All Year 2010

First Ever NUI Galway Community and Family Studies Degree Students Graduate

Thursday, 4 November 2010

A new degree programme in Community and Family Studies at NUI Galway is the first of its kind in Ireland where adult learners are given the opportunity to study community and family work policy and practice through the medium of distance learning. The first cycle of the four-year, part-time degree programme were recently awarded their Bachelor of Arts degrees during the Adult Education Graduation ceremony held at the University. The attainment of the Bachelor of Arts in Community and Family Studies marks a significant milestone for the NUI Galway Community Education Centre, who is a core component of Adult and Continuing Education in the University. Furthermore, the award of this degree is testament to the effort and commitment of the 45 students who recently graduated. Helen Casey and Deirdre Hardiman, Community Education Officers and programme managers of the BA in Community and Family studies highlighted the ever increasing significance of education in light of the fundamental challenges now facing both our economy and society, and more particularly the role of educational institutions in assisting communities to respond to these challenges. Helen Casey said: "Over the past 10 years or so, the NUI Galway Community Education Centre has actively supported community development and family support best practice. This BA programme was therefore designed to meet identified needs in the community, and build on Adult Education's track record of community engagement and the promotion of life-long learning. Undoubtedly, the first graduates of this noteworthy programme will be the true agents of change in Irish society and beyond." Deirdre Hardiman added that: "The Community Education Centre are currently undertaking a four year impact assessment study of the first cycle of the degree programme which will be reviewing the impact of the programme to date from the student, community and programme management perspective. The findings of this study will indicate the impact that the BA in Community and Family Studies has produced in areas such as improving educational opportunities for these adult learners and fine tuning their employment skills which has caused a positive ripple effect in many communities over the last four years." Focussing on key areas such as community development, family support, youth work, childcare, health and general political and socio-economic studies, the BA in Community and Family Studies seeks to respond to the requirements of our ever changing society, and also to the requirements of a broad spectrum of adult learners seeking recognised qualifications in formal education. Further information on this innovative, adult friendly programme is available from the Community Education Centre at 091 495241 or -Ends-

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Starbucks in the City

Wednesday, 3 November 2010

Coffee lovers will be delighted with the addition of global coffee house Starbucks which has recently opened its first Galway café on campus in NUI Galway. The introduction of Starbucks on campus is part of an investment of circa €3.5 million by ARAMARK Ireland's food services division, Campbell Catering and NUI Galway in the University's redesign of its 800 seat restaurant, An Bhialann. An Bhialann now boasts a state-of-the-art kitchen with the latest technologies in cooking servicing an elaborate food court with an excellent range of fresh nutritious food and a large, modern and bright seating area. For over 18 years, Campbell Catering has been a valued partner in delivering catering services at NUI Galway and on an average term day will serve approximately 2,000 cups of tea and coffee. Over the course of a year An Bhialann serves approximately 750,000 customers. Popular sandwich chain Subway is also located in An Bhialann and the addition of these high street brands have been welcomed by staff and students alike. Conference/ Catering Manager at NUI Galway, Ann Duggan said, "NUI Galway prides itself on providing a quality service to all its staff and students, the campus now boasts 14 restaurants which provide healthy eating options for a community of over 17,500 staff and students with prices starting from €3.50 for a hot main course ensuring that both body and mind are nurtured." -Ends-

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NUI Galway Biochemistry Student hopes to Beam Science to the Classroom

