Monday, 6 December 2010

Students from NUI Galway recently attended 'Building a Voice for Student Volunteering', a National Conference where students from over 15 colleges across the island of Ireland gathered in anticipation of the EU Year of the Volunteer in 2011, to share experiences and ideas on the impact of third level student volunteering. It was sponsored by Campus Engage, the HEA funded network to support civic engagement within higher education in Ireland. The conference provided a space for student volunteers to meet together for the first time with an opportunity to share effective practice and create 'how to guides on student volunteering. The forum took the approach that the experts in student volunteering are the student volunteers themselves and addresses were delivered by students for students. Richard Manton, Student Volunteer in NUI Galway says: "I found the conference to be thoroughly enjoyable and informative. From the outset, the informal and open nature of the event was clear - emphasis was placed on the pooling of ideas by those actively involved in student volunteering, rather than a series of lectures. I found that I was able to draw from my own volunteering experience and discuss with others the best ways to build a voice for student volunteering in Ireland." In the last seven years there has been an upsurge in student volunteering activities across the third level sector with the ALIVE Volunteer Programme at NUI Galway, Trinity Volunteer Opportunities Forum and Dean of Students Roll of Honour, the Uaneen Programme at DCU, DIT's volunteer programme, President's Award for Volunteering at UL and GIVE at LIT. All of these recognise diverse activities that students undertake as volunteers within a community that ultimately gives them an extra edge on graduation. Lorraine Tansey, Student Volunteer Coordinator at the University says: "NUI Galway has built of its rich history of student engagement and activism to lead at the forefront of pioneering student volunteering programmes across higher education in Ireland. Our students benefit enormously from national opportunities to meet fellow student volunteers and highlight their contribution to society." This event is the first in a series of Campus Engage sponsored events that will harness and recognise the positive contribution that students make through volunteering to community. During 2011, the We Volunteer! mobile exhibition showcasing images of diverse student volunteering contributions will travel across Ireland and Europe. -Ends-

Monday, 6 December 2010

Four NUI Galway students have been awarded the prestigious Gold Gaisce Award. President Mary McAleese presented the awards to the students in recognition of their outstanding contribution to community and personal development at the 25th Anniversary of the Gaisce Award ceremony last week. Awardees included Mary Gavaghan, from Charlestown Co. Mayo, Lauren Martin, from Athy Co. Kildare, Máiread Felle, Portumna, Co. Galway and Lisa Carney from Kiltamagh, Co. Mayo. Gaisce, the President's Award is Ireland's National Challenge Award, the country's most prestigious and respected individual award programme, and a challenge from the President of Ireland, to young people between 15 and 25 years of age. There are four different challenge areas including Community Involvement, Personal Skill, Physical Recreation and Adventure Journey. Congratulating the NUI Galway students on their success, Lorraine Tansey, Student Volunteer Coordinator at NUI Galway, said, "The Gold Gaisce Award is bestowed to individuals who have not only took on a personal challenge but make a contribution to their community. We are very proud of these students who have stepped outside their comfort zone and engaged with new challenges and experiences to earn the highest award, the Gold Gaisce Medal. At NUI Galway we seek to engender our students with the characteristics of selflessness and leadership these students emanate." -Ends-

Thursday, 2 December 2010

NUI Galway lecturer in History, Dr Róisín Healy, has recently been awarded a prestigious Research Fellowship by the Alexander von Humboldt-Stiftung, Bonn. The Fellowship, which is for Experienced Researchers, is funded by the German Government. Dr Healy lectures on nineteenth and twentieth century German and European history in NUI Galway. She will be on sabbatical leave throughout the Fellowship. During her stay in Germany, from January to June 2011, she will be affiliated to the Global and European Studies Institute at the University of Leipzig where she will research pre-First World War German/Polish relationships. Nineteenth-century Irish nationalists liked to claim that Ireland and Poland, which had been partitioned between Prussia, Russia, and Austria in the late eighteenth century, were the most oppressed nations of Europe. Drawing on sources in four languages (English, Irish, German and Polish), Dr Healy will investigate to what extent British colonial practice in Ireland, in matters such as land, religion and language, mirrored that of Prussia in the Polish provinces under its control (Posen and West Prussia) during the period 1795–1918. Humboldt Research Fellowships, which are highly competitive, are awarded to approximately 600 senior researchers annually. The awards are made solely on the basis of past research performance and future potential. In addition to receiving funding to undertake research in Germany, recipients of the Humboldt Fellowship become members of a global academic network of Humboldt Scholars that provides a life-long supportive framework for the scholarly activities of Humboldt Fellows. In receiving the award, Róisín becomes the newest member of Humboldt-Club na Gaillimhe, an association that includes former NUI Galway Humboldt Fellows and German scholars who have researched in NUI Galway, for at least a year, supported by the Humboldt Foundation. Previous NUI Galway Humboldt Fellows include Professors Peter McHugh (Biomedical Engineering), Michael O'Connell (Botany), Dáibhí Ó Cróinín (History); Emeritus Professors Martin Newell (Mathematics), Angela Savage (Chemistry) and John Shiel (Engineering); and the late Professor Anthony Moran (Microbiology). Professor Dáibhí Ó Cróinín a former NUI Galway Humboldt Fellow says: "In the world of international scholarship, the Humboldt Research fellowships are for the Humanities what the Max Planck fellowships are for the Sciences. Dr Healy's recent award is another feather in the cap for NUI Galway, and further international recognition for the first-class quality of our work in the University." -Ends-

Tuesday, 30 November 2010

The NUI Galway Centre for Disability Law and Policy will host the International Conference on National Disability Strategies on Friday, 10 December, in the Radisson Blu Hotel in Galway. This conference will launch the recent findings of the Centre's research project on National Disability Strategies and the critical success factors which enable strategies to make a difference for people with disabilities at grassroots level. The keynote speech will be delivered by United Nations Special Rapporteur on Disability, Shuaib Chalklen. South African Shuaib Chalklen plays a leading role in monitoring progress around the world and nurturing Governments in the right direction. The conference will be formally opened by Minister John Moloney T.D., Minister of State for Disability and Mental Health. Other key international figures involved in disability law reform speaking at the conference will include: Anne Hawker, current President of Rehabilitation International and Advisor on disability to the New Zealand government; Stefan Trommel, key drafter of the UN disability convention, member of the International Disability Alliance Secretariat and former Director of European Disability Forum; Siobhán Barron, Director of the National Disability Authority and Angela Kerins, Chairperson, Equality Authority. Dr Eilionóir Flynn, the researcher for this project in the Centre for Disability Law and Policy at NUI Galway, has written a book for Cambridge University Press on a global comparative study of National Disability Strategies, entitled From Rhetoric to Action: Implementing the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities – the use of National Disability Strategies which is due to be published in 2011. Some of the key recommendations for improvements in the Irish National Disability Strategy in this book will be highlighted at the conference. Professor Gerard Quinn, Director of the Centre for Disability Law and Policy, said, "This is an exciting event for NUI Galway. Some of the most influential disability reformers and activists in the world will be here to share ideas about how to link national disability strategies to the achievement of the UN disability convention and ensure that such strategies work well. This is even more important in a recession. I would urge all those who have an interest in advancing disability policy in Ireland and abroad to attend this important event." The conference is open to all members of the public. The conference programme and further information including how to register for the event is available at www.nuigalway.ie ENDS

