Thursday, 1 March 2012

Geography students at NUI Galway will hold a ‘Soup for Life’ event on 5 - 6 March as part of National Soup Week. ‘Soup for Life’ is run in association with the University’s campus restaurant, An Bhialann, which is operated by ARAMARK Ireland, Gorta - The Freedom from Hunger Council of Ireland, NUI Galway’s Community Knowledge Initiative (CKI) and the University’s Volunteering Programme ALIVE. Organised by students from the MA in Environment, Society and Development programme at NUI Galway, this is the first time a third-level institution has hosted the ‘Soup for Life’ campaign. For each bowl of soup sold by An Bhialann, €1 will be donated to Gorta. Funds raised will be put to work fighting hunger and poverty in sub-Saharan Africa. Gorta is an independent, international development NGO who aim to contribute to the eradication of the causes of hunger and extreme thirst in the world. Gorta supports agricultural activities including livestock rearing, irrigation schemes and other water-based projects, as well as the support of education, healthcare initiatives and income-generating activities in communities in sub-Saharan Africa. Dr John McDonagh, Head of Geography at NUI Galway, said: “The Geography Department is delighted to support this initiative and the fantastic work that Gorta does.  In particular we are delighted to see Geography students contributing in such a meaningful and beneficial way to this campaign and its positive contribution to communities in sub-Saharan Africa.” Lorraine Tansey, Student Volunteer Co-ordinator, said: “NUI Galway students have a deep social consciousness and are committed to connecting the curriculum to real world social problems. The ‘Soup for Life’ campaign demonstrates the forging of successful partnerships with communities and business through student initiative and the support of ARAMARK on this project is much appreciated.” National Soup Week runs from 5 to 11 March with many establishments nationwide participating including including the Avoca Group, Cornucopia, Wagamama and the Insomnia Coffee Company in Dublin and Café Paradiso, Blair’s Inn, Amicus and The Cornstore in Cork. ‘Soup for Life’ is also supported by Cork’s food entrepreneurs Cully & Sully, who will donate 5c per carton of soup sold throughout the week. For more information visit www.soupforlife.ie -ENDS-

Friday, 2 March 2012

Over 75 scientists will gather at NUI Galway for the annual project meeting of CARBOCHANGE (Changes in carbon uptake and emissions by oceans in a changing climate on 7-9 March. The meeting will take place in the Aula Maxima at the University. CARBOCHANGE is a large-scale integrating collaborative research project of €7 million funded by the EU 7th Framework Programme (FP7), and is  coordinated by the Geophysical Institute at the University of Bergen and the Bjerknes Centre for Climate Research in Bergen, Norway. CARBOCHANGE gathers a consortium of 28 research institutions, including NUI Galway, from Europe, North America and Africa with outstanding scientific expertise in the field of carbon cycle research. The goal of the CARBOCHANGE project is to quantify the oceanic uptake of human-produced carbon dioxide from the atmosphere. Carbon dioxide from fossil fuel burning and land use changes is the main contributor to a human-induced climate change. Currently, the ocean takes up about 25% of the worldwide annually produced carbon dioxide but this rate is subject to continuous change. CARBOCHANGE investigates how large this uptake rate has been in the past, how it is changing at present, and how it will evolve in the future. Carbon dioxide in the surface ocean has to pass through the bottleneck of oceanic mixing on its way to the deep ocean. Climate change and biogeochemical processes further modify the oceanic absorption of carbon dioxide. CARBOCHANGE employs cutting edge measurement and modelling techniques to watch the ongoing carbon dioxide uptake by the oceans, to understand the underlying processes, and to predict changes in uptake to come. Dr Brian Ward, School of Physics and the Ryan Institute at NUI Galway, said: “It is essential to know for human societies how much carbon dioxide is absorbed and where the human-produced carbon dioxide in the ocean is going. Key issues include: how the amount of carbon dioxide remaining in the atmosphere determines the strength of climate change; and that carbon dioxide taken up by the oceans causes the progressing problem of ocean acidification with potentially severe consequences for marine life.” Dr Ward continued: “The participation of NUI Galway in this high-level international research project by NUI Galway underlines the expertise and importance of this institution within the climate research communities, both at National, European, and International levels.” Keynote speakers at the CARBOCHANGE meeting are Professor Niki Gruber from ETH Zurich and Dr Brian Ward from NUI Galway. -ENDS-

Monday, 5 March 2012

NUI Galway and the Students’ Union have joined forces to introduce a new model for students and university staff to work in equal partnership to deliver innovation on campus. The first scheme of its kind in the Irish third-level sector, the EXPLORE Innovation Initiative at NUI Galway takes student engagement to a new level. Students and staff team up, devise an innovative, sustainable project, apply for €1,000 funding and, where successful, deliver this project within a six-month time frame. EXPLORE is inspired by successful student engagement initiatives at a number of UK universities. Whereas the UK focus has mainly been around strengthening learning and teaching, EXPLORE firmly emphasises innovation and turning ideas into reality. What makes this programme unique is its commitment to equal partnership between students and staff, as opposed to the traditional student/ teacher relationship, and the fact that projects are not a part of regular coursework. The scheme is currently being piloted at NUI Galway, but the hope is that it will be rolled out and become a permanent feature of university life, subject to interest and availability of funding.  Launched in January 2012, EXPLORE has already received an outstanding response from both staff and students. 17 projects, with over 80 project participants, spanning technology, the arts, learning and teaching, innovation and collaboration and the environment have already been granted funding. The projects aims to focus on improving an element of campus life with the dual purpose of giving students more influence in bringing about positive change at the University, while simultaneously utilising the campus environment as an incubation unit for trying out a project on a small scale before possibly turning it into larger-scale venture. NUI Galway Students’ Union President, Emmet Connolly, said: “This initiative is a new and exciting opportunity for students to really engage with their campus community in putting innovative ideas into practice. I would encourage all students to get involved.” Commenting on the new initiative, Professor Chris Curtin, Vice President for Innovation and Performance at NUI Galway, said: “NUI Galway is committed to improving the performance of the University by bringing about change through innovation. I welcome the partnership with the Students’ Union in delivering the EXPLORE initiative. It is a practical way for students and staff to put their ideas into action whilst shaping the campus of tomorrow.”  EXPLORE is supported by NUI Galway’s Bright Ideas Initiative and the Student Projects Fund. -ENDS-

Monday, 5 March 2012

NUI Galway will host a conference entitled Diabetic Foot Management: Optimising Care Using a Holistic Approach on Saturday, 10 March. This is the premier conference on Diabetic Foot Management in Ireland organised in partnership with the The School of Podiatry at NUI Galway, The Office for Continuous Professional Development (CPD) in Podiatry, The Society of Chiropodists and Podiatrists of Ireland, The Organisation of Chiropodists/Podiatrists of Ireland, The Institute of Chiropodists and Podiatrists and the Wound Management Association of Ireland. The conference will include presentations from national and international experts in the fields of health and education. The conference will hold plenary presentations and workshops on the latest evidence-based approaches to diagnosis, clinical management and education of patients with Diabetes. Dr Caroline McIntosh, Head of Podiatry at NUI Galway, said: “We are facing a national crisis, the Institute of Public Health estimate that by 2015 there will be 232,000 people with diabetes in Ireland. This is a 62% increase on the 2007 figure of 141,000.” Karen Fahy, National Education Officer for CPD in Podiatry expressed concern: “Recent studies have found that awareness of the complications of diabetes among the public is low, for example only 18% of people surveyed knew that complications of diabetes can lead to having an amputation, despite the fact that half of all lower limb amputations carried out between 2005-2010 in Ireland were linked with diabetes. It is fundamental that all health professionals including podiatrists involved in the treatment of the diabetic foot are informed in the latest evidence-based approaches to holistic management of the potentially high risk diabetic foot and this is the aim of our conference.” The keynote speaker at the conference is Matthew Young, Consultant Diabetologist at the Royal Infirmary of Edinburgh, where he leads a multidisciplinary team of the largest diabetic foot clinic in Scotland. Dr Young also serves on the Scottish Intercollegiate Guidelines Network (SIGN) group, for diabetic foot guidelines, and the Foot Advisory Group of the Scottish Diabetes Group and has published extensively on diabetes and its complications, particularly the diabetic foot. He will deliver a lecture on the “Improved survival of diabetic foot ulcer patients 1995-2008, possible impact of aggressive cardiovascular risk management.” Other speakers at the conference will include: Dr Caroline McIntosh, Co-chairperson of the Conference, Senior Lecturer and Head of Podiatry, NUI Galway; Dr Brian McGuire, Senior Lecturer in Clinical Psychology, NUI Galway; Dr Sean Dinneen, Consultant in Diabetes and Endocrinology, Galway University Hospital; Maeve Gacquin, Senior Dietitian, The Galway Clinic; Dr Marcus Simmgen, Consultant Physician, Roscommon County Hospital and Galway University Hospital; Dr Georgina Gethin, Co-chairperson of the Conference and Head of the Centre for Nursing and Midwifery Research in the Faculty of Nursing and Midwifery in RCSI; and Dr David Gallagher, Consultant Physician in Infectious Diseases and General Internal Medicine, Galway University Hospital and St. James's Hospital, Dublin. In addition to the lectures workshops will also take place at the conference. For further information contact Karen Fahy, National Education Officer for CPD in Podiatry at karen.fahy@nuigalway.ie. -ENDS-

