All 2007

NUI Galway to host 16th EAN annual conference

Tuesday, 26 June 2007

Access to Success: the Student Experience from Pre-entry to Employment (with particular focus on students from under-represented groups) The European Access Network (EAN) in collaboration with the Access Programme Office at NUI Galway is having its 16th EAN Annual Conference from 27 - 29 June 2007. The conference will look at the student experience throughout the student life cycle, with particular focus on students from under-represented groups. The NUI Galway Access Programme promotes initiatives that encourage greater participation in university amongst under-represented groups (under presentation can be for reason of age, gender, ethnicity, disability, nationality, low-socio economic status, vocational training, geographic location or earlier educational disadvantage). According to Imelda Byrne, Access Officer, "The numbers of students progressing from our target groups to higher education has increased over the past 10 years. This conference hopes to examine in particular factors that will affect, influence or shape the experience and future employment potentials; it will also consider the role of the career services as an interface for student – university – employer to facilitate a three way dialogue on employability. Increasingly, higher education institutions are recognising the need to stimulate university – industry links and are working with local communities in order to develop the knowledge based economy." Mr. Michael Kelly, Chair of the Higher Education Authority will deliver the opening address. Mr. Chris Coughlan, Adjunct Professor at the University and e-Business Services Manager, Hewlett Packard, Galway is a guest speaker and will discuss the Role of Career Guidance in Supporting Students' Personal and Professional development. Past conferences have been very successful and were attended by high level policy makers, academics, practitioners and researchers who came to share international examples of innovative strategies and good practices. The EAN and NUI Galway are confident that this year's event will be equally successful with over 200 delegates expected. Keynote speakers include: Bahram Bekhradnia, Director, Higher Education Policy Institute, UK Ibrahim Bokharouss, ECHO, the Netherlands Michael M Crow, President, Arizona State University, USA Margaret Dane, Chief Executive, AGCAS, UK Michel Feutrie, President, EUCEN, France Annika Persson Ponten, Ministry of Education, Sweden Jaana Puukka, Analyst, OECD The EAN is the only independent, non-profit making, European organisation – but with an active international membership – which promotes equity and access to education and training for disadvantaged and under-represented groups. Over the past 15 years the EAN has through research, publications and conferences, successfully informed and stimulated access policy, raised awareness to the social and equity dimensions of higher education, facilitated pedagogic development, and disseminated research findings and examples of good practice. ENDS

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NUI Galway Student named National Siemens Innovative Engineer 2007

Tuesday, 26 June 2007

NUI Galway Biomedical Engineering student Michael Dunning has been named Siemens Innovative Engineer of the Year 2007 at a ceremony in Dublin. This prestigious award, now in its 9th year, is presented annually by Siemens and Engineers Ireland to a final year engineering student who has developed an innovative technology or product that is commercially viable. Michael, from Athlone, Co. Westmeath won the award for his final year research project, A Self-Expanding Nano-Fibrous Biodegradable Stent, which developed a stent to treat urethral strictures. Stents are small medical devices designed to be inserted into a vessel or passageway to keep it open. Professor Padraic O Donoghue, Dean of Engineering at NUI Galway, said: "I would like to congratulate Michael on his tremendous achievement in winning the prestigious Siemens Prize. This is the top award nationally for engineering graduates and there is always very keen competition for it. His success is further evidence of the high quality of the engineering programmes at NUI Galway and our strength within Biomedical Engineering. I also acknowledge the contributions of his lecturers and in particular those of his advisor, Professor Abhay Pandit." Michael received a specially commissioned trophy along with a cheque for €2,000. A further prize of €1,250 will be awarded should he decide to continue with post-graduate studies in engineering at an accredited University or Institute of Technology. Speaking after receiving the award, Michael said: "I am delighted to have won the prize, which is a wonderful accolade to have on my CV. There was some very strong competition in the final, including another student from my course, which is a great reflection on the department and is justified because of the great researchers and lecturers doing interesting and innovative research." The award is open to final year engineering students of Engineers Ireland accredited engineering degree courses from Universities and Institutes of Technology, north and south of the border. Each the year competition receives applications from 14 participating Universities and ITs who nominate two student projects each for the award. The Siemens Innovative Engineer of the Year Award encourages young engineering students to be innovative in their work and to think about the practical and commercial applications of their research. For further information on the award logon to: ENDS