Tuesday, 30 November 2010

NUI Galway graduates and students have received 28 of the 101 NUI Awards 2010 presented last week. The national awards are granted by the National Universities of Ireland annually. Four NUI Galway recipients were awarded the NUI Travelling Studentships in the Humanities and Social Sciences and in the Sciences. They are: Francis O'Connor, Peadar Ó Muircheartaigh, Leon Harding and Lisa Mulee. Michelle Farrell was awarded the NUI EJ Phelan Fellowship in International Law. Michelle Farrell will take up her Fellowship at the Irish Centre for Human Rights at NUI Galway. Anne Molloy was awarded the French Government Medal and NUI Prizes for Proficiency in French. NUI Galway also featured prominently in the Dr Henry Hutchinson Stewart Literary and Medical Awards, winning twenty-two medals in this competition. The literary Awards went to Áine Uí Fhoghlua (Ghaeilge), Jacinta Hennigan (3rd prize German), Florry O'Driscoll (Italian), Anna B Sikora-Carelse (Spanish) and Sinead Cawley (3rd prize Spanish). Fourteen of the twenty-two Dr Henry Hutchinson Stewart Scholarships were awarded to NUI Galway's School of Medicine. Six of these students were granted first place scholarships. These students received €1000 and a medal, with a further five students being awarded medals for second place and three more awarded medals for third place. The awards span thirteen different subject areas within the School of Medicine. Medical Scholarships were also awarded in Biochemistry, Occupational Therapy and Speech and Language Therapy. Professor Fidelma Dunne, Head of the School of Medicine at NUI Galway says: "This is a fantastic result for NUI Galway and NUI Galway's School of Medicine and follows on previous high achievements in past years in these annual awards. We are very proud of all our students who both competed for these awards and those who were successful. It reflects the very high standard of medical education and commitment from teaching staff and engagement in learning by the students. It complements successes already received this year in student research bursaries from the health Research Board (HRB), completion of special study modules (SSM) by students in Medicine and the Arts and community engagement initiatives; Ms Melanie Hennessey was chosen as one of ten top young adults in the world by Junior Chamber for her Humanitarian efforts in Nepal. These achievements illustrate the commitment of the School of Medicine to the holistic development of our students to produce well grounded and well rounded doctors of the future. We will strive to continue with these successes into the future with plans to initiate a School of Medicine Orchestra in this Academic Year." Professor Dunne adds. Congratulating the winners, University President Dr. James J. Browne said, "NUI Galway's recent success at the NUI Awards highlights the calibre of students studying on our programmes, as well as underscoring the quality of the teaching programmes here at NUI Galway. These awards will add significantly to each student's academic reputation and I commend them on their well-deserved accolades." ENDS

Tuesday, 30 November 2010

The Irish Centre for Human Rights at NUI Galway will launch a report in December which verifies and documents allegations of racism in the taxi industry in Galway. The Centre launched an investigation in July this year to examine racially based tensions in the taxi industry within the city. The interest of the Irish Centre for Human Rights arises from the nature of the institution itself, part of its mandate being community engagement and contribution, as well as its position as Essential Partner in the Galway City Partnership Anti-Racism Strategy. Its capacity is attested to by an international reputation as a leading institution for human rights research, teaching and advocacy. Dr. Vinodh Jaichand, Deputy Director of the Centre, led this methodological, evidence-based research into the question of racism within the Galway city taxi industry through interviews and surveys and focused on employment opportunities and user practices and perceptions. The results of this research form a concise, but also encompassing report, which can replace untested statements and often reactionary comments with detailed knowledge and a deeper understanding. The report is addressed immediately to the people, associations and institutions of Galway, but also more widely to the national government and Irish society as a whole. Recommendations are directed to NUI Galway, the Irish Centre for Human Rights itself, the Equality Authority, the media, Galway City, Galway Chamber of Commerce, the Gardai, the Government of Ireland, and the general public. Dr. Jaichand positions the report within a context where, "Racism has become an increasingly noticeable element in the backdrop to Galway life. Nationally and locally, reports of race-based incidents reflect an increase in the growing anxieties of the general population, due to the inevitable hardships of a recession and intensified competition over jobs and resources. Racial discrimination should never be justified and accommodated because human rights are not a luxury to be observed only when we are a well-off society." Protecting and promoting human dignity has been the foundation of work at the Irish Centre for Human Rights at NUI Galway since its inception in 2000. The Centre pursues this work in all contexts, internationally and locally, through research, teaching, advocacy and community engagement. Speaking during the recent tenth anniversary celebrations of the Centre, the Director, Professor William Schabas said that, "This report, which we believe will have real consequences in addressing local tensions in Galway, confirms the contribution that the Irish Centre for Human Rights makes to the city." He added that, "This is a fundamental issue that should concern us all, one which requires prompt attention to correct the situation." The report will be launched at 6pm on Friday, 10 December at the Irish Centre for Human Rights at NUI Galway. Guest speaker on the night will be Michael D Higgins, TD. Friday, 10 December also marks the worldwide recognition of human rights defenders. All members of the press and public are very welcome, and warmly invited to attend. For further information please contact Dr. Vinodh Jaichand on 086 167 8682, vinodh.jaichand@nuigalway.ie. ENDS

Tuesday, 30 November 2010

NUI Galway will host its first International Language Conference entitled Translation, Technology and Autonomy in Language Teaching and Learning on 10 to 11 December, 2010. Over 80 speakers will examine issues relating to translation, technology and autonomy in language learning and teaching over the two days. Speakers will present in Irish, French, Spanish, Italian and English and delegates registered for the Conference come from up to twenty countries and fifty third-level institutions. The Conference will appeal to a diverse audience including language teachers at primary, secondary and third level as well as translators and those with an interest in language acquisition. The inaugural event is hosted by the School of Languages, Literatures & Cultures, Acadamh na hOllscolaíochta Gaeilge and The Centre for Excellence in Learning and Teaching (CELT) at the University. There will be three keynote addresses at the Conference. They include Professor David Little, who is a retired Head of the School of Linguistic, Speech and Communication Sciences at Trinity College Dublin and has been involved in the European Language Portfolio at European level since 1998. Professor Henrik Gottlieb is Associate Professor and Head of the Centre for Translation Studies & Lexicography at the University of Copenhagen, Denmark and his fields of research include corpus linguistics, lexicography and language contact studies. The third keynote address will be delivered by Dr Daniel Cassany, a lecturer in the Faculty of Translation and Interpreting at the Universitat Pompeu Fabra in Barcelona. His expertise lies in the field of written communication. Dr Dorothy Ní Uigín from Acadamh na hOllscolaíochta Gaeilge says "We are delighted with the response we have received for this Conference, from places so diverse as Jamaica and Malaysia, to Waterford and Cork. It will provide a great opportunity for us to learn from our colleagues in the areas of language teaching and translation from all across the world, and it will also provide an opportunity for staff and students in NUI Galway to showcase their work and to share ideas with an international audience." This Conference has gained funding from the Irish Research Council for the Humanities & Social Sciences. ENDS

Monday, 29 November 2010

"The economic downturn should not deter people from starting their own business", that's according to three of the top entrepreneurs in the country. Dylan Collins, Jolt Online Gaming; Philip Reynolds, C&D Foods Ltd. and Terence Monaghan, Managing Director TCRS Ltd. (formerly of BetaTHERM) gave their views, advice and guidance on entrepreneurship at NUI Galway recently. Chaired by Pádraig Ó Céidigh, the panel discussion focused on the characteristics of entrepreneurs, the importance of leadership and strategy, and how overcoming challenges and learning from mistakes is critical in the entrepreneur's journey. The event was organised by the NUI Galway Executive Master of Business Administration (MBA) at the Cairnes School of Business and Economics in conjunction with the MBA Association of Ireland Western Chapter. Dr Alma McCarthy, Executive MBA Programme Director and organiser of the event, highlighted the importance of these events for budding entrepreneurs stating that "the panellists gave a great insight into their journeys and experiences. Their stories are very valuable for anyone who is planning on becoming an entrepreneur or those who are at an early stage in building their own businesses". The discussion highlighted the rich, dynamic and varying forms entrepreneurship can take. For example, Philip Reynolds took over an indigenous family run business which has now become an international supplier of pet foods on the global market with plants in the UK and Holland and a turnover of €150 million. Dylan Collins brought his entrepreneurial skill to a love of gaming developed during his college days. Collins is widely considered to be one of the most experienced online gaming/media entrepreneurs in Europe, having founded three companies with three successful exits (two of which to leading NASDAQ companies). His company was recently acquired by GameStop for $300 million. Terence Monaghan is a Galway man who showed his entrepreneurial drive and ambition when he spearheaded the management buy-out of BetaTHERM in the late 1990's which was subsequently sold at a significant profit. Terence is now Managing Director at TCRS Ltd. and is a global entrepreneur with a significant presence in China. The panellists gave honest, candid and insightful input about their success and challenges to date. The importance of effective staff recruitment practices and ensuring a good fit between employee competence and attitudes with the requirements of the job was suggested as critical by all entrepreneurs. "The management team is what differentiates successful from unsuccessful companies" said Terence Monaghan. The entrepreneur's leadership capability was also discussed and Dylan Collins argued that "effective leadership is about having a vision and guiding people towards it – even if the course changes". All three entrepreneurs agreed that the economic downturn should not deter people from starting their own business. "Entrepreneurship takes many forms and is not only about starting up a business and can be done at any stage in someone's career" said Pádraig Ó Céidigh in his concluding remarks at the event. -Ends-