Monday, 5 March 2012

A celebration of the achievements of NUI Galway’s alumni took place in the Bailey Allen Hall on campus Saturday night with special guest An Taoiseach Enda Kenny TD. Over 450 people gathered for the 12th Annual Gala Banquet, a glamorous occasion hosted by RTÉ’s Deputy Director of TV Programmes, Mairéad Ní Nuadháin. Among the guests were alumni, staff, students and friends of the University. The feature of the night was the presentation of the Annual Alumni Awards to: Máire Whelan, Attorney General of Ireland, who received the Bank of Ireland Award for Business, Public Policy and Law Gerry Kilcommins, VP Global Vascular Operations & General Manager Medtronic Galway and past President American Chamber of Commerce, Ireland who received the Bank of Ireland Award for Engineering and Informatics Professor Fergal O'Gara, Chair of Microbiology UCC who received the Aramark Alumni Award for Science Marie Mullen - actress, Druid Theatre Company co-founder who received the AIB Award for Arts, Social Sciences and Celtic Studies Professor Tim O'Brien, Director, Gait Laboratory & Consultant Orthopaedic Surgeon, Central Remedial Clinic who received the Medtronic Award for Medicine, Nursing and Health Sciences Peadar Mac An Iomaire, Iar-Phríomhfheidhmeannach, Acadamh na hOllscolaíochta Gaeilge, NUI Galway who received the Duais Hewlett Packard don Gaeilge Special guest on the night An Taoiseach and former NUI Galway student, Enda Kenny TD, said: “The people we honour here this evening have made remarkable and diverse contributions to Irish life, which rightly deserve to be. In honouring those six distinguished graduates this evening, we highlight not only their achievements, we also take the opportunity to recognise the contribution, and indeed the calibre, of Irish graduates generally. “Since its establishment well over a century and half ago, NUI Galway has always aimed to be one of Ireland’s foremost centres of academic excellence. Since spending time as a student on this campus in the 1970s, I have seen NUI Galway, and indeed the surrounding city, grow and develop continually. In particular the transformation that has taken place over the last decade has been remarkable. The campus now offers the best of facilities for teaching and research and a wealth of modern amenities for students.” An Taoiseach added: “In diverse ways our Alumni Award winners have helped to shape Irish society and culture, broken new boundaries of knowledge and forged new industries and enterprises. In the arts and culture, in business, governance and industry, and in the sciences - they are the social leaders, who continue to build our future. They serve as an inspiration to the next generation of emerging students - and they too will bring their talents and ingenuity to Irish society and enterprise in new and creative ways. I congratulate tonight's honourees and all involved in this event.” Entertainment for the Gala was provided by internationally renowned Donegal singer Moya Brennan, formerly of Clannad fame. Moya performed with her daughter Aisling before she embarks on a US tour, and delighted the audience with a mixture of old Clannad favourites and new compositions from her latest live album Heartstrings. Addressing the assembled guests, NUI Galway President, Dr Jim Browne said: “The people we honour tonight have made a difference. They have distinguished themselves as individuals and in doing so they add lustre to the reputation of NUI Galway.” The Annual Alumni Awards celebrate the life-long value of an NUI Galway education and recognise individual achievements among the University’s more than 80,000 graduates worldwide.  ENDS   Déanann an Taoiseach comhghairdeas le Alumni ag Mórfhéasta OÉ Gaillimh Dé Luain, 5 Márta 2012: Bhí ceiliúradh ar éachtaí alumni OÉ Gaillimh ar siúl i Halla Bailey Allen ar an gcampas oíche Dé Sathairn agus bhí an Taoiseach Enda Kenny mar aoi speisialta ag an ócáid. Bhí os cionn 450 duine bailithe don 12ú Mórfhéasta Bliantúil, ócáid ghalánta agus Mairéad Ní Nuadháin, Leas-Stiúrthóir na gClár Teilifíse in RTÉ, mar bhean an tí. I láthair ag an ócáid bhí alumni, comhaltaí foirne, mic léinn agus cairde na hOllscoile. Ba é bronnadh Dhuaiseanna Bliantúla Alumni ar na daoine seo a leanas buaicphointe na hoíche: Maire Whelan, Ard-Aighne na hÉireann, ar bronnadh Duais Bhanc na hÉireann don Ghnó, an Beartas Poiblí agus an Dlí uirthi Gerry Kilcommins, Leas-Uachtarán Global Vascular Operations & Bainisteoir Ginearálta Medtronic na Gaillimhe agus iar-Uachtarán ar Chumann Tráchtála Mheiriceá in Éirinn ar bronnadh Duais Bhanc na hÉireann don Innealtóireacht agus don Ionformaitic air An tOllamh Fergal O’Gara, Ollúnacht le Micribhitheolaíocht, UCC ar bronnadh Duais Alumni Aramark don Eolaíocht air Marie Mullen – aisteoir, comhbhunaitheoir Chomplacht Amharclannaíochta an Druid ar bronnadh Duais AIB do na Dána, na hEolaíochtaí Sóisialta agus an Léann Ceilteach uirthi An tOllamh Tim O’Brien, Stiúrthóir, Saotharlann Choisíochta & Máinlia Comhairleach Ortaipéidice, an Clinic Lárnach Íocshláinteach ar bronnadh Duais Medtronic don Leigheas, an tAltranas agus na hEolaíochtaí Sláinte air Peadar Mac An Iomaire, Iar-Phríomhfheidhmeannach, Acadamh na hOllscolaíochta Gaeilge, OÉ Gaillimh ar bronnadh Duais Hewlett Packard don Ghaeilge air Dúirt aoi speisialta na hoíche, an Taoiseach agus iarmhac léinn OÉ Gaillimh, Enda Kenny: “Tá éachtaí suntasacha agus éagsúla i saol na hÉireann déanta ag na daoine a bhfuil duaiseanna á mbronnadh orthu anseo anocht, agus tá na duaiseanna seo tuillte go maith acu. Agus muid ag tabhairt aitheantais don seisear céimithe den scoth seo anocht, tarraingímid aird, ní hamháin ar a gcuid éachtaí, ach aithnímid chomh maith an obair, agus leibhéal ard na hoibre go deimhin, a bhíonn ar siúl ag céimithe Éireannacha go ginearálta. “Ó bunaíodh OÉ Gaillimh go maith os cionn 150 bliain ó shin, tá sé mar aidhm ag an Ollscoil a bheith ar cheann de phríomhionaid feabhais acadúil na hÉireann. Ón uair a chaith mé féin seal anseo mar mhac léinn sna 1970í, tá fás agus forbairt feicthe agam ag teacht ar OÉ Gaillimh, agus go deimhin ar an gcathair máguaird. Is cinnte gur díol suntais é go háirithe an t-athrú atá tarlaithe le deich mbliana anuas. Tá na háiseanna is fearr ar fáil ar an gcampas ó thaobh an teagaisc agus an taighde de agus tá réimse iontach áiseanna nua-aimseartha ar fáil do mhic léinn.” Dúirt an Taoiseach chomh maith: “Ar bhealaí éagsúla chabhraigh buaiteoirí na nGradam Alumni linn cruth a chur ar shochaí agus ar chultúr na hÉireann, bhris siad teorainneacha an eolais agus chruthaigh siad tionscail agus fiontair nua. Sna healaíona agus sa chultúr, sa ghnó, sa rialachas agus sa tionscal, agus sna heolaíochtaí – is ceannairí sóisialta iad, atá ag cur de shíor lenár dtodhchaí. Is cúis inspioráide iad don chéad ghlúin eile de mhic léinn – agus úsáidfidh siadsan chomh maith a gcuid buanna agus a stuaim ar mhaithe le sochaí agus le fiontar na hÉireann ar bhealaí nua agus cruthaitheacha. Déanaim comhghairdeas le buaiteoirí na hoíche anocht agus le gach duine a bhí páirteach san ócáid seo.” Is í an t-amhránaí as Dún na nGall a bhfuil cáil dhomhanda uirthi, Moya Brennan, a chuir ceol ar fáil don Mhórfhéasta. Bhíodh Moya mar bhall den ghrúpa Clannad. Chas Moya in éineacht lena hiníon Aisling, sular imigh sí ar a camchuairt go Meiriceá, agus chas sí meascán de na hamhráin a bhíodh aici le Clannad agus amhráin nua óna halbam beo Heartstrings. Agus é ag labhairt leis an slua a bhí i láthair dúirt an Dr Jim Browne, Uachtarán OÉ Gaillimh: “Tá difríocht déanta ag na daoine seo atá ag fáil duaiseanna anocht. Tá éachtaí déanta acu agus cuireann siad go mór le cáil OÉ Gaillimh.” Deis iad na Duaiseanna Bliantúla Alumni le ceiliúradh a dhéanamh ar luach fadsaoil an oideachais a chuirtear ar fáil in OÉ Gaillimh mar aon le haitheantas a thabhairt d’éachtaí cuid den 80,000 céimí de chuid na hOllscoile seo atá anois lonnaithe fud fad na cruinne. CRÍOCH

