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Róisín McGrogan: The Civic Graduate & Employment

Friends Indeed: Adi Roche, Padraig O’Céidigh, Marian Harkin, Alan Kerins

Iain Mac Labhrainn: Recognising a Long Tradition of Civic Engagement

2010 - 2011

cki m a g a z i n e

Celebrating 10 years of engaging NUI Galway with its communities


PRESIDENTS NOTE

LETTER FROM THE PRESIDENT

Jim Browne NUIG President

A chairde, On the occasion of the 10th anniversary of the Community Knowledge Initiative (CKI), I am delighted to congratulate all involved in the development of this truly ground-breaking NUI Galway project. In my former role as Registrar, I had the privilege of being part of this initiative from its inception in 2001. From its earliest beginnings, I have been heartened to see colleagues and students respond enthusiastically to the CKI vision "to effect positive social change by promoting active involvement and critical citizenship in partnership with students, staff and the wider community". I believe that NUI Galway is a national leader in civic engagement and it is gratifying to see many other higher institutions follow suit. Like all birthdays, the 10th anniversary, give us pause to reflect on our achievements and CKI can be justifiably proud of the milestones it has reached. Most heartening for the campus community is the fact that almost 40 degree programmes now incorporate service learning; with 100 academic staff and 800 students involved annually. It is worth remembering that over 3,000 students have volunteered with ALIVE in over 150 local, national and international organisations. Volunteering can be a life-changing experience, instilling a sense of social justice and civic engagement in volunteers. By promoting volunteerism, NUI Galway is helping to foster a civic ethos or social conscience in our students; which will have impact on wider society for years to come. CKI's achievements have been recognised internationally in plaudits as diverse as the MacJannet Prize and the Junior Chamber International Outstanding Young Persons of the World. CKI seeks to share its experience and participate in global civic engagement fora, such as Campus Compact and the Talloires Network, to learn and to share in best practice internationally. Our recent international service learning collaboration within Jordan and Lebanon, funded by the EU Tempus programme, is another step in this direction. Engagement is a distinguishing feature of our University. Our Strategic Plan 2014 sets out these values and commits us to build on our work in civic engagement by embedding civic virtues at the heart of the student experience and through the ALIVE programme. We will continue to use our resources of knowledge as a basis for engagement with communities and as a means of building a better society at local and national levels. In conclusion, I want to pay tribute to all those who have contributed to the success of CKI over its 10 year history. I salute the leadership of so many dedicated staff from right across the University; the involvement of thousands of students who have shown the energy for good which exists in Ireland today; and the partnership of numerous organisations who have harnessed that energy into real social action. Thank you for building the success of the Community Knowledge Initiative. NĂ­ neart go cur le chĂŠile. James J. Browne PhD, DSc, MRIA, CEng UachtarĂĄn - President

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PERSONAL NOTES

cki CREDITS CKI Coordinator Lorraine McIIrath Going to College Coordinator Breda Casey Campus Engage Coordinator Ann Lyons ALIVE Coordinator Lorraine Tansey CKI Administrator Mary Bernard CKI Magazine Coordinator & Editor Elaine Divilly EDC Consulting www.elainedivilly.com Graphic Design Allen Design www.allendesign.ie

Campus Cartography Welcome to the Community Knowledge Initiative (CKI) magazine which marks the tenth anniversary of our launch at the National University of Ireland Galway in 2001! Over the past ten years we have diligently created an initiative that has fast become an intrinsic part of teaching and learning here at NUI Galway. And look atwhat has been achieved: over 35 degree programmes now incorporate service learning with 100 academic staff and 800 students involved annually; 3000 students have Lorraine McIlrath volunteered with ALIVE in over 150 local, national and CKI Coordinator international organisations; Campus Compact, the Talloires Network and the MacJannet prize have awarded and recognised our achievements; CKI achieved core funding from NUI Galway in 2008 following initial Atlantic Philanthropies support; we have published widely through books, chapters and peer review journal articles; promoted civic engagement nationally as the lead partner in Campus Engage; and in 2010 our international service learning collaboration within Jordan and Lebanon was funded by EU Tempus. These achievements have been made possible through the vision of NUI Galway and the dedication of colleagues who are deeply convinced of the importance of community university partnerships. The CKI mission is to ‘to effect positive social change by promoting active involvement and critical citizenship in partnership with students, staff and the wider community.’ To achieve this ambitious goal, we at the CKI are the ‘Campus Cartographers’! Creating new maps between the university and community so that need and knowledge collide and applied learning can occur through active involvement and civic engagement. As the ‘Campus Cartographers’, our ultimate goal is to grow deep relationships between the university and community, and nurture students to become ’Graduate Citizens’ who will continue their commitment to community. This magazine is a fun read! It is also such an exciting publication as for the first time we are viewing the CKI activities from the perspective of those who matter most within our work, namely those who use our maps; community partners, colleagues and students, who in turn become graduates. There are so many more stories, case studies and opinions we could have show cased but we were limited by space and resources! We endeavour to continue to highlight the importance of this work through further publications. Enjoy the read and please send us innovative ideas for future community university partnerships, or any other comments.

Take care,

CKI Team L-R: Breda Casey, Going to College Coordinator, Ann Lyons, Campus Engage Coordinator, Lorraine McIlrath, CKI Coordinator, Lorraine Tansey, ALIVE Coordinator, Mary Bernard, CKI Administrator

Lorraine McIlrath CKI Coordinator

MAGA MANIA To tell a story or face facts. To add or to simply subtract. To bold or keep regular. To call, skype, tweet or text. To cry and then dry our eyes. To laugh and jump for joy. Challenging all our fears, CKI magazine is finally here! Thank you to all who supported this wonderful venture. Elaine Divilly, Your Editor

ON THE COVER: "Rain Cloud Imagined" painted by Dagmar Drabent....."Settled into whatever was around for the time being. Comfort in waiting. Beginning of the year expectations. No vase is big enough for those tulips. The books on the window sill felt damp." www.dagmardrabent.com Visit www.nuigalwaycki.ie to view CKI magazine online


CONTENTS

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community knowledge initiative

13

FEATURES 09

CIVIC GRADUATE Róisín McGrogan from TCD on why

employers prefer service learning students 13

CHANGING ATTITUDES Antoinette Giblin meets the students who care

19

FRIENDS INDEED Richie McCarthy speaks with Adi Roche, Alan Kerins,

Padraig O’Céidigh and Marian Harkin 35

ENGAGING GALWAY COMMUNITIES harnessing skill and talent to better

38

GAF YOUTH CAFE Frank Greaney on NUI Galway’s heavenly match

39

NEW GENERATION Galway Traveller Movement instills change

the community

01

29

OUT THERE 01

AGENDA whats happening in CKI

06

HELP YOURSELF top books on civic engagement

44

BODY & MIND Cindy Dring on how to live a balanced life

49

GRADUATE OPINION Paul Killoran, Starlight Solutions

CKI 03

INBOX take a look at CKI’s message board

05

CLICK & CARE a guide to CKI’s website

07

CIVIC CITIZENSHIP Dr Iain Mac Labhrainn talks about CELT

17

HIGH PRAISE a look at the McJannet Awards

29

SNAPSHOT CKI’s picture diary

33

JIM WARD opportunities, challenges and personal commitment to

civic engagement

25

SERVICE LEARNING 18

TALE OF TURNING TABLES lecturer Dimitrios Zeugolis on community

focus 23

GET THE GRADE in the words of the student

25

GET SMART Elizabeth Hollander on why service learning is the future

27

MY SERVICE LEARNING JOURNEY Richard Manton

of higher education 40

LASTING RELATIONSHIPS Tawasol project brings NUI Galway and Arab

universities together 41

YOUTHFUL INSPIRATION what happened when medicine students

taught CPR in local schools

12

VOLUNTEERING 12

PERSONAL CHOICE how a service learning initiative paved the way for

a remarkable nursing experience 43

DON’T JUST SIT THERE Lorraine Tansey’s top ten reasons to

volunteer with ALIVE


CONTRIBUTOR

CONTRIBUTORS ANTOINETTE GIBLIN A native of Roscommon, Antoinette Giblin is a freelance journalist and a graduate of the Masters in Journalism at NUI Galway. With publications in national titles such as The Irish Examiner and regional titles such as The Connacht Tribune, she specialises in news and feature writing.

TREVOR QUINN Trevor Quinn is from the village of Carracastle in East Mayo. During his undergraduate degree in Advertising & Media in West Wales, Trevor reaffirmed an earlier passion for writing. Since returning from a gap year travelling in Australia Trevor has regularly freelanced for The Western People, worked with The Galway Advertiser and has just completed an MA in journalism at NUI Galway.

FRANK GREANEY Frank Greaney is a 26-year-old graduate of NUI Galway’s MA in Journalism programme and also holds a Bachelor of Corporate Law from the University. He currently works as a broadcast journalist with Galway Bay FM News and makes regular contributions to the Galway City Tribune.

RÓISÍN MCGROGAN Róisín McGrogan studied Civil Law at NUI, Galway. She took a year out before her final year and served as VP and Welfare Officer in the Students' Union. From there she worked with an Employee Assistance Programme and then under Professor Gerard Quinn in the Centre for Disability Law and Policy (CDLP) in NUI, Galway. She is now Civic Engagement Officer in the Careers Advisory Service in Trinity College Dublin.

RICHIE MCCARTHY Richie McCarthy is an accomplished journalist and endurance athlete with a passion for social affairs. He has worked for numerous Irish publications at both regional and national level. Breaking stories in local media to profiling international sports heroes, Richie has a fascinating and wide range of journalistic experience.

RICHARD MANTON Richard Manton is an exemplary graduate citizen. He is an engineering graduate who participated in a service learning project in Africa, volunteered in Haiti and Germany and is now editor of NUI Galway’s student newspaper, SIN. His story is equally enthralling and insightful.

ELIZABETH HOLLANDER After nine years leading Campus Compact, a national coalition of college and university presidents committed to fulfilling the public purposes of higher education in the United States, Elizabeth Hollander joined Tisch College at Tufts University as a senior fellow. When not serving as a senior fellow, Hollander walks the walk of civic engagement. She sits on CKI’s advisory board.


AGENDA

ALIVE & KICKING Additions to the Team Breda Casey is the most recent addition to the CKI team and was seconded by the NFVB in May 2010 to coordinate the pilot programme at NUIG for access for people with an intellectual disability. Breda brings vast experience to this work and a range of key contacts to enable the successful delivery of the programme. In addition, she has a clear vision and ethical sense of inclusive education. Breda will continue to work for the National Federation for Voluntary Bodies (NFVB) and is acting for NFVB though her part time position at NUI Galway.

ALIVE is currently hosting Geraldine Marley as a student placement, who is currently doing the MA in Community Development. Geraldine will work with ALIVE from August until December 2010. But it doesn’t stop there - Lorraine Tansey, ALIVE co-ordinator, is expanding the team by offering four one-year internships. The lucky four will be assisting Lorraine in the day-to-day running of the ALIVE programme, which involves representation at events, giving presentations, promoting ALIVE and lots other fun stuff!

INFO - DRIVE Lorraine Tansey and her intern team will run ALIVE sessions in October (every Wednesday 5pm to 6pm) and November (first Wednesday). Each session will focus on a different aspect of volunteering: ALIVE, International Volunteering, Volunteering with Children, European Voluntary Service (EVS) and Career Options. ALIVE also run drop-in nights every Wednesday at 6pm for students to meet, get information and share experiences.

GRADUATION FOR THE UNSTOPPABLE

FAIRLY LIVELY The Volunteering Fair, takes place annually in September in the Bailey Allen Hall. Increasing in size every year, last year nearly 80 stands and over 2,000 students and staff were welcomed on the day. The fair is always a great day and gives students’ organisations an ideal chance to chat about volunteering opportunities available. In addition, it has provided the community and voluntary sector with an annual opportunity to hook up informally and discuss their business. 01

CKI Magasine 2010 - 2011 www.nuigalwaycki.ie

Volunteers receive ALIVE certificates The ALIVE Certificate Ceremony will be held on the 29 March 2011. This is the occasion where all those who volunteer throughout the year receive a certificate signed by NUI Galway President Dr James Browne. The number of students receiving certificates continues to grow every year; last year 800 students were successfully awarded. During the same week (28 March to 1 April) other awards such as the Societies awards (SU Awards), take place. To register for your certificate go to www.yourspace.nuigalway.ie and login.


AGENDA

DID YOU KNOW? SHOW OFF COUNTING ON YOU SERVICE LEARNING CONFERENCE The service learning conference held at NUI Galway in March 2010 received such positive feedback from students, community and academics that we’ve decided to run another in early 2011. The conference aims to offer an understanding on civic engagement, using it as a teaching tool to encourage students to engage with their community. Students, academics and community partners present their perspectives on partnerships through service learning, highlighting both the benefits and challenges.

Every year, students, their lecturers and community partners present their project findings and exhibit posters of their work in a Service Learning Module Showcase. This year, Civil Engineering/Geography, Mechanical & Biomedical Engineering, Occupational Therapy, Speech & Language Therapy and MSc. Management Information Systems exhibited their work, which threw up all sorts of findings. There is tremendous talent to be found at such showcases and is well worth attending to meet some of NUI Galway’s future leaders.

CHECK IT OUT

Postgraduate Diploma in Academic Practice Want to learn more about civic engagement and higher education? There is a civic engagement module offered through the PG Diploma in Academic Practice, which runs annually and is coordinated by Lorraine McIlrath at the CKI. Participants are involved in discussion, debate and design of new academic programmes in civic engagement. A range of guest speakers from community and higher education offer their perspectives on community university partnerships. This 10 ECT module can be taken as a stand-alone experience or as part of the diploma.

NOSEY PARKER

SUPPORTING INCLUSION An exciting new partnership project has just begun at the CKI, which aims to support people who have an intellectual disability to gain access to third level education in NUI Galway. Led by the great and wonderful Professor Pat Dolan from the Child and Family Research Centre in NUI Galway, with an amazing team including Professor Gerard Quinn, Lorraine McIlrath and Edel Tierney, the pilot project will support six students throughout a two-year pilot programme starting September 2011. Now that’s civic engagement!

International Conferences of Interest

ARABIAN FLIGHTS As part of the Tempus project, Lorraine McIlrath will be visiting Beirut in December this year to plan the next phase of the three year EU funded project. The Tempus project involves working with three universities in Jordan and two in the Lebanon and supports the ongoing development of service learning within higher education in the Middle East. Tawasol, the group’s collective name meaning engagement and interaction in Arabic, had a very successful visit to NUI Galway in June 2010. Read more about Tawasol and their visit on page 47.

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2010 International Association for Research on Service Learning and Community Engagement (IARSLCE) Annual Conference will take place from 28 to 31 October 2010 in Indianapolis, Indiana.

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9th IANYS Global Conference on National Youth Service 25 to 28 October will be held in Alexandria, Egypt and promises to be an exciting opportunity for professionals in the field of youth development to come together to share information and current developments in the field.

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Major Summit on Corporate Responsibility Transforming to a Sustainable Business will take place on Thursday 18 November 2010 at the Aviva Stadium in Dublin.

