All 2012

Evening of Conversation with Dr John Killeen

Thursday, 22 November 2012

NUI Galway’s Alumni Club will host an interview with Dr John Killeen, CEO of Cold Chon and Chairperson of Let's Do it Galway, the group responsible for bringing the Volvo Ocean Race to the City. The interview will be conducted by fellow graduate and broadcaster, Tomás Ó Síocháin of RTÉ and TG4, on Thursday, 29 November at 8pm in NUI Galway's Engineering Building. Prior to the interview, guests will have the opportunity to take a tour of the award-winning Engineering Building at 7pm. Sandra Butler, Chairperson of NUI Galway Alumni Association, said: “John Killeen is one of those people who has a clear vision of what can be achieved when Galway makes full use of its maritime environment. The Volvo Ocean Race is but one example of that potential.” Registration can be completed online at or by contacting the Alumni Office on 091493750 or -ENDS-

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NUI Galway's Intergenerational Learning Programme Wins Major European Award

Thursday, 22 November 2012

The Living Scenes programme in Millstreet Community School, Co. Cork has been awarded second place in an EU Commission competition, celebrating the European Year for Active Ageing and Solidarity between Generations. At a ceremony in Brussels recently, Millstreet Community School beat off 1,000 schools from 30 countries to win this major accolade and put intergenerational learning in Ireland on the European radar. The Living Scenes programme, which is designed, implemented and funded by NUI Galway, has been in existence since 1999 and is currently in eight centres throughout Ireland. A Transition Year based initiative, NUI Galway’s Living Scenes allows teenagers and older adults to learn together, share experiences and build bonds of mutual respect and understanding through a curricular based programme of learning. A strong emphasis is placed on the holistic development of the participants, promoting equality, personal development, well being and confidence building in both the younger and older adults. The winning entry from Millstreet Community School saw retired adults and teenagers from the school create a multi-media programme aimed at bridging the gap between young and old. The Living Scenes group created an intergenerational rap song; compiled a book titled Two Generations, One Road; and used clay, wood, tiles, glass, and metal to create a permanent display about crossing the generational divide to scoop their prestigious award. The generations@school Project is organised by the European Year for Active Ageing and Solidarity between Generations and is about engaging pupils and seniors in intergenerational dialogue. This year the focus is on bringing together pupils and older people to engage in a conversation about what it means to get older and how older and younger people can collaborate for a better life.  Living Scenes is the brainchild of NUI Galway's Dr Mary Surlis, and as the Living Scenes Programme Director, she has developed the programme on a national level. Commenting on the award, Dr Surlis said: “This is a wonderful achievement for the Living Scenes Programme and in particular for John Magee, Pat Piggott and his staff, the outstanding participants and facilitation team in Millstreet Community School. Such an achievement cements the programme as a world class example of civic engagement from a university perspective and also highlights the value of experiential learning in a school’s curriculum.” Congratulating Millstreet Community School on its success, NUI Galway President, Dr Jim Browne said: “This is a wonderful example of intergenerational learning in Millstreet. It also highlights the prioritisation of civic engagement here at NUI Galway. I would like to congratulate all involved in the project – teachers, school leadership, students, seniors and my own colleagues here in the University - on their tremendous achievement in winning this prestigious EU Commission prize. John Magee, co-ordinator of the Living Scenes programme at Millstreet Community School, said: “This is a wonderful achievement for our school. I would like to thank Dr Mary Surlis, Living Scenes Programme Director, and NUI Galway, who have supported the project in Millstreet from the start. Over the seven years that Living Scenes has been in Millstreet Community School, a great many friendships have been formed between the older adults and the 80 students who have taken part in the project over that time. Rather than one group assuming the role of ‘expert’ on a certain topic, people from both age groups have been given the opportunity to work collaboratively, learning about one another along the way.  A lot of misconceptions about ‘youth and old age’ have been dispelled through the work of the project.”  -ENDS-

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Volvo Ocean Race Report Finds Economic Benefit of €60.5 million to Host City