Monday, 29 November 2010

The Centre for Disability Law and Policy at NUI Galway will host a seminar which will examine important lessons that Ireland can learn from the developing world about the full inclusion of people with disabilities in the lives of their communities. The event, which is being organised in conjunction with the disability and development Non-Governmental Organisation (NGO), CBM Ireland, will take place on Monday, 6 December, in the g Hotel, Galway. The seminar will look at the key role that local government can play in promoting the full involvement of people with disabilities in social, economic and cultural activities. Keynote speakers at the seminar will include: Deputy Michael D. Higgins, Foreign Affairs Spokesperson for the Labour Party; Cllr Michael Crowe, Mayor of Galway City and Mayor Rony Molina of the San Jose de Buena Vista Province in the Philippines. David McAllister, the National Director of CBM Ireland, said, "As one of Ireland s largest disability and development NGOs, we are very happy to be involved in organising this seminar with the Centre for Disability Law and Policy, NUI Galway. Speaking at the seminar is Mayor Rony Molina from the Philippines who is a dynamic Mayor who has worked hard to promote the rights of people with disabilities in his province. Mayor Molina will be sharing his knowledge and experience with Irish local councillors and council officials who attend this seminar." Professor Gerard Quinn, Director of the Centre for Disability Law and Policy at NUI Galway, said, "We are delighted that such an important seminar is being held in Galway in early December. The Centre has spent many years carrying out research and promoting best practice in the area of disability. This seminar presents an opportunity to let people know about the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities which Ireland has signed, and will implement over the next year or two. This Convention will transform the lives of people with disabilities for the better. We believe that Galway City Council can lead the way in showing how this can be done." -Ends-

Thursday, 25 November 2010

NUI Galway's Irish Centre for Human Rights recently celebrated ten years of teaching, research and advocacy activities. A number of events were held to mark the momentous occasion including a Gala dinner hosted by Senator David Norris and a live Skype meeting with Shawan Jabarin, graduate of the Centre who was prevented from travelling for the event. The Irish Centre for Human Rights has its origins in the early 1980s, when Kevin Boyle and Mary Robinson launched a unit in NUI Galway in response to a general appeal from the Council of Europe. Video messages were played at the Gala dinner from both founding members. Around 150 people attended on the night, including representatives of the judiciary, government, academia, civil society, alumni and current students. The highlight of the dinner was a remote Skype meeting with Shawan Jabarin, graduate of the 2004-5 LLM class and now the director of Al Haq, the very distinguished Palestinian Non Governmental Organisation NGO. The Israeli government would not allow Shawan travel to Galway to receive an award from the Centre. In addition to the dinner a conference was held on the theme of 'Forgotten Rights, Forgotten Concepts'. Keynote speakers were Professor Andrew Clapham, Director of the Geneva Academy of International Humanitarian Law and Human Rights, who addressed questions relating to the spread of human rights to non-state entities, and Professor Leila Nadya Sadat, Professor at Washington University School of Law, who spoke on draft Convention on Crimes Against Humanity. Professor William A Schabas, Director of the Irish Centre for Human Rights at NUI Galway says, "It was very gratifying to see so many former students return to Galway, where they got their first training in the field of human rights. In so many ways, the Irish Centre for Human Rights contributes in a positive and substantial way to combating injustice and inequality, in various parts of the world." ENDS

Wednesday, 24 November 2010

Over 1400 students will graduate from across the five colleges at NUI Galway at the University's winter conferring ceremonies, which take place from 24 to 26 November. Canon Mícheál Ó Flannabhra will also be conferred with an honorary Master of Rural Development degree. Born in Milltown, Co. Galway, Canon Mícheál Ó Flannabhra was educated in St. Jarlath's College in Tuam, Co. Galway and in St. Patrick's College in Maynooth where he was ordained in 1960. Canon Ó Flannabhra will be honoured in recognition of his enormous contribution over the past five decades to the rural development of the Connemara area through his establishment of co-operatives, Youth Clubs, Group Water Schemes, Gaelic Games pitches and his campaign for University education through Irish for the Gaeltacht. Speaking in advance of the ceremonies, President of NUI Galway, Dr James J. Browne, said: "NUI Galway is fortunate to be associated with many outstanding honorary graduates throughout its history. Today we are proud to honour Canon Mícheál Ó Flannabhra for his contribution to rural development and education in the West of Ireland. NUI Galway is very pleased to be in a position to recognise his exceptional achievements and commitment to the region." In addition, degrees, higher diplomas, Masters and PhDs will be awarded to students graduating over the three days from the College of Medicine, Nursing and Health Sciences; College of Engineering and Informatics; College of Business, Public Policy and Law; College of Science; and the College of Arts, Social Sciences and Celtic Studies. -Ends-

Wednesday, 24 November 2010

A new project which aims to make it easier for government agencies and Web developers to access information from other organisations across the globe is being co-ordinated by the Digital Enterprise Research Institute (DERI) at NUI Galway. LOD Around-the-Clock (LATC) project is an EU co-funded project comprised of leading Linked Open Data researchers and practitioners. Co-ordinated by the Digital Enterprise Research Institute, NUI Galway, LATC brings together a team of Linked Data researchers and practitioners from the Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam (The Netherlands), Freie Universität Berlin (Germany), Institut für Angewandte Informatik, Universität Leipzig (Germany) and Talis Ltd (United Kingdom) who will, over the next two years, support people and institutions in consuming and publishing Linked Open Data, on the Web and in the Enterprise. The LOD cloud is a collection of over 200 datasets that offer open data published according to the Linked Data principles. In total over 25 billion interlinked facts are available in the LOD cloud from various domains: governmental data, media, health-care and life science, user-generated data (blogs, twitter, etc.), bibliographic data, geographical data, etc. The emerging Web of Linked Data is the largest source of multi-domain, real-world and real-time data that currently exists. As data integration and information quality assessment increasingly depends on the availability of large amounts of real-world data, these new technologists are going to need to find ways to connect to the Linked Open Data (LOD) cloud. With the explosive growth of the LOD cloud, which has doubled in size every 10 months since 2007, utilizing this global data space in a real-world set-up has proved challenging. The amount and quality of the links between LOD data sources remains sparse and there is no well-documented and cohesive set of tools that enables individuals and organizations to easily produce and consume Linked Open Data. A new project aims to change this, making it easier to connect to the LOD cloud by offering support to data owners, such as government agencies, Web developers who want to build applications with Linked Data, and Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) that want to benefit from the lightweight data integration possibilities of Linked Data. In addition to the LATC core team, a large Advisory Committee with more than 35 members participates in the LATC activities: governmental organisations such as the UK Office of Public Sector Information and the European Environment Agency; researchers and practitioners such as the University of Manchester, University of Economics Prague, Vulcan Inc., CTIC Technological Center Spain, the Open Knowledge Foundation; last but not least standardisation bodies, including W3C (represented by Sir Tim Berners-Lee). Director of the Digital Enterprise Research Institute (DERI) at NUI Galway Professor Stefan Decker said, "Dissemination of data is an enabler for the smart economy. We are proud to co-ordinate the LATC project, as it plays a key role to help people and institutions to publish and consume Linked Open Data in Ireland and throughout Europe." ENDS