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NCCPE Engagement Conference 2010 will focus on the broad theme of why and how universities should engage the public. It will be held at the University of Bristol on the 7 and 8 December 2010.

5th International Barcelona Conference on Higher Education will take place from 23 to 26 November 2010 in Barcelona, Spain.

CKI Magasine 2010 - 2011

www.nuigalwaycki.ie

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INBOX

Inbox Worthy Words of Inspirational

Wisdom to d earch in our res using benefite s a h ly n o o h t o le b “N a t sustain bia, but it has low-cos am Z f o le p kills in a the peo s to use our s ncouraged u d o It als e f civil enable anner. m l a dge o c ti prac e knowle r u o t p meet th a us to ad g in Ireland to d to us by rin nte e enginee llenges prese ait to se a h can’t w lives c I y t. n e man n ti e an con pact th the Afric search will im ambia.” Z re r rn how ou ple of Weste o e p e eering, of th il Engin Civ ald, B. Alan Fitzger ct with n je n o o r m P g Ea in n r Lea Service ojects. Pr s in r e K

“I chose to teach basic computer skills to some of the youths in the Ballinfoyle area. I can sum it up as being enjoyable, fulfilling and educational. I’ve definitely learned a lot, including patience, respect and never to judge a book by its cover. The students even showed me a few computer tricks along the way!” Susan Doherty, M. IT, Ballinfoyle Area Youth Project

“Defnitely go for it if you can! you more It gives perspecti ve on oth people’s er lives, rath er than ju your own st being in bubble. If you found in anothe yourself r situation , you’d lik that peop e to think le would be helpin g out.” Mark Je nnings, B . Civil En ing, ALIV gineerE Volunte er with A West & H bility umanity for Habit at 03

CKI Magazine 2010 - 2011 www.nuigalwaycki.ie

“Life is full of op portunities; som e we seize, some we don't. Volunteerin g is an enjoyable and wo rthwhile opportu nity to be seized, providi ng essential assis tance and support to those you help, affording you a much fulfi lled and integra ted life within your com munity.” Joanne Murph y, Regional Com munity Fundraising M anager, Enable Ireland.

e w wher en kno v e ’t n did t for of them s a zes ing “Some ere wa th g involv t u in b n , r s a a le w r ly Ita and fo as g there felt it w God learnin . I just n . Please fu m d e n a th s r fo e; r g n game tu ti os f the fu nce-bo dents o al.” ti tu confide n s e te o m their p n beco e a s c li y e a e e th mr , Servic ade the cturer le c n u a it has m d tali Intro alsh, I aching ls. e o T o Olga W t h c c g Proje ional S t in a n N r l a Le o Loca alian t tor y It

learnt nce. I experie g n i n e s the op ; it wa an eyemy teering n u “It was l o utside v o myself through t h u c p u m o t so nity ultures opportu g new c perfect riencin e p x e d my e , t zone g impac alth comfort nteerin u l s in He o r V e t . s d a n M a h e h t in t s fir nterest ply for earch i n to ap s o e i r s i y c m e d ursue ents cs to p governm Economi ational tions’ a n g n d i n educ elop ealth a h r how dev o f ds ute fun who distrib unteer ” . IVE Vol s L e A s o , p m r m u o p B. C Skelly, Adrian dia n I o ed t travell


INBOX

winner in service "So everybody was a ngs up, it thi ns ope learning. It here to ple peo ng you the s expose t wha people are university life and No, it real. es doing there and mak s great It' ue. tin con it just long may I love the way and very practical and higher theory it isn't an academic s a very it' n, that's coming dow I think it's ch whi , ble practical doa great". t Worker, GAF Francis Forde, Projec Youth Café, Galway

"NUI Galway has a role in every community in the city and I have to say I found the whole CKI experience excellent. From the very start from meeting the CKI, to the lecturers, to the students to the very end and I just can't complement them enough". Paul Connaughton, Youth Officer, Ballinfoyle Youth Development Project, Galway

"I now fee l happier going to because school I'm able to keep up w rest of th ith the e class an d my hom always do ework is ne. I wou ld like to role mod act as a el for othe r young Tra to finish s vellers chool." Debbie M cDonagh , Leaving Certifica te stude n t, Galway Traveller Moveme nt Pavee with Pos Study tgraduate Diploma Educatio in n (PGDE )

“I inv estiga ted th surrou e issu nding es a ccess level to thi educat rd ion fo seeker r asyl s in I um r e land. inspir We wer ed by e the is meetin sue af g Lorr ter aine M CKI. S cIlrat he was h in very h the pr elpful oject , and i t self w compel as a ling e x p e r ience. benefi ted en The gr ormous oup workin ly fro g toge m t her in commun the ity.” Sam Do negan, MA Phi losoph y

“You just feel like you’re part of something. When you’re in your little student bubble, you don’t see the relevance of any of the work you’re doing and you’re just learning off cases. But with volunteering, you’re actually piecing the work together and seeing how it can be applied to help people. It shows all the good work you can do with a law degree.” Kathryn O Shea, B. Civil Law, ALIVE Volunteer with Galway Rape Crisis Centre

it imple, very s . s e ’ n t o i ome ugh help s “Altho ually t c f a o t t migh t was a lo ause i asn’t c w e b e r t e Th in i t. It ering concep e engine l p le m i ly s e peop a fair ve mor i g n t a s ju t c would so tha t for dence n oing i e d p e t d u o in b a o ly g actual l lves.” hanica e s them B. Mec er , p l p o o o T C c Egg e h Kien M T West , ility ering for Ab Engine t c e j Pro Off’r

“I participated in Service Learning as pa rt of my Social Marketing clas s. It gave me a sense of empowe rment and importance, so mething I can’ t say I’ve felt from any other type of learni ng experience. I can’t emphas ise enough how much I’d encour age anyone who has the opport unity to engage in Service Lear ning to do it!” Sandra Nestor, B. Comm

CKI Magazine 2010 - 2011 www.nuigalwaycki.ie

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CKI

CLICK&CARE Since 2004, the CKI have been exploring, pioneering and developing the best website infrastructure so that students, academics and community could come together and explore engagement. In that time the CKI has constantly reviewed and refined the website and designed a community opportunities database organised in themes with up to the minute positions. In 2010 and in the true meaning of collaboration, NUI Galway gave permission to University of Limerick to use the CKI website template and design as part of a strategic alliance

ALIVE VOLUNTEER

SERVICE LEARNING

Thinking about volunteering? The students’ section has the answers to all your questions. There are tips on how to get involved, stories from students who have volunteered in previous years, and the full low-down on Volunteer Week @ NUI Galway.

What is it? A teaching tool and type of learning that encourages students to learn and explore issues vital to society, inside and outside the classroom. Students are graded and credited for their service learning projects.

Within the students’ section, there’s a place listing various volunteering opportunities. Choose from a wide range of categories; children and young people, international projects, social justice - the list goes on! Check out the volunteering fund available too.

NEWS Keeping you informed with the latest fundraising events, information evenings, conferences and generally anything happening in CKI.

COMMUNITY Sometimes, the most daunting part of doing anything is not knowing what’s ahead. The CKI website is the perfect guide to ensure you’re well equipped. Each CKI community partner is listed with information on what they do.

Who is it for? Everyone. Check out all NUI Galway service learning courses.

NUI GALWAY STAFF nuigalway.ie/cki has information for staff so that everyone in NUI Galway is aware of the amazing opportunities to contribute to the community. Service learning is a relatively new concept in Irish higher education. Everything you want to know is here. Staff and academics can browse research and degree programmes available at NUI Galway, encouraging students to share their knowledge with the wider community.

For community partners interested in having students work with their organisation, a special registration section is available. It’s as easy as pie! Don’t know your way around? A community map pinpointing the locations of each community partner is on the website too.

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CKI Magazine 2010 - 2011 www.nuigalwaycki.ie


OUT THERE

Help Yourself to Community Engagement 6

top books to read about contributing to your community - By Lorraine McIlraith

There is an abundance of publications relating to community engagement, making a shortlist of six a major challenge! However, represented here is a sample that relates to community engagement and higher education including perspectives on civic engagement from students, academics and the wider community.

Bowling Alone: The Collapse and Revival of American Community by Robert Putnam

Global Citizens by Mark Gerzon, Rider Books, 2010

Putman's work follows a study that outlines gradual declines in levels of social capital within the US since the 1950s. While his works have been hailed as often as critiqued, he started a global debate that certainly, within Ireland, prompted the government to reflect on a national level of social capital during the height of the 'Celtic Tiger'.

New York Time’s acclaimed "expert in civil discourse”, Mark Gerzon underpins personal and contemporary visions on our role within society. Challenging readers to consider global division and diversity to confront stereotyping and to assess the role we can play within the world - this book is a must. It contains compelling case studies that illustrate simple but powerful arguments. A great read to raise our Global Intelligence (GI).

The Unheard Voices: Community Organizations and Service Learning, Temple University Press, 2010

Higher Education and Civic Engagement: International Perspectives, Ashgate, 2007

Community perspectives on university engagement through service learning, whether positive or negative, has as of yet, been untapped. This book adds the most up-to-date contribution written by a collective of service leaning students and academic staff. The findings follow an indepth community-based research study facilitated by Randy Stoecker and Beth Tryon on community partners’ experiences of services learning. The findings will be of no surprise to practitioners, but it’s so refreshing to have challenges and opportunities evidenced.

This book contains individually authored essays, global scholars offer conceptual, institutional and practical examples of community university partnerships through service learning. This is an excellent introductory academic resource for both students and scholars who want to develop a sure foot in this area. It offers a solid theoretical backdrop that explores historical conceptions of the 'civic' and citizens, while also illustrating practical case studies.

Managing Civic and Community Engagement by David Watson, McGraw Hill, 2007

Mapping Civic Engagement within Irish Higher Education, AISHE and Campus Engage, 2009

Renowned internationally for implementing his vision of a 'civic university' as Vice Chancellor at the University of Brighton, Sir David Watson, offers his thinking drawing from the historic moving to the contemporary on often complex and competing values that lie at the heart of higher education. This is an excellent handbook that brings to mind the central purpose of higher education - to build cohesive communities enabled by active citizens

For a local flavour, this book is a significant Irish publication that attempts to paint the current landscape of higher education community partnership and the underpinning cultural contexts. Each chapter has been written by the community, students or academics, representing the unification of these diverse voices. Another piece of good news is that it’s free, and available in hardback or as a PDF download from both publishers' websites!

CKI Magazine 2010 - 2011 www.nuigalwaycki.ie

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CKI

recognising a long tradition of good citizenship Engagement in civil society is a key feature of NUI Galway’s strategic plan and one which CELT Director, Dr Iain Mac Labhrainn, believes finally gives due recognition to a long tradition of good citizenship. Words by Antoinette Giblin

ometimes people forget that students have been engaging with various groups for some time and that they have really grown from it. The strategic plan is trying to recognise this; it is recognising that there have been long traditions of that. In the past, people didn’t receive formal recognition for it and it may not have been valued or celebrated, but that has all changed now. These are the kind of virtues that we would like our graduates to have, so why not celebrate their work and encourage them?” said Dr Mac Labhrainn, whose interest in learning and teaching developed over his many years as a physics lecturer. CELT’s mission is to foster a culture of excellence in teaching and learning by promoting methods that encourage active learner engagement and critical thinking. From learning technologies and higher education policy to programmes for academic staff and information on alternative learning tools, its work is largely researchinformed and one such study investigated how service learning can be used as a pedagogical tool. “CELT has a very mixed remit. We play the lead role in writing the learning, teaching and development strategies used across the university. We work at lots of different levels and a lot of it is research-informed,” Dr Mac Labhrainn explained. “When we started off in the area of civic engagement and service learning, we looked to the US for guidance. What we then developed was a different flavour that suits the Irish context better,” he added. Promoting innovation in teaching and learning is central to the CELT mission and the compulsory dimension of service learning has the dual aim of ensuring that students are engaged in their subject area, while also doing something to benefit their community. “They need to work with community groups and to do something of benefit to them, but also it has to be intimately interwoven with the subject the students are studying,” he said. Now a key part of the institution’s culture, it pervades many disciplines and is, Dr Mac Labhrainn noted, likely to be more sustainable in the future as it encourages graduates to take responsibility for their own learning. “There isn’t really any academic subject where you don’t have scope for some form of civic awareness or a broader involvement with society at some level. One of the key things is trying to get students to participate in learning about their subject. We need to develop students so that by the time they graduate, they’re more responsible for their own learning and are more self-reflective,” he said. ervice learning and volunteering are the principal drivers of

“S

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CKI Magazine 2010 - 2011 www.nuigalwaycki.ie

the strategic vision, which aims to offer a holistic educational and cultural experience that not only develops the students academically, but also focuses on life and vocational skills. “There is no shortage of voluntary organisations in Ireland. It’s all about trying to weave some coherence so that the students can be engaged with those groups as individuals or through their courses. It’s all about developing as an individual, working within broader society and learning all sorts of skills,” Dr Mac Labhrainn explained. In addition to this, the vast amount of research projects on campus create an important link between civic and intellectual engagement, as studies are designed with a specific ‘social purpose’ in mind.

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“A lot of the research activity is actually focused on broader society and people’s everyday lives, so there is a strong civic link there too” explained Dr Labhrain. “For example, the Child and Family Research group are looking into the ageing population so there is all this research going on with civic purposes behind it. It is more than an intellectual exercise that takes place in a laboratory; it has a social purpose and we should celebrate that,” he suggested. As well as preparing students for democratic citizenship, one of NUI Galway’s distinguishing factors is the level of engagement from academic staff who devote their time to curricula design. “We encourage people to experiment and be creative in their teaching. People always want to try new things. There are always constraints that can dampen things, especially with the current state of the economy, but there are different innovative approaches to teaching and learning and we are lucky to have staff who have an intrinsic interest in reshaping how people learn,” he acknowledged. Having recently held a conference with academics from a wide range of disciplines to discuss creativity in higher education, the


CKI

CELT Director is confident that curricula innovations, such as service learning, will be followed by many more alternative teaching tools. “Our recent conference in June was about creativity in higher education and there was lots of great discussion. There was a big wave of interest in technology. All of our courses now have an online presence with Blackboard E-learning and staff are using it in more sophisticated ways. It was used for lecture notes and now there is a lot of multi-media and podcasting. There is a spread of things going on and we want that to continue. Things can grow from just an idea into something mainstream,” he remarked.

There was a big wave of interest in technology. All of our courses now have an online presence with Blackboard E-learning and staff are using it in more sophisticated ways

rom years of public engagement by both students and staff, the stereotypical divide that once existed between the academic world and the wider community has now, he stressed, been dismantled, leaving only the symbolic legacy of the ivy-clad stone buildings in its wake. “There is much more exchange between the university and society. It is not an island of its own. We have some lovely old traditional buildings but they’re not symbolic of what’s really happening. They are symbols of the past. There are some stereotypes that universities and communities live apart. We live and work in the same community; we’re not isolated in ivory towers and cut off as some clichés suggest. It’s not like that in the modern world.” And, as the old-fashioned boundaries are continually blurred by improved access to adult and further education, each student now has a unique opportunity to learn with their community. “A lot is down to the personal response of the student, but we hope to make them more aware of civic and public issues. NUI Galway has taken civic engagement to the heart of its ambitions for its students. It’s part of our culture,” he concluded.

