All 2011

Gender and Child Welfare Network Hold First Irish Conference at NUI Galway

Tuesday, 31 May 2011

The Gender and Child Welfare Network, which is an international group of researchers and practitioners, will hold its fourth Interdisciplinary conference, and its first Irish conference, at NUI Galway on Wednesday, 15 June, 2011. The network has organised three successful conferences previously on the relationship between gender and child welfare. This conference will focus specifically on the relationship between gender, child protection and family support. The keynote speaker for the conference will be Norah Gibbons, Director of Advocacy with Barnardos. Ms Gibbons will be discussing her recent report on the Roscommon case, which highlighted the importance of understanding and working with gender issues in child protection and family support. In particular, the report noted that an assessment of the role of the father in such cases is very important. Generally, practices in child welfare can ignore the role of fathers, thus missing out on those who are at risk but also those who might be supporters in the family. Moreover, the focus on mothers can often be unfair in that they are expected to carry the burden of protecting children from violent or abusive men. Conference organiser and Professor with the School of Political Science and Sociology at NUI Galway, Professor Bríd Featherstone, said: “I am delighted that this event is taking place at NUI Galway and that such a distinguished group of speakers from so many countries will be contributing their insights on such an important topic.” This conference brings together experts from the US, Canada, UK, Germany and Ireland to discuss their research in the following areas: working with men and women around domestic violence; training social workers to engage fathers; men in social work; working with mothers in case of child sexual abuse; new approaches to working with violence by children and young people; and working with fathers where a child has a disability. For further information on the conference, or to register, visit -ends-

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Student Engagement Focus of Ninth Galway Symposium on Higher Education

Saturday, 28 May 2011

The 9th Galway Symposium on Higher Education will take place in NUI Galway from 9 to 10 June in Áras Moyola. The 9th Symposium is being jointly organised by NUI Galway’s Centre for Excellence in Learning and Teaching (CELT) and NAIRTL and this year the event is also the Annual Conference of NAIRTL. The title this year is Engaging Minds. Active Learning, Participation and Collaboration in Higher Education and will focus on aspects of student engagement in the learning process. Higher Education institutions are increasingly focusing on the importance of active student engagement in the learning process, moving away from the traditional stereotype of passive lectures and examination towards processes that involve participation, challenging intellectual problems, imaginative use of technologies and new approaches to large classes. Learners who take responsibility for their own development and who feel a sense of purpose and ownership are more likely to meet the aims of a graduate population that has high levels of critical thinking, flexibility and creativity. This international conference will address these topics. The two day symposium will be comprised of short papers, presentations, workshops, panel discussions and posters on themes such as students as co-creators of knowledge, civic engagement and social responsibility, the first year experience, engaging large classes and technology enhanced learning. Keynote speakers will include: Dr Lesley Gourlay, Director, Centre for Academic and Professional Literacies, University of London; Dr Derek Bruff, Assistant Director, Center for Teaching, Vanderbilt University, Nashville, USA; Elisabeth Dunne, Head of Project Development, University of Exeter; Professor Mike Neary, Dean of Teaching and Learning, University of Lincoln; Professor Guy Claxton, Co-Director Centre for Real-World Learning and Professor of Learning Sciences, University of Winchester; and Dr Paul Kleiman, Deputy Director of PALATINE and Senior Research Fellow, Lancaster University. Dr Iain Mac Labhrainn, Director of CELT said: “The theme of engagement touches on the very heart of what a ’higher’ education should be about. It’s about engaging the mind, experimenting with new ideas, critically engaging with the world around us, laying the foundations upon which to build a better future, nurturing individual creativity and collective responsibility, and hopefully about having some fun along the way.” Registration for the event is on the NAIRTL website NAIRTL website . The twitter hashtag for the event is #nairtl11. -Ends-

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Queen’s University Scholar to give Inaugural Lecture at NUI Galway

Monday, 30 May 2011

Professor Mike Clarke, newly appointed Adjunct Professor to the School of Nursing and Midwifery at NUI Galway, will give his inaugural lecture entitled Systematic Reviews for Natural Disasters and other Humanitarian Emergencies: Evidence Aid. The event will take place on Thursday, 9 June, at 6pm in the Lecture Theatre, Áras Moyola Building in NUI Galway. Professor Clarke is the Chair of Research Methodology at Queen’s University in Belfast and Director of the All-Ireland Hub for Trials Methodology Research. He is also the former Director of the UK Cochrane Centre. He has worked actively on dozens of systematic reviews in a wide range of areas, as well as on large randomised trials in topics such as maternity care, breast cancer, poisoning and stroke. He is the Podcast and Journal Club Editor for The Cochrane Library. Commenting on his upcoming lecture, Professor Clarke said, “I am honoured to be giving this lecture in NUI Galway, with its history of working with Non-Governmental Organisations and governmental agencies in humanitarian emergencies. In the aftermath of the Indian Ocean tsunami on St Stephens Day 2004, a group of us within The Cochrane Collaboration saw an unmet and pressing need for systematic reviews to provide evidence for people and organisations planning for and responding to natural disasters. We established Evidence Aid, and the devastating natural disasters and humanitarian emergencies since then have confirmed the need to strengthen and expand this work. I look forward to sharing these plans in my lecture.” Professor Clarke has a strong commitment to improving access to systematic reviews for people living and working in low- and middle-income countries, in particular to make it easier for individuals and organisations who have to cope with natural disasters and other humanitarian emergencies to use systematic reviews in their decision making. Welcoming Professor Clarke s impending lecture, Professor Kathy Murphy, Head of School of Nursing and Midwifery at NUI Galway, commented: “I am delighted with Professor Clarke s appointment to the School as Adjunct Professor. He brings with him a wealth of experience at the forefront of health care research and evidence synthesis. Professor Clarke s work on Evidence Aid pools together evidence that can help those who are responding to crisis situations and is a strong example of how researchers can practically respond to natural disasters and other major healthcare emergencies.” To reserve a place, please contact Sheena Connolly at before Friday, 3 June. -Ends-

