Wednesday, 3 October 2012

Over 100 young people from second and third-level institutions across County Galway and Roscommon were honoured with a Gaisce Medal at a special ceremony in NUI Galway last night. Organised by the University’s Gaisce Society, who this year celebrate over ten years in existence, the Awards were presented by NUI Galway President, Dr Jim Browne on behalf of the Patron of Gaisce -The President’s Award, President Michael D. Higgins. Two NUI Galway students, Eimear O’Callaghan from Craughwell, Co. Galway and Laura Staunton from Ballinasloe, Co. Galway, were presented with a Gaisce Silver Award. Eimear volunteers with a homework club in the Claddagh National School helping children with their reading. Laura volunteers with the Galway Society for the Prevention to Cruelty to Animals and was a member of the Galway University Musical Society production of Spring Awakening.  Bronze awards were presented to secondary schools and community groups including: Castlerea Community School, Co. Roscommon; Coláiste na Coiribe, Galway City; Dunmore Community School, Co. Galway; Presentation Secondary School, Galway City; Archbishop McHale College, Tuam, Co. Galway; St Jarlath's College, Tuam, Co. Galway; Dominican College, Taylors Hill, Galway City and Youthreach, Galway City. Gaisce, the President’s Award, is the National Challenge to young people and the President of Ireland is the Patron of the organisation. Last year, the number of young people taking on the Gaisce challenge rose nationally by 15% from the previous year to over 20,000 and the range of activities that people worked on shows the positive energy and imagination the young people bring to their community. The Gaisce Awards consists of three awards, Gold, Silver and the Bronze award. These awards recognise four areas in which the individual has completed - community involvement, personal skill, physical recreation, and adventure journey. As the challenges are completely individually there is no pressure or competition between participants as the individual is only competing with themselves. This challenges the young person to be self motivated and to push themselves to the best of their ability. This year’s recipients have played a leadership role in the community from setting up a branch of the Vincent DePaul Society to young men cooking meals for COPE Galway’s meals on wheels service. These young people have learned a variety of skills from music, art and drama to first aid and, of course, cooking. Billy Stewart, Auditor of Gaisce Society and at student of the Higher Diploma in Education at NUI Galway, said: “The society is proud to be able to honour the hard work of such exceptional young people. Each year we become more and more impressed by the growing numbers and enthusiasm of our members, with this enthusiasm we have been able to organise adventure journeys on the Camino de Santiago in Spain and over the Atlas Mountains in Morocco with more planned for the future. The Gaisce Award allows young people all over Ireland to show what they are capable of and we are more than happy to enable this to continue to happen.” -ENDS-

Thursday, 4 October 2012

NUI Galway has jumped to third place in the country in this year’s Times Higher Education (THE) World University Rankings. With only two Irish universities improving their world ranking, NUI Galway sees the greatest rise in position, increasing 31 places. NUI Galway is now ranked 336th in the THE Rankings 2012/2013. In the same rankings, Trinity College Dublin increased their position by seven places to 110. Speaking of the rankings, NUI Galway President Dr Jim Browne said: “This is very good news for NUI Galway. Having just recently increased our position in the QS World University Rankings 2012/2013 to 287th this confirms that our position globally is on the rise. We have experienced huge cuts in overallfunding at third-level in Ireland, while student numbers have continued to rise. Despite this, our university has gone against the tide to secure a marked improvement in these very competitive rankings. This is a testament to our high standards in teaching and research, and the continued dedication of our staff at NUI Galway.” The Times Higher Education World University Rankings were developed in concert with rankings data provider, Thomson Reuters, with expert input from more than 50 leading figures in the sector from 15 countries across every continent. The Times Higher league table of the world’s top universities is based on 13 separate performance indicators covering all of the core missions of a world class university — teaching, research, knowledge transfer and international outlook. President Browne added: “It will be critical for Ireland to maintain its investment in its universities if we are to remain internationally competitive. Every year, rankings such as this are broadened to include a burgeoning number of world-class universities. We operate in a global market, competing for students and research support on an international playing field. Support on a national level must be maintained for universities such as NUI Galway to continue with their success.” Phil Baty, Editor of the World University Rankings said of NUI Galway’s achievements: “It has been a very tough year for many Western institutions in the world rankings this year, with a large number slipping down the rankings, as competitors across Asia benefit from substantial funding and focused political commitment to building world class universities. NUI Galway’s performance should be seen against this backdrop. The top 400 list represents only around 2 per cent of the world’s higher education institutions, so to sustain a position within in such an elite group is in itself quite an accolade.” ENDS   Ardú Suntasach ag OÉ Gaillimh i Ranguithe Domhanda an Times Higher Léim OÉ Gaillimh go dtí an tríú háit sa tír i Ranguithe Ollscoileanna an Domhain na bliana seo de chuid Times Higher Education (THE). Ní dhearna ach dhá ollscoil in Éirinn dul chun cinn sna ranguithe domhanda, agus is í OÉ Gaillimh a rinne an dul chun cinn is mó, ag ardú 31 áit. Tá OÉ Gaillimh anois sa 336ú háit i Ranguithe THE 2012/2013. Sna ranguithe seo chomh maith, léim Coláiste na Tríonóide, Baile Átha Cliath seacht n-áit go dtí 110. Bhí an méid seo a leanas le rá ag an Dr Jim Browne, Uachtarán OÉ Gaillimh faoi na ranguithe: “Is iontach an dea-scéala iontach é seo do OÉ Gaillimh. Táimid tar éis ardú roimhe seo go dtí an 287ú háit i Ranguithe Ollscoile an Domhain QS 2012/2013 agus deimhníonn sé seo go bhfuil ár staid dhomhanda ag feabhsú leis. Tá gearradh siar uafásach déanta ar mhaoiniú ag an tríú leibhéal in Éirinn agus ag an am céanna tá líon na mac léinn ag dul i méid. In ainneoin seo, tá ollscoil s’againne ag dul ó neart go neart sna ranguithe seo atá thar a bheith iomaíoch. Is cruthúnas é seo ar an gcaighdeán ard teagaisc agus taighde atá againn agus tiomantas leanúnach na foirne in OÉ Gaillimh.” Cuireadh Ranguithe Ollscoileanna an Domhain Times Higher Education le chéile i gcomhar le soláthróir sonraí na ranguithe, Thomson Reuters, le hionchur ó bhreis is 50 duine iomráiteacha san earnáil ó 15 thír i ngach mór-roinn. Tá tábla sraithe an Times Higher de na hollscoileanna is fearr ar domhan bunaithe ar 13 tháscaire feidhmíochta ar leith ag clúdach gach croímhisean a bheadh ag ollscoil den scoth — teagasc, taighde, aistriú eolais agus dearcadh idirnáisiúnta. Dúirt an tUachtarán Browne chomh maith: “Is den riachtanas é go gcoinneoidh Éirinn ag infheistiú ina cuid ollscoileanna le gur féidir leo bheith iomaíoch go hidirnáisiúnta. Gach bliain, leathnaítear ranguithe den chineál seo chun ollscoileanna eile den scoth a thógáil ar bord. Táimid ag feidhmiú i margadh domhanda, san iomaíocht do mhic léinn agus do thacaíocht taighde ar pháirc idirnáisiúnta. Caithfear an tacaíocht ag leibhéal náisiúnta a choinneáil d’ollscoileanna cosúil le OÉ Gaillimh chun go mbeidh an rath céanna uirthi amach anseo.” Bhí an méid seo a leanas le rá ag Phil Baty, Eagarthóir Ranguithe Ollscoileanna an Domhain, faoi éachtaí OÉ Gaillimh: “Tá bliain an-chrua curtha isteach ag go leor d’institiúidí an Iarthair atá sna ranguithe i mbliana, agus, dá bharr sin, tá go leor acu tite síos sna ranguithe. Tá maoiniú go leor ag iomaitheoirí san Áise agus tá gealltanas láidir polaitiúil ann ollscoileanna den scoth a fhorbairt. Ba chóir an méid atá bainte amach ag OÉ Gaillimh a fheiceáil sa chomhthéacs seo. Ní léiríonn an liosta de na 400 ollscoil is fearr ach 2 faoin gcéad d’institiúidí ardoideachais an domhain, mar sin mura ndéanfaí ach a seasamh a choinneáil sa scothghrúpa seo is éacht ann féin é.” CRÍOCH

Friday, 5 October 2012

NUI Galway invites all graduates and friends from the classes of 1972 and 1982 to attend a reunion celebration on Saturday, 20 October. Bringing together those classes celebrating their 30th and 40th reunions, the programme of events includes an afternoon reception, tour of the campus and a reunion dinner. Emma Goode, Alumni Project Manager, encourages alumni to come along, “Reunion is that perfect excuse to put the date in your diary to meet up with former classmates. Busy lives mean that old friends fall out of touch and we are told regularly that graduates look for these occasions to reconnect. Many alumni from the classes of 1972 and 1982 have already booked their places and they never regret making the effort. You never know who’ll be there.” The Alumni Association serves over 80,000 alumni worldwide with an extensive range of programmes administered by the Alumni Office. These include Alumni Clubs, both national and international, Alumni Publications, Reunions and Alumni Awards. Graduates who are interested in getting involved with any of the above programmes are encouraged to contact the Alumni Office for further details. Register at http://www.nuigalway.ie/alumni-friends/reunion/ or for further information contact Colm O’Dwyer in the Alumni Office on 091 493750 or email alumni@nuigalway.ie. -ENDS-