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The Civic-Minded Graduate Róisín McGrogan is a past student of NUI Galway. An avid community engager throughout her studies, she is now Civic Engagement Officer at the Careers Advisory Service in Trinity College Dublin. In her own words, she highlights the pros of being a civically engaged student.

ne of the best things about interacting with the community sector on a regular basis is the variety. I meet so many dynamic and passionate people and have the opportunity learn about such interesting causes and projects. It’s also really inspiring when you hear of something that has grown from one person’s idea to a fully fledged organisation and service for client groups in genuine need. People tend to be really accommodating and enthusiastic for new ideas, change can happen faster on the back of this. That can be positive as well as negative. The benefit for third level of engaging with the community is infinite. The public function of the University is widely known and there is certainly a responsibility to fulfill this. Engaged research allows Universities to effect actual social change and ensure collective and democratic ownership of knowledge. The personal and professional skills and awareness which students develop through voluntary and curricular service activity cannot be quantified. Not only does it result in more employable graduates, but also helps students to become well rounded individuals with heightened critical thinking abilities and a greater understanding of society’s strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats. Community engagement as a part of the student experience leads to civic-minded graduates and active citizens for the future. From an employer’s perspective, the civic-minded graduate considers how their extracurricular activity impacts on others and understands that this impact can be positive (e.g. a student debater involved in peer coaching), negative (e.g. a student debater using his oratory skills to embarrass or antagonise another individual in a social setting) or neutral (e.g. a student debater applying critical thinking to a personal academic exercise). This civic orientation and understanding of one’s own potential role in society fosters self-identity. From an employer’s perspective, the civic-minded graduate has both concrete knowledge, as well as a sense of where his knowledge and skills fit into the profession and society as a whole. The civic-minded graduate sees both the wood and the trees and employers hire civic-minded graduates. The Civic-minded graduate understands capacity for contribution. They have the desire and motivation to act upon this capacity. Civic-mindedness requires active participation

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with a view to improving society. Such participation means becoming involved in and with the community. The civic-minded graduate draws on her various personal resources- education, social skills, talents, networks - to benefit the community. They should be seen as a considerate and active team player who is motivated and resourceful. In a recent Career Navigation Guide for Students produced by Graduate Careers Ireland, both employers and careers advisors referred to the benefits of voluntary activity in enhancing employability. Community activity offers students and graduates an opportunity to apply and develop their skills, academic and professional knowledge and skills in a real-life situation. Unlike problem-based learning or project work for their academic course, the stakes are much higher in real life situations as students/graduates are now dealing with genuine issues and real people. Moreover, the appearance of community activity on a CV helps give the prospective employer a sense of the overall person, their values and interests. Civic-mindedness brings additional benefits for the graduate. Volunteerism and community work are experiential learning exercises that lead to civic-mindedness. Over 60% of participants in a recent TCD volunteer outreach project reported increased awareness of the effect their actions have on others after just one day’s work in the community. More than two thirds said they were more motivated afterwards and all volunteers said that their experience on their respective outreach activities would spur them on to do more volunteering. Community activity helps foster a sense of community and in doing so, it can help prevent or address isolation. The combination of making a positive difference in the community and knowing that one’s work is valued, serves to boost selfesteem and cultivate self-worth. One in three student volunteers on recent TCD Civic Engagement Office outreach projects noted an increase in their self-esteem and in their confidence in their own abilities. More than half volunteers stated that their mental health and well-being improved as a result of their experience. Some 70% of volunteers on also indicated an increased willingness to try new things. In an economic climate which is taking its toll on our collective mental health and which is making for a very uncertain transition from college to career, the resilience


FEATURES

fostered by community activity can help graduates maintain a positive attitude and positive mental health during this time of flux. Full or part time voluntary work can also offer a stopgap for open-minded job hunters whereby they can keep busy, engaged with the community and maintain their motivation and confidence while developing their experience and CV. Nurturing the civic-minded graduate. In recent years, higher education institutes throughout Ireland have been working to create an environment where students gain a civic, as well as an academic education. Higher education is not merely seeking to fuel the economy, but to shape society as a whole. To this end, various relevant academic programmes have been developed and community service is being incorporated into diverse curricula as a learning methodology. Researchers are looking to the community sector for insight on the pressing issues of our current social and economic difficulties and as evidence of the renewal of community values in Irish society. Many colleges are also recognising extracurricular community work and introducing student volunteer programmes and supports. There are a variety of shapes and structures which institutional support may take, including, but not limited to, community-service learning structures, action research agendas, outreach initiatives and dedicated volunteer programmes, networks and coordinators. Engagement Opportunities. "These days, a lot of people are stepping back from the rat race and looking at what is really important in our society. In so far as I can see, a number of themes keep arising: community, a sense of solidarity and belonging and being a good neighbour. To me is seems like we are locating our values in a civic engagement framework. We have the opportunity to draw a line in the sand, to leave behind some of the excess and ruthless individualism of recent years and work together in partnership for the good of our shared future. For anyone looking to get into the non-profit sector focus on getting experience, try a variety of voluntary roles in different areas and find the shoe that fits. From there, identify your specific skills and how you can use them to serve a community need. Make a proposal, take the initiative, throw yourself in the deep end and learn as you go. And remember to make time for yourself to avoid burnout- Rome wasn’t built in a day. CKI Magazine 2010 - 2011 www.nuigalwaycki.ie

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VOLUNTEERING

PERSONAL CHOICE

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iobhan Lynch jumped at the opportunity to spend time working in Bemba, Zambia as part of her nursing degree. There she encountered a huge number of people with HIV and AIDS, and the determination, spirit and attitude of the people inspired her to return to work there for a year. The experience greatly enhanced her personal and professional development and completely altered her outlook on nursing and caring for people. “Service learning is an amazing experience; you learn about culture, how that impacts the health and beliefs, and you learn so much about their culture. My knowledge on HIV was zero when I went there; it According to Siobhan, many of the people where she worked did not have a basic grasp of English, so non-verbal communication was a very important tool in putting people at ease. She often used “greetings” and by regularly using her non-verbal communication, she progressively became much more confident in dealing with Zambian patients. “My non verbal communication really improved. Because of the stigma surrounding HIV and AIDS, it’s really important to show nonverbally that you care and empathise. It’s important to show that you're not stepping back, afraid of touching them.” This is one area of her development as a nurse that she’s very proud of, and she believes that this confidence helped her significantly when she 11

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returned home to look for work. “That is one thing that I always bring up in my interviews now, because it’s very positive. When you talk to a patient, they will always look at your body language, so it makes a big difference.” she said. For Siobhan, the time she spent in Zambia greatly influenced her, both as a person and a nurse. “They may be very, very sick, but they’re smiling at you from the bed. They just have such a positive attitude on life - that’s definitely something you take home with you.” Being viewed as ‘the exotic other’, or the masamu, as white people are known takes getting used to. However, it didn’t take long for her to feel at ease with the locals. “Being there for the year, they were like, ‘Ah Siobhan is just Siobhan’, which was really nice for me. I loved it when I just became like any other person there.” On graduating, Siobhan was fortunate to find a job nursing in Kings College Hospital in London. Kings College Hospital has the highest percentage of HIV patients in Europe, and 60 per cent of patients are of African origin. Siobhan noted her boss’ positive perception of service learning placement. “It shows when you’re interviewed you have confidence from going abroad and service learning just kind of started all of that for me,” she said in praise of her experience.


VOLUNTEERING


FEATURES

CHANGING

ATTITUDES Through the Community Knowledge Initiative at NUI Galway, service learning has been incorporated into over 40 programmes both at undergraduate and postgraduate level. As a teaching tool, it facilitates learning in a real world context and gives students an opportunity to put their academic knowledge to practical use, while working with their local community. Interviews by Antoinette Giblin Nigel O’Connor Graduate of MA in Community Development

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aving worked as a Foróige youth leader since the age of 16 and later getting involved as a volunteer in the CKI ALIVE programme, Nigel O’Connor is no stranger to civic engagement. It was that same interest that led the NUIG graduate to research service learning as the core element of his thesis for his Masters in Community Development. “When I was growing up, my parents were involved in the GAA, in the church and with the community centre. There was rarely a night where there wasn’t a committee meeting being held at our kitchen table or somebody dropping in keys to a local club. Working with the community came naturally to me,” recalls Nigel, who completed a sixmonth work placement as an intern with CKI, providing a perfect base for his research. “In CKI, I got to see how faculties in the college were approaching and using service learning. I also got an insight into how it worked in American universities,” he added. Basing his case study on a group of occupational therapy students who had completed a service learning module in their third year in NUI Galway, Nigel identified the benefits of such a teaching tool. “I focused on the students’ knowledge of their own discipline, how it could be incorporated into a community and how they could deal with real world situations. Those who had availed of service learning were much more confident about their profession and how they could become agents of change within a community. They understood where their skills could be used and they all gained valuable soft skills as well,” he continued. His research also suggested that the students who undertook service learning modules broke down barriers between community organisations and the academic world. “Community organisations are often a little bit daunted by academia but with service learning, the students are working towards a need with an organisation based on their feedback. They both have so much to offer each other, so it works.” By providing services to the community in a professional manner, the participants, Nigel stressed, also challenged the common stereotype

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Nigel Connor did his MA dissertation on service learning and served an internship with CKI in 2006 of the ‘lazy, good-for-nothing’ student. “College students do get a bad reputation sometimes. People often think students just come and go and there is often a sigh of relief when June comes around. But there are so many students who are working for their community and service learning is a big part of that,” Nigel explained.

Service learning provides an extra ‘selling point’ for graduates as they begin their search for employment In today’s tough economic climate, service learning can also provide an extra ‘selling point’ for graduates as they begin their search for employment. “Graduates are often a highly educated bunch, but employers look for experience and these days, experience through service learning might be just the thing that separates one graduate from the rest.” Nigel’s civic engagement has extended well beyond his time in university. “I have just left my role with the Irish Youth Deaf Association and am now getting ready for Greece, where I will take part in a 12-month voluntary youth project. It’s what I love to do.”


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the most marginalised groups in Irish society. As well as providing factual information on the number of applicants, their nationalities and their rights, the booklet also features interviews with asylum seekers, which provides an honest insight into life under the direct provision system employed by the Irish state. “I always had an interest in human rights and with three other students, we decided to produce a booklet which explored experiences of asylum seekers in Ireland,” the Scottish native explained. In order to compile the booklet, John worked closely with asylum seekers in the local area and with the Galway Refugee Support Group where the booklet entitled, “Asylum Seekers – A reality check for Ireland” now features as part of their website.

“Service learning was the only reason I went on to do a masters” John McInnes MA Philosophy Graduate

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utting years of academic learning to practice in a ‘real world’ environment can be a daunting task for some newly qualified students. Philosophy graduate, John McInnes, overcame this challenge through service learning.“Service learning was the only reason I went on to do a masters. As a philosophy graduate, it was one of few ways to practically apply knowledge and to forge links with businesses and NGOs,” said John, who completed a service learning module as part of the NUI Galway Masters in Philosophy which focused on ethics, culture and global change.

“I would never have had the confidence to go down that road without service learning” The professional ethics service learning module presented John with an opportunity to put his philosophical knowledge to use in his local community. With a particular interest in human rights, John worked as part of a team to produce a booklet on Asylum-seekers - one of

“I was interested in the media’s role in forming opinions on asylum-seekers. I went out to meet these people and the various support groups and I learned about their dayto-day lives, their entitlements and the many challenges that they face. The booklet was based on real findings and was a way of informing people,” said John. Having forged relationships with his local community through service learning, the philosophy graduate was later offered a oneyear internship with the Refugee Information Service, where he held regular clinics in the Citizens Information Centre. “I would never have had the confidence to go down that road without service learning. I dreamed of having a job involving human rights and all of a sudden, I was advocating on people’s behalf in these clinics.” As well as gaining confidence, communication and diplomacy skills, working to help his community has proved to be the most rewarding aspect of his student and professional life to date. “I had other jobs before and nothing I have done has been as rewarding as the clinics. I’ve helped people reunite their families and get certificates of naturalisation; these things change lives. It’s the best thing I’ve done in mine.” John now plans to marry his philosophy and writing skills in search of future internships in community work.

Hannah Costello graduated from a Postgraduate Diploma in Education (PGDE)

Hannah Costello, Post-graduate Diploma in Education 2010

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n entirely different ‘community classroom’ was opened up to Higher Diploma graduate, Hannah Costello when she took part in the Galway Traveller Movement ‘pavee-study’ homework club through service learning. Working as an agent for social change, Hannah developed her practical teaching skills as an after-school tutor. “It wasn’t the kids’ usual classroom environment, but it was also an entirely different experience for me,” explained Hannah, a graduate of the NUI PGDE. “I was asked ‘Are you really a teacher?’. It kind of broke down barriers for students, and school no longer seemed quite so alien. The kids wanted the help and they were treated as equals.”

“It completely changed my outlook towards education and as part of the overall course, it balanced out all the other more academic elements” As part of the Learning to Teach for Social Justice (LTSJ) service learning module, trainee teachers volunteered their time to an after-school programme, where secondary school children from the Traveller community were tutored and assisted with homework. Working with a minority ethnic group, Hannah’s tutoring increased her understanding of Traveller culture and the often fearful attitude towards education. “I knew nothing about Traveller culture. There is a great sense of family and huge respect for parents and their elders,” remarked Hannah, who donated her time to ‘pavee-study’ one evening every week for a year. With little or no literacy skills, many Traveller parents struggle to support their children, Hannah discovered, and can also lack basic information on the state examination system. “It was a great eyeopener for me. Some people are not afforded CKI Magazine 2010 - 2011 www.nuigalwaycki.ie

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the luxury of having a quiet environment to do their homework in the evening and some have nobody to help them out. Many of their parents can’t read or write and they don’t understand the system. The kids and the parents needed and welcomed the support.” Volunteering as a tutor with ‘pavee-study’ set a foundation for Hannah, helping to broaden her skills, which were later put to good use while on her school placement. “Attitudinal problems are an issue in every classroom, but I learned how to deal with them better. I was informed and more confident in my teaching,” Hannah recalled. Having developed through a balance of academic and community learning, Hannah’s outlook towards education has been transformed. “It was part of our course, but it’s something we really enjoyed; it completely changed my outlook towards education and as part of the overall course, it balanced out all the other more academic elements.

Anne-Marie Morrissey Occupational Therapy Graduate ccupational therapy student Anne-Marie Morrisey worked with her community by delivering a stress management programme designed to assist people with epilepsy. When people are stressed, they’re more likely to have a seizure. It’s a vicious cycle, so intervention acts to break down that cycle,” explained Anne-Marie, who in the third year of her degree regularly donated her time to her community as part of her service learning module. A need for stress intervention support was identified after teaming up with Brainwave, a community-based organisation committed to improving the lives of people with epilepsy. “Brainwave as a community organisation had no occupational therapy input before and they really saw the benefits of having such a service, especially in times of recession. They were so happy to have us involved and we were so happy to be able to help people,” Anne-Marie recalled. The stress management plan was devised to teach people how to deal with stress in the workplace, how to identify the triggers of stress and how to apply coping mechanisms such as breathing and relaxation techniques.

