Tuesday, 24 April 2012

Secondary school students from all ofIreland participated in the fifth All-Ireland Final of the Debating Science Issues (DSI) competition. The final took place on Thursday, 19 April, in the Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland, Dublin. After several closely contested debates, Clonakilty Community College, Co.Cork emerged victorious to become the 2012 Debating Science Issues winners, with St. Catherine’s Vocational School, Killybegs, Co. Donegal awarded second place. Other 2012 finalists included AbbeyVocational School,Donegal Town and St. Andrew’s College, Blackrock, Co.Dublin. DSI is a dynamic, cross border debating competition which invites young people to engage in debate on the cultural, societal and ethical implications of advances in biomedical science. Open to students in the senior cycle of secondary school, the competition provides an opportunity for students to expand their research, communication and scientific skills with forty schools initially entered in the competition. Through preliminary debates about stem cell research, nanotechnology, immunology practices, self-diagnostic tests, rare disease research funding, and genetically modified foods, the field narrowed to the four schools represented at the finals. Danielle Nicholson, DSI Coordinator and Outreach Officer with REMEDI at NUI Galway, said: “We hope that this collaborative outreach project is a useful tool in facilitating increased awareness of the important research taking place inIrelandamong young people and the Irish public in general. It is imperative that dialogue surrounding advances in science occurs and continues. While it is important for research centres to communicate to the public, it is equally important for researchers and academics to listen to what the public, including young people, think of this work. At a time when scientific research itself is taking so many different directions, it is critical that the doors for discussion remain open so that we can ensure that everyone has their say on the societal and ethical implications of biomedical research.” Funded by the Wellcome Trust, the workshop series and debating competition is coordinated by the Regenerative Medicine Institute (REMEDI) at NUI Galway in conjunction with eight science research and discovery centres throughout Ireland including: REMEDI, NUI Galway; Alimentary Pharmabiotic Centre, UCC; Biomedical Diagnostics Institute, DCU; CRANN in Trinity College Dublin; Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland; W5 in Belfast; Clarity at UCD; Centre for Cross Border Studies, Armagh; and Cork Institute of Technology. Judges for the final included: Cynthia Coleman, REMEDI, NUI Galway; Heike Felzmann, NUI Galway; Marion Boland, SFI; Sylvia Leatham, Scibernia; Dónal O’Mathúna, DCU; Terry McWade, Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland; Janice Murtagh, SFI; Danielle Barron, Irish Medical News; and Sally Montgomery of W5. Full information on the DSI competition is available at www.debatingscienceissues.com, or contact Danielle Nicholson, Outreach officer, REMEDI at NUI Galway, on 091 49 5259 or danielle.nicholson@nuigalway.ie. -ENDS-