Friday, 5 October 2012

Sunday Times University Guide to be published Sunday, 7 October, 2012 Completing a full sweep of successes with third-level rankings in recent weeks, NUI Galway has been named as the runner-up in The Sunday Times University Guide 2013, a special 64-page supplement to be published with the newspaper this weekend (7 October, 2012). This news comes just days after it was announced that NUI Galway had risen dramatically in a separate prestigious world ranking. The Sunday Times University Guide 2013 is a definitive guide to higher education in Ireland and the UK. The 2013 guide ranks third-level institutions against six key indicators, including Leaving Certificate points for entry, top degrees awarded, graduate job prospects and income generated from research. NUI Galway was lauded for having one of the lowest dropout rates among all third-level institutions across Ireland and its excellent record for graduate employment. According to Kate Butler, jourmalist and co-author of the Sunday Times University Guide: “NUI Galway's excellent performance in terms of job progression (with 93.7% of graduates going on to jobs or further education), of the amount of research funding it secures per academic staff member (it came fourth nationally in this category) and its high completion rate (just 16% students dropped out, one of the lowest rates amongst Irish universities) meant that the west coast university secured the runner up position of the Sunday Times University of the Year Award. Other factors that commended NUI Galway were its academic initiatives including credit for volunteering and its successful access record, as well as its strong performance in the creation of start-ups and patents.” NUI Galway was previously named University of the Year 2009 in The Sunday Times University Guide, securing the prestigious accolade for a second time having won the inaugural University of the Year in 2002. The Sunday Times Irish University of the Year’ award is made not solely on league table position but also on the University’s contribution on a local, national and international level, the quality of the student experience and the overall robustness of the institution. President of NUI Galway, Dr Jim Browne, commented: “This is all very good news for NUI Galway as it confirms that our position nationally and internationally is on the rise and that we are succeeding in our efforts to achieve recognition in selected priority areas. In spite of substantial cuts in overallfunding at third-level in Ireland, our University has gone against the tide to secure a marked improvement in these very competitive rankings." President Browne continued: "The University offers our students world-class teaching and encourages active engagement with the learning experience through opportunities such as volunteering, work placement, international exchange programmes, sports clubs and vibrant student societies. Our focus on student engagement contributes to our leading retention rate among universities and strong employment figures for our graduates.” Earlier in the week NUI Galway jumped to third place in the country in this year’s Times Higher Education (THE) World University Rankings. NUI Galway is now ranked 336th in the THE Rankings 2012/2013,an increase of 31 places on last year’s position. NUI Galway was one of only two universities improving their world ranking this year, with Trinity College Dublin also increasing their position by seven places to 110. This increase in position follows on from a similar result in the QS World University Ranking last month, where NUI Galway was again one of only two Irish universities to increase its position, with a rise of 11 places to 287th in the world. Earlier this year, the University was also awarded the top award of a five star rating by the QS Stars system, a new rating system designed to provide a more detailed comparison of world universities than the rankings provide. University College Dublin (UCD) is awarded the accolade of The Sunday Times University of the Year, with Limerick Institute of Technology as The Sunday Times Institute of Technology of the Year, with Dundalk IT the runner-up. Cambridge is the top university in the UK, with Oxford in second place, among the 126 degree-awarding institutions in Britain and Northern Ireland profiled in The Sunday Times University Guide, out this weekend.   Ends

Monday, 8 October 2012

The School of Mathematics, Statistics and Applied Mathematics at NUI Galway will host a number of events as part of Maths Week Ireland from 13-21 October to promote appreciation, understanding and an awareness of maths in society. On Friday, 19 October, Andrew Jeffrey, also known as ‘The Mathemagician’ will give workshops to primary and secondary school audiences at NUI Galway. Andrew is a teacher, lecturer, magician, and keynote speaker and has been described as a mathematical evangelist. He is the author of several books, including Be A Wizard With Numbers, Magic for Kids, 100 Top Tips for Top Maths Teachers, Top 20 Maths Displays, and the new Cool, Calm and Calculators. A former vice-principal, Andrew believes that the fundamentals of mathematics can be taught via practical experiments and travels Europe inspiring and entertaining teachers and students alike with his Magic of Maths shows. Dr David O'Keeffe, one of the organisers of Maths Week events at NUI Galway, said: “ The concept behind Maths Week is to illustrate the relevance and beauty of this subject in a fun and interactive way. It coincides with a mathematical discovery made by Sir William Rowan Hamilton, Ireland’s greatest mathematician, who in a flash of inspiration while walking along the Royal Canal in Dublin on 16 October 1843 created a novel algebraic structure, the so-called quaternions. Subsquently quaternions have been used in areas such as computer graphics and animation in film making.” Also this year's PRISM contest, Problem Solving for Irish Second level Mathematicians, take place during Maths Week on Thursday, 18 October. Teachers and schools wishing to participate are asked to email to prism@nuigalway.ie with their name and email address, and the name and address of the school. Schools throughout Galway and beyond are encouraged to participate in these special events to make maths accessible to a wider audience and schools can register on the Maths Week website,  www.mathsweek.ie. For further information on Maths Week at NUI Galway contact Dr Tim Downing at tim.downing@nuigalway.ie. -ENDS-

Monday, 8 October 2012

Professor Lesley Yellowlees of the University of Edinburgh will deliver the Eva Philbin Lecture of the Institute of Chemistry of Ireland at NUI Galway on Tuesday, 9 October. Entitled Powering Ahead with Solar Energy, the lecture will take place in the Larmor Lecture Theatre at the University. Professor Yellowlees is a graduate of the University of Edinburgh and completed research positions in Brisbane, Australia. Since returning to the University of Edinburgh, she has held the position of Head of the School of Chemistry and gained a personal chair in Inorganic Electrochemistry. Currently Professor Yellowless is Vice-Principal and Head of the College of Science and Engineering. Her research interests include inorganic electrochemistry and spectroelectrochemistry, EPR spectroscopy, solar energy and CO2 conversion. Active in the Royal Society of Chemistry since 1990, she has held many positions and was appointed Fellow in 2005, elected a Council Member 2005-09, and was elected as first female President last year. Professor Yellowlees was awarded an MBE in 2005 for services to science, selected as a 2011 IUPAC distinguished woman in Chemistry/Chemical Engineering and elected as a Fellow of the Royal Society of Edinburgh in 2012. Assistant by An Cumann Ceimice at NUI Galway, the meeting will be followed by a reception.  For further information contact Dr Niall Geraghty in the School of Chemistry, NUI Galway at niall.geraghty@nuigalway.ie. -ENDS-

Monday, 8 October 2012

Ireland’s leading expert in stem cell science, Professor Frank Barry of NUI Galway, has sent congratulations to the Nobel Prize winners Professor Shinya Yamanaka and Professor John Gurdon. The two pioneers of stem cell research will share the Nobel Prize for Medicine or Physiology, it was announced today.   “The discoveries made by these two scientists, although many years apart, both changed the way we think about cells and how they regulate their behaviour,” said Professor Barry. The discovery of methods in cell reprogramming, in particular, has had a huge impact. It has given us extraordinary new insight into what stem cells are and how they work.  It has also given us powerful new tools to study human development and what causes certain diseases.  We at REMEDI send our heartfelt congratulations to Drs. Gurdon and Yamanaka.  The award of the Nobel Prize in Medicine to them is richly deserved.” Professor Frank Barry is Director of the National Centre for Biomedical Engineering Science (NCBES) at NUI Galway and also Scientific Director of the University’s Regenerative Medicine Institute. His particular research interest is in the therapeutic application of adult stem cells, especially mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) from bone marrow. For 10 years he has directed a series of research programmes focusing on the isolation and characterization of adult stem cells, and on the development of methods for their delivery in a variety of clinical indications. This has included cardiovascular and arthritic diseases. He has also developed approaches for the use of MSCs for the delivery of specific therapeutic genes, for example in rheumatoid arthritis. In addition he has an interest in proteomics and mass spectrometry for the identification of surface molecules on cells. Some of his more recent work is focussed on induced pluripotent stem cells (iPS cells), along with NUI Galway’s Professor Sanbing Shen. -ends-

Tuesday, 9 October 2012

NFB and Microbiology Researcher to Lead €1.2 million EU Project on Stent Development A new type of cardiovascular stent, coated in antibodies to improve biocompatibility and effectiveness, is now under development in Ireland and Poland. Scientists at National University of Ireland Galway are to lead a €1.2 million EU project which aims to reduce re-narrowing of arteries and the need for further interventions, through the development of novel cardiovascular stent materials. National University of Ireland Galway’s Network of Excellence for Functional Biomaterials (NFB), a Science Foundation Ireland funded strategic research cluster, and the University’s microbiology department will head the four year project. This is the fifth successful EC funded grant that NFB has secured in the last two years. “About half of all deaths from cardiovascular diseases are due to coronary artery disease, which occurs when the coronary arteries become hardened and narrowed due to the build-up of plaques on their inner walls or lining,” explains National University of Ireland Galway microbiologist Dr Gerard Wall, who is leading the project. “This EU project brings together researchers from important medical device clusters in Ireland and Poland, involved at all stages of the stent design and development pipeline, to develop a novel product to reduce restenosis, which is one of the major current limitations of stent performance.” “Our plan is to create a new type of coating on the stents using human antibody fragments,” explains Dr Wall. “Once the stent is in place, we hope these antibodies will attract a layer of the patient’s own epithelial cells. This should effectively camouflage the stent as far as the body is concerned, and it will no longer be such a foreign object. Our theory is that this will reduce the potential for rejection, the level of clot build-up, and also significantly improve the long-term outcome of surgical interventions.” Coronary heart diseases, including myocardial infarction, are commonly triggered by the build up of plaques in the inner walls of coronary arteries, leading to stenosis and reduced blood flow to the heart. This is the most common cause of death in Europe, accounting for approximately two million deaths each year. This condition can be successfully treated by angioplasty to reopen blockages and the insertion of a stent to keep arteries open. However, not all stents continue to perform perfectly over time. Cells such as macrophages and smooth muscle cells can grow over the stent surface and cause clot formation, once again clogging the arteries. While anti-clotting drugs can be used, the risk of rejection of the foreign stent material remains a problem. The project brings together three academic partners National University of Ireland Galway, and Poland’s Wrocław University of Technology and Wrocław Medical University. These are joined by Vornia, a Galway-based start-up biomedical company and the multi-national stent manufacturer Balton, which has its headquarters in Poland. The project is funded under the Marie Curie Industry-Academia Partnerships and Pathways (IAPP) scheme of the EU’s FP7 2012 People Work Programme. The programme will provide cross-sectoral research training, career development opportunities and knowledge sharing pathways to 16 researchers involved in the project, in addition to hosting networking and dissemination events open to 30-40 additional researchers in the partner groups. “The project is an excellent example of the importance of strong industry-academia cooperation in the development of commercially viable products,” adds Dr Wall. “Both university and industry-based researchers will spend considerable time working in the opposite work sector during the project as both sectors recognise that genuine partnership in this manner is the best way to nurture creative research ideas into leading edge products that have unmet clinical need.”  -ends-

