Tuesday, 12 March 2013

Pre-clinical research has generated some very promising findings using adult stem cells for the treatment of diabetic wounds. The research carried out by scientists at the National University of Ireland Galway, is published in Diabetes, the official journal of the American Diabetes Association. The work showed that a particular type of stem cell, known as the mesenchymal stem cell (MSC), could increase wound healing when applied together with a biomaterial made from collagen. Diabetic patients have an impaired ability to heal wounds and there is a critical need to develop new treatments to improve healing particularly in patients with foot ulcers. In fact, foot ulceration will affect up to 25% of people suffering from diabetes during their lives and may result in amputation. For the past number of years, lead-author on the research paper Dr Aonghus O’Loughlin has been funded by Molecular Medicine Ireland to work in the Regenerative Medicine Institute (REMEDI) at National University of Ireland Galway and Galway University Hospitals. He collaborates with Professor Timothy O’Brien, Director of REMEDI, to develop new ways to increase healing of diabetic wounds. Professor O’Brien, principal investigator on the research project, said: “This data will now allow us proceed to apply for approval to carry out first in human studies of this therapeutic approach. We are currently preparing the regulatory submission to undertake a human clinical trial. Meanwhile, part of the funding needed to pursue the human clinical trial has been received from Diabetes Ireland.” “MSC’s have many attractive therapeutic properties”, Professor O’Brien added. “They can be isolated from adults and are easy to grow in the laboratory. It has been shown in Galway and by other scientists that they release special factors that can help new blood vessels to grow. Increasing blood flow is a key step in wound healing.” REMEDI is a Science Foundation Ireland-funded research centre, led by National University of Ireland Galway, with partners in University College Cork and NUI Maynooth. The research centre is a partnership between scientists, clinicians and industry and is the leading centre in the area of stem cell and regenerative medicine in Ireland. REMEDI is a part of the National University of Ireland Galway’s translational and clinical research programme with the objective of translating research discoveries into improved patient care. -ends-

Wednesday, 13 March 2013

Secondary school students interested in NUI Galway are invited to an information evening in Derry on Thursday, 21 March. Parents and guardians are also particularly welcome to the event which runs from 7-9pm in the Everglades Hotel, Prehen Road, Derry City. The evening will begin with short talks about NUI Galway and some of the 60 courses it offers. Afterwards, current students and NUI Galway staff will be on hand to answer any questions in relation to courses and practical issues including accommodation, fees and scholarships, and the wide range of support services available to students. The ever-increasing popularity of NUI Galway is in-part due to a whole suite of innovative new programmes, developed in response to the changing needs of the employment market. Unique programmes include a Bachelor of Arts with Human Rights, an Energy Engineering degree which is taught in the University’s new Engineering Building, Ireland’s largest School of Engineering, and a Maths and Education degree aimed at training maths teachers. Visitors to the information evening will also get information on NUI Galway’s newest degree programmes, a BA in Drama, Theatre and Performance Studies and a Bachelor of Arts with Journalism which are brand new for 2013. “NUI Galway has a great deal to offer. Our own students tell us our lecturers are inspirational and challenge them to achieve their full potential. The student experience in Galway is second to none, and we want to bring a taste of that to Derry, while also providing all the practical information on accommodation, CAO points, fees, scholarships and courses. With so many courses on offer, this event in Derry is a perfect opportunity to meet current students and our lecturers to see what degree might be the right fit”, says Caroline Loughnane, Director of Marketing and Communications at NUI Galway. To find out more about the information evening in Derry, contact NUI Galway’s Schools Liaison Officer, Gráinne Dunne on 087 244 0858 or grainne.dunne@nuigalway.ie. ENDS

Friday, 15 March 2013

NUI Galway’s School of Education recently hosted a seminar in Disciplinary Literacy for teachers, teacher educators, researchers and others involved in teacher professional development.  Disciplinary literacy refers to the language, thinking and literacy practices underpinning learning and development within different school subjects and contexts. Professor Elizabeth Birr Moje, Associate Dean of Research and Community Affairs in University of Michigan and Dr Brendan Mac Mahon, School of Education, NUI Galway, shared their expertise in this area and their experiences of helping young people negotiate this difficult and sometimes confusing terrain. In her talk, Professor Moje drew from her research to exemplify what disciplinary literacy is and to illustrate the process of teaching both young people and their teachers how to navigate the many literacy contexts they encounter in and out of school. Professor Moje's goal as a literacy researcher, teacher educator, and former high school teacher, is to inform teaching practice and policy in ways that support young people to negotiate the literacy of their school subjects. Dr Brendan Mac Mahon welcomed the national strategy on Literacy and Numeracy for Learning and Life, and focused on the role that post-primary teachers of all subjects have in developing students' literacy skills. He presented findings from his own research and outlined implications for the implementation of the strategy and the challenges which will be faced. Dr Mary Fleming, Head of Education at NUI Galway, said: “The attendance from across the spectrum of teacher education and professional development at this event emphasises the importance and current relevance of this topic in the field of education.” -ENDS-

Tuesday, 19 March 2013

GAA All-Star to Launch Anniversary Ceremony A significant milestone in volunteering in Ireland has been reached this year. NUI Galway’s student volunteering programme celebrates ten years of promoting civic engagement at third-level. The ALIVE programme was the first of its kind in Ireland and its success has been emulated by other third-level institutes across the country. ALIVE - A Learning Initiative and the Volunteering Experience – was established by the Community Knowledge Initiative (CKI) at NUI Galway to harness, acknowledge and support the contribution the University students make to Galway by volunteering. Collectively 6,000 NUI Galway students have given 240,000 hours of voluntary activity over ten years with a contribution to the local economy to be estimated at a €2 million. In addition, students have directly raised over €2 million for a range of charitable causes and community organisations. Tony Griffin, GAA All-Star, author, and founder of Soar Foundation will be guest speaker at anniversary Certificate Ceremony, on Wednesday, 27 March at NUI Galway. Tony will discuss his inspiring journey across Canada on a bike which raised €1 million for cancer research and the building of self-esteem and confidence programmes in schools across Ireland. Galway City Mayor Councillor, Terry O' Flaherty, will also attend the ceremony to acknowledge this year’s student volunteers and commemorate the tenth anniversary, which celebrates 6,000 student recipients of the award. In 2012-2013 alone, 1,000 students volunteered with Ballinfoyle Youth Development Project, Brothers of Charity, Galway Simon Community, Belarussian Orphanage Project, School Completion Programme Eastside and Music for Galway to mention a few. Students also made valuable contributions to enhancing their fellow student’s experiences though peer mentoring, sporting, cultural and artistic programmes through student led clubs and societies. NUI Galway President, Dr Jim Browne, said: “The ALIVE programme has been an innovative force in Irish higher education and has been emulated by a range of educational institutions.” Lorraine Tansey, ALIVE Volunteer Programme Coordinator,said: “Our community partners co-educate our students who seek to volunteer to gain experience and learn new skills while gaining confidence in the vital role they play as citizens with something to give back to society.” -ENDS-

Tuesday, 19 March 2013

to tackle heart disease, cancer, diabetes and mental illness NUI Galway is spearheading Ireland’s involvement in a new network focussed on preventative science. The Science for Prevention Academic Network (SPAN) is a new network to advance scientific expertise and help prevent non-communicable diseases such as cancer, heart disease, lung disease, diabetes and mental illness. “Non-communicable diseases are the most significant burden to society, and are often preventable, yet only a small proportion of national health budgets are spent on combating them. There’s a real mis-match here,” explains Dr Michal Molcho from the Health Promotion Research Centre at NUI Galway who is leading Ireland’s involvement in the network. “In terms of dealing with these non-communicable diseases, most of our health budget is spent treating them yet what they spend on prevention can be as little as three or four per cent.” SPAN will enable an international group of prevention scientists based across Europe to work together. In total, 32 universities and institutions will be involved in the project led by Oxford Brookes University, and funded initially by £500,000 from the European Commission. Heart disease and cancer are caused by four main risk behaviours: smoking, excessive drinking, poor diet and lack of exercise. SPAN will help prevent these diseases in people before they manifest serious symptoms as they grow older. Dr Michal Molcho added: “The future of preventative science, research and education will be given a tremendous boost by the launch of this international network of experts. We will build a strong scientific base in this important field and build collaboration which has not existed across Europe in this area until now. We aim to build science in this area, attract more young scientists to the field and make sure that the latest research is shared across Europe.” The initial funding will allow the experts conduct an audit of the preventative science sector across the continent, improve education and training, build networks and run workshops with researchers, in particular young researchers. The Health Promotion Research Centre at NUI Galway is a World Health Organisation (WHO) Collaborative Centre for Health Promotion Research, linking directly with WHO world Headquarters in Geneva. -ends-

