in 2002. He has also reported extensively on issues pertaining to Northern Ireland. Claregalway native Lorraine O Hanlon graduated from the MA in Journalism with first class honours and now works as a journalist with the Galway Independent Newspaper. Antoinette Giblin from Elphin in Co Roscommon also graduated with first class honours from the MA in Journalism and now freelances with Shannonside Radio. -Ends-

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NUI Galway Medical Students Hit the Right Note

NUI Galway Medical Students Hit the Right Note-image

Tuesday, 8 March 2011

Music and medicine will come together at NUI Galway on Tuesday, 22 March when the Medical Orchestra is unveiled at the Arts in Action Traditional Concert. The School of Medicine at NUI Galway is the first to launch this exciting initiative which is giving its multi-talented medical students an opportunity to showcase their musical skills. The 25-piece orchestra will open the concert, which is being headlined by renowned traditional musician Mairtin O'Connor and his five-piece band. Preparations are well underway for the orchestra's first concert under the guidance of Mary McPartlan, Professional Singer and Creative Director of the Medicine and the Arts Module at NUI Galway and Musical Director Carl Hession, a music teacher at Colaiste Iognaid in Galway City. Many of the students who volunteer their time are accomplished musicians who are thrilled to work together under the guidance of Mary McPartlan and Carl Hession, who has composed and arranged the music for their performance. The students have been rehearsing on a regular basis and have been joined by a recent medical graduate, Dr Lisa McAnena, who will be the soloist when the orchestra first performs in public. Third-year Medical student, 22-year-old Julianne Harte is looking forward to the concert. The Loughrea student began learning the viola when she was seven. She has also played with the National Youth Orchestra and the Galway Youth Orchestra. "I am really looking forward to it. It is an interesting project to be part of," she said. One of the highlights of their performance will be an arrangement for the uileann pipes, which will be played by second year Medical student, 20-year-old Elvin Moynagh. Elvin, from South Dublin, has grown up listening and playing traditional music. "My mum plays the button accordion and my father plays the banjo. Traditional music has always been a part of life at home." The Medical School hopes to receive support to invest in a piano and music stands, which would greatly facilitate the orchestra's rehearsals. Dr. Gerard Flaherty, Senior Lecturer in Clinical Medicine and Medical Education at NUI Galway, and Chairperson of the Medical School's new Arts committee, said: "Patients benefit greatly from music as they try to cope with and recover from illness. I firmly believe that music can be the medicine of the mind. Our new orchestra will showcase the wonderful, but sometimes hidden talents of our medical students, and bring some joy to the wider community through their public performances. We are indebted to both Mary McPartlan and to Carl Hession for bringing this idea to life. Both School Administrator, Therese Dixon, and College Director of Strategic Development, Declan Ashe, have provided tremendous support to the project from the outset." Professor Fidelma Dunne, Head of the School of Medicine at NUI Galway, has been strongly supportive of the integration of the arts into the undergraduate medical curriculum. Her daughter, Jennifer Scott, will play violin in the new orchestra. The concert promises to be an exciting evening for lovers of music. Following the first performance of the Medical Orchestra, Mairtin O'Connor and his band (Jimmy Higgins on percussion, Steve Hanks on saxophone, Seamie O'Dowd on guitar, Cathal Hayden on fiddle and banjo and Gary O'Briain on mando cello and piano) will take to the stage. The concert takes place on Tuesday March 22 at 8pm (Doors open at 7.30pm) in the Bailey Allen Hall at NUI Galway. Tickets for this concert are available from the Societies Box at Aras na Mac Leinn, NUI Galway or by calling 091 492852/ 091 492088. Tickets are €10, €5 for students. -Ends-

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Astronomy Public Lectures Continue at NUI Galway

