All 2007

NUI Galway students' academic excellence honoured with Entrance Scholarships

Saturday, 3 February 2007

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

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University Students bring Italian to Primary Schools with Fun and Games

Monday, 26 March 2007

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

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NUI Galway International Nursing Conference to Promote Excellence in Practice

Monday, 26 March 2007

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

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

Monday, 26 March 2007

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

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HSE West and NUI Galway to host International Environmental Health Conference

Monday, 26 March 2007

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

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