New Study On Antibiotic Prescribing and Consumption for Urinary Tract Infections

New Study On Antibiotic Prescribing and Consumption for Urinary Tract Infections-image

Tuesday, 19 January 2016

NUI Galway researchers study the culture of antibiotic prescribing and consumption for Urinary Tract Infections and find the need for more dialogue among GPs and Patients Researchers from NUI Galway’s School of Medicine have carried out a study to explore the culture of antibiotic prescribing and consumption in the community for Urinary Tract Infections (UTIs), from the perspective of the General Practitioners (GPs) and community members. Their results were published in the medical journal BMJ Open. This research provides insight into the decision-making processes contributing to the continued prescription and consumption of antibiotics for Urinary Tract Infections. An antibiotic is not a satisfactory outcome from every UTI GP consultation. As a result of this qualitative research, behavioural interventions should focus on: Improving the quality of antibiotic prescribing for UTI by encouraging GPs to reflect on their current antibiotic-prescribing practices, including when they prescribe and what antibiotics they choose. Supporting a dialogue between the GP and the patient within the consultation about the positive and negative aspects of antibiotic treatment for UTI particularly when symptoms are non-specific. Building changes into routine care without elongating the consultation. As part of the study the NUI Galway researchers carried out in depth interviews with 15 GPs practicing in rural and urban locations in Ireland, and six focus groups were held with community members who had direct or indirect experiences with urinary tract infection. The study found that decisions made to prescribe or consume an antibiotic for a UTI is a set of complex processes. It includes recognising that you are unwell (need recognition), seeking advice from various sources like the web and family members prior to visiting the GP (information search), and deciding whether to go to the GP (evaluation process). All of these processes are governed by the relationship and interactions between the GP and the patient. Different GP and patient decision-making profiles emerged, emphasising the diversity and variety of general practice in real-life settings. The GP findings showed a requirement for more microbiological information on antibiotic resistance patterns to inform prescribing decisions. Focus group participants (patients) wanted a conversation with the GP about their illness and the treatment options available. Dr Sinead Duane from the School of Medicine at NUI Galway and co-author of the study said: “Many patients are open to delaying antibiotic treatment if the GP takes time to explain the reasons why and provides advice on which symptoms they should look out for. This research highlights that patients visiting their GP often only want reassurance and advice on how to manage their symptom, and not necessarily an antibiotic.” Collectively, this research identified the consultation as a priority intervention environment for stimulating change in relation to antibiotics. The BMJ Open paper demonstrates how qualitative research can identify the interacting processes which are instrumental to the decision to prescribe or consume an antibiotic for a suspected UTI. Qualitative research empowers researchers to investigate the what, how and why of interventions in a real-life setting. Qualitative research can play a critical and instrumental role in designing behavioural change strategies with high impact on practice. The results of this research were used to design a complex intervention informed by social marketing. To view the full BMJ Open paper visit: http://bmjopen.bmj.com/content/6/1/e008894.full.pdf+html ENDS

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NUI Galway Researchers Seek Participants for Online Pain Management Programme

NUI Galway Researchers Seek Participants for Online Pain Management Programme-image

