NUI Galway research to help elderly people lead independent lives

NUI Galway research to help elderly people lead independent lives-image

Monday, 5 February 2007

5 February 2007: Technologies to help elderly people lead more independent lives are to be developed through research conducted by the Irish Centre for Social Gerentology (ICSG) at NUI Galway, which has been awarded a €1.5 million grant from the Intel Corporation, with the support of the IDA. The ICSG research will inform the design, application and usability of new technologies to enhance the quality of life and independence of older people as part of the newly launched Technology and Research for Independent Living (TRIL). TRIL is a virtual centre, established as part of Intel's European Health Research and Innovation Capactiy. The project involves cross-collaboration among NUI Galway, UCD and Trinity College. An ethnographic gerotechnology research team at the Centre will focus on the content and meaning of older people's lives, their need for new technologies and their experiences with that technology as part of a secure but independent home environment. The team will also examine older peoples' experiences of disability which will provide guidance and feedback to those designing and producing new technologies in relation to falls, cognitive function and social connectedness. Welcoming the funding, Prof. Eamon O'Shea, Director of the ICSG said: "The TRIL initiative is an important development in the ongoing study of age and ageing at NUI Galway. The ethnographic research at ICSG will ensure that older people are at the heart of clinical and technological decision-making with respect to new technologies." The ICSG team will unite the various engineering and design strands of TRIL through enhanced multidisciplinary information systems that link conceptualisation to application, with a personalised focus on the experiences of older people in their own homes. The funding will allow the ICSG to expand its interests in technology and ageing, which along with the economics of ageing and rural ageing, represent the primary research themes of the Centre. It also builds on the existing expertise of the staff of the ICSG, helping to establish the group as an international centre of excellence in the realm of social ageing. In addition, the funding demonstrates the growing interest of the private sector in the area and the increasingly multidisciplinary approach taken in ageing research endeavours. Further information on the work of the Irish Centre for Social Gerontology can be found at www.icsg.ie -ENDS

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Bronann Scoláireachtaí Iontrála aitheantas ar mhic léinn a bhain ardchaighdeán a

Bronann Scoláireachtaí Iontrála aitheantas ar mhic léinn a bhain ardchaighdeán a-image

Monday, 5 February 2007

5 Feabhra 2007: Bhí searmanas speisialta ar siúl in onóir do na 57 mac léinn a fuair Scoláireacht Iontrála san Ollscoil. Is aitheantas é seo ar an ardchaighdeán acadúil i measc rang 2006/07. Bhí an tUachtarán féin, an Dr Iognáid Ó Muircheartaigh, i láthair ag an searmanas in Áras na Mac Léinn, Dé Sathairn, an 3 Feabhra 2007. Bronnadh seic €1,525 ar na mic léinn chomh maith le scrolla a dearadh go speisialta chun an t-éacht a rinne siad sa scrúdú deiridh scoile a cheiliúradh. Is ó gach cearn den tír na buaiteoirí agus déanann siad ionadaíocht ar 18 gcontae, ó Aontroim go Corcaigh agus ó Dhún na nGall go Port Láirge. Is de bhunadh na Gaillimhe 23 scoláire. Bronnadh na scoláireachtaí ar scoláirí ó 43 scoil ar leithligh, rud a léiríonn go bhfuil tallann acadúil den scoth le fáil i réimse leathan scoileanna, idir scoileanna beaga agus móra, ar fud na tíre. Dúirt Uachtarán OÉ Gaillimh, an Dr Iognáid Ó Muircheartaigh: "Tá an-áthas orainn anseo in OÉ Gaillimh aitheantas a thabhairt do thallann acadúil na 57 mac léinn iontach seo ó cheann ceann na tíre. Tá ríméad orm fáilte a chur rompu ar an gcampas seo agus tá moladh ag dul dóibh as an Ollscoil seo a roghnú le staidéar a dhéanamh inti. Táimid ag súil go mór lena dtallann acadúil a chothú agus tacú leo ina gcuid staidéir". Gheobhaidh gach iontrálaí nua a bhainfidh 560 pointe amach (590 i Leigheas agus Eolaíochtaí Sláinte) na scoláireachtaí seo. D'éirigh le beirt mhac léinn déag as na Dámha seo – na Dána, Tráchtáil, Innealtóireacht, agus Leigheas & Eolaíochtaí Sláinte uasmhéid na bpointí a fháil (600 pointe) (chomh maith le seisear eile a fuair an uasmhéid sna scrúduithe A-level). Fuair triúr mac léinn déag 590 pointe. -CRÍOCH-