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“I was giving something back for a change not stuck behind the walls of the campus”

“There are particular breathing exercises for emergency situations and others for more prolonged periods of relaxation at home. People also learned about the warning signs such as headaches and how to deal with them,” explained the NUI Galway student. It was then delivered to the local community through a series of workshops, which allowed the students to learn from dealing with their service users and also invited the wider community into the university grounds. “I was giving something back for a change, not stuck behind the walls of the campus. It also allowed the service users to come into our world where the sessions were held in Áras Moyola while we gained 15

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Philosophy students attend the CKI Service Learning Conference at NUI Galway in 2010 practical experience in theirs,” Anne-Marie enthused. Having worked with epilepsy clients and supported the Brainwave organisation in the provision of tailored workshops, Anne-Marie’s growing interest led her to research the neurological disorder as part of her final year project and more recently, to her current PhD in neurology research. “It became the subject of my final year project and now I am about to start a PhD in research on neurology. An interest in that general area was sparked back then with service learning and it’s still here to this day.” As well as sparking enthusiasm in what has now turned out to be her specialist area, service learning also, she stressed, changed the community’s attitudes towards students. “Service learning changes people’s attitudes. People forget that we’re students and we’re treated like professionals. It’s a fantastic way of sparking enthusiasm and gaining respect.”

“Looking back, I would have been missing a huge piece of practical knowledge without it now. There was no better way to prepare me for the real world at that point in my learning,” she added.


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Andrew English Biomedical Engineering

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wenty-two-year-old Biomedical Engineering Graduate student Andrew English took a break from the confines of the lecture halls to engage with the wider community of Ballinfoyle as part of his service learning experience. “In a lecture hall, you can often be in a world of your own. In the outside world, everything is more hands-on and you have to apply that knowledge,” explained the Galway native who has chosen to continue his studies this year at PhD level. “In my experience, it was a great teaching tool. It made me more aware of the ways in which I can use my skills as an engineer for the benefit of the wider community,” he added. As part of the ‘engineering in society’ project entitled CAIRDE (The Community Awareness Initiatives Responsibility-Directed by Engineers), Andrew developed a Scrapheap Challenge workshop as an after school activity for children in Ballinfoyle. “In previous years, engineering students created devices to help people in the locality who had disabilities. One year, they made a grabber so that people could lift things more easily. We took a different view and decided to base it on a workshop where kids could really get their hands dirty,” Andrew explained. After modelling the workshop on the popular Channel 4 Scrap Heap Challenge, Andrew worked with teams of kids to turn old, discarded scrap metal into a functioning go-cart, which would later be used in a challenge race.

“I can show I have real hands-on experience and I can deliver”

Irish Times journalist Ruan McCormack at NUI Galway with Refugee Information Service (RIS) and Galway Refugee Support Group (GRSG)

And although the PhD student doesn’t wish to dedicate his entire career to community work, instead, he would strive to incorporate it into any future employment – something he feels many indigenous companies fail to consider. “Companies need to take a more active role in their community. As an engineer, I’d definitely take steps to ensure I could play a role in doing that. Service learning was the first step for me but it won’t stop there.” As service learning is integrated into the colleges of Arts, Business, Engineering, Medicine and Science, a huge pool of resources and skills are available for use within the community. “It should be mandatory in all disciplines. It can have a different spin depending on the skill-sets. Students have a lot to offer to their communities and a lot to gain from it,” insisted Andrew. “I gained so many soft skills. I had a new sense of responsibility; I had a job to do and I had to communicate and develop my overall interpersonal skills. It’s a foundation for my CV. I can show I have real hands-on experience and I can deliver.” CKI Magazine 2010 - 2011 www.nuigalwaycki.ie

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AWARDS

Incorporating service learning into third level Curricula can sometimes be an arduous task. Facing complex issues on a regular basis is part and parcel of the game. For CKI, many aspects make it worthwhile and receiving an award makes it even sweeter.

Outstanding at Standing Out

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his year, the CAIRDE (Community Awareness Initiatives Responsibly-Directed by Engineers) service learning module in NUI Galway received second place in the MacJannet Prize for Global Citizenship.

CAIRDE is an initiative where all third-year Mechanical and Biomedical Engineering students apply their academic knowledge and skills to address genuine community needs. This is the first time in history that an Irish education institution has been recognised for work in the area of civic engagement, which certainly enhanced the honour. The MacJannet Prize is administered by the Talloires Network. The Talloires Network is an international association of institutions committed to strengthening the civic roles and social responsibilities of higher education. They received 66 nominations from 54 universities in 27 countries around the world. The prize recognises exceptional student civic engagement initiatives in universities around the world and contributes financially to their ongoing public service efforts. Prize winners received €2,500 to contribute to their on-going civic engagement efforts.

“Without doubt it has enabled our students to see their role as global engineers from challenging and engaging local experiences.” Professor Abhay Pandit

Dr James J. Browne, President of NUI Galway said, “Service learning has become a hallmark of the student experience at NUI Galway and offers real learning in a community context. It brings theory to life, while improving the 17

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lives of those living in often challenging situations. This international recognition for such commitment to civic engagement and service learning is a tribute to those involved.” NUI Galway became an active member of the Talloires Network through the C o m m u n i t y Knowledge Initiative (CKI) in 2008. Since that time, CKI Coordinator Lorraine McIlrath became a Talloires Network Civic Engagement Expert and is sharing the work of NUI Galway through new partnerships forged in Jordan and the Lebanon, to mention a few. McIlrath said that she is, “absolutely delighted that NUI Galway’s pioneering efforts in service learning have been recognised by such an esteemed organisation, placing Ireland on the map in terms of excellence and quality in service learning”. Established in 2003 by Professor Abhay Pandit, and codirected by Dimitrios Zeugolis, CAIRDE became an embedded part of the undergraduate Mechanical, Biomedical and Electrical Engineering programmes, as part of a required module that previously had been solely lecture-based. The emphasis is on interacting directly with intended beneficiaries of projects. Students have developed prototypes and projects that have created lasting change in communities beyond campus. Professor Pandit said, “This award signifies to us that student engineers have a role to play in society and this role brings many benefits. Without doubt it has enabled our students to see their role as global engineers from challenging and engaging local experiences. The MacJannet Prize will help us shine a spotlight on this experience.” Other winners of the MacJannet Prize included first place winner Puentes UC (Bridges UC) at the Pontifical Catholic University of Chile. Joint second-place winners with NUI Galway are the HIV/AIDS Education and Prevention Program at University of Mines and Technology in Ghana. Third-place prizes were also awarded to five additional outstanding programs from four continents: Community Builders, Wartburg College (USA); Humanity in Focus, University of Hong Kong (China); Student Leaders for Service, Portland State University (USA); Ubunye, University of Cape Town (South Africa); Vidas Móviles, Pontificia Universidad Javeriana (Colombia).


SERVICE LEARNING

A Tale

of Turning Tables Building something from scratch is not what most students think about when in university. But it’s the best thing that could happen to them as part of a course as Antoinette Giblin found out when she spoke to Dr. Zeuglois, lecturer in Mechanical and Biomedical Engineering

Examinations, assignments and laboratory reports are a part of everyday life for most third level engineering students. However, since the introduction of the CAIRDE initiative in 2005, the real test often takes place in the community. Lecturer Dimitrios Zeugolis believes this community focus is one of few ways to push students out of their comfort zone. “They have to look outside the books and gain a new level of responsibility. Other people are dependent on them,” explains Dr Zeugolis. Cairde (Community Awareness Initiatives Responsibly Directed by Engineers) has been running since 2005 and each year, third year Mechanical and Biomechanical students selfdirect a project to address a community need. “It was time for change. The students may not realise it but this is the best thing that could happen for them as part of the overall course. It’s not an assignment or a lab report’; it’s something they have to build from scratch,” he continues. Scrap metal has provided the foundation for one of the most popular of these projects to date – the Ballinfoyle Scrap Heap Challenge. Using little more than scrap and welding equipment, students have teamed up with children from Ballinfoyle to build functioning go-carts and bicycles and more recently, have produced wind and water turbines, having identified a greater need for greener energy.

“They learn to build from things that don’t slot together. It can be very tricky and helps develop critical thinking. They need to be innovative,” Dr Zeugolis remarks. Over a five-year period, this innovation has fuelled a variety of ideas from an umbrella holder for wheelchair users to a can opening device for people with limited motor skills all concepts which have been given new life as students find pioneering ways to address simple, yet often essential needs.

“One key part is that it must address a specific need; it’s about giving something back to the community.” There was a child with a hearing problem and the teacher had difficulty getting his attention sometimes, so we created a light-up device for his desk so that the teacher could press a button and alert him. Something very small, yet life changing,” he recalls. This year, students will continue work on

an ongoing project, which involves the development of a hybrid street light system, powered by solar and wind energy to illuminate the dark walkway from Dangan to the campus. This, the lecturer explains, was proposed by the students to reduce the likelihood of assaults after their research revealed the risk posed by poorly lit areas. “They will start by fundraising and then hopefully, the project will progress year by year. If they like the project, they really put their hearts into it,” he says. Although only a minimum of 16 hours is required, the level of commitment stretches far beyond that. “Last year, the project ran from September to August when the scrap heap race was held. The students don’t stop because the semester comes to an end,” he explains. By meeting and interacting with people from different backgrounds, the students explore what Dr Zeugolis describes as the more “human side” of experiential learning and having already achieved great results, the future looks bright. “Education should be open to everyone and so should our campus; we’re part of the community. The service learning module explores a much more human side. We only started in 2005 and who knows what the future will hold or what we will be working on in ten years time?” concludes Dr Zeugolis. CKI Magazine 2010 - 2011 www.nuigalwaycki.ie

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Friends

Indeed Padraig O’Céidigh is a man who knows a lot about community. From growing up in the Connemara Gaeltacht to cultivating a successful independent airline from a small rural airstrip, O’ Céidigh has grafted, travelled the world of emotion and success, and climbed to the top of the social and business ladder. This journey of self-discovery and success, according to Padraig, is the most important experience you can have; “It’s not what you can take that creates your purpose in life, it’s actually what you can contribute”, he says. When we look at the options open to us today, the journey of life can take us anywhere. We are living in a time where anything is possible, everything is achievable, and traveling blindly is incredibly easy. Sometimes, the destination or goals become so important that we forget to look around at others, and ourselves. Padraig O’ Céidigh considers himself one of the lucky people who embraced awareness and responsibility and enjoyed the path to his success. “Almost everybody looks at their own purpose, and looking at themselves asks, ‘What am I here for?’ and, ‘It’s about me, it’s not about you’,” says O’ Céidigh. “Introvertedly it’s not about you, it’s about you extrovertedly what you can give, what you can do, what difference you can make. And quite frankly, it’s not really about the difference you can make to yourself, but it’s the difference you can make to the people around you. That’s purpose. Success doesn’t happen; success is not a series of goals you achieve. People call success a series of goals and if I get that goal, if I achieve that, that’s success. Success is something totally different; success is actually living a purposeful life. Success is a journey, not the destination, and achieving your goal is a destination. I got here. I achieved the goal. I arrived. It’s not about arriving, it’s the journey.” Having followed the path to success, O’ Céidigh’s insights into successful living reveal a distinct depth to the entrepreneur. He discovered the need for practical living, education, and the importance of service learning. “I would challenge colleges and

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Richie McCarthy speaks to CKI’s community partners and supporters who shared some thoughts, opinions and stories on social responsibility.

universities that we spend most of our time teaching people in the mind space; you give them information and you say you’ve got to learn that information”. As a past Jesuit teacher and NUI Galway graduate he understands an alternative approach to education. O’ Céidigh challenges tradition arguing that it prevents us from understanding. “Accountancy can be put it into a box and you can say, ‘Hey guys, that’s it - learn that. These are the books you’ve got to read’, and now we’re going to ask you questions on them. The questions are not hugely different year in, year out. “I believe that fundamentally we’re ignoring - not totally, but fundamentally - the intellect. Your intellect is your reasoning, your assessing, your reviewing, your analysing, your standing back. You're saying if that’s there, and this is here, where am I left in all of this? Where am I at in the world?” Awareness of a greater purpose and putting it into practice is something the entrepreneur from Connemara is very passionate about. “What you’re meant to do is teach people how to learn, rather than teaching what to learn. Teaching what to learn is the mind, teaching how to learn is the intellect. And the combination and balance between the two are critically important.”

Left: Padraig with Lorraine McIlrath and Siobhan Lynch at the 2010 Service Learning Conference in NUI Galway. Below: Padraig giving his keynote address at the conference


FEATURES

“We need now to look at broadening volunteering to include those who might not consider volunteering and ensuring that we have opportunities within the education system at second level, as well as third level, and maybe even at primary level”

Marian Harkin

Asks the question ‘why would I want to volunteer? Sure there’s not enough hours in the day to look after the kids let alone look after anyone else’s!’ Tradition is a recurring theme when we talk about volunteerism, and co-incidentally, there’s a strong need to break this tradition in order for society to grow. We need to break the mould and show people the new age of volunteerism, according to MEP Marian Harkin. The future is about embracing those who want to help, and working with them to match their interests and needs to those of needy services. The European Minister insists that the way forward is to embrace our progressive society and recognise that the way we live our lives is very different to that of 20 years ago. By accepting this, we can create a more inclusive environment for volunteerism, and encourage those who would not ordinarily consider volunteering to do so. “You hear a lot people saying, ‘There’s nobody available’, ‘You can’t find anyone to go out and train the young fellas’, or you can’t get people to do this and that. But if you speak to the people who run the volunteer centres, you’ll see that there is a real interest in volunteering and more and more people are coming forward,” says Minister Harkin. This, she claims, is not through a lack of interest but more due to a misunderstanding of the requirements to volunteer, and pressures conceived from the traditional view of volunteering. The recent growth in volunteerism has been an incredible benefit to charitable organisations, and to those volunteering. “A certain amount of this may be due to people having lost their jobs and having more time on their hands, but it’s not only that. Very often the people involved in volunteering are very busy people anyway, but I think what we need to look at in the broader context is the fact that volunteering traditionally was a white middle class activity,” says the European Minister. “We need now to look at broadening volunteering to include those who might not consider volunteering and ensuring that we have opportunities within the education system at second level, as well as third level, and maybe even at primary level,” she says. You will often hear that volunteers will get more out of volunteering than the service they’re assisting. With the current high levels of unemployment, and skilled workers lending their skills voluntarily, the balance is becoming more equal. Providing these opportunities supports people and harnesses what they have to offer. “The traditional role of volunteering involved the person raising money and then training the football team. Now there are so many ways to volunteer. You can give two hours of expertise a month if you’re an accountant. Whatever your skills are, the volunteering centres can match up the skills that people have with the needs of the organisation. Various skills and time constraints can be best utilised through volunteer centres to provide flexibility, and it cuts out long meetings.” “When I talk about inclusion I talk about people who would not normally volunteer, but I’m also talking about people with disabilities. You can volunteer using your computer, so you don’t even have to leave the house.”