Tuesday, 24 April 2012

Minister for Communications Pat Rabbitte has announced the appointment of eight members to the Board of TG4 including a new chairperson for the Board. Among the appointees is Press & Information Officer at NUI Galway, Michelle Ní Chróinín. TG4 is the national Irish language television service, a public service broadcaster, established by statute and publicly funded to deliver a full range of high quality Irish language content to audiences at home and abroad. Originally from the West Cork Gaeltacht of Baile Bhuirne, Michelle is also an elected representative of NUI Galway’s Governing Authority since 2009. Michelle has over 15 years experience in communications, project management, event management, public administration as well as working with the media and in public relations. She obtained her undergraduate degree in Music from UCC; a Higher Diploma in Arts Administration from NUI Galway; and a Higher Diploma in Public Relations from the PRII. She most recently completed a Masters degree in Irish Media Studies from UL/Mary Immaculate College. Michelle is also trained in Television and Video production and has produced and broadcast her own documentary for TG4 in 1998 entitled Bess Mo Shin Sheanmháthair. Commenting on the appointments, Minister Rabbitte said that the Government was committed to continuing its support of the Irish language broadcasting sector and was extremely happy with the calibre of and credentials of those who have accepted appointment. “With Digital Switchover due to take place in six months time, I would like to take this opportunity to wish the new board every success with the opportunities and challenges ahead,” the Minister added. In nominating the successful candidates, the Minister also had regard to the recommended nominees of the Joint Oireachtas Committee (JOC). Joe Connolly has been re-appointed to the Board and will continue to serve with Pól Ó Gallchóir, Concubhar Ó Liatháin and Rónán Ó Coisdealbha. The Minister is awaiting one further nominee from the Joint Oireachtas Committee. The Minister also expressed his thanks to the outgoing chairman and Board members, whose term of office has expired, for their contribution. The newly appointed Board members of TG4, whose term will be for five years, are as follows: Siún Ní Raghallaigh (Chair) Des Geraghty Michelle Ní Chróinín Micheál Seoighe Mairéad Ní Cheoinín Andréa Ní hÉalaithe Mairéad Nic Suibhne ENDS Comhaltaí Boird Nua TG4 Fógartha ag an Aire Ó Coinín D’fhógair an tAire Cumarsáide, Pádraic Ó Coinín go bhfuil ochtar comhaltaí ceaptha ar Bhord TG4, lena n-áirítear cathaoirleach nua ar an mBord. San áireamh tá Michelle Ní Chróinín, Oifigeach Preasa & Faisnéise in Ollscoil na hÉireann, Gaillimh. Craoltóir seirbhíse poiblí is ea TG4, an tseirbhís náisiúnta teilifíse Ghaeilge, a bunaíodh le reacht agus a mhaoinítear le hairgead poiblí d’fhonn raon leathan ábhair ardchaighdeáin a sholáthar i nGaeilge don lucht féachana in Éirinn agus thar lear. Tagann Michelle ó Bhaile Bhuirne i nGaeltacht Mhúscraí ó dhúchas agus ó 2009, tá Michelle mar bhall tofa ar Údarás na hOllscoile, OÉ Gaillimh. Tá taithí breis is 15 bliain ag Michelle ar bhainistíocht imeachtaí agus tionscadal, i riarachán poiblí agus ar ndóigh i gcaidreamh poiblí agus ag déileáil leis na meáin. Is céimí de chuid Ollscoil Chorcaí sa cheol í Michelle agus bhain sí Ard-Dioplóma i Riarachán na nEalaíon amach in OÉ Gaillimh. Chomh maith leis sin tá Ard-Dioplóma i gCaidreamh Poiblí ó Acadamh Caidrimh Phoiblí na hÉireann bainte amach aici agus le déanaí Máistreacht sna Meáin Éireannacha ó Ollscoil Luimnigh agus Coláiste Mhuire gan Smál. Tá Michelle cáilithe freisin mar chúntóir léiriúcháin teilifíse agus rinne sí a léiriúchán féin i 1998 le coimisiúin bronnta uirthi ó TG4, Bess Mo Shin sheanmháthair. Agus é ag tagairt do na ceapacháin, dúirt an tAire Ó Coinín go raibh an Rialtas tiomanta leanúint leis an tacaíocht atá á tabhairt d’earnáil na craoltóireachta Gaeilge agus go raibh sé féin an-sásta ar fad le caighdeán agus dintiúir na ndaoine sin a ghlac lena gceapacháin. “Agus an t-athrú go dtí an tSeirbhís Dhigiteach le tarlú i gceann sé mhí, ba mhaith liom an deis seo a thapú chun gach rath a ghuí ar an mbord nua maidir leis na deiseanna agus na dúshláin atá amach rompu”, a dúirt an tAire. Agus na hiarratasóirí rathúla á n-ainmniú aige, bhí aird ag an Aire freisin ar ainmnithigh an Chomhchoiste Oireachtais (CCO). Tá Joe Connolly athcheaptha chun an bhoird agus leanfaidh sé de bheith ag fónamh mar aon le Pól Ó Gallchóir, Conchubhar Ó Liatháin agus Rónán Ó Coisdealbha. Tá an tAire ag fanacht le hainmniúchán amháin eile a fháil ón gComhchoiste Oireachtais.   Ghabh an tAire buíochas freisin leis an iar-chathaoirleach agus na comhaltaí Boird a bhfuil a dtéarma oifige istigh, agus atá ag dul as oifig, as a gcion a dhéanamh. Is iad seo a leanas comhaltaí Boird nuacheaptha TG4, a chuirfidh téarma oifige cúig bliana isteach: Siún Ní Raghallaigh (an Cathaoirleach) Des Geraghty Michelle Ní Chróinín Micheál Seoighe Mairéad Ní Cheoinín Andréa Ní Éalaithe Mairéad Nic Suibhne