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South African Chief Justice to speak at NUI Galway

Monday, 25 June 2007

The Irish Centre for Human Rights at NUI Galway will proudly host a special visit by Justice Pius Langa, Chief Justice of South Africa, who will deliver a seminar entitled: A Review of the Work of the South African Constitutional Court: the Retrospect and Prospect on Saturday, 30 June, 2007. Last year, South Africa celebrated the 10th anniversary of the signing of its constitution. Thus, the visit by Chief Justice Langa is both timely and opportune. The constitution, signed into law by the country's first democratically elected president, Nelson Mandela, at Sharpeville, on 10 December 1996, has been widely regarded as the most progressive in the world. The protection of human rights along with the promotion of equality, diversity and social justice are among the aspirations embodied in the constitution, which was negotiated in the acute awareness of the country's history of injustice and oppression. Pius Nkonzo Langa was appointed a Judge of the Constitutional Court of South Africa in October 1994 and became Deputy President of that Court in August 1997. He was appointed Deputy Chief Justice of South Africa in November 2001 and assumed the position of Chief Justice of the Republic of South Africa on 1 June 2005. During Chief Justice Langa's early practice as an advocate of the Supreme Court of South Africa, political trials predominated, and his practice reflected the struggle against apartheid. His clientele included the underprivileged, civic bodies, trade unions and people charged under apartheid security legislation. He was also a founder member of the Release Mandela Committee (Natal) and served in the committees formed to accelerate and prepare for the release of political prisoners. Justice Langa has participated in numerous conferences abroad and delivered papers and lectures on a variety of law and human rights-related topics. He has participated in the work of constitutional review commissions in Sri Lanka, Zimbabwe, Rwanda and Tanzania. Langa assisted in the formation of and is the current chairman of the Southern African Judges Commission, a forum for Chief Justices of SADC and other jurisdictions in other Southern African jurisdictions. The Commission's focus is, among other things, the promotion and protection of the independence of the judiciary and the promotion and development of a culture of human rights in the Southern African region. According to Deputy Director of the Irish Centre for Human Rights, Dr Vinodh Jaichand, the visit by Chief Justice Langa is the highlight of a very full academic year a the Centre. "This will be an opportunity to hear first-hand how the Constitutional Court's internationally acclaimed decisions have affected the lives of the millions affected by the notorious practice of apartheid. In its landmark decisions on the legal protection of the right to health care and housing, for example, the South African Constitutional Court has clearly illustrated the vital role that courts can play in the protection of socio-economic rights." Justice Pius Langa is among six outstanding individuals from the worlds of business, philanthropy, justice, music and the arts to be conferred with honorary degrees from National University of Ireland, Galway on Friday 29 June, 2007. The seminar will commence at 10 am at the Irish Centre for Human Rights and all are welcome. ENDS

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NUI Galway President to join graduates at Henley

