Tuesday, 20 June 2017

The Geec 3.0 (Galway energy-efficient car), designed and built by NUI Galway engineering students, recently jumped up the international rankings in the premiere global competition for extreme fuel-efficiency in cars, the Shell Eco-marathon Europe, in Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park, London. The students designed, built and tested version 3.0 of the Geec, and competed against top European university engineering schools in London. The global competition is a race in efficiency, not speed, where the winner is the car that completes the course using the least amount of fuel or energy. NUI Galway was taking part for the third time, and remains the only Irish competitor. This year’s track consisted of 10 laps over 15.7 kilometres, including a steep climb which previously caused trouble for many of the ultralight low-powered cars. This time, the Geec displayed total reliability and the team progressed quickly, surpassing last year’s score of 236 kilometres per kilowatt-hour on the second run. After a judicious change of motor and gears, and some late-night re-engineering for weight reduction, the team hoped to make a leap in performance. NUI Galway fourth-year engineering student Dylan Ryan from Tipperary, one of the design team leaders, said: “The last few hours before our final runs were the make-or-break point. We knew what score we could theoretically achieve, so it was a matter of whether we wanted to take a risk and start chopping weight out of the car, or use those last few hours to tune and optimise the car. We chose to optimise.” The Geec team completed 10 trouble-free laps with a record energy score of 354 kilometres per kilowatt-hour. This placed the team in a final 13th place of 41 competitors in the battery-electric prototype category, a jump from 21st place in 2016. In just three years, successive Geec teams have progressed from newcomer status to the upper tiers of the competition, where they now aim to compete amongst the most advanced ultra-efficient prototype cars in the world. The car’s performance is the equivalent to approximately 10,500 miles per gallon of diesel. Dr Jim Browne, President of NUI Galway, commented: “The Geec project is clearly a great learning experience for the students involved, and a great opportunity to showcase the University internationally, and particularly the quality of the work underway in the College of Engineering and Informatics.” Professor Peter McHugh, Dean of the College of Engineering and Informatics at NUI Galway, said: “The Geec is one of the shining lights of success in the College of Engineering and Informatics, representing a wonderful collaboration between students and staff and across the engineering disciplines.” The Geec team consists of 20 students in Mechanical, Electrical and Electronic, Electronic and Computer, and Energy Systems engineering, from first to fourth year, mentored by lecturers Dr Maeve Duffy, Dr Rory Monaghan, Dr Nathan Quinlan and Dr Martin Glavin from the College of Engineering and Informatics at NUI Galway. Engineering student Niamh Keogh from Oughterard in Co Galway is one of the two Geec drivers and also worked on analysis and design of the car. She added: “The Geec is one of the most challenging but rewarding projects I've participated in. Nothing compares to the thrill of getting to race the car after putting so much time and work into designing, building and perfecting it.” The Geec has been generously sponsored in 2016 and 2017 by the Tony Ryan Trust through Galway University Foundation, Shell E&P Ireland, Blackstone Launchpad, ÉireComposites, CADFEM UK & Ireland, ANSYS, Molex, GE, Tool Trays, David Nestor Freight Services, Enform Plastics, MathWorks and IPG Automotive.  To find out more about the Geec, visit www.theGeec.ie, or follow theGeec.ie on Facebook or @theGeec on Twitter.  -Ends-

Monday, 19 June 2017

Fr Peter McVerry, a social justice activist and long-term advocate of young people and families who are homeless, has launched two new degree programmes – one full-time and one part-time under the academic stewardship of the School of Political Science and Sociology and supported by the UNESCO Child and Family Research Centre at NUI Galway. Formerly known as the BA in Youth and Family Studies, the BA in Child, Youth and Family: Policy and Practice is a significantly enhanced programme delivered full-time over four years and offering a supervised and challenging eight-month work placement in year three. Dr Cormac Forkan, Programme Director, at the UNESCO Child and Family Research Centre at NUI Galway, said: “This course is for students who know that their career lies either in practice with children, youth and families or in implementing and shaping public policy.” The BA in Community, Youth and Family Studies, a sister programme of the first, is designed to enable participants to further develop and enhance their understanding, knowledge and skills relevant to Community, Youth and Family work, in terms of both practice and policy. As a part-time programme, using blended learning methods of delivery, this programme is innovative in its approach promoting active learning in the workplace (paid and unpaid) with assessments based on real life situations in a practice environment. This collaboration between the School of Political Science and Sociology and the Centre for Adult learning and Professional Development will also allow students to move between full-time and part-time programmes where necessary, as well as ensuring a comprehensive range of choices are available for prospective students interested in working in the child, youth, family or community sectors. Speaking at the launch, Fr Peter McVerry, said: “Children, youth and family are the basis of society but we tend to think that they can function without any learning or supports or help and that the family can look after itself. I think it is hugely important that we invest in supporting families, in supporting children that are struggling. It is vital for the full well-being of society, so programmes like this are essential.” Fr McVerry continued: “As both of these two new programmes are run in association with the UNESCO Child and Family Research Centre at NUI Galway, it brings a professionalism. To have the learning that is provided here to people who are going out to work on the ground with children, young people and families is hugely beneficial. If we want to build a society that is safe, and secure and at peace and in solidarity with each other, we really have to invest in working with families and young people in a very professional way.” The programmes were launched at the UNESCO Child and Family Research Centre’s 8th Biennial Family Support Conference entitled ‘Rediscovering empathy; values, relationships and practice in a changing world’ . The focus of this conference was on the concepts of empathy and relationship based working as they relate to policy and practice with children, youth and families. For further information on the BA in Child, Youth and Family: Policy and Practice, visit: http://www.nuigalway.ie/youthandfamilystudies/ and for the BA in Community, Youth and Family Studies, visit: http://www.nuigalway.ie/adult-learning/courses/community-education.  -Ends-

Monday, 19 June 2017

The Centre for Excellence in Learning and Teaching at NUI Galway will host its 15th Annual Symposium on Higher Education on Friday 23 June. The event will explore a wide range of issues around the nature of the ‘scholarly community’ that is meant to be the hallmark of universities and other higher education institutions. The conference, entitled “Learning Communities, Collaboration, and Collegiality”, will try to explore what we mean by ‘learning community’ and ‘collegiality’. These questions are particularly pertinent in the current context of mass higher education, the pressures to focus on research outputs, highly constrained funding, and increasing workloads. Our systems of reward are often based on individual achievement which raises the question of how to build a more collective sense of academic citizenship. Participants will also discuss ways of supporting staff and students to work together to develop creative, collaborative solutions to some of these challenges, and to adapt to the changing nature of society and educational participation. Professor Iain MacLaren, Director of the Centre for Excellence and Teaching at NUI Galway, said: “I am delighted to be hosting such an event. Given the various challenges and pressures faced by contemporary higher education institutions, it is important for us to take time out to look at the impact on institutional culture, individual well-being, and academic achievement. This event provides just such an opportunity and brings together researchers, teachers, students, and support staff to tackle the issues collectively.” The conference will feature keynote speakers: Professor Gail Kinman, Professor of Occupational Health Psychology, University of Bedfordshire – Professor Kinman has researched extensively the working conditions in higher education and the issues of stress, and will highlight those factors that challenge attempts to flourish in academia and how to overcome them. Professor David Harper, Principal of Van Mildert College and Professor of Palaeontology, University of Durham – Professor Harper will describe how the college-based model of education, where undergraduate students spend time in ‘living learning communities’ can help with developing academic, personal, and professional confidence. Professor Catherine Manathunga, Victoria University, Melbourne – Professor Manathunga has researched issues around intercultural communication and education and will discuss how this impacts in the supervision of research students. FFlur Elin, President of the National University of Students, Wales – Ms Elin is an advocate of ‘liberating the curriculum’ and ways in which institutions can live up to the aspirations of being responsive and reflective of an increasingly diverse student population. Representatives from Céim, the highly successful student peer-learning initiative run by NUI Galway Student’s Union and the University. They will share experiences and innovations, and participate in workshops around educational leadership and professional development. The Symposium will conclude with a panel discussion with additional contributions from the research community by Professor Abhay Pandit, Scientific Director of CÚRAM at NUI Galway, and a national student perspective from Jack Leahy from Union of Students in Ireland and the National Forum for the Enhancement of Teaching and Learning. To register, visit: http://tinyurl.com/celt17 The conference will take place at Áras Moyola in NUI Galway on Friday 23 June at 9.30am. -Ends-

Friday, 16 June 2017

How decision making impacts both business and science will be discussed at 36th meeting of the European Group of Process Tracing Studies in Judgement and Decision Making Decision making is part of everyday life. The science behind how and why we make certain decisions will be the focus of a conference at NUI Galway from 22-24 June. Studies on delayed gratification, consumer decision making and how our emotions impact our decisions will be discussed by world-leaders in the field. The 36th meeting of the European Group of Process Tracing Studies in Judgement and Decision Making (EGPROC) is an annual gathering of researchers investigating the fundamental psychological processes involved in decision making. For instance, how do we know what options are available to us and how do we compare these options when making decisions? To understand these psychological processes, researchers use a variety of technical approaches. Some researchers track how we move our hands and eyes during decision making. Other researchers measure brain activity during decision making. Some researchers even ask their participants to talk aloud when making complex decisions. In addition to presenting the latest advances in the field, the meeting aims to facilitate the transfer of best practice in these technical approaches across laboratories to support the development of the next generation of decision making researchers. Dr Denis O’Hora from the School of Psychology at NUI Galway, says: “When we move as we are making decisions, it is possible for decision processes to affect our movements. This satisfies everyday intuitions. For example, negotiators and poker players claim to be attuned to ‘tells,’ early behavioural indicators of eventual decisions. The current conference goes beyond intuitions, however, using detailed experiments to highlight how we make decisions.” Conference organiser, Dr Arkady Zgonnikov from the School of Psychology at NUI Galway, Irish Research Council Government of Ireland postdoctoral fellow, said: “To truly understand human decisions we believe it’s important to go beyond what we choose and look closely at how we arrive at our decisions. That’s what this conference is all about.” Dr Zgonnikov added: “We are especially proud to have as a keynote speaker, Professor Neil Stewart of Warwick University, one of the world’s leading experts on eye movements in decision making. Although the conference is relatively small, we are very excited to host it and we look forward to welcoming the participants to Galway this summer.” The conference is sponsored by the European Association for Decision Making (EADM) and will take place in the Aula Maxima at NUI Galway on 22-24 June at 2pm. For full conference details, visit: http://www.conference.ie/Conferences/index.asp?Conference=508 -Ends-

Monday, 19 June 2017

NUI Galway Students ‘Coachbook’ online platform wins €10,000 prize Paddy MacDonagh and Chris Bogues, both final year Bachelor of Commerce students at NUI Galway, have won the overall Enterprise Ireland Student Entrepreneurs of the Year Award and have been named ‘College Entrepreneurs of the Year 2017’. The winning entrants beat off stiff competition with their project ‘Coachbook’, an online platform for riding coaches to train horse riders remotely through live video streaming. The project started in January 2017 as part of the Innovation Creativity and Enterprise module at NUI Galway (available to all final year students of Commerce, Business Information Systems, Information Technology and Engineering programmes) and has won multiple awards within the University throughout the semester. Dr Johanna Clancy, Innovation, Creativity and Enterprise module lecturer, at NUI Galway, said: “I am very proud of our team and this wonderful achievement. Paddy and Chris are excellent ambassadors for NUI Galway. This module receives great support locally, where mentors from Galway-based businesses, multinational corporations and start-ups, guide our students in developing and refining their business ideas. This collaboration is invaluable and we are extremely grateful for the impact it has on the 400 students who take this module.” Paddy MacDonagh has worked with Blackstone LaunchPad at NUI Galway since 2016. As a team, the Coachbook project utilised all the supports available through Blackstone LaunchPad to develop their business idea and take their project to market. Natalie Walsh from Blackstone LaunchPad at NUI Galway, said: “It has been amazing to work with such a passionate team on such a novel and fantastic idea, and to see the students develop and learn from both inside of the classroom and through our programme on campus. Initiatives such as the Innovation Creativity and Enterprise module and our experiential programme in Blackstone LaunchPad is something every student should experience. The skills learned stay with our students for life.” The Student Entrepreneur Awards are part of a major drive aimed at encouraging students to start their own business as a career option. The substantial prize fund includes €35,000 in cash prizes and €30,000 in consultancy fees which are available for winners to help them turn their idea into a commercial reality. In addition to the top prize, the winning team will also receive mentoring from Enterprise Ireland to develop the commercial viability of their overall concept. Brendan Flood, Head of Micro Enterprises and Small Business at Enterprise Ireland, said: “Now in its 36th year, the Student Entrepreneur Awards attracted submissions from over 560 third level students from colleges across Ireland. This competition gives students valuable hands-on experience in entrepreneurship and establishing a business. The calibre of applications clearly demonstrates that the entrepreneurial spirit is very much alive across Ireland’s universities and colleges. Congratulations to all involved.”  -Ends-