Tuesday, 24 April 2012

The general public is being invited to engage with scientists at NUI Galway to provide their opinions on stem cells and gene therapy. Scientists hope to explore public opinion on these and other cutting-edge biomedical solutions under development, and learn what the public’s point of view is. As part of the EU-funded GAMBA project, the University is specifically looking for people who would like to learn about adult stem cell and gene therapy approaches, and who are willing to evaluate theses approaches from a lay person’s point of view. No technical or scientific knowledge is needed, just a willingness to participate over two weekends in May and June 2012. Ideally, participants should be resident in Galway or the neighbouring counties and must be at least 18 years old. The closing date for application is Friday, 4 May. The specific focus of the research associated with this project is osteoarthritis and the opinion of the people suffering from this debilitating disease was already sought in a very successful patient panel which was held in March this year. For the public consultation project, which is organised by the Institute for Regenerative Medicine (REMEDI) at NUI Galway, participants will be introduced to the topics of innovative basic research into a novel osteoarthritis therapy based on gene therapy, stem cell research and nanomedicine. “We are really hoping to engage with people who are broadly interested in stem cell or gene therapy generally and the potential use of these technologies for treating diseases in the future. What risks and ethical aspects are associated with such visions? How should such therapies be regulated? Should these therapies be available in Ireland? These are just some of the questions we want to discuss”, said Dr Mary Murphy, REMEDI, NUI Galway. Dr Murphy added: “New therapy approaches usually don’t come to the attention of patients and society until they are tested in clinical trials or once the products are launched on the market. This project is taking a very innovative approach by involving the general public at a very early stage. We as scientists need to stop and listen to what the everyday person has to say, and we can learn from their insights. We learnt so much from our earlier session with arthritis suffers and I hope members of the general public will be able to help this time round by giving of their time.” All the sessions will be supported by an experienced team of moderators, who will ensure that the information supplied is comprehensible. Importantly, the reports generated by the patients and citizens themselves at the end of the four-day process will be published and disseminated to the relevant authorities, researchers and politicians. As part of the GAMBA project (Gene Activated Matrices for Bone and Cartilage Regeneration in Arthritis) researchers at REMEDI are involved in developing new methods for the treatment of osteoarthritis. In collaboration with nine partner institutions from Germany, France, Ireland, Italy, the Netherlands and Switzerland, researchers in REMEDI hope it might be possible to heal diseased joints in 10 to 20 years. This would be done by introducing a combination of biomaterials, stem cells harvested from the patient, gene vectors and nanoparticles directly into the diseased tissue. “Our hope is”, explains Dr Murphy, “that these enriched biomaterials could make a regeneration of the joints possible.” Participants will be given a gratuity of €50 and are invited to apply before Friday, 4 May. The application form and further information are available online http://www.gamba-project.eu/panels  or can be requested on 091 494276.  The main website for the project is http://gamba-project.eu   ENDS