According to Minister Harkin, a lot of the volunteer centres are now looking at this. They’re looking at people’s lives, how they live their lives and trying to work with and around them to enable them to volunteer. “The traditional view is that there was only one way to volunteer, but that was never the way. Twenty years ago there were many great organisations, and great people who worked hard, but sometimes people who got in there made it their organisation, and if others came along, they had to conform to what was going on. We live in a very different world now and I think there’s such greater flexibility within organisations which allows people to volunteer on their own time, at their own pace, and using their skills in a way they might not have been able to before,” adds Minister Harkin. “If volunteering is about the community, then it should be about the inclusion of all of the community. That is the future, and we are well on the road.”

Inclusion is the future...


FEATURES

The youth are key. Building strategic partnerships and bridging communities is an incredibly important task in assisting the fight to rid the world of poverty. Alan Kerins

There are many organisations working at home and abroad that are involved in fundraising, and helping to develop third world countries through a combination of politics and hands on work. One of the great men involved on the ground in Africa is Alan Kerins. For many years, Kerins has done trojan work on education, building projects, and developing communities. Through his work he searches for the most efficient and practical ways to help poor communities to help themselves. Young people are open minded, and have a thirst for knowledge and inspiration. Looking at the future development and progression of the African continent, Kerins has found that by focusing on the youth and preparing them for an abundant future, things will get better...and can change. “The youth are the key, and creating the leaders of tomorrow is our aim. We want to build community leaders that will take over from missionaries, take over the government, and promote proper life skills, healthy well being, and behavioural change,” says Kerins, with the added note of ambition: “Educating for life is our motto”. In Africa, among other things, Kerins is developing youth projects. He is working on a model youth centre for children with the aim of replicating it in different communities. “These children have no hope, and no facilities, so we’re trying to build a multi-purpose centre for sport, music, and drama where we will attract the youth and teach them key messages of behavioural change, healthy living, well being, and then introduce them to youth leadership and non-formal education to give them a skill. Life skills and leadership skills will let them go out

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and have hope,” says Kerins, adding, “You are empowering them to centre themselves and lead their own community out of the doldrums rather than relying on us.” The model is being developed in partnership with NUIG and Foroige, who are also actively promoting civic responsibility and civic engagement among the youth in Ireland. The connection between the youth in Africa and Ireland is important, according to Kerins. The way he sees it, everyone benefits - the African youth work toward a brighter future, and the Irish youth grow up to be more appreciative, well rounded, and accepting members of society. Both communities are taking on board social responsibility, and working on positive long term goals. Developing the attitudes and perspectives of young people in Africa to drive their own country in the future is just as meaningful as promoting civic engagement and responsibility within our own culture, and providing young people with skills that they will carry with them throughout their lives. “We’re developing a project where we will do youth leadership training in Irish schools, and as part of that youth leadership training, some schools will fundraise and travel to Africa to experience African life and culture. The reason is to promote civic engagement and civic responsibility amongst the youth,” says Kerins. However, he stresses the importance of social and charitable work benefiting everyone. “It’s got to be a win win situation for everyone,” he says. “The Irish youth will benefit from learning a unique skill set through fundraising. They’ll learn team work, and they’ll realise how lucky they are when they come home from a life changing experience. It will make a huge impact on their lives going forward.”


FEATURES

The future of Alan Kerins African Projects and developing relationships between Irish and African communities relies on the generosity of institutions like NUI Galway, and building strategic partnerships. These partnerships help Kerins to analyse ways to develop projects and continue teaching both African and Irish children about civic responsibility. “Partnerships are key,” says Kerins. “A lot of the partnerships we have with NUI Galway allows us to do the work that we do. Our aim with Foroige is to develop the youth centres - both NUIG and the engineers have played a key part there. “As part of the partnership with the commerce department, the executive MBA is a strategic study for the development of the youth centres. Those kind of partnerships guide us, and give us great ideas into what we are doing right...and wrong. “Another benefit is to leverage off each other. It’s important for us that the University and CKI have played a key role in this. With volunteers and partnerships with a college that has certain expertise, it provides us with resources to do the work we do, without which we would not be able to do.” Kerins has reaped the benefits of many departments within the University, from theoretical right down to the practical. As he says, “Students are even doing their thesis on stabilised soil blocks and how we can make them better, cheaper, and more environmentally friendly. It provides the college an opportunity and provides us with an opportunity - so it’s win win”. The development of community relationships enriches lives, and benefits communities and individuals. Kerins’ view is all about working with young people and bridging communities through the use of partnerships. Supporting these partnerships not only provides an intellectual framework for community development, but offers practical solutions to a more aware and developed society.

Adi Roche

One of the most tragic tales is that of the Chernobyl nuclear disaster where 24 years later, the situation for the devastated country is worsening. Ninety per cent of Chernobyl’s gene pool is affected, and disabilities and illness continue.

In 1991 Adi Roche established the Chernobyl Children’s Project International, and has since assisted the delivery of more than €85 million in direct and indirect humanitarian aid to the Chernobyl region. Roche’s work has seen the generosity of the Irish people both through the time and money they are willing to donate to help the people of Chernobyl. Both volunteerism and fundraising are vital elements of Chernobyl Children’s Project International, ensuring that that the group is able to support the stricken people as much as

possible. The continuation of our commitment to volunteerism, and passion for charity is extremely important according to Roche. “Active citizenship is a very powerful description of what we want ourselves to be a part of in the future,” she says, adding, “It is important that we pass on the old spirit of volunteerism to future generations.”

Charity begins at home, and spreads throughout the world. In giving, generosity and compassion is shared among nations who cannot help themselves. Strengthening and engaging communities is also key. “I truly believe that together, by having a community spirit approach, we really can save humanity, and save the world. As a nation, it would be fair to say that we have inherited the culture and the mind of volunteerism from those that went before us, giving a universal sense of responsibility,” says Roche. The aid worker claims that as a nation, we have a history of being helped and helping others, which has instilled a compassionate nature in our society. The need now, however, is to ensure that the same nature is passed on to future generations to ensure the continuing survival and safety of the most vulnerable people in society. “In our history, we know that the courage and strength of our men and women has helped to make us the compassionate society that we are. We have inherited from this history a deep sense of justice, a commitment to community, and respect for others regardless of sex, class or culture. “Sometimes our outspokenness gets us into trouble, but we continue to do so, to speak out for others in society that often feel marginalised, abandoned, isolated, and often forgotten. Sometimes these people are within our own communities, but are often are in other parts of the globe. It is no accident that we are outspoken for the rights of others internationally who suffer at the hands of injustice, poverty and racism, as we suffered in our own growth in similar ways.” Roche recognises that the basic elements of human compassion and the development of society all stem from our past and present communities. The importance of these must be recognised by all, and not forgotten. “We really live in the shadow of each other, and we need to look at how important community is to each and every one of us.” When disaster strikes, and times are good, communities stand together in support and celebration. “We are made, and shaped through education, development, society, and the hands of our parents and teachers,” says Roche. As a nation, she claims that we will always stand firm, and will continue to grow and develop our passion for helping others. As she observes, “We have a wonderful ability to translate our passion for life to compassion for our fellow human beings.” CKI Magazine 2010 - 2011 www.nuigalwaycki.ie

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SERVICE LEARNING

Getting the Grade with Service Learning Service learning may be on the cusp of an education age, with groups of NUI Galway students taking service learning to new levels of recognition. In their own words, Aisling Hughes, Martina Costello, Jennifer Cole and Mark Ryan recall their experience.

Aisling Hughes have just finished my third year of a speech and language therapy degree. Speech and language therapy is a healthcare profession that specialises in communication and swallowing. The four-year degree programme offered at NUI Galway involves the assessment, diagnosis and treatment of a wide range of clients in a variety of settings. As part of the third year curriculum, I participated in an Aphasia Outreach Module, a service learning programme. Aphasia is an acquired communication disorder, affecting speaking, reading, writing, gesturing and understanding, usually following a stroke. The Aphasia Outreach Module was a mandatory component of the curriculum and it involved the third year students making ten hour-long visits to people with Aphasia in their homes, nursing homes or hospital. The students had been matched appropriately to their conversation partners, based on similar interests. Each of the conversation partners were referred to the programme voluntarily through the HSE and the PCCC (Public Community and Continuing Care). Following each visit, we were required to submit a weekly online blog outlining what aspects of the visit we felt were successful, what we found difficult and if there were any unresolved issues or areas which we needed assistance from the tutor. Prior to the visits, each member of the class received conversation partner training, which involved teaching us how to facilitate communication with people who have great difficulty using the conventional communication method of speech. Throughout the module, we attended fortnightly tutorials where we discussed, as a larger group, some common difficulties we were experiencing on our visits. On completion of the visits, the class was divided into four groups of five to six people, given a topic to

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research regarding the Aphasia Outreach Module, and finally displaying this on a poster. This was marked by our tutor on a pass/fail mark basis.

“I believe the aim of service learning is to offer students an alternative method of learning’ promoting a method that extends beyond the limitations of the classroom, to learning from 'hands on' experience” Before my first visit, I was very nervous, as I didn’t know what to expect. I had never met my conversation partner previously. I didn’t know the extent of their communication difficulties and I feared I wouldn’t have enough topics to discuss. Despite initial apprehension, I was excited about embarking on a journey of getting to know this person and also about discovering how I would cope with a new learning experience. I shared each of these concerns with my classmates. I believe the aim of service learning is to offer students an alternative method of learning, promoting a method that extends


SERVICE LEARNING

beyond the limitations of the classroom, to learning from 'hands on' experience. In my personal experience, the Aphasia Outreach module has facilitated service learning by succeeding in bridging the gap between the theory and the practice element of speech and language therapy. Throughout the visits, I managed to apply the theory previously learned in the classroom to a ‘real world’ situation. The theory helped me to understand the communication disorder that my conversation partner had, and it provided me with the knowledge to help her to communicate using alternative methods. Reflecting on my service learning experience, I feel that I’ve developed empathy for the difficulties that my conversation partner faced in her life following her stroke. I have also further developed my ability to make decisions about how best to proceed with facilitating communication. Reflecting on my performance during each visit helped me to identify the skills I need to develop and what I need to do in order to fulfil this ambition. All of the skills mentioned here will help me in my studies and my future career as a speech and language therapist, thanks to service learning.

Martina Costello, Jennifer Cole and Mark Ryan e are a group of three students who did a service learning project as part of our MA in Philosophy, Ethics, Culture and Global Change. It was required that we engage in a project in the community that was related to the topics on our course. We chose to work for COPE Galway and our project involved creating a booklet with the purpose of changing public perceptions of homelessness. This involved spending time with and talking to people who are currently homeless in Galway, and staying in one of the hostels. Twelve people volunteered to talk to us and these conversations gave us valuable insights and clear understandings of homelessness that no amount of reading could have given. It is intended that the booklet will contain information and statistics about homelessness, alongside narratives from those who have experienced homelessness as a lived reality. It is our hope that the booklet will increase awareness of members of society who do not understand the problems and issues that homeless people face, and that this will invoke change in the minds and hearts of people. We also recognised the importance of talking to people who have firsthand experience of homelessness. This showed us the importance of personal narratives in shedding light on important social issues. We now possess a greater understanding of the factors that contribute to homelessness and the practices and policies that could reduce and assist with this issue. Working on this project increased our sense of moral sensitivity and moral responsibility. On a personal level, our sense of social justice and fairness has increased. It gave us perspective about our own lives and the things we often took for granted. It awakened and expanded our social consciences and helped us to see the things that really matter. Our understanding and awareness of the complexities facing homeless people has greatly expanded. The service learning component of our course gave us the opportunity to experience the practical side of what we were studying throughout the course. Working on the project, we saw

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Aisling Hughes participated in the Aphasia outreach module

how different aspects of philosophy, i.e. ethics, hermeneutics and practical philosophy, could help us to understand and carry out our project.

“Working on real life situations and problems can only increase any basis of knowledge that has been gained academically, leading to better understanding and grades” On an academic level, we learned how to integrate the theory we had examined with the reality of life in our society and this amplified the importance of academic and community collaboration. Our service learning project was a very positive experience. We enjoyed working as a team and overall, it was an extremely enjoyable learning experience. We believe that service learning, which integrates working with the community, would be complementary to any course. Working with real life situations and problems can only increase any basis of knowledge that has been gained academically, leading to better understanding and better grades. Theory gives us the words, concepts and ideas; action brings them to life. This is something we have learned on a deep level from our service learning experience. CKI Magazine 2010 - 2011 www.nuigalwaycki.ie

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SERVICE LEARNING

GET SMART WHY SERVICE LEARNING IS THE FUTURE OF HIGHER EDUCATION Is it a luxury to think that third level education should concern itself with educating students for their roles as active citizens, at a time when both America and Ireland are reeling from the impact of economic downturn and recession? Civic education is not a luxury. By Elizabeth Hollander