Tuesday, 9 October 2012

The Royal Institute of the Architects of Ireland (RIAI) Premier Awards Exhibition 2012will be on view in NUI Galway’s new Engineering Building, winner of the 2012 Best Sustainable Project and the RIAI Public Choice Award, which runs until 26 October. The 2012 Exhibition is a major component of the RIAI efforts to illustrate and inform members of the public of the impact of good architecture on their lives. With over 120 entries for this year’s award, the 14 different categories include housing, conservation, sustainability, accessibility, retail, leisure, public choice and culture.  Founded in 1839, the RIAI is the regulatory and support body for architects and architectural technologists in Ireland. The organisation promotes the activities and achievements of the Irish architectural profession - both in Ireland and abroad - through a wide variety of initiatives including the prestigious Irish Architecture Awards and through publications. Professor Gerry Lyons, Dean of the College of Engineering and Informatics at NUI Galway, said: “Having received two awards from this year’s competition we are delighted to host such a diverse and highly regarded exhibition. The show, which is open to the public, features 120 entries across the design spectrum. Their collective display in the area of sustainability ties in perfectly with the ethos of the Engineering Building.” The exhibition is opened Monday to Friday from 9am-5pm. -ENDS

Tuesday, 9 October 2012

                       EU briefing for students of Ireland’s only conference interpreter training programme The European Commission's Directorate-General for Interpretation, Mr Marco Benedetti today visited Galway where he met President of NUI Galway, Dr Jim Browne plus staff and students of the MA/PDip (Conference Interpreting) currently being taught at the University. Mr Benedetti addressed a group of language students at NUI Galway on issues related to the use of languages and multilingualism in the EU, with a special emphasis on interpretation. Emphasising the importance of interpreter training, Marco Benedetti said: “The primary responsibility for training conference interpreters lays with the member states and in particular their universities. NUI Galway and in particular Acadamh na hOllscolaíochta Gaeilge is the only Conference Interpreter training course on the entire island of Ireland and the only source of Irish language interpreters in the world so its activities should be nurtured.” “The Directorate General for Interpretation has been able to build up its interpreting resources for Irish and in fact for English over the past few years largely due to solid relationship with the MA in Conference Interpreting at NUI Galway,” said Susan Folan, Programme Director at the University. “Cooperation began in 2008 with DG Interpretation providing regular teaching assistance by experienced staff interpreters and trainers from the institutions. Every year students of the MA in Conference Interpreting come to Brussels for a study visit, including practical work experience, in real meetings, in a dummy booth,” she said. To highlight the importance that prospective employers place on language skills in today’s market, a career event will take place later today (Tuesday, 9 October) in the Siobhán Mc Kenna Theatre at NUI Galway. Mr Benedetti and Joan Flanagan, Education Officer of the Parliament Representation in Ireland will outline the employment opportunities available to language graduates in the European Union, while speakers from SAP Software Solutions will discuss opportunities at home and abroad in multilingual  tech support. During his Irish visit, the Directorate-General in his Government meetings with Lucinda Creighton, Minister for European Affairs at the Department of the Taoiseach, will discuss the finalisation of preparations for interpretation during the Irish Presidency of the European Union from January 1 to June 30, 2013. This is will also be an opportunity for the Director-General and the minister to exchange views on multilingualism, language teaching and interpreter training in Ireland. The EU has always considered cultural and linguistic diversity a richness and a strength and as something to be safeguarded. Reliable interpreting services will be essential to the Irish Presidency and NUI Galway is committed to providing the requisite skills to their graduates to enable them to avail of these opportunities. ENDS

Tuesday, 9 October 2012

NUI Galway’s Professor Colin O’Dowd was in London last week to collect the Appleton Medal, awarded to him by the Institute of Physics for his ‘distinguished research in environmental and atmospheric physics’. In particular, the NUI Galway physicist was lauded for his work on the formation and transformation of aerosols, the tiny particles which can effect cloud formation and impact climate change. Sir Edward Appleton was a British physicist who received the Nobel Prize in 1947 for his achievements in ionospheric physics. His experiments proved the existence of a layer of ionised gas in the upper atmosphere, known now as the Appleton layer. The Institute of Physics, which has its headquarters in London, awards the medal every two years to identify and honour physicists who are today making remarkable contributions to science. Professor O’Dowd is internationally renowned for his research into atmospheric composition, air pollution and climate change and has previously received the Smoluchowski Award and a Doctorate of Science from the University of Manchester for his research achievements.  Much of his work involves NUI Galway’s Mace Head atmospherics research station, which is one of the most advanced and sophisticated research stations of its kind. Data from Mace Head, located in Connemara, is used by climatologists and modellers around the world to predict global climate change. Previously, Professor O’Dowd’s research has been recognised through the award of Fellow of both the Institute of Physics and the Royal Meteorological Society and with Membership of the Royal Irish Academy, the latter being regarded as the highest academic honor within Ireland.  -ends-

Wednesday, 10 October 2012

A new app developed at NUI Galway now provides a directory of numbers for local hospitals, pharmacies, GPs, support and leisure services. The free app was launched this week by Helplink, a new Irish social enterprise which provides easily accessible and affordable online counselling, as well as other award winning affordable or free health and support services nationwide. The launch of the app marks the first consolidated listing of mental health, health, leisure, charity and support services in Ireland, both private and public. Lochlann Scott, Managing Director of Helplink and psychological studies graduate from NUI Galway explains the motivation behind the app: “We at Helplink want to be at the forefront of e-health and tele-health, this App brings us one step closer to achieving this. On a number of occasions over the past few years I have needed to access numbers or addresses for local hospitals, pharmacies, GPs etc but I was frustrated that I had to pay significant amounts of money through my phone to get them. I thought services like these should be easy to find and free. I am proud to say that we at Helplink in conjunction with NUI Galway and Enterprise Ireland have created just that; a directory that is comprehensive, easy to use and free.” The technology was developed by researchers at the discipline of Information Technology in NUI Galway. Research engineer Stephanus Meiring explains, “We were able to pack a lot of functionality into this app. You can call your chosen listing’s number directly, send an email, get a Google map up of their location or get the main contact details sent to your phone for free. The main challenge was to enable the app to run across a multitude of smartphone platforms” NUI Galway’s Dr Michael Schukat, Principal Investigator on the project, added that, “As an academic institution it is important for us to collaborate with industry and the Enterprise Ireland Innovation voucher scheme provides us with this opportunity.” There are many ways of using the directory, you can download the Helplink directory App for free from the 'App store' or 'Google Play' store. You can use the mobile browser by clicking on the icon on the website, or you can simply just use the directory page from your home or office computer by using the directory page at www.helplink.ie/directory. “The new app is just one of a number of award winning services offered by Helplink. The others, like our affordable online counselling and innovative employers’ assistance programmes, have been established with the goal of providing affordable and accessible mental health and healthcare services nationwide”, added Lochlann Scott. For more about Helplink or to find quick links to the app visit www.helplink.ie ENDS

Thursday, 11 October 2012

NUI Galway’s Law Society, in conjunction with its Literary and Debating Society, will host a public address by world renowned economist Professor Edmund Phelps on Monday, 15 October. In 2006 Professor Phelps was granted the Nobel Prize for Economic Sciences for his analysis of intertemporal trade-offs in macroeconomic policy. During the address the Law Society and the Literary and Debating Society will present its prestigious President’s Medal to Professor Phelps. Professor Phelps’ work has had a profound impact on economic research as well as policy. Born in Evanston, Illinois, he went to Amherst College for his undergraduate education in 1951, where in his second year he quickly became aware of an important unsolved problem with the existing theory, and the existing gap between microeconomics and macroeconomics. In 1959 he received his PhD from Yale where he studied under future Nobel Prize winners James Tobin and Thomas Schelling.   In 1961 Professor Phelps published a famous paperon the Golden Rule savings rate, one of his major contributions to economic science, which started a wave of research on how much a nation ought to spend on present consumption rather than save and invest for future generations. From the 1980’s he increased his collaborations with European universities and in 1990 took part in a mission where he designed a proposal for the reform of the USSR. Cathal O'hÁodhagáin, Auditor of NUI Galway’s Law Society, said: “It is an honour and a privilege for our society to host such a brilliant mind as Professor Phelps. His economical works has rightly led to him being honoured with a Nobel Prize and it is apt that the 2012 Noble Prize winner for Economic Science will be announced this Monday, the same day as his address in NUI Galway. We look forward to welcoming him as our honoured guest.” Professor Phelps holds many honorary doctorates and professorships. He is a Fellow of the National Academy of Science and a Distinguished Fellow of the American Economic Association, and in 2001 a Festschrift Conference was held in his honour. In 2008 he was named Chevalier de la Légion d’Honneur and awarded the Premio Pico della Mirandola and the Kiel Global Economy Prize. The same year UBA Law School established the Catedra Phelps and the Phelps Medal for Innovation. In 2010 he was appointed Dean of New Huadu Business School at Minjiang University in Fuzhou and awarded an honorary doctorate degree by the Université libre de Bruxelles. In 2011, Professor Phelps received the Louise Blouin Creative Leadership Award and was named a Full Foreign Member of the Russian Academy of Sciences. Maria Keenan, Auditor of the Literary and Debating Society at NUI Galway, said: “During the event Professor Phelps will be presented with President's Medal. We pride ourselves on awarding these medals to those we view as having put the power of such platforms to their optimum use within the wider spheres of society, understanding that discourse is the only real means by which resolution can be found. To this end, the society's highest accolade, the President's Medal, is awarded to those the society views as having particularly excelled in their chosen fields. Previous recipients of the award include Archbishop Desmond Tutu, Brian Friel and Bob Dylan.” The address will take place at 2pm, in the Siobhan McKenna Theatre, NUI Galway. -ENDS-