Wednesday, 24 November 2010

NUI Galway hosted its fourth annual Gala Dinner on 17 November at the Metropolitan Club in New York City. This year's honoree was Irial Finan, NUI Galway Class of 1977 and Executive Vice President, The Coca-Cola Company and President of Bottling Investments and Supply Chain The evening featured a special performance by internationally acclaimed singer Mary Black, who brought the sold-out crowd to their feet with hits like No Frontiers and Song for Ireland. Past honorees include actor Gabriel Byrne; Former US President Bill Clinton; philanthropist Loretta Brennan Glucksman and singer/songwriter Paul Brady. NUI Galway President Dr James J. Browne said, "This year's event was our most successful to date and attracted a capacity crowd from the United States as well as Ireland. We were pleased and proud to honour Irial Finan, a graduate who has achieved great success in his career, but has never forgotten the importance of giving back to the next generation of Galway students." Chief Executive of Galway University Foundation, Tom Joyce said, "In his capacity as a Director of the US Board of the Galway University Foundation, Irial has played an important role in promoting the global impact of NUI Galway's programmes and re-engaging US based Galway graduates in the life of the University." Proceeds from the Gala Dinner will support the expansion of NUI Galway's archives through the acquisition of new collections and the development of humanities programming for its newly built Arts, Humanities and Social Science Research Building. ENDS

Wednesday, 24 November 2010

At a special ceremony in the University on Tuesday, 23 November, twenty four new recipients of NUI Galway Student Sports Scholarships were presented by Chairman of the NUI Galway Sport & Recreation Union Committee, Ruadhán Cooke. The recipients joined the thirty existing scholarship holders of NUI Galway Sports Scholarships. NUI Galway supports high performing athletes in a wide range of sports through its Sports Scholarship programme. The Scholarship programme has been developed by the University to assist young athletes with outstanding potential develop their sporting ability hand-in-hand with their academic progress by putting in place the necessary supports that will hopefully see them maximise their sporting potential. Recipients this year include Mayo Senior Footballers Kieran Conroy and Peadar Gardiner, Sligo's Stephen Gilmartin and promising young Kerry forward Ian Galvin. Donegal senior footballer Mark McHugh also receives a Scholarship for the first time. Hurling Scholarships this year were awarded to two of the NUI Galway Fitzgibbon Cup winning team, Paul Gordon and Barry Daly, who were also part of the Galway U21 All Ireland final team, and they were joined by the 2010 Galway Minor Captain Daithi Burke and one of the rising stars of Limerick Hurling Kevin Downes. Three Oranmore-Maree Basketballers; Liam Conroy, Colm O'Hagan and Conor Crowley are recognised by the sports scholarship scheme for the first time. Eddie Mullarky, who was the youngest member of the NUI Galway National Rowing Championship winning Men's Eight is one of Ireland's most promising young rowers and Afric Keogh and Zoe Mannion who have partnered each other in International boats at Junior Level will be hoping to do so at Senior level on the world stage in the future. Other first time recipients include Galway United's Ciaran Foley and Evan Preston Kelly and Kilkenny Camogie Senior star Aisling Dunphy. Caitriona Cormican and Ciara Hegarty were recipients of a GAA Ladies Football Scholarship. David Byrne was presented with a scholarship for Golf and Adam Caulfield for Waterpolo. At the ceremony Colin Collie Smyth was received a Scholarship for Soccer and Seán Wooton for Rugby. Scholarship benefits include a subsistence grant, coaching, medical and physiotherapy support, performance nutrition and performance psychology, strength and conditioning as well as performance planning and mentoring. Each Scholarship is built around the individuals needs and their chosen sport. To assist these sportspeople in the pursuit of their twin sporting and academic goals, NUI Galway has a dedicated Elite Sports Development Officer, former Olympic Sprinter, Gary Ryan. Gary, the former Director of Coaching for Athletics Ireland, said: "The aim of the Sports Scholarship at NUI Galway is not only to recognise the past achievements of young sportspeople but to try and put in place the supports that will help them improve during their time at University and to succeed academically. We aim to set high standards and support people in their achievement of these". Two Gaelic Football Scholarships sponsored by Cadbury's for outstanding U-21 Footballers as part of their sponsorship of the U-21 Football Championship were also presented. This year's recipients are Mayo's Keith Rogers and Cavan's Fergal Flanagan. -Ends-

Tuesday, 23 November 2010

NUI Galway in conjunction with Rape Crisis Network Ireland, (RCNI) will hold a round-table discussion event entitled More than a Hangover: Youth, Alcohol and Rape in Ireland, Wednesday, 1 December from 2pm to 4pm in the Cairnes Building in the University. This event is part of the international '16 Days of Activism against Violence against Women Campaign'. This event will examine the nexus of drinking, sexual violence and young people in Ireland and the issues surrounding them. Speakers include Dr Padraig MacNeela of the School of Psychology at NUI Galway and expert in female student alcohol use; and Dr Stacey Scriver, of the Global Women s Studies Programme at NUI Galway and co-author of Rape and Justice in Ireland (Liffey Press, 2009). Caroline Counihan, Legal Policy Director of the Rape Crisis Network Ireland, will also speak at the event. The Rape Crisis Network Ireland is a national representative body for Rape Crisis Centres in Ireland who provide free advice, counselling and support for survivors of sexual abuse in Ireland. The RCNI role also includes the development and coordination of national projects, supporting Rape Crisis Centres to reach quality assurance standards, using our expertise to influence national policy and social change. It is a national information and resource centre on sexual abuse, sexual assault and sexual harassment, with a proven capacity in strategic leadership including contributions and advice on the necessary infra-structure for a national response to all aspects of sexual violence. Dr Stacey Scriver of Global Women's Studies at NUI Galway says: " Our research has shown that the Real Rape stereotype of a stranger attacking a woman in a public area late at night is a rarity. The reality in Ireland is that very high levels of alcohol consumption are implicated in the majority of rapes and that young women, most of whom have also been drinking, are the target. These aren t stranger rapes but rapes committed by acquaintances, partners and ex-partners. Exploring the issue of alcohol, youth and sexual violence is therefore an incredibly important step in understanding, and hopefully reducing, rape in Ireland." The 16 Days of Activism against Violence against Women Campaign is an international campaign with participants in over 164 countries and involving more than 3,400 organisations. The campaign links 25 November, International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women, to 10 December, International Human Rights Day, in order to symbolically connect violence against women and human rights and to emphasise that such violence is a human rights violation. There are various events happening on campus, to support the campaign. -Ends-

Tuesday, 23 November 2010

A research team at NUI Galway is embarking on a research project with the Janssen Pharmaceutical Companies of Johnson & Johnson, one of the world's leading pharmaceutical companies. Johnson & Johnson and The National Institute for Bioprocessing Research and Training (NIBRT) are jointly investing in a Bioanalytical Research Project at the Nanoscale Biophotonics Laboratory (NBL) in NUI Galway. The investment is part of the Government initiative to attract strategically important research and development to Ireland. The NBL is an interdisciplinary research group located in NUI Galway's School of Chemistry and its primary focus involves the development of new photonics and chemometrics based analytical methods for industry and academia. Principle investigator for the research programme, Dr Alan Ryder, in conjunction with a team of two postdoctoral researchers in the NBL, will develop novel mathematical and spectroscopic techniques for the analysis of various very complex biogenic materials. The area of research is called chemometrics and is a major component in the drive to automate and improve the monitoring of bioprocesses such as the production of biopharmaceuticals. It is envisioned the outcome of this research will support greater understanding and control of biopharmaceutical manufacturing processes and aid the industry to satisfy Quality by Design and design space expectations of regulatory agencies. The Johnson & Johnson Family of Companies makes a big difference in the health and well-being of people every day. Johnson & Johnson have more than 250 operating companies in 57 countries employing approximately 114,000 people. Speaking about his vision for the NBL, Director of the NBL, Dr Alan G. Ryder said: "The NBL exists to meld the photonics technologies being developed by the physics community with the extensive needs for more accurate, information rich, and sensitive analytical chemistry required for today's Industrial and Healthcare applications. Our goal is to undertake both basic and applied research at the chemistry-physics-biology interphase and to translate the outputs into new industrial technologies. The NBL will achieve this by working very closely with our industrial partners in the Biopharmaceutical manufacturing sector, with selected academic partners, and with NIBRT." Welcoming the announcement, Vice President for Research at NUI Galway, Professor Terry Smith said, "This is an exciting and a very important development for NUI Galway that leverages the expertise of the Nanoscale Biophotonics Laboratory to understand and control manufacturing processes within the Biopharmaceutical industry. It is a validation of translational, industry focused R&D and industry partnership at NUI Galway." For further information contact: Dr Alan Ryder, School of Chemistry, NUI Galway at 091 492943 or alan.ryder@nuigalway.ie. -Ends-