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NUI Galway students' academic excellence honoured with Entrance Scholarships

NUI Galway students' academic excellence honoured with Entrance Scholarships-image

Saturday, 3 February 2007

3rd February 2007: Academic excellence among the entering class of 2006/7 at NUI Galway has been recognised with a special ceremony to honour the 57 recipients of Entrance Scholarships at the University. The students, from throughout the country, were honoured by the President, Dr Iognáid Ó Muircheartaigh, at the ceremony at Áras na Mac Léinn, on Saturday 3rd February 2007. The students were each presented with a cheque for €1,525 and a specially designed scroll to mark their achievement in their school-leaving examination. The wide geographical spread of the winners is notable. The winners are drawn from 18 counties, from Antrim to Cork and Donegal to Waterford, including 23 scholars from County Galway. The scholarships have been awarded to students from 43 individual schools, highlighting the fact that top academic talent is to be found in a wide range of schools, large and small, throughout the country. The President of NUI Galway, Dr Iognáid Ó Muircheartaigh, said: "We in NUI Galway are delighted to recognise the academic talent of these 57 outstanding students from all over Ireland. I am delighted to welcome them to our campus and commend them for choosing to undertake their studies at this University. We look forward to nurturing their academic talent and supporting them throughout their years of study". The scholarships are guaranteed to all new entrants who reach 560 points (590 in Medicine and Health Sciences). Twelve students of programmes in Arts, Commerce, Engineering, and Medicine & Health Sciences achieved the maximum 600 points (in addition to six others with a maximum A-level result), while 13 students attained 590 points. -ENDS-

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March 2007

University Students bring Italian to Primary Schools with Fun and Games

University Students bring Italian to Primary Schools with Fun and Games-image

Monday, 26 March 2007

Monday, 26 March, 2007: Ninety-seven primary school children who have taken introductory Italian language classes taught by NUI Galway students will receive certificates at a special 'Italian Day' at the University on Thursday, 29 March, 2007. The eight-week Italian course was delivered in schools throughout Galway city and county by a group of 20 students as part of a pilot 'service-learning' programme under the umbrella of the University's Community Knowledge Initiative (CKI). A range of service-learning modules are available across faculties at the University and aim to enhance partnership with the wider community by allowing students practical learning opportunities of benefit to the community. The primary schools involved in the programme were Scoil Bhríde Shantalla, Belmont NS Tuam, Scoil Chroí Íosa Newcastle, St. Nicholas NS Claddagh and Galway Educate Together NS Newcastle. None of the children had any previous knowledge of Italian and for most it was their first experience learning a continental European language, so the aim was on language teaching through fun and games. 'Italian Day' will feature Italian food and culture across the campus and the event aims to further enhance the link between the University and the community while at the same time valuing the achievements of the children. Dr. Anne O'Connor of the Italian Department at NUI Galway, who coordinated the project, commented on the success of the new service-learning programme, "This is an innovative way of providing exposure to language in primary schools at no extra cost to the school involved with benefits for all parties. The University students benefit by getting involved in community and gaining practical teaching experience. Primary school children benefit from increased exposure to modern languages so that when they progress to second level, they will not be daunted by the prospect of learning a new language. The primary schools also benefit from the University's support in developing and maintaining a foreign language curriculum." The service-learning programme will become an accredited course option for those students pursuing Italian Studies as part of their degree for the academic year 2007-2008. In the future, it is hoped to introduce this project to other language departments in NUI Galway which would involve recruiting more schools and expanding the languages available. ENDS

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NUI Galway International Nursing Conference to Promote Excellence in Practice

NUI Galway International Nursing Conference to Promote Excellence in Practice-image