Monday, 15 October 2012

NUI Galway will host this year’s Postgraduate Open Day on Wednesday, 31 October, from 12 to 4pm in the Bailey Allen Hall, Áras na Mac Léinn. The Open Day will showcase over 400 of NUI Galway’s full-time and part-time postgraduate programmes, including taught and research masters, and doctoral research options. Joanne Sweeney-Burke, an NUI Galway graduate, business-woman, entrepreneur, and finalist in TV3’s The Apprentice, will be guest speaker at the event and will talk about how postgraduate studies furthered her own career. The Open Day will focus on the benefits of doing a postgraduate programme and the practicalities of making an application. With almost 3,500 postgraduate students currently attending NUI Galway, 70 information stands will provide details on postgraduate opportunities at the University, with academic staff and current students on hand to answer questions about specific courses. Information on scholarships, fees and other practical considerations will also be made available to prospective students on the day. Throughout the day postgraduate students will have the option of attending talks on funding opportunities and applications available to them, career prospects and progression, CV clinics and there will also be information on how to apply for a postgraduate course. Speaking ahead of the Postgraduate Open Day, Joanne Sweeney-Burke said: “Postgraduate study gives your career path a clear focus. It defines your areas of expertise, intellectual offering but also demonstrates a level of achievement that employers will welcome. A postgraduate qualification also eases your path into the workforce by making you 'employable and career ready'. After completing my BA in English, Sociology & Politics I chose a Higher Diploma in Applied Communications and three days after walking out of NUI Galway I walked into my first job as a Broadcast Journalist. Following up with a Masters in Journalism, eleven years on I haven't been unemployed for a single day. I know my postgraduate qualifications have had a huge bearing on my career path, subsequent job opportunities and ultimately to owner of Media Box.” NUI Galway offers a wide range of fourth level courses, developing programmes based on its traditional academic strengths of Arts, Social Sciences, Celtic Studies, Commerce, Medicine, Nursing, Health Science, Law, Engineering, Informatics and Science. These areas have been augmented with innovative research centres in areas as diverse as Biomedical Science and Engineering, International Human Rights, Digital Media & Film Studies, and Regenerative Medicine. According to John Hannon, Head of NUI Galway’s Career Development Centre: “In the current economic climate, there is increased interest among undergraduate students in staying in education by pursuing postgraduate studies. A postgraduate qualification can provide a real career boost. Undoubtedly, it can maximise career prospects and earnings.” To book your place at the Open Day visit www.nuigalway.ie/postgraduate-open-day or you can register on the day. -ENDS-

Monday, 15 October 2012

Leading experts on the assessment and management of headache and pain affecting the face and mouth will attend the Irish Pain Society’s Annual Scientific Meeting in Galway on Saturday, 20 October.  Coinciding with the Global Year Against Headache, the meeting will discuss new advances in the diagnosis and treatment of common, but often debilitating conditions such as migraine. Less common conditions such as trigeminal neuralgia which is associated with severe facial pain will also be discussed. Clinical experts and scientists from a range of professional disciplines such as pain medicine, surgery, nursing, physiotherapy and psychology will present their research findings to an audience of scientists and health practitioners.  Dr Brian McGuire from the Centre for Pain Research at NUI Galway and member of the Irish Pain Society committee, said: “Persistent or chronic headache and orofacial pain cause a great deal of suffering and disability. We are very fortunate to have the Irish Pain Society meeting in Galway this year and the speakers include many world experts in the field of pain research, promising to be an outstanding scientific meeting”.  The meeting will take place at the Radisson Blu Hotel in Galway and further details can be found at www.irishpainsociety.com. -ENDS-

Monday, 15 October 2012

NUI Galway student, Mona Wise scooped the boards at the first ever Blog Awards Ireland event held in the Osprey Hotel, Naas, Co. Kildare on Saturday night. In addition to winning ‘Best Blog Award’ for ‘wisewords.ie’ a blog on food, family and lifestyle, Ms Wise also won awards for the best blog by a journalist, best photography blog and best food and drink blog. Designed to recognise the passion and enthusiasm that blogging brings to the Irish media landscape the inaugural Blog Awards Ireland received over 1400 nominations for blogs in 30 categories including lifestyle, food/drink, personal, photography and health/wellbeing. Over 250 blogger and blog owners from all over Ireland people attended Saturday’s awards ceremony with many more attending ‘virtually’ on twitter. Speaking after the awards ceremony, a delighted Mona said, “I’m absolutely speechless and humbled to have been awarded the top prize, especially against the so many wonderful blogs which have been shortlisted. It’s a fantastic recognition of my efforts as a blogger and I’d like to thank the many people who read and interact with my blog for their support and inspiration.” Mona, who is completing her final year of a creative writing BA Connect Degree in NUI Galway, began writing her blog just over 18 months ago. It has attracted a growing following and brought her to the notice of The Sunday Times who offered her a weekly column in May 2012. Together with her husband Ron, she has recently published her first book, The Chef and I- A nourishing narrative. Part memoir part cookbook it depicts their life together and the many wonderful meals they have shared as a family. ENDS

Tuesday, 16 October 2012

Vital information on the proposed changes to the constitution, in advance of the forthcoming Children’s Referendum, will be presented at a public event at NUI Galway on Monday, 22 October. Frances Fitzgerald TD, Minister for Children and Youth Affairs will deliver the keynote address. The seminar is expected to provide a stimulating dialogue about the implications of a YES vote in the Children’s Referendum, ahead of the 10 November vote. The seminar will be held in the Engineering Building in NUI Galway from 3pm - 4.30 pm and is jointly hosted by the UNESCO Child and Family Research Centre and the School of Law of NUI Galway, in conjunction with the YES for Children Campaign. The Minister for Children and Youth Affairs, Frances Fitzgerald TD will provide a keynote address. The session will also feature an expert panel consisting of Fergal Landy from the UNESCO Child and Family Research Centre and Ciara Smyth from the School of Law at NUI Galway. The panel discussion will also offer members of the public an opportunity to hear a youth perspective on the proposed constitutional amendments and the audience will be invited to participate in a questions and answers session following the discussion. The Children’s Referendum has been welcomed by Professor Pat Dolan, UNESCO Chair in Children, Youth and Civic Engagement at NUI Galway as an “historical and internationally significant step”. Professor Dolan was co-author of a report on the proposed referendum earlier this year which pointed out that “incorporating a stronger commitment to children’s rights in the constitution would help to build a stronger culture of children’s rights in Irish society”. Professor Dolan will facilitate next week's event. This event is free of charge and all members of the public are invited to attend. Parking is available on the NUI Galway park and ride facility. For further information please visit: http://www.childandfamilyresearch.ie, or contact Danielle Kennan at: danielle.kennan@nuigalway.ie or +353 (0)91 495731. -ends-

Tuesday, 16 October 2012

Medical Education to Embrace the Creative Arts The NUI Galway Medical Orchestra was last night (Monday, 15 October) officially launched as a Special Study Module at the Clinical Science Institute on the grounds of University Hospital Galway. The Medical Orchestra at NUI Galway has been in existence for over a year and it has already established itself as a very positive initiative with a number of high profile public performances. The orchestra is open to students across the Schools of Medicine, Nursing & Midwifery and Health Sciences and students may select the orchestra to attain academic credit or simply participate for their personal satisfaction, enjoyment and development. Speaking at the launch, Professor Fidelma Dunne, Head of School of Medicine at NUI Galway, said: “This is once again a great initiative for NUI Galway which supports our holistic approach towards medical education and our contribution to the wider community. I am very confident that this will be a very popular SSM and look forward to the musical outputs and enjoyment over time.” Musical Director for the medical orchestra is well known musician, composerand arranger,Carl Hession. Orchestra producer,Mary Mc Partlan, said: “The Medical Orchestra brings very new and important dimensions and opportunities for the students at NUI Galway to engage with the creative arts, including access to academic modules where they can experience the creative arts process at a deeper level and obtain credits in first and second year programmes. The School of Medicine at NUI Galway has broken new ground by offering formal academic credit to medical students who choose to join the Orchestra as a Special Study Module (SSM).” The special study module, which will be optional for students of the Schools of Medicine, Nursing & Midwifery and Health Sciences, will also include a "From the Heart" guest speaker, usually a consultant medical practitioner, giving a half hour reflection based on their own personal experience on the impact of creativity and the importance of music in their work and life. Dr Gerard Flaherty, Senior Lecturer in Clinical Medicine and Medical Education at NUI Galway and Director of the Special Study Module programme, commented: “We are delighted to recognise the importance of the creative arts in the professional maturation of student doctors by granting academic credit to their involvement in the very successful Medical Orchestra. I am very hopeful that prospective medical students will regard this initiative as yet another valid reason why they should choose to study at NUI Galway, where due attention is given to the holistic development of students’ potential. We live in an era where ever greater value is appropriately being placed on the demonstration of professional skills and attitudes amongst healthcare workers, including teamwork, time management, integrity and communication skills, all of which can be acquired in an Orchestra setting.” The medical orchestra will give two concerts - on Saturday, November 24 at Sligo General Hospital and Sunday, November 25 at Mayo General Hospital which will take place in the GMIT St Frances’s Hall, in the grounds of the hospital in Castlebar and also Hume Hall on the grounds of IT in Sligo. Called the Maureen Woods Memorial Concerts, the primary aim is to perform for the staff and patients of both hospitals and invite guest musicians from each academy to join the NUI Galway medical orchestra. ENDS

Wednesday, 17 October 2012

Over 150 delegates are expected at the 5th Annual GlycoScience Ireland meeting, hosted by NUI Galway, on Friday, 19 October. With important clinical and industrial applications, glycoscience is the study of the complex sugars which cover all cells in the human body, and many of the proteins in the bloodstream. Participants from research organisations, biopharmaceutical companies and areas including medical diagnostics and functional foods are expected to attend. The next generation of glycotechnologies will be discussed during the conference, and the potential of the field to impact the Irish biosciences industry will be explored. Through various events and initiatives, GlycoScience Ireland brings together academic, industrial and clinical researchers to advance fundamental research and to develop novel technologies relevant to industry. “Ireland has been a trailblazer in this exciting field of science”, explains NUI Galway’s Professor Lokesh Joshi, leader of Glycoscience Ireland. “We can achieve medical and technological breakthroughs”, he explains, “by understanding the complex sugars at work in the body. Rapid diagnosis of diseases such as cancer, or the creation of new more effective and targeted drugs – these are just some of the hopes this area offers. There is also potential to develop, for example, the next generation of functional foods.” Among the keynote speakers are Professor Richard D. Cummings who is the William Patterson Timmie endowed Professor and Chair of the department of Biochemistry at Emory University in Atlanta, Georgia. Professor Cummings is a well-recognized leader in glycoscience and has pioneered analytical technologies in this field. Professor Cummings will highlight the opportunities in developing novel technologies in glycomics to gain better understanding of diseases and health. Also speaking is Dr Kirk Leister, Head of New Technologies at Bristol Myers Squib. Dr Leister has over 25 years of experience in developing protein therapeutics against cancer and inflammation. In his current role, he is responsible for identifying the best technologies and products that are suitable for Bristol Myers Squid. Dr Jens Bleiel, CEO of Food for Health Ireland, will also address the audience, discussing the role of functional food in future and the importance of carbohydrates and glycoscience in this area. “With the global competition in biotechnology and biopharmaceutical research continually shifting, Ireland needs to harness the synergy of existing skills and strengthen it with new talent in order to gain a competitive edge and to remain in the leadership position in this emerging next frontier in life sciences, chemistry and information science”, claims Professor Joshi. Professor Joshi has spearheaded Ireland’s standing in the gyclosience field since he became principal investigator with the Science Foundation Ireland funded Alimentary Glycoscience Research Cluster (AGRC) at NUI Galway in 2008. Professor Joshi also leads the international project GlycoHIT, which is trying to unravel the puzzle of carbohydrate biomarkers in cancer. The GlycoHIT project is involved in the development of innovative technologies that will enable fast and accurate analysis of glycosylation (process attaching sugars to proteins and lipids) in blood samples from cancer patients. -ends-