Monday, 5 March 2012

NUI Galway, in conjunction with Coláiste Iognáid is delighted to announce the final concert of the Arts in Action concert series on Thursday, 22 March in the Bailey Allen Hall, with a special performance by the newly formed University Medical Orchestra. The Medical Orchestra, which was formed in January 2011, has given a series of performances since its inception with an original programme of work arranged by the orchestra’s musical director Carl Hession (music teacher in Coláiste Iognáid). The orchestra is made up of young medical students, some of whom are past pupils of the Jes, as well as some senior lecturers and a choir of Malaysian students. The programme for the finale concert, which is a fundraising event for the local Jesuit Secondary School Building Fund (Coláiste Iognáid), will have a strong emphasis on traditional works with special guests Dr Seamus McGuire on violin, Cois Cladaigh Choir with director Brendan O Connor, singer’s Lillis O Laoire and Mary Mc Partlan and the TG4 Young Musician of the ear and NUI Galway student, piper Pádraig Keane. A choral ensemble from the Jes Secondary school will also perform. Speaking in advance of the fundraising event, Mary McPartlan, Director of Arts in Action programme, NUI Galway, said: “Both Arts in Action and the Medical Orchestra bring 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. We are really looking forward to this performance, the students have really worked hard with musical director Carl Hession to bring a different programme of music. We are delighted to honour the Jesuit Secondary School with the proceeds from this concert.” Arts in Action concerts are free for the students at the University but this once off event will have an admission of €15 for the general public. Students will need ID on the night to gain admission. The Arts in Action concert is at the Bailey Allen Hall on Thursday, 22 March at 8pm. Tickets can be obtained from the Jesuit School office or on the door on the night of the concert. All are most welcome. For ticket sales and further Information please contact: Mary Mc Partlan NUI Galway: 087 2206629 or Catherine Hickey, Deputy Principal, Coláiste Iognáid, Galway 091-501550/ 501564. Tickets can also be purchased directly from the Secretary office, Coláiste Iognáid. ENDS

Tuesday, 6 March 2012

The last talk in the NUI Galway public talk series on Sports Technology will take place on Tuesday, 13 March, at 6pm. Entitled Fitness, There Is An App For That, the talk will be delivered by Ted Vickey, PhD researcher at the Digital Enterprise Research Institute (DERI) and former Executive Director of the White House Athletic Center in Washington DC. The talk will focus on the use of widely available mobile fitness apps and how people from around the world are using such apps to increase exercise motivation, share workouts on Facebook and Twitter and how using such apps can make a difference in decreasing global obesity. Ted Vickey holds a Bachelor in Exercise and Sport Science degree from Penn State and a Masters of International Business from the University of Limerick. In addition to his academic work, Ted is President of FitWell LLC, a global fitness and wellness consulting company and has served as the Executive Director of the White House Athletic Center, serving the staff of the Executive Office of the President for eleven years under the Bush, Clinton and Bush administrations. He is the Nominations Chair for the Board of Directors for the American Council on Exercise and has worked at the past three British Open golf tournaments for ESPN/ABC.  He is the current Chair of the Industry Advisory Board for NUI Galway’s BE in Sports and Exercise Engineering. The free public talk will take place in room 3035 of the Engineering Building at NUI Galway. The series of Sports Technology talks is being organised as part of NUI Galway’s degree programme in Sports & Exercise Engineering, whose students are being educated to design the next generation of sports and exercise systems and devices. For more information on the Sports Technology talks, which are supported by Engineers Ireland (West) and the Institute of Electrical and Electronic Engineers, visit www.ExerciseEngineering.com or call 091 492728. -ENDS-

Tuesday, 6 March 2012

NUI Galway second-year Biomedical Science students recently organised a public blood pressure screening clinic. Organised in partnership with Croí, the West of Ireland Cardiac Foundation, the students, as part of the Community Knowledge Initiative (CKI) module, were raising awareness of the importance of elevated blood pressure (hypertension) as a risk factor for the development of cardiovascular disease, which is the single greatest cause of premature death in Irish adults. The clinic saw over 150 NUI Galway staff and students attend a free clinic on campus to have their blood pressure measured by trained students under the supervision of Dr Gerard Flaherty and members of the Croí MyAction clinical team. Where elevated blood pressure readings were observed, individuals were given specific advice by a Croí clinical team member according to their standard screening protocols as well as written information about blood pressure control. Those attending the clinic were inspired by the guest attendance of Paul Hession, double Olympic Athlete and NUI Galway medical student.  At the clinic Paul highlighted the importance of an active lifestyle and heart healthy diet, and keeping fit to maintaining a long and healthy life.  Throughout the CKI ten-week module, students learned about the causes and effects of high blood pressure and were instructed in the accurate measurement of blood pressure with Croí sharing their expertise in blood pressure screening protocols. This module was completed under the supervision of Dr Gerard Flaherty, Senior Lecturer in Clinical Medicine and Medical Education at NUI Galway. Speaking at the day-long event, Dr Flaherty highlighted the importance of student learning with the community: “This kind of engagement is key to the skills and attitude development of our students. The collaboration with Croí has been a very fruitful partnership and we look forward to continuing our work with this flagship organisation in the west of Ireland.”  This module is run under NUI Galway’s CKI which fosters community university partnerships which aim to promote the principles and practices of civic engagement and democracy.  For further information on community engagement at NUI Galway see www.nuigalway.ie/cki  -ENDS-

Thursday, 8 March 2012

A new University Women’s Network will be launched within NUI Galway on Friday, 9 March 2012 in the The View, Áras na Mac Léinn.  The network seeks to support professional development and networking among its members towards achieving individual career goals and contributing to the development of vibrant research, teaching and supporting service communities. Renowned author and researcher Professor Susan Vinnicombe (OBE) will deliver the keynote address at the launch.  Recognised for her work on women’s leadership styles, and the issues involved in women developing their managerial careers, her keynote address will focus on the ‘Benefits of Networking in the University’.  Commenting on the launch of the Women’s Network, Professor Vinnicombe said that “Womens networks are increasingly seen as a legitimate work activity as well as a career development tool.”  Susan is Professor of Organisational Behaviour and Diversity Management, Director of the Leadership and Organisation Development Community, and Director of the International Centre for Women Leaders, Cranfield University, UK.  Her research centre is unique in Europe with its focus on women leaders and the annual Female FTSE Report is regarded as the premier research resource on women directors in the UK. Professor Vinnicombe has written ten books and over one hundred articles, reports and conference papers. Her book, Women on Corporate Boards of Directors – International Research and Practice (with R. Burke, D. Bilimoria, M. Husen and V. Singh published by Edward Elgar) was published in 2009. The book reviews the position of women on corporate boards in the USA, Canada, UK, France, New Zealand, Australia, Norway, Iceland and Spain. Her new book, Handbook of Research on Promoting Women’s Careers, (co-authored with R. Burke and L. Moore) will be published in March 2012. Susan has consulted for organisations in over twenty countries on how best to attract, retain and develop women executives. She has advised the government in the UK, New Zealand, Australia, Finland and Spain on how to increase the number of women on their corporate boards. Susan was awarded an OBE for her Services to Diversity in the Queen’s New Year’s Honour List in 2005. The chair of the Women’s Network, Professor Kathy Murphy, School of Nursing and Midwifery, NUI Galway commented: “We are very excited about the Launch of the Women’s Network. The Network will provide a forum to discuss debate and propose solutions to some of the issues that impact on the professional development and career progression of women. The network will seek to promote a better gender balance in leadership positions in both academic  and administration communities in the University, through various mechanisms including networking opportunities, relevant seminars, and mentoring.” The Women’s Network and launch event provides an excellent opportunity for the women and individuals interested in women’s issues, to meet with other women and leaders in the University. All categories of staff are welcome to join the Network. The launch will take place on Friday, 9 March in The View, Áras na Mac Léinn from 12.30 – 14.00.  Ends