Tuesday, 23 November 2010

NUI Galway will hold an information evening for mature students considering undertaking a full-time undergraduate degree programme. The event will be held in NUI Galway on Tuesday, 02 December, at 8pm, in the Colm Ó hEocha Theatre, Arts Millennium Building. Information will be provided on the programmes available to mature students, on entry requirements and on the application and selection procedures. There will also be a focus on financial and other supports. Each year at NUI Galway, a quota of places on most programmes is reserved for mature students, who are deemed to be those aged 23 and over. Applications for degree courses are made in the normal way for University entrants through the Central Applications Office (CAO) by 1 February. Trish Hoare, Mature Students Officer at NUI Galway, says: "With so much unemployment around the country many people are looking to develop new employment opportunities by studying for a degree. However, anticipating a harsh upcoming budget, it is imperative that prospective students seriously consider their financial situation before embarking on a full-time course of study." A key element of the information evening will be financial support for students. "Tuition fees are currently free for first-time undergraduates. There are also higher education grants to avail of if an individual is eligible and meets certain criteria. Social Welfare recipients may be entitled to Back to Education Allowance, again if they meet certain criteria. I recommend people speak with the authorities involved in these supports to ascertain their eligibility. It is also vital to note that changes may take place in the grants and social welfare systems after the announcement of the 2011 budget." adds Ms Hoare. During the information evening, information will also be given on the University's pre-University Foundation Courses, open to all, in Science and Engineering and in Commerce. -Ends-

Monday, 22 November 2010

NUI Galway will be presented with a rare collection of director, writer and actor John Huston's papers and recordings at a special ceremony in the University this evening. The Huston Archive will be launched in the presence of John's son, Tony (who was nominated for an Academy Award for his screenplay of The Dead) and daughter, Allegra. The Archive contains extensive material relating to a number of his films and centres on the making of The Dead, as well as draft scripts, recordings, publicity materials, interviews and legal documentation. The Huston Archive offers a unique view of the prolific intersection of Irish literature and American cinema. The multiple draft scripts included offer insights not just about the film, but also about the director's wide-ranging oeuvre, as nearly all of his 37 features are, similarly, literary adaptations. The material will contribute to the rich vein of debate already developed by scholars including NUI Galway Professor Kevin Barry in his book, The Dead, published in the 'Ireland into Film series' and a new book from the Centenary Conference held at the Huston School of Film & Digital Media in 2006, edited by Tony Tracy from the Huston School and Roddy Flynn, entitled John Huston: Essays on a Restless Director. The Archive includes an early version of a script written by Jean-Paul Sartre for the film Freud: the Secret Passion; Sartre visited Huston in St Clerans, his home near Craughwell, in 1958. It is rich in ancillary documentation which supplements that held by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences in Los Angeles; and it includes Huston's personal copies of various books that he adapted and their screenplays. There are also recordings of music used in his films, publicity materials, photos and magazines, press cuttings and legal documentation. Other rare material includes a Scottish television interview with Huston conducted by film scholar, Charles Barr, at the Edinburgh Film Festival in 1975. The Archive has been enriched by significant items donated by Teresa Grimes, Paul Balbirnie and Joe Dillon. Academy Award winner and daughter of John Huston, Anjelica Huston says she is delighted that the Archive will be based at NUI Galway, "I regret that due to my current filming schedule I will miss the launch of the Huston Archive at NUI Galway. It gives me great satisfaction to see that these extensive archives, including remarkable materials relating to THE DEAD, have found a permanent place in their rightful home in Galway and will be made widely available to scholars, including those who enter the Huston School s doors for future generations to come." The Huston Archive will be held in the James Hardiman Library at NUI Galway, home to a range of theatre, literary, historical and political archives. Collections include the archives of the Druid and Lyric Theatres and of Taibhdhearc na Gaillimhe; the literary papers of John McGahern and Tom Kilroy; and original documents relating to the foundation of the Gaelic Athletic Association and the Northern Ireland 'Troubles'. A new Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences Research Building, adjoining the Library, is currently under construction. This will include excellent facilities for access to, digitisation and storage of, archives and special collections. Scholars will enjoy state-of-the-art reading and seminar rooms, as well as collaborative spaces and exhibition areas, all supported by expert staff. According to Rod Stoneman, Director of the Huston School of Film & Digital Media, "Bringing this material into the public domain through its availability online and in the library at NUI Galway, is an exciting development for those interested in John Huston's work. It is at the intersection of American cinema and Irish culture." The establishment of the Archive has been made possible by the University Foundation and Tony Huston, who will present NUI Galway with the Huston Archive at a special ceremony at the Bailey Allen Hall, NUI Galway, this evening at 5.30pm. -Ends-

Monday, 22 November 2010

NUI Galway Research Scholar, Lisa Vincenz, has been awarded a Research Scholarship and Fellowship Programme by the Irish Cancer Society. Lisa is starting her PhD studies in biochemistry in the University's Apoptosis Research Centre and the School of Natural Sciences. Her studies will be focused on how some cancer cells can be protected from chemotherapy drugs. The aim of her PhD research is to find strategies to interfere with these protective mechanisms in order to sensitise the cancer cells to chemotherapy. Lisa was one of eight students to receive an Irish Cancer Society Scholarship, five at Scholarship level and three at Fellowship level at a recent awards ceremony held in Dublin where Ms Mary Harney, Minister of Health and Children presented some of Ireland's most gifted young cancer researchers with inaugural Irish Cancer Society's Research Scholarship Awards and Research Fellowship Awards. The research Lisa Vincenz is carrying out may lead to the development of novel, more effective cancer treatments. She is studying the ways in which cancer cells can escape cell death and become resistant to chemotherapy. Her project looks at the way a protein in the body called Hsp70 can protect cancer cells from cell death and at the development of drugs that can block this action of Hsp70. This research is based on a recent discovery made by researchers at NUI Galway and could lead to the development of more effective treatments for cancer and is particularly relevant for patients with a blood cancer called multiple myeloma but also apply to solid tumours. Professor Afshin Samali, Project Supervisor and Director of Apoptosis Research Centre said that "by understanding more about Hsp70 and the way it functions, scientists can learn how to block its function and interfere with cancer cells so they can no longer survive exposure to stressful conditions. This could have significant implications in the development of new cancer drugs, which would block the protein to encourage tumour cell death". Professor Samali states, "Lisa is a highly gifted individual and she has a major contribution to make in our efforts to understand what goes on in cancer cells and help with the development of approaches to eliminate cancer cells." Lisa Vincenz said "being awarded a prestigious Scholarship from the Irish Cancer Society will enable me to carry out cutting-edge cancer research and make a contribution to the betterment of society." The Irish Cancer Society, as part of its commitment to cancer research and to cultivating the next generation of cancer researchers, awarded €1.2 million to researchers through their research scholarship and fellowship programmes. The awards were presented by Minister for Health Mary Harney TD at a special ceremony in Dublin. In total, 56 applications were received this year for both schemes from hospitals and academic institutions all over Ireland. All applications went through a rigorous selection process where they were reviewed by international experts in cancer research. -Ends-

Monday, 22 November 2010

Michael D. Higgins TD will launch two books written by NUI Galway's Professor Emeritas of Classics Brian Arkins. The launch will take place in the Student Union Bar in the University on Friday 26 November at 5pm. The first book entitled Irish Appropriation of Greek Tragedy is a critical assessment of popular Greek tragedies as well as commentary on translations by contemporary Irish writers such as Seamus Heaney, Marina Carr, Aidan Carr, Tom Paulin and Brendan Kennelly. The book is published by Carysfort Press in Dubin. The second book to be launched is entitled The Thought of W.B. Yeats. This book explores the thoughts of the well known and celebrated Irish poets on important life subjects and themes. It deals with themes such as religion, sex and politics among others. This book is not a critical assessment but a collection of ideas and is published by Peter Lang. Brian Arkins, author of the two books became a lecturer in Classics at NUI Galway in 1974. He recently retired from the University and is the author of eight other books including three on the subject of Latin poetry. Brian Arkins says: "I am very pleased to launch these two books on Irish Studies in NUI Galway, and it is a great honour to have such a distinguished person as Michael D. Higgins TD, both as a public figure and as adjunct Professor of the University to launch the books." -Ends-

