Symposium on Complaints to the UN Committee on the Rights of the Child

Symposium on Complaints to the UN Committee on the Rights of the Child-image

Friday, 11 May 2012

International experts on children’s rights will gather at NUI Galway on Monday, 14 May, for a symposium on a new UN protocol to strengthen the rights of children. In December, the UN General Assembly approved a Third Optional Protocol to the Convention on the Rights of the Child on a communications procedure, which will allow for individual children to submit complaints regarding specific violations of their rights under the Convention. The Convention was the last of the major UN human rights treaties to adopt such a mechanism and the Protocol is a major achievement for the protection of children’s rights. The event is being hosted by the Irish Centre for Human Rights at NUI Galway.  According to the Centre’s Professor Ray Murphy: “Access to justice for children has traditionally proven challenging due to the invisibility of children, children’s lack of maturity and experience, as well as conflicts between children’s interests and those of adults. Cases taken by children have been rare and are overwhelming heard from the perspective of parents, as it is they who most frequently take the relevant cases.” The different needs of children have also been lost in the complaints mechanisms of the mainstream human rights instruments. The Committee on the Rights of the Child will hear cases with the guiding principles of the Convention on the Rights of the Child in mind- the right to be heard, the best interest principle, non-discrimination and the right to life survival and development.” It is thought the new protocol will have wide-ranging implications for custodial issues, child slavery, education rights and discrimination issues. The Symposium, ‘Complaints to the UN Committee on the Rights of the Child – Opportunities for Ireland’, will hear from a number of speakers with experience in the field of children’s rights including Dr Maria Herczog, Member of the UN Committee on the Rights of the Child; Veronica Yates, Child Rights International Network; Dr Geoffrey Shannon, Special Rapporteur to the Irish Government on Child Protection; Tanya Ward, Chief Executive, Children’s Rights Alliance; Colm O’Gorman, Executive Director of Amnesty International and Dr Aoife Daly, University of Essex. Speakers will provide a variety of perspectives on the nature of the Protocol and the opportunities which it provides across the spectrum of children’s rights- in the areas of child protection, economic as well as civil and political rights. Professor Murphy added: “Ensuring widespread ratification of the Third Optional Protocol will be a challenge. This symposium aims to consider the relevance of the Protocol and opportunities for Ireland to lead in the ratification process. It aims to raise awareness of the Protocol amongst non-governmental organisations, academics and Government, and will culminate in a Call for Ratification of the Protocol which attendees are welcome to sign if they so wish. It is expected that this symposium will be just one part of a number of activities around the Protocol, raising awareness and encouraging ratification.” -ends-

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Conflict and Peace Topics for Discussion at NUI Galway Conferences