Thursday, 8 March 2012

NUI Galway will celebrate the 50th anniversary reunion for those conferred with degrees in 1962 from the NUI Galway or UCG as it was then known. The reunion will take place on Saturday, 21 April. As well as the Class of 1962, those who graduated prior to 1962 will be welcomed back to their alma mater to celebrate this special milestone. The reunion programme includes a bus tour of a vastly changed campus, a presentation of Cumann Caoga Bliain (50 Year Club) commemorative certificates by NUI Galway President, Dr Jim Browne, and a reunion dinner in the Meyrick Hotel (formerly the Great Southern Hotel). Colm O’Dwyer of the Alumni Office encourages graduates to come along: “This reunion is a perfect opportunity to take a walk down memory lane, renew old acquaintances and see how the University has developed over the years. I’d encourage everyone from the Class of 1962 to get out their address books and call around.” For a detailed schedule of events or to book tickets please contact Máire Aherne in the Alumni Office on 091 492721 or email alumni@nuigalway.ie. -ENDS-

Monday, 12 March 2012

Secondary school students interested in NUI Galway are invited to a CAO Information Evening in Ennis on Thursday, 22 March. Parents and guardians are also particularly welcome to the event which runs from 7 to 9pm in the The Temple Gate Hotel, Ennis, Co. Clare. The evening will begin with a short presentation on college and student life at NUI Galway and will focus on some of the 60 courses the University offers. There will be a number of career talks focusing on different employment options available to students on completion of their studies. These will include talks on Arts, Science, Business and Law, Engineering, Medicine and Health Sciences. Afterwards, current students and NUI Galway staff will be on hand at information stands to answer any individual questions in relation to courses offered by the University and about practical issues like accommodation, fees and scholarships, and the wide range of support services available to our students. The ever-increasing popularity of NUI Galway is in part due to a suite of innovative new programmes, developed in response to the changing needs of the employment market, including an Energy Engineering degree and a Maths and Education degree aimed at training Maths teachers. “NUI Galway has a great deal to offer. Our own students tell us our lecturers are inspirational and challenge them to achieve their full potential. The student experience in Galway is second to none, and we want to bring a taste of that to Co. Clare, while also providing all the practical information on accommodation, CAO points, fees, scholarships and courses. With so many courses on offer, this event in Ennis is a perfect opportunity to meet current students and our lecturers to see what degree might be the right fit”, says Caroline Loughnane, Director of Marketing and Communications at NUI Galway. To find out more about the CAO Information Evening in Ennis, contact NUI Galway's Schools Liaison Office, Celine O’Donovan, Schools Liaison Office on 087 2391219 or celine.odonovan@nuigalway.ie. -ENDS-

Tuesday, 13 March 2012

As part of ‘Brain Awareness Week’ which took place globally last week, staff and students of NUI Galway’s Neuroscience Cluster organised a public information exhibit in the Galway City Museum.  The exhibition saw many members of the public and local schools visiting to learn more about how the brain and nervous system work.  The exhibit consisted of interactive stations where visitors could learn more about the nervous system in a hands-on way, including tests of hand-eye coordination, visual perception, left/right handedness, creativity and many others. Visitors also had the opportunity to learn more about the brain and about brain disorders, with the aid of information posters prepared by the staff and postgraduate students of NUI Galway’s Neuroscience Cluster, which is part of the National Centre for Biomedical Engineering Science (NCBES). Dr John Lynch, Neurology Department, Galway University Hospital, delivered a short talk on the brain to secondary school students, while Dr David Finn, Pharmacology and Centre for Pain Research at NUI Galway, gave a presentation on pain and its treatment.  Neuroscientists have the daunting task of deciphering the mystery of the very complex machine that is the brain: how as many as 100 billion nerve cells are produced, grow, and organise themselves into effective, functionally active systems that ordinarily remain in working order throughout a person’s lifetime.  The more than 1,000 disorders of the brain and nervous system result in more hospitalisations than any other disease group, including heart disease and cancer. Approximately 180 million Europeans are thought to suffer from a brain disorder, at a total cost of almost €800 billion per annum. Ongoing research within NUI Galway’s Neuroscience Cluster aims to advance understanding of the brain and nervous system, and identify new therapeutic approaches for the treatment of brain disorders. Dr Una Fitzgerald, lead organiser of the exhibit, said: “We hope that this event has succeeded in educating the public about the brain and nervous system, and increasing awareness of brain disorders and the need for further research in this area.”   NUI Galway’s Neuroscience Cluster acknowledges funding from the Dana Foundation and the NCBES which made the event possible. -ENDS-

Wednesday, 14 March 2012

Marian Harkin, MEP, and Phil Prendergast, MEP recently hosted a seminar on Genetic Discrimination in the European Parliament in Brussels. The event was led by the Centre for Disability Law and Policy at NUI Galway, in conjunction with the European Disability Forum. This international seminar, which was chaired by Andre Gubbels, Belgian Ministry, was the first of its kind in the European Parliament and brought together a diverse range of leading experts in the area, with the objective of exploring the case for a European level response to protect the privacy of genetic information and to prevent genetic discrimination. The seminar highlighted the interdisciplinary nature of this area and focused on the interaction between genetic science, technology, ethics and the law, and in particular, how best to address this complex area. The event also looked at the challenges and practical problems that arise when attempting to regulate this area, as well as the transatlantic perspectives on the matter. International speakers at the seminar included: Professor Ciaran Morrison, Centre for Chromosome Biology, School of Natural Sciences, NUI Galway; Professor Yann Joly, Centre of Genomics and Policy, McGill University, Montreal, Canada; Professor Peter Blanck, Burton Blatt Institute, Syracuse University; and Dr Delia Ferri, Faculty of Law, University of Verona. Professor Gerard Quinn, Director of the Centre for Disability Law and Policy at NUI Galway, said: “This is the Centre at its best. We exist to inform debate and have impact. Scientific advances are for the benefit of all and we must maintain public confidence.  The best way to do this is to have a European level debate about how to protect people against the abuse of genetic information. Because of this event, a unique partnership between the Centre for Disability Law and Policy and the European Parliament, there is now a genuine European-level debate that should hopefully generate a European-level response in time.” The Rapporteur’s Report was delivered by Dr Elise Muir, Maastricht University, who reflected upon the emerging consensus that genetic science is advancing at a rapid pace, and is becoming more accessible and more readily available to individuals and third parties. Dr Muir acknowledged that although advancing genetic research offers the potential to revolutionise health care and medical treatment, it can also result in problems and pitfalls with the misuse of sensitive genetic information.  Although a comprehensive European level response is needed in this area, to adequately protect genetic privacy and prevent the discriminatory use of genetic information, care needs to be taken when considering the nature of the problem and the appropriate way forward. -ENDS-

Wednesday, 14 March 2012

Is modern democracy still democratic? That is the question being explored this week at a symposium being held at the National University of Ireland in Dublin. The symposium, entitled ‘Beyond the Ballot’: forms of citizen engagement between democratic elections is the initiative of the participatory and deliberative democracy specialist group of the Political Studies Association of Ireland, led by Dr Clodagh Harris from Department of Government, UCC and Dr Gemma Carney from the Irish Centre for Social Gerontology at NUI Galway.   The symposium will explore how the collapse of social partnership and the signing of EU-IMF deals has pushed relationships between the government and ordinary voters in Ireland into a state of crisis.   Dr Gemma Carney of NUI Galway’s Irish Centre for Social Gerontology: “This does not sit with international rhetoric that 'People Matter.' The idea that people matter; that ordinary citizens should have a direct influence over how decisions are made in a democratic system is supposedly a cornestone of UN, EU and national government policies. But does that hold true in practice?”  The rise of e-democracy, forms of public protest, new political movements arising in response to a feeling of powerlessness would seem to suggest that people are becoming ever further removed from and disillusioned by their governments. Papers presented by leading international and national experts on deliberative and participatory democracy will address these issues and discuss new institutional and civil society mechanisms to enhance citizen engagement such as the G1000 Belgian citizens’ summit, The ‘We The Citizens’ Citizens Assembly and the Claiming our Future movement. The symposium takes place on Thursday, 15 March in the NUI offices on Merrion Square in Dublin 2, and the keynote speech, by Professor Jurg Steiner of the University of North Carolina on the praxis of deliberation, will be delivered at 10.15am, with other panels and presentations to follow. Ends