Wednesday, 20 March 2013

Conflicts in Ireland over how to best use natural resources – from oil and gas extraction to wind and fish farms – continue to make headlines. A new book from researchers with the Ryan Institute at NUI Galway titled Methods of Sustainability Research for the Social Sciences offers fresh insights into how to understand local conflicts over natural resources, and their connections with [un]sustainable development. “Recent efforts to exploit Ireland’s natural resources such as the Corrib Gas development, the proposed fish farm in Galway Bay, plans for hydraulic fracturing (‘fracking’) and the erection of wind farms and pylons have been met with strong local opposition,” says Dr Henrike Rau, one of the book’s editors. She adds “Citizens across the country have voiced their concern over the potentially negative impacts of these projects for people and the environment. A recent event in Galway saw more than 1,000 people protest against the proposed fish farm in Galway Bay. Across the country people increasingly question the unsustainability of development that ignores local people’s interests and threatens their living environment.” Methods of Sustainability Research is a collection of insights on innovative ways to examine sustainability questions. Its aim is to be a practical and useful resource for students, academics and practitioners interested in sustainability research.   Co-editors Dr Frances Fahy and Dr Henrike Rau, both of NUI Galway, brought together geographers, sociologists, psychologists, human ecologists and political scientists from Ireland and Europe, in an attempt to create a body of work that could offer real solutions informed by rigorous research. The book came in response to increased public interest in NUI Galway courses related to sustainability issues such as Environmental Planning, Sustainable Development in Ireland, Geographies of Sustainable Consumption and Sociology of the Environment. Professor Colin Brown, Director of the Ryan Institute at NUI Galway, says “Sustainability research has gained considerable momentum in recent times in both the natural and social sciences, partly because academics, policy makers and the public have grown increasingly aware of pressing social and environmental sustainability issues. The work of Drs Fahy and Rau and their team is making an important contribution to tackling our climate and energy crises. I am delighted to see the expertise that they and their colleagues have brought together has resulted in a format that so many can access.”   The book is being launched next Tuesday, 26 March at 5pm , in ‘The Space’, Áras na Mac Léinn, at NUI Galway.  The launch is free, and all are welcome. -ends-

Thursday, 21 March 2013

Over 65 students were recognised by NUI Galway today (Thursday, 21 March) at a special ceremony when they were conferred with a Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) from NUI Galway President, Dr Jim Browne. One student, Dr John Kelly, was also conferred with a DSc on Published Work. Degrees on published work are higher doctorates and are the highest qualifications awarded by the University. They are awarded to scholars who have, over a sustained period, published a substantial body of ground-breaking and influential work in a field of specialisation and who have achieved outstanding distinction internationally in that field. All Colleges of the University were represented at the ceremony, with graduands from the College of Arts, Social Sciences and Celtic Studies, the College of Business, Public Policy and Law; the College of Engineering and Informatics; the College of Medicine, Nursing and Health Sciences; and the College of Science. NUI Galway President Dr Jim Browne said: “I would like to congratulate each graduate on their achievement in earning their doctorate degrees. We in NUI Galway are determined that this University will play its full part in producing the graduates and the leaders who will create the future. We have significantly increased our number of PhD graduates in recent years as we strive to meet the needs of the knowledge and innovation economy.” The next conferrings to take place at NUI Galway will be the conferring of Honorary Degrees on Friday, 14 June and the summer conferring on Wednesday, 26 June. -ENDS-  

Friday, 22 March 2013

An Irish-based scientist has been involved in a new discovery showing that there is only one species of the enigmatic giant squid worldwide. The subject of mariners tales since ancient times, this huge 10 armed invertebrate can grow to 13 meters and lives at depths of up to 1000 meters under the sea. Dr Louise Allcock of the Ryan Institute at NUI Galway was a member of an international team, led by the University of Copenhagen, which studied the genetic code of the giant squid, which can weigh over 900 kg. It is less than a year since the giant squid was first filmed alive in its natural element, at a depth of 630 meters by a submarine near Japan. “The giant squid is extremely rarely seen, except as the remains of animals that have been washed ashore, and placed in the formalin or ethanol collections of museums,” explains Dr Allcock. “For a long time it has remained unclear how many species of giant squid exist. Our mitochondrial DNA data strongly point to the existence of a single species.” The research was led by PhD student Inger Winkelmann and her supervisor Professor Tom Gilbert, from the Basic Research Centre in GeoGenetics at the Natural History Museum of Denmark, Copenhagen University. The study, which is published today in the esteemed journal, the Proceedings of the Royal Society B, analyzed DNA from the remains of 43 giant squid collected from all over the world. The results show, that the animal is genetically nearly identical all over the planet, and shows no evidence of living in geographically structured populations. One possible explanation for this is that although evidence suggests the adults remain in relatively restricted geographic regions, the young that live on the ocean’s surfaces must drift in the currents globally. Once they reach a large enough size to survive the depths, the authors of the paper believe they dive to the nearest suitable deep waters, and there the cycle begins again. Scientists have yet to discover how old the creature gets, how quickly they grow and how they might have been affected by climate change in the past. “These are fascinating creatures, living in one of the planet’s most extreme environments, yet growing to gigantic proportions”, concludes Dr Allcock. “There is still so much we to learn about them, and ultimately about our planet.” -ends-