Astronomy Public Lectures Continue at NUI Galway-image

Tuesday, 8 March 2011

The series of public lectures by the NUI Galway Centre of Astronomy will continue with a free lecture, entitled 'Cosmology', taking place on Wednesday, 16 March, in the Larmor Lecture Theatre at NUI Galway at 7.30pm. The lecture will be given by Dr Iain MacLaren, Director of the Centre for Excellence in Learning and Teaching at NUI Galway. During his lecture, Dr MacLaren will give an overview of what we know about the origin and structure of the universe, describing a number of key observations and discoveries that led to the standard Big Bang model and highlighting some of the areas which dominate modern cosmological research. The talk will be suitable all and particularly for students thinking of studying Physics at University. Speaking about the upcoming lecture, Dr Andrew Shearer, Director of the Centre of Astronomy at NUI Galway, said: "One of the most fundamental questions we can ask is where does the universe come from? How did it start? Dr MacLaren's lecture will illustrate our current understanding of coslmology." For more information contact Dr Andy Shearer in the Centre of Astronomy at or 091 493114. -Ends-

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NUI Galway Neuroscience Researchers host Brain Awareness Week Event

NUI Galway Neuroscience Researchers host Brain Awareness Week Event-image

Monday, 7 March 2011

Neuroscience researchers at NUI Galway will host a public event during Brain Awareness Week on Thursday, 10 March from 10am to 4pm. The event will give participants the opportunity to learn about the workings of the human brain and about specific neuroscience research that is underway in NUI Galway. Throughout the day, participants will be able to test their hand-eye coordination and challenge their brain with mirror writing which highlights the processes of cognitive functioning. There will be a variety of exhibits, questionnaires and images on display in the museum, depicting the benefits of research for aspects of neuroscience such as brain injury, brain disease and the effects of aging on the brain. Brain Awareness Week was founded and is coordinated by the Dana Alliance for Brain Initiatives in the US and European Dana Alliance for the Brain. Since 1996, more than 2,600 groups have staged events aimed at making the public more aware of the benefits and promises of brain research. Dr Una FitzGerald, Event Coordinator and member of the Neuroscience Research Cluster of the National Centre for Biomedical Science and Engineering at NUI Galway says: "People of all ages are naturally interested in how the brain functions and what can go wrong during brain injury, disease, or through aging. This event will have a broad appeal and it will be interesting fun and interactive. With a wide variety of exhibits, there will be an opportunity for everyone to learn something new about themselves and about the brain in general, and we are very proud to play our part in an important international campaign." The Galway Neuroscience Group is made up of researchers from the NCBES, Pharmacology, Anatomy, Psychology, Psychiatry, Neurology, and Physiology. Diseases and disorders being investigated include multiple sclerosis, Parkinson's disease, pain, depression, spinal cord injury and bi-polar disorder. Researchers have contributed materials for this event and are delighted to have the chance to share their enthusiasm for brain research and all topics related to the brain, with the public. -Ends-

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Irish Student Drama Festival Comes to Galway