Wednesday, 14 March 2012

NUI Galway conference to address issues arising for Ireland under new United Nations Framework on Business and Human Rights Human rights concerns arising from business activities are the subject of a conference in NUI Galway on Saturday, 24 March. The event, which will look specifically at the implications for Ireland of a recent United Nations initiative, will be hosted by NUI Galway’s Irish Centre for Human Rights and School of Law. ‘Ireland and the United Nation’s Framework for Business and Human Rights’ will examine the duty of the State to protect human rights from violation by companies. In 2011, the United Nations adopted Professor John Ruggie’s Framework for Business and Human Rights, which also emphasises a corporate responsibility to respect human rights and the need to strengthen remedies to respond to violations of human rights by business. This UN framework provides guidance for States such as Ireland, although many aspects of its practical impacts on issues such as Irish businesses operating abroad have yet to be ascertained. Ireland represents an obvious case study in this context, given the presence of numerous multinational corporations, increasing privatisation of public services and allegations of corporate involvement in human rights violations both in and outside of Ireland.  Dr Shane Darcy of NUI Galway’s Irish Centre for Human Rights, is one of the conference organisers: “This area is particularly relevant at the moment given the recent implication of Irish technology companies in censorship and repression in Syria. There is a need to move beyond a voluntary corporate social responsibility approach and for a greater focus on the State’s obligation at home and abroad with regard to human rights and business. So far, we are seeing many shortcomings with regard to Ireland when it comes to corporate violations of human rights.” The conference will feature international case studies, with NUI Galway’s Dr Tony Royle using a Swedish company to present on multinational corporations in a talk called the ‘IKEA Way in Retail’. Professor Anita Ramasastry from the University of Washington will discuss ‘Lessons from Civil Litigation in the US’, while Dr Ciara Hackett from NUI Galway’s School of Law will chair a panel on ‘Migrant Workers, Forced Labour and Trafficking’. Other leading international and national researchers will present papers on topics such as corporate accountability for oversees activities, legislative shortcomings in Ireland related to business and human rights, the rights of migrant workers, and company strategies for addressing human rights. The conference will be of particular interest to those who are involved in policy making and implementation with regard to business and human rights, academics, researchers, NGOs, advocates in the field of corporate social responsibility and corporate governance and students. Conference fees are €20, with a discounted rate of €10 for students, covering entrance to all the seminars and presentations, together with lunch and coffee. To register online for the event please visit www.conference.ie -ends-

Thursday, 15 March 2012

NUI Galway breast cancer researcher, Dr Róisín Dwyer, was announced the first ‘Irish Cancer Society Researcher of the Year’ last night at a special Celebration of Research which took place in Dublin’s Bewley’s Hotel. Dr Dwyer scooped the top prize out of three shortlisted candidates for her research that investigated the potential of adult stem cells as vehicles for targeted delivery of therapeutic agents to breast tumours, which aims to significantly reduce tumour growth. Dr Dwyer, is a postdoctoral research fellow in the Discipline of Surgery at NUI Galway with the support of the National Breast Cancer Research Institute, and has worked on projects funded by the Irish Cancer Society. Congratulating Dr Dwyer, NUI Galway President Dr Jim Browne said: “This is a wonderful endorsement of the work underway at NUI Galway in the area of cancer research and regenerative medicine.  I congratulate Róisín on her award and I look forward to new research developments in these areas in order to support innovative interventions and better outcomes for patients and their families.  Our translational approach is designed to see research moving from ‘bench to bed-side’ and this award-winning work by Dr Dwyer will, I hope lead to further success in the battle against breast cancer.” Dr Dwyer was chosen as the winner for her outstanding research entitled, ‘Adult Stem Cells: Have Tumour? Will Travel’ which used Mesenchymal Stem Cells (MSCs) or adult stem cells that play an important role in wound healing and tissue generation, to deliver anti-cancer drugs directly to tumours. The study which tracked the migration of the MSCs and used them to activate tumour-killing drugs, resulted in a significant reduction in tumour growth, with no negative side effects observed. The ability to track MSC migration non-invasively before therapy is a major advantage to this novel approach for breast cancer therapy. Speaking at the ceremony, Dr Dwyer said: “I am honoured to be announced the first Irish Cancer Society Researcher of the Year. The Society has been extremely supportive of my research project from the outset and I’m very grateful for their funding of this project, without which this study would not have been possible. It’s my hope that this research, in addition to the research projects shared by the other Society scholars, will one day help change the lives of cancer patients for the better in Ireland.” Professor John Fitzpatrick, Head of Research at the Irish Cancer Society, said: “We celebrate, in particular, the outstanding results arising from Dr Dwyer’s research which shows promising data that supports the viability of using this MSC approach as a novel therapy for breast cancer. Last year, a total of 64 publications were produced from Irish Cancer Society-funded research, with 47 of these describing new research discoveries. These results were published in a range of high impact international journals, which means that the research being done here in Ireland is having a global impact on cancer.” -ENDS-

Friday, 16 March 2012

NUI Galway students from the BA in Mathematics and Education programme will host a Challenge Maths competition for Junior Certificate student from secondary students in Galway. The event will take place on Friday, 23 March from 9am to 3pm at NUI Galway. Challenge Maths is an initiative designed by NUI Galway’s third-year BA in Mathematics and Education students to promote mathematics and applied mathematics to Junior Certificate students in a fun and challenging way. The students have devised a full day of practical hands-on maths based challenges which are closely modelled on the current Junior Certificate maths and project maths curriculum. Teams of students from various secondary schools will compete against each other to be crowned the NUI Galway Challenge Maths champions. Dr Kevin Jennings, Joint Programme Director of the BA in Mathematics and Education at NUI Galway, said: “We are frequently impressed with the initiative and imagination of NUI Galway’s students on this programme, on top of their academic and mathematical abilities. Last year’s students organised two wonderful summer workshops for regional schools, and we expect this year’s events to be very rewarding for the participants. Local maths and applied maths teachers and principals have also been very supportive of this programme. We have high hopes and expectations for when these students graduate and become teachers.” Third-year BA in Mathematics and Education student at NUI Galway and event organiser, Damien O’Connell, said: “My fellow students and I have put in a lot of work in planning the Challenge Maths event and we are confident that the secondary school students who attend will reap the benefits. This is a great opportunity for the participants to interact with mathematics in a fun and challenging environment, while at the same time representing their school. We would like to specifically mention the teachers of the participating schools, NUI Galway and our sponsors, without their help this event would not be possible.” The event is being sponsored by NUI Galway, Engineers Ireland, Casio, Sligo Graph Ltd., Folens, Polydron and Buzzgold. For further information please contact Damien O’Connell at d.oconnell1@nuigalway.ie or 086 8228721. -ENDS-

Tuesday, 20 March 2012

Secondary school students interested in NUI Galway are invited to a CAO Information Evening in Sligo on Thursday, 29 March. Parents and guardians are also particularly welcome to the event which runs from 7 to 9pm in the The Clarion Hotel, Sligo Town. The evening will begin with a short presentation on college and student life at NUI Galway and will focus on some of the 60 courses the University offers. There will be a number of career talks focusing on different employment options available to students on completion of their studies. These will include talks on Arts, Science, Business and Law, Engineering, Medicine and Health Sciences. Afterwards, current students and NUI Galway staff will be on hand at information stands to answer any individual questions in relation to courses offered by the University and about practical issues like accommodation, fees and scholarships, and the wide range of support services available to our students. The ever-increasing popularity of NUI Galway is in part due to a suite of innovative new programmes, developed in response to the changing needs of the employment market, including an Energy Engineering degree and a Maths and Education degree aimed at training Maths teachers. “NUI Galway has a great deal to offer. Our own students tell us our lecturers are inspirational and challenge them to achieve their full potential. The student experience in Galway is second to none, and we want to bring a taste of that to Sligo, while also providing all the practical information on accommodation, CAO points, fees, scholarships and courses. With so many courses on offer, this event in Sligo is a perfect opportunity to meet current students and our lecturers to see what degree might be the right fit”, says Caroline Loughnane, Director of Marketing and Communications at NUI Galway. To find out more about the CAO Information Evening in Sligo, contact NUI Galway's Schools Liaison Office, Gráinne Dunne, Schools Liaison Office on 087 2440858 or grainne.dunne@nuigalway.ie. -ENDS-