Friday, 22 March 2013

NUI Galway announced the recipients of the 2013 Sports Awards at a special ceremony last night (Thursday, 21 March). The awards recognise sporting performance, leadership and participation, as well as those that contribute to the running and development of the NUI Galway Sports Clubs. This year’s individual award winners include Des Leonard who won his second World Junior Kickboxing title this year and Darren Wallace who set a new Irish University record in Archery this year. Darren was also part of the NUI Galway Archery team which dominated the Irish Varsity scene this year and who are in receipt of one of the team awards. The Tom Tuohy memorial award remembers one of Ireland’s greatest ever rowing coaches who contributed to the NUI Galway boat club for 30 years. The award recognises outstanding achievement in the past year by an individual or crew and this year goes to Robert O’Callaghan who was part of the Senior 8 that won the National title last summer. Kathy Hynes, Development Office, Sports Clubs and Participation, NUI Galway said: “Each year NUI Galway recognises the outstanding contribution of student athletes across many diverse sporting disciplines for their achievements in sport. This year’s awards ceremony extended to reflect not only the achievements of students in terms of performance sport but also the contribution of the clubs to campus life and the importance of participation in sport and exercise. Five such awards were awarded to reflect this important contribution to university life.” The Table Tennis Club and Surf Club were joint winners of the ‘Leadership Alumni Award’,a dedicated leadership programme for all Club Captains and committee members. The programme is a partnership between the University’s Sports Clubs and Galway Alumni Office. The ‘Club Captain’s Award’, which recognises the enormous contribution of individual students to the successful running of sports clubs, was presented to Gráinne Conway. ‘Most Improved Sports Club Recognition’ was awarded to the Ladies Soccer club, under the direction of team Captain Rosa Shine, who, with her committee, raised the profile of their club through increasing student numbers, evaluating training methods and providing a strong foundation for their future success. Sporting life on campus is not just for the elite performers and this is reflected in the ‘Outstanding Recreational Participation Award’ which this year was awarded “Fresh N Cool” a group of young men who have participated in the indoor Futsal leagues for the past three years. These individuals have been selected from several different teams for their participation within the Futsal league, their sense of fair play, camaraderie and the sense of community they provide to all students involved in the league. The ‘Special Achievement Award’ recognises, over a period of time, the excellence of a club or club member. This year’s recipient was Hannah Smith who as Club Captain, committee member and team player raised the profile and success of Women’s rugby at a local and national level. This is the 30th year of the awards and past winners include current Galway Hurling manager Anthony Cunningham, Irish Soccer International Meabh De Burca, Olympians, Éadaoin Ní Cheallaráin, Olive Loughnane, Paul Hession, Alan Martin and Cormac Folan, as well as a long list of All-Ireland winners and Internationals. Gary Ryan, NUI Galway’s Development Officer for Elite Sport, said: “When you look at the list of the people who have won these awards over the years some of the most recognisable names in Irish Sport are amongst them. There are also dozens of former students who have contributed enormously to sport locally and nationally since then in a variety of different roles. It is striking to see how many past award winners are now involved in coaching and administration and reinforces how important the learning experience of being involved in University Clubs can be.” 2012 Sports Award Winners: Individual Awards Archery: Darren Wallace from Portlaoise, Co. Laois Ladies Soccer: Jennifer Byrne from Ballinsloe, Co. Galway Cricket: Waqar Ul Hassan from Ballyhaunis, Co. Mayo Pool and Snooker: Stephen Darren Dempsey from Monaghan Town Swimming, Lifesaving and Waterpolo: Kevin McGlade from Galway City Hurling: Kevin Moynihan from Ennis, Co. Clare Camogie: Orlaith Duggan from Clooney, Co. Clare Men’s Gaelic Football: Ciaran McDonald from Aherlow, Co. Tipperary Hockey: Síle Johnson from Bandon, Co. Cork Tom Tuohy Award for Achievement in Rowing: Rob O’Callaghan from Galway City Kickboxing: Des Leonard from Riverstown, Co. Sligo Team Winners     Team Award - Archery Club        Team Award - Swimming and Lifesaving Team Team Award - Mystics (Ladies Basketball) Team Award - Volleyball Club    Most Improved Club: Ladies Soccer Club Outstanding Recreation Participation Award: Futsal winners "Fresh N Cool" Club Captains Award: Surf Club - Captain Gráinne Conway from Westport, Co. Mayo Special Achievement Award: Hannah Smith from Ennis, Co. Clare, past Captain and now secretary of Women’s Rugby Club Leadership Alumni Award: Joint winners – Table Tennis Club and Surf Club -ENDS-

Monday, 25 March 2013

NUI Galway is delighted to announce that the Dr Tony Ryan Trust has made a significant donation to the University to support scholarship and innovation in environment, marine and energy as well as the University’s access programme. In addition to supporting the access programme, this significant philanthropic gift of over one million euro will specifically provide fully funded research scholarships for five PhD students.  The Dr Tony Ryan Research Scholarships will offer opportunities to pursue a postgraduate degree in the key research areas of environment, marine and energy.  The scholarships will specifically focus on research priorities at The Ryan Institute in the University, including: Innovation in energy-efficient technologies and bio-energy Research and development in aquaculture, fisheries, offshore renewable energy resources and bio-discovery Development of technologies for monitoring, modelling and mitigation of environmental pressures Speaking on behalf of the Trustees of the Dr Tony Ryan Trust, Emma Lane-Spollen said: “We are proud to support so many Irish and migrant students to access NUI Galway’s degree programmes with €125,000 per year for 4 years. We also look forward to supporting the development of the marine industry and the exploration of marine ecosystems in Ireland by supporting Galway’s ability to attract the best PhD students through these 5 full scholarships, putting Galway at the forefront of marine research and innovation.” Dr Jim Browne, President of NUI Galway said: “This scholarship funding amplifies the generous support received in the past from the Ryan family.  NUI Galway remains indebted to the late Dr Tony Ryan and the Ryan family for the vision and the enlightened philanthropy which led to the capital development of the Ryan Institute in the 1990s.  The Ryan Institute is the leading centre for environment, marine and energy research in Ireland.  Increasingly these areas are becoming crucial to the global economy, generating new and sustainable technologies.  Support for scholarship and innovation in these areas is a strategic and important decision by the Trust and I would like to thank the Trustees for their philanthropy. The Dr Tony Ryan Trust’s funding of the NUI Galway Access Programme will also enable talented students facing financial challenges to realise their full educational potential.” The Ryan Institute Award In addition to the Dr Ryan Scholarship Fund, a substantial Ryan Institute Award will feature annually, as a new means to support and foster entrepreneurship and innovation.  The Award, which will be presented each year for five years, will be coupled with the above scholarship opportunity to drive innovation, entrepreneurship and spin-outs from postgraduate research at NUI Galway.  An annual University competition, targeted at researchers and/or postgraduate students within the Ryan Institute, will assess business ideas arising from research.  This award is to enable the winner to commercialise or develop their idea, including through further research at home or abroad. The Ryan Institute has over 300 researchers making it Ireland’s largest research institute to focus on some of the most pressing environmental and energy issues of the 21st century.  NUI Galway’s formal research in this area goes back to the early-1990s when Dr Tony Ryan, funded the Marine Research Building, named in memory of his father Martin Ryan. Professor Colin Brown, Director of the Ryan Institute at NUI Galway said: “NUI Galway has a long history of engaging with vital environmental and marine issues through our research, especially in the areas of climate change, water resources, marine ecosystems, biodiversity and sustainability. We strongly welcome this support for research scholarship and look forward to further collaboration with the Dr Tony Ryan Trust as the fund and award scheme realise the bright minds of the future.” -ends-

Monday, 25 March 2013

Doing the Leaving Certificate and looking ahead to University? NUI Galway is holding a University Taster Day for Leaving Certificate students during the Easter break. The Taster Day will combine a series of revision sessions on aspects of the Leaving Certificate curriculum, together with some taster workshops in new Arts subjects. Participants will gain unique insights into Leaving Cert subjects in revision sessions taught by University lecturers. A choice of 17 subjects is on offer in areas like English, Irish, French, History, Geography and more. Students will also enjoy taster workshops in University level Arts subjects like Psychology, Drama, Film Studies and Sociology and Politics. Organiser of the University Taster Day, Joe Mac Donnacha explained: “Students are focused on their revision for the Leaving Certificate at this time of year. The aim of the NUI Galway Taster Day is to help them maximize their revision in key subject areas, while also giving them an enjoyable introduction to some of the subjects taught on the University’s Arts degree.” The Arts degree at NUI Galway is the second largest undergraduate course in the country, attracting over 1,000 new students every year.   Commenting on the ongoing popularity of the Arts degree at NUI Galway for students, Dean of the College of Arts, Social Sciences, and Celtic Studies, Dr Edward Herring, said: “Arts and Social Science students are very creative. More start-up enterprises are founded by Arts graduates than Business graduates. You find successful Arts and Social Sciences graduates in almost every walk of life. Of course, we need scientists, engineers, doctors, and entrepreneurs but we also need those people who understand and can critique human behaviour, social values and cultural creativity. That is what Arts graduates are trained to do.” The NUI Galway Taster Day runs from 9.30am to 3pm on Friday, 5 April, in the Engineering Building on the NUI Galway campus. Advanced booking is essential for this FREE revision session and taster day. Bookings can be made online at:  www.nuigalway.ie/university_taster_day. Enquiries should be directed to (091) 494 145 or email visit@nuigalway.ie   ENDS

Tuesday, 26 March 2013

Bishop John Fleming of the diocese of Killala, Co Mayo and former President of Ireland Mary Robinson, are pleased to announce that Desmond Tutu, Archbishop Emeritus of Cape Town, South Africa will endorse the proposed new Mary Robinson Centre with the presentation of a Welcoming Stone at an ecumenical event in St Muredach’s Cathedral, in Mrs Robinson’s home town of Ballina, Co Mayo on Saturday, May 11 next at 6pm (18:00hrs). The Mary Robinson Centre is being developed by a partnership including National University of Ireland, Galway (NUI Galway), Mayo County Council, Ballina Town Council, the local community and the Robinson / Bourke families together with Government support.  Representatives of all will attend the event. Archbishop Tutu and Mrs Robinson, who has just been announced as the UN’s new Special Envoy to Africa’s troubled Great Lakes region, will engage in a shared reflection which will be conducted in St Muredach’s Cathedral and chaired by the renowned Irish journalist and current affairs presenter, Olivia O’Leary. The Archbishop will also visit the site of the new Centre at Mary Robinson’s birthplace, the Bourke family home on Victoria Terrace at Ballina, directly opposite the Cathedral.   Ends