Tuesday, 19 January 2016

Children who experience chronic pain are invited to take part in first online pain management programme of its kind in Ireland to be trialled at NUI Galway Researchers from the School of Psychology and Centre for Pain Research at NUI Galway are currently recruiting children age 6-10 years with chronic pain and their parent(s) or care-giver(s) to take part in an online pain management programme for children. An online pain management programme called Feeling Better has been developed at NUI Galway to help children and parents to manage chronic pain for a better quality of life. This web-based programme is based on the principles of cognitive behavioural therapy, a psychological therapy which has shown to be effective in the management of chronic pain, in traditional face-to-face therapy and group treatment. The Feeling Better study is unique in that a trial of this nature has not been investigated to date in Ireland. The programme is currently the only, widely available, source of interactive, online therapeutic support for school age children with chronic pain in Ireland. The researchers would like to enlist families coping with chronic pain to aid in the testing of this online pain management programme. Chronic pain is pain which persists for a period of three months or more. It affects up to 35% of the Irish population and is increasingly prevalent in young people. Recent studies suggest up to 10% of 5-12 year old Irish children report chronic or persistent pain including abdominal pain, back pain, musculoskeletal pain, headache and widespread pain. Chronic pain is often associated with psychological effects, which may include changes in mood and difficulty with focusing attention and performance at school. This can have a significant impact on day-to-day quality of life. The Feeling Better study is open to children with any type of chronic or persistent pain (pain which has lasted for three months or more). The study will take place over the coming months and children and their parent(s) from across Ireland are invited to take part. Pain support groups, parent-led networks, GPs and physiotherapists around the country are encouraged to get in touch and to refer suitable people with pain to the study. Benefits to participants include access to a free online pain management programme and training in cognitive and behavioural techniques tailored for chronic pain management and school age children. The online programme was developed by clinical psychologists and researchers at NUI Galway with input from families currently coping with chronic pain. School age children with chronic pain and their care-givers were involved in the design and development process. Evidence-based psychological strategies were selected to address areas of pain management children and parents identified as most challenging and important. This influence ensures Feeling Better is a fun and engaging form of online therapeutic support designed by children with pain for children with pain. The programme involves 9-weekly online sessions. Each session is designed to take approximately 30-minutes to complete and all participants are guided through the programme by a ‘Coach’ who is available to provide feedback and advice on a regular basis. Each week, this fun, pirate-themed, interactive programme will introduce children to new skills in the form of ‘Challenges’ and weekly ‘Missions’ (treatment sessions) which they must complete in order to progress in their training. Participating children will begin the programme as a ‘Powder Monkey’ and must earn a promotion with each Mission until they succeed to ‘Captain’ and claim their treasure. Parents are encouraged to take the role of ‘Coach’ and are separately guided through a complementary section of the programme where they are provided with information, tips for practice and tools to help with day-to-day pain management. Weekly sessions are tailored to participants goals, support needs and coping preferences. Children and parents will learn more about psychological strategies which focus on techniques such as relaxation training, activity pacing, attention management, communication skills and the influence of thoughts and emotions on the experience of pain. This programme is part of a research project being carried out at NUI Galway by PhD candidate and Hardiman scholar, Angeline Traynor and led by Professor Brian McGuire from NUI Galway’s School of Psychology and the Centre for Pain Research. Angeline Traynor has been researching chronic pain management and working with families to develop an effective and accessible pain management programme. Ms Traynor says: “Chronic pain is thought to be predictive of long term complaints and disability. Given the impact of chronic pain it is essential to provide a means of support for young children with respect to pain management. Learning coping strategies at an early age may have long term benefits for the child and the family as a whole. Our hope is that this online programme will overcome access and resource issues which may be preventing families from receiving psychological treatment to support pain management.” Participation is voluntary. Children and parents who take part will be helping researchers decide if web-based technology is an acceptable means of treatment delivery. The researchers are looking for volunteers to help them trial the programme and determine what works and what doesn’t work. To participate in the study or for further information, please contact Angeline Traynor at team@feelingbetter.ie and 086 0378562 or visit www.feelingbetter.ie The study is supported by Galway University Foundation and the Centre for Pain Research at NUI Galway. ENDS

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NUI Galway becomes Ireland’s First Partially Smoke-free University

NUI Galway becomes Ireland’s First Partially Smoke-free University-image

Wednesday, 20 January 2016

Two new smoke-free zones are launched outside some of the University’s busiest buildings NUI Galway has introduced two smoke-free zones on campus. The new smoke-free zones are centred around two designated smoking shelters in the north and south campus, and cover some of the most popular buildings on campus, including the James Hardiman Library, the Arts Millennium Building, the Engineering Building, Áras Moyola and the Cairnes Building. In 2013, a University-wide survey was carried out to gauge the campus community’s attitudes towards smoking at NUI Galway. While an outright ban on smoking was rejected, a majority of staff and students expressed their preference for restricting smoking to designated areas only. Since then, a working group of University staff and Students’ Union representatives has been working on designing and implementing the smoke-free zones. While it will take some time to build awareness about the new smoking restrictions, there is already a marked reduction in smoking at many building entrances. The new smoke-free zones are supported by both the University and the Students’ Union, and members of the Student Cancer Society are helping to grow awareness around the campaign. Like many public places, smoking creates second-hand smoke and litter on the campus, in particular at the entrances to buildings. The new smoke-free zones are aimed at making the University a cleaner and healthier place for everyone to work and study. Signage on the new designated smoking shelters includes information on supports to quit smoking. Commenting on the new smoke-free zones, Vice-President for the Student Experience, Dr Pat Morgan said: “A healthy campus will deliver long-term benefits for all our community. One of the first steps is to establish smoke-free zones.  Students and staff are united in this particular initiative.” For more information on why and where NUI Galway is going smoke-free, visit: www.nuigalway.ie/smokefree. -Ends-