Conflict and Peace Topics for Discussion at NUI Galway Conferences -image

Friday, 11 May 2012

The Centre for the Study of Nationalism and Organised Violence (CSNOV) at NUI Galway is pleased to announce two upcoming seminars.  ‘Talking Peace: A seminar on communication, contact and dialogue aimed at reducing or ending violence in Northern Ireland’ will take place on Wednesday, 16 May between 10am - 5pm in the Moore Institute at the University.  ‘Armed Conflict in Comparative Perspective’ will take place on Friday,18 May from  9am - 5pm in the Aula Maxima. ‘Talking Peace’ willbring together key actors with direct experience of mediation, negotiation and decision-making in the Irish peace process, including Sir Kenneth Bloomfield; Larry and Shauna Duddy; Dr Maurice Hayes; Jim Gibney; Dr Harold Good; Rev. Chris Hudson and Dr Martin Mansergh.  Professor Brendan O’Leary,University of Pennsylvania, will act as respondent. The symposium brings participants together with leading academics working on the politics of conflict and peace in Northern Ireland, including Professor James McAuley(University of Huddersfield); Dr Niall Ó Dochartaigh (NUI Galway); Dr Graham Spencer (University of Portsmouth); Dr  Katy Hayward(Queen’s University Belfast); Professor Jonathan Tonge (University of Liverpool); Professor  Robert White(Indiana University - Purdue University Indianapolis). ‘Armed Conflict in Comparative Perspective’ is a multidisciplinary conference bringing  together leading scholars working on aspects of armed conflict from a range of disciplinary perspectives. It will address key issues of concern to sociologists, political scientists and historians studying inter-state wars, civil wars, armed conflicts, urban violence and insurgencies. Speaking about the Talking Peace seminar, Dr Niall O’Dochartaigh, NUI Galway, said: “Communication through intermediaries and mediators was crucial to the peace settlement in the North but this important aspect of the peace process remains little understood, partly because it was shrouded in secrecy. It is an urgent matter to understand how such communication might play a role in resolving other situations of conflict today. “It is particularly appropriate that the seminar is taking place in Galway because the west of Ireland provided the setting for some very important encounters aimed at ending conflict in the North, such as the meeting between Protestant clergymen and the IRA leadership in Feakle Co. Clare that paved the way for the IRA ceasefire of 1975. It was a setting where people could talk at some distance from the centres of power and media attention in Dublin  and Belfast.” Dr O’Dochartaigh added: “The Talking Peace seminar explores this issue through a conversation between those with direct experience of the workings of government and of mediation during the conflict in the North and academics studying the conflict. The witness seminar format provides a unique historical methodology for exploring difficult historical topics of this kind through a kind of group interview where participants in historical events share, discuss and sometimes challenge each others' recollections. We are running the seminar in partnership with colleagues from King’s College London where the Institute of Contemporary British History has organised numerous witness seminars over many years and has built up extensive expertise in this method.” These events are supported by the Irish Research Council for the Humanities and Social Sciences, the Moore Institute, the School of Political Science and Sociology and the Institute for Business, Social Sciences and Public Policy, NUI Galway. These events are open to all but seating is limited. For registration please contact: Stacey.scriver@nuigalway.ie ENDS

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Summer School on the International Criminal Court

Summer School on the International Criminal Court-image

Monday, 14 May 2012

The Irish Centre for Human Rights at NUI Galway is accepting delegates for its 2012 summer school on the International Criminal Court to be held 18-22 June in Galway. The summer school on the International Criminal Court (ICC) offered by the Centre is widely acknowledged to be the premier programme of its kind, attracting participants from around the world. During the five days of intensive lectures, delivered by leading specialist in the field, students are provided with a detailed working knowledge of the establishment of the Court, its applicable law, its structures and its operations. Lectures also speak to related issues in international criminal law, including universal jurisdiction, immunities and the role of the victims. According to Ray Murphy of the Irish Centre for Human Rights at NUI Galway: “The ICC is arguably the most important international institution to have been established since the creation of the United Nations. Its aim is combating impunity for atrocities, and it is at the forefront of a broader movement for achieving accountability and justice around the world. Only last month, it reached a milestone in convicting the first former head of state since the Nuremburg trials.” Professor Murphy added: “While the trial and ultimate conviction of Liberia's former president Charles Taylor garnered international headlines for tales of supermodels and diamonds, the true headline is the championing of accountability in respect of international crimes.” During the summer school on the International Criminal Court, expert presentations will be delivered by Professor William Schabas, Middlesex University and Chairman of the Irish Centre for Human Rights; Professor Siobhan Mullally, UCC; Dr Shane Darcy, Lecturer and Professor Ray Murphy, Irish Centre for Human Rights; Mr. John McManus, Department of Justice, Canada; Dr Mohamed M. El Zeidy and Ms Miriam Spittler, the International Criminal Court; Dr Nadia Bernaz, University of Middlesex; and Dr Annyssa Bellal, Geneva Academy of International Humanitarian Law and Human Rights and the Irish Centre for Human Rights. To register, visit http://www.conference.ie/Conferences/index.asp?Conference=16 or email iccsummerschool@gmail.com for more information. -ends-