Monday, 26 November 2012

Over 500,000 visitors to Galway City; 97% positive rating for festival experience                                   Over 1 billion global audience for Galway A new report from the J.E. Cairnes School of Business & Economics at NUI Galway reveals that the Volvo Ocean Race Finale (VOR) which took place in Galway city earlier this year, having hosted a stopover for the Race in 2009, was worth €60.5 million to the Irish economy. Over 500,000 visitors attended events during the festival period from 30 June to 8 July 2012, with 16% of those coming from outside of Ireland. The 2011-12 Volvo Ocean Race lasted for nine months and covered 39,270 nautical miles. The boats circumnavigated the globe, visiting eight stopover ports before finishing in Galway. The participants sailed through four oceans and visited ports in five continents, making it the toughest sailing event in the world. Hundreds of thousands of spectators visited the race villages in the participating ports, while millions tuned in via numerous media channels. The report, An Economic Assessment of the Volvo Ocean Race Finale, Galway 2012, takes an in-depth scientific examination of the economic impact of the event in Galway over the nine day period. It also reports on the extra-economic benefits of the VOR finale which saw an investment by organisers and Galway City of €7.6 million. Speaking of the findings, Dr Patrick Collins of NUI Galway’s Whitaker Institute said: “For nine days and nights, Galway City became the focal point of one of the most highly regarded international sporting events, supported by over 275 free events around the city. The magnitude of the event in terms of the relatively small economy of the Galway area was exceptional.” For the duration of the event the harbour area of Galway city was transformed into a hub of activity in both the commercial and entertainment spheres. The addition of the ‘Global Village’, a unique expo highlighting the best of Irish business, education and craft, brought a new feel and focus to the event. The hosting of showcases under the pillars of marine, innovation, green and food, was a platform for the city and the region to display its unique strengths. The report, which was launched today (26 November) at NUI Galway, identifies key questions on the event’s economic impact. Findings reveal the direct expenditure of €35.5 million and indirect spend during the festival period of €25 million giving an overall economic impact of €60.5 million. The hospitality industries gained the most in terms of relative increase in revenue. In particular the Bar/Lounge sector enjoyed a significant boost over the course of the event with turnover showing a 50% increase across the sector. However, a quarter of local businesses found their business was negatively affected by the Race as most of the economic benefit was located in the areas surrounding the event and particularly by the hospitality industries. Dr Patrick Collins explains: “What becomes immediately obvious when we look at the relative change in turnover spatially is the tight geography of benefit. What might be termed the ‘honey-pot’ effect of the Race and Global Villages are obvious with adjacent businesses in particular sectors gaining extra revenue. Revenue gains were highly differentiated by location and business sector. ” Positive employment figures showed an increase in numbers employed over the course of the event, with over 70% of these in the hospitality industry and more than 80% of this located in Galway city centre. However, these employment gains were of a temporary nature - of those hired on a full or part-time basis, 42% were for the duration of the festival only, and only 7% of the new employees lasting beyond a three month period. The report states that approximately 800,000 visits were recorded to the Race Village and the Global Village over the duration of the Volvo Ocean Race festival and 97% of these race attendees rated their Galway experience as positive. According to Dr Emer Mulligan, Head of the J.E. Cairnes School of Business and Economics, NUI Galway: “The Volvo Ocean Race finale focused the attention of a global audience of over one billion on the city of Galway for the duration of the event. This kind of attention brings with it massive opportunities for the promotion of the city and its businesses.”  Extra economic impacts examined and included in the report include results on how businesses and attendees during the Volvo Ocean Race Finale also cited non-economic aspects of the festival. More than 1,500 volunteers took part in the organisation of the Volvo Ocean Race finale in Galway. They contributed thousands of hours to cater for more than 500,000 visitors to the nine-day event. Dr Mulligan added:  “Looking beyond the economic helps us identify the ancillary benefits and costs of hosting an international event of this scale. Economic impact events of this magnitude are significant but it is incumbent on any assessment to incorporate the extra economic impacts such as boost of morale for the host city and the upsurge of community spirit experienced by all. While the commercial emphasis was obvious, the event did not lose the key element which was held most precious during the 2009 stopover, the family-friendly community spirit.” The report was compiled by Dr Patrick Collins, Dr Stephen Hynes and Dr Emer Mulligan of NUI Galway on behalf of Let’s Do It Global. ENDS

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NUI Galway Creates New Innovative Resources for the Science Classroom