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Cushioning the blow: Study finds clues to stock market crashes from ecological disasters

Cushioning the blow: Study finds clues to stock market crashes from ecological disasters-image

Wednesday, 20 January 2016

NUI Galway are co-authors of an international study that finds stock market crashes can be compared to unexpected ecological disasters and natural calamities An interdisciplinary team of scientists from NUI Galway, the Indian Institute of Science (IISc) and Ecole Normale Supérieure Cachan in France, came together to examine if market crashes exhibited the same early warning signs as natural calamities. Their investigation reveals interesting answers and suggests improved metrics for forecasting a market crash. The study was published in the open access science journal, PLOS ONE. While financial analysts can guide you through the daily ups and downs of the stock market, accurate forecasts of an imminent crash is still difficult to predict. Just like natural calamities, stock market crashes occur frequently and often have repercussions for the global economy. Experts are now looking at natural disasters for clues to understand economic ones. Currently volatility in stock prices is used as a basic risk indicator. However, the recent financial crisis of 2007-2008 that caused global markets to shut down temporarily, reminded experts that this is not enough to prepare for a crash. Are there any other signs that we could watch out for? Whispers of a probable answer came from an unexpected field – ecology. Professor Vishwesha Guttal, Mathematical Ecologist at the Centre for Ecological Sciences at the Indian Institute of Science and lead author of the published study, said: “There is a lot of interest in the exchange of ideas between ecology and economics.” This study sprung from Professor Guttal’s discussions with Dr Srinivas Raghavendra, an Economist at the J.E. Cairnes School of Business & Economics at NUI Galway, looking at the behaviour of financial markets as complex systems. Financial markets are suggested to be akin to ecological systems with complex feedback loops and sudden critical transitions, also known as ‘tipping points’. A stock market crash can be compared to unexpected natural transitions such as the onset of the Ice Age, desertification of a fertile area, and the collapse of local fisheries, are just some examples. In recent years, ecologists have been looking for behavioural clues of complex systems in these natural events. It turns out that many complex systems in nature exhibit ‘critical slowing down’ behaviour before reaching their tipping point. This means that just before a critical transition, it takes longer for them to recover from small disturbances because their internal stabilising mechanisms become weak. Hence, the system stays ‘disturbed’ for a longer time than usual, which means that the system becomes highly correlated in the disturbed state. To test this theory on stock market crashes, Professor Guttal and his team rigorously analysed the daily closing data of three major U.S. (Dow Jones Index (DJI), S&P 500 and NASDAQ) and two European (DAX and FTSE) markets spanning the last century. In all cases, they found that variability did increase prior to every known market crash in history. Which means the financial system does get significantly ‘disturbed’ before a crash. But curiously, there was no increase in the autocorrelation of data. Autocorrelation indicates how similar the data is across different time samples. This means that, once markets are ‘disturbed’, market recovery happens as usual without a ‘slowing down’. This trend is consistent for all crashes across all markets studied by the team. “Many papers suggest that financial meltdowns are also transitions near tipping points, but here our research shows that they are not”, added Professor Guttal. Then why do markets crash? Professor Guttal explains, “We suggest this is because the system is dominated by high stochasticity (randomness). Our results indicate that if random disturbances in the market grow stronger with time, they can lead to a financial meltdown even if the market is not close to a tipping point. Variability can therefore be an important statistical indicator in early warning signals (EWS) for market crashes, complementing existing indicators such as volatility.” Could this study have policy implications? NUI Galway Economist, Dr Srinivas Raghavendra and co-author of the study says, “To build robust policies and corrective measures in the future, we need to understand the origin of randomness that drives market meltdowns. This may arise from complex interactions between financial institutions, market microstructure and individual agent behaviour, all adapting at different time scales. Deconstructing such a complex system is necessary for effective policy intervention.” However, there are two major limitations in predictability of such indicators. They don’t indicate when a crash may happen and they only suggest a high probability of a crash. In this detailed study of Dow Jones data, 16 early warning signals emerged from the variability calculations. Of the 16, seven were false alarms. But the good news is that there were no failed alarms and the remaining nine covered every major crash in American market history. Mr Nikunj Goel, an undergraduate physics student who worked with Professor Guttal on this study, has developed a basic web application that provides current trends in markets around the globe. It also shares analysis on historical meltdowns from their published study. The team hopes to add more features to this app and make it more user-friendly. To read the full study in PLOS ONE visit: http://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0144198 Nature-India, Nature Publishing Group, carried an in-depth article on the paper here: http://www.natureasia.com/en/nindia/article/10.1038/nindia.2015.178 ENDS