Monday, 26 March 2007

Nurses from across the globe are to share their experiences of clinical care and research at an international conference, organised by the Department of Nursing and Midwifery, Áras Moyola, NUI Galway on Monday, 2nd April 2007. The Building and Promoting Excellence in Practice conference will focus on three main themes; practice innovation, educational innovation and care of older people and will feature over 70 presentations from international speakers including Professor Anne Marie Rafferty, Dr Kim Manley and Mr Christy Kennelly, who will all deliver key note addresses. Professor Kathy Murphy, Head of the Department of Nursing and Midwifery Studies at NUI Galway says: "This is the first international nursing conference at NUI Galway and we're delighted to have so many internationally renowned speakers. This conference provides an exciting and excellent forum for practitioners and researchers to meet and debate best practice issues." Professor Rafferty, Dean of the Florence Nightingale School of Nursing and Midwifery, King's College London will open the conference. A qualified nurse with a background in social science, clinical research and history, Prof. Rafferty has had a longstanding fascination with nursing knowledge, its origins, status and leadership within the profession. She is the author of the internationally acclaimed book, The Politics of Nursing Knowledge, published in 1996. "I'm really pleased to be speaking at this international conference because it focuses on really important practice issues including care of older people. I am passionate about good care and the foundations on which it's built. This conference will challenge us all to think about responsibility for improving care," says Prof. Rafferty. Dr Kim Manley, Head of RCN Practice Development, has an international reputation for the development of effective workplace cultures in healthcare. Such cultures put the patient at the centre, are clinically effective, continually modernizing and operate on shared governance principles. Core components of her work include helping healthcare organizations and clinical teams to develop, implement and evaluate practice development strategies. In 2000, Dr Manley was awarded the CBE for quality patient services arising from her work on operationalising the consultant nurse role over a decade. The conference, which will provide a forum for debate around issues concerning the promotion of excellence in practice, will be closed by renowned author and broadcaster Mr Christy Kennelly who has a particular interest in palliative care and will focus on ways of building and promoting excellence in practice. ENDS

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Hurling star to honour pupils in NUI Galway's 'Uni for You' initiative

Hurling star to honour pupils in NUI Galway's 'Uni for You' initiative-image

Monday, 26 March 2007

Mr. Dermot O Connell, Ulster Bank, Eyre Square, Galway; Professor Ger Hurley, Vice President for Strategic Initiatives and External Affairs, NUI Galway; Imelda Byrne, Access Officer, NUI Galway and Seán Óg Ó hAilpín, All-Ireland winning hurler with Cork Senior Hurling Team Monday, 26 March, 2007: Over 100 pupils from primary schools across Galway will be honoured by All-Ireland winning hurler Seán Óg Ó hAilpín at a special ceremony on Wednesday, March 28, 2007 for their participation in NUI Galway's 'Uni For You 2007' programme. The children will receive medals and certificates from the Cork star in recognition of their involvement in the three-year programme which promotes education, school attendance and personal development through sporting, cultural and academic activities on the University campus. 'Uni for You' is developed and delivered by NUI Galway's Access Office in partnership with Scoil Bhríde, Shantalla; Holy Trinity Girls School and St Michael's Boys School Mervue. Now in its seventh year, the programme is a homework and sport club which is run on campus in conjunction with Áras na Mac Léinn. The children are helped by undergraduate volunteers two hours a week in completing their homework and playing sports. Capoeria, the Brazilian dance craze was a big hit with the children along with the old reliables, rounders, uni-hockey, soccer and basketball. Professor Ger Hurley, Vice President for Strategic Initiatives and External Affairs will host the ceremony in the O'Flaherty Theatre at 7.00pm, where the winners of the 'Write a Book Review' Competition will be announced. The contest was organised as part of 'Uni For You 2007' to actively encourage reading and reflection among the school children. "NUI Galway sees the involvement of the ten, eleven and twelve year old participants in this project, together with their parents and teachers, as a positive action which, we hope, will focus their attention on future educational achievements and progression into higher education,' said Prof. Hurley. Explaining the significance of the programme for those involved, Imelda Byrne, NUI Galway's Access Officer said; "This collaborative programme between NUI Galway and three city primary schools aims to help students develop personally, encourage them in their studies and help them and their families and the wider community overcome any perceived barriers to University as an unwelcoming place." Easter and Summer camps facilitated by university staff volunteers have introduced the children to topics in science, engineering, languages and humanities subjects, which enable the children to get a feel for their subject choices in secondary school and encourage them to participate more actively in their own learning. New initiatives in 'Uni for You 2007' included a story telling course and performance where the children told stories they had created themselves in seanchaí style. The programmes' success includes the participation of parents with their children in the study skill and homework support workshops run by the Access Office. ENDS

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HSE West and NUI Galway to host International Environmental Health Conference

HSE West and NUI Galway to host International Environmental Health Conference-image