Tuesday, 26 March 2013

The fourth international Nursing and Midwifery conference, Building and Promoting Excellence in Practice, will take place from 15-16 April in Áras Moyola, NUI Galway. Organised by NUI Galway’s School of Nursing and Midwifery, in partnership with Galway University Hospital and the Nursing and Midwifery Planning and Development Units (West), the conference will bring together leaders in the field of nursing and midwifery to share their experiences of clinical care and research. Building and Promoting Excellence in Practice will cover topics relevant to the fields of chronic illness, mental health, older people, maternity care and women’s health, and teaching and learning in practice. With over 200 delegates expected to attend, the conference will feature over 100 presentations from national and international speakers and will be of interest to health professionals working in nursing or midwifery, along with medical and allied health professionals. This year's keynote speaker will be Dr Julie Barroso, Distinguished Professor at the Duke University School of Nursing in North Caroline, USA. Dr Barroso’s research is in the areas of qualitative research methodology and chronic illness and has written prolifically on these topics. She has specific expertise on synthesizing qualitative research and this will be the topic of her keynote address. The conference will also feature a keynote discussion from Dr David Tovey, Editor-in-Chief with The Cochrane Library. A previous Editorial Director for the BMJ Evidence Centre, Dr Tovey’s keynote discussion will focus on evidence-based practice. Professor Declan Devane, Conference Chair and Professor of Midwifery at NUI Galway, said: “We are really excited about this year’s conference. Faced with rapidly changing healthcare contexts, new research initiatives and demanding resource constraints, the opportunity for health care professionals to come together to discuss best practice is vital. Thoughtful practice based on the best available evidence is key to making a difference to those accessing our health care services; this conference provides an opportunity for nurses and midwives to come together share their experiences to build and promote excellence in practice.”   For more information on the conference, please visit the conference website at  www.nursingmidwifery.ie. -ENDS-   

Tuesday, 26 March 2013

Eight NUI Galway postgraduate courses have been shortlisted for the national gradireland Graduate Recruitment Awards 2013. The award winners will be announced on Thursday, 18 April at a reception in the Mansion House in Dublin. The annual Postgraduate Course of the Year Awards, sponsored by the Higher Education Authority (HEA), recognises excellence amongst Irish postgraduate course providers. The winning courses are judged on the success of the course including employability of graduates, recognition of the course’s quality or ranking by external bodies, research record of academic staff, and providing a good experience for students. Judges also take feedback from students into consideration when selecting a winner. With eight courses in contention, NUI Galway is the higher education institution with the most shortlisted entries this year, a notable achievement, considering there were 126 entries to the competition in total. NUI Galway courses shortlisted for the Business Award are: the Executive MBA, which also celebrating its 40th anniversary this year; MSc in Industrial Relations and Human Resource Management; and MSc in International Management. The MSc in Biolnnovation Fellowship programme is shortlisted in the Best New Course category.  Two NUI Galway courses are nominated as Best IT Course: LLM in Law, Technology and Governance and the Masters in Digital Media. In the Engineering category NUI Galway has one of two courses in the shortlist, the Masters of Applied Science (Enterprise Systems). Similarly it has one of only two courses shortlisted in Science, the MSc in Biomedical Science (Distance Learning). Valerie Leahy, Postgraduate Recruitment Officer at NUI Galway, said: “We are delighted to again make the shortlist for these important national awards; it’s great that the calibre of our postgraduate courses is being recognised. The courses in question are accepting applications now so those interested can apply online via the Postgraduate Applications Centre at www.pac.ie. This year we’re also offering full-time taught masters scholarships for first class students, so that’s another good reason to consider NUI Galway for your postgraduate studies.” NUI Galway offers a wide range of fourth-level courses, developing programmes based on its traditional academic strengths of Arts, Social Sciences, Celtic Studies, Commerce, Medicine, Nursing, Health Science, Law, Engineering, Informatics and Science. These areas have been augmented with innovative Research Centres in areas as diverse as Biomedical Engineering, International Human Rights, Digital Media & Film Studies, and Regenerative Medicine. Almost 3,500 postgraduate students (including international students) currently attend NUI Galway. NUI Galway awards Postgraduate Scholarships, valued at €1,500 per student, to all students studying a postgraduate taught Masters programme in the year 2013/14, who have a first class honours undergraduate degree. The new initiative is open to postgraduate students, applying for a fulltime Taught Masters programme. Scholarships will be awarded to students accepted on a fulltime taught masters and who fulfill the criteria as outlined by the University. For further information on any of the postgraduate courses available at NUI Galway call 091 495148 or visit www.nuigalway.ie/courses. -ENDS-

Wednesday, 27 March 2013

NUI Galwaycancer researcher Dr Eva Szegezdi has been applauded for reaching the finals of the Irish Cancer Society’s ‘Researcher of the Year’ Award. Dr Szegezdi works in the Apoptosis Research Centre at the University’s School of Natural Sciences. Professor Afshin Samali, Director of Apoptosis Research Centre at NUI Galway, said: “Reaching the final three of this prestigious award is a major achievement. This is a testament to high quality, relevance and impact of Dr Szegezdi’s research at the Centre. Dr Szegezdi is the leading scientist in her field of research in Ireland and is an opinion leader whose work is at the cutting edge of cancer research.” The Apoptosis Research Centre at NUI Galway is composed of an interactive network of researchers investigating cell death and its relationship to human disease. Dr Eva Szegezdi was shortlisted for her research entitled, ‘Blazing a new TRAIL in cancer therapy’. “TRAIL is a protein produced by immune cells to kill newly developed cancer cells”, explains Dr Szegezdi. “TRAIL has the ability to selectively find and kill cancer cells without harming healthy cells, which give it advantage over standard chemotherapeutic drugs. The aim of our research is to use the cancer-selective characteristics of TRAIL, synthesize and process it outside the body and to convert it into a cancer drug that possesses high anticancer potential, in fact higher than natural TRAIL produced by immune cells.” Research carried out by Dr Szegezdi is also supported by Science Foundation Ireland and funding from NUI Galway. Last year, NUI Galway’s Dr Róisín Dwyer a postdoctoral research fellow in the Discipline of Surgery at NUI Galway was announced as the first Irish Cancer Society ‘Researcher of the Year’. Dr Dwyer scooped the top prize in 2012 for her research that investigated the potential of adult stem cells as vehicles for targeted delivery of therapeutic agents to breast tumours, which aims to significantly reduce tumour growth. -ENDS-

Wednesday, 27 March 2013

Leukaemia and myeloma research efforts in Galway have received a huge boost with a generous donation of €12,500 by the Cloonacool Community in Co. Sligo. The money raised was donated to Galway University Foundation to support research at NUI Galway and Galway University Hospitals facilitated by Professor Michael O’Dwyer. The fundraising took place initially following the personal experiences of local families who had loved ones diagnosed with leukaemia. It soon gathered momentum through a table quiz in Brennans of Cloonacool, and culminated in an outdoor event ‘The Westport Sea2summit Challenge’. ‘The Westport Sea2summit Challenge’ saw 23 people undertake a gruelling 4km run, 8 km cycle, 3km ascent and descent of Croagh Patrick, 8 km cycle and finally a 4 km run to Westport. To add to the monies collected, The South Sligo Gun Club contributed €1200. Professor Michael O’Dwyer and his research team are extremely grateful for the donation: “We are trying to improve the outcomes for those diagnosed with leukaemia and myeloma. Every euro raised is really appreciated and will help us in our research efforts. I applaud the community of Cloonacool for their extreme and inventive fundraising efforts. For us and the patients, knowing we have that kind of moral support is something you can’t put a price on.” To support leukaemia and myeloma research at NUI Galway please visit www.guf.ie     -Ends-