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New Sean-nós Dancer in Residence at Centre for Irish Studies

New Sean-nós Dancer in Residence at Centre for Irish Studies-image

Friday, 22 January 2016

NUI Galway’s Centre for Irish Studies has announced the appointment of Páraic Ó hOibicín as Sean-nós Dancer in Residence for 2016. A native of Leitir Mucú in Connemara, Páraic Ó hOibicín is one of a generation of dancers who led the revival of sean-nós dance in the late twentieth century. Key to Páraic’s style of dancing, is a faithful nod to older dancers and the tradition that he saw in his youth. He credits Máirtín Beag Ó Gríofa as the most important influence in his development as a sean-nós dancer. Páraic’s style is highly individual, with a lightness and individuality of step recognisable the world over. Like many of his generation, Páraic was resident for a number of years in the UK, but returned to Leitir Mucú in 1984, and quickly reconnected with the dancing community of his youth through sean-nós and set dancing. A winner of the Oireachtas competition in 2004, Páraic is a sought after performer and teacher, and has been invited to give work-shops and master-classes of sean-nós dance nationally throughout Ireland, in Zurich and this year in America. Among his many dance students over the years are two of his own children Patrick and Soina, who have both been successful in Oireachtas competitions, continuing the family tradition. During his residency, Páraic will participate in a series of performances and workshops at the Centre for Irish Studies and other venues in Galway. A selection of his repertoire will also be recorded to deposit in the Sean-Nós Archive at the Centre for Irish Studies. A series of five free sean-nós dance workshops will take place in An Taibhdhearc and commence on Wednesday, 10 February and are open to the public. This project is funded by Ealaín na Gaeltachta, Údarás na Gaeltachta and An Chomhairle Ealaíon, in association with the Centre for Irish Studies at NUI Galway. -Ends- Rinceoir Sean-Nóis Cónaitheach ceaptha ag Ionad an Léinn Éireannaigh, OÉ Gaillimh Tá sé fógartha ag Ionad an Léinn Éireannaigh, OÉ Gaillimh, go bhfuil Páraic Ó hOibicín ceaptha mar Rinceoir Sean-Nóis Cónaitheach as seo go ceann bliana. D'fhás Páraic suas i Leitir Mucú i gConamara agus is ó Mháirtín Beag Ó Gríofa a fuair sé a chuid damhsa ar dtús. Tá Páraic dílis i gcónaí don seantraidisiún rince agus é ar dhuine desna damhsóirí is tábhachtaí in athbheochaint an tsean-nóis a tharla ag deireadh na haoise seo caite. Bhí Páraic ag maireachtaint i Sasana ar feadh blianta, agus d’fhill sé thar n-ais go Leitir Mucú i 1984. Tá neart duaiseanna bainte amach aige, san Oireachtas mar shampla i 2000. Bíonn sé ag damhsa agus ag múineadh ar fud na tíre agus éileamh air thar lear, i Zurich agus i Mericeá. Beidh an tsraith cheardlann san Taibhdhearc ag tosnú ar an 10 Feabhra. Tá na ceardlanna saor in aisce agus beidh fáilte roimh chách. Is iad Ealaín na Gaeltachta, Údarás na Gaeltachta agus An Chomhairle Ealaíon i bpáirt le hIonad an Léinn Éireannaigh atá ag maoiniú an togra seo. -Críoch-

