NUI Galway Neuroscience Researchers host Brain Awareness Week Event

NUI Galway Neuroscience Researchers host Brain Awareness Week Event-image

Monday, 7 March 2011

Neuroscience researchers at NUI Galway will host a public event during Brain Awareness Week on Thursday, 10 March from 10am to 4pm. The event will give participants the opportunity to learn about the workings of the human brain and about specific neuroscience research that is underway in NUI Galway. Throughout the day, participants will be able to test their hand-eye coordination and challenge their brain with mirror writing which highlights the processes of cognitive functioning. There will be a variety of exhibits, questionnaires and images on display in the museum, depicting the benefits of research for aspects of neuroscience such as brain injury, brain disease and the effects of aging on the brain. Brain Awareness Week was founded and is coordinated by the Dana Alliance for Brain Initiatives in the US and European Dana Alliance for the Brain. Since 1996, more than 2,600 groups have staged events aimed at making the public more aware of the benefits and promises of brain research. Dr Una FitzGerald, Event Coordinator and member of the Neuroscience Research Cluster of the National Centre for Biomedical Science and Engineering at NUI Galway says: "People of all ages are naturally interested in how the brain functions and what can go wrong during brain injury, disease, or through aging. This event will have a broad appeal and it will be interesting fun and interactive. With a wide variety of exhibits, there will be an opportunity for everyone to learn something new about themselves and about the brain in general, and we are very proud to play our part in an important international campaign." The Galway Neuroscience Group is made up of researchers from the NCBES, Pharmacology, Anatomy, Psychology, Psychiatry, Neurology, and Physiology. Diseases and disorders being investigated include multiple sclerosis, Parkinson's disease, pain, depression, spinal cord injury and bi-polar disorder. Researchers have contributed materials for this event and are delighted to have the chance to share their enthusiasm for brain research and all topics related to the brain, with the public. -Ends-

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Irish Student Drama Festival Comes to Galway

Irish Student Drama Festival Comes to Galway-image

Monday, 7 March 2011

The next generation of theatrical talent has arrived in Galway for the Irish Student Drama Association Festival, which runs until 12 March. This is the largest event ever in the festival's 63 year history, with NUI Galway Dramsoc hosting 45 events over nine days. The festival productions are a combination of the work of emerging student writers as well as works by the likes of Brian Friel, William Shakespeare, Tom Murphy, Conor McPherson, Martin McDonagh and Harold Pinter. The Irish Student Drama Association (ISDA) is the umbrella organisation of Ireland's third-level drama societies. Featuring 25 plays from 13 colleges around the country, the event has daily performances in the Druid Theatre, Nun's Island Theatre, and the Bank of Ireland Theatre on campus. Since 1947, the ISDA festival has hosted the finest works of student drama and launched the careers of leading figures such as Garry Hynes, Conor McPherson, Neil Jordan and Jim Sheridan. Outstanding performers have included Pauline McLynn, Marie Mullen, Fiona Shaw and Brendan Gleeson. Festival organiser Neasa O'Callaghan, who is studying BA Connect with Creative Writing at NUI Galway, says the event has a fantastic pedigree: "For those who were involved in drama societies or groups at college, mention of ISDA will revive fond memories. Stimulating, diverse, great training grounds and terrific fun, college and university drama societies have long been the seedbed for people who go on to make their careers in performance arts". As a result of the recently announced partnership between NUI Galway and Druid Theatre Company, the Druid Lane Theatre will serve as a main venue for the festival, with plays being performed at 8pm each evening. Neasa O'Callaghan adds: "Druid Lane has never been an ISDA Festival venue before, and its inclusion in the Festival reflects the company's commitment to promoting drama in the University. Moreover, Thomas Conway, Literary Officer for Druid also served as an Internal Adjudicator for the Drama Society this year - as a means of selecting the three plays which will represent NUI Galway at the Festival this year. He has been very supportive of the society as a whole and is always willing to give advice and feedback to students, which is invaluable." As well as the 25 main shows, there is also an ISDA Fringe Festival, running concurrently with the main festival, featuring daily comedic and musical performances. Moreover, newly written plays from NUI Galway, UCD, UCC, Trinity College Dublin and NUI Maynooth will be performed daily at 1pm in Kelly's Bar, as part of the Fringe Festival. Workshops in Juggling, Stage-combat, stand-up comedy, and acting will be held at 6pm in various venues in the city. The ISDA Festival is supported by the Ardilaun Hotel, Galway Advertiser, Galway City Council, NUI Galway, Kelly's Bar, NUI Galway College Bar, Tigh Neachtain's and Barnacles. The 2011 ISDA Festival, began on the 4 March and runs until 12 March. For full information, please visit www.isdafestival.ie-Ends-