Monday, 26 March 2007

HSE West and NUI Galway are this week bringing together a host of experts in environmental health for the country's first ever international conference on reducing environmental risks and protecting public health. The collaborative HSE West/NUI Galway three-day conference aims to highlight new thinking, new science and new horizons in protecting our shared environment and the health of current and future generations. There will be a particular emphasis on the role of research in informing health policy and in evaluating health intervention programmes. Speakers at the 'New Horizons in Environmental Health' conference include RTE ECO Eye presenter Duncan Stewart; Professor of Environmental Health Sciences, Katharine Hammond, University of California, Berkeley; Dr. Diarmuid O'Donovan, Director of Public Health, HSE West and Dr. Martina Prendergast, Development Manager, Environmental Change Institute (ECI), NUI Galway. Over 100 Environmental Health Officers (EHOs) from Ireland and the UK have already registered for the conference, which opens on Wednesday, 28 March, in the Environmental Change Institute, NUI Galway and continues in the Galway Bay Hotel, Salthill on Thursday and Friday 29 & 30 March. Maurice Mulcahy, Principal Environmental Health Officer, HSE West, and the driving force behind the conference, says the potential benefits to public health of empowering EHOs to participate in research initiatives that assess exposures and risks associated with environmental factors, cannot be ignored. "This conference will give us a rich insight into the issues concerning international experts in the environmental health field and will provide a stepping point for new initiatives that will have a real impact on reducing the varied risks that we encounter in our daily lives," says Mr Mulcahy. A prominent theme of the conference will be the role of environmental research in informing health policy and in evaluating health intervention strategies. Dr Martina Prendergast, Development Manager of the ECI, and one of the principal organisers of the conference, says she hopes the conference will emphasise the importance of developing a research culture within the environmental health field. "The role of our environment and the way people's health is influenced by the quality of that environment is something on which we should all place great significance. We can only tackle global threats such as climate change, new and emerging diseases, loss of biodiversity and security of energy supply by developing a fundamental understanding of key processes which are causing our environment to change," she says. It is hoped that the conference will help towards bridging the gap between academic research and the development of relevant research policy in the area of environmental health, through the successful collaboration and cooperation between the academic community, environmental health practitioners and policy makers. Ends Further Information: Mary Garvin, Communications Department, HSE West; Tel: 091 – 775750; Mob: 087 – 9310000 Email: mary.garvin@mailn.hse.ie

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Public Lecture to discuss Cord blood and Stem Cell Banking

Public Lecture to discuss Cord blood and Stem Cell Banking-image

Tuesday, 20 March 2007

Issues raised by the collection and storage of umbilical cord stem cells for future use, will be discussed at a free public talk organised by the Regenerative Medicine Institute (REMEDI), NUI Galway, Wednesday, 28 March at the Menlo Park Hotel at 7.30pm. Stem cell research is one of the most promising areas in medical research and there is early scientific evidence that stem cell therapy could provide treatments for a range of currently incurable diseases. One of the sources of adult stem cells is umbilical cord blood, and the current clinical use of cord blood stem cells is restricted to diseases of the blood and immune system, which are relatively rare. The likelihood that a child will require his or her own stem cells is extremely small (one in several thousand) and this has led some clinicians to advise that mothers should be discouraged from banking the cord blood. However others argue that it is likely that cord blood will become a valuable resource as further clinical use of stem cells develops. "Stem cell technology offers many opportunities for future therapy, but there are obstacles yet to be overcome" according to Prof. Frank Barry, REMEDI Scientific Director, and leading stem cell scientist. "This makes the area of cord blood banking somewhat complex as it is difficult to predict whether these cord blood stem cells will be of significant clinical importance in the future. However it is likely that cord blood stem cells will be an invaluable resource, as they are plentiful and more easily obtained than any other source of adult stem cells, and do not raise any ethical issues associated with embryonic stem cells." Professor Barry will outline the scientific evidence both for and against cord blood collection, as one of the speakers at the public talk. Other speakers will include: Catherina McCauley, a parent who had to overcome resistance in Ireland to be allowed to collect and store her child's cord blood in an Irish hospital; Dr. Deirdre Madden, a Senior Lecturer in Law at UCC who will discuss the legal issues in relation to cord blood banking; and, Prof. John Morrison, Head of Dept of Obstetrics & Gynaecology at NUI Galway and Clinical Director of the Women's and Children's Directorate at UCHG, will focus on the obstetric and labour ward aspects of umbilical cord stem cell collection. Ends