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NUI Galway Business Degree Goes Global

NUI Galway Business Degree Goes Global-image

Friday, 22 January 2016

Innovative New Business Degree for NUI Galway The new Bachelor of Commerce (Global Experience) course at the J.E. Cairnes School of Business and Economics in NUI Galway adds another innovative degree to the school’s portfolio of global business programmes. Formerly known as the Bachelor of Commerce (International Experience) this NUI Galway degree has been significantly enhanced by extending study abroad opportunities through English, to China, Australia and the United States in addition to existing partner countries throughout the European Union. “This new degree offers the unique opportunity of a work placement and a study abroad in the same year, while still delivering a broad business degree combined with a business specialism in final year. This four year degree is designed to prepare students for the challenges of working in today’s global business environment, explained Programme Director, Dr Gerard Turley. Students complete modules from all different areas of business in the first two years of the degree. In year three, students undertake a work placement and/or study abroad. In final year, students specialise in one of the following eight streams: Accounting and Performance Measurement; Economics and Public Policy; Management of Human Resources; Marketing Management; Digital Business and Analytics; Finance; Business Law; or International Business. Speaking at the official launch of the new programme, Dr Tom Acton, Head of NUI Galway’s J.E Cairnes School of Business and Economics said: “The Bachelor of Commerce (Global Experience) builds on the success of 100 years of business education at NUI Galway. It is offered in addition to the full suite of business degrees in NUI Galway including the highly popular Bachelor of Commerce, Bachelor of Commerce (International with Continental Language), Bachelor of Commerce (Gaeilge), Bachelor of Commerce (Accounting), Bachelor of Science in Business Information Systems and Bachelor of Science in Financial Mathematics and Economics.” President of NUI Galway, Dr Jim Browne said: “Studying abroad in the business schools of leading universities whilst immersed in the culture of our partner countries is a strategic element of preparation of the student for a successful career in international business. The introduction of partnerships in China, Australia and the United States results in a truly international business degree which builds student networks and understanding on a global scale.” Dr Ann Torres, Vice-Dean of Internationalisation at NUI Galway, said, “In order to flourish future business graduates will need to adapt to an ever more global work environment. Global business requires globally confident and culturally aware graduates. The Bachelor of Commerce (Global Experience) course responds to the needs of employers and will produce highly sought after graduates in all areas of business.” For more information please contact the J.E. Cairnes School of Business and Economics 091 492 612 or email business@nuigalway.ie. ENDS

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#wakingthefeministswest - A season of student-led theatre showcasing women’s voices past and present

#wakingthefeministswest - A season of student-led theatre showcasing women’s voices past and present-image

Tuesday, 26 January 2016

Inspired by the recent #WakingTheFeminists movement, #wakingthefeministswest is a Galway-based season of plays and performances by Irish women led by NUI Galway Drama and Theatre Studies students and supported by the Centre for Drama, Theatre and Performance.  The programme’s mission is to stage the work of Irish women playwrights and theatre-makers, both past and present, as well as to provide strong roles for female performers.  This season will commence in January 2016 and conclude in May 2016, featuring multiple events each month. The season particularly seeks to highlight a diverse range of female voices from the west of Ireland and will include theatre, dance, devised work, work from the archive and offerings from new and developing writers. This initiative is being led by Drama and Theatre Studies Ph.D. students Justine Nakase and Nelson Barre, and involves participation from students from first year to Ph.D. level, as well as staff.  Nakase and Barre offer that they are interested in ‘excavating historic women’s voices and elevating contemporary ones’ and hope that this programme actively challenges the argument that women’s lack of representation in theatre as playwrights among other roles is due to a ‘lack of female talent.’ The programme will be launched by Irish Times Theatre award nominated designer, arts manager and leader of #WakingTheFeminists, Lian Bell, on 28 January at 7PM in the Hardiman Research Building, Room G010 and all are welcome.  January and February #wakingthefeministwest performances will include:  Lady Augusta Gregory, Grainne, directed by Justine Nakase, (28 and 29 January, Bank of Ireland Theatre, 8PM) 100 Shades of Grey, devised by the ensemble, directed by Charlotte McIvor, (8 and 9 February, Bank of Ireland Theatre, 8PM) Elizabeth Connor, Mount Prospect, directed by Ciara O’Dowd and Thomas Conway, Druid Director-in-Residence, (25 and 26 February, Town Hall Studio Theatre, 8:30PM) The further programme will be announced in February.  NUI Galway and the Centre for Drama, Theatre and Performance is an ideal base for #wakingthefeministswest. The season’s programme will draw on resources unique to the university, including specialised archives such as the Abbey Digital Archive, a thriving local arts scene, the expertise of the faculty at the Centre for Drama, Theatre and Performance and the connection to the Irish language. #wakingthefeministswest builds on the West of Ireland’s rich history of strong female figures, both in theatre and at large. From the Abbey’s Lady Augusta Gregory to Druid’s Garry Hynes, from the pirate queen Graínne Mhaol to Mary Robinson, the women of the west have had a huge impact on Ireland’s history and culture. #wakingthefeministswest celebrates and honours the women of the west by giving them life and a voice on the Irish stage. For further information on the programme or ticket reservation, contact wakingthefeministswest@gmail.com  -ends-