Wednesday, 25 April 2012

NUI Galway and Leitrim County Council have announced that the sixth International John McGahern Seminar, commemorating the work of the renowned Irish writer, will take place from 24-26 May in Co. Leitrim. “The literary, historical and environmental aspects of McGahern’s work will be the focus this year, and the keynote lecture will be given by Diarmaid Ferriter, Professor of Modern Irish History at University College Dublin and a regular broadcaster on RTÉ television and radio,” explains NUI Galway’s Dr John Kenny, Academic Director of the Seminar. The Seminar includes a rich variety of lectures, open discussions, readings, tours and book launches. The Chinese-American writer, Yiyun Li, will talk about McGahern’s work and will discuss and read from her own fiction. Winner of the Frank O’Connor International Short Story Award in 2005, Li made a special recording of one of McGahern’s masterpiece stories, ‘The Wine Breath’, for The New Yorker in 2009, a podcast of which can be listened to at www.newyorker.com. Other speakers at the event will include Professor Joe Cleary of NUI Maynooth and Yale University, Professor Eamonn Wall of the University of Missouri-St. Louis, and author and former Irish Times journalist, Paddy Woodworth, who will give a talk about McGahern and the relationship between landscape and literature.   The preeminent scholar of McGahern’s work, Denis Sampson, will be giving a public interview about his new book, Young John McGahern: Becoming a Novelist, recently published by Oxford University Press, and another established McGahern scholar, Dr Stanley van der Ziel, will be providing the talk for the Seminar launch of the book. Dr Frank Shovlin of the Institute of Irish Studies at the University of Liverpool will give a lecture about the influence of James Joyce on John McGahern and will also be launching his new book, Journey Westward: Joyce, Dubliners and the Literary Revival, for which Professor Emeritus in History at NUI Galway, Professor Gearóid Ó Tuathaigh, will provide the talk. The Seminar will also include a feature discussion by Cormac O’Malley about his father, Ernie O’Malley, whose writing was much admired by McGahern. There will be visits, guided by local historian Dr Frank Brennan, to places around Aughawillan, Ballinamore and Mohill important to the author’s life and works, and also a boat trip to Cootehall in Co. Roscommon where writers and readers groups from the region will give public readings from McGahern’s autobiography, Memoir. The archaeologist Chris Read will follow his talk about the landscape around Fenagh, where McGahern lived, with a field trip to a number of significant archaeological sites in South Leitrim. Announcing the McGahern events, President of NUI Galway, Dr Jim Browne, said: “Through the International John McGahern Seminar, we at NUI Galway are working to broaden access to literary scholarship and to share the riches of the McGahern archive with the widest possible audience. In holding this valuable archive in the West of Ireland, we feel that the University is holding in trust a treasure for the world of literary scholarship, for the Irish nation and most especially for this region which we have served for more than 160 years. I wish the 2012 International McGahern Seminar every success and I welcome the continued partnership of Leitrim County Council in this culturally important endeavour.” Speaking at the launch of the 2012 programme, Leitrim County Manager, Jackie Maguire, said: “Leitrim County Council views the John McGahern Seminar as an important part of the county’s and indeed Ireland’s literary calendar which presents an excellent opportunity for both academic and general readers to engage richly with the work of John McGahern and we are delighted to continue to work in partnership with NUI Galway in organising this sixth International Seminar.”  As well as appealing to all lovers of McGahern’s own work, the International Seminar will be of interest to literary researchers and to book clubs, to readers of contemporary fiction and modern writing, and to all national and international students of Irish literature, culture society and history. NUI Galway is providing five Scholarships to assist students to attend the Seminar and visit the McGahern Archive, which is held at the University in the James Hardiman Library. Scholarships are valued at €500 each and interested students should apply directly to the Academic Director, Dr John Kenny, at john.kenny@nuigalway.ie. For further details and to book for the 2012 International John McGahern Seminar contact Christine at 071 9621694, email arts@leitrimcoco.ie or visit www.leitrimarts.ie ENDS

Wednesday, 25 April 2012

New technology being developed in NUI Galway could help enhance pedestrian safety by allowing them to be ‘seen’ by cars – thus avoiding collisions and saving lives. NUI Galway researcher Anthony Winterlich has been awarded a Gold Medal at the Young European Arena of Research 2012 competition by the EU Commission for his work on systems for pedestrian identification, a key challenge to enhance road safety. The award was presented at the Transport Research Arena (TRA) conference which is taking place this week in Athens.  The competition, supported by the European Union, provides visibility to promising young researchers specialising in surface transport (road, rail, waterborne). Máire Geoghegan-Quinn, European Commissioner for Research, Innovation and Science awarded Anthony and five others for their outstanding work. The winners represent universities from France, UK, Ireland, Italy and Switzerland. Anthony carries out his work with the Connaught Automotive Research (CAR) Group (www.car.nuigalway.ie) in the College of Engineering and Informatics at NUI Galway, which is focused on pursuing research in several areas of driver assistance and communications in the automotive environment. This research builds on several years of existing research within the CAR Group in the area of automotive vision systems development, much of it sponsored by Valeo Vision Systems in Tuam, Co. Galway, a world leader in this area. According to Anthony, who is a native of Tuam, County Galway: “My research involves the development of mathematical techniques which can be used to measure the quality of images produced by the various safety-related cameras found in the majority of modern cars. Once we can describe image and video quality by means of a ‘number’ we can then develop and evaluate techniques which will improve image quality by compensating for distortions that occur due to slight imperfections in the cameras or due to compression of the video images as they are being transported around the vehicle. This is a topic of increasing importance in the automotive industry due to the growing use of car-mounted camera systems for driver assistance and other applications such as automatic pedestrian detection, and the results of my research will have a significant impact on the development of automotive camera products in the coming years.” Financial support for Anthony’s research is provided by Valeo Vision Systems and the Irish Research Council for Science, Engineering and Technology (IRCSET) through the Enterprise Partnership Scheme. His work is supervised by Edward Jones, Martin Glavin and Liam Kilmartin within the Electrical & Electronic Engineering discipline at NUI Galway. ENDS