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SERVICE LEARNING

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ur difficult times cry out for leadership with vision are increasingly focusing on nurturing student leadership to promote for a better society, ability to make social change, wider civic engagement. Other strategies to reach a broad array of and a commitment to the good of all over the short- students include Community Engagement Certificates, majors or term gain of the few. Our college students will learn minors, special recognition at graduation or notice on the transcripts, these skills by combining their academic studies with special scholarships and internships, and paid student positions. Campuses are also providing a broad array of options for both their hands-on engagement in social improvement. I first learned of the power of service learning in domestic and international engagement and are encouraging social entrepreneurship on the part of students. my own college experience in the early 60s, when my leadership in the US student civil rights movement was deepened by courses in hat skills, knowledge and abilities are we political science, economics and religion. These helped me trying to foster through student understand power dynamics, the roots of social inequality and the civic engagement? Do we aim to encourage power of faith-based social movements. I conducted a senior research volunteerism, political engagement, project on the conditions of Blacks in a suburban area near my community organising, increased college campus, in which I trained local residents to conduct knowledge of, and civil debate about public interviews of their peers. This community-based research project opened my eyes to the complexities of both a community very policy challenges? Different campuses have different ‘takes’ on what different from my own, as well as the complexities of rigorous is most important, but I would argue that everything a campus does to encourage students to be engaged citizens in their communities, research. I now know that research on the impact of civic education their countries or their world is powerful. Democratic societies can demonstrates that early, intense and sustained civic engagement has only thrive if citizens take individual responsibility and don’t ‘leave it to Mickey’. Informed voting is the most impact on fostering life-long important, as is informed debate about habits of civic action. These qualities are public policy. Government service is more important than whether the activity important, the voluntary sector is also is curricular or co-curricular. In either important, as is grass roots involvement, case, preparation for engagement and both to hold government accountable and reflection upon it are also likely to to provide important self-help. No sector deepen the experience. While this is free of responsibility for the common doesn’t have to happen in a classroom, good, whether that means sustaining our service learning provides a good environment, promoting social equity and opportunity for doing so. worker safety or tempering pursuit of In this highly competitive world with short-term profit for longer-term gain. scarce jobs, how can the third sector I have been involved with the Irish justify the time for civic engagement of higher education third sector civic students? I would argue that those engagement ‘movement’ for a number of students who gain an ability to work with years and am very encouraged by what diverse people to plan and execute social seems to me a growing interest in civic change are acquiring invaluable skills for education. The initial investment of a rapidly changing global economy. Atlantic Philanthropic in NUI Galway’s Employers express interest in young CKI effort sparked interest both on that people who have the ability to provide campus and across Ireland. From the leadership in diverse settings and who outset, NUI Galway has sought to work can apply what they learn in imaginative with their peer institutions, as well as their ways. In chatting with a recruiter for a own campus. Conferences have explored major investment firm, she told me; “We the how and why of service learning and never seek out the finance majors, we led to publications. Monies from the look for students who have gotten a well government now support the Campus rounded education and have proven Engage network of Irish campuses leadership.” pursuing service learning. All of this work There are barriers to making civic “We never seek out the finance is reinforced by the Task Force on Active experiences available to college students. Faculty training and peer majors, we look for students who Citizenship efforts of 2007 and beyond. When I first visited NUI Galway pressures are focused on the have gotten a well rounded almost ten years ago, University presidents requirements of each discipline and the education and have proven expressed alarm that the Celtic Tiger was importance of research and publication. driving young people to become more and Time pressures on both students and leadership.” more materialistic. Cab drivers in Dublin faculty can militate against community would tell me that the traditions of involvement as part of a course. Increasingly, however, centres for service learning can develop the ‘looking after each other’ born of hard times were fading. A lot of the community connections that allow faculty to more easily incorporate impetus for a focus on civic education in Ireland’s higher education these experiences into their class work. Experienced students third sector was driven by these concerns. Now that Ireland is themselves can provide assistance to faculty in guiding students experiencing serious economic reversals, will the commitment to through the community experience. Increasingly, research funding civic education be sustained? I certainly hope so. One of the lessons (in the US at least) is available for work relevant to community I hope we have all learned is that a sound long-term future cannot be improvement and the number of publication outlets for community- built on quick ‘get rich’ schemes that destroy our environment, trick based research is increasing. The stature of engaged scholarship is people in excess debt, and reduce investment in long term research enhanced by such exemplars as the UNESCO Chair for Children, and product quality. We need to educate the next generation to take a Youth and Civic Engagement, which was recently established at NUI longer view and to know the joys and satisfactions of applying their knowledge, skills and passions in improving their society. Service Galway. What about gaining student interest? Many campuses have found learning is one proven method to help our students get smart and act that the best way to engage students is through their peers. Campuses smart.

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The tale started as a lowly civil engineering student in Galway to being a materials researcher in Zambia, across the Atlantic to be a rock-breaking labourer in Haiti, stopping over for a spell as a gardener in a Jewish cemetery in Germany, before coming back to Galway as the editor of SIN newspaper. in his own words, Richard Manton said it all started with our favourite word - recession.

My Service learning journey

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n 2006, the world was the oyster of NUI Galway first year civil engineering students. Guarantees of jobs and high salaries were enough to lure hundreds, including myself. In 2009, cruelly, the boom was squandered, the construction industry was crippled and I found myself without a work placement. Luckily, I was chosen to complete a university research placement with three other strapping lads – Jim Fogarty, Rob Creedon, Eamonn Fitzgerald – and this was where the service learning in our degree first started. Our project concerned the research of low-cost construction materials for developing countries. The project was run in co-ordination with the Alan Kerins African Projects. The charity funds projects in Western Zambia and we were lucky enough to be given the opportunity to travel to Zambia to observe the production of Stabilised Soil Blocks, the key component of our research. For me it wasn’t just a college assignment, going to Zambia changed everything. Seeing the dreadful quality of homes, contrasted against the quality of Stabilised Soil Blocks-built homes was alarming. The results of our short weeks in Zambia were the design of a water system for the orphanage in Kaoma, the drawing of plans for the construction of new buildings in Mongu, the recommendation of a soil extraction site for the soil blocks and research into industrial and agricultural by-products to further reduce costs for the material. Back in NUI Galway for my final year in 2009-10, we continued the research by looking at the incorporation of the by-products and analysing the strength of the blocks, resulting in the production of a thesis and reports of recommendations. However, for me, the result of greatest consequence was the flirtation with service learning and the development of an appreciation of the impact that civic engagement within education can have. I was bitten by the volunteering bug.

Haiti On 12th January 2010, an earthquake hit Haiti. At the time a classmate suggested that we take advantage of our lack of post-degree employment and go over to work as civil engineers. Unfortunately, I was the only one 27

CKI Magazine 2010 - 2011 www.nuigalwaycki.ie

(including himself) that took it seriously. I did a bit of research and found an American charity, Hands On Disaster Response (now All Hands Volunteers), the only charity that didn’t charge a participation fee and allowed me to specify my own period of stay. We had to fundraise and I came up with was to compile a yearbook for our class. The hope was that the yearbook would serve the joint purpose of raising money and provide a memento for our class. Haiti, itself, was tough. Arriving in Port-au-Prince in July, I still wasn’t certain what I’d spend the next three weeks doing. The ninety minute bus journey to the base in Leogane was instantly eye-opening. Practically every building along the roadside was destroyed or was marking by a big, red, spray-painted X to show that it was uninhabitable. The road itself was damaged and often blocked by rubble, even in the centre of the capital city. People were living in wooden shacks along the road, somewhat similar to Shantee towns. My first day at work was to be like every other. I spent seven hours per day, six days per week, sledging, picking, shovelling and barrowing rubble from floor slabs to the side of the road. I learned a new verb - ‘to rubble’, a verb I quickly grew to dislike. The idea is that once the floor slabs are cleared, a tent or a temporary shelter can be erected. The first few days were the toughest. Regular breaks and constant water drinking were essential in the sometimes 40 degree heat. The first site I worked on was a Kindergarten called Nicole. The turning point for me was when, at the completion of the site, we met the owner – Jackson. He gave a powerful speech and shed a tear as he thanked us on behalf of the 73 kids that would attend the Kindergarten once the tents have been erected. He also brought us a cake, which contained a rather unfortunate typo and read: “God less you”! I ended up learning the local language (Creole) and meeting other volunteers from around the world. When it came time to go, I was quite sad. At the daily camp meetings, each departing volunteer had to give a goodbye speech. It was only when it came to my speech that I empathised with the ideas: “You always get more out of volunteering than you put in” and “A part of Haiti stays with you”.


CKI

I considered changing my flights to stay an extra month, but I still had one more leg of my volunteering journey to complete.

Germany Months previously I applied for a travel award through EIL (Experiment in International Living), a state-funded organisation that promotes intercultural exchange programmes. I ended up winning an award to participate in Eurocamp 2010 in Dessau, Germany, an annual threeweek camp which brings together young people from all across Europe, with the aim of promoting intercultural understanding. Even though I have a fairly good understanding of German, this led to a few funny moments, the biggest of which was in my choice of work project. I chose one of the options - the “Juedischer Friedhof”, which I took to mean Jewish community centre, but turned out to be Jewish graveyard! That said, it turned out to be one of the best mistakes of my life. We worked as gardeners, mainly clearing ivy from around the graves. The graveyard is the oldest in that part of Germany, dating back to 1624. During Nazi-times in the 1930s, the graveyard was destroyed, the gravestones were uprooted and thrown around. In the 1970s, the graveyard was renovated, but no-one knew what gravestone went where, so a façade of gravestones was constructed along the perimeter wall – an intriguing, yet eerie sight. Eurocamp also involved a film project, a youth conference, cultural nights and an international buffet. Everything was paid for by the German state and everything was thoroughly enjoyable and informative. While in Germany, I applied for the position of the editor of the Sin newspaper. Having previously written many articles, particularly about fees, I knew I was in with a shout, but as a civil engineer, I didn’t really fancy my chances. A few days after I got back from Germany, I was called for an interview and as they say, the rest is history.

Service Learning I feel that service learning is certainly a factor that increases students’ interest in their studies and thereby improves academic performance by highlighting the relevance of the studies through applications in the community. The community partners receive a clear and incredible benefit. This can take the form of voluntary teaching, free legal advice or engineering consultancy. The assistance that community partners receive is an excellent advertisement for universities. The quality of lecturers, university atmosphere and the work of departments like the CKI is seen through the community engagement, the aid given and the results achieved. I hope that by telling the story of my volunteering journey over the last year, I have given you a first-hand account of what service learning can achieve and the kind of lives that it can inspire students to adopt.

In all there were 74 people from 28 different countries, spanning from Spain to Russia, Ireland to Turkey. We were given a choice of work projects. As the camp is funded by the German State of Sachsen-Anhalt, the official language was German.

Top: 28 different nationalities at LutherstadtWittenburg. Next: Juedischer Friedhof - Jewish Graveyard. Next left: Construction with Stabilised Soil Blocks in Zambia Next right: Rubbling nearly finished Next: Rubble at Nicole Kindergarten. Bottom: Zambian children take over the pick-up CKI Magazine 2010 - 2011 www.nuigalwaycki.ie

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cki spectrum

1. Civil Engineering students led by lecturer Jamie Goggins teamed up with Alan Kerins African Projects to research low cost sustainable housing in Zambia. Students travelled on a two week visit to Western Zambia and ran workshops teaching young boys about science and engineering. 29

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CKI SPECTRUM

2.

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2. Tawasol visitors enjoy a well-earned cocktail following the Tawasol conference in NUI Galway. 3. NUI Galway ALIVE students take part in a Croagh Patrick challenge. 4. Padraig O’Céidigh commands attention at CKI’s Service Learning study tour 2010.

5. Electronic engineering students welcome students from local secondary school, The Bish and have fun exploring circuits on electronic devices. 6. National school children attentively watch while NUI Galway medical students demonstrate CPR.

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CKI SPECTRUM

7.

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7. Listening intently at the Tawasol launch. 8. Business In The Community exhibition showcasing the corporate social responsibility (CSR) activities of companies in exhibition Ireland. 9. Creative counting from a fundraising drive 10. Poster presentation day for Geography and Engineering students. 11. Scrapheap Challenge in Action. 12. Hannah McGinley and colleagues attend NUI Galway’s Learning to Teach for Social Justice Event.

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CKI SPECTRUM

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CKI

Jim Ward The Registrar and Deputy President of National University of Ireland, Galway shares his views on higher education’s role in the community - opportunities, challenges and his personal commitment. Jim Ward completed a B.Comm. and M. Econ. Sc. in UCD, and went on to complete a Doctor in Business Administration (DBA) in The George Washington University, USA. He joined what was then University College Galway in 1973 and became Dean of the Commerce Faculty, before taking up his present position of Professor of Marketing when the Department of Marketing formed in 1980. During periods of sabbatical leave, he has taught and researched in UC Berkeley, USA and the International Trade Centre WTO/GATT, Switzerland. As Deputy President, he oversees the Centre for Excellence in Teaching and Learning (CELT) in which CKI is based.

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ere Jim talks about how he came to understand and care about the importance of civic engagement, and where he sees the future of civic engagement in Ireland’s higher education.

How did you come to understand the importance of civic engagement and service learning? I have been Professor of Marketing in NUI Galway since 1980. Much of my work involved project work with students, where students went beyond the walls of NUI Galway into the community and worked with various organisations. Some organisations were non-profit, some were voluntary and many mainly businesses. My perspective of students getting involved in project work as part of their learning was very positive. Typically, an organisation needed market research done or a marketing plan developed. Students were very engaged in these type of projects; it gave them the experience of doing something practical and got them involved in the real world. It demonstrated how to apply what they learned in their course work and got them involved in team work and making presentations. For me, such project work did everything I thought a student should be doing; it trained them in a whole range of skills that are probably not part of the core curriculum. By that I mean communication skills, team working, problem solving and providing collaborative solutions. In 1980, we started a programme where graduates were placed in companies and also in voluntary organisations for a year. This was significant because students were now working within companies. I’m a firm believer in students working and getting practical experience; literature reinforces this as one of the most effective ways for students to learn. Learning while contributing to your community is a form of education that benefits all.


CKI

And you have the opportunity to promote this kind of work within your role as Deputy President? I’m responsible for overseeing CELT, the Centre for Excellence in Teaching and Learning in NUI Galway, where CKI is based. I’m very supportive of CKI and their work in volunteering and service learning; I really believe it’s important. On a higher level, I’m a member of the Irish Universities Association’s Registrars’ Group and we support the National Academy for Integration of Research and Teaching and Learning (NAIRTL). This academy is focused on enhancing students’ learning experience both at undergraduate and graduate level.

throughout all of our programmes at NUI Galway.

How do you see CKI growing in the next five years? One of the things I’ve written into the new strategic plan is that every student should have the opportunity to engage in volunteering work or service learning. We have 17,000 students attending NUI Galway, 13,000 of which are undergraduates. We recognise volunteering, and service learning prepares students to engage in this kind of work for the rest of their lives. If people are not introduced to this as students, then we miss an opportunity. We’re contributing to their formation as human beings. CKI’s structured format is critical. However, resourcing is a big concern when running In the time that you have been something as successful as CKI. Deputy President of NUI Galway, I’m trying to form an association what changes have you seen in the We need to understand our community of retired academic and service learning and civic and how we can work with it, how we can administration staff to help run the engagement movement? assist it. Through the various service programme and liaise with the The biggest change is the learning projects, we’re learning how to organisations and the students. growth of interest in CKI and its assist the community that’s the most There’s a good deal of literature development in terms of activity. important thing we’ve gained from CKI’s on civic engagement which CKI has grown from a project to a work. And since we want to make a demonstrates the pedagogical significant programme in terms of contribution, CKI is providing us with a benefits of volunteering work and the number of students vehicle for doing that. The huge fund of service learning. But we need participating and organisations knowledge and talent we have in NUI more research around our civic helped. This has huge benefits for Galway has also become apparent. engagement programmes within the public profile of the university Projects such as engineering students higher education in Ireland. and for the community. You can designing a lift for Ability West, and MA see from the University’s strategic students working with engineers to research strategies for COPE Galway and plan that CKI is very important, other organisations have thrown up some enabling NUI Galway to fascinating insights. contribute in a very meaningful Civic engagement and service way to the community. CKI is learning is changing the form of very tangible and has become an third level education in Ireland. integral part of many students’ What are the challenges it faces? lives, with academic staff having increased their commitment to NUI Galway is a leader in promoting civic engagement in CKI also. They have to spend quite a bit of time developing the third level education. Tom Boland, the Chief Executive of HEA modules, developing ideas and learning how to evaluate student (Higher Education Authority) was introduced to CKI and participation, organising student participation and liaising with service learning when he visited the campus this year. the community organisation. This involves a change in work Everybody who comes here from other institutions recognises pattern, but is something I believe has a big pay-off. It’s so our leadership role. What we really need is government, through hugely beneficial to the students that it’s worth the extra effort. the HEA, to recognise that this is extremely important and it Making a contribution that’s worthwhile and adds value is needs to be supported. Internally, we have provided resources to important. develop CKI. We had some external funding initiatives to get CKI started, but that’s now ended. We have mainstreamed our staff in support of this. The main thing is that we don’t have How do you believe service learning scholars should be enough people working on it. If we want to achieve our recognised? ambitions with regard to everybody having an opportunity to do Students doing service learning have to get credit for their this, then it’s impossible to do it with two people. That’s why it work, whether it’s part of teaching, part of research or being makes sense to ask for retired staff volunteers to help since it is involved in service. I’d like to see service learning developing a volunteering element to our activity.