Tuesday, 20 March 2012

The second annual Graduate Recruitment and Opportunities in the West (GROW) Careers Fair will be held in NUI Galway on Wednesday, 28 March. The fair will showcase many of Ireland’s leading graduate recruiters based in the West of Ireland, including Abbott, KPMG, Fidelity Investments, KBC Bank, Avaya and the newly established local firm SourceDogg. All of the organisations attending are actively recruiting and eagerly seeking applications from talented and qualified NUI Galway students and graduates across a wide range of disciplines including business, science, engineering, languages and IT. Deirdre Sheridan of NUI Galway’s Career Development Centre, said: “It’s refreshing to know that there are opportunities in the West of Ireland and that organisations are actively and enthusiastically recruiting. This event is the perfect opportunity for alumni and current students to meet with local employers, explore graduate opportunities available on our doorstep, and hopefully kick-start a career in the West of Ireland. In order for students to benefit fully from this experience, I recommend that they come prepared, with a CV in hand and ready to network with potential employers.” Organised by the Career Development Centre, GROW will take place in the Bailey Allen Hall at NUI Galway from 5–7pm. GROW is supported by Galway Chamber, Enterprise Ireland and the IDA. For more information, including a full list of exhibitors, visit the Career Development Centre website www.nuigalway.ie/careers/events.html. -ENDS-

Wednesday, 21 March 2012

NUI Galway’s School of Chemistry will hold a half-day symposium of science, history and psychology. Entitled ‘Alchemy to Chemistry’, the symposium will take place on Friday, 13 April at 2pm in the Dillon Theatre, Arts/Science Concourse at NUI Galway. Peter Forshaw, Assistant Professor for History of Western Esotericism in the Early Modern Period at the Centre for History of Hermetic Philosophy and Related Currents, University of Amsterdam, will open the symposium with a lecture on early modern alchemy and the Philosopher's stone. John Perkins, Professor Emeritus at Oxford Brookes University will then introduce the social history of chemistry in eighteenth century France. The third speaker, William Brock, Professor of History of Science at the University of Leicester will talk about concepts, experiments and professionalisation in Victorian England. There will also be a discussion session on the future of chemistry. Registration for this free symposium is required by email to peter.crowley@nuigalway.ie. -ENDS-

Wednesday, 21 March 2012

Ireland’s two UNESCO Chair holders came together today to launch a joint Commentary on the proposed referendum on the rights of the child in Ireland.  The 16-page document, ‘Children’s Rights and the Family’, forms a major part of the work of the Children and Youth Programme, an independent academic collaboration between Professor Alan Smith at the University of Ulster and Professor Pat Dolan from NUI Galway.  Speaking today Professor Dolan, who is Director of the Child and Family Research Centre at NUI Galway, and holds the UNESCO Chair in Children, Youth and Civic Engagement stated: “As the two UNESCO Chairs on the island of Ireland, we welcome the commitment by the Minister for Children and Youth Affairs, Frances Fitzgerald TD to hold a referendum on the Rights of the Child in Ireland in 2012, and we look forward to engaging positively in the debate to come over the next number of months.” The Commentary is intended as a helpful stimulus to that debate, in particular, on the issue of children’s rights and their interplay with the family. According to Professor Dolan: “The referendum is an important opportunity to strengthen children’s rights in Ireland and we hope that all parties approach the campaign in an open and honest way, making arguments based on evidence, and always with the best interests of children as the primary motivating concern. This is the basis on which we hope to proceed. As members of the UNESCO International education network, the authors of the commentary strongly believe that incorporating a stronger commitment to children’s rights in the constitution would build a stronger culture of children’s rights in Irish society and is in keeping with the state’s international obligations. Professor Dolan continued: “We are also clear that it poses no threat to the rights of others in society. We hope to show that it is an approach underpinned by clear and consistent obligations that will cherish all children equally. A stronger culture of children’s rights in Ireland could also serve to ensure that all children equally have their rights respected, irrespective of their family status. We want to be clear from the outset that the rights and well-being of children, parents and society are inextricably linked and complementary. Our perspective is simple, what is good for children is good for their parents and ultimately to the benefit of civic society. 2012 can be a defining year for children and young people in Ireland. And it needs to be – the best legacy that we can leave the next generation is a commitment that their rights are protected and enhanced, that they have some certainty in an increasingly uncertain world.” ENDS To view the full report visit http://www.childrenandyouthprogramme.info/cyp_reports/human_rights.php#Publications

Thursday, 22 March 2012

Over 50 students were recognised by NUI Galway today (Thursday, 22 March) at a special ceremony when they were conferred with a Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) from NUI Galway President, Dr Jim Browne. One student, Elizabeth Mary Gosling, was also conferred with a DSc on Published Work. Degrees on published work awarded by the NUI are higher doctorates and are the highest qualifications awarded by the University. They are awarded to scholars who have, over a sustained period, published a substantial body of ground-breaking and influential work in a field of specialisation and who have achieved outstanding distinction internationally in that field. All Colleges of the University were represented at the ceremony, with graduands from the College of Arts, Social Sciences and Celtic Studies, the College of Business, Public Policy and Law; the College of Engineering and Informatics; the College of Medicine, Nursing and Health Sciences; and the College of Science. NUI Galway President Dr Jim Browne said: “I would like to congratulate each graduate on their achievement in earning their doctorate degrees. We in NUI Galway are determined that this University will play its full part in producing the graduates and the leaders who will create the future. We have significantly increased our number of PhD graduates in recent years as we strive to meet the needs of the knowledge and innovation economy.” The next conferrings to take place at NUI Galway will be the summer conferring on Thursday, 21 June and the conferring of Honorary Degrees on Friday, 29 June. -ENDS- _______________________________________________________________________   Searmanas Bronnta PhD in OÉ Gaillimh Ag searmanas speisialta in OÉ Gaillimh inniu (Déardaoin, 22 Márta), bhronn Uachtarán OÉ Gaillimh, an Dr Jim Browne, Dochtúireacht san Fhealsúnacht (PhD) ar bhreis agus 50 mac léinn. Chomh maith leis sin, bronnadh DSc as Saothar Foilsithe ar mhac léinn amháin, Elizabeth Mary Gosling. Is ard-dochtúireachtaí iad céimeanna a bhronnann OÉ Gaillimh as saothar foilsithe, agus is iad na cáilíochtaí is airde a bhronntar san Ollscoil iad. Bronntar iad ar scoláirí a bhfuil bailiúchán de shaothar úrnua agus cumhachtach i réimse speisialtóireachta foilsithe acu, thar thréimhse áirithe, agus a bhfuil aitheantas den scoth bainte amach acu go hidirnáisiúnta sa réimse sin. Bhí céimithe ó gach Coláiste san Ollscoil i measc na gcéimithe sin ar bronnadh PhD orthu, Coláiste na nDán, na nEolaíochtaí Sóisialta agus an Léinn Cheiltigh; Coláiste an Ghnó, an Bheartais Phoiblí & an Dlí; Coláiste na hInnealtóireachta agus na hIonformaitice; Coláiste an Leighis, an Altranais agus na nEolaíochtaí Sláinte; agus Coláiste na hEolaíochta.  Bhí an méid seo a leanas le rá ag an Dr Jim Browne, Uachtarán OÉ Gaillimh: “Ba mhaith liom comhghairdeas a dhéanamh le gach céimí as a gcáilíocht dochtúireachta a bhaint amach. Cuirimidne in OÉ Gaillimh romhainn go ndéanfadh an Ollscoil seo a cion féin le céimithe agus ceannairí a chur ar fáil a mhúnlóidh an todhchaí. Tá méadú suntasach tagtha ar líon na gcéimithe PhD le blianta beaga anuas chun freastal ar riachtanais an gheilleagair eolasbhunaithe agus nuálaíochta.” Beidh an chéad searmanas bronnta céimeanna eile ar bun in OÉ Gaillimh i rith an tsamhraidh – Déardaoin, an 21 Meitheamh agus is ar an Aoine, an 29 Meitheamh, a bhronnfar na Céimeanna Oinigh. -CRÍOCH-

Friday, 23 March 2012

A new interactive Equality and Diversity eLearning programme (LEAD) will allow staff in the university sector to consider their role in building an inclusive environment.  The LEAD programme was launched by Minister Fergus O’Dowd this week at a joint Irish Universities Association (IUA) Equality Network and Equality Authority event supported by the Workplace Diversity Initiative led by the Department of Justice and Equality. Developed by six of the Irish Universities Equality Network member institutions, TCD, DCU, NUI Galway, UCC, UCD and UL, in conjunction with Aurion Learning, the aim of the LEAD project is to introduce a tailored eLearning programme covering all nine grounds of discrimination under Irish Equality Legislation as part of a blended approach to generating mainstream staff engagement with equality and diversity issues in the workplace. The LEAD programme is a self-paced modular learning tool that features an intuitive navigation system with core content split into five modules of learning.  Module topics cover ‘Understanding diversity’, ‘What’s it got to do with you?’, ‘From compliance to commitment’, ‘Recruitment and Selection’ and ‘Dignity and Respect’.  Each section contains video and multimedia stories and scenarios including interviews with university staff and students, interactive games and quizzes, and online instant assessments to offer staff valuable feedback on their learning.  By using this interactive and multimedia resource, staff will have the opportunity to consider and reflect on the part they play in building an inclusive culture across the university sector. Delivered online, one of the key elements of the LEAD programme is the development of tailored content that addresses issues unique to the third level sector.   The eLearning programme can reach a wider audience of approximately 16,000 staff in the Universities and has the potential to be rolled out to other institutions in the higher education sector.    The LEAD programme was part funded by the Equality Authority Equality Mainstreaming Unit and by each of the six participating Universities.  Recently LEAD was awarded Outstanding Achievement in the category of Most Innovative Use of Technology at the IITD National Training Awards. -ENDS-