Thursday, 26 April 2012

Agencies in the US Government have adopted a set of web tools and standards developed in Ireland by researchers at NUI Galway’s Digital Enterprise Research Institute (DERI). DERI’s technologies are being utilised by Data.gov, a portal developed to bring an unprecedented level of transparency to the US Government. DERI’s research, which is funded by Science Foundation Ireland, focuses on enabling networked knowledge, using the latest Semantic Web and Linked Data technologies. Its technologies allow related data that was not previously linked to be connected together, so that a person or computer can see the bigger picture through interlinked datasets. Data.gov allows the linking of open government data from agency publishers to contributions from other public and private organisations. DERI’s Dr John Breslin, who also lectures in Electronic Engineering at NUI Galway, explains: “I recently saw a universal toy adaptor that allowed you to connect plastic building blocks to wooden construction sets. Linked Data is a bit like that – it’s based on a universal data format that allows you to bring datasets from different realms together, making them more useful as a whole. Your planning applications could be linked to your broadband penetration rates or your traffic congestion data to help identify issues and trends.” Among the DERI outputs being used by Data.gov and the related Healthdata.gov site are Neologism and the GRefine RDF Extension. Neologism is a new tool which allows for the easy creation of ‘vocabularies’ needed to link data and is built on the powerful open source content management platform Drupal. One such vocabulary that is listed in vocab.data.gov is the Vocabulary of Interlinked Datasets (VOID), which was co-created by DERI researchers. The second technology in use, the RDF Extension for Google Refine, is a graphical user interface for exporting data from Google Refine (a tool for working with messy data) as interlinked Semantic Web data. George Thomas, Enterprise Architect with the US Health and Human Services Administration, has said: “More behind the scenes work that routinely benefits from substantial DERI engagement includes an ongoing contribution to the creation and promulgation of open standards related to open government data catalogs and communities. But DERI doesn’t stop there, they put these new standards into practice through enhancements to Drupal 7 core, helping make it an even more powerful publishing and visualization tool for the emerging Web of Data.” He added: “We hope to leverage all of these features and capabilities in our current and ongoing Healthdata.gov modernization efforts. They also create lots of other useful tools and pen helpful blog posts that promote the proper use and integration of standards. Furthermore, DERI folks are active in many other efforts to promote structured data using open standards and help to clarify best practices that will ultimately lead to better integration of international government statistics.” Joint work between DERI and Mr. Thomas’ team on Patient Controlled Privacy (using Linked Health Data) will be presented at the Semantic Technologies Conference in San Francisco in June, that makes use of the Privacy Preference Ontology and related privacy management web applications from DERI’s Social Software Unit. Data.gov is part of a global initiative referred to as the Open Data movement, with the goal to motivate governments to make public information freely available and easily accessible online. Others examples include data.gov.uk and data.london.gov.uk from the UK, and data.fingal.ie and dublinked.ie from Ireland. Researchers at DERI in NUI Galway are in the vanguard of this new technology space. The largest research organisation of its kind in the world, DERI with its 140 researchers, it is collaborating with industry and governments to revolutionise the utilisation of data. Today, more than 200 regions and countries are publishing their government data online. Three years ago, DERI announced the adoption of its SIOC data format by a website in the Obama administration. The SIOC format is one of the Open Data formats being produced by a number of US Government websites that use the latest Drupal platform, including energy.gov (the US Energy Department), policy.house.gov (the Republican Policy committee), lsc.gov (the civil legal aid program), and oag.ca.gov (the California Attorney General). The DCAT vocabulary from DERI is also used by various government sites for describing government datasets and data catalogs. DERI also collaborates with the European Commission on common semantic vocabularies, such as the Asset Description Metadata Schema (ADMS). Professor Stefan Decker, Director of DERI at NUI Galway, says that while we are seeing Open Data being used to improve public services and promote more transparent and effective government - that is only part of the story. “Open Data has been described recently by the UK’s Cabinet Office Minister Francis Maude as the raw material of a ‘new industrial revolution’. Making more data freely available is resulting in people using it to build new businesses and grow existing ones, creating jobs. In Ireland, the Open Data movement is being pioneered by the likes of Fingal County Council, the Dublinked consortium and the National Cross-Industry Working Group on Open Data. DERI participates at a national and international level through the provision of best practices, standards and technologies. Open Data is key to supporting a truly transparent and participatory democratic system.” In Ireland, DERI collaborates closely with local and the Local Government Computer Services Board, as well as the National Cross-Industry Working Group on Open Data to promote Open Data. Professor Decker concluded: “These are exciting times and a true spirit of innovation and entrepreneurship is engulfing the IT world as networked knowledge begins to come into its own. Undoubtedly, ten years from now when we look back, we will wonder how we managed with the volumes of unconnected data we have now.” DERI was founded in 2003 at NUI Galway with support from the Irish Government’s Science Foundation Ireland, as part of a strategic investment in Semantic Web research and business development. -ends-