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Gala 2011 Celebrates Alumni

Gala 2011 Celebrates Alumni -image

Monday, 7 March 2011

A celebration of the achievements of NUI Galway's alumni took place in the Bailey Allen Hall on campus Saturday night. Over 450 people gathered for the 11th Annual Gala Banquet, a glamorous occasion hosted by RTE's Siún Nic Gearailt. 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: • Gabriel D'Arcy, CEO Bord na Móna, who received the Bank of Ireland Award for Business, Public Policy and Law • Michael Conroy, General Manager, Cisco Product Group, Ireland who received the Bank of Ireland Award for Engineering and Informatics • Dr Gerald Farrell, Managing Director of Eli Lilly (ROI) and former President of Irish Pharmaceutical Healthcare Association (IPHA) who received the Seavite Alumni Award for Science • John Walshe, Education Editor, Irish Independent who received the AIB Award for Arts, Social Sciences and Celtic Studies • Dr Brian Griffin, Cleveland Clinic, USA, Director, Cardiovascular Disease Training Programme and The John and Rosemary Brown Endowed Chair in Cardiovascular Medicine; US Associate Editor, Heart who received the Medtronic Award for Medicine, Nursing and Health Sciences and • Colm Murray, RTÉ Sports Presenter who received the Aer Arann Alumni Award for Sports Achievement and Leadership Addressing the assembled guests, NUI Galway President, Dr James J. 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". A special message from former NUI Galway student, Enda Kenny T.D., was also read out to the guests, citing how "education is at the very heart of Irish society" and how the evening "highlights the importance and indeed the calibre of Irish graduates". Reflecting the cultural focus of the Bailey Allen Hall venue, entertainment was provided by internationally recognised mezzo soprano, Imelda Drumm, and by Youth Ballet West, a registered charity offering young dancers in the West of Ireland the opportunity to perform in professionally choreographed ballets. 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-

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Digital Media Exhibition to Showcase Talent

Digital Media Exhibition to Showcase Talent-image

Monday, 7 March 2011

A digital media exhibition will be held on Thursday, 10 March, to showcase projects from NUI Galway's MA in Digital Media programme. The MA in Digital Media was shortlisted for the 'gradireland postgraduate course of the year' in 2010. It attracts bright, creative and students with a strong sense of identity and individuality from a variety of undergraduate disciplines. In recent years, a number of projects have gone on to win national Digital Media awards. The categories and projects to be exhibited are in e-learning, interactive media and animation. In the e-learning section, student Claire McNelis, has created a website called SpellingRules.ie that teaches spelling in a dyslexia-friendly way. Aengus Bates has created heritagetreehunt.ie, an interactive map of heritage trees in Ireland, which is part of a larger Tree Council of Ireland survey. These and many more diverse and innovative projects will be showcased. In the animation category, four short animated films explore themes including conflict in Israel, a sci-fi dystopian future, computer gaming and nature. The MA programme is run by the Huston School of Film and Digital Media in conjunction with the discipline of Information Technology, and the Digital Enterprise Research Institute (DERI). The exhibition is part of the NUI Galway Arts in Action 2010-2011 initiative, which aims to cultivate awareness of the creative arts across campus. According to Mary McPartlan, Director of the Arts in Action Programme at NUI Galway: "It is vitally important that students at NUI Galway are aware of the benefits of Arts in Action and attend free events like the Digital Media Exhibition on Thursday. It affords them the opportunity to explore the high professional quality of knowledge and skills generated within the university." The exhibition will open from 2pm at The View in Áras na MacLéinn, NUI Galway. At 6pm Paul Cummins, CEO of Telegael, will launch the event and show some award winning pieces produced by his company. From 7 to 8pm, the animation section of the Digital Media exhibition will be screened followed by a reception and an opportunity to network. Admission is free and all are welcome. For further information contact Valerie.Butler@nuigalway.ie -ends-

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Political Web Visibility Rankings Website Created by NUI Galway Student