What insights have you gained from the work of CKI?

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FEATURES

Engaging Galway Communities Institutions have always been at the centre of communities, and are a vital part of our society. However, communication breakdowns and gradual withdrawal of contact can often cause alienation. For integral institutions such as NUI Galway, embracing community spirit and benefiting the world outside its fortressed campus is incredibly important to both the university, and the people of Galway, as Richie McCarthy writes.

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UI Galway has built a strong tradition of being a proud part of the city, and an active member of Galway’s society. Educating the young is not enough to develop a successful university, it must embrace students and groom socially responsible adults. Universities must also build ties and allegiances with organisations and individuals that help them to grow and develop. A major surge in the growth and interest in volunteerism is reasserting the need for charity at home, and promoting positive social inclusion in the community. In keeping with the university’s pledge to engage with communities, NUI Galway is the first Irish university to introduce service learning to the curriculum with a range of academic subjects. Engaging in this way with communities allows the university to harness communal skills and talents to make meaningful contributions to the community. Through service learning, students explore issues vital to communities, non-governmental organisations and other similar organisations by active participation or voluntary service. This becomes the basis of academic work by reflecting, writing and presenting on the experience. Key objectives of this initiative are to allow students to relate theory to practice, view issues that they may be studying in class in a real world context, and to foster a sense of social responsibility and citizenship. A memorandum of understanding commits both organisations to 35

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deepening their engagement with the people of Galway through a range of partnerships and collaborations. It outlined a need to deepen students’ understanding and disciplinary knowledge on issues that relate to the most marginalised people in society including those who are homeless, suffering from domestic violence and the elderly. The partnership allows for the provision of opportunities for NUI Galway students to contribute to COPE Galway’s programme, to cohost conferences, and to explore research opportunities through final year projects, PhD research and individual academic research. In the past, COPE Galway has always had a very good working relationship with NUIG staff and students, and the partnership agreed earlier this year served to solidify this collaboration. To date, according to COPE Galway, the partnership has been a resounding success due to the fruition of many of the proposals set out, and the evolving relationships between NUIG students and staff, and COPE Galway staff and service users. COPE Galway recognises the importance of the wider community as a sustainable resource to older people and in recognition of this, has developed a number of interagency and intergenerational projects. Student projects that aim to improve quality of life for the elderly are in place. In turn, students are getting real world experience learning in the community.


FEATURES

NUI Galway President Jim Browne signing the partnership agreement with John Concannon, Chairman of COPE Galway

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collaborative PhD project with the social marketing department, the Community Knowledge Initiative, the HSE, and COPE Galway Senior Support Services is currently being undertaken. The PhD study will seek to answer what behaviour needs to change for every older person who wants or needs a community meals service in Ireland to be able to access one. The three-year study will focus on the community catering meals service and will develop and test a strategic meals-on-wheels integrated hub model designed to meet service requirements into the future. Occupational therapy students have been involved in assisting older people to develop strategies to enable them to recognise and manage stress through a relaxation group. Individual interventions were also delivered through a falls prevention programme. COPE Galway also provided site placement for two Dutch occupational therapy students linked to NUI Galway; their 12-week programme focused on two communities of older people to raise awareness in relation to occupational needs and to examine the role of community in supporting this. Early in 2010, COPE Galway ran a pilot project supervised by the occupational therapy department. The pilot scheme was used to inform the development of an occupational therapy programme to promote health and wellbeing in community-dwelling older adults in Ireland. In keeping with the proposal to provide opportunities for NUI Galway students to contribute to COPE Galway’s programme, three students from the Information Technology Department of NUIG worked voluntarily with COPE Galway fundraising staff to redevelop the charity’s website and social networking tools. The students involved advised staff on how best to brand and position themselves according to the services they provided and after a few months of collaboration, the project reached completion when the newly designed COPE Galway website went live in August 2010. COPE Galway provides emergency accommodation and support services for people who are experiencing homelessness in Galway City and County. COPE Galway Fairgreen Hostel provides emergency accommodation and a range of support services for men experiencing homelessness. Over the last three years, two students per year have worked in the Fairgreen Hostel. The third year students are enrolled in the course, Emerging Areas of Practice in Occupational

Therapy. COPE Galway Osterley Lodge, located in Lower Salthill, Galway, provides emergency accommodation for single women experiencing homelessness and support services for women at-risk of homelessness. At Osterley Lodge, students from the occupational therapy department of NUIG have also participated in a placement programme over the past few years. The official partnership with COPE Galway has made all of these experiences possible for its services, the service users, and the university - all of which are benefiting, and making fantastic in-roads into learning, life experiences, and development. Praising the partnership from within COPE Galway is Anne Kenny, manager for COPE Galway Senior Support Services. Kenny has seen the benefits to service users and students on the ground, and describes an incredible will from students to support service users, and in turn the service users wanting to help the students. “It’s very healthy for older people to have access to younger people. Anything we run with the college is always well attended, and the older people want to be involved in helping the students as well,” says Kenny. The relationships being built with COPE Galway are successful. For service users to want to be involved, and to feel they are giving as well as receiving, displays the balance of the partnership. For students, real world experience is invaluable, and for COPE Galway, access to the University extends the organisation’s knowledge base. Anne Kenny says, “It’s very important for us to have access to the expertise and for our clients to take part in the latest learning. Having access to up-to-date innovative new ways of learning is fantastic.” Kenny says, “The relationships are developing very well and it has a positive impact that opens people up to new experiences. Everybody who is part of the partnership benefits, and things have been very positive. The college is very committed; we all have part of the answer and it’s really about working together and sharing ideas.” COPE Galway is not the only organisation that NUI Galway works with, however the partnership has provided an excellent case study for further developing official partnerships with other organisations. In the short time that the official memorandum was drawn up, an incredible amount of work has been done with both the University and COPE Galway, immersing themselves in what will continue to be a superb social partnership.

“It’s very important for us to have access to the expertise and for our clients to take part in the latest learning. Having access to up-to-date innovative new ways of learning is fantastic.”

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FEATURES

Members of St. Vincent de Paul’s staff with course participants and students from NUI Galway

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t Vincent de Paul’s Croí na Gaillimhe resource centre is advancing and progressing extensively through the assistance of the university. It is using the practical and learned skills of students and staff to help service users, and to enrich their lives. The Croí na Gaillimhe resource centre provides programmes in adult education, a social club, intergenerational projects and homework clubs. The resource centre is often seen as a focal point in the community for adult education. The centre has a focus on the integration of all sectors of the community in an atmosphere of inclusiveness, acceptance and affirmation. Classes and clubs are open to all, but have a particular focus on the older people. Students offer their time and energy on a weekly basis to ensure that all events take place and run smoothly. Students can volunteer for a short period of time to give art classes, or on a longer-term basis at the social club. Volunteers are drawn from courses in the university, with art students taking on art classes and IT students offering computer courses.

“All of the events, from classes to clubs and dances could not take place without the help of students from NUIG,” says Maria Flaherty from the Croí na Gaillimhe Resource Centre. “The tasks carried out by students are wide ranging, and include everything from designing computer course material for computer classes, to developing an art course for our art class enthusiasts, basic office skills and even helping to promote and run dances and clubs,” says Flaherty. Student volunteers have been vital within the organisation, providing skills and time the centre would have struggled to find. The integration of students in turn allows them to put into practice the skills learned in the classroom, and add the experience to their CV. Students are currently helping the centre to re-design its website. “These students are currently studying computer Science at NUIG and so their volunteering role ties in with their studies. In this way, by helping out in the community, the students have the opportunity to put into practice the skills they developed during lectures and labs. The students have also provided us with some valuable ideas and information about making our site more informative and accessible,” says Flaherty. 37

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Looking to the future, Flaherty sees the growth and importance of service learning for students: “Volunteering benefits not just our organisation, but also the students themselves. It makes a huge difference to a students’ understanding of a topic when they’re offered the opportunity to connect their learning to the needs of their community. They have a chance to develop new skills, and learn about issues effecting society, with the opportunity to reflect on what they have learned both on and off campus.” Flaherty recognises that students learn about their role in society and the opportunities available to implement social change. In turn, the community takes a positive view and respects the work done by the students. According to Flaherty, “People respond well to hearing that the students are coming to volunteer, and that they are taking an active role in the community. It’s good for them to get out of the library and the labs.” “When volunteering, students come across a variety of different challenges such as language, age and cultural barriers where they must rely on their own interpersonal skills to build relationships. It can provide great motivation when they can see the impact of their work, particularly where children and older people are concerned. Sometimes, the students do not even realise the level and kinds of skills that they have until they start talking about just how they can help us,” concludes Flaherty. Both the role of service learning and volunteerism between COPE Galway and the Croí na Gaillimhe resource centre are

People respond well to hearing that the students are coming to volunteer, and that they are taking an active role in the community vital to the organisations. The implementation of this service has revealed a great benefit to students and the university itself. The community recognises the interest in the university to engage with them, and in turn, they wish to help students. With the two working together, students will be more qualified and experienced when leaving university, and partnerships will enable groups to work together to promote positive social change. The importance of social networking and engagement has revealed that working together increases the knowledge network, and makes information and skills more accessible to everyone. In doing so, we are in turn producing highly qualified and skilled workers, and more effective organisations. It costs very little, and it benefits everyone.


FEATURES

Match made in Heaven Extending out to the community has never been more welcomed, as Frank Greaney found out when he spoke to Frances Ford of GAF Youth Cafe.

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match made in heaven may seem like an unusual way to describe the relationship between a youth café and a group of NUI Galway’s IT students but that’s exactly how the manager of the GAF describes it. After a chat with Frances Forde, it’s hard to argue its merit. Situated just a stone’s throw away from NUI Galway’s campus, the GAF Youth Café has been raising awareness of health and health-related issues in an adolescent-friendly environment for young people since January 2002. Students from the university have been volunteering in the GAF since it opened, but it’s only when it became involved with NUIG’s Community Knowledge Initiative (CKI) that a mutually beneficial arrangement blossomed. A major link between the university and the Youth Cafe came about two years ago when a group of students from the Masters in Information Technology (MIT) went to the GAF to develop a new website www.thegaf.ie as part of a service learning project facilitated by CKI. Frances Forde says it was of huge benefit to all involved. “It gave the students an opportunity to put theory into practice and it also allowed the kids to engage with third level students, while helping them see the university as an accessible community resource.” The university students met regularly with staff and the Youth Council to discuss their vision for the website and according to Frances, “it was a really great learning curve for the students”. “The students had lots of ideas for very complex sites, which

wasn’t what we wanted. They quickly learned that it’s important to identify the customer’s needs before trying to satisfy them. Now that’s something that can only be learned in practice,” she said. Frances’ experience is a great example of what the CKI is trying to create with the university’s wider community and its aims for the students themselves. Frances believes this was achieved by the students, “putting in the hours and taking a real sense of pride in both the finished product and the relationships they developed along the way”. “It’s important that it’s seen as a part of the community that’s available to everyone. Many of the teens and young adults that visit the GAF had no relation with the university until CKI came along. It made it more accessible and relevant to kids as young as 12 years old. It also opened their eyes to the opportunities that third level education offers young people.” The American author Tom Bodett once wrote that, “the difference between school and life is that in school, you’re taught a lesson and then given a test while in life, you’re given a test that teaches you a lesson,” and it’s hard to deny these words of wisdom when you speak to those involved in NUI Galway’s service learning experience. It’s also hard to deny Frances’ words of wisdom when she describes the relationship between her team and the students as a “match made in heaven,” and as she prepares to welcome the another group of students from NUI Galway’s Electronic Engineering Department. Let’s hope that the CKI’s “matchmakers” strike gold once again.

‘Many of the teens and young adults that visit the GAF had no relation with the university until CKI came along’ Inside GAF Youth Cafe

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FEATURES

NEW GENERATION When a group of Travellers met with some settled people to set up the Galway Traveller Movement (GTM) over 16 years ago, they did so with the common goal of achieving equality for their community. They also hoped to facilitate a better understanding of Travellers and facilitate their integration into the wider community. Words by Frank Greaney

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ne of the greatest challenges the GTM faced was getting Travellers involved with the wider community without losing their own sense of identity. Hannagh McGinley is the GTM’s Accommodation and Education Officer and she says the key to achieving this aim was to use a community development approach. “We focus our efforts on areas such as health, education, racism, discrimination and unemployment and we want the Travellers to have as much of an active role in this approach “Around three years ago, a number of parents raised concerns with the GTM over their children’s education - they couldn’t keep up with their settled classmates and started dropping out of school. The parents were understandably frustrated and their children felt isolated. Teachers were unsympathetic because they were unaware of Traveller’s upbringing and issues that directly affect the IQ of these young people. It was an area that, despite the huge financial challenges, we felt we couldn’t overlook,” added Hannagh. And so began a wonderful partnership with 39

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NUI Galway and the CKI. In 2007, the GTM and the School of Education at NUIG set up ‘Pavee Study’, a homework club which was managed, facilitated and supervised by Traveller parents. Dr. Elaine Keane recruited the Postgraduate Diploma in Education students to facilitate the homework club through an option entitled "Learning to Teach for Social Justice". Through CKI, students are accredited for their work with the GTM, which takes up two hours of their time, four evenings a week in the GTM offices. They provide general academic support, together with subject-specific homework support and tuition free-of-charge to post-primary Traveller students from schools throughout the city. ‘Pavee Study’ has been a huge success and has benefited many people in many ways, allowed Traveller students to study in a more comfortable environment and has helped them grow in confidence. Debbie McDonagh, a former Leaving Certificate student who took part in the homework group said she now feels more confident having attended ‘Pavee Study’. "I now feel happier going to school because I'm

able to keep up with the rest of the class and my homework is always done. I would like to act as a role model for other young Travellers to finish school.” Hannagh says that the study group has also helped student teachers to learn some valuable lessons about their profession. “Students respond better to teachers that they can relate to, so one of the most important (and difficult) lessons that these student teachers can learn themselves is how to relate to their students to get the best out of them. Many of the teachers wouldn’t have had much, if any, contact with Traveller students before. Through this scheme, they develop wonderful relationships with their students and the experience will stand to them.” In addition, the initiative helps teachers to develop a better understanding of interculturalism. Teachers need to adapt to different cultures to really make a difference in their students’ lives. Interculturalism is one of the fundamental aims of the GTM and initiatives like the CKI are extremely important in bringing this about for the Traveller community.


CKI

DEVELOPING LASTING RELATIONSHIPS Who would have thought when CKI was formed in 2001 that it would be developing relationships with universities in Jordan and Lebanon? We explore the fascinating project moving the civic engagement world known as Tawasol.