Monday, 30 April 2012

NUI Galway is offering secondary school students the choice of four separate Summer Schools in May and June, across the disciplines of Nursing, Computing, Engineering and Science. Aimed at students in transition, fifth and sixth year, the summer schools are specially designed to give interested students a real taste of University life through a wide range of hands-on practical and interactive activities. On Tuesday, 29 May, the first NUI Galway Nursing Summer School will take place. This pilot initiative is open to Transition Year students, who will be given the opportunity to learn more about studying Nursing and the careers available to them upon graduation. Activities at the Summer School will focus on lifesaving skills include CPR, recognising vital signs and hand hygiene. Spaces for this Summer School are limited to 32 students and are on a first-come, first-served basis. NUI Galway’s IT and Computing Summer Camp introduces computing in a novel, fun and interactive way. Students, from first to sixth year, will have the opportunity to explore and experiment with a range of digitally-inspired topics including Digital Media, Games, Robotics, Programming and Animation. Participants will have the opportunity to use leading-edge technologies, from constructing and controlling robots that can interact with their environment, to directing a virtual 'mini-movie' that can be uploaded to a website and shared with friends. Due to popular demand, NUI Galway will hold two of the week-long sessions to facilitate the numbers interested, 11 to 15 June, or 18 to 22 June. Places will be allocated on a first-come, first-served basis. From Thursday 21 to Friday 22 June, the Science Experience Summer Event will offer students two whole days to delve into a wide range of scientific disciplines in world class research facilities and institutes. The workshop will feature all disciplines of the College of Science including Biology, Chemistry, Maths and Physics. Prospective students will get a taste of life as a scientist with the opportunity to gain a closer view of the research facilities with tours, to take part in lab experiments and demonstrations and to speak to the lecturers and the scientists at NUI Galway about the latest discoveries and inventions. Registration deadline for this particular Summer School is 20 May. Students interested in the Engineering Summer School have a choice of two different days to participate, Thursday, 28 June, or Friday, 29 June. Housed in the University’s new Engineering Building, the Summer School will offer a taste of experiences as wide-ranging as controlling a wastewater treatment plant remotely, robo-soccer games, building and testing pacemaker circuits, designing an eco-house, and for future Formula 1 engineers, designing a go-kart. There will also be a 'Frankenstein Design’ feature on how bioengineers make new body parts. The closing date for applications for the Engineering Summer School is Thursday, 31 May. Caroline Loughnane, Director for Marketing and Communications at NUI Galway, says: “This is our third year of summer schools and they are proving hugely popular. Not only are summer schools a great opportunity to experience University life, but they also help participants to really find out what subjects and courses they will be best suited to in college. We recommend that secondary school students choose subjects they enjoy for their CAO options, and these summer schools are a great way of helping students to discover where their interests lie.” Spaces for all Summer Schools are limited so early booking is advised. To find out more about the NUI Galway Summer Schools or for applications visit www.nuigalway.ie/summer-schools. -ENDS-