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NUI Galway Among the Winners at Annual Doctor Awards

Saturday, 28 May 2011

NUI Galway was among the award winners at the recent Royal Academy of Medicine in Ireland Annual Doctor Awards in Dublin. Andrew Murphy, Professor of General Practice at NUI Galway and his SPHERE team were awarded both the Royal Academy of Medicine in Ireland Award for Best General Practice Paper and the overall Royal Academy of Medicine in Ireland Award for Best Research Paper published by an Irish doctor in 2011. The SPHERE study was published in the British Medical Journal and focuses on the secondary prevention of heart disease in General Practice and was funded by the Health Research Board and the Irish Heart Foundation. NUI Galway’s John Laffey, Professor of Anaesthesia and his research group were also awarded the Royal Academy of Medicine in Ireland 2011 Prize in the Anaesthesia/Pain category. This work, published in the British Journal of Anaesthesia, investigated the efficacy of novel airway devices to reduce the in people at higher risk for difficult or failed tracheal intubation, which can cause serious harm in patients who are undergoing major surgery or who require artificial respiration in the Intensive Care Units. Professor Fidelma Dunne, Head of the School of Medicine at NUI Galway, commended both research teams on their achievements at the highly competitive event. -ends-

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International Ecocriticism Conference at NUI Galway

Monday, 30 May 2011

The School of Languages, Literatures and Cultures at NUI Galway will host an international conference on ecocentrism and ecocriticism entitled From Ego to Eco - Imagining Ecocentrism in Literature, Film and Philosophy. The conference will take place in the Huston School of Film and Digital Media at NUI Galway from 10 to 11 June. For many centuries, anthropocentric world views were crucial for the implementation of nature toward man s ends and played a part in creating the multifarious imbalances that today threaten ecosystems on a global scale. In film, literature and critical thought alternatives to anthropocentrism are being outlined, sensitivities awakened towards a global eco-consciousness that pays attention to the interdependence of species and ecosystems. A shift from imagining homo sapiens at the top of a hierarchy of existence or, alternatively, at the centre of global concerns to imagining a unity of being is taking place in literature, art and film through the ages. A unique and different inventory of artistic techniques, modes of expression, structures of realising this shift towards ecocentrism go hand in hand with an academic shift of focus. The aim of the conference is to bring together scholars from various disciplines within the Arts and Sciences and the Humanities to reflect on these changes and on ways in which works of art and mind break free from anthropocentric paradigms. Artistic visions and theoretical concepts that place humans in neighbourly relations with the 30 million surrounding species shall be central but also the discontents and possible dangers inherent in ecocentrism. Keynote speakers at the conference will include: Professor Lawrence Buell, Powell M. Cabot Professor of American Literature, Harvard University; Professor Hubert Zapf, Professor of American Literature, University of Augsburg, Germany; and Dr Thomas Duddy, Lecturer of Philosophy, NUI Galway. Commenting on the upcoming conference, Dr Tina-Karen Pusse, conference organiser and Lecturer in German at NUI Galway, said, “Our conference is meant to inaugurate green studies at NUI Galway and beyond. It will be an opportunity for people from all over the world to come together and reflect upon a paradigm shift. So far Homo Sapiens was placed at the top of our concerns and the center of all our values and structures. The leading question of this conference is: How can we implement ways of thinking (and hence acting) that lead to a paradigm shift and displace the Ego from its central position? How, from within the different disciplines of the so tellingly called ’humanities’ can this shift be understood and implemented? Which pieces of art, texts, ideas, can help us in this endeavour? This conference shall answer a few of these questions but first and foremost it will be an occasion of weaving a global network of scholars who have been working ceaselessly in the field of ’green studies’. We are certain that this is the way to go ahead and have already started to implement research alliances with universities such as University of Limerick and Trinity College Dublin, but also international networks with universities in Germany, Switzerland, Romania and the Czech Republic. We hope to strengthen these connections with the conference and to make NUI Galway the hub of these activities.” To register for the conference email or visit -Ends-

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