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Public Lectures on Sustainable Consumption

Public Lectures on Sustainable Consumption-image

Monday, 14 May 2012

Public lectures at NUI Galway on Friday 18 and Saturday 19 May, will look at our throwaway culture, and ask what a future with everyone living more sustainably might look like. Philosopher Kate Soper, from London Metropolitan University will provide a public lecture entitled Towards an alternative prosperity? Irish “belatedness” and the politics of consumption on Friday 18 May, from 4.30-5.30pm in the Engineering Building at NUI Galway.Author of the book The Politics and Pleasures of Consuming Differently, Soper believes that we need to rethink how we live in the light of impending environmental catastrophe. Her core argument is that alternative ways of living can be more enjoyable than consumerism and this leads to her notion of alternative hedonism. A second public lecture on the topical issue of sustainable consumption will be delivered at 12 noon on Saturday, 18 May, in the Engineering Building by Elizabeth Shove, Professor of Sociology at Lancaster University. Professor Shove’s area of expertise is the relationship between consumption, everyday life, sustainability and ordinary technology. She is co-author of the book The Design of Everyday Life which looks at the design of common household products through to their use in the home. The lecture will be followed by a panel discussion by a group of top US and European academics on the futures of sustainable consumption research. This panel discussion will take place from 2pm until 4pm on Saturday afternoon in the same venue. These lectures are part of an international conference, ‘Challenging Consumption: Pathways to a More Sustainable Future’ which NUI Galway is hosting from 18-20 May. The event brings together leading researchers to discuss current practices, challenges and futures for research in the area of sustainable consumption. The conference is part of the Consensus project, a four-year research project involving collaboration between NUI Galway and Trinity College Dublin. Funded by the EPA STRIVE Programme, the project is the first of its kind to look at sustainable consumption on the island of Ireland. The Consensus project focuses on four key areas of household consumption that impact negatively on the environment: transport, energy, water and food. This research is exploring how a shift towards more sustainable consumption might be encouraged, measured and governed. Therefore, one of the key outputs of this research is to make recommendations for local and national programmes concerning sustainable consumption policies. According to the Consensus project manager Dr Frances Fahy, Lecturer in Geography at NUI Galway: “Our conference is intended to explore opportunities for future research collaborations and facilitate exchange between currently existing sustainable consumption networks. All conference participants at this event are active members of US and European sustainable consumption research communities. The public lectures and panel discussion will provide an opportunity to discuss household consumption and the various ways in which it impacts negatively on the environment as well as to explore how a shift towards more sustainable consumption might be encouraged, measured and governed.” During the three-day event, academics will discuss their research in the area of sustainable consumption; exploring a variety of themes that range from sustainable transport to premature product obsolescence. Keynote speakers include: Maurie Cohen, New Jersey Institute of Technology, USA; Tim Cooper, Nottingham Trent University, UK; Mike Goodman, King’s College London; Inge Ropke, Technical University of Denmark as well as members of the Consensus project team from NUI Galway and Trinity College Dublin. For more information email consensus@nuigalway.ie ENDS

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Gradam NáisiúntaBuaite ag Ionad an Acadaimh i gCarna