Thursday, 18 October 2012

A seminar for social workers, concentrating on the forthcoming Children’s Rights Referendum, will be held at NUI Galway at 6pm tomorrow Thursday, 18 October, 2012. Fergal Landy of the Child and Family Research Centre at NUI Galway will discuss with social workers the theme of rights based practice and the constitutional referendum. According to Fergal Landy: “The children’s rights referendum, along with other planned reforms, is a welcome first step in developing a safer system of child protection and family support, capable of improving outcomes for all children, young people and their families.” The event is organised by the School of Political Science and Sociology at NUI Galway, which offers a Masters in Social Work. For further information please contact Declan Coogan at 091 495373 or declanp.coogan@nuigalway.ie A further event on the forthcoming Children’s Referendum, aimed at the general public, will take place on Monday, 22 October from 3-4.30 pm. Frances Fitzgerald TD, Minister for Children and Youth Affairs will deliver the keynote address at Monday's event. -ends-

Thursday, 18 October 2012

The eminent economist and former Secretary of the Department of Finance, Dr T.K. Whitaker, was warmly received at NUI Galway today as the University announced the establishment of the Whitaker Institute for Innovation and Societal Change. Dr Whitaker played an instrumental role in devising the economic plan, which set Ireland on the road to regeneration in the early 1960s. Drawing inspiration from his unparalleled service to Ireland, the newly formed Whitaker Institute serves as the country’s largest research body focused on contemporary and relevant business, social and policy issues. Over 200 members make up the faculty with expertise spanning across the College of Business, Public Policy and Law and the College of Arts, Social Sciences and Celtic Studies. Subsuming the University’s Centre for Innovation and Structural Change (CISC), the Whitaker Institute builds on a decade of research-excellence and policy-focused contributions supported by over €11 million in competitive national and international research funding. The Whitaker Institute applies a multi-perspective research approach to business and social issues, with an impact-led focus at the core of its endeavours. One of its key values is the promotion of a sustainable and inclusive society, influenced by the broad dissemination of rigorous and relevant research. Furthermore, the Whitaker Institute seeks to continue the tradition at NUI Galway of critically pursuing knowledge discovery that stimulates academic debates and opens public conversation to advance the greater good. Dr James Cunningham, Director of the Whitaker Institute, expressed the great honour he shared with Institute members at the endorsement of Dr Whitaker. “The Whitaker Institute brings together our talented research communities in business and social sciences that are committed to research excellence and to sharing their knowledge and expertise with wider communities nationally and internationally,” he stated. “It is a great honour for our research community to name the Institute after Dr Whitaker as his achievements, influence and contributions to this nation are in keeping with what we are seeking to achieve as Ireland rebuilds its economy and reimages its society.” Dr Whitaker is regarded as a pivotal figure in the economic and social development of modern Ireland. During his long and illustrious career, he was Secretary of the Department of Finance, Governor of the Central Bank of Ireland, and founder of the Economic and Social Research Institute. He was also a member of Seanad Éireann from 1977 to 1982 and Chancellor of the National University of Ireland from 1976 to 1996. The Whitaker Institute for Innovation and Societal Change, inspired by the legacy of this pioneering statesperson, aims to adopt a similarly innovative approach to the challenges currently facing society, both in Ireland and internationally. Welcoming the establishment of the Whitaker Institute, President of NUI Galway, Dr Jim Browne said: “Dr T.K. Whitaker’s strategy for Ireland’s expansion in the 1960s transformed Irish society at the time. Today, we face similar social and economic challenges. Much like the figure after which it is named, the Whitaker Institute will lead academic research into innovation and change. We believe that the knowledge and insights which will emerge from the Institute have the potential to change Irish society and in so doing honour the achievements of Dr Whitaker.” The Whitaker Institute was officially signed into being this morning, and there are plans for an official public launch in 2013. For more information, visit www.nuigalway.ie/whitakerinstitute -ends- Institiúid Whitaker bunaithe ag OÉ Gaillimh Déardaoin, 18 Deireadh Fómhair 2012: Cuireadh fáilte chroíúil roimh an eacnamaí aitheanta agus iar-Rúnaí na Roinne Airgeadais an Dr T.K. Whitaker in OÉ Gaillimh inniu nuair a d’fhógair an Ollscoil bunú Institiúid Whitaker don Nuálaíocht agus don Athrú Sóisialta.    Bhí ról tábhachtach ag an Dr Whitaker i gcur le chéile plean eacnamaíoch a thug an tír seo slán as an ngéarchéim ina raibh sí i dtús na 1960idí Spreagtha ag a sheirbhís den scoth d’Éirinn, is é Institiúid nuabhunaithe Whitaker an comhlacht is mó taighde sa tír atá dírithe ar cheisteanna comhaimseartha cuí gnó, sóisialta agus polasaí. Tá breis is 200 comhalta sa dámh agus tá tobar an tsaineolais aici ó Choláiste an Ghnó, an Bheartais Phoiblí agus an Dlí agus ó Choláiste na nDán, na nEolaíochtaí Sóisialta agus an Léinn Cheiltigh. Tiocfaidh an tIonad um Nuálaíocht agus um Athrú Struchtúrtha (CISC) faoi cheannas Institiúid Whitaker agus úsáidfidh an Institiúid an feabhas taighde a rinneadh san Ionad sin le deich mbliana anuas mar aon leis an obair dírithe ar bheartas a fuair maoiniú taighde náisiúnta agus idirnáisiúnta os cionn €11 milliún. Cur chuige taighde ilpheirspictíoch atá ag Institiúid Whitaker maidir le ceisteanna gnó agus sóisialta, agus beidh béim ar thionchar mar chroílár a saothair Ceann de phríomhluachanna na hInstitiúide sochaí inmharthana agus chuimsitheach a chur chun cinn, de thoradh ar thaighde cuí domhain a scaipeadh go forleathan. Sa bhreis air sin, tá sé mar aidhm ag Institiúid Whitaker cur leis an traidisiún in OÉ Gaillimh trí fhionnachtain eolais a lorg chun díospóireachtaí acadúla a spreagadh agus comhráite poiblí a thosú ar son leasa na sochaí. Léirigh an Dr James Cunningham, Stiúrthóir Institiúid Whitaker, an onóir a bhraith sé i measc chomhaltaí na hInstitiúide agus iad ag tacú leis an Dr Whitaker. “Tugann Institiúid Whitaker le chéile tallann na bpobal taighde i ngnó agus in eolaíochtaí sóisialta, tallann atá tugtha d’fheabhas taighde agus d’eolas agus saineolas a roinnt leis an bpobal náisiúnta agus idirnáisiúnta,” a deir sé. Is mór an onóir don phobal taighde an Institiúid a ainmniú i ndiaidh an Dr Whitaker, mar go bhfuil a chuid éachtaí, a thionchar agus a chuid oibre ar son na tíre seo ag teacht leis an méid atáimid ag iarraidh a bhaint amach le hathbheochan a dhéanamh ar gheilleagar na tíre agus an tsochaí a fheabhsú.” Feictear an Dr Whitaker mar dhuine mór le rá i bhforbairt eacnamaíoch agus shóisialta na hÉireann sa lá atá inniu ann.  Bhí gairm fhada cháiliúil aige - bhí sé ina Rúnaí ar an Roinn Airgeadais, ina Ghobharnóir ar Bhanc Ceannais na hÉireann, agus ba é a bhunaigh an Institiúid Taighde Eacnamaíochta agus Sóisialta (ESRI). Bhí sé ina chomhalta de Sheanad Éireann chomh maith ó 1977 go 1982 agus ina Sheansailéir ar Ollscoil na hÉireann ó 1976 go 1996. Tá sé mar aidhm le hInstitiúid Whitaker don Nuálaíocht agus don Athrú Sóisialta, spreagtha ag oidhreacht an cheannródaí féin, cur chuige nuálach den chineál céanna a ghlacadh chun aghaidh a thabhairt ar na dúshláin atá os ár gcomhair faoi láthair, anseo in Éirinn agus thar lear. Ag fáiltiú roimh bhunú Institiúid Whitaker, dúirt an Dr Jim Browne, Uachtarán OÉ Gaillimh: “Rinne straitéis an Dr T.K. Whitaker d’fhorleathnú na hÉireann sna 1960idí athrú ó bhun ar shochaí na hÉireann ag an am. Sa lá atá inniu ann, tá orainn aghaidh a thabhairt ar dhúshláin shóisialta agus eacnamaíochta den chineál céanna. Cosúil le Whitaker féin, beidh Institiúid Whitaker chun cinn sa taighde acadúil ar nuálaíocht agus ar athrú. Creidimid go bhféadfadh an t-eolas agus an léargas a thiocfaidh ón Institiúid sochaí na hÉireann a athrú agus is iontach an onóir a bheadh ansin d’éachtaí an Dr Whitaker.” Bunaíodh Institiúid Whitaker go hoifigiúil ar maidin, agus tá sé i gceist í a sheoladh go poiblí in 2013. Tá tuilleadh eolais le fáil ag www.nuigalway.ie/whitakerinstitute -críoch-

Friday, 19 October 2012

NUI Galway recently celebrated the success of a select group of first-year students with a special ceremony on Thursday, 18 October, in recognition of the high points they achieved in the recent Leaving Certificate Examination. As part of the University's annual Excellence Scholarships, 65 students received €2,000 each, along with a specially designed NUI Galway scroll. Each year the Excellence Scholarships are given to new entrants at NUI Galway who reached a minimum of 560 points in their Leaving Certificate examination, except in Medicine. For Medical students 10 Scholarships were awarded certificates, based on the combined results in the Leaving Certificate and the new Admissions Test (H-PAT Ireland). The Excellence Scholarships are designed to recognise and reward Leaving Cert success for the highest-achieving students, and encourage their ongoing commitment to academic excellence during their time at NUI Galway. The awards may be held with any other scholarships or grants, including the University's Postgraduate Scholarships, Mature Student Scholarships, Sports Scholarship Scheme and schemes specific to individual colleges for those who excel in their University exams. Speaking at the award ceremony, NUI Galway President Dr Jim Browne, who presented the cheques to each individual winner, said: “I am delighted to present the scholarships to these 65 outstanding individuals in recognition of their academic talent. NUI Galway constantly strives to support and promote academic excellence across all disciplines. The purpose of these Awards is to encourage each student to develop his/her academic potential to the fullest, by setting a realistic threshold of excellence and rewarding every student who attains that level. It is also a chance to give due credit to their parents and teachers for their important contribution to such success.” This year Excellence Scholarships were awarded to students from 44 individual schools throughout Ireland. The winners represented 15 counties including Clare, Cork, Donegal, Dublin, Galway, Kerry, Kildare, Limerick, Louth, Mayo, Meath, Roscommon, Sligo, Tipperary and Waterford. -ENDS-