Friday, 16 June 2017

If you are interested in advancing your qualifications to keep up-to-date with new business processes or wish to develop new skills to assist in achieving your personal or professional goals, there is no shortage of flexible course options to be showcased at NUI Galway’s upcoming Adult Learners Information Evening on Wednesday 21 June. Students will meet representatives from over 40 part-time programmes which will be showcased at the event. These include subject areas of Business and Management, Community Education, Adult Training and Education Studies, Early Childhood Studies, Languages, Information Technology, Pre-University Courses, and Science and Technology programmes. Nuala McGuinn, Director at the Centre for Adult Learning and Professional Development at NUI Galway, said: “With courses being offered through classroom-based mode, online or through a blend of both, flexibility and a range of student supports are guaranteed to all students with a variety of learning and lifestyle needs.” Among the new programmes on offer at NUI Galway from September 2017, is the Diploma in Political Science and Sociology. This innovative programme explores issues affecting the modern world and political structures and policies, and is an ideal choice for second level teachers interested in teaching the new Leaving Certificate module ‘Politics and Society’ to Junior Certificate Level. The Diploma in Management is also new for 2017 and looks at the principles of contemporary management, and organisational psychology and behaviour in organisational effectiveness. “Through this programme, students develop essential negotiation and management skills and learn to apply this knowledge to a wide range of organisational settings”, explains NUI Galway programme coordinator, Eilis O’Regan. The popular BA in Humanities and Social Sciences is also on offer with a range of study paths in English, History, Archaeology, Languages, Irish Studies and Economics. While developing a deep understanding of these content areas, as part of the course students will also develop strong research, writing and analytical skills, and key transversal skills which will prepare them well for future promotion and employment. Interest in programmes in the Science and Technology area including specialisms in Medical Device Science, Automation and Control and Lean and Quality Systems has grown over the past number of years as a direct result of industry requiring increased skills in these areas. Study options are available at Diploma, Degree and individual module level. There are 60 free course places on these Diploma programmes under the Springboard initiative for unemployed and employed students.  As all occupations are becoming more knowledge-based, there is an increasing emphasis on Continuing Professional Development (CPD). These courses are ideal for learners who do not have the time to commit to a full programme of study or for those who require a module for the purposes of retraining or up-skilling. “Adult learners at NUI Galway can chose individual modules from a suite of standalone courses in Adult Training and Education Studies, Early Childhood Studies, Community Education, Social Care, Business and many others”, says Nuala McGuinn. Diplomas are also available in a selection of high quality language courses for adult learners. Students practice their chosen language through a variety of activities, such as guided speaking practice, listening comprehension activities, grammar and vocabulary exercises. Languages on offer include Gaeilge, French, Italian (via classroom mode and online), Spanish and German. Other related professional development opportunities are offered in Early Childhood Studies, Information Technology, Play Therapy, Community Education, Business and Adult Training and Education Studies.  The Career Development Centre at NUI Galway will provide free one-to-one career consultations on a first come, first served basis, from 5.30 - 7.00pm at the Orbsen Building in NUI Galway. For a full list of programmes and application details, visit: www.nuigalway.ie/adultlearning or phone 091 494066 to speak with a programme coordinator. Visit the Centre’s Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/nuigalway.adultlearning/. -Ends-

Thursday, 15 June 2017

Professor Dáibhí Ó Cróinín from the Discipline of History and the Moore Institute at NUI Galway, has been awarded the prestigious Parnell Fellowship in Irish Studies at Cambridge University for the year 2017-2018. The appointment is a Professorial Visiting Fellowship offered every year by Cambridge University to a distinguished Irish scholar or artist. The first such Fellow was (Senator) Professor Joseph Lee of UCC (1992-1993). The most recent Fellows include Professor Roy Foster, Hertford College, Oxford (2015-2016), and Professor Frank McGuinness of UCD (2016-2017). The Parnell Fellowship is a major award, with recipients nominated by the scholarly community of Cambridge University. The award is a peer-recognition of the highest distinction in the recipient's field of studies. Speaking about his Fellowship appointment, Professor Dáibhí Ó Cróinín at NUI Galway, said: “This is a very gratifying recognition of a lifetime's work in Irish Studies and honour for myself, for History in Galway, and for the University as a whole.” The prestigious nature of this Parnell Fellowship is a celebration of NUI Galway as a centre of excellence and of Professor Ó Cróinín’s individual contributions to world-class research in the fields of Early Irish History and Medieval Studies, Celtic Studies, and Computistics. The award offers a unique opportunity to carry out research in Cambridge, with its world-renowned manuscript libraries and company of first-class scholars. Professor Daniel Carey, Director of the Moore Institute at NUI Galway, said: “The award of the Parnell Fellowship to Professor Ó Cróinín is a huge honour, recognising a career of leading work in a demanding field that studies the foundations of Irish culture and history. His contribution to academic life in Ireland and beyond has been immense.” The Parnell Fellow is hosted by Magdalene College. For more information on the Fellowship, visit: http://www.magd.cam.ac.uk/fellows/Visiting/ -Ends-

Thursday, 15 June 2017

NUI Galway is bringing together key investors for the launch of the ‘E-Health Research and Innovation Network’ today (14 June) as supported by the Irish Research Council. The focus of the event will be to establish and launch a Digital Health Research Network, which will act as a public interface for digital health stakeholders across academia, industry and healthcare.  The purpose of this launch is to bring key digital health stakeholders together to discuss, plan and begin the implementation of a national digital health research network with the aims of: Increasing strategic interdisciplinary eHealth Research and Innovation capacity in Ireland. Provide a platform for stakeholders to share digital research knowledge and resources Establish a collaborative network of interdisciplinary researchers and industry partners. To act, as a point of contact between research and industry. Act as a database for people to find digital health researchers and industry partners Foster links with international collaborators, national stakeholders to further develop the E-Health Research and Innovation Network. The Centre for Pain Research in the School of Psychology will host a one day Network Launch to discuss the challenges and the possible digital solutions to some of our most pressing health problems. The launch day will be divided into three key segments: Population Health, Research and Innovation and Funding and Sustainability. Each section will include talks from key contributors followed by a panel discussion. Speaking about the event, Dr Brian Slattery from the School of Psychology at NUI Galway, said: “This is a great opportunity for leading stakeholders in Research, Industry, and Healthcare in the growing Irish e-Health community to come together and establish an active network. The day will be attended by e-Health stakeholders across industry, research, and healthcare, and we have a fantastic line-up of contributors for the event.”   Guest speakers at the E-Health Research and Innovation Network Launch include: Dr Stephanie O’Keeffe, National Director of Health and Wellbeing (Health Service Executive) Mr Eugene Farrell, Head of Information Services, office of CIO eHealth Ireland (Health Service Executive) Dr Clyde Hutchinson, Innovation Lead, E-Health Ireland (Health Service Executive) Dr Deirdre Walsh, Insight and School of Health and Human Performance (DCU) Dr Gavin Doherty, Associate Professor, School of Computer Science and Statistics (TCD), Co-Founder SilverCloud Health Dr John Dinsmore, Assistant Professor in Digital Integrated care and health Innovation (TCD) Ms Edel Murphy, Development Officer Primary Care Clinical Trials Network (Health Research Board and NUI Galway) -Ends-     

Wednesday, 14 June 2017

NUI Galway today conferred degrees on over 340 students. Among that number, 36 were conferred with doctoral degrees. The largest cohort of students to graduate was over 218 future doctors who received their Honours Bachelor of Medicine, Bachelor of Surgery, and Bachelor of Obstetrics (MB, BCh, BAO) degree. Among this outstanding group of medical students, Aaron Liston from Monaleen, Co. Limerick received three out of 14 Final Medical Medals for his outstanding academic performance. Orla Hennessy from Kilmaley, Co. Clare received two out of the 14 Final Medical Medals and Sarah Gaffney from Salthill in Galway received two out of the 14 Final Medical Medals for their outstanding academic performances. Every year, NUI Galway awards the Final Medical Medals to the student who receives the highest mark in each subject area. Speaking at the ceremony, President of NUI Galway, Dr Jim Browne, said: “On behalf of NUI Galway, I congratulate each of today’s graduates. It is very encouraging to see the number of research and graduate degrees which we are conferring today. These graduate numbers continue to grow. From a base of about 50 doctorates per year at the turn of the millennium, we now confer up to four times that number annually.” Carmel Malone, Head of the School of Medicine said: “The graduation celebrates new doctors who have achieved outstanding results in a range of academic disciplines. Aaron Liston, a Limerick native, received gold medals in Medicine, Surgery and Radiology. Orla Hennessy from Co. Clare won gold medals in both Pathology and Psychiatry and Sarah Gaffney won gold medals in both Paediatrics and Obstetrics and Gynaecology. Those students winning academic honours within the School of Medicine reflect the international and cultural diversity of the school.” International students were well represented at the ceremony, with the University conferring a large number of graduates from Malaysia, South Korea, Singapore, Canada and the US, among other countries. -Ends-

Wednesday, 14 June 2017

NUI Galway event to showcase existing and emerging mobile, telehealth and connected health technology research and practices focusing on patient care, population health management and clinical outcomes The 3rd Annual mHealth Behavioural Science and Mobile Technology Conference will be hosted by the School of Psychology and the mHealth Research Group at NUI Galway, on Thursday 15 June 2017. The World Health Organisation estimates that 63% of deaths globally are health behaviour related, and encouraging people to adopt healthier lifestyles is highly desirable. The European Commission provides funding and urges Small Medium Enterprise businesses’ (SMEs) and academics to collaborate to develop evidence-based mobile technology for sustainable, citizen-centred care. For students, post-graduates, established and early career researchers, this dynamic and interdisciplinary event will provide an ideal platform to showcase existing and emerging mobile, telehealth and connected health technology research and practices focusing on patient care, population health management and clinical outcomes.   The overall theme of the conference will be on the use of effective methods of knowledge translation and specific efforts to bridge the gap between the scientific and commercial aspects of mobile and connected health. Building on the success of the 2015 and 2016 conferences, the mHealth Behavioural Science and Mobile Technology Conference will bring together an impressive network of healthcare researchers, practitioners, policy makers, industry partners and those representing patient groups to address key issues in behavioural science, mobile health (mHealth) research and healthcare delivery. The mHealth Research Group at NUI Galway are delighted to be welcoming several leading and innovative experts in the area of mobile health that include: Professor Marie Johnston, University of Aberdeen, Dr Clyde Hutchinson, eHealth Ireland and HSE, Dr Frank Doyle, Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland, Dr John Breslin, NUI Galway, Dr Ian Cleland, University of Ulster, Dr Kat Bradbury, University of Southampton, Dr John Dinsmore, TCD, Dr Marta Marques, University College London and Drs Dietrich Rebholz-Schumann and Martín Serrano from Insight Centre for Data Analytics at NUI Galway. NUI Galway’s Dr Jane Walsh, Chair of the mHealth Research Group at NUI Galway, said: “We are particularly delighted to have such a fantastic line-up of speakers joining us to continue the discussion on the role of behavioural science and mobile or connected health technology in healthcare and the future of mHealth in health-related practice, policy and research. The event will aim to promote the development of high quality multidisciplinary research networks through which NUI Galway can achieve the highest quality of scientific excellence working with international research leaders and all the various stakeholders in healthcare and industry.” This event is supported in part by the Irish Research Council, the Whitaker Institute at NUI Galway and the Health Research Board. To register, visit: http://conference.ie/Conferences/index.asp?Conference=518 and follow on Twitter @MHealthConf   -Ends- 

Wednesday, 14 June 2017

NUI Galway’s Centre for Disability Law and Policy will host a training event on supported decision making in association with Cher Nicholson, a leading trainer in the area of supported decision making internationally and director of Asset (SA), on 15-16 June 2017. The event will focus on developing supported decision making skills through an interactive workshop for professionals. Cher Nicholson initially worked on a supported decision making pilot project in South Australia and has since worked internationally to develop a deeper understanding of Supported Decision Making.  The Assisted Decision Making (Capacity) Act 2015 is viewed as a key step towards enabling Ireland’s ratification of the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (UNCRPD) and is expected to fully commence later in 2017. This Act introduces a statutory framework for people to be supported in their decision making in all areas of their lives, to make legally-binding decisions about their personal welfare, property and affairs where their capacity to make decisions has been or soon will be called into question. The Act provides three types of decision-making supports that include: Assisted Decision-Making, Co-Decision-Making and court appointed Decision-Making Representatives and Orders. This is a radical change for Ireland so the discussion on supported decision-making is both pertinent and timely. The guiding principles of the Assisted Decision Making (Capacity) Act 2015 introduces the focus on the will and preference of the person. The workshop is structured to provide professionals with the framework to have a ‘purposeful conversation’ with an individual to elicit their ‘expressed wishes’ without bounds. It will provide the opportunity to explore the difference between expressed wishes, individual will and preferences and best interest approaches to supporting people. Professor Gerard Quinn, Director of the Centre for Disability Law and Policy at NUI Galway, said: “Cher Nicholson’s visit is extremely timely. Now is the right time to think through how we are going to operationalise our own Assisted Decision-Making Act. It is important that we optimise all the potential of our legislation to restore voice and choice to people with disabilities and to pay heed to best practice and innovation emerging from places like Australia.” Cher Nicholson has a broad range of experience and background with qualifications in Counselling, Mediation, Nursing, Financial Counselling, Clinical Supervision, and Workplace Assessing and Training. Having an acquired disability, and knowing how that can change others’ perception of her abilities, fuels her determination to help people with a disability believe in the possible, through the Supported Decision Making program that she has developed and now taken internationally. For more information visit: www.conference.ie or contact Mary Faherty at mary.faherty@nuigalway.ie or 091 495888. -Ends- 