Wednesday, 27 March 2013

Dr David Finn of NUI Galway has been awarded the Royal Academy of Medicine in Ireland’s Doctor Award for best paper published in an indexed journal in 2012 in the Pain/Anaesthesia category. Dr Finn, lecturer in Pharmacology, Co-Director of the Centre for Pain Research, and Leader of the Galway Neuroscience Centre, received the award at a ceremony held the Royal College of Physicians in Dublin. The first author of the winning paper was Dr Weredeselam Olango who did the work during his PhD under the supervision of Dr Finn and Dr Michelle Roche in Physiology, NUI Galway. The Royal Academy of Medicine in Ireland’s Doctor Awards are presented each year to Irish or Irish-based researchers who are judged to have published the best research papers in international, peer-reviewed journals.   The winning paper confirmed the key role of a midbrain region called the periaqueductal grey in the suppression of pain behaviour by fear (so-called fear-induced analgesia). Fear-induced analgesia was associated with increases in levels of marijuana-like substances known as endocannabinoids in this part of the brain. Furthermore, fear-induced analgesia was prevented by injecting a drug that blocked the receptor at which these endocannabinoids act into the periaqueductal grey. An increased understanding of the biological mechanisms involved in fear-induced analgesia is important from a fundamental physiological perspective and may also advance the search for new therapeutic approaches to the treatment of pain.  Dr David Finn, senior author on the paper, said: “We are very pleased that our work has been recognised with this prestigious award. This research which was funded by grants from Science Foundation Ireland and the Irish Research Council, advances our fundamental understanding of the neurobiology of pain and may facilitate the identification of new therapeutic targets for the treatment of pain and anxiety disorders.” -ends

Wednesday, 27 March 2013

The West Ocean String Quartet: Seamus McGuire and Niamh Crowley - violin, Ken Rice – viola and Neil Martin – cello in partnership with NUI Galway College of Medicine, Nursing and Health Sciences will perform in the Aula Maxima at NUI Galway on 18 April at 8pm. The concert marks the new album An Indigo Sky. Proceeds on the night will go toward Voluntary Services Abroad (VSA). A potent collage of timbres and hues, An Indigo Sky is bold, passionate and unapologetic. Central to it is Neil Martin’s four-movement suite from which the album takes its name, commissioned in memory of Joseph Browne, a former medical student of NUI Galway from Knockmeal on the Clare/Galway border who died tragically in 2006.  Additionally, alongside traditional and newly-composed pieces sits music by Turlough O’Carolan and Thomas Moore. In a rare and much-coveted 5 star review of the album, The Irish Times talked of this “magnificently elegiac recording” being “a shimmering delight”.  The concert will also draw from the quartet’s three other albums. Formed in 1999, the West Ocean String Quartet’s vision, eclectic repertoire and style have won them global praise. Their music lies somewhere in between the worlds of classical and traditional. Disregarding rules and boundaries, they have found for themselves a unique voice, and have collaborated with many leading artists, both on stage and in the studio, including Christy Moore, Matt Molloy, Maighréad Ní Dhomhnaill, Mary Black, Liam O’Flynn and Brian Kennedy. The quartet's debut CD, Unwrapping Dreams (2004), was released to very considerable acclaim both in Ireland and around the globe. It won the award for Best Newcomers Album in Chicago’s American Live Ireland Awards that year and a BBC television documentary on the quartet followed. Universal praise continued with their second cd, The Guiding Moon (2006) featuring The Chieftains' flute player Matt Molloy.  Their third cd, Ae Fond Kiss (2009), with special guest Maighréad Ní Dhomhnaill, similarly garnered applause worldwide. The quartet has performed widely, including sell-out performances in Dublin's National Concert Hall, Belfast's Waterfront Hall and Glasgow’s Royal Concert Hall.  Their music has taken them to USA and France and their appeal is truly universal - all three of the quartet’s cds were played aboard the International Space Station in 2011.  Tickets are priced at €20 euro, students €15 euro and can be obtained from the Galway Arts Centre on Dominic Street; School of Medicine at NUI Galway; Socs Box in NUI Galway or at the door on the night. ENDS

Wednesday, 27 March 2013

A group of second year Biomedical Science students from NUI Galway recently hosted a two-day art exhibition at the Galway museum.  The ‘Art in Science’ exhibition featured striking images acquired from research labs in Anatomy, Biochemistry and Pharmacology disciplines in the University. The project was undertaken as part of a Community Knowledge Initiative (CKI) module.   The images were mostly derived from subcellular structures of components too small to see with the naked eye and required sophisticated imaging systems. Students designed and produced brochures to accompany each image which gave details of how the image was generated and its significance in the progress of scientific research. The images were regarded as particularly interesting as standalone art pieces in addition to their scientific significance and therefore were able to bridge the gap between science and art.    Dr Lynn O’Connor, Lecturer in Biomedical Science at NUI Galway, said: “We are very proud of the efforts of the students to share the ongoing research efforts taking place in Biomedical Science in NUI Galway with the general public.  They successfully managed to convey not only the enormous research strides that are taking place in NUI Galway but also to convey an appreciation of the artistic merits of the images produced as part of that research effort. They have bridged the gap between science and the arts. Over the course of the two day exhibition children from local schools, tourists and local people viewed the images and spoke with the students about their work which was received with great interest.”    NUI Galway scientists who contributed to the exhibition included: Drs Maura Grealy and  Eilis Dowd from Pharmacology; Dr Lynn O’Connor, Biomedical Science; Professor Peter Dockery, Alex Black and Drs Dara Cannon and Fabio Quondamatteo from Anatomy; and Professors Noel Lowndes, Brian McStay and Ciaran Morrison, and Dr Andrew Flaus from Biochemistry. -ENDS-

Friday, 1 February 2013

According to the gradireland 2012 Graduate Salary & Recruitment Trends Survey almost half (48.4%) of all graduate jobs created in 2011 were in the accountancy and financial management sector.  This far exceeds any other sector, including the high profile IT and telecoms sector which comes in at second with 13.6% of graduate jobs.   Dr Emer Mulligan, Head of the J.E. Cairnes School of Business and Economics at NUI Galway concurred with the survey findings saying: “On the ground we continue to see strong demand for our graduates locally, nationally and internationally.  Recent curriculum changes in our programmes ensure all our graduates have the necessary skills for the workplace and are accordingly in demand by industry.” With a career in accounting such an attractive prospect, it is surprising that fewer students are choosing accounting at second level. However, although a C1 in leaving certificate accounting is a prerequisite for the BComm Accounting programme at NUI Galway, there is no requirement for accounting for students on the mainstream BComm, as they can specialise in accounting in final year of study. Current Student Perspective Students like Ruth Guinane and James O’Brien, both from Galway and studying at NUI Galway, bear out the truth of this survey.  Ruth is a student on the BComm (Accounting) and James is a student on the BComm, who has chosen to specialise in Accounting in his final year. Both of these programmes offer the opportunity in second year to apply for an optional international experience year which extends the degree from three to four years.  The international experience year typically includes a semester in a university abroad and a semester on placement with a relevant employer.  Ruth spent a semester at the State University of New York at Albany NY and worked on placement for six months with Deloitte in Dublin.  “The opportunity to study in the US was fantastic, I got to immerse myself completely in another culture, study different subjects and travel all around New York and even up to Canada.  The placement gave me a real insight into my future career and Deloitte have already offered me a training contract when I finish my degree.” James also opted for the international experience year “I worked at Alkermes Plc. in Athlone for seven months in the accounting department. I learned a lot while working there including the importance of hard work, team work and the need to be flexible as I was presented with different challenges every day. Overall, it was an incredible opportunity; I got experience working in a multi-national pharmaceutical corporation which gave me a great understanding as to what would be expected of me in the workplace. I studied at Villanova University in Pennsylvania. I visited North Carolina, Washington DC, New York, Philadelphia, the Jersey Shore and Toronto. It was definitely a semester that I will never forget! I’m in my final year now and the experience was huge help in securing job offers with Accounting firms.  It really gave me a taste for international experience and so I have accepted a job with Ernst & Young in Luxembourg, starting next September.&rdqu o; The BComm at NUI Galway is a three year programme which allows students to specialise in Economics, Marketing, Human Resource Management, Business Information Systems and Accounting.  Students who select the international experience year have the opportunity to study abroad and engage in a work placement converting it into a four year programme. -ENDS-