Gradam NáisiúntaBuaite ag Ionad an Acadaimh i gCarna-image

Monday, 14 May 2012

Bronnadh Gradam Náisiúnta na Gaeilge ar an gCainéal iTunes U-GOGG (An Chomhairle um Oideachas Gaeltachta agus Gaelscolaíochta) ag searmanas i gCaisleán Bhaile Átha Cliath le gairid. Is ar champas Acadamh na hOllscolaíochta Gaeilge i gCarna a rinneadh an obair fhorbartha agus is í COGG a rinne maoiniú ar an tionscadal. Toradh é ar chomhpháirtíocht idir COGG agus Acadamh na hOllscolaíochta Gaeilge, OÉ Gaillimh. “Údar mór áthais d’Ollscoil na hÉireann Gaillimh gur bhain an Cainéal iTunes U-COGG gradam eRialtais amach le gairid. Tugann an gradam aitheantas don saineolas atá á shaothrú sna daonnachtaí digiteacha san Acadamh trí chéile ach go háirithe in Ionad na hOllscoile i gCarna.  Bhí ról lárnach ag an gcomhpháirtíocht le RTÉ Raidió na Gaeltachta sa tionscadal mar gur forbraíodh acmhainní foghlama bunscolaíochta an Chainéil ó bhunábhar i gCartlann shabhair RTÉ Raidió na Gaeltachta agus ó Chartlanna OÉ Gaillimh féin.”, a deir Niall Mac Uidhilin, feidhmeannach ríomhaireachta le hAcadamh na hOllscolaíochta Gaeilge. Cuimsíonn an Cainéal iTunes U–COGG acmhainní físe agus fuaime ar mhaithe le sealbhú agus saibhriú na Gaeilge i mbunscoileanna Gaeltachta agus lán-Ghaeilge. Forbraíodh 300 mír fhoghlama nua dírithe go háirithe ar dhaltaí Rang 5 agus 6 sna bunscoileanna. Áiríonn na míreanna foghlama amhráin, dánta, scéalta, faisnéis, tomhasanna, agus míreanna staire. Tá na míreanna á gcur i láthair i gcanúintí éagsúla a roghnaíodh ó bhunábhar i gcartlanna saibhre RTÉ Raidió na Gaeltachta agus OÉ Gaillimh.  Chuathas i gcomhairle le saineolaithe ábhar: Máire Uí Dhufaigh, Inis Oírr agus Bairbre Ní Thuairisg, Scoil Náisiúnta Chamuis, a scríobh na moltaí foghlama le dul in éineacht leis na míreanna. Lárnach sa bpróiseas forbartha freisin bhí Anna Ní Chartúir, Scoil Náisiúnta Leitir Mucú agus Mairéad Ní Chualáin, Scoil Náisiúnta Leitir Mealláin, beirt mhúinteoirí a bhfuil sárthuiscint acu ar riachtanais fhoghlama teanga scoláirí sna spriocscoileanna. Roinn an bheirt a gcuid ama ar an tionscnamh go fial flaithiúil agus ar bhonn deonach. Inniúlacht Cartlainne Meán a rinne an obair theicniúil agus dearaidh ar an gcainéal.  Tá an cainéal ar fáil ar itunes.cogg.ie. Tá treoirlínte faoin mbealach le theacht ar an gCainéal le fáil ar www.acadamh.ie -CRÍOCH-   Acadamh na hOllscolaíochta Gaeilgeand COGG win National e-Government Award A project developed in Acadamh na hOllscolaíochta Gaeilge at NUI Galway was presented with an Ireland eGovernment Award at a ceremony in Dublin Castle recently. The iTunes U–COGG channel was developed with with funding provided by An Chomhairle um Oideachas Gaeltachta agus Gaelscolaíochta (COGG). The iTunes U–COGG channel, which won the in the Irish language category award, comprises of video and sound resources to promote the acquisition and enrichment of the Irish language in all-Irish schools both within and outside the Gaeltacht. In this initial stage of the project, three hundred media clips have been carefully selected and are aimed at 5th and 6th classes. These learning clips cover genres such as song, poetry, stories, factual, puzzles and historic. The clips are presented in different dialects selected from the rich archive materials of RTÉ Raidió na Gaeltachta and NUI Galway.  Niall Mac Uidhilin, Computer Executive with Acadamh na hOllscolaíochta Gaeilge, said: “We at NUI Galway are delighted that the iTunes U-COGG channel has received this eGovernment award. This award recognises the expertise that the Acadamh has accumulated in the digital humanities, and particularly in the centre in Carna. The partnership with RTÉ Raidió na Gaeltachta played a central role in the project as the channel’s digital learning resoures for national schools were developed from the rich archive materials and resources of RTÉ Raidió na Gaeltachta as well as from the archives of NUI Galway. The project builds on the digitisation work that was previously done on the archive on the campus in An Cheathrú Rua.” A panel of experts were consulted for the project including Máire Uí Dhufaigh, Scoil Náisiúnta Inis Oírr and Bairbre Ní Thuairisg, Scoil Náisiúnta Chamuis who wrote the learning guides to be included with the clips. Anna Ní Chartúir, Scoil Náisiúnta Leitir Mucú and Mairéad Ní Chualáin, Scoil Náisiúnta Leitir Mealláin, were also central to the development of the project. Both have an acute understanding of the language learning requirements of national school children in the target schools and gave freely and voluntarily of their time to forward the project. Inniúlacht Cartlainne Meán were responsible for the technical and design work on the channel.  The channel is available at  itunes.cogg.ie. Guidelines on how to access the channel can be found at  www.acadamh.ie. -ENDS-