Tuesday, 13 June 2017

Minister of State for Health Promotion to deliver opening address at 2017 NUI Galway Health Promotion Conference - ‘Promoting Health and Wellbeing in the Workplace’ NUI Galway will hold the 21st annual Health Promotion Conference on Thursday 15 June. The Health Promotion Research Centre at NUI Galway, the Department of Health, the Health Service Executive and the Association of Health Promotion Ireland will co-host this one-day event. The conference will bring together policy, research and practice perspectives on promoting workplace health and wellness through fostering a culture of health and addressing change at all levels in organisations. In line with the World Health Organisations ‘Healthy Workplace Framework’, the ‘Healthy Ireland Framework’ and the current development of a National Healthy Workplace Framework, this year’s conference theme will discuss ‘Promoting Health and Wellbeing in the Workplace’. Minister Marcella Corcoran Kennedy TD, Minister of State for Health Promotion will deliver the opening address, and commented: “The development of the Healthy Workplace Framework is a priority for my Department under the Healthy Ireland banner, and it’s aimed at assisting employers in both private and public sectors to provide a healthy workplace. We know work is good for our health and the workplace offers the perfect opportunity to promote health to a large audience. With almost two million people in employment in Ireland, this message can reach over half the population. Healthy Ireland is all about taking steps towards making Ireland a healthier nation and promoting health and wellbeing in the workplace is an essential part of that.” International and national keynote addresses will include Professor Dame Carol Black, University of Cambridge; Professor Paul Fleming, University of Southampton; Dr Paul Litchfield, British Telecom; Professor Anne Drummond, UCD; and Ms Biddy O’Neill, Department of Health. The conference programme comprises a mix of presentations, plenary lectures, workshops, and panel discussions from policymakers, researchers and practitioners alike. Professor Dame Carol Black will be asking, ‘Why does workplace health and wellbeing matter?’ and said in advance of the event: “The workplace has a significant role in addressing major problems surrounding physical and mental health and in supporting people with long-term disorders, enabling as many as possible to fulfil their potential. Effective workplace interventions can bring tangible business benefits including reduced sickness absence, improved productivity, improved quality of service, and relative reduction in the health-care cost and burden. Employers need to recognise the importance of shaping workplace cultures and norms in which supporting and safeguarding the health and wellbeing of all members of the workforce has the highest priority. To do this, workplaces must establish a strong cultural lead and example in organisations, and strengthen management training in order to recognise and respond to the health needs of the workforce, and working more closely with other health supporting agencies, particularly Occupational Health and Primary Care.” This conference provides a platform in the exchange of ideas for research, policy and practice developments in workplace health promotion and wellness. It also provides the opportunity to explore how a culture of health and wellness in the workplace can be encouraged, measured and governed at all organisational levels. Dr Margaret Hodgins, Head of the School of Health Sciences at NUI Galway and Chair of the annual conference, said: ‘The workplace is a priority setting for Health Promotion in the 21st Century. The workplace is where almost two thirds of adults spend almost two thirds of their waking time. Psychological and physical health issues, including work-related stress and work-related musculoskeletal disorders, are widespread in our modern-day workforce. For example, levels of workplace stress are increasing rapidly. Factors such as poor work-life balance, increasing workloads, the ‘long hours culture’, poorly designed shift work, lack of communication, and inadequate systems for dealing with bullying and harassment all impact on levels of work-related stress.” For further information on the conference, visit: http://www.nuigalway.ie/hprc/. -Ends- 

Tuesday, 13 June 2017

‘The Novel and its Wonders: An Evening with Andrea De Carlo’ The Black Gate Cultural Centre, Galway, will host an evening with renowned Italian novelist Andrea De Carlo on Wednesday, 14 June at 6pm. The event is being organised in collaboration with NUI Galway’s Italian Department and the Italian Institute of Culture, Dublin. ‘The Novel and its Wonders: An Evening with Andrea De Carlo’ will be introduced by James C. Harrold, Galway City Arts Officer and will be followed by a conversation between Professor Paolo Bartoloni, Head of Italian at NUI Galway and Andrea De Carlo. The conversation will focus on the theory and practice of creative writing by looking at De Carlo’s latest novel The Imperfect Marvel (L’imperfetta meraviglia, 2016). The novel tells the story of the encounter between the Irish singer of a fictional rock band, Nick Cruickshank, and an Italian ice-cream maker, Milena Migliari. Nick and Milena seem to live perfect and fulfilled lives, both emotionally and professionally, yet gradually a sense of unease and longing creeps in, bringing them to question what they thought of as given certainties. Together, they come to discover that perfection is only temporary and impermanent. Andrea De Carlo was born and raised in Milan. After graduating in Contemporary History, he travelled extensively; living in both the United States and Australia. His first novel, The Cream Train, featured an introduction by Italo Calvino. Further to his literary career, De Carlo has also worked as an assistant to directors Federico Fellini and Michelangelo Antonioni and directed the short movie Le facce di Fellini (Fellini’s Faces) as well as  a film based on his first novel. With composer Ludovico Einaudi, he has written the ballets Time Out and Salgari. He has recorded two albums: Alcuni Nomi and Dentro Giro di Vento. De Carlo’s novels have sold millions of copies and have been translated into twenty-six languages. These include: The Cream Train, Cage and Aviary Birds, Macno, Yucatan, Two Out of Two, Techniques of Seduction, Lovebow, Uto, About the Three of Us, Here and Now, Pure Life, The Real Names, Windshift, Sea of Truth, Durante, SheAndHe, Villa Metaphora and Primitive Heart. The event is free to attend but places are limited. For further information, and to register your interest, visit: https://decarlogalway.eventbrite.com or the Facebook page ‘Italian Academy at NUI Galway’. For further information email paolo.bartoloni@nuigalway.ie or andrea.ciribuco@nuigalway.ie. -Ends-

Monday, 12 June 2017

The world’s largest Disability Law Summer School focusing on the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities will take place in NUI Galway from 19-23 June. This is the 9th Summer School to be hosted by the University’s Centre for Disability Law and Policy and the theme for 2017 is ‘Psychosocial Disability’. The aim of the five-day Summer School is to equip participants with the insights and skills necessary to translate the UN Convention into tangible reform for persons with disabilities throughout the world. Leading experts on disability law and policy will look at some of the strategies successfully used to protect the rights and improve the lives of people with psychosocial disabilities around the world. Over 200 delegates from over 50 countries are registered to attend the Summer School, including persons with disabilities, family members, civil society groups, as well as advocates for disability law reform, lawyers, policy makers and policy analysts. The teaching faculty will include senior academics, practitioners, advocates and policy makers from around the world. Many of the speakers have been directly and actively engaged in drafting and implementing the UN Convention. Others are advocates for change and reform.  This year’s event will be addressed by leading users and survivors of psychiatry who have experienced mental health problems, or have used or survived mental health services and are to the fore advocating for the recognition of the legal capacity of persons with psychosocial disability. Mr Dainius Pūras the UN Special Rapporteur on health will give a keynote address at the Summer School.  Mr Pūras has been outspoken on the regrettable trend in recent decades of the excessive medicalization of mental health and the overuse of biomedical interventions, including in the treatment of depression and suicide prevention, which he considers to be a biased and selective use of research outcomes that has negatively influenced mental health policies and services. Ms Catalina Devandas Aguilar the UN Special Rapporteur on disability will also give a keynote address.  Ms Devandas in her work has highlighted the exclusion of persons with psychosocial or intellectual disabilities, in accessing essential services, such as health care, education or justice, owing to existing discriminatory legal and policy frameworks, segregated facilities and/or the lack of support, including support services. Director of the Summer School, Dr Charles O'Mahony, Head of the School of Law, NUI Galway, said: “Ireland was one of the first countries to sign the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD) in 2007.  Ten years later Ireland remains the only Member State of the European Union not to have ratified the Convention. The failure to ratify the CRPD calls into question the commitment of successive Irish Governments to recognise the rights of persons with disabilities and means that Ireland and is an outlier amongst the international community in this area.  The theme of the Summer School is on realising the rights of persons with psychosocial disabilities. Persons with psychosocial disabilities encounter many barriers to exercising their civil and political and economic, social and cultural rights. Their rights are often ignored in the mainstream human rights discourse.  As such the Summer School is important to highlight the challenges and opportunities in achieving full and equal enjoyment of the human rights that are often taken for granted, such as the right to live in the community, make decisions and refuse medical treatment.” Registration for the Summer School is now closed as it has reached its capacity. For more information visit: www.nuigalway.ie/cdlp/summer_school/about.html or contact joanna.forde@nuigalway.ie or 086 4181673.  Participant accessibility (physical or communicational) requests and enquiries are welcomed. -Ends-

Friday, 9 June 2017

NUI Galway today conferred Honorary Doctorates on The Irish Times journalist, Fintan O’Toole; Engineer and former US Under Secretary for Energy, Dr Kristina Johnson; businessman John McNamara; and Professor Jane Grimson Engineer and STEM advocate. Speaking at the conferring ceremony, NUI Galway President, Dr Jim Browne said:  “NUI Galway is fortunate to be associated with many outstanding honorary graduates throughout its history and those being honoured this year form a particularly distinguished group. Each one has made an outstanding and distinctive contribution to the diverse fields of literature and journalism, business, science and engineering, public administration and philanthropy. NUI Galway is very pleased to be in a position to recognise these exceptional individuals.” Fintan O'Toole  Fintan O'Toole is a columnist with The Irish Times and winner of the 2017 European Press Prize for commentary. He is also Leonard L. Milberg visiting lecturer in Irish Letters at Princeton University.  Born in Dublin in 1958, he has been drama critic of In Dublin magazine, The Sunday Tribune, the New York Daily News, and The Irish Times and Literary Adviser to the Abbey Theatre. He contributes regularly to the New York Review of Books and The Guardian.  His new book on Bernard Shaw will appear in 2017 and Modern Ireland in 100 Artworks, which he edited, has recently been published by the Royal Irish Academy. Other books include A History of Ireland in 100 Objects, Enough is Enough, Ship of Fools,  The Irish Times Book of the 1916 Rising, White Savage: William Johnson and The Invention of America,  Shakespeare is Hard but so is Life;  and A Traitor’s Kiss: The Life of Richard Brinsley Sheridan.  Kristina M. Johnson Dr Kristina Johnson received her B.S., M.S. and PhD in electrical engineering from Stanford University, and is currently the CEO of Cube Hydro Partners.  Prior to Cube Hydro, Dr Johnson was the Under Secretary of the United States Department of Energy. She has been Provost and Senior Vice-President for Academic Affairs at the JohnsHopkins University, Dean of the Pratt School of Engineering at Duke University, Professor at the University of Colorado at Boulder and was a NATO post-doctoral fellowat Trinity College Dublin. Dr Johnson’s academic awards include the Dennis Gabor Prize for creativity andinnovation in modern optics, the John Fritz Medal (2008), widely considered thehighest award in the engineering profession and is a member of the National Academy of Engineering.  She received the Society of Women Engineers Lifetime Achievement Award, theWoman of Vision Award for Leadership by the Anita Borg Institute for Women andTechnology (2010), “40 years of Title IX -  40 Women Who Have Made an Impact” by ESPNW. Recognized for her work in technology transfer and entrepreneurship by the States ofColorado and North Carolina, she received the 2010 Milton Steward Award from the Small Business Technology Council (SBTC) and co-founded ColorLink, Inc., whichwas sold to RealD, and is responsible for 3D effects in movies such as Avatar, Gravity and 300 others.  Dr Johnson serves on the board of directors of Cisco Systems and AES. She has published 149 refereed articles and holds 118 U.S. and International patents.  She has received honorary degrees from the University of Alabama at Huntsville, TuftsUniversity, Trinity College, Dublin and McGill University, Montreal, Canada John MacNamara John MacNamara was born in Dublin in 1944 and raised from an early age in Birr Co. Offaly. He received his primary education in Birr and boarded in St. Flannan’s College Ennis for his secondary education, completing his Leaving Cert there in 1961. In 1962 he joined the National Bank, subsequently the Bank of Ireland, serving in different roles in Dublin up to 1982 when he moved to Galway as Regional Manager for Galway and Mayo. In September 1990 he was appointed General Manager West with responsibility for 81 branches over 10 counties. He retired from the Bank in 2001. He holds a BComm and MEconSc from UCD. John is married to Mary and they have four children and seven grandchildren. Three of John and Mary’s children attended NUI Galway for their undergraduate study, with two receiving postgraduate qualifications. John joined the Board of Galway University Foundation on its establishment in 1998 at the invitation of the then President of NUI Galway, Dr Patrick F. Fottrell, and has gone on to serve four terms as Chairman. Under his leadership, and with the support of the directors, chief executive and staff of the Foundation, significant philanthropic funds have been raised for the infrastructure of the campus. Since 1998 the Foundation has raised over €145 million directly from philanthropy, leveraging significant additional matching funds, thus enabling over €200 million of investment for flagship University buildings including the new Sports Centre, Bailey Allen Wing and Cultural Centre, Lifecourse Institute, Biomedical Sciences Building, Alice Perry Engineering Building, Lambe Institute for Translational Research and O’Donoghue Centre for Drama, Theatre and Performance. Since his retirement John has served on the board of the Western Development Commission and on the Galway Harbour Board. John has also been involved in charitable and social causes and is currently Chairman of Cancer Care West. Jane Grimson Professor Jane Grimson was the first woman to graduate with a degree in Engineering from Trinity College following which she obtained her masters and doctorate in Computer Science from the Universities of Toronto and Edinburgh, respectively. She returned to Trinity as a lecturer in 1980 where she also served as Dean of Engineering, Pro-Dean of Research and Vice Provost. Prior to her retirement in 2014, she was seconded as Director of Health Information and then as Acting Chief Executive of the Health Information and Quality Authority. She has published widely in the field of Health Informatics and was awarded the O’Moore Medal in 2007 for her contribution to the field. Jane is also a Past President of Engineers Ireland, the Irish Academy of Engineering, the Healthcare Informatics Society of Ireland and the Irish Computer Society. She is a Chartered Engineer, a Fellow and Vice President of the Royal Irish Academy and of the Royal Academy of Engineering. She served as Chair of the Irish Research Council for Science, Engineering and Technology, was a member of the Board of Science Foundation Ireland, of the European Research Advisory Board, and of the Executive the European Science Foundation. Jane is currently a member of the Health Research Board and of the Council of the Royal Irish Academy. Jane has been involved for many years in the initiatives to promote the recruitment, retention and promotion of women in engineering and in academia. She was involved in the establishment of the STEPS programme in Engineers Ireland and WiSER (Women in Science and Engineering Research) at Trinity College) and is an active member of WITS (Women in Science and Technology). She chaired the Gender Equality Task Force at NUI Galway from 2015-2016 and is currently a member of the Advisory Committee on Gender Equality at the University. -ends-