Monday, 26 March 2012

NUI Galway’s Executive MBA celebrates its 40th anniversary this year and a series of information evenings have been scheduled around the country for students wishing to join the programme in September 2012. The first of these information evenings will take place on Wednesday, 4 April, at 6.30pm in CA117 in the Cairnes Building, NUI Galway.  Organised by the J.E. Cairnes School of Business and Economics at NUI Galway, the information evenings will give prospective students the opportunity to meet programme faculty, as well as current MBA students.  The MBA is the one of the most prestigious business degree with global appeal and the NUI Galway MBA is one of the leading MBA programmes in the country.  Recent innovations include an international study trip to Fordham University in New York, input on personal innovation and creativity from the Burren College of Art, and dedicated Masterclass events with leading national and international speakers.  Dr Alma McCarthy, Programme Director of the MBA at NUI Galway, said: “Our Executive MBA has a very strong focus on career and professional development and we have an excellent bespoke mentoring programme for MBA students with key business leaders from the locality.” Current NUI Galway MBA student and Sales Manager with Dycon, an Irish manufacturing and distribution of construction and DIY products company, Brendan Galvin, said: “The MBA programme at NUI Galway has amassed immense benefits for me personally and professionally from day one. The lecturers are extremely approachable and the camaraderie experienced through fellow classmates has given me deep-rooted networks which I suspect will last throughout my career.” Further Executive MBA information events will take place in Dublin on 26 April, Sligo on 2 May and in Athlone on 3 May. For further information, visit http://www.cairnes.nuigalway.ie/mba/ -ENDS-

Monday, 26 March 2012

The James Hardiman Library in NUI Galway is hosting a photographic exhibition entitled Through a Swedish Lens celebrating the contribution made by four Swedish folklorists, who were also competent photographers, to Irish culture in the first half of the twentieth century. The twenty photographs taken by Äke Campbell, Albert Eskeröd, Carl von Sydow and Harriet Wetterström portray Irish people at work and play and illustrate beautifully the interiors and exteriors of Irish houses at that time. This exhibition mirrors the folklore being collected in Ireland in the 19th Century by Coimisiún Béaloideasa Éireann (Irish Folklore Commission) and which continues to the present day. This collection, now kept at the Archives Department of UCD, is available for viewing in microfilm format in the James Hardiman Library. The personal library of Séamus Ó Duilearga, Director of the Irish Folklore Commission 1935-71, containing over 4,000 volumes on folklore, folklife and celtic studies material is held as part of the Special Collections material in the James Hardiman Library. Professor Ó Duilearga undertook a study trip to the Scandanavian countries in the late 1920s where he made contact with some of the scholars whose work is represented in this exhibition. This personal library includes a significant collection of offprints received by him from academic colleagues throughout the world. The current exhibition also links with photographic material in other collections held in the James Hardiman Library such as the Balfour Album which is now available online at http://archives.library.nuigalway.ie:8080/balfour/,  the Ritchie Pickow collection, also available online at http://call.library.nuigalway.ie:8180/Pickow/index.jsp and the Heinrich Becker Collection. The photographs in this exhibition are on loan from the National Folklore Collection, UCD. The exhibition is located in the foyer of the James Hardiman Library and continues until Friday, 27 April 2012. The opening hours are available at www.library.nuigalway.ie ENDS

Monday, 26 March 2012

NUI Galway’s Centre for Disability Law and Policy and Amnesty International Ireland will jointly host a seminar exploring how Ireland can learn from other jurisdictions on legislating for legal capacity, the law that governs decision-making. The seminar will take place on Tuesday, 3 April, from 10.30am to 2pm in the Radisson Blu Royal Hotel, Dublin 2. Looking Globally, Legislating Locally: The Irish Legal Capacity Bill will examine practical and technical legislative solutions to ensure that Ireland can comply with its obligations under international human rights law, most specifically Article 12 of the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities. Professor Gerard Quinn, Director of the Centre for Disability Law and Policy at NUI Galway, said: “The new capacity law must be in line with the latest international human rights standards so the Irish Government can fully adopt the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities. The emphasis must be on respecting the persons’ will and preferences and supporting him/her where necessary. The Convention is clear on what capacity law should primarily look like – we need to focus on law and policy that supports people to make their own choices and decisions insofar as possible. Crucially, handling decision-making deficits should be part of an overall and more positive approach of enabling voice to be expressed and respecting that voice.” Speakers at the seminar will include: Lana Kerzner, Canadian lawyer who specialises in disability law and policy, will deliver a lecture on The Canadian perspective on legal capacity law and supported-decision making; Anna Nilsson, European expert on legal capacity, will present a lecture entitled ‘Supported decision-making and the Swedish Personal Ombudsman System’; and Genevra Richardson, Professor of Law Kings College London, will speak on Reflections on legal capacity law in England and Wales and the interface between legal capacity law and mental health law. Colm O’Gorman, Executive Director of Amnesty International Ireland, said: “We are on the cusp of making very real strides towards achieving greater disability equality in Ireland. Ireland now has the opportunity to enact progressive legislation on decision-making capacity. This seminar demonstrates we have the research and expertise to ensure the new capacity law reflects the most up-to-date human rights standards. We are urging law-makers to take this on board as they put the finishing touches to this urgently needed capacity law.” Places for the seminar are limited so early registration is advised. Please RSVP by Friday, 30 March to mentalhealth@amnesty.ie or 01 8638313. -ENDS-

Monday, 26 March 2012

Technologies to facilitate the remote delivery of healthcare to patients in their own home is the focus of a new EU-funded project underway at NUI Galway. The €2.3 million project, Implementing Transnational Telemedicine Solutions (ITTS), aims to deliver a range of projects on mobile self management, video consultation and home based health services to the rural and remote communities of northern Europe. This week research partner teams from Ireland, Scotland, Norway, Sweden and Finland will gather at NUI Galway for a two-day meeting. The ITTS teams and their respective clinicians, speech therapists, researchers, engineers and technologists work in a variety of fields including psychiatry, emergency services, diabetes, rehabilitation and care of the elderly. Dr Liam Glynn is senior lecturer in General Practice at NUI Galway and Principal Investigator of the Irish ITTS research team: “This project has the potential to deliver significant innovation in the connected health space. Our aim is to investigate the potential to deliver aspects of healthcare via a variety of technology platforms including the internet, smartphones and via video conferencing. These will include speech therapy, diabetes care and self management, inflammatory bowel disease management and physiotherapy based rehabilitation for COPD (Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease). This can improve access to healthcare and strengthen primary care services. We aim to allow those living in rural areas, the elderly, and a range of other groups to monitor aspects of own health and access healthcare professionals from their own homes.” The Irish ITTS team includes Professor Gearóid Ó Laighin from NUI Galway’s College of Engineering and Informatics. His group is responsible for the coordination of an innovative project on the use of smartphones for tracking physical activity. Smartphones possess tiny accelerometers which can be used for this purpose. The team aims to utilise and develop a suitable methodology and application, to increase physical activity in various patient sub-groups thereby leading to a wide range of potential health benefits. The Galway conference gives experts the opportunity to hold lectures and workshops where information and knowledge transfer will allow all partner teams to proceed with their respective projects so that in the future all projects are both viable and sustainable within partner countries. The ITTS project is funded under the EU Northern Periphery Project (NPP), which aims to help peripheral and remote communities on the northern margins of Europe to develop their economic, social and environmental potential. ENDS For more information on the project visit http://www.abdn.ac.uk/crh/research/current/telemedicine