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Fascinations of Plants Day at NUI Galway

Fascinations of Plants Day at NUI Galway-image

Monday, 14 May 2012

NUI Galway will lead Ireland’s involvement in the first ever international Fascination of Plants Day which will be held on Friday, 18 May. The Fascination of Plants Day will be celebrated by 39 countries worldwide, with the common goal getting people enthused by the importance of plant science. A photography and art exhibition celebrating ‘Our Fascinating Flora’ will officially open at the NUI Galway Art Gallery on Friday, 18 May at 2pm and run until Wednesday, 23 May. Featured exhibits willinclude works from botanical artist Margareta Pertl, and artists Miriam de Burca, Alan Crowley and Peter Sherry. Ceramic art will include exhibits from Veronika Straberger, Anna Pielach and Louise Browne, and wood turning from Ambrose and Bríd O’Halloran. Winners of the national Fascination of Plants Day photography competition will also feature. Stories, all featuring the theme of plants, will be told by renowned storyteller Rab Fulton in the Art Gallery on Friday, 18 May at 11am and by Dr Maria Tuohy and members of Biochemistry at 3pm.  Another feature of the celebration of plants will be a tree climbing session, on Wednesday, 23 May outside Áras de Brún, near the Quadrangle Building, with Keith Browne and experts from NUI Galway Mountaineering Club. Volunteers from the club will help the public get up into the trees using harnesses and ropes, to see what goes on at canopy level. Dr Zoë Popper, Lecturer in Botany and Plant Science at NUI Galway, said: “Plants are fascinating, and beautiful.  Having the ability to directly synthesise their own food has enabled plants to successfully colonise, adapt to, and diversify within almost every niche on the planet.  There are over 250,000 plant species and they are vital for us in terms of agriculture, food, horticulture and forestry. Plants also play a role in non-food products such as paper, timber, chemicals, energy, and pharmaceuticals.” Other themed events are taking place around the country, with participation by the National Biodiversity Data Centre, National Botanic Gardens, Trinity College Dublin and Burrenbeo. For more information regarding events in Ireland visit http://www.plantday12.eu/ireland.htm# and http://fascinationofplants.blogspot.com -Ends-

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Seimineár Poiblí ar Raidió na Gaeltachta: 40 bliain faoi bhláth