Thursday, 8 June 2017

NUI Galway Continues its Rise in Global Rankings NUI Galway has climbed six places in the QS World University Ranking 2017/2018, to reach 243 in the world. This is the fifth successive year the University has risen in the international rankings, consolidating its position among the world’s elite educational institutions. It now ranks amongst the top 1% of universities in the world. Speaking on the continued success, President of NUI Galway, Dr Jim Browne said: “We are on the edge of the Atlantic but our outlook is global. The news today is further acknowledgement of the developments in teaching and research that have taken place at this University in recent years. The hard work, commitment and ambition of our staff and students has led to our continued to rise in global rankings, and we are pleased to see the impact in international recognition and in student interest, with a 10% increase in CAO applications this year. Amidst speculation on the impact of Brexit on Irish institutions, we’ve seen an 11% increase on applications from Northern Ireland and Great Britain this year.” President Browne added: “What’s particularly heartening is that the rankings highlight our student focus and the international excellence on our campus, with the highest ratings allocated to the internationality of our faculty students. While no ranking system can truly assess the value of a university, we know that rankings are important to our graduates as they progress in their careers internationally, as well as raising the profile of NUI Galway on a global stage” NUI Galway Highlights of the 2016/2017 academic year: Research Impact NUI Galway has secured €38m in funding from Horizon 2020, the EU Research and Innovation Programme.  NUI Galway’s research community has been successful in attracting €4m through other European programmes, including INTERREG, Erasmus and ESA; bringing the total awards under the current cycle of European funding (2014-20) to just over €42m. NUI Galway is home to approximately 600 researchers, and advances during the year covered areas as diverse as new robotic devices to help failing hearts, mathematical equations that can make Batman’s cape a reality, community based research on quality of life in Irish cities and arsenic contamination in groundwater. Teaching In November 2016, four NUI Galway staff members, Professor Henry Curran, Professor Colin O'Dowd, Professor Donal O'Regan and Dr Ronan Sulpice were named among the World’s Most Highly Cited Researchers in an international analysis carried out by Clarivite. December 2016 saw the completion of a major investment by NUI Galway in clinical training across the West/North West region with a new Medical Academy in Donegal coming on stream joining academies in Mayo and Sligo. Two members of staff were awarded National Teaching and Learning Awards for the student engagement initiative Breaking the SEAL – breaking down the barriers for secondary school students to academia - Barry Houlihan, from the James Hardiman Library and Paul Flynn, from the School of Education. Jerome Sheahan, Mathematics, was recognised also with a National Teaching Hero Award. Campus Developments In April 2017, President of Ireland, Michael D. Higgins officially opened the O’Donoghue Centre for Drama, Theatre and Performance. The Centre includes a 120-seate theatre space with retractable tiered seating and LED stage lighting, the first of its kind in Ireland. In September 2016 the SFI CÚRAM Centre for Research in Medical Devices was officially launched, the €49million centre enhances our reputation as a global hub for medtech. This year’s QS table provides the definitive guide to the world’s 959 top universities. Massachusetts Institute of Technology is named the world’s leading university for a record sixth consecutive year. The full table of rankings can be viewed here: www.TopUniversities.com.  ENDS   Ardú arís ar sheasamh OÉ Gaillimh sna Ranguithe Domhanda Tá OÉ Gaillimh i measc an 1% is fearr d’ollscoileanna an domhain de réir na ranguithe nua   Tá ardú sé cinn d’áiteanna ar OÉ Gaillimh i Ranguithe Ollscoile Domhanda QS 2017/2018, rud a fhágann go bhfuil sé anois sa 243ú háit. Seo é an cúigiú bliain as a chéile a bhfuil ardú tagtha ar an Ollscoil sna ranguithe idirnáisiúnta, agus a háit á daingniú aici i measc shárinstitiúidí oideachais an domhain. Tá sí i measc an 1% is fearr d’ollscoileanna an domhain anois. Ag labhairt dó ar an rath leanúnach, dúirt Uachtarán OÉ Gaillimh, an Dr Jim Browne: “Táimid ar imeall an Atlantaigh ach tá dearcadh domhanda againn.  Is aitheantas breise é nuacht an lae inniu ar na forbairtí atá tagtha ar theagasc agus ar thaighde san Ollscoil seo le blianta beaga anuas.  Is mar thoradh ar dhúthracht, ar thiomantas agus ar uaillmhian ár gcomhaltaí foirne go bhfuil an t-ardú breise seo tagtha ar an rangú domhanda, ach is cúis áthais dúinn go mbíonn tionchar aige ar aitheantas idirnáisiúnta agus ar spéis na mac léinn, tá ardú 10% ar líon na n-iarratas chun na Lár-Oifige Iontrála i mbliana.   In ainneoin na tuairimíochta ar fad faoi thionchar an Bhreatimeachta ar institiúidí na hÉireann, tá méadú 11% ar líon na n-iarratas ó Thuaisceart Éireann agus ón mBreatain Mhór i mbliana.” Anuas ar an méid sin, dúirt an tUachtarán Browne: “Is mór an tógáil croí go dtarraingíonn na ranguithe aird ar ár bhfócas ar na mic léinn agus ar fheabhas idirnáisiúnta ár gcampais, leis an rátáil is airde ar a ilnáisiúnta agus atá ár mic léinn dáimhe. “Cé nach féidir le córas rangaithe ar bith luach ollscoile a mheas, tuigimid go bhfuil ranguithe tábhachtach dár gcuid céimithe agus iad ag iarraidh dul chun cinn a dhéanamh ina ngairmeacha beatha ar fud an domhain, agus go bhfuil siad tábhachtach chomh maith maidir le cur le próifíl OÉ Gaillimh go hidirnáisiúnta.” Éachtaí OÉ Gaillimh i mbliain acadúil 2016/2017: Tionchar Taighde Tá maoiniú €38 milliún faighte ag OÉ Gaillimh ón gclár Fís 2020, Clár Taighde agus Nuálaíochta an AE.  D’éirigh le pobal taighde OÉ Gaillimh €4 mhilliún a mhealladh trí chláir Eorpacha eile, ar a n-áirítear INTERREG, Erasmus agus ESA; méadaíonn sé seo líon na ngradam faoi thimthriall reatha an mhaoinithe Eorpaigh (2014-20) go dtí beagán le cois €42 milliún. Tá tuairim is 600 taighdeoir i mbun staidéir in OÉ Gaillimh, agus cuimsíonn na forbairtí a rinneadh le bliain anuas réimsí chomh héagsúil lena chéile agus atá gairis róbatacha chun cabhrú le croíthe fabhtacha, cothromóidí matamaiticiúla a d’fhéadfadh cába Batman a thabhairt ar an bhfód, taighde pobalbhunaithe ar chaighdeán saoil i gcathracha na hÉireann agus éilliú arsanaice i screamhuisce. Teagasc I mí na Samhna 2016, ainmníodh ceathrar comhaltaí foirne, an tOllamh Henry Curran, an tOllamh Colin O’Dowd, an tOllamh Donal O’Regan agus an Dr Ronan Sulpice i measc na dTaighdeoirí is Minice a dTagraítear dóibh ar Domhan in anailís idirnáisiúnta a rinne Clarivite. I mí na Nollag 2016, cuireadh bailchríoch ar infheistíocht mhór de chuid OÉ Gaillimh in oiliúint chliniciúil ar fud Réigiún an Iarthair/an Iarthuaiscirt nuair a tháinig Acadamh Leighis nua ar an bhfód i nDún na nGall agus é i dteannta na n-acadamh i Maigh Eo agus i Sligeach. Bronnadh Gradaim Náisiúnta an Teagaisc agus na Foghlama ar bheirt chomhaltaí foirne don tionscnamh rannpháirtíochta mac léinn Breaking the SEAL – ag briseadh síos na laincisí do dhaltaí meánscoile maidir leis an saol acadúil - Barry Houlihan, ó Leabharlann Shéamais Uí Argadáin agus Paul Flynn, ó Scoil an Oideachais. Tugadh aitheantas do Jerome Sheahan, Roinn na Matamaitice, freisin nuair a bronnadh an Gradam do Laoch Teagaisc air. Forbairtí ar an gCampas I mí Aibreáin 2017, rinne Uachtarán na hÉireann, Micheál D. Ó hUiginn, Ionad Uí Dhonnchadha don Drámaíocht, an Amharclannaíocht agus an Taibhléiriú a oscailt go hoifigiúil. Tá an tIonad seo ar an gcéad cheann dá shamhail in Éirinn áit a bhfuil soilsiú stáitse LED mar aon le spás suí do 120 duine san amharclann ar shuíocháin a thig a tharraingt siar. I mí Mheán Fómhair 2017, rinneadh CÚRAM, an tIonad Taighde d'Fheistí Leighis de chuid SFI a sheoladh go hoifigiúil; cuireann an t-ionad ar fiú €49 milliún é lenár stádas mar mhol domhanda maidir le teicneolaíocht leighis. Is i dtábla QS na bliana seo atá an treoir dheifnídeach ar an 959 ollscoil is fearr ar domhan.  Ainmníodh Massachusetts Institute of Technology mar an ollscoil is fearr ar domhan don séú bliain as a chéile, rud atá ina churiarracht. Is féidir an tábla rangaithe iomlán a fheiceáil ach brú ar an nasc seo a leanas:  www.TopUniversities.com. CRÍOCH

Thursday, 8 June 2017

To celebrate World Oceans Day, a unique exhibition on Roald Amundsen’s expedition to the South Pole will be officially opened at NUI Galway by Minister Seán Kyne TD, Minister of State for Gaeltacht Affairs and Natural Resources today, Thursday, 8 June at 6.30pm. The exhibition Cold Recall – Roald Amundsen’s Reflections from the South Pole is based on images from the original lantern slides that Norwegian Polar Explorer Roald Amundsen used in public lectures about his expeditions through the Northwest Passage and to the South Pole. Her Excellency Else Berit Eikeland, Ambassador of the Royal Norwegian Embassy to Ireland said she is delighted that the exhibition will be on display in Galway. “Amundsen’s party had immense courage and determination to make the dangerous trek across the ice and snow to reach the South Pole. This exhibition offers a pictorial account of the expedition and of Amundsen, one of the greatest figures in the field of polar exploration and a national hero for a very young nation,” Ms Else Berit Eikeland said. Amundsen was the first in the world to navigate the Northwest Passage and the first to reach the South Pole on 14 December 1911. Norwegian Polar history is closely connected to defining Norway as an independent state in 1905, and to Norway’s position as a state closely connected to the oceans and to polar regions. Cold Recall – Roald Amundsen’s Reflections from the South Pole will be on display in the O’Donoghue Centre for Drama, Theatre and Performance at NUI Galway from Friday, 9 June to Saturday, 8 July. Speaking in advance of the opening, President of NUI Galway Dr Jim Browne, said: “NUI Galway is delighted to host this interesting exhibition on the history of polar exploration.  Fascinating in its rich depiction of Amundsen and his endeavours it will be a great attraction for visitors and locals alike.  Polar exploration remains a rich source for academic researchers and here in NUI Galway our academics are engaged with polar research in a range of ways and in such diverse field as particle physics, climate change, marine biology and biodiscovery, and even the literary history of polar travel.  We are very pleased to work with the Marine Institute and the Norwegian Embassy to bring this exhibition to Galway for Seafest 2017.” The exhibition will run in association with SeaFest 2017, taking place in Galway from 30 June to 2 July in Galway. The exhibition is a collaboration between NUI Galway and the Marine Institute, in association with the Norwegian Embassy and the Fram Museum, Oslo. Dr Peter Heffernan CEO of the Marine Institute said, “Thanks to the support of the Norwegian Embassy, the Fram Museum and NUI Galway, we are able to offer this exhibition as part of the SeaFest festival programme. The exploration and voyages across our oceans and particularly Amundsen’s extraordinary journey to the South Pole are important to our maritime history. Through this exhibition, visitors can remember and celebrate one of the most remarkable feats of exploration.”The Fram Museum in Oslo focuses on telling the story of Norwegian polar exploration.  It was inaugurated on 20 May 1936. It honours Norwegian polar exploration in general and three great Norwegian polar explorers in particular—Fridtjof Nansen, Otto Sverdrup and Roald Amundsen. ENDS