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NUI Galway research to improve local footballers' fitness levels

NUI Galway research to improve local footballers' fitness levels-image

Tuesday, 20 March 2007

Tuesday 20th March 2007: A unique agreement that will enable the physical performance of young footballers to be analysed to improve training methods has been signed by the Faculty of Medicine at NUI Galway and Salthill Devon Football Club. Medical and Informatics students at the University are involved in the Clinical Science Institute (CSI) Galway Human Performance Registry project which is being supported by the Community Knowledge Initiative (CKI) at NUI Galway. The medical students will retrieve, store and analyse the information and the informatics students, in conjunction with students at Hanze University, Groningen, in the Netherlands, will construct a website that can give insight into the current physical fitness of the footballers. The students will also research how to improve physical performance based on the data collected on the younger footballers. Qualified supervisors who have a sports science background will use tools such as the Interval Shuttle Run Test, the Shuttle Sprint and Dribble Test and the Vertical Jump and muscle force test to assess sports specific human performance/physical fitness. These tests have been used in Dutch premier league soccer and hockey and a spin off is expected to be developed for Gaelic football, hurling and rugby. Dr Thomas Kropmans, Department of Medical Informatics and Medical Education at NUI Galway said the Registry could be developed further to analyse secondary school children for obesity and would link up with other medical research such as that being conducted into diabetes and cardio-pulmonary rehabilitation. "The outcome of these tests will be used to improve current training methods for teams and/or individuals. The assessment will take place 2 -3 times per season over a two year period," he said. Lorraine McIlrath, Academic Staff Developer, Service Learning, at CKI praised the project for its mutual benefit to the students and sportspeople involved. "The CSI Galway Human Performance Registry is a win-win project for both the University and the community. First year medical students win by retrieving, storing and analyzing biological variation of human data, while the contributing sports clubs win by improving current training methods," she said. ENDS

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NUI Galway ALIVE Certificates Celebrate Students' Commitment to Community

NUI Galway ALIVE Certificates Celebrate Students' Commitment to Community-image

Tuesday, 20 March 2007

A special Certificate Awards Ceremony will mark the achievements of 500 volunteer students at NUI Galway on Monday 26th March, 2006. NUI Galway Dean of Arts, Professor Kevin Barry will present the students with certificates congratulating each of them for their time spent volunteering within NUI Galway, the Galway community, and with national and international non-governmental organisations through the ALIVE programme at the University. ALIVE - A Learning Initiative and the Volunteering Experience – was established by the Community Knowledge Initiative at NUI Galway to harness, acknowledge and support the contribution that NUI Galway students make to Galway by volunteering. To date over 1000 students have been recognised for their volunteering commitment within a variety of pathways, enabling NUI Galway to become a role model in promoting skills related to democratic participation and civic engagement amongst the student body. The ALIVE programme has facilitated students who have volunteered on campus within societies, clubs and student mentoring, and off campus with the Gaf Youth Café, the Galway Rape Crisis Centre, and the Alzheimer Society of Ireland to name a few. Des Mulligan of the Alzheimer Society of Ireland paid tribute to those students who had volunteered their time and energy to the benefit of the charity. "Our participation in the ALIVE Programme has been inspirational for us as an organisation because of the innovative and creative way in which students approached the whole concept of volunteering. It has been a real learning experience for us and also encouraging seeing the genuine enthusiasm and community spirit alive in young people," he said. Katie Stack, ALIVE Student Volunteer with the Galway Association, "Volunteering puts all the college work in perspective, it is important to know there is more to life. I hope to continue volunteering next year as we are building friendships, not just 'a volunteer and service user' relationship. There is an impact for the service user but also for the volunteers, we love it." Students have volunteered in a variety of organisations and organised events throughout the year. Last month students pushed a bed from Ennis to Galway to raise funds and awareness for the Alzheimer Society of Ireland. Previously students organised a 'teddy bear hospital' which brought in over 360 primary school children with their teddies in an effort to reduce children's anxieties about going to the doctor. "The ALIVE Certificate Awards Ceremony is an important opportunity to recognise students for their volunteering, instilling in them a sense civic responsibility," said Lorraine Tansey, Student Volunteer Coordinator for the ALIVE programme at NUI Galway. ENDS For further information please contact Lorraine Tansey, 091 495346, or email lorraine.tansey@nuigalway.ie

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