Friday, 19 October 2012

Almost 4,000 students will graduate from NUI Galway during the Autumn Conferring Ceremonies which take place from 19-26 October. NUI Galway will also confer five Honorary Masters Degrees during the ceremonies on Seán Beattie, Helen Meehan, Josie Sheáin Jeaic Mac Donncha, Tom McSweeney and Jim Murren. Seán Beattie - Honorary Masters of Arts honoris causa:  Originally from Derry, Seán taught at second-level school in Derry before becoming a Guidance Counsellor in Carndonagh Community School, Donegal.  A member of Donegal Historical Society and the Ulster Local History Trust,   he has published several books on Donegal local history and contributed articles to journals and newspapers. Helen Meehan - Honorary Masters of Arts honoris causa: From Donegal, Helen is a retired primary school teacher.  She is recognised as an expert in folklore, genealogy and local history in County Donegal.  A published author, she is currently President of the Donegal Historical Society and a contributor to local TV and radio news. Josie Sheáin Jeaic Mac Donncha - Honorary Masters of Arts honoris causa: Sean-nós singer from Aird Thiar in Carna. He has won Corn Uí Riada three times.  He has numerous recordings completed. He also has a wide knowledge of folklore and the traditions of Iorras Aithneach. He has toured Scotland and North Africa. He was the University singer in residence in the Irish Studies Centre in 2002. Tom McSweeney - Honorary Masters of Science honoris causa: Former RTÉ regional correspondent for Cork, in 1998 was RTÉ’s first Marine Correspondent, reporting on fishing and industries, leisure marine industry and coastal nature of Ireland on TV news, contributions to Nationwide and particularly the radio programme, Seascapes, for over 1000 programmes. Tom won Maritime Person of the Year in 2008.  An experienced sailor, he completed the Round Ireland Race twice, and sailed the Atlantic from Florida to the UK.  Tom retired from RTÉ in 2010, and runs Seascapes Maritime Media and is Special Correspondent with The Marine Times. Jim Murren- Honorary Masters in Commerce honoris causa: Former Regional Manager for Industrial Development Authority (IDA) western region and Committee member of Galway Science and Technology Forum, Mayo County Development Board, Galway City Community Forum, Galway County Development Board and Galway 2040. Commenting on the conferring of this year's graduands, Dr Jim Browne, President of NUI Galway, said: “NUI Galway is fortunate to be associated with many outstanding honorary graduates throughout its history. This week we are proud to honour Seán Beattie, Helen Meehan, Tom MacSweeney, Jim Murren and Josie Sheáin Jeaic Mac Donncha.  Each of these honorees share a passion for our region and its development. Whether by chronicling local history in Donegal, pioneering the development of the marine sector, championing the industrial potential of the West, or by nurturing the song tradition of the Gaeltacht each of these worthy individuals has enriched the life of our region.  NUI Galway is very pleased to be in a position to recognise their exceptional talents and achievements.” The annual Autumn Conferring Ceremonies will begin with the Adult and Continuing Education ceremonies, where awards will be conferred on over 900 students who completed their certificate, diploma and degree courses at many locations across the country. -ENDS-

Friday, 19 October 2012

Award-winning American poet, writer and political activist to read at NUI Galway Amiri Baraka, the award-winning American poet, writer and political activist, will visit NUI Galway this week. On Thursday 25 October, the Moore Institute for Research in the Humanities and Social Studies, in association with the Arts in Action ‘Jazz Day Out’ at NUI Galway, will host a reading by Amiri Baraka. The writer of poetry, drama, fiction, essays and jazz criticism, Amiri Baraka was born Everett LeRoi Jones in 1934 in Newark, New Jersey. He moved to the Lower East Side of Manhattan in 1957 and founded Totem Press, which first published works by Allen Ginsberg, Jack Kerouac, and others.  He moved to Harlem in 1965 where he founded the Black Arts Repertory Theatre/School. His reputation as a playwright was established with the production of Dutchman at Cherry Lane Theatre in New York in 1964. The controversial play subsequently won an Obie Award for Best Off-Broadway Play and was made into a film. The author of several volumes of poetry, an autobiography, and numerous essays on culture, music and politics, Baraka also founded the jazz/poetry ensemble Blue Ark. In 1994, Amiri Baraka retired as Professor of Africana Studies at the State University of New York in Stony Brook, and in 2002 was named Poet Laureate of New Jersey and Newark Public Schools. In the fall of 2002, Baraka came under fire from the New Jersey office of the Anti-Defamation League, the New Jersey Assembly and others after a reading of his controversial poem ‘Somebody Blew Up America’ about the 9/11 attacks. According to Professor Sean Ryder, Chair of English and Acting Director of the Moore Institute at NUI Galway: “Amiri Baraka has been a cultural catalyst in the US for over 50 years, impacting upon and inspiring writers, students and the wider public. We are thrilled that he is coming to our campus, and our students of English are enthused about meeting in person an author they study and admire.” Amiri Baraka’s numerous literary honors include fellowships from the Guggenheim Foundation and the National Endowment for the Arts, the PEN/Faulkner Award, and many others. His book Digging: The Afro-American Soul of American Classical Musicwas selected as a winner of the 31st annual American Book Awards for 2010. The reading, which is free and open to the public, will take place at 5pm in the O’Flaherty Theatre in the Arts/Science Building. -ends-