Wednesday, 7 June 2017

President of NUI Galway, Dr Jim Browne awarded the Ordre des Palmes Académiques (Order of Academic Palms). One of France’s highest honours has been bestowed on Dr Jim Browne, President of NUI Galway. At a private ceremony hosted in the Residence of the French Ambassador, last week, Dr Browne was awarded the Ordre des Palmes Académiques (Order of Academic Palms). Dr Browne is the first Irish University President to have received the honour. The Ordre des Palmes Académiques is an award given by the French government to honour distinguished figures in culture and education. Originally started by Napoleon, the award assumed its current form in 1955, and at a ceremony this week at Résidence de France in Dublin, Dr Jim Browne joined the distinguished list of recipients. The honour was bestowed on President Browne in recognition of both NUI Galway’s myriad links with France and his own academic work with French researchers and industry in manufacturing technology. Speaking on receipt of this honour, President Browne said: “Galway city has a long and honourable tradition of exchange with France. Since the Middle Ages, trade between Galway and France has thrived. For NUI Galway as a modern world-class university on the periphery of Europe our links with France have never been more important and I am pleased to say that scholarship in the area of French is thriving and in high demand from students. Our university continues to build important research links with French universities and industry, building on a long tradition of co-operation. On a personal level I am humbled and honoured by this award, which I believe is a recognition of the myriad links which bind NUI Galway to France. In his remarks at the event, Ambassador Thébault recognised NUI Galway’s record of achievement in developing important academic collaboration with a number of French universities and research organisations, including the University of Rennes; he cited the research co-operation between NUI Galway and Galway-based French company, Valeo; as well as referring to the University’s recent decision to name the Chair of French for the late French academician, Michel Déon, who has links with county Galway. President Browne is joining a high calibre of individuals through receipt of this award, joining the same ranks as esteemed politicians, scientists, historians, artists, musicians, and even royalty. Recent Ordre de Palmes Academiques have been awarded to NUI Galway academics, Sylvie Lannengrand (French) and JC Desplat (Centre for High Performance Computing). -ends-

Tuesday, 6 June 2017

NUI Galway conference will focus on the perceived decline in empathy, care and social solidarity, which is both an Irish and global concern among youth radicalisation Are empathy, care and social solidarity in decline and what are the consequences of this in Ireland and globally? These are some of the questions to be addressed at the UNESCO Child and Family Research Centre at NUI Galway when it hosts its 8th Biennial International Family Support Conference in June. The role of compulsory empathy education to address radicalisation among youths will also be a key focus at the NUI Galway conference. Violent extremism is a threat that knows no borders as witnessed from the recent horrific attack at Manchester Arena, again highlighting the vulnerability of innocent children. There are currently 1.8 billion young people between the ages of 10 and 24 in the world. This ‘youth bulge’ is the largest youth population ever. One out of 10 of the world’s children live in conflict zones and 24 million of them are out of school. Political instability, labour market challenges and limited space for political and civic participation have increased the pressures on young women and men in societies across the world, deepening their vulnerability to violent extremism. Any lasting solution to prevent violent extremism must place youth at the forefront. Young people are the most affected by multiple and often interlinked forms of violence - they also play vital roles as agents of positive change, which must be nurtured and empowered, through skills, training and new forms of educational engagement. Speaking in advance of the Conference, Professor Pat Dolan, UNESCO Chair of the Child and Family Research Centre at NUI Galway, commented: “We know that empathy education is now recognised as one of the key ingredients in the prevention of youth violent extremism. Ireland should not be complacent about this serious issue and needs to lead the way in the development of empathy education in schools. This is no longer just an issue in the UK, France and Belgium, it also has real resonance for Ireland, and the challenges of intolerance, hatred and fear is now a global humanitarian crisis. “Through UNESCO and global counter-extremism organisations, we have worked with youths who were formally radicalised. Through an empathy education programme such as ours these youths are no longer engaged in radicalised thinking and have now become activists for peace.” Professor Dolan continued: “From hate crime including racism, bullying, and all the way to violent youth extremism – the enablement of empathy belonging to cultural integration in the lives of young people in Ireland is a key part of the true, and only long-term solution. Empathy education should be specifically provided in schools and part of compulsory education – it is no longer a matter of choice but a necessity. “While for society, there is an urgent need for empathy informed policy and action to address structural inequalities and disparities, a guarantee that professionals working with children and youth demonstrate empathy and compassion is assumed, and it should not be. It is time to reassess the role of empathy among professionals including social workers and teachers.” UNESCO’s role in promoting education as a tool to prevent violent extremism are already underway with the following activities currently being implemented. The promotion of Youth and Parliament – youths working in partnership with Government and agencies. Building peace in the minds of men and women. A Teacher’s Guide on the ‘Prevention of Violent Extremism’ is in development to provide guidance and practical tips to teachers on how to manage classroom discussions on radicalisation and prevent violent extremism. Work is in progress to tackle the importance of social media in promoting violent extremism. Global research studies are being carried out to examine the role of social media in processes of radicalisation. Policy guidelines are being developed on digital citizenship to identify, advocate and promote values, which can guide responsible online behaviour. The promotion of holistic and humanistic visions of learning, which convey values for just and inclusive societies, a set of multimodal online modules on violent extremism are being developed that are promoting critical thinking and enquiry-based learning from the perspective of global citizenship. High level keynote speakers from Canada, India and Ireland will lead the discussions, while Irish and international practitioners and researchers will provide 36 workshops on key conference themes. A special talk will be given by Fr Peter McVerry SJ, social activist and advocate for those who have no voice in society. The conference is entitled ‘Rediscovering Empathy; Values, Relationships and Practice in a Changing World’ and will touch on topics from Emotional Intelligence to Social Justice, and will address the need for empathy education in schools. It will take place in the Institute for Lifecourse and Society on the North Campus at NUI Galway on 8 – 9 June. For more information and to register for the Conference, visit: http://conference.ie/Conferences/index.asp?Conference=491 -Ends-

Friday, 2 June 2017

Marine scientists carry out deep-sea research on marine substances to determine if they have anti-cancer properties that can be used for novel drugs to combat human illnesses Leading marine scientists, Dr Louise Allcock and Professor Oliver Thomas from NUI Galway, and a team of 10 university researchers and students are currently aboard the Marine Institute’s RV Celtic Explorer on a two week deep-sea expedition researching cold water corals and sponges (two different types of marine organisms) for potential antimicrobial or anti-cancer properties. Located two-hundred nautical miles South-West off Ireland at the edge of the continental shelf in the Atlantic Ocean, the research is being carried out using the Marine Institute’s remotely operated vehicle ROV Holland I, deployed into areas where the sea floor rapidly drops from around 300 metres down to 3000 metres. Speaking from the expedition, Dr Olivier Thomas, Professor of Marine Biodiscovery at NUI Galway and coordinator of the National Marine Biodiscovery Laboratory located at the Marine Institute, said: “The researchers and students are seeing for the first time corals and sponges covering an area around the Whittard Canyon, Porcupine Seabight, Gollum Channel and the Belgica Mounds in Irish waters. Chemists involved in biodiscovery research only need small quantities of any organism to develop a new drug, because once a suitable compound is identified, it can be synthesised in the lab, which can then be used in drugs to combat human diseases.” Dr Louise Allcock from the Ryan Institute at NUI Galway, said: “Using the ROV’s robotic and lighting capabilities, we are able to manoeuvre the Holland I, which is comparable to the size of a mini-van, through the water, and use its arms and clasps, which are like hands, to take small samples of corals, sponges and other specimens from extremely hostile parts of the ocean floor where there is no natural light and tremendous ocean pressure. By analysing past research relating to sponges and corals we are able to see that some species are better target groups than others in having antimicrobial or anti-cancer properties. Based on this information we are building mathematical models to predict the likelihood of any given species yielding a novel natural product, along with developing species distribution maps of corals and sponges on the deep-sea floor, so that we know the best places to go searching.” When the research team returns from sea they will work with the national marine biodiscovery lab at the Marine Institute. The NUI Galway scientists will extract the chemical compounds from all of the samples of sponges and corals to determine if they have drug-like characteristics such as anti-cancer or antimicrobial properties that can be used for novel drugs to combat human illnesses. “These are exciting times to be a marine researcher as marine scientists around the world have discovered more species in the ocean in the last ten years than ever before, with an average of 2000 new discoveries each year. In Ireland we are contributing to building on this wealth of valuable information and sharing the best available science and knowledge to inform decisions affecting the Atlantic Ocean”, said Dr Peter Heffernan, CEO of the Marine Institute. The ROV Holland I provides high definition continuous video footage of the deep seafloor as it is being used to collect samples, where Dr Allcock noted that, “going back through footage after the expedition enables us to further analyse the location recording of all the corals and sponges. This improves future predictions of where else we might find similar specimens and also allows us to provide data to inform conservation policy so that we make sure that important ‘hotspots’ rich in corals and sponges are preserved.” This survey was funded by Dr Louise Allcock’s SFI - Marine Institute investigators award and is a five-year project entitled ‘Exploiting and conserving deep-sea genetic resources’, which is being undertaken at NUI Galway, and co-funded by Science Foundation Ireland and the Marine Institute. The National Marine Biodiscovery Laboratory project  brings together six of the country's leading marine researchers from across a range of disciplines, from NUI Galway, University of Limerick and University College Cork to study how marine substances might in future be used to make ingredients for cosmetics, pharmaceuticals and functional foods. -Ends-

Thursday, 1 June 2017

The NUI Galway-led ENERGISE (European Network for Research, Good Practice and Innovation for Sustainable Energy) hosted a two-day workshop of international sustainability experts in Dublin this week 1-2 June, during European Sustainable Development Week. The three-year Horizon 2020 funded ENERGISE programme, is an innovative pan-European research initiative setup to achieve a greater scientific understanding of the social and cultural influences on energy consumption. The initiative develops, tests and assesses options for a bottom-up transformation of energy use in households and communities across Europe. As part of this two-day event, the Consumption Environment Sustainability (CONSENSUS) research team launched its report CONSENSUS II: Segmentation, Experimentation and Biographies for Sustainability. Findings from the Consensus II Report: More sustainable household consumption in Ireland, and by association sustainable production, is essential if the UN Sustainable Development Goals are to be achieved. Targeted responses are needed as consumption varies by age, gender, income and education. Travel behaviour in the period between 20 to 30 years old is particularly dynamic and provides considerable opportunities for coordinated interventions. Adopting a life-course approach would represent a major step change in transport policy. Big changes are possible - water use from washing was reduced by 47%, food waste reduced by 28% and 100% of the remaining waste being composted with no food waste sent to landfill. A coordinated and systematic approach by governments, private companies and civil society is required to support sustainable consumption, from everyday habitual behaviours to the occasional or once-off purchases. The history of increasing structural ‘lock in’ regarding car use in Ireland serves to caution against a sole focus on changing individual behaviour. Broader changes to transport infrastructure, policies and traffic laws are also urgently needed to achieve a more sustainable transport system. The CONSENSUS project develops and tests novel ways to better understand and respond to the complex challenges created by household consumption such as lifestyle segmentation, mobility biographies and home-based living laboratories. It is funded through the Environmental Protection Agency’s sustainability research programme, led by Professor Anna Davies from Trinity College Dublin, in collaboration with Dr Frances Fahy from NUI Galway and Professor Henrike Rau from Ludwig-Maximilian University in Munich.  In response to their findings, Director General of the Environmental Protection Agency, Dr Laura Burke, said: “Changing our behaviour is one of the greatest challenges we face in making the transition to a low carbon and resource efficient future. In this report, the CONSENSUS team shows how we can better understand our current behaviour and how we can start to redirect it onto a more sustainable pathway. We are often unaware that many of our everyday activities damage the environment and this project demonstrates that small actions can make a big difference.” Commenting on the findings of the report, Dr Frances Fahy, Head of the Discipline of Geography at NUI Galway, said: “On the basis of this exciting study, our NUI Galway based research team recommends that a tailored policy approach to different groups of individuals that may be more successful at eliciting pro-environmental behaviour change than general ‘one-size-fits-all’ policy interventions. The typology tools constructed in the CONSENSUS II study create a refined, targeted approach to understanding the nuances of consumption behaviours.” To read the full CONSENSUS II: Segmentation, Experimentation and Biographies for Sustainability report, visit: http://www.epa.ie/researchandeducation/research/researchpublications/researchreports/research205.html -Ends- 