Monday, 30 April 2012

The Huston School of Film & Digital Media at NUI Galway has launched the Pat Sheeran MA in Film Studies Scholarship. All students applying to the MA in Film Studies programme in the coming year will be considered for this scholarship, valued at €2000, based on their application and supporting documentation. The scholarship has been established to mark the substantial contribution of the late Professor Sheeran to the development of Film Studies in NUI Galway and the establishment of the Huston School of Film & Digital Media. A vital and inspirational member of the English department, Professor Sheeran’s publications included a seminal study of the John Ford classic, The Informer (1935), published by Cork University Press shortly after his untimely passing in 2001. He was also co-writer of the Irish feature film The Fifth Province (1997) and initiated the Galway Film Project that laid the groundwork for the establishment of the Huston School in 2003. According to MA in Film Studies Programme Director, Dr Seán Crosson: “This scholarship provides a great opportunity for students interested in furthering their knowledge and employment prospects in a wide range of film-related careers or in enhancing their potential for undertaking further research at PhD level through the completion of our MA in Film Studies. It is also an opportunity for us to recognise the huge contribution Professor Sheeran made to students and colleagues in NUI Galway before his untimely death.” The MA in Film Studies (Film, Culture and Society) emphasises the relationship between film and society while viewing the medium as a unique point of contact between culture, politics and social life. The programme is taught by leading film studies academics who have made substantial contributions to film studies inIrelandand internationally. Core modules in film history and theory examine fundamental issues in film while options allow students to focus on specific areas, including Irish film, Film in the Digital Age, and Gender & Sexuality in Cinema. Previous graduates of the programme have acquired positions in an array of film-connected areas, including lecturing, teaching, programming and exhibition, curatorial work, and arts journalism. Former Film Studies graduate and current Galway Film Fleadh programmer, Gar O’Brien, says: “Any expectations I might have had would have proven insufficient for the breadth and scope of the MA in Film Studies programme at Huston. I found myself in a class of like-minded individuals where we were guided, supported and encouraged by the staff there, not only to learn about everything from genre and the auteur theory to the relationship between situationist politics and art cinema, but to find our own voice and outlet for our passion for cinema. This had a profound effect on me and, without any hyperbole, it is fair to say that this course represented a major turning point in my life.” A unique aspect of the Huston Schoo is the pioneering suite of postgraduate programmes the school offers, including in Screenwriting, Production and Direction, and Digital Media, as well as Film Studies, and the connections the school encourages between students in each of these areas. This includes the sharing of modules and also the impressive array of world renowned visitors and guest lecturers, open to all programmes, during the year. Previous visitors and/or guest lecturers have included Roddy Doyle, Laura Mulvey, Fionnula Flanagan, Lenny Abrahamson, Diane Negra, James Cromwell, John Boorman, Evan Goldberg, Gabriel Byrne, John Carney, Patrick McGilligan, Noel Burch, Mike Figgis, Brian Winston, Christopher Frayling and Victor Perkins. Building on the success of TG4 and Irish-language film production over the past ten years, the programme also includes an Irish-language option module (the first of its type on an MA in Film Studies programme in Ireland), ‘Scéalta Scáileáin na Gaeilge’, which focuses on the history of screen production in the Irish language and expands students’ employment prospects in the growing area of Irish- and English-language film and television. All applications to the MA in Film Studies should be made online at www.pac.ie/nuigalway Further Information on the MA in Film Studies is available at http://www.filmschool.ie/courses.php?id=3 ENDS