Seimineár Poiblí ar Raidió na Gaeltachta: 40 bliain faoi bhláth-image

Tuesday, 15 May 2012

Mar chuid de cheiliúradh ceathracha bliain RTÉ Raidió na Gaeltachta, reáchtáilfear seimineár poiblí,  i gcomhar le hAcadamh na hOllscolaíochta Gaeilge, OÉ Gaillimh, Dé Sathairn 19 Bealtaine le scrúdú a dhéanamh ar fhís agus feidhm RTÉ Raidió na Gaeltachta ó bunaíodh é.   Déanfar an seimineár a reáchtáil i Seanscoil Sailearna, Indreabhán, Contae na Gaillimhe idir 10am agus 4pm Dé Sathairn 19 Bealtaine agus beidh fáilte roimh an bpobal freastal ar an ócáid.   Le linn seisiúin na maidine, scrúdóidh seisear léachtóirí ó ollscoileanna éagsúla in Éirinn gnéithe éagsúla de chraoladh an stáisiúin agus an tionchar atá ag an tseirbhís ar phobal na Gaeltachta agus na Gaeilge.   Déanfaidh painéal eile scagadh ar a bhfuil bainte amach ag Raidió na Gaeltachta agus pléifear na dúshláin atá roimh an tseirbhís le linn imeachtaí an tráthnóna. Beidh deis ag an bpobal a bheith rannpháirteach sa phlé i gcaitheamh an lae.   I measc na n-ábhar a phléifear i gcaitheamh na maidine, beidh:   An ceol dúchais agus an chraoltóireacht – Róisín Nic Dhonncha Ról an Raidió i gcruthú pobail – Steve Coleman Teanga an Raidió, teanga an phobail – Siobhán Ní Laoire Féiniúlacht agus féinmhuinín agus ár bpobal féin – Rosemary Day Raidió na Gaeltachta agus scaipeadh na téarmaíochta – Gearóid Ó Cleircín Leas na Gaeilge, an náisiún-stát agus an t-iltíreachas – Iarfhlaith Watson   Beidh plé ón urlár tráthnóna agus caibidil ar fhís agus feidhm an Raidió i gcuideachta na gcainteoirí:   Dónall Mac an tSíthigh Máire Mhic Niallais Joe Steve Ó Neachtain Seán Tadhg Ó Gairbhí   Déanfar imeachtaí an tseimineáir a thaifeadadh agus a chraoladh ar Raidió na Gaeltachta amach anseo. Tá an seimineár seo á reáchtáil i gcomhar le hAcadamh na hOllscolaíochta Gaeilge agus le cúnamh urraíochta ón Roinn Ealaíon, Oidhreachta agus Gaeltachta.   --CRÍOCH--   A Public Seminar celebrating 40 years of Raidió na Gaeltachta                                                                            The vision and role of RTÉ Raidió na Gaeltachta will be critically examined and discussed at a public seminar on Saturday 19 May as part of the station’s calendar of events to mark the foundation of the service in 1972. The seminar, jointly organised with Acadamh na hOllscolaíochta Gaeilge, NUI Galway, will take place in Seanscoil Sailearna, Indreabhán, in the heart of the Galway Gaeltacht from 10am-4pm on Saturday, 19May and the event will be open to the public.   Six academics from various Irish universities will analyse aspects of the station’s output and its influence on the Irish language community nationally and particularly in the Gaeltacht:   Broadcasting and traditional music – Róisín Nic Dhonncha, Mary Immaculate College, UL RnaG and the creation of community– Steve Coleman, NUIM A community and broadcasting medium – Siobhán Ní Laoire, DIT Identity, self-confidence and our own community – Rosemary Day, Mary Immaculate College, UL Raidió na Gaeltachta and terminological dissemination – Gearóid Ó Cleircín, DCU Which most benefits the Irish language: cosmopolitanism or the nation-state? – Iarfhlaith Watson, UCD   The founding vision of the station and contemporary challenges facing the service will also be discussed by a panel of speakers who broadly represent the diversity of the RnaG audience with a view to an open, general discussion among seminar participants about future directions for Raidió na Gaeltachta. Invited speakers during the afternoon session include:   Dónall Mac an tSíthigh Máire Mhic Niallais Joe Steve Ó Neachtain Seán Tadhg Ó Gairbhí   The talks and discussions at the seminar will be recorded and broadcast on Raidió na Gaeltachta later this year. This seminar is being jointly organised with Acadamh na hOllscolaíochta Gaeilge, NUI Galway and with sponsorship from the Department of Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht. --ENDS--