Wednesday, 31 May 2017

Fintan O’Toole, Dr Kristina Johnson, John MacNamara and Professor Jane Grimson  NUI Galway today (Monday, 15 May) announced the recipients of the University’s 2017 Honorary Degrees. The four individuals to be conferred on Friday, 9 June are The Irish Times journalist, Fintan O’Toole; Engineer and former US Under Secretary for Energy, Dr Kristina Johnson; businessman John McNamara; and first TCD female engineering graduate, Professor Jane Grimson Speaking on the announcement, NUI Galway President, Dr Jim Browne said:  “NUI Galway is fortunate to be associated with many outstanding honorary graduates throughout its history and those being honoured this year form a particularly distinguished group. Each one has made an outstanding and distinctive contribution to the diverse fields of literature and journalism, business, science and engineering, public administration and philanthropy. NUI Galway is very pleased to be in a position to recognise these exceptional individuals.” Fintan O'Toole  Fintan O'Toole is a columnist with The Irish Times and winner of the 2017 European Press Prize for commentary. He is also Leonard L. Milberg visiting lecturer in Irish Letters at Princeton University. Born in Dublin in 1958, he has been drama critic of In Dublin magazine, The Sunday Tribune, the New York Daily News, and The Irish Times and Literary Adviser to the Abbey Theatre. He contributes regularly to the New York Review of Books and The Guardian.His new book on Bernard Shaw will appear in 2017 and Modern Ireland in 100 Artworks, which he edited, has recently been published by the Royal Irish Academy. Other books include A History of Ireland in 100 Objects, Enough is Enough, Ship of Fools,  The Irish Times Book of the 1916 Rising, White Savage: William Johnson and The Invention of America,  Shakespeare is Hard but so is Life;  and A Traitor’s Kiss: The Life of Richard Brinsley Sheridan.  Kristina M. Johnson Dr Kristina Johnson received her B.S., M.S. and PhD in electrical engineering from Stanford University, and is currently the CEO of Cube Hydro Partners.  Prior to Cube Hydro, Dr Johnson was the Under Secretary of the United States Department of Energy.She has been Provost and Senior Vice-President for Academic Affairs at the Johns Hopkins University, Dean of the Pratt School of Engineering at Duke University, Professor at the University of Colorado at Boulder and was a NATO post-doctoral fellow at Trinity College Dublin.Dr Johnson’s academic awards include the Dennis Gabor Prize for creativity and innovation in modern optics, the John Fritz Medal (2008), widely considered the highest award in the engineering profession and is a member of the National Academy of Engineering. She received the Society of Women Engineers Lifetime Achievement Award, the Woman of Vision Award for Leadership by the Anita Borg Institute for Women and Technology (2010), “40 years of Title IX -  40 Women Who Have Made an Impact” by ESPNW.Recognized for her work in technology transfer and entrepreneurship by the States of Colorado and North Carolina, she received the 2010 Milton Steward Award from the Small Business Technology Council (SBTC) and co-founded ColorLink, Inc., which was sold to RealD, and is responsible for 3D effects in movies such as Avatar, Gravity and 300 others.Dr Johnson serves on the board of directors of Cisco Systems and AES.She has published 149 refereed articles and holds 118 U.S. and International patents.  She has received honorary degrees from the University of Alabama at Huntsville, Tufts University, Trinity College, Dublin and McGill University, Montreal, Canada John MacNamara John MacNamara was born in Dublin in 1944 and raised from an early age in Birr Co. Offaly. He received his primary education in Birr and boarded in St. Flannan’s College Ennis for his secondary education, completing his Leaving Cert there in 1961.In 1962 he joined the National Bank, subsequently the Bank of Ireland, serving in different roles in Dublin up to 1982 when he moved to Galway as Regional Manager for Galway and Mayo. In September 1990 he was appointed General Manager West with responsibility for 81 branches over 10 counties. He retired from the Bank in 2001. He holds a BComm and MEconSc from UCD.John is married to Mary and they have four children and seven grandchildren. Three of John and Mary’s children attended NUI Galway for their undergraduate study, with two receiving postgraduate qualifications.John joined the Board of Galway University Foundation on its establishment in 1998 at the invitation of the then President of NUI Galway, Dr Patrick F. Fottrell, and has gone on to serve four terms as Chairman. Under his leadership, and with the support of the directors, chief executive and staff of the Foundation, significant philanthropic funds have been raised for the infrastructure of the campus.Since 1998 the Foundation has raised over €145 million directly from philanthropy, leveraging significant additional matching funds, thus enabling over €200 million of investment for flagship University buildings including the new Sports Centre, Bailey Allen Wing and Cultural Centre, Lifecourse Institute, Biomedical Sciences Building, Alice Perry Engineering Building, Lambe Institute for Translational Research and O’Donoghue Centre for Drama, Theatre and Performance.Since his retirement John has served on the board of the Western Development Commission and on the Galway Harbour Board. John has also been involved in charitable and social causes and is currently Chairman of Cancer Care West. Jane Grimson Professor Jane Grimson was the first woman to graduate with a degree in Engineering from Trinity College following which she obtained her masters and doctorate in Computer Science from the Universities of Toronto and Edinburgh, respectively. She returned to Trinity as a lecturer in 1980 where she also served as Dean of Engineering, Pro-Dean of Research and Vice Provost. Prior to her retirement in 2014, she was seconded as Director of Health Information and then as Acting Chief Executive of the Health Information and Quality Authority.She has published widely in the field of Health Informatics and was awarded the O’Moore Medal in 2007 for her contribution to the field. Jane is also a Past President of Engineers Ireland, the Irish Academy of Engineering, the Healthcare Informatics Society of Ireland and the Irish Computer Society. She is a Chartered Engineer, a Fellow and Vice President of the Royal Irish Academy and of the Royal Academy of Engineering. She served as Chair of the Irish Research Council for Science, Engineering and Technology, was a member of the Board of Science Foundation Ireland, of the European Research Advisory Board, and of the Executive the European Science Foundation. Jane is currently a member of the Health Research Board and of the Council of the Royal Irish Academy.Jane has been involved for many years in the initiatives to promote the recruitment, retention and promotion of women in engineering and in academia. She was involved in the establishment of the STEPS programme in Engineers Ireland and WiSER (Women in Science and Engineering Research) at Trinity College) and is an active member of WITS (Women in Science and Technology). She chaired the Gender Equality Task Force at NUI Galway from 2015-2016 and is currently a member of the Advisory Committee on Gender Equality at the University. -ends-__________________________________________________________________Céimithe Oinigh 2017 Fógartha ag OÉ Gaillimh Fintan O’Toole, an Dr Kristina Johnson, John MacNamara agus an tOllamh Jane Grimson  D’fhógair OÉ Gaillimh inniu (Dé Luain, 15 Bealtaine) na daoine a mbronnfar Céimeanna Oinigh na hOllscoile 2017 orthu. Bronnfar na céimeanna oinigh Dé hAoine, an 9 Meitheamh ar iriseoir The Irish Times, Fintan O’Toole; Innealtóir agus iar-Fho-Rúnaí Fuinnimh na Stát Aontaithe, an Dr Kristina Johnson; an fear gnó John MacNamara; agus an chéad chéimí innealtóireachta ban i gColáiste na Tríonóide, an tOllamh Jane Grimson. Ag labhairt dó faoin bhfógra, dúirt Uachtarán OÉ Gaillimh, an Dr Jim Browne:  “Tá an t-ádh le OÉ Gaillimh céimithe oinigh den scoth a bheith aige in imeacht na mblianta agus is cinnte gur grúpa ar leith iad céimithe oinigh na bliana seo. Tá a c(h)ion féin déanta ag gach céimí oinigh daoibh i réimsí éagsúla na litríochta agus na hiriseoireachta, an ghnó, na heolaíochta agus na hinnealtóireachta, an riaracháin phoiblí agus an daonchairdis. Tá an-áthas ar OÉ Gaillimh a bheith in ann aitheantas a thabhairt do na daoine eisceachtúla seo.” Fintan O'Toole Is colúnaí é Fintan O'Toole le The Irish Times agus bhuaigh sé Duais Phreas na hEorpa do thráchtaireacht in 2017. Chomh maith leis sin tá sé ag feidhmiú mar léachtóir ar cuairt Leonard L. Milberg i Litríocht na hÉireann in Ollscoil Princeton.  Rugadh é i mBaile Átha Cliath in 1958, agus bhí sé ina léirmheastóir drámaíochta leis an iris In Dublin, The Sunday Tribune, an New York Daily News, agus The Irish Times agus bhí sé freisin ina Chomhairleoir Liteartha le hAmharclann na Mainistreach. Scríobhann sé go minic don New York Review of Books agus The Guardian. Foilseofar a leabhar nua faoi Bernard Shaw in 2017 and le déanaí d’fhoilsigh Acadamh Ríoga na hÉireann Modern Ireland in 100 Artworks, atá curtha in eagar aige. I measc a chuid leabhar eile tá A History of Ireland in 100 Objects, Enough is Enough, Ship of Fools,  The Irish Times Book of the 1916 Rising, White Savage: William Johnson agus The Invention of America,  Shakespeare is Hard but so is Life;  agus A Traitor’s Kiss: The Life of Richard Brinsley Sheridan.  Kristina M. JohnsonBhain an Dr Kristina Johnson BS, MS agus PhD amach san innealtóireacht leictreach in Ollscoil Stanford, agus tá sí faoi láthair ina Príomhfheidhmeannach ar Cube Hydro Partners.  Sula ndeachaigh sí chuig Cube Hydro, bhí an Dr Johnson ina Fo-Rúnaí i Roinn Fuinnimh Stáit Aontaithe Mheiriceá. Bhí sí ina Propast agus ina Leas-Uachtarán Sinsearach do Ghnóthaí Acadúla in Ollscoil Johns Hopkins, bhí sí ina Déan ar Scoil Innealtóireachta Pratt in Ollscoil Duke, bhí sí ina hOllamh in Ollscoil Colorado in Boulder agus bhí sí freisin ina comhalta iardhochtúireachta NATO i gColáiste na Tríonóide, Baile Átha Cliath. I measc na ngradam acadúil atá bainte amach ag an Dr Johnson tá Duais Dennis Gabor do chruthaitheacht agus nuálaíocht in optaic nua-aimseartha, Bonn John Fritz (2008), a mheastar ar an ngradam is airde i ngairm na hinnealtóireachta agus is comhalta í den Acadamh Náisiúnta Innealtóireachta.  Bronnadh Gradam Saoil Chumann na nInnealtóirí Ban uirthi, bhronn Institiúid Anita Borg do Mhná agus do Theicneolaíocht Gradam Woman of Vision as Ceannaireacht uirthi (2010), agus bhronn ESPNW “40 years of Title IX - 40 Women Who Have Made an Impact” uirthi. Fuair sí aitheantas as a cuid oibre in aistriú teicneolaíochta agus fiontraíocht i Stáit Colorado agus North Carolina, bhronn Comhairle Teicneolaíochta na nGnólachtaí Beaga (SBTC) Gradam Milton Steward 2010 uirthi agus chomhbhunaigh sí ColorLink, Inc., a díoladh le RealD, agus atá freagrach as éifeachtaí 3D i scannáin cosúil le Avatar, Gravity agus 300 ceann eile nach iad. Tá an Dr Johnson ar bhord stiúrthóirí Cisco Systems agus AES. Tá 149 alt measúnaithe foilsithe aici agus tá 118 paitinn SAM agus Idirnáisiúnta aici.  Bhronn Ollscoil Alabama ag Huntsville, Ollscoil Tufts, Coláiste na Tríonóide, Baile Átha Cliath agus Ollscoil McGill, Montréal, Ceanada céimeanna oinigh uirthi. John MacNamaraRugadh John MacNamara i mBaile Átha Cliath sa bhliain 1944 agus is i mBiorra, Co. Uíbh Fhailí a tógadh é ó bhí sé an-óg. Chuaigh sé ar an mbunscoil i mBiorra agus d’fhreastail sé ar mheánscoil chónaitheach i gColáiste Fhlannáin, Inis áit a ndearna sé an Ardteistiméireacht in 1961.  In 1962 thosaigh sé ag obair leis an mBanc Náisiúnta, Banc na hÉireann mar a tugadh air ina dhiaidh sin, áit a raibh róil éagsúla aige i mBaile Átha Cliath go dtí 1982 nuair a bhog sé go Gaillimh chun feidhmiú mar Bhainisteoir Réigiúnach na Gaillimhe agus Mhaigh Eo. I Meán Fómhair 1990 ceapadh é mar Bhainisteoir Ginearálta an Iarthair agus bhí freagracht air as 81 brainse i mbreis agus deich gcontae. Chuaigh sé ar scor ón mBanc sa bhliain 2001. Tá BComm agus MEconSc aige ón gColáiste Ollscoile, Baile Átha Cliath.  Tá John pósta le Mary agus tá ceathrar clainne orthu agus seachtar garpháistí. D’fhreastail triúr de ghasúir John agus Mary ar OÉ Gaillimh agus iad i mbun na fochéime, agus bhain beirt acu cáilíochtaí iarchéime amach san Ollscoil.  Chuaigh John ar Bhord Fhondúireacht Ollscoil na Gaillimhe nuair a bunaíodh é in 1998 ar chuireadh ón Uachtarán a bhí ar OÉ Gaillimh ag an am sin, an Dr Patrick F. Fottrell, agus tá ceithre théarma curtha isteach aige mar Chathaoirleach ó shin. Faoina cheannaireacht, agus le tacaíocht ó stiúrthóirí, ó phríomhfheidhmeannach agus ó fhoireann na Fondúireachta, bailíodh cistí daonchairdiúla suntasacha le haghaidh infreastruchtúr an champais.  Ó 1998 i leith tá breis agus €145 milliún bailithe ag an bhFondúireacht go díreach ó dhaonchairdeas, agus úsáideadh é sin le cómhaoiniú suntasach a aimsiú, rud a chiallaigh go rabhthas in ann níos mó ná €200 milliún a infheistiú i bhfoirgnimh thábhachtacha de chuid na hOllscoile, leithéidí an tIonad Spóirt nua, Sciathán agus Ionad Cultúrtha Bailey Allen, Áras Innealtóireachta Alice Perry, Institiúid Lambe don Taighde Aistritheach agus Ionad Uí Dhonnchadha don Drámaíocht, an Amharclannaíocht agus an Taibhléiriú.  Ó chuaigh sé ar scor bhí John ag feidhmiú ar bhord Choimisiún Forbartha an Iarthair agus ar Bhord Chalafort na Gaillimhe. Bhí baint ag John freisin le cúinsí carthanachta agus sóisialta agus tá sé ina Chathaoirleach ar Chúram Ailse an Iarthair i láthair na huaire. Jane GrimsonBa í an tOllamh Jane Grimson an chéad bhean ar bronnadh céim Innealtóireachta uirthi i gColáiste na Tríonóide, agus ina dhiaidh sin bhain sí máistreacht agus dochtúireacht amach sa Ríomheolaíocht in Ollscoileanna Toronto agus Dhún Éideann, faoi seach. D’fhill sí ar Choláiste na Tríonóide mar léachtóir in 1980 áit a raibh sí ina Déan Innealtóireachta, ina Leas-Déan Taighde agus ina Leas-Phropast. Sula ndeachaigh sí ar scor in 2014, tógadh ar iasacht í óna post agus í ceaptha ina Stiúrthóir Faisnéise Sláinte agus ansin ina Príomhfheidhmeannach Gníomhach leis an Údarás um Fhaisnéis agus Cáilíocht Sláinte. Tá ábhar go leor foilsithe aici i réimse na Faisnéisíochta Sláinte agus bronnadh Bonn O’Moore uirthi in 2007 as ucht a cuid oibre sa réimse sin. Bhí Jane ina hUachtarán freisin tráth ar Institiúid Innealtóirí na hÉireann, ar Acadamh Innealtóireachta na hÉireann, ar Chumann Faisnéisíochta Sláinte na hÉireann, agus ar Chumann Ríomhaireachta na hÉireann. Is Innealtóir Cairte í, agus is Comhalta agus Leas-Uachtarán í ar Acadamh Ríoga na hÉireann agus ar Acadamh Ríoga na hInnealtóireachta. Bhí sí ina Cathaoirleach ar Chomhairle Taighde na hÉireann um Eolaíocht, Innealtóireacht agus Theicneolaíocht, bhí sí ina ball de Bhord Fhondúireacht Eolaíochta Éireann, de Bhord Comhairleach Taighde na hEorpa, agus bhí sí ina Feidhmeannach ar Fhondúireacht Eolaíochta na hEorpa. Faoi láthair is ball í Jane den Bhord Taighde Sláinte agus de Chomhairle Acadamh Ríoga na hÉireann. Tá Jane ag obair le blianta ar thionscnaimh chun earcaíocht, coinneáil agus ardú céime na mban san innealtóireacht agus i gcúrsaí léinn a chur chun cinn. Bhí lámh aici i mbunú an chláir STEPS in Institiúid Innealtóirí na hÉireann agus WiSER (Mná i dTaighde Eolaíochta agus Innealtóireachta) i gColáiste na Tríonóide agus is ball gníomhach í de WITS (Mná in Eolaíocht agus Teicneolaíocht). Bhí sí ina Cathaoirleach ar an Tascfhórsa ar Chomhionannas Inscne in OÉ Gaillimh ó 2015-2016 agus tá sí faoi láthair ina ball den Choiste Comhairleach ar Chomhionannas Inscne san Ollscoil. -críoch-