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Participants Required for Study on the Efficacy of Pilates in Falls Prevention

Participants Required for Study on the Efficacy of Pilates in Falls Prevention-image

Tuesday, 26 January 2016

NUI Galway is currently recruiting participants for a new study on the efficacy of Pilates in falls prevention in healthy older adults over 65 years old. The outcomes assessed will include questionnaires and tests of physical activity, balance, foot pressure, mobility, gait, cognition and falls. One hour classes will take place in Áras Moyola twice weekly for three months with three participants in each class. There will be a total of 24 sessions for each group for the main study and participants are advised to wear comfortable clothes for exercises. There will be a further smaller study of 12 sessions for six weeks with two groups of four participants.   Conducting the study is Larissa Donatoni da Silva, an NUI Galway PhD Health Science, physiotherapist and Pilates instructor. Larissa said: “Our study is looking at the effect that participating in Pilates has on balance, breathing, stretching, and coordination. In particular, we are interested in people over 65 years old, who enjoy doing exercises. We want to measure your level of function with questionnaires and tests so that we can compare it with people who are not practising Pilates.” Participants will get a home Pilates exercise programme and a DVD with exercises demonstrated by the Pilates instructor. The study is supervised by NUI Galway’s Professor Agnes Shiel and Professor Caroline McIntosh. For more detail or to participate in the study contact Larissa Donatoni da Silva at 089 4592533, laridonatoni@gmail.com or l.donatonidasilva1@nuigalway.ie. -Ends-

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NUI Galway Welcomes the Next Generation of ICT Innovators

NUI Galway Welcomes the Next Generation of ICT Innovators -image

Tuesday, 26 January 2016

The Irish Software Research Centre (Lero), in conjunction with the discipline of Business Information Systems at NUI Galway, recently welcomed female transition years’ students from Galway secondary schools for its inaugural Transition Year Innovation workshop. The purpose of the workshop was to heighten awareness of the many exciting opportunities and careers in the ICT sector for women. According to recent Accenture Ireland research, women constitute only 25% of the workforce in STEM related jobs. The workshop was funded by a grant from the GoogleRISE Award. The Lero group at NUI Galway is lead by Professor Kieran Conboy, Dean of the University’s College of Business, Public Policy and Law, and was one of 37 worldwide recipients of this award in 2015, in recognition of its ongoing education and outreach programmes throughout Ireland. During the workshop the students from Holy Rosary College in Mountbellew, St. Brigid's in Loughrea and the Salerno Secondary School in Salthill, were tasked with designing a mobile app for a health and fitness club. To complete their assignment, the students formed three and four member teams, with each team supported by mentors: Carol Guilfoyle and Christina Callanan, Hewlett Packard; Emma Curley, Accenture; Orla Shaughnessy, Storm Technology; Saima Clohessy, Fidelity Investments; Elizabeth Grier, Jessica Tyrrell and Lillian Hughes, fourth year students of the Business Information Systems programme, and Ann O’Brien, Coleen Griffin and Mary Loftus, NUI Galway PhD candidates. Each workshop session featuring a talk from female ICT professionals on their experience of working in technology, before introducing the teams to the activity for the team break out session that followed. The breakout sessions involved “hands on” learning for the Transition Year students, working with their mentors on activities such as systems analysis, user interface design, application development, innovation thinking, collaboration and presentation skills. “We were delighted with the great reaction and engagement of the Transition Year students with the format and conduct of the workshop, with the student, mentors and organisers enjoying the experience,” said Neil Keane, lead organiser of the workshop. The event was organised by Neil Keane, Ann O’Brien and Coleen Griffin, with support from Lero, the Business Information Systems discipline NUI Galway, Hewlett Packard, Storm Technologies, Fidelity Investments, and the Accenture centre for Innovation, Dublin. -Ends-