Friday, 1 February 2013

“The beneficial effects of a good quality environment on human health and well-being are very considerable,” according to author Tony Juniper.  “Exposure to green space and the natural environment has been shown to improve our well-being, and that is very valuable to society, including in an economic sense,” the internationally-acclaimed environmentalist told some 300 delegates this morning at the ENVIRON2013 conference at the Ryan Institute in NUI Galway. Juniper is visiting Ireland to deliver the conference’s keynote lecture on ‘Nature for Health - Opportunities for People and the Environment’. Protecting our environment from pollution, abuse and mismanagement, and providing a good quality natural environment can do more to benefit our health and well-being than many other measures, he told the audience. In his new book released earlier this month, What Has Nature Ever Done for Us – How Money Really Does Grow on Trees, he highlights the potential economic benefits of working with nature instead of simply seeing it as a supplier of resources and a place to dump waste. According to Tony Juniper, nature provides the world economy with more than €100 trillion worth of goods and “natural services” every year.  He explained how the loss of these “natural services” can trigger huge economic costs. Tony Juniper is a campaigner, writer, sustainability adviser and one of the world’s most influential environmentalists. From 2003 to 2008 he was the Director in England, Wales and Northern Ireland of Friends of the Earth and from 2001 to 2008 he was the Vice Chair of the 70-strong network of national organisations that comprise Friends of the Earth International. For more than 25 years he has worked for change toward a more sustainable society at local, national and international levels.  Juniper presently works as a Special Adviser to the Prince of Wales Charities’ International Sustainability Unit, having previously worked (2008-2010) as a Special Advisor with the Prince’s Rainforests Project. He is a Senior Associate with the University of Cambridge Programme for Sustainability Leadership working as a member of the teaching faculty. During his visit to NUI Galway he also launched the Centre for Health from Environment at the Ryan Institute, which was established to encourage research and teaching on the ways in which the environment benefits human health and well-being. The Centre brings together interdisciplinary researchers from areas of medicine, science, engineering, political science, geography, and other disciplines who are all working together to place sustaining health through environmental stewardship at the centre of public policy. The Centre’s on-going and planned research intersects four thematic areas: Air Quality, Water Quality, Public Policy, and Food and Soil.  “We benefit much more from clean air, pure water, good food and exercise and strong communities than we do from hospitals, medicines and clinics,” said Professor Martin Cormican, Director of the Centre for Health from Environment at the launch of the centre this morning. He stated that “In recent decades we have seen major improvements in outdoor air quality through control of emissions from coal and motor vehicles, improvements in indoor air quality through changes in cigarette smoking, improvements in water quality through control of discharges into rivers and lakes and we’ve witnessed important social changes that promote acceptance of diversity in communities. The Centre seeks to promote a greater understanding and appreciation of the principle that if we take good care of the environment, than it takes good care of us.” Professor Colin Brown, Director of the Ryan Institute added: “The launch of the new Centre for Health from Environment is timely. Nature and biodiversity have often been considered only relevant to biologists or ecologists, but a growing body of research makes clear that it is equally relevant to health-related disciplines.” The ENVIRON 2013 conference continues until tomorrow, with a Career Expo as one of the highlights this afternoon. The ‘ENVIRON Career Expo and CV advice shop’ is open to all members of the public, and will feature representatives from NGOs, environmental consultancies, research institutes, and semi-state bodies who are all actively recruiting. The Career Expo takes place in the foyer of the Bailey Allen Hall on Thursday, 31 January, from 1-5pm. -ends-

Monday, 4 February 2013

NUI Galway will host the Spring Postgraduate Open Day on Tuesday, 12 February, from 12 noon to 4pm in the Bailey Allen Hall, Áras na Mac Léinn. The Open Day will showcase over 400 of NUI Galway’s full-time and part-time postgraduate programmes, including taught and research masters, as well as doctoral research options. With one of the broadest portfolios of postgraduate teaching and learning in the country, NUI Galway’s Postgraduate Open Day will afford potential students the opportunity to meet academic staff and current students. With over 70 information stands, information will be available on courses, scholarships, fees and other practical considerations. Talks on funding opportunities will take place, along with presentations on how undertaking a postgraduate course in NUI Galway can boost your career opportunities. Valerie Leahy, from the Marketing and Communications Office at NUI Galway, comments: “A postgraduate qualification broadens your skills-set, increases your specialist knowledge, and can improve your job prospects: over 92% of our graduates are currently employed or are in further study within six months of graduating. Making an online application to an NUI Galway postgraduate programme is so easy; it takes less than ten minutes and it could be the best ten minutes you’ll ever spend investing in your future.” NUI Galway offers many new and unique programmes, building on its traditional academic strengths of Arts, Social Sciences, Celtic Studies, Commerce, Medicine, Nursing, Health Science, Law, Engineering, Informatics and Science. These areas have been augmented with innovative research centres in areas as diverse as Biomedical Science and Engineering, International Human Rights, Digital Media & Film Studies, and Regenerative Medicine. NUI Galway also offers postgraduate conversion courses, where students can change their study-direction at postgraduate level and perhaps then move into a more buoyant field. According to John Hannon, Head of NUI Galway’s Career Development Centre: “Irish graduates are ranked first in Europe in terms of how employers rank graduates, and postgraduate study can definitely boost employability. Over the last three years postgraduate numbers going in to employment has grown consistently. NUI Galway has extensive and well-established links with employers, professional bodies, research organisations, and commercial and voluntary sectors which can benefit you in your job search.” To book your place at the Open Day visit www.nuigalway.ie/postgraduate-open-day or register on the day. To apply for an NUI Galway postgraduate course visit www.pac.ie/nuigalway. -ENDS-

Monday, 4 February 2013

NFB delivers five-fold increase in initial exchequer funding The Network of Excellence for Functional Biomaterials (NFB), a multidisciplinary research group based in NUI Galway, is celebrating the award of its fifth successful coordinated EU grant. Over the past two years NFB has secured €14.2 million in EU-coordinated grants. This brings to €20 million the amount of funding which NFB has attracted, an almost five-fold return on initial exchequer funding through Science Foundation Ireland (SFI). In addition to the initial investment from SFI in 2007, NFB has secured its additional funding from the EU, Enterprise Ireland and national and international industry partners. NFB is an SFI-funded Strategic Research Cluster developing functional biomaterials which have clinical applications in orthopaedics, cardiovascular, neural and soft tissue repair. Through the coordination of EU grants, NFB has teamed up with ten academic institutions and fourteen industrial partners in eight countries, highlighting the strong industrial component and integrated nature of NFB’s research. One of NFB’s latest grant successes will fund research which aims to reduce the re-narrowing of arteries following implantation of stents through the use of novel cardiovascular stent material. Other projects being undertaken by the group include research into a medical condition known as ischemia which occurs when blood supply to a tissue is limited. The aim is to form new blood vessels to supply the ischemic tissue and restore function. Repair of damaged nerves is another research area being investigated with hopes to improve the lives of patients suffering from spinal cord damage. Biomaterials include both natural and synthetic materials, or a combination of both and these are placed within the body to restore cells and tissue that have become dysfunctional through disease or injury. Speaking about NFB’s success, its Director Professor Abhay Pandit said: “The research being carried out will have a real impact on patients’ lives and economic benefits will also be reaped by the country as the next generation of scientists and engineers are being trained for skilled jobs in the ever growing Irish medical devices market. Meanwhile, Vornia, a start-up medical device company that has been spun-out from NFB is expanding rapidly and bringing superior and consistently high-quality biodegradable biomaterial products to the market. As a medical device company, Vornia also uses its own superior grade materials to develop and scale up products in niche clinical targets including tendon regeneration, soft tissue repair and spinal cord repair.  -ends-

