Monday, 14 October 2019

Christy Moore Opens NUI Galway Arts in Action Programme 2019-2020

Students from NUI Galway had the rare privilege of hearing Irish folk legend Christy Moore discuss his lifelong research of song material, his songwriting influences and his journey as Ireland’s greatest folk singer. The event was part of the University’s annual Jean Ritchie Lecture which coincided with NUI Galway’s Arts in Action 2019-2020 programme launch. Now in its ninth year, Arts in Action offers NUI Galway students from all course disciplines ranging from Medicine to Engineering to Science, the unique opportunity to complete a ‘Creative Arts’ module as part of their academic year. Students can also attend the weekly free lunchtime programme of events featuring celebrated artists. Arts in Action Producer and Artistic Director, Mary McPartlan, NUI Galway, said: “What has always been important to NUI Galway is the natural connection that exists between the creative arts and the existing academic structures, providing students with access to continuous high-end international and professional arts in all genres, which also creates credit bearing opportunities in academic modules. This year’s programme also reflects the growing collaboration between NUI Galway and the many local and national arts organisations, bringing rich and rewarding performances to the students and staff on a weekly basis.” A strong narrative around the theme of this year’s programme is Ireland’s inextricable link with the islands both here and overseas, the country as an island in these uncertain times of Brexit and the possible return to a hard border, the arresting landscape, heritage and the Irish language. Drawing on Ireland as an island, Arts in Action will host a Celebration of the Blasket Islands in association with An Taibhdhearc. Suantraí na hInise/Island Lullaby is a unique and innovative music/theatre event. Composed and directed by Colm Ó Foghlú and featuring internationally renowned musicians Niamh Ní Charra, Noreen O’Donoghue and members of the Orchestra of Ireland it will include historical images and film from The Blasket Centre Archive. Representing islands off Scotland, England and Wales, performances include the English folk singer and musician Lisa Knapp and Irish fiddler player and composer, Gerry Diver. From the Shetland Islands, fiddle player Chris Stout will perform with Dundee harpist Catriona McKay. A strong line-up of Irish artists include comedian and actor Tommy Tiernan in conversation with RTÉ broadcaster, Vincent Woods, world class fiddle player Martin Hayes, renowned uileann piper, Paddy Keenan, composers and instrumentalists, Ulaid, and a concert of harp music with harpists Laoise Kelly, Grainne Hambly and Kathleen Loughnane. Arts in Action is also delighted to continue its association with TG4’s Molscéal and its development of the creative arts programme, presenting the 2019 Gradam Ceol ‘Young Musician of the Year’ featuring accordion player and Clarenbridge native, Conor Connolly and Guests. The programme will also continue its strong relationship with An Taibhdhearc presenting Airneán Árann, a concert featuring actor, Macdara Ó Fátharta, who was born in Synge’s Cottage in Inis Meáin and who translated a selection of the writings of John Millington Synge about the island. For this very special concert Macdara will be joined by his son, MacDara O Conaola, Galway poet, Mary O Malley, Inis Mór musician, Oisín Ó hIarnáin, Inis Mór singer, Treasa Ní Mhiolláin and Inis Oírr singer, Lasairfhíona Ní Chonaola. Representing the culture of the Aran Islands the programme features a series of black and white photographs of the Islands from NUI Galway’s Hardiman Library Archives, along with a selection of bilingual poems curated by university academic and poet Dr Lillis Ó Laoire, depicting the landscape of the three Aran Islands. In January 2020, NUI Galway will host a European Capital of Culture Seminar curated by Dr Catherine Morris and Mary Mc Partlan, bringing together a panel of artists, cultural practitioners, teachers and students to explore the dynamic role of arts and culture in university education. The event will discuss how creativity features across the curriculum, how artistic practice can be taught, and how to assess artistic creativity in the humanities. Irish Theatre Institute will present the theatre production Fond Pageant. Written and performed by Daniel Reardon, the play is based on Reardon’s book of the same name, sparked by an unprovoked and inexplicable epileptic seizure suffered by Reardon while attending the opening night of Ulysses at the Abbey Theatre in 2017. Music for Galway will present a series of concerts featuring the best in Irish and international classical music that includes Venetian pianist Chiara Opalio, violinist Eoin Ducrot and Cork cellist Aoife Burke and Collegium choir will perform music from the Renaissance period under the direction of conductor Mark Duley. To download the full Arts in Action 2019-2020 programme and to book events, visit: -Ends-