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New Midterm Festival Announced as part of NUI Galway Societies Spring Programme

New Midterm Festival Announced as part of NUI Galway Societies Spring Programme -image

Tuesday, 26 January 2016

NUI Galway’s Societies Office has launched their Spring Programme highlighting the number of major events which will take place on campus this semester. With 115 societies the programme is packed with a variety of theatre, music, dance, guest speakers, debates, workshops and classes. As part of the Spring Programme, the Societies will present the Midterm Festival, from 8-12 February, to promote involvement in the social and cultural life of the campus. In this first year, the Festival will celebrate the arrival of spring with many of the events open to the public. Festival highlights include: Galway University Musical Society (GUMS) production of ‘The Addams Family’, at the Black Box Theatre. The African Caribbean Society will be hosting their version of the hit TV programme “Take me Out”. Dramsoc will host a workshop with the award-winning Blue Teapot Theatre Company, Performing Arts School and Outreach programme for people with intellectual disabilities. The Literary and Debating Society’s annual Alumni Debate. Witless Band Competition, organised by the Music Society and Rock Society. Other events in the Spring Programme include: Rainbow week, organised by GigSoc (LGBT). Potterfest Galway, organised by Pottersoc, a family friendly weekend for Harry Potter fans. Dramsoc will host the National Student Awards (ISDA) in five theatres across the city and on campus featuring over 25 productions from colleges all over Ireland. The Choral Society will host the National Choral Intervarsity. Dansoc will present ‘Strictly Come Dancing’. Mental Health Week organised by Psychology Society. Brain Awareness Week organised by Neuro Society. A number of conventions and conferences will also feature including: Writers Convention; Fansci ‘Itzacon XII’ a Fantasy and Science Fiction Convention 2016 Convention; Cumann Staire Irish History Students Association, 66th Conference; the Association of Celtic Students of Ireland and Britain; and JugglingCon Galway 2016. Throughout the year the societies engage in numerous outreach and schools programmes, such as schools debating competition, organised by the Literary and Debating Society, the annual Schools Musical Awards, organised by the Musical Society, Suas Society facilitate homework clubs in local schools and the Bike Gang Society promote cycling and sustainable transport with schools and youth groups. Societies work with community groups through the world and fundraise extensively for charity, raising over €224,000 last year, and a number of charity events will also feature in this year’s programme. According to Ríona Hughes, NUI Galway Societies Officer and Chairperson of The Board of Irish College Societies, said: “In addition to significantly contributing to the social, cultural and community life of the campus and Galway’s wider community, the societies also play a vital role in educating and preparing their members and in particular their committee members to fully realise their potential as engaged contributing members of society, ensuring they receive a holistic education and graduate as skilled leaders with integrity, creativity, vision and passion for life.” Last year the Societies Office launched their new leadership programme which aims to instil positive leadership qualities and train the society committee members in the necessary skills to run successful societies, which deliver a quality experience for their members and target communities. The programme also aims to explore how people learn and the role of experimental learning through student led extra-curricular activities. The outcomes of the initial pilot programme have been very positive showing a clear correlation between skill ‘shortfalls’ as identified by employers and the skills the committee members identified they had learnt such as communication, problem solving, confidence and team work. A full list of events taking place is available at www.socs.nuigalway.ie, where you can also subscribe to the mailing list, or call the SocsBox, Áras na Mac Léinn on 091 492852. In addition to the box office at the SocsBox, which is open 10am – 7pm weekdays and until 5pm on Fridays, the Societies Office has also launched their new on-line webstore at www.socsbox.nuigalway.ie. -Ends-

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