Monday, 4 February 2013

NUI Galway has announced the winners of the 2013 Alumni Awards to be presented at the 13th annual Alumni Awards Gala Banquet on Saturday, 9 March, 2013. The Gala Banquet will be presented by RTÉ’s Gráinne Seoige and will again be held in the Bailey Allen Wing located in Áras na Mac Léinn on campus. The Alumni Awards recognise individual excellence and achievements among the University’s more than 80,000 graduates worldwide. The Awards programme boasts an impressive roll call of 68 outstanding graduates who have gone on to honour their alma mater, including, for example, Michael D. Higgins, Ciarán FitzGerald, Sean O’Rourke, Professor Frank Gannon, Dr Luke Clancy and Gráinne Seoige. This year’s award winners come from right across the globe as the University celebrates The Gathering 2013. The winners of the five alumni awards to be presented at Gala 2013:  Alumni Award for Business, Public Policy and Law – sponsored by Bank of Ireland    -  Adrian Jones, Managing Director, Principal Investment Area, Merchant Banking Division,    Goldman Sachs.  Alumni Award for Medicine, Nursing and Health Sciences – sponsored by Medtronic  - Mary E. D’Alton, M.D. Willard C. Rappleye Professor and Chair, Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology at Columbia’s College of Physicians and Surgeons.  Alumni Award for Engineering and Informatics –sponsored by Bank of Ireland  - Hugh O’Donnell, Saipem Spa deputy CEO and COO Drilling.  Alumni Award for Science – sponsored by Aramark  - Seamus Kavanagh, Vice President Global Innovation and Technology Development,Hollister Incorporated.                              Award for Arts, Social Sciences and Celtic Studies sponsored by AIB  - Joyce McGreevy, Author and a Supervising Editor for the Academic Division of National Geographic. Speaking on the announcement of the Awards recipients, President of NUI Galway, Dr Jim Browne said: “Our Alumni Awards programme recognises the many Galway alumni who are leaders in their chosen fields. These 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. In this year of The Gathering, we are delighted to recognise in a very special way graduates who have distinguished themselves internationally, and who return to their alma mater from various parts of the globe.  I congratulate each of the Award winners and look forward to welcoming them back to campus for the Gala Banquet in March.” For ticket and booking information contact the Alumni Office on 091 493750 or email alumni@nuigalway.ie. Online bookings at www.nuigalway.ie/alumni-friends   ENDS

Tuesday, 5 February 2013

Over 200 NUI Galway MBA graduates recently returned to the University to mark the 40th anniversary of the first intake to its Master of Business Administration (MBA) programme. Organised by the University’s J.E. Cairnes School of Business and Economics, the milestone was marked with a conference and gala dinner.  The conference, ‘40 Years A-Growing in Business & Management: Learning from the Past, Leading the Future’ brought together a panel of 15 high-profile national and international contributors from business and academia, with the majority of speakers being NUI Galway MBA alumni.  Professor Jim Doolan, the first MBA Director in 1972, also addressed the conference and recounted the objectives of offering the first MBA which included serving the needs of managers and industry leaders at the time.  The first conference symposium focused on innovation and entrepreneurship with presentations from Joe McBreen, Founder, Chair and CEO Celtrak; Jill Holtz, Founder mykidstime.ie  and The Ahain Group; and Connor Flanagan, Director, LotusWorks. The session was chaired by Liam Bluett, General Manager, Ballybane Enterprise Centre. The second symposium focused on Ireland in the national and international economy with presentations from Dr Alan Ahearne, Economist & Lecturer, NUI Galway and Professor John McHale, Chair National Fiscal Council and Professor of Economics, NUI Galway.  The economics symposium was chaired by Brian Molloy, Director HC Financial Advisers and CEO Orbsen Therapeutics Ltd. The Global Mindset symposium included presentations from New York and Chicago based organisations and was chaired by Dr Emer Mulligan, Head of the J.E. Cairnes School of Business and Economics, NUI Galway.  Helen Ryan, CEO, Creganna Tactx Medical reflected on the challenges and opportunities for Irish owned companies through export-led growth.  Seamus Kavanagh, Vice President, Innovation and Technology Development, Hollister Inc., Chicago and Mike Higgins, Managing Director and Head of CIBC World Markets Corp., New York and Chair of the NUI Galway US Foundation, reflected on the global business market. The final conference symposium reflected on issues of ethics, governance and leadership in driving organisational success with presentations from Conor McDonnell, Vice-President for HR, Fidelity Investments, Myles McHugh of Myles McHugh and Associates (formerly Irish Rail), and Paschal McCarthy, Vice President, GE Healthcare.  Dr Alma McCarthy, MBA Programme Director and event organiser, said: “I was struck by the considerable success which our MBA alumni have achieved in challenging senior management positions nationally and globally.  It was refreshing to hear from our alumni who were very positive about the opportunities that lie ahead and the possibilities that can be achieved with the right frame of mind.” Over 200 attended the black tie gala dinner at the Ardilaun Hotel where guests enjoyed a keynote dinner address by Dr Leo Smyth, Adjunct Professor of Management at NUI Galway and former MBA Programme Director and Lecturer. Commenting on the NUI Galway MBA programme, Dr Emer Mulligan, Head of the J.E. Cairnes School of Business and Economics, NUI Galway, said: “NUI Galway is a highly regarded management development programme in the region.  It also enjoys a very good reputation nationally as evidenced by two recent national All-Ireland competition wins for MBA programmes on the island of Ireland.”  The conference received funding under The Gathering as many international alumni returned for the event. -ENDS-

Tuesday, 5 February 2013

Promoting Peace and Reconciliation and Excellence in Music Education and Performance 2,000 children from schools all over Co. Galway will take part in Galway Peace Proms which will be held in the Kingfisher Hall, NUI Galway this Saturday and Sunday, 9 and 10 February. For the second year in a row, choirs will perform with the internationally acclaimed Cross Border Orchestra of Ireland (CBOI), led by Ireland’s premiere conductor Gearóid Grant. Performances will take place at 2pm and 7pm each day. Concerts will feature tenor Emmanuel Lawler, renowned Uilleann Piper Patrick Martin, Violinist Patricia Treacy in addition to drummers and pipers from the Royal Scottish Pipe Band Association Northern Ireland Branch. The programme is packed full of family favourites and showstoppers as well as powerful anthems from the Ulster Scots and Irish traditions.  The CBOI was established as a peace initiative almost eighteen years ago and is made up of 120 young musicians from all over Ireland including Galway.  The orchestra has just returned from their sell out debut at the Royal Albert Hall London, and has also performed at prestigious venues including Carnegie Hall, New York; Chicago Symphony Hall; Boston Symphony Hall, and major venues throughout California and Europe. In 2010 the CBOI won an international award for the “Most Outstanding Performance” and the Shanghai Expo in China. The CBOI will make their London debut at the Royal Albert Hall in October next. The CBOI has performed for President McAleese at Áras and Uachtaráin; for Queen Elizabeth 11 at Hillsborough Castle; for many special international Ministerial gatherings at Slane Castle and Dublin Castle; for numerous national commemorations including the Battle of the Boyne; the 10th anniversary of the Belfast Agreement; the 30th anniversary of the twinning of Listowel and Downpatrick, and the 400th Anniversary of the Flight of the Earls in Rome. This year over 10,000 children from all over Ireland will participate in “Peace Proms” which is supported by the Department of Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht, and the Department of Education and Skills and is recognised as one of Ireland’s most important Arts Education initiatives, providing outstanding cultural opportunities for young people while promoting peace, unity and tolerance through music. The CBOI is a registered charity and totally not-for -profit. All funds generated through ticket sales cover the cost of running this programme in which 10,000 children participate annually. Tickets for the Galway Peace Proms can be purchased from www.cboi.ie and from the Town Hall Theatre, Galway   ENDS