Irish Student Drama Festival Comes to Galway-image

Monday, 7 March 2011

The next generation of theatrical talent has arrived in Galway for the Irish Student Drama Association Festival, which runs until 12 March. This is the largest event ever in the festival's 63 year history, with NUI Galway Dramsoc hosting 45 events over nine days. The festival productions are a combination of the work of emerging student writers as well as works by the likes of Brian Friel, William Shakespeare, Tom Murphy, Conor McPherson, Martin McDonagh and Harold Pinter. The Irish Student Drama Association (ISDA) is the umbrella organisation of Ireland's third-level drama societies. Featuring 25 plays from 13 colleges around the country, the event has daily performances in the Druid Theatre, Nun's Island Theatre, and the Bank of Ireland Theatre on campus. Since 1947, the ISDA festival has hosted the finest works of student drama and launched the careers of leading figures such as Garry Hynes, Conor McPherson, Neil Jordan and Jim Sheridan. Outstanding performers have included Pauline McLynn, Marie Mullen, Fiona Shaw and Brendan Gleeson. Festival organiser Neasa O'Callaghan, who is studying BA Connect with Creative Writing at NUI Galway, says the event has a fantastic pedigree: "For those who were involved in drama societies or groups at college, mention of ISDA will revive fond memories. Stimulating, diverse, great training grounds and terrific fun, college and university drama societies have long been the seedbed for people who go on to make their careers in performance arts". As a result of the recently announced partnership between NUI Galway and Druid Theatre Company, the Druid Lane Theatre will serve as a main venue for the festival, with plays being performed at 8pm each evening. Neasa O'Callaghan adds: "Druid Lane has never been an ISDA Festival venue before, and its inclusion in the Festival reflects the company's commitment to promoting drama in the University. Moreover, Thomas Conway, Literary Officer for Druid also served as an Internal Adjudicator for the Drama Society this year - as a means of selecting the three plays which will represent NUI Galway at the Festival this year. He has been very supportive of the society as a whole and is always willing to give advice and feedback to students, which is invaluable." As well as the 25 main shows, there is also an ISDA Fringe Festival, running concurrently with the main festival, featuring daily comedic and musical performances. Moreover, newly written plays from NUI Galway, UCD, UCC, Trinity College Dublin and NUI Maynooth will be performed daily at 1pm in Kelly's Bar, as part of the Fringe Festival. Workshops in Juggling, Stage-combat, stand-up comedy, and acting will be held at 6pm in various venues in the city. The ISDA Festival is supported by the Ardilaun Hotel, Galway Advertiser, Galway City Council, NUI Galway, Kelly's Bar, NUI Galway College Bar, Tigh Neachtain's and Barnacles. The 2011 ISDA Festival, began on the 4 March and runs until 12 March. For full information, please visit

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Gala 2011 Celebrates Alumni

Gala 2011 Celebrates Alumni -image

Monday, 7 March 2011

A celebration of the achievements of NUI Galway's alumni took place in the Bailey Allen Hall on campus Saturday night. Over 450 people gathered for the 11th Annual Gala Banquet, a glamorous occasion hosted by RTE's Siún Nic Gearailt. Among the guests were alumni, staff, students and friends of the University. The feature of the night was the presentation of the Annual Alumni Awards to: • Gabriel D'Arcy, CEO Bord na Móna, who received the Bank of Ireland Award for Business, Public Policy and Law • Michael Conroy, General Manager, Cisco Product Group, Ireland who received the Bank of Ireland Award for Engineering and Informatics • Dr Gerald Farrell, Managing Director of Eli Lilly (ROI) and former President of Irish Pharmaceutical Healthcare Association (IPHA) who received the Seavite Alumni Award for Science • John Walshe, Education Editor, Irish Independent who received the AIB Award for Arts, Social Sciences and Celtic Studies • Dr Brian Griffin, Cleveland Clinic, USA, Director, Cardiovascular Disease Training Programme and The John and Rosemary Brown Endowed Chair in Cardiovascular Medicine; US Associate Editor, Heart who received the Medtronic Award for Medicine, Nursing and Health Sciences and • Colm Murray, RTÉ Sports Presenter who received the Aer Arann Alumni Award for Sports Achievement and Leadership Addressing the assembled guests, NUI Galway President, Dr James J. Browne, said: "The people we honour tonight have made a difference. They have distinguished themselves as individuals and in doing so they add lustre to the reputation of NUI Galway". A special message from former NUI Galway student, Enda Kenny T.D., was also read out to the guests, citing how "education is at the very heart of Irish society" and how the evening "highlights the importance and indeed the calibre of Irish graduates". Reflecting the cultural focus of the Bailey Allen Hall venue, entertainment was provided by internationally recognised mezzo soprano, Imelda Drumm, and by Youth Ballet West, a registered charity offering young dancers in the West of Ireland the opportunity to perform in professionally choreographed ballets. The Annual Alumni Awards celebrate the life-long value of an NUI Galway education and recognise individual achievements among the University's more than 80,000 graduates worldwide. -Ends-

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