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NUI Galway Student Receives the Outstanding Young Persons of Ireland Award

NUI Galway Student Receives the Outstanding Young Persons of Ireland Award-image

Wednesday, 16 May 2012

NUI Galway student Eve-Marie Costello has been awarded The Outstanding Young Person of Ireland award from Junior Chamber International (JCI), and has been put forward as a candidate for the Outstanding Young Persons of the World title, which will be announced in Taiwan later this year. Originally from Ballyglunin, Athenry, Co. Galway, Eva Marie is a third-year Science student at the University. NUI Galway’s Lorraine Tansey, ALIVE Volunteer Coordinator, and Riona Hughes, Societies Officer, nominated Eva-Marie for the coveted award in recognition of her significant achievement in the area of contribution to children, world peace and/or human rights. According to Riona Hughes: “Students like Eva-Marie and Melanie Hennessey, our most recent winner of the world title in 2010, who set up an orphanage and brought medical support to Nepal through her society Draíocht, show the impact that one person can make to bringing about positive change which impacts so profoundly on the students who they support and inspire to volunteer.” Eva-Marie began her volunteering in India during transition year in secondary school and has built on this by setting up the Ashirbad Society in NUI Galway. The Ashirbad Society focuses on sending NUI Galway students to India during the summer months to volunteer in areas of need including education, medical and agricultural. It also hopes to raise awareness of the needs of the people in the emerging sub-continent of India and to fundraise in order to improve the living and educational conditions for the under-privileged children of Kalimpong, West Bengal. Since 2007, Eva-Marie has travelled to India each year to work with the Cluny Sisters in Kalimpong, India. Eva-Marie now acts as a project instigator with the Sisters and is currently in the process of fundraising and planning for the development of the Declan Resource and Research Centre. She also volunteered at an Aids Centre run by the nuns, and was instrumental in producing an annual musical with the children and students. With her fellow volunteers they have raised over €45,000 in the last four years. Eva-Marie volunteered with SUAS homework club and has also been a key player in the NUI Galway musical society since she started at the University. Lorraine Tansey, Student Volunteer Coordinator at NUI Galway, said; “What sets Eva-Marie apart is her vision and commitment for the future, not only volunteering herself, but setting in place a structure which will see NUI Galway students into the future work with the Cluny Sisters on their great work in Kalimpong, and through this experience learning and growing as active citizens of the world. We are delighted to support JCI as they seek to recognise the valuable contribution volunteers make to society and congratulate Eva-Marie on exemplifying the NUI Galway civic graduate.” At the Regional JCI Top Outstanding Young Person of the Year awards, NUI Galway final year Occupational Therapy student Méabh Healy won the Regional Award in the Academic Leadership and/or Accomplishment category. From Mount Talbot, Co. Roscommon, Méabh was presented with her award for her two year research programmes with Enable Ireland. The Outstanding Young Persons program of Junior Chamber International serves to recognise up to ten individuals between the ages of 18 and 40 who exemplify the best attributes of the world’s young people. NUI Galway students have previously won The Outstanding Young Persons of the World award in 2007 and again in 2010. -ENDS-

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Planning for Smart Cities and Regions of the Future Conference at NUI Galway

Planning for Smart Cities and Regions of the Future Conference at NUI Galway-image