Monday, 22 October 2012

Abbey/NUI Galway launch ground-breaking digital archive partnership  A Digital Journey through Irish Theatre History, the Abbey/NUI Galway digital archive partnership, was launched today, Monday, 22 October 2012 by President Michael D. Higgins in the Abbey Theatre. It is the largest digital theatre project ever undertaken, and heralds a new era of scholarship for Irish theatre internationally. The Abbey archive, which contains over 1.8 million items, is one of the world’s most significant archival collections. It has a wealth of extraordinary and unique material providing a fascinating insight into Irish theatre, history, culture and society. The archival material ranges from show posters, programmes, photographs, minute books to lighting plans, set and costume designs, sound cues, prompt scripts and audio files. Celebrating the launch, Fiach MacConghail, Director of the Abbey Theatre said:  “It’s been a long cherished ambition of the Abbey Theatre to preserve our archive. The digitised archive will help scholars and historians to write the history of the Abbey in greater detail. The Abbey archive is a major resource for Irish theatre and will help us celebrate the unheralded artists, actors, writers who have worked at the Abbey over the years. It will also inspire the next generation of theatre makers. We are excited to partner with NUI Galway and to have arts and science disciplines come together in this way.” Dr Jim Browne, President of NUI Galway said:  “As East meets West, and the creative arts and scholarship combine, this project will see the most advanced digital technology brought to bear on one of the country’s most historic theatre archives. This digitisation project is based on an awareness of the importance of the Abbey Theatre for the social, cultural and economic history of this country – not to mention its ongoing significance for Ireland and the international community as one of the key national theatres in the world. “The benefits to our students and researchers of having direct access to this rich national collection will be immense. There is also great interest in the digital archive abroad and it will draw researchers of international repute to Ireland.” The earliest item in the Abbey archive actually precedes the founding of the Abbey Theatre.  It is an 1894 poster of the first production of The Land of Heart’s Desire by W.B. Yeats, which was performed at the Avenue Theatre in London and is reflective of Yeats’ ambition to present Irish theatre outside Ireland.  Other archival gems reveal that Éamon De Valera trod the Abbey stage as Dr. Kelly in an amateur production of A Christmas Hamper in 1905.   Even our own Irish James Bond had a presence on the Abbey stage when in 1964 Donal McCann played Seamus Bond with Angela Newman as Puísín in the Christmas pantomime Aisling as Tír na nÓg. Part of the Abbey Archive was damaged as a result of the devastating effects of the fire of 1951 and some archival artefacts are in a fragile condition due to age.  The digitised archive will change our understanding of Irish drama. The history of Irish drama is largely understood to be the history of Irish plays – of the written script. As a full multimedia archive, the digital archive will provide researchers with access to the complete range of materials associated with theatre performance: not just the scripts but also the visual materials (costume, set, and lighting designs), sound materials (music scores, sound effects), and the supporting materials (adverts, press releases, reviews). This digitisation project which began in September, will take place over a three to four -year period.  The digitisation process, which is currently taking place on the NUI Galway campus, will bring together multidisciplinary teams of the University’s researchers, students and archivists to realise this exciting project. The digitisation project is unique in that it highlights two of the most important features of contemporary Ireland: the richness of its cultural traditions and its capacity for technological innovation.  NUI Galway is ideally positioned to capitalise on those strengths, as it brings both international expertise in Irish theatre and digital humanities to the project. The Moore Institute for the Humanities and Social Studies at NUI Galway is home to several major digital humanities projects, including the EU-funded TEXTE initiative; while its Digital Enterprise Research Institute (DERI) is the world’s largest research institute dedicated to internet technology-based research. Researchers at both of these institutes, together with archivists and librarians from the James Hardiman Library, will work together to ensure the very latest technology is used to illuminate the past. The digital Abbey archive will be a major addition to the existing collection of literary and cultural archives at NUI Galway. The Archive Collection at the University’s James Hardiman Library comprises over 350 collections, dating from 1485 to the present. Theatre collections include the papers of Thomas Kilroy and the Shields Family Collection, featuring the Abbey actor Arthur Shields and there is a particular focus on the archives of companies such as the Druid Theatre, Taibhdhearc na Gaillimhe and the Lyric Players Theatre in Belfast. A new Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences Research facility will open at the heart of the campus in 2013, providing the perfect home for this significant collection. Students of the new undergraduate degree in Drama, Theatre and Performance at NUI Galway, as well as a new PhD programme in Irish Drama will encourage a new wave of young researchers from Ireland and abroad to come to Galway to learn about Yeats, Synge, Lady Gregory and the many other great writers associated with the Abbey. The University has also introduced two new fully-funded PhD fellowships dedicated to research in Irish Theatre to give an immediate boost to the research team working on the Archive project. To view the Abbey Theatre/NUI Galway digital archive partnership website click here. -ENDS-   Seolann Amharclann na Mainistreach/OÉ Gaillimh comhpháirtíocht cheannródaíoch i gcartlann dhigiteach  Sheol an tUachtarán, Micheál D. Ó hUiginn, A Digital Journey through Irish Theatre History, comhpháirtíocht i gcartlann dhigiteach idir Amharclann na Mainistreach/OÉ Gaillimh, inniu, Dé Luain, an 22 Deireadh Fómhair 2012 in Amharclann na Mainistreach. Is é seo an tionscadal digiteach amharclannaíochta is mó a rinneadh riamh agus léiríonn sé ré nua scoláireachta d’amharclannaíocht na hÉireann ar fud an domhain. Tá breis is 1.8 milliún mír i gcartlann na Mainistreach agus tá sí ar cheann de na bailiúcháin chartlainne is tábhachtaí ar domhan. Tá ábhar uathúil agus thar a bheith suimiúil inti a thugann léargas spéisiúil ar amharclannaíocht, stair, cultúr agus sochaí na hÉireann. Tá idir phóstaeir thaispeántais, chláir, ghrianghraif, mhiontuairiscí, phleananna soilsithe, dhearaí stáitse agus culaithe, leideanna fuaime, scripteanna leide agus chomhaid fuaime sa chartlann. Dúirt Fiach Mac Conghail, Stiúrthóir Amharclann na Mainistreach, agus an seoladh á cheiliúradh aige: “Bhí sé mar aidhm mhór le fada ag Amharclann na Mainistreach ár gcartlann a chaomhnú. Beidh an chartlann dhigitithe ina áis mhór ag scoláirí agus ag staraithe chun cuntas níos mionsonraithe a scríobh ar stair na Mainistreach. Is mór an acmhainn í cartlann na Mainistreach d’amharclannaíocht na hÉireann agus cuideoidh sí linn ceiliúradh a dhéanamh ar na healaíontóirí, na haisteoirí agus na scríbhneoirí sin nach bhfuair an oiread sin aitheantais agus a bhí ag obair sa Mhainistir in imeacht na mblianta. Tabharfaidh sí spreagadh freisin don chéad glúin amharclannóirí eile. Is cúis mhór áthais dúinn é a bheith i gcomhar le hOllscoil na hÉireann Gaillimh agus disciplíní na n-ealaíon agus na heolaíochta a bheith á snaidhmeadh le chéile ar an dóigh seo.” Dúirt an Dr Jim Browne, Uachtarán, OÉ Gaillimh:  “Sa chomhpháirtíocht seo idir an tOirthear agus an tIarthar, idir na healaíona cruthaitheacha agus an scoláireacht, cuirfidh Ollscoil na hÉireann Gaillimh teicneolaíocht dhigiteach is nua-aimseartha i bhfeidhm sa tionscadal seo atá ar cheann de na cartlanna amharclannaíochta is stairiúla sa tír. Tá an tionscadal digitithe seo bunaithe ar an tuiscint go bhfuil tábhacht le hAmharclann na Mainistreach ó thaobh stair shóisialta, chultúir agus eacnamaíoch na tíre – gan trácht ar a stádas sa tír seo agus sa domhan mór mar cheann de na hamharclanna náisiúnta is tábhachtaí ar domhan.” “Bainfidh ár mic léinn agus ár dtaighdeoirí leas as rochtain dhíreach a bheith acu ar an mbailiúchán saibhir náisiúnta seo. Tá an-suim léirithe sa chartlann dhigiteach thar lear agus meallfaidh sé taighdeoirí mór le rá ar fud an domhain go hÉirinn.” Tá an rud is sine i gcartlann na Mainistreach níos sine ná an Amharclann féin.  Póstaer ó 1894 atá ann den chéad léiriú de The Land of Heart’s Desire le W.B. Yeats a cuireadh ar stáitse san Avenue Theatre i Londain agus léiríonn sé mian Yeats’ amharclannaíocht na hÉireann a chur ar stáitse thar lear.    I measc na míreanna luachmhara eile sa chartlann léirítear go raibh Éamon De Valera ar stáitse san Amharclann mar Dr. Kelly i léiriú amaitéarach de A Christmas Hamper i 1905.    Bhí James Bond na hÉireann ar stáitse fiú san Amharclann i 1964, nuair a bhí an pháirt Seamus Bond ag Donal McCann agus Angela Newman mar Phuisín i ngeamaireacht na Nollag Aisling as Tír na nÓg. Scriosadh cuid de Chartlann na Mainistreach de bharr tine i 1951 agus tá cuid den ábhar is sine sa chartlann an-leochaileach.  Tá an tionscadal digitithe uathúil mar go gcuireann sé béim ar phéire de na gnéithe is tábhachtaí in Éirinn sa lá atá inniu ann: saibhreas na dtraidisiún cultúrtha agus an cumas do nuálaíocht theicniúil.  Tá OÉ Gaillimh ullmhaithe go maith le cur leis na láidreachtaí sin mar go bhfuil saineolas idirnáisiúnta againn in amharclannaíocht na hÉireann agus sna daonnachtaí digiteacha. Is in Institiúid de Móra do na Daonnachtaí agus don Léann Sóisialta in OÉ Gaillimh atá go leor de na tionscadail digitithe is mó sna daonnachtaí, cosúil le tionscnamh TEXTE atá maoinithe ag AE; agus is í an Institiúid Taighde um Fhiontraíocht Dhigiteach (DERI) an institiúid taighde is mó ar domhan atá tiomanta do thaighde bunaithe ar theicneolaíocht idirlín. Oibreoidh taighdeoirí ón dá institiúid le cartlannaithe agus leabharlannaithe ó Leabharlann Shéamais Uí Argadáin chun a chinntiú go n-úsáidfear an teicneolaíocht is nua-aimseartha chun an t-am atá caite a léiriú arís. Athróidh an Chartlann dhigitithe ár dtuiscint ar dhrámaíocht na hÉireann go deo. Feictear go forleathan stair na drámaíochta in Éirinn mar stair na ndrámaí - stair na scripteanna scríofa. Mar chartlann iomlán ilmheáin, tabharfaidh an chartlann dhigiteach rochtain do thaighdeoirí ar an réimse iomlán ábhar a bhaineann le léiriú amharclannaíochta: ní scripteanna amháin a bheidh i gceist, ach ina theannta sin beidh físábhar (culaith, stáitse, agus dearaí soilse), ábhar fuaime (scór ceoil, maisíochtaí fuaime), agus an t-ábhar tacaíochta (fógraí, preasráitis, léirmheasanna). Mairfidh an tionscadal digitithe seo a thosaigh i Meán Fómhair idir trí agus ceithre bliana.  Tabharfaidh an próiseas digitithe atá ar champas OÉ Gaillimh faoi láthair le chéile foirne ildisciplíneacha de thaighdeoirí, mic léinn agus cartlannaithe na hOllscoile chun an tionscadal iontach seo a chur i gcrích. Cuirfidh cartlann dhigiteach na Mainistreach go mór le cartlanna liteartha eile OÉ Gaillimh. Sa Chartlann i Leabharlann Shéamais Uí Argadáin san Ollscoil tá breis is 350 bailiúchán ó 1485 go dtí an lá atá inniu. Sna bailiúcháin tá páipéir de chuid Thomas Kilroy agus Teaghlach Shields,  agus tá aisteoir na Mainistreach Arthur Shields luaite anseo. Tá béim ar leith ar chartlann na gcompántas ar nós Amharclann Druid, Taibhdhearc na Gaillimhe agus amharclann Lyric Players i mBéal Feirste. Osclóidh áis Taighde sna Dána, sna Daonnachtaí agus sna hEolaíochtaí Sóisialta i lár an champais in 2013, agus is ann a choinneofar an bailiúchán tábhachtach seo. Idir an chéim nua i nDrámaíocht, Amharclannaíocht agus Taibhiú in OÉ Gaillimh agus an clár nua PhD i nDrámaíocht na hÉireann spreagfar glúin nua taighdeoirí óga in Éirinn agus i bhfad i gcéin le teacht go Gaillimh agus foghlaim faoi Yeats, Synge, Lady Gregory agus na scríbhneoirí móra eile a bhí bainteach le hAmharclann na Mainistreach. Tá tús curtha freisin ag an Ollscoil le dhá chomhaltacht nua PhD atá maoinithe go hiomlán le taighde a dhéanamh ar Amharclannaíocht na hÉireann chun tacú láithreach leis an bhfoireann taighde atá ag obair ar thionscadal na Cartlainne. CRÍOCH  