Friday, 23 November 2012

NUI Galway’s School of Education recently developed and launched the Sci-Hook Series, an innovative APPLE iBook resource for science educators. Sci-Hooks are introductory video clips which aim to grab the learner’s attention by capturing what is interesting and engaging about a range of science topics. The series forms part of the School of Education’s mission to build collaborative and supportive partnerships with second-level schools. Dr Veronica McCauley and Seán Ó Grádaigh, lecturers from the School of Education at NUI Galway, led this Science Education Research project with a design team of student science teachers from NUI Galway’s Professional Diploma in Education and Dioplóma Gairmiúil san Oideachas programmes. Dr Mary Fleming, Director of Teacher Education with NUI Galway’s School of Education, said: “Engaging student interest in a learning process which is relevant and connected with the students’ own life experiences not only determines what they will learn, but also the depth of learning and degree to which they process the material being taught.” These Sci-Hook resources have been developed into a set of three iBooks - Physics, Chemistry and Biology, with over 10 videos and support material available in each category, with over 30 Sci-Hooks created for the Junior Science classroom.   The creative design process was highlighted by NUI Galway’s Dr Veronica McCauley: “The design team has created innovative videos that capture novel and engaging aspects of science, and engage pupils immediately with their curious content, quirky film editing and animation fluidity. These edgy snippets have been created in a way that allows seamless translation into other languages. As such, a vibrant team of Dioplóma Gairmiúil san Oideachas students have adapted them for dissemination throughout Irish Medium Schools nationally.” NUI Galway’s Seán Ó Grádaigh emphasised the impact that this new form of iPad technology has had in terms of initial dissemination, saying: “Prior to its launch, Sci-Hook Series had already received over 500 downloads. They are available on iBookstores across 50 countries, with our largest market being the US with 32% of all downloads and this is expected to increase further as the Biology resources are published.” These iBook resources are free to download on your iPad through the iBookstore and also available as videos and pdf on iTunesU and through the scoilnet portal. Funding from NUI Galway, An Chomhairle um Oideachas Gaeltachta agus Gaelscolaíochta (COGG) and Apple Ireland supported the project. -ENDS-

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Sports Psychology, Success and Workplace Debated at NUI Galway MBA Masterclass

Monday, 26 November 2012

NUI Galway’s Executive MBA, in association with the MBA Association of Ireland Western Chapter, recently hosted its fifth Masterclass event. Entitled Maximising Human Potential & Performance: Lessons from Sports Psychology and Business the Masterclass included a line-up of high-profile speakers including Professor Eamon O’Shea, Caroline Currid, Martin Conroy and Seán McGowan, who shared their insights and personal experiences in a discussion chaired by businessman Pádraig Ó Céidigh. Professor Eamon O’Shea is a Professor of Economics at the J.E. Cairnes School of Business and Economics at NUI Galway and has recently been appointed Manager of the Tipperary Senior Hurling Team for 2013. Professor O’Shea was also the coach for the All-Ireland Champions in 2010. Caroline Currid, Performance Coach with the National Athlete Development Academy, has had a profound impact on Gaelic games. She has worked with All-Ireland Football Champions Tyrone in 2008 and helped the Tipperary hurlers and Dublin footballers bridge 10 and 16 year gaps, respectively, attain silverware. Martin Conroy is Director of Continuous Improvement, Global Vascular Operations at Medtronic, Galway. Martin is responsible for developing and deploying the corporate lean strategy across a number of global sites for over 5,000 employees. Seán McGowan, Ocean Rower, spent 118 days at sea alone, crossing the Atlantic in a small boat. He is a qualified Engineer and holds an MBA and assists with organisations in turnaround situations. During the event Seán spoke very personally of his solo journey across the Atlantic and attributes much of his achievement in doing so to the power of the mind. The panel discussed the effects of attitude on human potential and the importance in self-belief concluding that Irish people need the move away from their current negative ‘I’m not too bad’ state of mind to an ‘I’m great’ culture. The power and importance of values and the panel’s failures and success were also discussed by the panel. Dr Alma McCarthy, Director of NUI Galway’s Executive MBA programme, said: “It is an honour and a privilege to receive insights on the psychology of success which are relevant to any context and incumbent on all of us to use the learnings in our personal and professional lives.” ENDS

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