News Archive

Tuesday, 8 October 2019

NUI Galway student innovation hub LaunchPad has launched its programme of events for the year. The programme has gone from strength to strength on the NUI Galway campus with a community of over 7,000 student entrepreneurs trained since 2015.   Supported by a team of ten interns a key differentiator for the innovation hub is its approach to peer to peer engagement. Executive Director Natalie Walsh said: “Each year we hire a team of interns from across our campuses so that students can learn and develop from each other, in this year’s team we have current Enterprise Ireland Student Entrepreneur of the Year Chris McBrearty, who has worked with us for over a year and comes from a scientific background; Aaron Hannon, a recent Enterprise Ireland Commercialisation Fund recipient and winner of the NDRC Ireland Fund Business Plan competition, who is a second year engineering student; Sarah Murphy a medical student who was a IBYE finalist in Sligo for her project Gridmathic a mathematic literacy aid; Charlotte Lucas, a final year Biomedical Science student who has with Cell Explorers helped to develop a science kit for use in the classroom called ‘Fantastic DNA’; and Heidi Schoenenberger, a PhD student working on developing a business to bring drama productions to primary schools.” A key emphasis of the programme is contributing toward the culture of entrepreneurship on campus and within the region.  Students participating in the programme gain transversal skills and in addition to now considering entrepreneurship as part of their career plan, in addition to being highly employable and filling roles on many sought after programmes both nationally and internationally. The innovation calendar features events, programmes and competitions open to students in Galway. Programmes in this year’s calendar include an EIT Health funded connected health programme, a start-up student week taking place in November and Student Ascent, a midway demo day of student innovation on campus.  The hub has also expanded the reach of some of its programmes by opening them up to third level students in the region.  Natalie Walsh continues: “We have had a huge response to our second level students programmes the Ideas Academy which was open to all second level students in the region, a natural next step for our hub is to engage more with the region and work collaboratively to contribute towards a thriving entrepreneurial ecosystem with students at the heart if it, particularly as we see our student perform so well at national entrepreneurship award programmes. We also see our students developing a core extracurricular skillset that makes them very attractive to employers in the region with many of our Interns holding important innovation roles in their respective industries. “Our approach is to have an open door policy. We encourage entrepreneurs and potential mentors to get in touch with us and see how we can work together to train the next generation of entrepreneurs for our region.” -Ends-

Tuesday, 8 October 2019

Professor Chris Stringer will deliver the fifth annual William King Lecture Professor Chris Stringer of the Natural History Museum London will deliver the fifth annual William King Lecture at NUI Galway on Thursday, 10 October. Professor Stringer, one of the most high-profile international experts on Neanderthals, will also be presented with the William King Medal at the talk for his contributions to our understanding of human evolution. The William King Lecture series was established in 2015 with the aim of honouring the scientific legacy of William King, the first Professor of Geology and Mineralogy at Queen’s College Galway (as NUI Galway was then known). King made his own scientific history in 1863 when he first proposed the formal scientific name Homo neanderthalensis for Neanderthal people. Event co-organiser Professor Heinz Peter Nasheuer, Biochemistry, NUI Galway, commented: “William King would go on to become the first scientist to successfully name a new human species based on actual fossil remains. It was a remarkable achievement, and also an extremely important step in the early development of palaeoanthropology (the study of human evolution) in the Nineteenth Century.” Professor Stringer is Research Leader in Human Origins at London’s Natural History Museum, and is best known for his work on the Recent African Origin theory of modern human origins, and also with projects concerned with the ancient human occupation of Britain. He actively collaborates with a large and diverse international network of archaeologists, dating specialists, and geneticists in attempting to reconstruct the evolution of modern humans globally. Planet Earth is effectively his field study area, and his research has addressed one of the most fundamentally important questions that can be asked in science – what does it mean to be human? The title of Professor Stringer’s lecture will be ‘The evolution and fate of the Neanderthals’ and he commented that: “The last ten years have seen many exciting developments in the study of Neanderthals – from how they evolved through to when they disappeared, including the remarkable discovery that most of us alive today have about 2% of their DNA in our genomes. In my forthcoming lecture in NUI Galway I will be presenting some of the latest evidence about these close relatives of ours.” To date, Professor Stringer has published over 400 papers and books, and his recent output has included ‘The Origin of our Species’, ‘Britain: One Million Years of the Human Story’ (with Rob Dinnis), and ‘Our Human Story’ (with Louise Humphrey). He is a Fellow of the Royal Society and an Honorary Fellow of the Society of Antiquaries. He won the 2004 Rivers Memorial Medal from the Royal Anthropological Institute and also the 2008 Frink Medal of the Zoological Society of London. More recently he was elected a Member of the American Philosophical Society. Dr John Murray, Earth and Ocean Sciences, NUI Galway, and one of the co-organisers of the annual lecture series, said: “We are really delighted to welcome one of the world’s leading and most highly respected Neanderthal experts to NUI Galway. Professor Stringer is an icon to many in palaeoanthropology; his research on those most enigmatic of prehistoric people, the Neanderthals, has enlightened and inspired in equal measure. His investigations also continue in the spirit of work initially begun by William King here over a century and a half ago. The awarding of the King Medal to Professor Stringer, here in the institution where their formal scientific name was first coined, thus represents fitting completion of this scientific circle.” The fifth annual William King Lecture will take place at 7pm in the Human Biology Building and all are welcome to attend. -Ends-