Monday, 22 November 2010

The NUI Galway School of Arts and Humanities, in co-operation with the Mellon Foundation and the Moore Institute, will host two public lectures on Globalisation, Empire and Culture on Monday, 29 November and Tuesday 30 November. The lectures are to be hosted in conjunction with the Text Contexts and Culture Research Programme in the University. The first Lecture entitled: "Marie Guyart of the Incarnation :A Mystic Educating the Women of the New World" will be delivered by Professor Dominique Deslandres (University of Montreal, Canada), and will take place in the Moore Institute Seminar Room, NUI Galway, at 4.30 pm on Monday 29 November. Dominique Deslandres is Professeur Titulaire of History at the University of Montreal. She has published two monographs on French Catholic mission and settlement in seventeenth- and eighteenth-century Canada, and has a particular interest in the socio-religious history of the Jesuits and the Oratorians. She is now working on the cultures of memory in settler societies, and has a particular interest in issues relating to conversion, race and blood in eighteenth-century Canada and France. The second lecture to take place on Tuesday 30 November is entitled 'Renovation and Renewal in the Holy Land: The Franciscan Mission, 1550-1700 . This lecture will be presented by Professor Megan Armstrong (McMaster University, Ontario),and will take place in the Parlour Room, Franciscan Abbey, 8 Francis Street, Galway at 7.30pm Megan Armstrong is Associate Professor of History at McMaster University, and the author of The Politics of Piety: Franciscan Preachers during the Wars of Religion, 1560-1600. Her current research interests lie in transregional history, and she is preparing a study of French Franciscan missions in France, the Holy Land and New Spain during the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries. Dr Alison Forrestal of History in NUI Galway says: "We are delighted in the University to welcome these distinguished scholars to share their research with the local community. Their lectures offer remarkable insights into the private and public worlds of early European missionaries and settlers, as they grappled with the spiritual and political challenges of empire building in the Americas and near East." Texts, Contexts, and Cultures is an interdisciplinary PhD Research Programme in the Arts and Humanities at NUI Galway. It is delivered in cooperation between research hubs at three of Ireland s leading Universities: The Moore Institute for Research in the Humanities and Social Sciences, NUI Galway; The Long Room Hub, Trinity College Dublin; The Graduate School, the College of Arts, Celtic Studies and Social Sciences, University College Cork. The four-year programme is designed to integrate knowledge and use of new technologies and related professional placements into the traditional PhD. It encourages candidates to develop their research interests, ideas and skills in challenging and supportive interdisciplinary contexts. Participants benefit from thorough preparation in research skills, transferable to a wide variety of settings. They also have access to placements and mentoring systems in a broad range of some of the most exciting contemporary organisations in media, the cultural and creative industries, public administration and academe. -Ends-

Wednesday, 17 November 2010

As part of the Galway Science and Technology Festival 2010, Transition Year students from Colaiste na Coiribe visited five research centres at NUI Galway for contemporary science talks and laboratory tours as Gaelige in order to entice them into a scientific field at NUI Galway in the future. Presentations and tours were given by Cathal O'Flatharta and Mary Ni Fhlahartaigh of the Regenerative Medicine Institute (REMEDI) and the National Centre for Biomedical Engineering Science (NCBES), Niamh Bhreathnach and Peter Connolly of the Ryan Institute, James Cooley and Gearoid Hynes of the Digital Enterprise Research Institute (DERI) and Daniel DeBurca of Applied Optics in the University. The day was organised by Galway Region Outreach Network personnel at the five institutes to attract students to science subjects and to promote the study of science at NUI Galway. Students from Colaiste Iognaid attended a similar event on the previous day. Danielle Nicholson, Outreach Officer at the Regenerative Medicine Institute (REMEDI) said, "Outreach personnel get involved in GRO plan Transition Year talks and tours to engage students in dialogue and discussion on contemporary science issues and also to allow young people to see firsthand the types of innovative, creative projects that ensue at NUI Galway." While on campus the students also attended Chairman of the Irish Technology Leadership Group, Dr. Craig Barrett's inspirational talk entitled Education for Innovation. Colaiste na Coiribe science teacher Kathy Ni Fhatharta remarked, "The day gives students an opportunity to see science at work and its application in the real world. The students return to the class with a real interest in science." Davina Clancy Transition Year student at Colaiste na Coiribe says "After hearing the talks, I think it is right that we should allow embryonic stem cell research. It may lead to improvements in the health of people in the future." -Ends-

Wednesday, 17 November 2010

A new book entitled Transition Economics: Two Decades On has been co-authored by NUI Galway lecturer, Dr Gerard Turley. Dr Turley, along with his co-author Dr. Peter Luke designed the book to be the core textbook for undergraduate courses in transition economics and comparative economic systems. Given the passage of time, Transition Economics: Two Decades On reviews and accounts for the outcomes in the so-called transition economies and, from an academic perspective, takes the reader through developments and issues in the twenty years of transition from plan to market. The textbook covers a wide range of both contemporary microeconomic and macroeconomic issues, in over thirty ex-socialist European and Asian countries, including Russia and China. The authors of Transition Economics: Two Decades On believe that the study of the economics of transition gives the reader an insight into theories, policies, reforms, legacies, institutions, processes and lessons that have application and relevance, beyond the specific transition from plan to market, to other parts of the world and to other times in history. Dr Gerard Turley, Lecturer with the J.E. Cairnes School of Business and Economics, NUI Galway, said: "It is over 20 years since the collapse of the Berlin Wall and the demise of the socialist system. The motivation for writing this book was to commemorate the anniversary of transition from socialism to capitalism and from plan to market by providing an account of developments in the sub-branch of economics called transition economics and of outcomes in Easter Europe, Russia, China and other transition countries." Peter J. Luke was a senior lecturer in economics at London South Bank University before joining the UK Civil Service. He is currently teaching economics in Beijing, China. Transition Economics: Two Decades On is available to buy from Routledge at http://www.routledge.com -Ends-

Tuesday, 16 November 2010

The 16 Days Campaign of Activism against Violence against Women is an international campaign with participants in over 164 countries and involving more than 3400 organisations. The campaign links 25 November International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women, to 10 December, International Human Rights Day in order to symbolically connect violence against women and human rights and to emphasise that such violence is a human rights violation. The Global Women's Studies Programme in the School of Political Science and Sociology at NUI Galway are hosting a series of events in recognition of the 16 Days Campaign. The schedule of events commences with a cultural evening celebrating women in the arts organised by the Global Women's Studies Postgraduate Students. An Evening Celebrating Women in Action will take place in the Crane Bar on Friday, 26 November from 6pm to 9pm. This event is part of the Women in Action – Active Genders postgraduate feminist and gender studies conference taking place in NUI Galway on Saturday 27 November. This event will showcase the work of professional and up-and-coming female artists and performers. Tickets for this event cost €10 with all proceeds donated to Galway Rape Crisis Centre. On 1 December, a roundtable event will be held in conjunction with the Rape Crisis Network Ireland, from 2pm to 4pm followed by a reception. More than a hangover: youth, alcohol and rape in Ireland, will examine the nexus of drinking, sexual violence and young people in Ireland. Speakers include Dr. Padraig MacNeela of the School of Psychology at NUI Galway and expert in female student alcohol use; Caroline Counihan, Legal Policy Director of the Rape Crisis Network Ireland and Dr. Stacey Scriver, of the Global Women's Studies Programme and co-author of Rape and Justice in Ireland (Liffey Press, 2009). This free event will be held in CA107 of the Cairns Building at NUI Galway. Throughout the 16 Days, undergraduate and postgraduate students of the Global Women's Studies and the BA CONNECT in Global Women's Studies programmes will be running White Ribbon Stands with all proceeds going to COPE to support women survivors of domestic abuse. The final event of the campaign, designed to mark International Human Rights Day, is an evening roundtable featuring the distinguished speakers: Gemma Hussey, Chair of the Ireland Romania Cultural Foundation, founding member of the Women's Political Association, and former member of the Seanad and Dail; Professor David Farrell, Professor of Politics at UCD, EU Advisor and expert in the study of parties, elections and members of Parliament and Dr. Mary Murphy, Lecturer in Politics and Society at NUI Maynooth, Director of Fingal ICTU Centre for the Unemployed, advisor to TASC and Combat Poverty Agency and member of Is Feidir Linn and Claiming our Future. 'Renewing our democracy, reviving our economy: time for more women at the helm? will consider the links between achieving gender equality in decision making and access to resources, at all levels and across all sectors of society, both as a matter of fairness/representation in a democratic society and as a key element of any strategy aimed at managing our way out of the current crises to a fair and sustainable future. Michael D. Higgins, President of the Labour Party, Professor at Large and Adjunct Professor in the Centre for Human Rights at NUI Galway, will chair the event which will begin at 7pm in MY 243, Aras Moyola Building, NUI Galway and will be followed by light refreshments. The 16 Days Campaign events hosted by the Global Women's Studies Programme are open to the public and all are welcome to attend! For further information please contact: Stacey Scriver Furlong at stacy.furlong@nuigalway.ie and administrator Gillian Browne Gillian.browne@nuigalway.ie or 091 493450. -Ends-