Monday, 30 April 2012

New insights into the behaviour of molecules could have major implications for the design of drugs that block protein interactions. A team of researchers led by Dr Peter Crowley at the National University of Ireland Galway has revealed in intricate detail how a drug-like molecule can explore the surface of a protein. The pioneering work was published by Nature Chemistry online (Sunday, 29 April) and will appear in the June issue of the journal. It was found that molecules scout around the protein surface, moving from one location to another constantly examining their surroundings. For the past thirty years, drug design has been dominated by the search for small molecules that fit perfectly into a protein’s active site and modify its activity. Recently, the focus of attention has shifted to molecules that recognise and bind to the protein surface. Such molecules can camouflage the protein and prevent it binding to other proteins. Knowledge of these interactions is essential to the development of therapies that target undesirable protein interactions such as occur in Alzheimer’s disease. “Inside every cell thousands of different proteins work together, like the parts in a machine, to sustain life. How proteins stick to one another and to other molecules is a crucial piece in the complicated puzzle of biochemistry and often the key to effective drugs”, explains Dr Crowley. The researchers chose a negatively charged molecule called calixarene and a protein with lots of lysine amino acids, which are positive. The opposite charges cause a force of attraction between them. Using sophisticated analytical methods, Nuclear Magnetic Resonance (NMR) spectroscopy and X-ray crystallography, Dr Crowley and colleagues were able to visualise how the calixarene sticks to the protein surface. “Another feature of the calixarene is its bowl-shape. Lysine can fit snugly inside the calixarene, which ensures that an interaction takes place”, adds Dr Crowley. “It turns out that the calixarene binds to several different lysines and explores the protein surface by hopping from one lysine to another. The result is exciting because it adds a new dimension to our understanding and provides drug designers with an alternative strategy.” Dr Crowley emphasised the importance of funding basic research and acknowledged the support of the National University of Ireland Galway and Science Foundation Ireland. The project was a collaborative effort that involved the European Synchrotron Radiation Facility and Dr Amir Khan at Trinity College Dublin. To view the video on the research click here -ends-

Monday, 30 April 2012

The ‘Living Scenes’ intergenerational learning programme at NUI Galway has been selected to represent Ireland in a European Commission Intergenerational Competition. The generations@school Project is organised by the European Year for Active Ageing and Solidarity between Generations and is about engaging pupils and seniors in intergenerational dialogue. Since 2009, Europe has celebrated a European Day of Solidarity between Generations on 29 April. In 2012, the focus is on bringing together pupils and older people to engage in a conversation about what it means to get older and how older and younger people can collaborate for a better life.  To coincide with this event, the EU Commission will host a competition to award the best project in each EU Member States and one overall European winner. Through weekly art, music, drama and creative writing workshops, NUI Galway’s Living Scenes allows teenagers and older adults to learn together, share experiences and build bonds of mutual respect and understanding. A strong emphasis is placed on the holistic development of the participants, promoting equality, personal development and confidence building in both the younger and older adults. NUI Galway's Dr Mary Surlis is the Living Scenes Programme Director, and has been involved since its inception: “We are delighted to be the only Irish school-based programme of intergenerational learning to participate in this European competition.  Living Scenes is about adopting an open, inclusive and consultative approach to learning. It is currently in seven secondary schools throughout Ireland, and is embedded in the transition year in each school. To date 1,478 participants have taken part in our programme, the highest of any intergenerational learning initiative of its kind across Ireland, or even Europe.” Dr Surlis added: "At a time when there is a serious erosion of social fabric evident in Irish society, Living Scenes aims to respond to the growing need for communication and trust in both the school and in the local community. What we are trying to do is to regenerate relationships both in schools and communities and, perhaps more importantly, between our older and our younger generations.” The intergenerational focus of the Living Scenes programme seeks to create a climate in which the participants will develop interpersonal skills, self-realisation, character building skills and cross-generational awareness and respect. Psychologist, acclaimed writer, and most recent winner of Listowel Originals Short Story Award, Hedy Gibbons has been facilitating creative writing modules in the Living Scenes Programme for some years, and observes that:  “The overall beneficial outcomes of the Living Scenes Programme are not confined to the strictly educational.  Focusing on tasks that encourage creativity also seems to increase appreciation and understanding between age groups and cultures of their life experiences. Feedback from participants suggests enhanced psychological well-being through shared learning in a social educational setting. This surely will have positive spin- off in reducing isolation and increasing understanding in the context of generational and social exclusion.” ENDS         

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-