Monday, 25 June 2007

The Grainne Mhaol Club, in conjunction with NUI Galway Alumni Association, is pleased to invite all NUI Galway graduates to an afternoon & evening of rowing and entertainment at Henley Royal Regatta, (Henley-on-Thames, Oxfordshire) on Saturday, 7 July, 2007. The guest of honour will be Dr Iognáid Ó Muircheartaigh, President of NUI Galway. Henley Royal Regatta is undoubtedly the best known rowing regatta in the world and holds a unique place in the respect and affection of all oarsmen. Henley also offers a fantastic social occasion, and is a highlight of the English summer social circuit. NUI Galway has a legacy of participating in, and often winning, events at Henley. In 2003, the Rowing Club won the Visitor's Fours event at Henley Royal Regatta, beating both "Boat Race" crews from Oxford and Cambridge along the way, and repeated this by winning the same event in 2005. An earlier generation of oarsmen, competing as UCG Rowing Club tasted victory in the Thames Cup in 1987 and in the Britannia Challenge Cup in 1990. The 20th Anniversary of the club's first Henley win will be marked by the 1987 crew rowing over the course during the break in racing on Saturday at this year's event. In addition to the row-past by the 1987 crew, the present generation of NUI Galway athletes will also be racing on Saturday. The Club is planning to send two extremely strong and experienced crews to complete this year; and it is expected that at least one of them will still be in the competition at semi-final stage. "If you ever were to attend Henley this would be the year to do it" declared Eamonn Hegarty, Alumni Association Board member and event organiser. The Regatta Enclosure will be the venue for the NUI Galway graduate get-together at 2:00pm. After an afternoon at the regatta, alumni will be welcomed to a barbeque hosted by the Alumni Association Board at 8:00pm. Transport will be provided for guests from Henley Town Centre to the barbeque venue, ("The Maltsters Arms" in Rotherfield Greys), and afterwards, back to Henley in time for the last train to London. For further details of the regatta timetable, dress code, barbeque venue, etc., please visit, or e-mail us at ENDS

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NUI Galway award Honorary Doctorate to world-renowned Folklorist

Tuesday, 19 June 2007

World-renowned folklorist, Mr Tom Munnelly received the honorary degree of Doctor of Literature from NUI Galway in recognition of his lifetime of service to the collection and publication of folksong and folklore in Ireland. Mr Munnelly was honoured at the University's summer conferring ceremony on Tuesday, 19 June, 2007. Tom Munnelly is widely recognised as one of the world s foremost collectors of traditional Irish songs in the English language, with over 20,000 songs collected to date. A native of Dublin, Mr Munnelly is an archivist/collector with the Delargy Centre for Irish Folklore in UCD, and since moving to West Clare in 1978 he has collected over 4,000 Songs from local traditional singers. He has also recorded songs, music and folklore in most other counties in Ireland. Dr Pádraig Ó Héalaí, a former lecturer in Irish at NUI Galway said: "Tom Munnelly has made an immense contribution to the future of Irish folkore studies by producing an index of all the English-language oral poetry contained in vols 1 to 2000 of the National Folklore Archive's manuscripts, some 18,000 items in all, and by developing a classificatory system for this material based on internationally accepted models. "Formidable as Tom's feats as an archivist may be, his achievement as a collector of oral tradition is truly awesome. He has recorded well over 1,000 hours of song and lore and has been responsible for the most comprehensive collection of traditional songs in English ever compiled by any one individual in Ireland. It constitutes a very substantial enrichment of the National Folklore Collection and it significantly expands the database available to future scholars in this field." Mr Munnelly was a founder member of the Folk Music Society of Ireland/Cumannn Ceoil Tíre Éireann, has acted as Chair of the Irish Traditional Music Archive/Taisce Ceol Dúchais and of Scoil Samhraidh Willie Clancy and has served the Arts Council of Ireland in a number of different roles. His close association with these bodies and his founding role in other local historical and folk music societies, folklore schools and singing festivals highlight his contribution to Irish cultural life. The Conferral ceremony at NUI Galway will also include the posthumous award of the PhD degree to Mr John Mulqueen of Tourmakeady, Co. Mayo and a native of Kilrush, Co. Clare. John, a graduate of UCD and Iowa, was a former Adjunct Lecturer in the Department of Civil Engineering, an employee of An Foras Talúntais and Teagasc and an international authority on soils, and died in 2006. The award will be accepted by his family. Almost 200 students from across the Faculties of Medicine and Health Sciences, Engineering, Commerce, Science, Law and Arts will also receive their degrees and diplomas at the ceremony. ENDS

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