Tuesday, 23 October 2012

The 15th Galway Science and Technology Festival was launched yesterday, Monday 22 October, in the Engineering Building at NUI Galway by Gerard Kilcommins, VP of Global Vascular Operations and General Manager Galway Site Medtronic, the Festival’s Main Sponsor. The free two-week event runs from the 12–25 November and includes shows and activities for primary and secondary school students and a family day out at the Final Day Exhibition on Sunday 25 November at NUI Galway. There is huge interest already in this year’s Festival following the success of last year when over 90 Primary Schools, encompassing over 15,000 students, and 24 Secondary Schools encompassing 6,000 students, enjoyed shows at their schools. Last year’s Festival culminated in the Final Day Exhibition at NUI Galway attracting over 20,000 visitors to the 80 interactive stands and 14 separate shows. This year there will be 20 separate shows. The Festival aims to increase the uptake and popularity of the STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths) subjects among young people by bringing shows to schools throughout Galway city and county over the two-week event. The Final Day Exhibition on the 25th November has once again been expanded as a result of the large attendance in 2011 and will host 80 interactive stands representing areas including research, education, industry and the environment. It will take place at the Bailey Allen Hall, Orbsen and IT Buildings and has expanded to the Aula Maxima and new Engineering Building at NUI Galway. There is an amazing programme of events to choose from including three brand new shows, Dr Ken’s Entertaining Science Circus Show where students will learn how circus performers make use of scientific principles in their tricks and stunts. Jumping Clay by Jim Daly an education programme for 3D clay modelling, that can be used in animation or just making popular art and Exploring Cells for 5th and 6th class  students is a hands on practice of cellular and molecular biology for budding explorers. Popular shows making a welcome return to schools again this year include the K’nex Roadshow, which is based on a dynamic open ended spatial building system and Blackrock Castle Observatory’s StarDome where students can discover the wonders of the night sky in their own school hall. Jane McLoughlin’s Fun with Science presents easy science experiments and use of recycled materials and everyday foods to learn about science. See and experience the the magic of radio with a Galway Bay FM School Tour for your class and experience the technology involved in producing a live radio programme, or visit the National Computer and Communications Museum, which provides a fascinating insight to the development of communications and computing technology from ancient heiroglyphics to today’s internet. NUI Galway is running many interesting shows and events to stimulate the mind including 3-D Tours of the Universe at the Centre of Astronomy, which will take the audience on a trip from the earth to nearby starts, across our Galaxy to groups of stars, and finally through the whole Universe. The School of Chemistry at NUI Galway is running a Primary Schools Outreach programme, Kitchen Chemistry, aimed at introducing primary school children to the exciting world of Chemistry and the Zoology Museum and the Computer Museum will also be open on the day. GMIT, currently celebrating their 40th anniversary, will host interesting workshops for students including Skin Deep, which demonstrates how transdermal skin patches work, How Engines Work ‘The Visible Stirling Engine’ and the return of the very popular Forensics Workshop looking at Poisons and Forgeries. Gerard Kilcommins, VP of Global Vascular Operations and General Manager Galway Site Medtronic commented: “Medtronic became the main sponsor of the Galway Science and Technology Festival over ten years ago.  Since then, we are delighted to have experienced the journey that has seen the event evolve and flourish into one of the highlights in the calendars of the educational and science communities.  This year’s theme is “Everybody Experimenting” and experimentation is something that makes Science and Technology so fascinating. Engaging the younger generation throughout this festival about the wonders and possibilities of Science and Technology will help ensure we have the pool of talented scientists and engineers so necessary for Ireland’s future success as a nation. As Thomas A. Edison once said, ‘to have a great idea, have a lot of them’ and I have no doubt the action-packed programme over the next couple of weeks will generate lots of ideas and open minds to the many great possibilities and opportunities out there.” Galway Science and Technology Festival Chairman, Tom Hyland added: “On behalf of the Board of the Galway Science and Technology Festival, I would like to thank our main sponsor Medtronic who for the last 11 years has been a wonderful sponsor of this event, which has grown and developed into a very significant vehicle for the promotion of the STEM subjects to our young people. We also appreciate the support of our partners Galway Enterprise Board, Discover Science and Engineering, Cisco and Boston Scientific who help bring excitement and fun to science and technology for children and families across the city and county.”  Professor Tom Sherry, Dean of Science at NUI Galway said: “Around the world, Ireland’s reputation for technology, research and innovation is growing year by year. Galway’s annual Science & Technology Festival is a great opportunity to provide future generations of third level students with an enthralling experience of the boundless possibilities and the sheer fun of science and technology.   We hope that the exciting festival line-up will inspire many of our young visitors both to make their future careers in science and technology and to help to continue Ireland’s burgeoning success.” The Programme of events is available at www.galwayscience.ie and the Festival Exhibition will open at 10am on Sunday, 25November. Bookings can be made at www.galwayscience.eventbrite.com to help people plan their day.

Tuesday, 23 October 2012

Leading scholars of Irish drama will gather in Galway this week for the Irish Society for Theatre Research (ISTR) annual conference. Entitled Perform, or Else!, the conference will take place at NUI Galway from 26-28 October. The conference will feature the latest international thinking on the historical, contemporary and future roles of Irish theatre. It will showcase research across many themes, such as Archives and Performance; Theatre and Memory; Capitalism and Theatre Performance; and Aesthetics, Irish drama and/or Irish Theatre History. Rebecca Schneider, Associate Professor of Theatre Arts & Performance Studies at Brown University, will deliver a keynote address. Author of The Explicit Body in Performance and Performing Remains: Art and War in Times of Theatrical Reenactment, Professor Schneider will deliver her lecture on how her most recent research applies to the Irish context. Second keynote speaker at the conference will be Dr Mark Phelan, Lecturer in Drama at Queens University Belfast. Dr Phelan will present his recent work involving Irish theatre history and historiography, which had been published in such international journals as Modern Drama and Theatre Journal. The event coincides with important developments in NUI Galway’s theatre studies curricula and research resources. NUI Galway’s James Hardiman Library boasts an extensive collection of theatre archives, including the Druid, Taibhdhearc na Gaillimhe, Macnas and Belfast Lyric Theatre as well as the papers of Abbey actor Arthur Shields and playwright Thomas Kilroy. The recent announcement of the Abbey Theatre/NUI Galway Digitisation partnership further strengthens NUI Galway’s status as one of the world’s great Irish theatre theatre archives. This year NUI Galway also launched its new BA degree in Drama, Theatre and Performance Studies, taking in the first cohort of students in September. This programme provides a unique opportunity to study drama, theatre and performance from practical, theoretical and historical perspectives in Galway, a hub for Irish and international arts festivals and events. Dr Patrick Lonergan, Director of the BA degree in Drama, Theatre and Performance Studies at NUI Galway, said: “A huge amount has been happening at NUI Galway recently. We have established a very strong partnership with Druid Theatre, and that is having a massive impact on how we teach students on our new BA in Drama, Theatre and Performance and our MA in Drama and Theatre programmes. The Abbey Digitization project will have a huge effect on archival research in the University too. By hosting a conference that will bring together the world’s leading scholars of Irish drama at this exciting time, we will have a great opportunity to plan for future developments.” Dr Lonergan is also the Director of NUI Galway’s MA in Drama and Theatre Studies and the BA Connect with Theatre and Performance.  He is the author of The Theatre and Films of Martin McDonagh and the award-winning Theatre and Globalization: Irish Drama in the Celtic Tiger Era (2010). Dr Lonergan will also present a paper entitled ‘Banking on Ireland’ at ISTR 2012. The conference begins at 1pm on Friday, 26 October and takes place in the New Engineering Building located in North Campus. The official conference opening at 5.30pm features a presentation on the Abbey theatre/National University of Ireland partnership project. ENDS

Tuesday, 23 October 2012

The Chartered Institute of Management Accountants (CIMA), Business Studies Teachers Association of Ireland (BSTAI) and NUI Galway Western Region Schools Quiz took place recently in the J.E. Cairnes School of Business and Economics at NUI Galway. Sixteen schools, with a total of 28 teams took part and competed from all over the west, to determine who would represent the region in the National Finals in March. The table quiz was held for Junior Certificate students of Business Studies. Brian Duffy, Chairperson CIMA West of Ireland Branch, said: “At CIMA our relationships with education providers have always been crucial.  We are delighted to have a leading role in this quiz which showcased the talents of second level business students in the West of Ireland.” Professor Willie Golden, Dean of the College of Business, Public Policy and Law at NUI Galway, said: “NUI Galway works closely with its regional hinterland and this is nowhere more evident than in the J.E. Cairnes School of Business and Economics. A defining part of all our student courses is the engagement with the local community. Working with the BSTAI and CIMA allows us to engage with second level students and foster their interest in business studies. I have no doubt that many of these students attending the event, will be amongst our leaders of the future.” Jennie Harrington, President of the BSTAI, commented: “I am delighted that so many business studies students took part in the CIMA Schools quiz.  It is an opportunity for students to have fun while also revising for their Junior Certificate exam. I would like to thank CIMA for all their work in organising the quiz.” The winners on the night were Seamount College, Kinvara, Co. Galway, who took first place. They were followed closely in second place by Dominican College, Taylors Hill, Galway. Third place went to Presentation College, Athenry, Co. Galway. The top three teams from the regional final will now go on to compete in the national finals, which will take place in March of next year. -ENDS-

Thursday, 25 October 2012

Researchers from NUI Galway received prestigious prizes for their research posters presented at the Annual Scientific Meeting of the Irish Pain Society, held in Galway recently.  Elaine Jennings won first prize and the Pain Research Medal for her research on the impact of stress on pain and associated alterations in the body’s so-called endocannabinoid system. Dr Bright Okine won third prize for his characterisation of changes in a nuclear receptor signaling system during pain. Both researchers work within Pharmacology and Therapeutics and the NCBES Centre for Pain Research at NUI Galway under the supervision of Dr David Finn and Dr Michelle Roche.  The winning research projects were funded by Science Foundation Ireland and the Irish Research Council for Science, Engineering and Technology. The research competition was judged by a panel of international experts who commended the high quality of the research.  NUI Galway’s Centre for Pain Research has an impressive track record in this competition, winning the Pain Research Medal on five occasions in the last six years. Leading experts on the assessment and management of headache and pain affecting the face and mouth attended the Annual Scientific Meeting. Coinciding with the Global Year Against Headache, the meeting heard about new advances in the diagnosis and treatment of common, but often debilitating conditions such as migraine and less common conditions such as trigeminal neuralgia which is associated with severe facial pain. Clinical experts and scientists from a range of professional disciplines such as pain medicine, surgery, nursing, physiotherapy and psychology presented their research findings to an audience of scientists and health practitioners.  Dr David Finn, Co-Director of NUI Galway’s Centre for Pain Research and member of the Irish Pain Society’s committee, said: “We are very pleased that the meeting in Galway was so well-attended. The quality of the presentations was excellent and we are particularly pleased to see these prizes awarded to researchers at NUI Galway’s Centre for Pain Research.” -ENDS-

Tuesday, 30 October 2012

NUI Galway’s Community Knowledge Initiative (CKI) and James Hardiman Library’s Civic Engagement Book Collection will be launched by Dr Pat Morgan, Vice-President for the Student Experience, in the Library foyer on Thursday, 8 November at 3.30pm. This collection of books incorporates diverse aspects of civic engagement and contains books from a wide range of disciplines and will act as a central reference point for all materials in this field. It is envisaged that this collection will be a valuable resource to those who seek to integrate and promote civic engagement within and without the University. Lorraine McIlrath, CKI Project coordinator at NUI Galway, said: “NUI Galway continues to highlight its leadership in the area of university engagement with community through civic engagement. We at the CKI are delighted that the James Hardiman Library has established itself as a site of knowledge and resource excellence that will enable our student and community populations to learn broadly about aspects related to this area through this collection.” Civic Engagement is a strategic priority for NUI Galway and through the CKI the University works to promote greater civic engagement through its teaching and research. This is reinforced through the use of service learning, community based learning, volunteering and research. To visit the James Hardiman Library website go to http://www.library.nuigalway.ie/. -ENDS-