Wednesday, 31 May 2017

The Irish Centre for Human Rights at the School of Law, NUI Galway is accepting delegates for its annual International Criminal Court Summer School, which will take place from the 19 to 23 June 2017. The International Criminal Court (ICC) Summer School at the Irish Centre for Human Rights attracts participants from around the world and early registration is advised. During five days of intensive lectures given by leading academics as well as legal professionals working at the International Criminal Court, participants are provided with a detailed working knowledge of the establishment of the Court, its structures and operations, and the applicable law. Lectures also speak to related issues in international criminal law, including: genocide, war crimes, crimes against humanity, the crime of aggression, jurisdiction, fair trial rights, crimes of sexual violence, and the rules of procedure and evidence. This year’s Summer School will include a topical special session on Corporate Crimes and the International Criminal Court. Dr Shane Darcy of NUI Galway’s Irish Centre for Human Rights, said: “The International Criminal Court is the world’s first permanent court for the prosecution of genocide, crimes against humanity, and war crimes. Despite some setbacks and obstacles, the Court is now fully functional and holding trials, and it provides an avenue for those seeking justice and accountability for serious human rights abuses.” During the ICC summer school, expert presentations will be delivered by Professor William Schabas from the Irish Centre for Human Rights, Middlesex University; Professor James Stewart, University of British Columbia; Dr Fabricio Guariglia, Dr Rod Rastan, and Dr Mohamed El Zeidy; International Criminal Court; Professor Megan A. Fairlie, Florida International University; Professor Donald M. Ferencz, Middlesex University; Dr Noelle Quenivet, University of the West of England; Dr Nadia Bernaz, Middlesex University; Dr. James Nyawo, INTERVICT, Tilburg University; Mr Richard J. Rodgers, Global Diligence LLP; Mr John McManus, Canadian Department of Justice. The registration fee of €450 includes all conference materials, all lunches and refreshments, a social activity and a closing dinner. The registration fee also includes a complimentary copy of Professor William Schabas' book, An Introduction to the International Criminal Court. The closing date for registrations is 1 June 2017. To register and for more information regarding the 2017 ICC Summer School, please visit http://www.conference.ie/Conferences/index.asp?Conference=497 or email Sarah Creedon at iccsummerschool@gmail.com. -Ends-

Wednesday, 31 May 2017

The tours aim to create a Culture for Service Learning and Civic Engagement in Higher Education across Europe The Community Knowledge Initiative (CKI) at NUI Galway will host two groups of twelve students and twelve academics from the Europe Engage Network for a two-week study tour in June to explore service learning as a teaching approach.  While the students are here they will be trained by TechSpace to create digital media resources for a number of local community partners including Galway Community Circus, Café Saol and Smart Consent. TechSpace is a national movement that aims to change the lives of young people in Ireland by becoming Ireland’s leading creative technology network for outcome focused youth development. Lorraine McIlrath, Coordinator of the Community Knowledge Initiative at NUI Galway said: “We are honoured and delighted to welcome the students and academics to NUI Galway to experience the work that we do in the wider community to enhance and develop a culture of community engagement.  This project has enabled diverse European countries to learn about different conceptions and approaches to civic engagement and service learning. The relationships forged through his three-year project will have lasting effect.” Europe Engage is a project, which brings together twelve European universities to further develop service learning and civic engagement within higher education.  It is co-led by Pilar Aramburuzabala from the Universdad Autónoma De Madrid and Lorraine McIlrath from NUI Galway. Since 2014, the Europe Engage partners have worked to gather knowledge on existing service learning practices and the evidence demonstrated within their universities, regarding their commitment to this educational approach. This project has worked to publish a report outlining the results from a survey conducted among the twelve partner universities. This report, ‘EUROPE ENGAGE – Developing a Culture of Civic Engagement through Service-Learning within Higher Education Europe’ documents the nature of the work of these universities in service learning and civic engagement. Information regarding the internal policies, strategies, resources and practices was also gathered to gain an understanding of the perspective of each institution regarding civic engagement.  The Europe Engage partners are happy that this report provides a ‘snapshot’ from which the project can establish a baseline and work towards future targets, plans and growth of activities. The project team have also developed a MOOC, which is a free online course, which provides participants with an introduction to service-learning pedagogy and methods of integrating a meaningful community service into the curriculum, as well as the evaluation. A book is also currently in development with Taylor Francis, which will add to the resources available, supporting educators across Europe in using service learning as a pedagogical teaching approach. The CKI is renowned internationally for its work in developing civic engagement as a core pillar of the NUI Galway experience. Learning from the CKI, the students will share their experiences, engage with other cultures and disciplines about the potential diverse reach of civic engagement and will also reflect on their experiences and learning and present as part of a keynote panel at the 7th International Symposium on Service Learning, also hosted by NUI Galway in June as well. For further Information contact: Lorraine McIlrath, Director of the Community Knowledge Initiative at NUI Galway at 087-7682099 -Ends- 

Wednesday, 31 May 2017

NUI Galway, in collaboration with 19 software industry partners, is offering a limited number of free places on its award winning, innovative Higher Diploma in Software Design and Development Programme – Industry Stream. This programme was recently awarded the accolade of being Postgraduate Programme of the Year in Information Technology by Grad Ireland. 90% of Higher Diploma in Software Design and Development graduates have secured immediate employment in software development roles. Many of the graduates are employed with some of Ireland’s leading software companies. NUI Galway has designed this one year conversion programme in conjunction with leading IT employers which enables graduates to reskill for employment in the software development area. Student fees for the course are funded by the Higher Education Authority given the strategic importance of developing skills in this area. Successful applicants will therefore, pay no fees. The overall goal of this postgraduate conversion programme is to strategically increase the supply of skilled graduates to meet the needs of Ireland’s high-growth software industry. It will provide graduates with a fast track, focused computing qualification, and presents them with an opportunity to obtain valuable industry work experience. Applicants are paired with an industry partner from the start of the programme and are then trained in key technologies for that employer’s needs, so they are able to maximise the impact of a paid industry internship towards the end of the programme. The Higher Diploma in Software Design and Development builds on the existing strengths of collaborative academic-industry interaction in the Galway region, and will provide graduates with a solid foundation in key areas of software design, a choice of software architecture specialisations in either .NET or Java Enterprise. The final aspect of the course involves a guaranteed three-month paid internship to gain industry experience, and as a result provides the opportunity to kick-start your career as a software developer. The industry partners include Avaya, IBM, Cisco, INSIGHT, Storm Technologies, Aspect Software, The Marine Institute, and Schneider Electric. Dr Enda Howley, Course Director, said: “We are delighted to be offering free places again on this unique programme due to funding from the Higher Education Authority and their Springboard initiative. This is a super opportunity for highly motivated analytical graduates particularly from cognate disciplines such as engineering, maths, business and science. We have had huge success with graduates from these areas due to their natural problem solving capacity. By investing just one year of their time in further education, and, through placement experience with our Industry partners; they will have an excellent prospect for recruitment as software developers in Ireland’s high tech ICT sector. This sector is experiencing rapid expansion at the moment, and there is a growing skills shortage for ICT graduate roles that these students are ideally suited to fill. Dr Howley added:  “The highly intensive programme is designed to begin software development from scratch, but we are particularly keen to receive applications from those who have had some exposure to code and feel that this is something they potentially have a flare for. People with technical or strong numerical backgrounds often perform best in these types of programmes and we strongly encourage applicants who have strong logical reasoning or maths skills. ” The programme is open to all those who have a level 8 degree or alternatively those with a level 7 degree and has some relevant industry work experience. Those currently completing their studies or who are currently in some form of employment are all eligible to apply. NUI Galway is now processing applications and those interested can make their application through www.springboardcourses.ie, Deadline for final applications is Friday, 30th June For further information contact the Programme Director, Dr Enda Howley at ehowley@nuigalway.ie. -Ends-