Tuesday, 16 November 2010

On Saturday, 20 November, Liam Mac an Iomaire will launch a new website of Joe Heaney's songs at NUI Galway's centre, Áras Shorcha Ní Ghuairim in Carna at 8pm. Joe Heaney's sudden death in May 1984 came as a shock to his supporters and followers in Seattle and to his pupils at the University of Washington, Seattle where he had worked as resident artist-teacher of sean-nós singing. Although he had only lived there for two years, his impact had been tremendous. As a way of dealing with their loss and as a way of commemorating the great singer's achievement, a call was issued to those who had worked with Joe during his years in America to contribute copies of their recordings of him to archive in his memory. The material came pouring in and over the years was catalogued and organized by Laurel Sercombe, the ethnomusicology archivist at the University of Washington and Sean Williams, among others. Both of them had been students of Joe and remained staunch in their support after his death. A request from Micheál Ó Cuaig, who was organising the annual Joe Heaney Festival at Carna, that a copy of the archive be sent to the Carna community was granted in 1992 and Micheál received a complete copy of it through the assistance of Údarás na Gaeltachta. In 2003 the Joe Heaney Festival Organising Committee, headed by Mícheál Ó Cuaig, bestowed this copy of the archive on Áras Shorcha Ní Ghuairim, Carna so that the community would have access to it. In 2009, an application by Dr Lillis Ó Laoire, of the Irish Department at NUI Galway, to the Irish Research Council for the Humanities and Social Sciences was successful. The research plan proposed to finish a book on Joe's life and work already partly written and the creation of a digital online archive that could be accessed free by anyone interested. Dr Virginia Stevens Blankenhorn, herself an authority on traditional singing and culture, was hired as a one year post-doctoral researcher to compile and edit an inventory of items to be uploaded to the digital online archive. Also on the research team were Séamas Ó Concheanainn, Director of Áras Shorcha Ní Ghuairim, Dr Seathrún Ó Tuairisg, Administrator of the Information Technology Unit, NUI Galway and Micheál Mac Lochlainn, metadata architect and designer, ably assisted by Marian Ní Chonghaile, all of whom cooperated to prepare and organise the online archive. Up to 400 items, some with visual content, may be accessed in the archive. The majority are from the archives of the University of Washington, Seattle. Due to the generosity of the Delargy Centre for Irish Folklore, and the National Folklore Collection, UCD, however, some of Heaney's earliest recordings, dating from the 1940s are also included. Additionally, a rare performance of Joe's interpretation of the caoineadh, recorded by the late Liam Clancy, and presented by Máire Nic Fhinn is also a part of the material. A search engine will enable any user to conduct detailed searches songs, story and other spoken word items. Full texts of all songs are provided, enhanced by spectacular photographs of the Carna area taken by Dr. Blankenhorn. 2009 was the 25th anniversary of Joe Heaney's untimely death and this website provides a fitting monument for his life's achievement. It will now be available world wide to anyone who wants to access it, whether simply from interest or for scholarly purposes. It will also serve as an important teaching resource for classes in Irish culture both in Ireland and the U.S. The website is available at www.joeheaney.org. -Ends-

Tuesday, 16 November 2010

Former Intel Boss Tells NUI Galway Audience 3% Investment of Ireland's GDP into Research No Longer Reasonable Target The former chief executive of Intel has called for increased investment from the government into research and development projects. Speaking at the 'Education for Innovation' seminar in NUI Galway, Dr Craig Barrett said a sustained plan of funding needed to be implemented if Ireland wishes to keep up with the world's larger and more business savvy nations. "We cannot jerk around with the R&D policies of our Government and expect to get good results," said Dr Barrett. "It needs to be a sustained commitment. Why can't we have a Silicon Valley in our own country? What is it about society that makes that work? Universities are the key and they are wonderful spots to create wonderful ideas. Smart people and smart ideas combined in the right environment can create wealth. "There has got to be a synergy between the public and private sectors. We have got to see our private sectors involved with the universities. They have the great ideas. We need to see them acting as mentors and partners in research. It is vital," he said. The former Intel boss is in Ireland this week in his role as Chairman of the Irish Technology Leadership Group, and was keynote speaker at an event at NUI Galway. His address was followed by a discussion panel with John Ryan, Macrovision; Professor Patrick Cunningham, Ireland's Chief Scientific Advisor; Tom McDermott, Georgia Tech Research Institute; Dr Martina Newell-McGloughlin, ITLG and University of California; and Professor Terry Smith, Vice President of Research at NUI Galway. Prior to his keynote address, Dr Barrett met with representatives of NUI Galway's leading research institutes The Digital Enterprise Research Institute (DERI) and the National Centre for Biomedical Engineering Science (NCBES) two major research groups: REMEDI and MDRG as well as University of Limerick's Research Centres, LERO and the Materials and Surface Science Institute (MSSI) plus Georgia Tech Ireland. The Digital Enterprise Research Institute (DERI) is the world leader in Semantic Web (Web 3.0) research. At today's event DERI showcased a portfolio of over 25 of the latest cutting edge technologies emerging from the institute. REMEDI is a leading biomedical research centre focusing on gene therapy and stem cell research. REMEDI were joined by industry partner Ovagen who are working with the institute to develop technologies for the production of novel biotherapeutics. The Molecular Diagnostics Research Group (MDRG) at NUI Galway has 20 years experience and an international track record of achievement in the development and application of molecular diagnostics tests for microbial species identification. The MDRG were joined by research partners at Beckman Coulter Ireland with whom they are developing molecular diagnostics for clinically relevant bacterial and fungal pathogens. Each year the ITLG leads a delegation of Silicon Valley technologists and venture capitalists to Ireland to support high potential emerging technology companies from the island of Ireland. This year's events are held in partnership with NUI Galway, University of Limerick and Shannon Development. As part of his key note address, Dr Barrett also claimed that a three percent investment of Ireland's GDP into research and development "is no longer a reasonable target and that we "have now to compete with the rest of the world to get paid". "Look at Microsoft," he said. "They have a research budget of approximately $8 billion per year. That is huge, and is more than all of Ireland spends in R&D. Israel now invests five percent of its GDP into research and development. And Israel has 140 new companies listed on the NASDAQ. Europe only has between 30 and 40. That is the future for Ireland and if we fail to pursue it with vigour, passion and resources, there will be no future for us because our lunch will be eaten by somebody else. We must outsmart them and outthink them," said Dr Barrett. -Ends-