Political Web Visibility Rankings Website Created by NUI Galway Student -image

Friday, 4 March 2011

An online visibility tracking website created by postgraduate student of NUI Galway, David Dolphin, has shown that the fifteen independent candidates elected to the 31st Dáil, topped web visibility rankings in their constituencies, highlighting the importance of having a web presence during the recent General Election. The website td2011.com monitored the number of news articles, blog posts and websites which mentioned each candidate's name in the week running up to the election. According to the results, twelve of the elected independents were the most visible independent candidate in their constituency, while three others had the second most visible web presence. All elected independents were one of the top five most visible candidates in their constituency. In order to determine candidates positions, David wrote an algorithm to rank all 566 candidates based their web presence. Web visibility then was monitored for the candidates from 1 February until the day before the election Thursday, 24 February. David Dolphin, creator of td2011.com says: "The results extracted from the website show that the internet is a useful tool independents can use to inform the electorate of the issues they stand for. It highlights the growing role of internet presence as a factor in Irish elections. The Web is particularly important for independent candidates as it gives them a voice when they don't have the brand recognition that comes with party membership." Full rankings for all independent candidates can be found online at: http://www.td2011.com/indy. -ends-

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'Humanities in the West' Visits Mayo, Roscommon and Sligo

'Humanities in the West' Visits Mayo, Roscommon and Sligo-image

Friday, 4 March 2011

The folklore and philosophy of the West of Ireland was explored by NUI Galway's Dr Tom Duddy in Castlebar yesterday (3 March). In a free, public talk, Dr Duddy spoke about 'From Folklore to Philosophy: the life and work of William Larminie of Castlebar'. William Larminie was born in Castlebar in 1849. A poet and collector of folklore, he also translated the work of the great Irish-born philosopher, John Scottus Eriugena. The talk, which took place in the Linenhall Arts Centre in Castlebar, gave an account of Larminie's own life and discussed his contribution to Irish cultural life. Dr Duddy's lecture was part of the 'Humanities in the West' series of talks, sponsored by the School of Humanities at NUI Galway. Throughout this series, University lecturers visit different regional centres (Castlebar, Roscommon and Sligo) to lecture on a range of topics from philosophy to Gaelic games to ideas of space and mobility in contemporary Ireland. 'Humanities in the West' is an initiative of the Civic Engagement Committee in the School of Humanities and is one of a number of annual initiatives designed to publicise the teaching and research that takes place in Humanities at NUI Galway. Further talks are planned in Roscommon on 29 March, where Dr Seán Crosson of NUI Galway's Huston School of Film & Digital Media, will discuss 'Representing the Nation through Sport: The National Film Institute's Gaelic Games Films, 1948 – 1968'. His presentation will consider a series of films made in Ireland during the period that were centrally concerned with representing and promoting the nation through sport. The talk, which will include rare highlights footage of Roscommon competing in the all-Ireland football finals of 1943, 1946 and 1962, takes place in the Roscommon Arts Centre at 8pm. In Sligo on 5 April, Dr Nessa Cronin of the Centre for Irish Studies, will talk about 'Haunted Landscapes: Place, Space and Mobility in 21st Century Ireland'. This illustrated talk will look at the changing face of the Irish landscape from 1993 to the present day. In particular, it will focus on issues relating to the legacy of urban sprawl and rural 'development' in contemporary Ireland and how such changes have been represented in the Irish literary sphere. Of interest to a wide audience, from local community development groups to individuals interested in Irish heritage and contemporary literature, the talk takes place in The Model, Sligo, at 8pm. Further information is available from Karen Walsh 091 495689. For more information on the work of the School of Humanities (including podcasted lectures), visit http://www.nuigalway.ie/humanities/. -Ends-

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Research Provides Communication Guidelines in Cross-Cultural GP Consultations

Research Provides Communication Guidelines in Cross-Cultural GP Consultations-image