Friday, 8 February 2013

On Friday 8 March 2013, NUI Galway School of Law will host a public symposium on the privacy issues which are becoming increasingly important as more and more of our daily interactions and long-term records are stored digitally and on the Internet. Entitled “Privacy from Birth to Death and Beyond: European and American Perspectives”, the event will deal with topics such as the upcoming European Court of Justice ruling on the so-called “Right to be Forgotten”, the development of privacy regulation in the United States of America, the protection of children’s privacy online, privacy rights after death, and the practical issues that face practitioners working with these rapidly-developing problems. The symposium is being jointly organised by the LL.M. in Public Law and the LL.M. in Law, Technology and Governance. According to Mr Rónán Kennedy, Director of the LL.M. in Law, Technology and Governance, at NUI Galway: “The rise in popularity of social networking, image and video sharing sites mean that the regulation of privacy is becoming increasingly complex and challenging, and anyone working on these issues needs to keep abreast of new developments.” Ms Marie McGonagle, Director of the Public Law LL.M., at the University, added: “In an increasingly online world, the boundaries between private and public are constantly shifting. This symposium will provide an opportunity to engage with international and national experts in both private and public law in exploring approaches to some of the most pressing issues relating to privacy that affect everyone from the individual to the private sector and the State.” Speakers will include Mr José María Baño, Instituto de Empresa and José María Baño León Abogados, Madrid; Professor Joshua Fairfield of the Washington and Lee University Law School; Dr Sharon McLaughlin, Letterkenny Institute of Technology, Mr Paul Lambert, Merrion Legal Solicitors and Mr Damien McCallig, School of Law, NUI Galway. The LL.M. in Public Law has been running successfully since 2005 and has attracted a steady number of students, both full-time and part-time, including, as well as recent graduates, qualified and practising solicitors, barristers, Gardaí and personnel from public bodies. The LL.M. in Law, Technology and Governance is a unique and pioneering programme with a focus on the interconnection between law, technology, science, and innovation. Both programmes include modules with a focus on the legal issues and problems presented by the development of new communications technologies, such as Communications Law: Law, Technology and Change, Data Protection, Privacy and Retention, Internet Regulation and Governance Torts. Further details and registration information are available at http://www.conference.ie. Continuing Professional Development certificates will be provided.   ENDS

Monday, 11 February 2013

NUI Galway is celebrating Drama in many forms during its Theatre Festival, which runs from 18-22 February.  Now in its fourth year, the event showcases through theatre, literature and film, the many talents of NUI Galway students, societies and alumni. Organised by the University’s Societies Office, one of the main highlights this year is the return of the Jerome Hynes One Act play Series, which features eight new works written by students. The plays will be performed at lunchtimes and evenings and all eight will feature in the Omnibus Edition on Friday, 22 February in the Cube Theatre in Áras na Mac Léinn. NUI Galway’s Dramsoc will present Sam Shepard’s play ‘Seduced’ which runs from 20-23 February. This dark comedy takes place at the death bed of the world’s richest man as the empire he has created starts to fall apart as his paranoia and madness grow. Guest performances for the week include ‘Blooming Ulysses The Show’. The acclaimed comic adaptation of James Joyces’s Ulysses is performed by Gerry Farrell. The show serves as an excellent introduction to Ulysses. Proceeds from the show, which takes place on 18 February, are in aid of the Alzheimer Society of Ireland. Cyclone Rep, in association with Everyman Theatre, will present their Shakespeare Sessions. These student centred performances include ’Macbeth’ and ’The Merchant of Venice’.  On Thursday, 20 February 130 students from the Danish School of Performance, Mellerup Efterskole, will join NUI Galway’s Musical, Traditional Music and Dance Societies for a performance of eclectic music and dance. As part of the Fesitval, third-year students from the BA in Theatre and Performance will present ’Manologues’, a devised piece which  tells the story of eight males searching for a meaning in contemporary Ireland. The play looks at male identity in Irish culture bringing into light the hardship of everyday life for many men in an Ireland where the old identity is laughed at and the new identity is unknown. Continuing its commitment to the arts, NUI Galway offers a four-year degree programme, BA degree in Drama, Theatre and Performance Studies, which is designed for students with a keen interest in all aspects of drama and performance. Students on this programme have the opportunity to benefit from the dynamic partnerships forged by NUI Galway with key arts organisations including the Abbey Theatre, Druid Theatre Company, the Galway Arts Festival and Taibhdhearc na Gaillimhe. Ríona Hughes, NUI Galway Societies Officer and Festival Director, said: “The Festival is an opportunity for the University to showcase the dramatic arts on campus and to invite world class practitioners to the college, we hope that Galway will join with us for a week of celebration.” All events are open to the public and the full programme of events is available at http://www.socs.nuigalway.ie/news_reviews/view/479/. For information and tickets visit the SocsBox in Áras na Mac Léinn, NUI Galway, or contact 091 492852 or socsbox@socs.nuigalway.ie. -END-

Monday, 11 February 2013

NUI Galway’s Engineering Building was judged the Best Educational Building at the recent Local Authority Members Association (LAMA) Awards 2013. This adds to the Engineering Building’s existing list of accolades which includes RIAI Irish Architecture’s Public Choice and the Best Sustainable Project Awards, the Irish Building and Design Award for School and Educational Building Project of the Year, and the Irish Concrete Society’s Sustainability Award. Opened in 2011 by An Taoiseach, Enda Kenny, the Engineering Building at NUI Galway is a world-class teaching and research facility. The building has been designed to be a teaching tool in itself, with exposed construction techniques and an array of ecological building methods. The 14,250 sqm, four story building supports an emerging generation of engineers, engaged in a new wave of technologies, embracing innovation and entrepreneurship; it accommodates some 1,100 students and 110 staff. Commenting on the latest award, John Gibney, Director of Physical Resources at NUI Galway, said: “We are delighted that Galway City Council proposed the Engineering Building to LAMA and also to win the Best Educational Building Award for 2013. The building is proving successful in teaching and research terms and it is heartening to receive consistent recognition for its architectural and sustainability credentials. This is testament to the hard work and innovation of the designers, contractors and university staff involved in its inception, delivery and operation.” First held in 2006, the LAMA Awards were created to recognise innovative local and national projects in the areas of infrastructure, community development, recreation and social impact initiatives. Commenting on the awards, Chairman of IPB Insurance George Jones said: “Once again the awards have served up a very high standard of projects and initiatives and is testimony to the hard work being done by Local Authorities and their communities. It is only fitting to publicly acknowledge this great work so as to promote best practice and encourage others to aspire to these high standards.” -ENDS-

Tuesday, 12 February 2013

NUI Galway, in collaboration with software industry partners, has been awarded HEA funding for the renewal of the innovative industry-focused Higher Diploma in Software Design and Development. Initiated in 2012, this one-year post-graduate conversion course aims to increase the supply of skilled graduates to meet the needs of Ireland’s high-growth software industry. It will provide graduates with a fast-track, focused computing qualification, and presents them with an opportunity to obtain valuable industry work experience. The Higher Diploma in Software Design and Development builds on the existing strengths of collaborative academic-industry interaction in the Galway region, and provides graduates with: a solid foundation in key software design knowledge; a choice of software architecture specialization in either .NET or Java Enterprise; and a guaranteed work placement to gain relevant experience, and so provide the opportunity to kick-start their career as software developers. The industry partners include Avaya, Ericsson, Digital Enterprise Research Institute (DERI), Hewlett Packard, Storm Technologies, The Marine Institute, Solano Tech Ltd, NetFort Technologies, SourceDogg, APC/Schneider, CISCO and IBM. The new course will be delivered as part of the Information Technology Discipline’s complimentary portfolio of postgraduate degrees. Welcoming news of the award, Dr Enda Howley, Course Director of the Higher Diploma in Software Design and Development at NUI Galway, said: “This is a fantastic opportunity for highly motivated analytical graduates from engineering, science and business, to invest just one year of their time in further education, and, through placement experience with our Industry partners, they will have an excellent prospect for recruitment as software developers in Ireland’s high-tech information and communication technology sector. This sector is experiencing rapid expansion at the moment, and there is a growing skills shortage for information and communication technology graduate roles that these students are ideally suited to fill.” -ENDS-