Monday, 15 November 2010

Researchers at the Regenerative Medicine Institute (REMEDI) at NUI Galway are involved in a new multi million euro European Union funded project which aims to develop new methods for the treatment of osteoarthritis. The project entitled: 'Gene Activated Matrices for Bone and Cartilage Regeneration in Arthritis' (GAMBA) is coordinated by the University Hospital rechts der Isar, Munich Technical University, Germany with a total budget of €3.2 million. REMEDI with 12 per cent of the funding, joins a team of international specialists from nine research groups from Germany, France, Italy, the Netherlands and Switzerland to investigate new methods for inducing regenerative processes within the body. The project aims to develop novel methods for the treatment of osteoarthritis by stimulating the self healing capacity of damaged cartilage and bone. Stem cells with the capacity to make bone or cartilage will be placed on different materials within the knee. Whether the cells become bone or cartilage can be controlled externally with drugs or heat application for example. This will be achieved through the use of gene therapy and will provide control both in space and time of what happens in the damaged knee joint offering improved treatment options for the future. Another aspect of this research will focus on developing strategies to engineer cells found in the joint to produce an anti-inflammatory agent in direct response to any inflammation that might occur as osteoarthritis develops or progresses. An essential part of the project will be to initiate a public debate on ethical, legal and societal issues connected to the research. Novel ways of outreach methods called patient and citizen panels will be used. Galway will host one of these efforts to enhance awareness of nanomedicine in the general public and appreciation of public expectations and reservations in the research community. Arthritis is a serious national health problem in Ireland affecting nearly three quarters of a million men and women with more than one in six people affected. A significant majority of people suffering from arthritis have osteoarthritis. This is the 'wear and tear' form of arthritis and results in joint and cartilage damage and increased risk of orthopaedic dependencies. The majority of Irish people over 55 years of age have x-ray evidence of osteoarthritis at some joint in their body. The cause of osteoarthritis is still unknown and current treatments mainly address the symptoms by reduction of pain and inflammation. These therapies are not restorative and often end in total joint replacement. "GAMBA brings nanomedicine to Osteoarthritis research and, uniquely, will involve both patients and the general public in an effort to promote understanding and acceptance of its potential. We are delighted at REMEDI to be part of such an innovative and important project," says Dr Mary Murphy, the GAMBA leader at REMEDI. -Ends-

Monday, 15 November 2010

NUI Galway Academic Dr Dagmar Stengel recently received a 2010 National Academy for Integration of Research Teaching and Learning (NAIRTL) Annual Award for Excellence in Teaching. This is the third year in a row that an NUI Galway academic took an award, something that no other Higher Education institution has achieved. Five awards were presented nationally this year by Hon. Mrs Justice Catherine McGuinness who noted the outstanding contribution of the award recipients to both teaching and research in Higher Education. Dr Dagmar Stengel, Lecturer in Botany and Plant Science in the School of Natural Sciences NUI Galway and a researcher in the Ryan Institute for Environment, Marine and Energy at the University received specific praise for her approachable and empathetic manner with students, which encourages them to strive for her high standards of excellence. Her inclusion of new research in lectures and her ability to relate marine botany and plant science to the local area was also noted particularly as this enables the students to investigate the topics for themselves and greatly enhances their own learning and their interest in the subject. Dr Stengel says "I am absolutely delighted to receive the award and am overwhelmed by the support from staff and students at NUI Galway that I have received. It is great that teaching is recognised within Higher Education besides research. It is essential to integrate research into undergraduate teaching at an early stage. It takes personal and institutional investment, but is essential if a research community is to be built up, i.e. to train future researchers but also develop students' problem solving skills." The winners of the Awards were nominated by their institutions and selected by a committee which included international representatives as well as representatives of the Irish University Association, the Institutes of Technology Ireland and the Union of Students in Ireland. The award winners come from diverse disciplinary backgrounds but display a shared commitment to and passion for teaching while also being innovative researchers. These Awards testify to the fact that excellence in teaching and in creative and scholarly work go hand in hand. Dr Gerry Morgan, former Dean of Science and former Acting Head of Botany at NUI Galway says: "Dr Dagmar Stengel represents all that is best in a student-centred, research-intensive University. She has a natural ability to integrate her excellence in research with her teaching. She enthuses students to achieve while interacting empathetically with them. It is always a pleasure to discuss science and science teaching with Dagmar." In the three years since the introduction of the National Academy Annual Awards for Excellence in Teaching, awarded to staff from any of Ireland's 37 recognised institutions of Higher Education, NUI Galway has won a disproportionate number of honours. Previous winners of the award are Dr Aisling McCluskey (Mathematics), Dr Ray Murphy (Human Rights) and Dr Peter Cantillon (General Practice). -Ends-

Monday, 15 November 2010

The School of Mathematics, Statistics and Applied Mathematics at NUI Galway hosted a number of very successful events as part of the 5th Maths Week Ireland. Several workshops were held during Maths Week with the key aim of promoting awareness, appreciation and understanding of maths amongst the general public as well as school audiences. During Maths Week, Dr Fernando Blasco, author of several books, television personality and one of Spain s best known mathematicians gave a workshop on Maths and Magic . This workshop entertained, explored and explained the mathematics behind many well known and not so well known magic tricks. Blasco again performed his "magic" to a primary and a secondary school audience on the following day. It was a huge success with well over 400 students attending from several primary and secondary schools. Dr David O Keeffe, chief organiser of Maths Week in Galway says: "The key idea of maths week is to promote awareness and to illustrate the usefulness of maths. It is especially important to highlight the crucial role maths plays within society at large." Workshops that explored how blind people read and do maths took place. The primary schools that took part in Maths week were Bushy Park National School, Scoil an Croi Ro Naofa, Belclare National School, Tuam, and Scoil Íde, Salthill while the secondary schools were represented by Colaiste Mhuire Tourmakeady, Co Mayo, Oranmore Secondary school, St Joseph s College (The Bish), Colaiste Iognaid (The Jes), and the Mercy Convent Tuam, and Dominican College Taylor's Hill. Dr O Keeffe continues: "Maths week could not have reached the audiences it did reach if it was not for the support, interest and endeavour shown by the participating schools. I would like to take this opportunity to acknowledge and praise each of them for their invaluable support and interest. I would also like to thank the public and students for generating such a fun and memorable atmosphere during the week." ENDS

Friday, 12 November 2010

NUI Galway graduate, Carol Leonard from Cloghan, Co. Offaly, was announced the co-winner of RTÉ's reality show Do the Right Thing. Carol, who graduated from NUI Galway with a Bachelor of Arts in 2006, was awarded a unique fully paid one-year package volunteering in Ghana, India and Thailand. From over a thousand applicants, fifty were shortlisted for an assessment weekend in Barretstown Camp in County Kildare, where, following a series of tests and monitoring, sixteen (eight men, eight women) were chosen as the final contestants. The finalists had to prove they have what it takes to make the grade in the tough, challenging world of international volunteering. Over the course of the show the contestants were trained and tested in all areas of volunteering including: initiative, leadership, emotional strength and supportiveness. Following each episode the contestants had the opportunity to choose a man and woman to leave the group until Carol, along with fellow contestant, Johnny Finegan Jr., were left as 'Ireland's Ultimate Volunteers'. Last year over 3,000 Irish people went overseas as short-term volunteers where they built houses and schools, taught children, planted rain forests and administered healthcare. It can be quite difficult to be selected as a volunteer. Large aid organisations like Goal, Concern and VSO seek highly skilled graduates, the building charities like Haven, Niall Mellon and Habitat for Humanity requires you to raise money to pay your way, and even the independent volunteering agencies like USIT have a very tough application procedure to prevent the wrong people being sent into difficult and delicate environments. As a student at NUI Galway, Carol volunteered through the university's volunteer programme, ALIVE, with Youth Work Ireland's Le Chéile and Rahoon Youth Project. NUI Galway's strategic plan through ALIVE seeks to engender students with a sense of active citizenship. Congratulating Carol on her success, Lorraine Tansey, Student Volunteer Coordinator at NUI Galway, said "Carol is an inspiration to current student volunteers to strive for the opportunities volunteering has to offer. We are so proud of Carol and her achievement as she demonstrates a true civic graduate who is engaged with their community creating positive social change." -Ends-