Tuesday, 27 March 2012

A unique collaboration between the heart and stroke charity Croí and a fourth year medical student at NUI Galway has resulted in the novel use of mobile phone technology and medicine to bring heart health education literarily to our fingertips! Following on from the success of the charity’s Croí MyAction Programme, a cardiovascular disease prevention initiative, targeting individuals at increased risk of heart disease or stroke, Mike McNamara, from Ennis Co. Clare and a fourth year medical student at NUI Galway, has developed two new Apps which have just been launched on the App Store. Croí FoodWise is a user friendly app which uses a novel traffic light system to inform people on their food shopping choices. Users simply compare the information on the food label with the values assigned to the colours red (unhealthy choice), amber and green (healthy choice). Croí HeartWise empowers individuals as they attempt to make healthy lifestyle choices. The user can calculate their “Heart Age” by inputting simple information about themselves. They can track their dietary and alcohol consumption patterns and monitor their smoking habits, including how much money they would save if they quit. A detailed physical activity tracker ensures that the user meets the recommended weekly levels of exercise and they can also monitor their goals by observing their progress around a virtual running track. Announcing the launch of the two new Apps, project supervisor Dr Gerard Flaherty, Senior Lecturer in Clinical Medicine and Medical Education at NUI Galway and Director of the special study module in Preventive Cardiology which is delivered in conjunction with the Croí MyAction team, remarked: “With the widespread use of smartphones and iPads by people of all ages, mobile applications represent a highly effective means of delivering key health promotion messages to a wide audience with the aim of orienting individuals towards healthier lifestyle choices. These apps are a further example of the productive partnership which exists between NUI Galway and Croí as a community partner.” The Apps are free to download from the App store onto the iPhone, iPad or iPod Touch devices and they will be updated regularly. Since their release, the Apps have been downloaded by users in over 25 countries and Croí HeartWise has already achieved a five star rating in the App store. Speaking at the launch, Croí CEO, Neil Johnson, indicated that the development of these Apps is directly in keeping with Croí’s aim to educate and motivate people to make heart healthy lifestyle choices. The Croí Foodwise App will help educate shoppers on the rationale for choosing foods with lower saturated fat, sugar and salt levels and the Croí HeartWise App will help highlight the importance of a healthy lifestyle.  “In developing these apps, we have once again worked with medical students at NUI Galway, thus strengthening our relationship with the medical faculty at NUI Galway and this is a further step in developing new educational initiatives in preventive cardiology” he said.  ENDS

Tuesday, 27 March 2012

Pictured this week in China where NUI Galway announced collaborations with both Shanghai Jiao Tong University (SJTU) and the Fourth Medical Military University Hospital in Xi’an as part of the Trade and Investment Mission to Shanghai and Beijing by An Taoiseach Enda Kenny and Minister Richard Bruton TD (back row, l-r):  President Wei Cai SJTU; An Taoiseach Enda Kenny TD;  Minister Richard Bruton TD;  Professor Sanbing Shen, REMEDI, NUI Galway;  Frank Ryan, Enterprise Ireland. Front:  Dr Jim Browne, President NUI Galway and Professor Lin He, Director of Bio-X Institutes, Shanghai Jiao Tong University. Pictured this week in China where NUI Galway announced collaborations with both Shanghai Jiao Tong University and the Fourth Medical Military University Hospital in Xi’an as part of the Trade and Investment Mission to Shanghai and Beijing by An Taoiseach Enda Kenny and Minister Richard Bruton TD (back row, l-r): Professor Lin He, Director of Bio-X Institutes; An Taoiseach Enda Kenny TD; Minister Richard Bruton TD; Professor Sanbing Shen, REMEDI, NUI Galway; Frank Ryan, Enterprise Ireland. Front: Dr Jim Browne, President NUI Galway and President Wei Cai, Shanghai Jiao Tong University.   NUI Galway is delighted to announce collaborations with both Shanghai Jiao Tong University and the Fourth Medical Military University Hospital in Xi’an as part of the Trade and Investment Mission to Shanghai and Beijing this week by An Taoiseach Enda Kenny and Minister Richard Bruton TD. The Regenerative Medicine Institute (REMEDI) based at NUI Galway has signed collaborative agreements with the Shanghai Institute for Pediatric Research, Bio-X Institutes and the Tangdu Neurosurgery & Neurology Hospital, research institutes based in two leading Chinese Universities, Shanghai Jiao Tong University and the Fourth Military Medical University, Xi’an. Funded by Science Foundation Ireland, REMEDI is Ireland’s leading research institute in the area of regenerative medicine and stem cell research. The agreement will see REMEDI work closely with both Chinese partners in a number of research areas and will facilitate student and researcher exchange between Galway and China.  At the signing were NUI Galway President, Dr Jim Browne and Professor Sanbing Shen, who recently moved to Galway and REMEDI as Professor of Stem Cell Biology. Through Professor Sanbing Shen and Professor Tim O’Brien, REMEDI Director, NUI Galway is developing formal partnerships in the area of regenerative medicine and life sciences with research Institutes at the Shanghai Jiaotong University which has over 10 affiliated hospitals in Shanghai, and with Fourth Medical Military University Hospitals in Xi’an, which is considered to be one of the top three medical universities in China and has pioneered neurosurgery and transplant procedures in China. One of the first joint projects will involve Professor Shen, who is developing cutting edge induced pluripotent stem cell (iPS) technology at REMEDI.  iPS technology involves generating “embryonic-like” stem cells from adult cells and has been hailed as one of the top scientific breakthroughs in the last number of years.  REMEDI will also work with both Chinese institutes to develop joint clinical trial programmes in the area of regenerative medicine. Professor Tim O’Brien, Director of REMEDI at NUI Galway: “REMEDI's commitment to clinical trials of treatment using adult stem cells will be greatly enhanced by these collaborations as both institutions have similar scientific and clinical interests as NUI Galway. This will provide for much more extensive patient involvement in clinical trials, as well as the sharing of expertise in the design of the trials and the analysis of the resulting data.” Speaking at the singing of the Memoranda of Understanding in both Shanghai and Beijing, President of NUI Galway, Dr Jim Browne said: “These partnerships will see NUI Galway and these two significant Chinese universities develop joint research programmes which will encourage the exchange of faculty, researchers, and graduate students with the objective of fostering academic cooperation and collaboration between both parties.  NUI Galway has a range of excellent relationships with Chinese higher education institutions in areas from marine science to engineering to human rights.  These new agreements in the area of regenerative medicine with our Chinese partners will bring new and positive developments to our activities in the biosciences.”   In addition to signing these agreements President Browne hosted a reception for Chinese-based alumni of NUI Galway.  Almost 90 Galway graduates are based in China and the event attracted almost a third of these to a reception in central Beijing. Among those alumni and friends in attendance were Tsingua University academic, Professor Yu Ming and his wife Betty Liao and Mr Zhou Ji, former Minister of Education in China. For further information on REMEDI see http://www.nuigalway.ie/our-research/listings/regenerative-medicine.html).  ENDS

Wednesday, 28 March 2012

Researchers at NUI Galway were recently awarded a Wounds UK Award for a new Electronic medical technique which aims to assist in the restoration of sensory function lost, due to aging and disease, particularly due to diabetes. The Wounds UK awards recognise the outstanding achievements of those in who are improving standards in wound prevention and management, through research, clinical audit and practice development. The NUI Galway team, who presented at the 2010 Annual Wounds UK Conference, observed that lost sensation in the feet, which is known to lead to loss of balance, foot ulceration and ultimately to amputation, may be partially restored by applying low voltage electrical noise to the affected nerves, through the skin, via electrodes. The new technique relies on the principle that the nervous system is in fact an electrically noisy transmission system. The team found that applying a noisy electrical signal to the affected nerves, resulted in the enhancement of the associated nerve signals and their transmission. If the transmission characteristics of nerve signals can be enhanced through the use of a wearable electrical device, then there is the potential to treat a wide range of medical conditions. Currently there is no treatment available to restore neural function lost due to aging and diabetes. With the current dramatic rise in both of these populations, the need for such treatments is greater than ever. This work, funded by the Health Research Board, brings together a multidisciplinary research team including: Dr Paul Breen and Professor Gearóid Ó Laighin, Electrical and Electronic Engineering, NUI Galway; Dr Caroline McIntosh, Podiatry, NUI Galway; Dr Sean Dinneen, Diabetes and Endocrinology, University Hospital Galway and the School of Medicine, NUI Galway; Dr Leo Quinlan, Physiology, NUI Galway; and Professor Jorge Serrador, Department of Veterans Affairs, New Jersey and Neurology, Harvard Medical School. The researchers believe this may only be the starting point for this research. According to Dr Paul Breen, Electrical and Electronic Engineering at NUI Galway: “What is really exciting is that, while we have shown this to have an effect on the lower limb, theoretically it should work on any nerve. Potentially we could build a whole range of devices for a variety of neural problems.” Professor Gearóid Ó Laighin, Electrical and Electronic Engineering, NUI Galway, said: “This work which is funded by the HRB and which was facilitated by an SFI Walton Fellowship, shows the potential for producing highly innovative, medical solutions, when a team of researchers from such diverse disciplines as Engineering, Medicine, Podiatry and Physiology, pool their expertise to solve complex medical problems.” -ENDS-