Thursday, 3 March 2011

NUI Galway researchers have won a prestigious award for their work on the development of guidelines to support communication in cross-cultural general practice consultations. Dr. Anne MacFarlane, Lecturer in Primary Care, Discipline of General Practice, School of Medicine has led the Health Research Board Partnership Award with colleagues Mary O'Reilly-de Brún and Tomas de Brún, Directors of the Centre for Participatory Strategies (CPS), Galway and Alice O'Flynn and Diane Nurse of the HSE Social Inclusion Unit. This research has used innovative participatory research methods to enable the meaningful involvement of health service users from the migrant community and health service providers in the development of a guideline to support communication in cross-cultural general practice consultations. This research was recently awarded the Professor James McCormack medal for best research presentation at the Association of University Departments of General Practice Annual Scientific Meeting. This is important research for service users with limited English and their general practitioners who face significant challenges on a daily basis in their consultations because they do not have a shared language or cultural background which results in frequent misunderstandings and communication breakdowns. According to Dr. MacFarlane; "A key finding from the research is that all those involved with the research do not think the current status quo of using family members including children and friends as interpreters, is acceptable. They wish to have access to formal, trained interpreters who are monitored and evaluated in practice." Members of the migrant community from Polish, Russian, Portuguese, Urdu, French Congolese speaking and Nigerian communities in the Galway region, who participated in the research last April, were invited back to the University recently to hear details of the key findings and to provide feedback about the emerging content of the guideline to the research team. Seven representatives of the migrant community have formed a research team with academic researchers. The Service User Peer Researchers (SUPERS) are Khalid Ahmed, Jean Samuel Bonsenge Bokanga, Maria Manuela De Almeida Silva, Aga Mierzejewska, Lovina Nnadi, Florence Ogbebor and Katya Okonkwo. They trained in participatory research methods with the Centre for Participatory Strategies, Galway and this training enabled them to give members of their wider communities an opportunity to 'have a voice' in the development of the guideline, working in their own languages and with SUPERS from their own cultural backgrounds. As one SUPER (Florence Ogbebor) remarked, "This type of research actually brought the voices of the people upstream to the policy makers, where their voices could be heard". The use of participatory research approaches for research based on academic-community partnerships is very innovative in Irish primary care and the involvement of the Centre for Participatory Strategies has been instrumental in the design and delivery of the project. Directors of the Centre for Participatory Strategies (CPS), Mary O'Reilly-de Brún and Tomas de Brún said, "In this research project, we found it very exciting to experience the enthusiasm and creativity of the SUPERS. Together, we co-designed the research process, and culture-proofed all the research materials - this ensured that no migrant participants would be offended by the visual images we use with groups where not everyone readily reads and writes. This is one of the strengths of the participatory approach used, no one is disenfranchised and everyone's voice counts." -Ends-

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Photos of Actor Arthur Shields on Display at NUI Galway

Photos of Actor Arthur Shields on Display at NUI Galway-image

Tuesday, 1 March 2011

The general public are invited on a trip down theatrical memory lane at NUI Galway, as images from the archive of the Abbey Theatre actor Arthur Shields (1896-1970) are exhibited. The selection of photographs from the Shields Family Archive will be on display in the foyer of the James Hardiman Library until 18 March with many more images featuring in a powerpoint display. John Cox, Librarian at James Hardiman Library, says this is a fascinating display: "As well as photographs, visitors will also be able to view correspondence and publicity material from the Abbey Theatre's tours of North America, which were managed by Arthur Shields in the 1930s. As an interesting footnote, in Easter 1916, Arthur Shields fought with the Citizen Army in the GPO when he was just 19 years old, and several items relating to the uprising are on display." The exhibition is just part of the Shields Family Archive collection which is housed at the James Hardiman Library, and includes posters, programmes and playscripts. In addition, there is a large audio-visual collection of tapes and video, including around fifty hours of interviews with Abbey players recorded in the 1970s. Also in the Archive are the papers of Barry Fitzgerald, Arthur's brother. Both brothers had successful acting careers in Hollywood, each appearing in more than fifty films, beginning with John Ford's production of The Plough and Stars in 1936. The exhibition takes place in the foyer of the James Hardiman Library at NUI Galway until 18 March (closed on 17 March). The Library is open until 10pm Monday to Friday, and until 5.30pm at weekends. Admission to the exhibition is free. The University has also made over 150 images from the Shields Family Archive available online at http://archives.library.nuigalway.ie/shields. -Ends-

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NUI Galway Professor to Speak at United Nations Expert Group Meeting on Youth

NUI Galway Professor to Speak at United Nations Expert Group Meeting on Youth -image