Monday, 7 October 2019

Following the recent announcement of newly appointed Business Professors at the J.E. Cairnes School of Business and Economics in NUI Galway, the Cairnes School and Whitaker Institute will host the ‘Inaugural Professors In Conversation Series’ featuring the new professors. Alma McCarthy, appointed Professor of Public Sector Management will open the series on Wednesday, 9 October and will talk about - Attracting, managing, developing and retaining talent in the Irish public sector. The lunchtime event is free and open to the public. Professor McCarthy will reflect on the key learnings from her research in public sector organisations in Ireland and discuss learnings from international best practice including how best to attract and develop senior leadership capability. She will identify a number of opportunities and challenges currently facing public sector organisations in relation to human resource and talent attraction, management and development. Some of these challenges include the need to be forward-thinking and plan strategically to meet the changing socio-demographic trends of the next generation of public sector employees. Alma will also discuss how current demographic and societal trends are impacting public sector human resource management as well as reflect on the likely future trends that public sector organisations must plan for including changes in employee preferences for how they work, the impact of technology and changes in career expectations.   Drawing on over 15 years of expertise in the public sector, Professor McCarthy will be in conversation with Tomás Ó Síocháin about her public sector research and work. Tomás is CEO of the Western Development Commission (WDC), the state agency tasked with advising the Government on policy for the West, and has experience in senior management positions in other public sector organisations.  Professor Alan Ahearne, Director, Whitaker Institute at NUI Galway, said: “We are delighted to launch this inaugural lecture series which will provide our newly appointed professors with the opportunity to engage students, colleagues and the general public in a frank discussion of issues that are crucially important for our country. The challenge facing the public sector to attract and retain talent is one such issue, with profound implications for our systems of health care, education, security and other areas of public administration.” Speaking about the event, Professor Alma McCarthy, NUI Galway, said: “I am honoured to have the opportunity to be in conversation with Tomás Ó Síocháin discussing my research in the area of public sector management. The delivery of public services for our citizens is contingent on the capability, commitment and competence of our public sector employees and leaders and their ability to innovate and lead change. In turn, the delivery of quality services to the public is dependent on how well public sector organisations attract, manage and develop their talent. I will focus on this important area.” Tomás Ó Síocháin, CEO, Western Development Commission, said: “Serving the public is a key challenge for public servants and for the public service. Changes in technology, the move towards a low carbon economy and the changing culture of work internationally are significant drivers of change. This is particularly the case for a sector that, at times, is seen as slow to change. In my experience, however, there is an appetite for change among leaders in the public service, and I very much look forward to hearing Professor McCarthy’s insights, and facilitating a broader conversation on this important topic.” The event will take place on Wednesday, 9 October from 1pm-2pm in Room CA110 in the Cairnes Building, North Campus, NUI Galway. To book the event, visit: -Ends-

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