Wednesday, 3 November 2010

Have you ever wondered what the inside of a laboratory really looks like? Maybe you pictured it as a bustling place full of explosions and multi-coloured concoctions getting mixed by people in white lab coats? Of course researchers in NUI Galway are more than happy to discuss their work with anyone willing to listen, but it is simply not feasible to have an open door policy to laboratories. So, how can researchers show the inner workings of a scientific environment to those that are curious? Modern video conferencing technology is making this a real possibility. NUI Galway's partners at Georgia Tech Research Institute (GTRI) in Atlanta have pioneered a research-led teaching programme where high definition cameras are placed in labs to enable researchers to interact with primary and secondary students in real-time. In this way the magic of science can be beamed directly to classrooms and incorporated into science curriculums providing an insiders view of the world of research. Georgia Tech have dubbed this teaching technique 'Direct to Discovery' or D2D. The benefits to education via D2D are many. Students see how the textbook concepts they are studying get applied to real research questions by actual research scientists. In one example already developed by GTRI, students learning physics and chemistry are able to control the gas levels used to produce carbon nano-tubes in a nano-materials lab. In another example students were instructed to gather fossils which they then sent into the microscopy lab for analysis. In this way budding young researchers can be involved in the real world of science and technology they would otherwise never see. A link was recently made between Georgia Tech Ireland and Killina Presentation Secondary School, Co Offaly as part of the 100mbps Post Primary Schools Project. This will allow the Killina students to join the D2D network that already links schools in America, Canada and Australia and will soon involve schools in Chile and Kenya. Over the past few months the Biochemistry Department at NUI Galway have been working with GTRI on the feasibility of launching Direct to Discovery in Galway. Oisín Keely, a Biochemistry masters student working on multi-media teaching technology, recently went to Georgia Tech Research Institute on a ten day study visit to investigate D2D first hand. Oisín also attended the FutureMedia Fest 2010 in Atlanta, a conference focused on the latest trends in media creation, distribution and use of media content. Large corporations, including Cisco, HP, and CNN sponsor the event which enables the leading people in the field of media to come together and discuss strategies for progress. At the conference Oisín and GTRI co-presented a poster on the D2D system and how the project is progressing in Ireland. In the words of Karin Markey, a teacher in Kingsley Charter School in Georgia that is using Direct to Discovery, this scheme gives all students the "opportunity to picture themselves in a college community". The teachers involved in D2D at Kingsley School found that students who were not normally passionate about these subjects were often inspired to progress into science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) subjects in the future. Oisín Keely added, "It's a great idea. It really has the potential to inspire students and honestly I wish it was available when I was in school." So now, with the magical world of science being beamed out of laboratories, don't you wish you were back in school? For further information please contact Oisín Keely at -Ends-

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Flirt FM launches Alumni Hour

Wednesday, 3 November 2010

NUI Galway's student radio station, Flirt FM 101.3, is launching a new programme in which well-known alumni will tell stories of their student days in Galway. The programme, Alumni Hour, promises to be a big hit with fellow alumni and Galwegians who will recognise the times, places, people and sounds of their own college days. Dr James J. Browne, President of NUI Galway, will be the first guest in conversation with the show's host, Alumni Association Board Vice-Chairperson, Sandra Butler. As well as sharing stories of his school and college days in the 60s and 70s, listeners will enjoy a musical selection of Dr Browne's favourite tracks from those times. The line-up for the coming series of Alumni Hour includes some familiar names like Michael D. Higgins TD; Will Leahy, 2FM; Lt Commanders Roberta O'Brien and Orlaith Gallagher, Ireland's first female naval vessel captains; Guggi from the Róisín Dubh; Padraic Breathnach, Arts Festival and Macnas co-founder; Padraig Ó Céidigh, Aer Arann; Eamon Gilmore TD; Olie Jennings, Arts Festival co-founder and Saw Doctors manager; and Sean O'Rourke, RTÉ. Alumni Hour is co-produced by the NUI Galway Alumni Association and Flirt FM and will be aired on Flirt FM 101.3 on Thursdays at 2pm starting on 4 November. A streaming online audio will be available online (from 4 November, 2pm) at The first show with Dr James J. Browne will be aired on Thursday, 4 November at 2pm. Flirt FM schedule is available at -Ends-

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Topical Lectures to be held at NUI Galway for Science & Technology Festival

Tuesday, 2 November 2010

Have you ever wondered what happens when a star dies? Or how basic science can improve our health? Then don't miss the series of public lectures being held at NUI Galway from 8 to 21 November as part of this year's Galway Science and Technology Festival. Topical lectures including 'Detecting and Predicting Volcanic Ash Cloud Dispersion' along with the 'Molecules of Murder' will be held in lecture theatres throughout the university during the festival. On Tuesday, 9 November, Professor Michael J. Hynes from NUI Galway School of Chemistry will look at the use of chemical substances by some infamous murderers in their attempts to murder famous victims. The crimes are analysed from both the viewpoint of the properties of the poison itself and the manner in which the perpetrators were uncovered and brought to justice through the use of forensic science. The lecture will be held in the Siobhan McKenna Theatre at 6pm. Former Chairman of Intel Corporation Dr Craig Barrett will also give a special talk on Education for Innovation in Áras Moyola on Tuesday 16 November. The Festival, which was founded to increase the uptake and popularity of the STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths) subjects among young people will culminate with the Festival Exhibition in the Bailey Allen Hall at NUI Galway on 21 November where over 20,000 young people are expected to attend. This year's Exhibition will be formerly opened by the European Commissioner for Research, Innovation and Science, Máire Geoghegan-Quinn. Both NUI Galway and GMIT open their doors throughout the two week festival to all primary and second level students in the city and county. At NUI Galway, there are a number of shows and events to stimulate the mind including the 'True Physics Rocket Workshop'. Guided tours of NUI Galway's Research Institutes are also held. A full list of the public lectures at NUI Galway can be viewed at . -Ends-

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