Wednesday, 31 May 2017

Minister launches NUI Galway report on trends in children’s health behaviours – More children are reporting high life satisfaction and less children are smoking or drinking 8% of Irish children aged 10-17 said they were smoking in 2014 compared to 23% in 1998 21% reported that they had ever been drunk in 2014 compared to 33% in 1998 8% reported that they had used cannabis in the last year compared to 12% in 1998 Seat-belt wearing rates have doubled by (81%) amongst children since 1998 34% reported that their health was excellent compared to 28% in 1998 The Minister of State for Health Promotion, Deputy Marcella Corcoran Kennedy launched the ‘Health Behaviour in School-aged Children Ireland Trends Report 1998-2014’ (HBSC) in Dublin today (30 May 2017). The study was carried out by Professor Saoirse Nic Gabhainn and her team at the Health Promotion Research Centre in NUI  Galway. The HBSC is a cross-sectional study conducted in collaboration with the World Health Organisation Regional Office for Europe. It runs every four years and in 2014 there were 42 participating countries and regions collecting data on the health behaviours, health outcomes and contexts of children’s lives. In terms of risky behaviour, the survey reports that in 2014 8% of Irish children aged 10-17 said they were smoking compared to 23% in 1998, this is a further decrease since 2010 when the figure was 12%. 21% reported that they had ever been drunk compared to 33% in 1998.  8% reported that they had used cannabis in the last year compared to 12% in 1998. In terms of positive behaviour, seat-belt wearing rates have almost doubled to (81%) amongst children since 1998 and 34% reported that their health was excellent compared to 28% in 1998.  High rates of life satisfaction (76%) and reported happiness (89%) continue. Commenting on the report, Minister Marcella Corcoran-Kennedy said: “This is very important research and I want to thank all of those involved and all of those who participated. We know that lifestyle patterns are established at an early age. We also know that chronic diseases, such as diabetes and cardiac disease, can develop as a result of lifestyle choices. Having detailed information about the lifestyle choices of our children is hugely significant for the choices we make as a country on the future direction of our national health policy. It is important that we now listen to the responses of our children on these key questions and work together to build a health system that responds to this information.” Commenting on the findings, Principal Investigator, Professor Saoirse Nic Gabhainn from the Health Promotion Research Centre at NUI Galway, stated: “This report is the culmination of many years of work, and brings some good news about the health behaviours of children in Ireland over the years, with the sustained decrease in smoking and in alcohol use for example. Communication with parents also continues to improve. Yet more still needs to be done to improve their health, in particular around physical activity. Other areas of concern are the increases in feeling pressured by schoolwork. Importantly, the proportion of children reporting high life satisfaction and being happy, fundamental aspects of childhood, is high and has been sustained over the years, while health and safety behaviours such as wearing a seatbelt and brushing teeth have increased substantially.” To read the full report, visit: http://health.gov.ie/wp-content/uploads/2017/05/HBSC-Trends-Report-2017.pdf -Ends-

Wednesday, 31 May 2017

Health Research Board and Irish Research Council award funding to NUI Galway that will focus on public and patient involvement in the health research process from the outset NUI Galway is one of five universities awarded funding under the Health Research Board and Irish Research Council’s new €1.75million ‘PPI Ignite’ initiative, to help researchers involve the public from the very start of the health research process. It is the first award of its kind in Ireland. NUI Galway will receive €350,000 to actively develop capacity in Public and Patient Involvement (PPI). The initiative will be led by Principal Investigator, Sean Dinneen, Professor of Diabetic Medicine from the College of Medicine, Nursing and Health Sciences at NUI Galway. To help researchers tackle the Public and Patient Involvement challenge, the Health Research Board teamed up with the Irish Research Council to launch the PPI Ignite Awards. This funding scheme is designed to help institutions create the right environment, training, support and processes to help researchers involve the public and patients in planning and designing research studies, and in communicating study results in a non-technical language. “No one has more to gain from health research than patients who are already using health services, or the public who are all potential users. It makes sense to involve the public and patients at the outset to ensure that their life experience informs the approach taken when designing a research proposal”, explains Dr Máiread O Driscoll, Interim Chief Executive at the Health Research Board. “This funding is part of a wider Public and Patient  Involvement strategy at the HRB, which recently saw members of the public invited to review research proposals as part of a pilot project”, said Dr O Driscoll. “We got a strong response among people from all walks of life to review research proposals from a public perspective. We now need to marry these two initiatives to ensure researchers are equipped to adopt the public feedback into their proposals and help them understand the ways they could engage the public before they put pen-to-paper to write a proposal.” NUI Galway has many researchers who are already involving patients and members of the public in their work, including researchers in Speech and Language Therapy, General Practice, Disability Law and Dementia and Diabetes. Professor Dinneen’s research is aimed at improving outcomes for young adults living with type 1 diabetes in Ireland. The study team based in University Hospital Galway and NUI Galway includes a panel of young adults living with type 1 diabetes who act as co-researchers in developing a new approach to diabetes care called D1 Now. Commenting on the award, Professor Sean Dinneen from NUI Galway, said: “We are delighted to receive this PPI Ignite Award from the Health Research Board and Irish Research Council. We will use the funding to establish a PPI Ignite team in NUI Galway. The team will be based in the Institute for Lifecourse and Society and will provide support and training to members of the public and researchers, to enable them to embrace PPI methods in their work and thereby improve the quality and impact of the health research undertaken in our institution.” Commenting on the announcement, Peter Brown, Interim Director of the Irish Research Council said: “The Irish Research Council strongly promotes engagement as part of the research process and we are delighted to join with the HRB and co-fund this innovative initiative. Involving patients and the public in the research process will boost health research and its capacity to generate new solutions, processes and services to address the grand challenge that is health and well-being. Engaged research, such as reflected in PPI Ignite, truly is a win-win for all stakeholders.” The overarching aim of the PPI Ignite Awards is to support and promote capacity building for high quality Patient and Public Involvement in health research. -Ends-

Wednesday, 31 May 2017

Professor Noel Lowndes from the Centre of Chromosome Biology and Biochemistry and Professor Paul Crowther, Professor of Philosophy (Emeritus) at NUI Galway, have received the honour of being elected as a Members of the Royal Irish Academy during a special admittance ceremony at Academy House in Dublin last Friday (26 May 2017). The Royal Irish Academy, Ireland’s leading body of experts in the sciences and humanities, admitted 18 new Members that included the two NUI Galway Professors. Since 1785 membership of the Academy has been awarded to persons who have attained distinction by their unique contributions to education and research. Professor Noel Lowndes and Professor Paul Crowther were elected as Members due to their outstanding contribution to Sciences and Humanities and Social Sciences. Professor Lowndes studies the mechanisms of genome stability that prevent cancer and has published widely in leading journals. As founding director of the Centre for Chromosome Biology he has made a major impact on the international reputation of Biochemistry at NUI Galway and, more generally, Irish biomedical science. This impact has also been recognised by his election to the membership of the European Molecular Biology Organisation. Paul Crowther is Professor of Philosophy (Emeritus) and was the Established Professor and Head of the Philosophy Discipline from 2009 to 2016 at NUI Galway. His previous posts included, Reader in Aesthetics and the History of Art at Oxford University. He is internationally acclaimed for his publications in the area of aesthetics and he specialises in philosophy of the visual arts. He has published 13 highly regarded monographs. His latest book What Drawing and Painting Really Mean: The Phenomenology of Image and Gesture has just been published by Routledge. There are now 580 Members of the Royal Irish Academy (of whom 85 are Honorary or overseas Members) that include;  John Joseph Lee, historian; Philip Lane, Governor of the Central Bank of Ireland; Susan Denham, Chief Justice of Ireland; Mary Kelly, chairperson of An Bord Pleanála; and Roy Foster, historian and biographer of WB Yeats.     Congratulating both Professors on this honour, President of NUI Galway, Dr Jim Browne, said: “Research and academic excellence are the cornerstones of all that we do here at NUI Galway. I am very proud to see the work of Professor Lowndes and Professor Crowther recognised by the Royal Irish Academy. Admission to the Academy is the highest academic honour in Ireland and it is a testament to the calibre of our staff and research to see two colleagues honoured in this way.” The Royal Irish Academy was founded by Charter in 1785 for the advancement of learning and scholarship in Ireland. The Academy champion’s Irish academic research and one of its principal roles is to identify and recognise Ireland’s world class researchers. It supports excellent scholarship and promotes awareness of how science and the humanities enrich our lives and benefit society. -Ends-

Monday, 29 May 2017

7th annual International Symposium on Service Learning (ISSL) NUI Galway will welcome over 200 international delegates from South Africa, Egypt, Vietnam, Ireland, UK, Germany and across the USA, to the 7th annual International Symposium on Service Learning (ISSL) which will take place from the 14-16 June 2017. The ISSL is a partnership between the University of Indianapolis, Stellenbosch University and NUI Galway. For three days the delegates will discuss the role of higher education within society through service learning.   Service learning is a teaching approach that connects student learning to the needs of community. Since 2004, NUI Galway has been offering up to 2000 students the opportunity to connect their learning to community. Lorraine McIlrath Director of the Community Knowledge Initiative at NUI Galway and Co-Chair of the ISSL said: “Students at NUI Galway have an opportunity to use their knowledge to connect with real world problems - engineering students design and build prototypes for people with physical disabilities, nursing students address the implications of nursing in an Irish multi-cultural context and law students offer pro bono legal information to community partners. We feel that this type of learning can open students’ minds to their role as agents of change within community and society.” The theme of the 2017 symposium is “Service Learning as a Response to Global Transitions in Higher Education: Opportunities for Transforming Higher Education on Advancing Social Impact.” Delegates will share knowledge across different cultural contexts on what matters and works when using service learning as a teaching approach.  Lorraine McIlrath also said: “It has been a fantastic opportunity for universities in South Africa, Europe and the USA to come together to showcase form international perspectives the challenges, opportunities and impact that service learning can have in terms of transforming the higher education experience and that of impact within community and society.” When reflecting on the 7th ISSL, President Robert L. Manuel from the University of Indianapolis said: “Service learning encompasses much more than providing on-site educational experiences or featuring community leaders in the classroom. It represents a true partnership to not only educate students but also instil in them the mind-set and thoughtfulness necessary to enhance their community - no matter where their life takes them. The inspiration ignited today will help us to translate these experiences to the next generation of influencers and community leaders.” For more information contact Lorraine McIlrath Director of the Community Knowledge Initiative at NUI Galway at Lorraine.mcilrath@nuigalway.ie or phone 0877682099 -Ends-

Monday, 29 May 2017

A first for Irish secondary school history students in partnership with a third-level institution to receive dedicated teaching using research archives and digital skills provision Over 120 Leaving Certificate students have graduated from an Archives research programme at NUI Galway. Breaking the S.E.A.L. (Schools Engagement with Archives through Learning) is a project developed by Dr Paul Flynn from the School of Education and Barry Houlihan, Archivist at NUI Galway, which partnered with local secondary schools in Galway to facilitate history students to access the unique archival collections of the University’s Hardiman Library. The project saw students choose a range of topics, spanning hundreds of years of local and international history, and develop a written history based on primary sources and archival material. The recent graduation ceremony held at NUI Galway brought together the participating students from Coláiste Mhuire in Ballygar, Presentation College Headford and St Joseph’s Patrician Academy in Galway, where they were presented with a published book of their work and a certificate of graduation. All students also received a digital badge in recognition of their work. The awards were presented by Dr Mary Fleming, Senior Lecturer in Education at NUI Galway. The publication, the Handbook of Second-Level Educational Research, which will also be published in the University’s online research repository database, ARAN, marks the first of its kind in Ireland for Leaving Certificate history students to partner with a third-level institution and receive dedicated teaching using archives for research, digital skills provision and academic writing tuition. Dr Paul Flynn and Barry Houlihan, Co-Directors of Breaking the S.E.A.L. said: “The project was a hugely rewarding experience – introducing a whole new generation of young historians to the skills of studying archives, handling fragile and priceless material, and the importance of critical thinking and writing skills to their education. The students were wonderful to work with and we are very proud of their achievements.” Also announced at the ceremony was that Breaking the S.E.A.L. has been inducted as the first Irish representative into the ‘EU Story’ network, a Europe-wide network of young historians. The project recently received a national Teaching Excellence 2016 Award from CONUL, the Consortium of University and National Libraries and is also nominated for the Irish Education Awards 2017. John Cox the University Librarian said: “Our archives are open to all researchers and it is very rewarding to see them so impressively used by Leaving Certificate students from local schools. Well done to all associated with this wonderful project.” Dr Mary Fleming added: “This is a wonderful initiative that connects Leaving Certificate students with the University. The project challenges the students to develop as Historians through using the primary sources available in the library in their Leaving Certificate projects. A visible outcome of the project is the students’ enhanced appreciation of History as a discipline as well as a deeper engagement with their own learning as students. Teachers, students and all involved are to be congratulated on the wonderful outcomes from the simple step of making the archives available, literally - breaking of the seal.”   For more information on NUI Galway’s Digitised Archives Collection, visit: http://library.nuigalway.ie/collections/archives/depositedcollections/digitisedarchives/ -Ends-