Wednesday, 16 May 2012

Over 100 delegates attended a one-day conference on Planning for Smart Cities and Regions of the Future hosted by NUI Galway last week. The conference, opened by Galway City Mayor, Hildegard Naughton, focussed on describing advanced technologies and highlighting how they can be used to make informed decisions during planning and day-to-day living. Attendees at the conference comprised of a cross-section of interest groups including: public and private sector planners; decision makers; engineers; technology entrepreneurs; and owners of small and medium enterprises.  Speakers included engineers, IT specialists, geographers, policy makers and industry specialists. Keynote speaker, Dr Emanuele Ragnoli from IBM, highlighted the worldwide growth of urbanisation and gave a preview of likely problems facing planners in the areas of traffic congestion, water security and energy security. He described how IBM's Smarter Cities research centre in Dublin is using advanced computer models to enable them to plan the cities of the future in a sustainable way. Presentations included talks on the use of computer models which could be used to advise bathers of water quality at Blackrock beach in Salthill through the use of electronic signage along the prom. Other discussions focused on models which could be used operationally to forecast coastal flooding events and help with emergency response planning. A presentation by NUI Galway’s Dr Jim Duggan described how computer modelling can be applied to human habitation behaviour illustrating how a city can plan for social integration during periods of increased growth and diversity. Chaired by Professor Gerry Lyons, NUI Galway’s Dean College of Engineering and Informatics, the aim of the conference was to stimulate debate on the future of our region and how technology and infrastructure will help shape the future.  Dr Mike Hartnett, Vice-Dean of the College of Engineering and Informatics and one of the conference organisers, said:  “The conference has shown the depth of expertise that exists between NUI Galway and the local community in the area of sustainable and efficient planning of our region and of Galway City. It is likely that over the next 20 years or so Galway City will expand relatively fast. It is our intention to increase our activities in the area of sustainable planning and development. We are keen to develop greater links between the regional partners and NUI Galway to improve the quality of life for the people living in this region.” -ENDS-

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The Written Word Focus of Tenth Galway Symposium on Higher Education

The Written Word Focus of Tenth Galway Symposium on Higher Education-image

Wednesday, 16 May 2012

The tenth Galway Symposium on Higher Education will take place at NUI Galway from 7-8 June in Áras Moyola. The two day symposium, entitled The Written Word: Writing, Publishing and Communication in Higher Education, will be comprised of papers, short presentations, workshops, panel discussions and posters. Essays, reports, papers, books, journals, and even blogs are all at the heart of higher education, and the ability to write clearly and intelligently is deemed a hallmark of a successful graduate. For those working in academia, the need to publish journal papers, monographs and other emerging media forms is vital, with performance metrics based on output and citations. To navigate the complex world of the ‘information age’, powers of discrimination and judgement are essential to the enterprise of sense-making. Academics increasingly need to be able to communicate with a wider audience, to reach out and share their passion and expertise with the public and engage with debate and critique in educational, scientific, cultural and political spheres. The focus of the symposium will be on nurturing the skills of writing amongst students and fine-tuning our own approaches and adapt to new media and new audiences. Questions such as what can we do to challenge the increasing costs of publication, journal subscription charges and the ‘paywalls’ that block access to knowledge, and how can we weave together the skills of communication, critical thinking and public engagement, will also be discussed.   Keynote speakers will include: Professor Adrian Frazier, NUI Galway; Dr Brian Hughes,Senior Lecturer in Psychology, NUI Galway; Catherine Cronin, Academic Coordinator on eLearning programmes at NUI Galway, and advocate of social and digital media for learning; Dr Adam Rutherford, writer and broadcaster; William St. Clair, Senior Research Fellow, Universities of London, Cambridge and Harvard, and Chairman of Open Book Publishers; Dr Mary R. Lea, Reader at the Institute  of Educational Technology and researcher on academic literacies, Open University; andDr Aileen Fyfe, University of St. Andrews and author of Steam-Powered Knowledge. Dr Iain Mac Labhrainn, Director of CELT said: “It is vital that graduates have high levels of writing skills, and the ability to share, critique and communicate knowledge and ideas to a wide range of potential audiences is at the heart of higher education.” Registration for the event is available at http://www.nuigalway.ie/celt/conference/conference12.html -ENDS-

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