Tuesday, 1 March 2011

NUI Galway's Professor Pat Dolan will participate in the United Nations Expert Group Meeting (EGM) on 'Dialogue and Mutual Understanding across Generations' in Doha, Qatar on Tuesday, 8 and Wednesday, 9 March. The purpose of the meeting is to provide the UN Member States and the UN Secretariat with expert opinion on dialogue and mutual understanding as it relates to generations. In doing so, it seeks to explore the family structure as a framework for enhancing intergenerational dialogue between younger and older persons and exploring its impact in a broader context including, community, education and the workplace. The event will endeavour to review the existing policies and good practices in the area of intergenerational dialogue. It will develop recommendations on how strategic investment in activities and initiatives aimed at promoting intergenerational dialogue can help further youth development and social integration policies. Professor Dolan, who is UNESCO Chair in Children, Youth and Civic Engagement and Director of the Centre for Child and Family Research at NUI Galway, was invited to participate in the meeting by the United Nations on the Family and the United Nations Programme on Youth, in the Division for Social Policy and Development of the Department of Economic and Social Affairs (UNDESA). Professor Dolan's address will focus on "lessons learnt from existing approaches to promote dialogue and understanding and enhance youth involvement". Professor Dolan adds, "Civic engagement ranging from community based charity work to social justice/cause led action, enables new friendships and coping capacity for youth in need in Ireland and globally. This UN Forum will explore how Ireland can help move this from a vision to a reality." The meeting is being convened in observance of the International Year of Youth 2010 to 2011 and as part of the preparations for the Twentieth Anniversary of the International Year of the Family, which will take place in 2014. The event is being held in cooperation with Doha International Institute for Family Studies and Development (DIIFSD). -Ends-

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Centenary of International Women's Day to be Celebrated at NUI Galway

Centenary of International Women's Day to be Celebrated at NUI Galway-image

Tuesday, 1 March 2011

The 100th anniversary of International Women's Day on Tuesday, 8 March, will be marked by a series of events at NUI Galway. International Women's Day was first celebrated in 1911, when more than one million women and men attended rallies around the world campaigning for women's rights. Now a well established worldwide event, International Women's Day has become an annual fixture at NUI Galway. The Global Women's Studies Programme at NUI Galway will be co-hosting a series of events throughout the week of 7 to 11 March. According to Dr Niamh Reilly, of the Global Women's Studies Programme at NUI Galway: "Over the last hundred years many gains have been made that have transformed the position of women in Ireland and around the world. However, there remain persistent and serious gender gaps that must be addressed before we can say that gender equality has been truly achieved. On average male workers and professionals continue to enjoy higher earnings and to occupy more senior positions in both the private and public sectors than women do. In Ireland especially, women are severely under-represented in formal politics and decision making positions, women continue to carry an unfair burden of responsibility for unpaid caring work in the home, and women are many times more likely than men to be subjected to domestic violence, rape and sexual exploitation." Events at NUI Galway will begin on Monday, 7 March, at 12.30pm in Áras Moyola with a seminar by Inez McCormack, women's and human rights activist, first female President of the Irish Congress of Trade Union and Chair of the Participation and Practice of Rights project, on 'Women, Power and Powerlessness'. On Tuesday, 8 March, at 8pm in the O Flaherty Theatre, the Galway Film Society will screen 'Women without Men'. The film brings together, on screen, the personal and the political in the story of four women and the way their lives are affected by the turbulence of the anti-Mossadeq coup in Iran. Directed by Shirin Neshat, it was the winner of Best Director Silver Lion Award at the Venice Film Festival 2009, and will be preceded by an introduction from NUI Galway's Niamh Reilly. A celebration of the life and work of Diana Leonard (1941-2010), Emeritus Professor of Sociology of Education and Gender at the University of London, and founder of the Centre for Research on Education and Gender, takes place on Wednesday, 9 March, at 12.30pm in the Arts Millennium Building. Finally, on Friday, 11 March, a public seminar of the Gender Arc Research Alliance, which is part of the NUI Galway-UL Strategic Alliance, will examine Historical Perspectives on International Women's Day. Speakers will include Caitríona Clear, Senior Lecturer in History, NUI Galway and Bernadette Whelan, Senior Lecturer in History, University of Limerick. This event takes place at 1pm in Áras Moyola. Dr Nata Duvvury, also with Global Women's Studies Programme, notes that: "Persistent underlying patterns of discrimination against women in most societies make women and girls disproportionately vulnerable to an array of harms from extreme poverty and wartime sexual violence to human trafficking and exposure to HIV/AIDS. Thankfully, there are many men and women the world over who are ardent defenders of women's human rights and gender equality. The centenary of International Women's Day offers a welcome opportunity to celebrate their successful efforts to challenge inequalities to date and to remind ourselves that no country yet can boast a perfect record on achievement of genuine gender equality for all groups of women and for sexual minorities." The events at NUI Galway are hosted by the Global Women's Studies Programme in conjunction with the Galway Film Society, the Gender Arc Research Alliance (NUI Galway-UL), and NUI Galway's Irish Centre for Human Rights, and Centre for Excellence in Learning and Teaching. All are welcome to these free events, for further information contact Gillian Browne at gillian.browne@nuigalway.ie -Ends-

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