It’s Galway, 14 June 2010 and the sun’s beaming rays are welcoming 40 educators from Jordan and Lebanon. They are here for a seven-day bespoke study tour as part of a new EU Tempus funded project, which aims to develop service learning and civic engagement partnerships in Jordan and Lebanon. In an atmosphere of enthusiastic anticipation, each of the educators waits to hear inspiring stories from students, staff and community partners. Many of the international visitors have come from intense regions of conflict such as Beirut city to grapple with new methods of democratically engaging citizens. The project known as Tawasol first started in January 2010. The plan is to run the project over three years, bringing together five universities in Jordan and the Lebanon with four European university partners including NUI Galway, University of Gothenburg in Sweden, University of Plovdiv in Bulgaria and University of Roehampton in London. Following the success of NUI Galway’s Community Knowledge Initiative (CKI), and its experience in developing learning opportunities within community through service learning, the University was invited to collaborate with the other eight universities and create the Tawasol Project. CKI Coordinator, Lorraine McIlrath visited Amman for the first Tawasol Project meeting in January 2010. She believes that working with universities in such a different cultural context makes the same work in Ireland richer and more challenging. “We are encouraged to look at the cultural implications of engaging student learning in communities within challenging circumstances. This project will bring together hundreds of students and academics for intensive intercultural and civic engagement learning opportunities,” she said during the visit. The next three years will be intensive. The project, which was created

to support the creation of service-learning and civic engagement centres in Jordan and Lebanon, will be engaging the specialist expertise and resources of each of its partner universities. This means a lot more work for partner universities, but as McIlraith states, “The overall purpose of the project is to build an infrastructure to deliver service-learning across the curriculum in higher education in these Arab states. We and other supporting universities have built such an infrastructure and want to support our fellow educators in doing the same.” The five centres are responsible for rolling out service-learning across Jordan, Lebanon and the Arab region. With support from the EU, these centres will be responsible for the production of servicelearning courses and programmes that work at undergraduate and postgraduate levels across a range of disciplines. While in Galway, the group of educators met with over 20 members of the community who have been involved in service learning partnerships with NUI Galway. They also met with over 20 NUI Galway lecturers and students who have developed innovative service learning partnerships. The Arab educators were interested in the postgraduate IT students who worked with the Gaf Youth café to help develop a youth-centred website and up-skilled staff in the use of new technologies. Not to mention the Philosophy students, who examined through service leaning the ethical treatment of asylum seekers within the West of Ireland. Joining the launch of the Tawasol website was the Irish based website designers, Starlight Solutions, who showed www.tawasol.org can bring Tawasol members together through group sharing, interacting and engaging via an online forum. Now that’s what we call civic leadership! CKI Magazine 2010 - 2011 www.nuigalwaycki.ie

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SERVICE LEARNING

Inspiring

Youth

to Save Lives

When a group of NUI Galway medical students signed up for a special service module as part of their course, their visits to local national schools as CPR instructors revealed a need to educated young people about the preservation of life. Trevor Quinn spoke to medical student Andrew Carroll and Dr. Gerald Flatherty about the special study module....

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ndrew Carroll was one of approximately ten medical students in first and second year at NUI Galway to participate on the Special Study Module. As part of the module, Andrew and his fellow medical students taught CPR to schoolchildren in the Galway region. The coordinator of the Special Study Modules, Dr Gerald Flaherty maintains the Special Study Module brings medical students and children together in a highly beneficial capacity for all concerned. “We train our students how to teach CPR, then they pass on this skill to the students attending these schools. The hope is that some day these students could either practice the skills themselves in a cardiac arrest scenario, or they could teach other people how to perform the skill, so this is a very worthwhile initiative.” There are 13 innovative SSMs that are of tremendous benefit to the School of Medicine, the local community and the university. Other SSMs include a Sign Language Special Study Module, a Teenage Mental Health Promotion Module and a Homelessness Project. The supervisor of the Sign Language Module is Mr Stephen Curran, who is also Chairperson of the Galway Deaf Centre. Mr Curran is hard of hearing himself. He’s fluent in sign language, and teaches the students sign language relevant for clinical practice. Dr Flaherty notes that these are very interesting classes. “When you enter them, the place is completely silent, and you’re just seeing non verbal communication. It’s really wonderful for the students, because Stephen does teach them the nuances of communication, so our students are learning a lot. They also feel much more ready to interact with deaf or hard of hearing patients,” he remarked. These learning outcomes were also used enterprisingly in a

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community dimension when the sign language group attend meetings of the Galway Deaf Club. Dr Flaherty said, “They’re going to take blood pressure readings from the people who attend and they’re going to be communicating with them all the time through sign language. So it will give them an opportunity to practice the skills they’ve learned in the classroom here, and it will also be of benefit to the community.”

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he Special Study Module (SSM) is a unique and innovative way to give something back to the community. The programme is extremely beneficial for both the students and the children as it helps to build interpersonal skills, offers children the chance to learn vitally important life saving techniques and builds sustainable relationships between the university and the wider community. The community partners involved are local secondary schools in the city environs and both primary and secondary schools in the County Galway region, so quite a large area is covered. The academic supervisors who play an instrumental role in supporting the students and organising the module are Dr Gerald Flaherty, Dr Maureen Kelly and Dr Barry O’Donovan from the discipline of General Practice. Andrew believes the CPR classes are vitally important as they give children the confidence to save lives. “The 14 and 15 year olds we taught really enjoyed it and they learnt a lot. It can be a matter of life and death and it takes so little time to teach.” The SSMs have only been in operation for two years and both the university and the various community partners are working together to ensure the best possible results. Dr Flaherty says that the students express


SERVICE LEARNING

their preference for their favoured SSMs in Semester One. They submit a one-page testimonial justifying their choice and they also choose five SSMs from a total of 13, listing them in preferential order. Andrew said there was never a doubt as to which SSM he would choose. He has a background in life saving, having trained for three years as a lifeguard. He would spend a few hours in Leisureland every Sunday, dividing his time equally between the pool and practicing life saving techniques. According to Andrew, one of the real benefits is you can constantly see the progress being made with the CPR classes. “You’re confident that if they saw something happen, they would know what to do so it is really rewarding.” The CPR classes are taught in both English and Irish speaking schools, an aspect of the module which Dr Flaherty is very supportive of and would like to see expanded. Dr Flaherty says he is delighted that Irish speaking schools in Gaeltacht areas are also being given the opportunity to learn CPR, and he is hopeful that more students can be assigned to these schools in future years. “Originally, we tried to include as many Irish speaking schools as possible. So when the students are assigned to this module, we ask those who are comfortable speaking Irish if they wouldn’t mind being sent to an Irish speaking school. There are a lot of Gael Scoileanna now in Galway, and some schools in the Gaeltacht, but it’s quite a small number of students we send to volunteer. We hope in the future to be able to expand this.” Dr Flaherty says that if more medical students came from Gaeltacht areas, it would be fantastic to teach the various Special Study Modules in

the native tongue. “Irish speaking schools are often neglected because a lot of people don’t have the language proficiency. It’s an important objective of mine to improve the access of Gaeltacht students to medical school, and also to address their healthcare needs more, because it is very easy to neglect them. One percent of our students come from the Gaeltacht, which is too low.” Andrew mentioned that both he and his colleagues attempt to teach the children in an informative but fun way. The programme lasts for between eight and ten weeks in total and Andrew and his fellow students visited a number of different schools such as the Presentation Convent primary school in Tuam to educate children in administering CPR. For Andrew, the module offers a great opportunity for the students to engage with local children, and is also a great opportunity for the students to learn crucially important life saving techniques. “It prolongs life for those vital few minutes until paramedics get there, so it’s vital for the community.” While only nine or ten schools per year are able to avail of the CPR classes, he hopes the programme can be broadened to incorporate more classes and to increase visits to a range number of schools. At the moment, four weeks is spent completing preparatory work for the CPR classes, while another four weeks is spent visiting the schools and teaching the classes. Andrew says that in the future, it is hoped that the amount of time teaching CPR can be increased on the programme. Research shows 90 per cent of school children are able to direct people to do CPR but only 40 per cent are actually physically competent. “Every day people have strokes and heart attacks, and the module is designed to preserve life and educate young people,” concluded Andrew.

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ALIVE

Don’t just sit there, do something Volunteering is about contributing time, skills and energy towards something bigger than you. Don’t expect any sort of reimbursement or payment in return for your efforts, but be ready to welcome appreciation in abundance.

ALIVE is NUI Galwayʼs community volunteering programme. Each year, hundreds of NUI Galway students sign up to volunteer with over 150 organisations offering hundreds of community opportunities.

Here are 10 reasons to join ALIVE and become a community volunteer… By Lorraine Tansey, ALIVE Coordinator 1

Fun

Make new friends

Kicking off the list of reasons to join ALIVE is the fun factor. Did you know volunteers skydive, attend concerts, organise parties and climb mountains? Every volunteer experience is different and by finding an opportunity that matches your interests, you’ll be sure to receive while giving.

Volunteering brings together a diverse range of people from varied backgrounds who are often a source of inspiration. You never know who you might meet, what new information you will acquire and how this could impact your life.

Healthy Body, Healthy Mind 2

Life experience

When you’re out and about in the community, your health soars. Fact. Research shows that people who volunteer live longer, have a heightened sense of well being, a stronger immune system and experience a speedier recovery from surgery!

Volunteering is a great way to get life experience. Are you looking to do something different from your job or study? Would you like to do something with your family? Maybe you have always loved animals, reading books or knew someone affected by a rare health condition. Find a cause, find many causes and learn something new along the way.

The 'Feel Good' Factor

3

It’s that warm fuzzy feeling, the feel good factor you get from helping someone without expecting anything in return. Knowing that you've made a real difference and seeing it first hand is incredible.

Increase job prospects

4

Ok, so you have a degree, but what makes you different? Voluntary work looks good on a CV and is a great opportunity to have something to write about in personal statements, applications for work or postgraduate study. Volunteering can bring you into contact with all kinds of professionals and people from every walk of life.

New challenges

5

You can get involved in something that you've never done before or something that requires hard work. Facing that challenge will give you a brilliant sense of achievement!

Gain new skills

CKI Magazine 2010 - 2011 www.nuigalwaycki.ie

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8

The best way to discover what you’re really good at is to get out there and do it. You will learn about your community, trends and concerns, people and resources, all of which can help you develop your leadership potential. Volunteer settings allow you to think strategically and teach you how to handle conflict.

Accreditation

9

Volunteers are thanked – often! You can gain formal recognition of your work and the skills you have gained through the NUI Galway Presidential Award for volunteering, the ALIVE Certificate.

Make a difference

10

Be an agent of change. Advocate for a social justice issue, campaign for an equality measure or develop local community initiatives. Whatever your passion, however you get involved, volunteering offers a way to have a real and lasting impact on the world.

For more information visit www.nuigalwaycki.ie 43

6


MIND & BODY

Body & Mind

Living a balanced life benefits everyone, as Cindy Dring knows too well.

You’ve probably heard of ‘work-life balance’ and how important it is, but have you ever wondered what it really means? And more pertinently, how does it apply to students? And what is the point anyway? Life balance is different for everybody, but the purpose is the same, no matter how old you are or what your situation is. For many, life balance is equal to happiness or contentment, but others think of it as harmony or quality of life. Another way to think of it is wellness. Wellness has different dimensions: physical, intellectual, spiritual, emotional, and social. Everyone’s wellbeing is composed of all of these dimensions, but not necessarily in equal amounts. The important thing is to consider each of these dimensions and how they interact to contribute to our quality of life, and to make sure that no dimension is completely ignored. Physical wellness is the process of having a flexible, fit body. The physically well person: • eats when hungry and selects a varied and nutritionallybalanced diet • gets an adequate amount of sleep • engages in moderate to vigorous exercise 3-5 times a week • gets routine medical check-ups when appropriate • is free of addictions • has the ability to identify physical and mental needs • is aware of his/her body’s limitations Intellectual wellness is the process of using your mind to create a greater understanding of yourself and the universe. The intellectually well person: • learns because they want to, not because they are told to • pursues activities that increase knowledge, develop moral reasoning, foster critical thinking and expand world views • observes what is around them • listens • welcomes new experiences (e.g. arts, theatre) • questions Spiritual wellness is the process of ‘experiencing life’, while seeking meaning and purpose in human existence. Spirituality allows one to have consistency between values and behaviours. The spiritually well person:

• Takes time to define personal values and ethics • Participates in activities that protect the environment • Care about the welfare of others and engages in caring actions Emotional wellness is the process of creating and maintaining a positive realistic self concept and enthusiasm about life. An emotionally well person: • • • • • • • •

Keeps a positive attitude most of the time Is sensitive to their own feelings and the feelings of others uses healthy strategies for coping well with stress is realistic about their expectations takes responsibility for their own behaviour deals with personal and financial issues realistically views challenges as opportunities rather than obstacles knows when to ask for help

Social wellness is the process of creating and maintaining healthy relationships. The socially well person: • Likes themselves as a person • Interacts easily with people of different ages, backgrounds, races, and lifestyles. • Contributes time and energy to the community • Communicates their feelings in a healthy way • Develops friendships • Recognises a need for fun in their life • Manages their time to include both responsibilities and relaxation.

Looking at the above examples, it is clear that wellness is not all about the individual. No man (or woman) is an island, as they say. Your community plays a vital role in your wellness. It is where you pursue your passions, learn, grow, and connect. If you would like to explore your own wellness and all its dimensions, the NUIG Health Promotion Service offers wellness assessments to help you to see how you might make positive changes to acquire a more balanced life. Email cindy.dring@nuigalway.ie for an appointment.

• Is open to different cultures and religions • Gives time to volunteer or participate in community service activities CKI Magazine 2010 - 2011 www.nuigalwaycki.ie

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COURSES & CONTACTS

PerfectOptions

COLLEGE OF ARTS, SOCIAL SCIENCES, AND CELTIC STUDIES

cki courses & contacts School

Course

School of Humanities

BA Degree / Connect

Credits

Community Partners

These are 7 new BA programmes launched in 2007 which enable students to connect within smaller groups through a shared special interest, and connect to a larger world beyond the University. These 4 year programmes have been all the hallmarks of civic engagement including a 3rd year optional placement within a non governmental organisation relating to the chosen specialism. The first cohort will work with agencies such as the ISPCC, Childline, Hot Press and Galway United.

Dr. Lindsay Myers Dr. John Kenny Dr. Tony Tracey Dr. Ray Murphy Dr. Méabh Ní Fhuratháin Vincent O’Connell Dr. Niamh Reilly

School of Humanities

MA in Philosophy: Ethics, Culture and Global Change

Dr. Heike SchmidtFelzmann

“Service Learning Placement”

10

School of Humanities

Options for US Study Abroad

Dr. Dermot Burns

Community-Based Learning: Literacy Project

5

School of Humanities

BA Connect Children’s Studies

Dr. Lindsay Myers

5

School of Humanities

MA Public Advocacy & Activism

Andrea Breslin

School-Based Literacy/Reading Mentoring Program Service Learning Placement

Previous partners have included: Blue Teapot, Eglington Asylum Seekers Community, Galway One World Centre, Galway Refugee Support Group, Galway Simon Community, Rape Crisis Network, REMEDI, UNICEF, and Volunteering Ireland to mention a few. Various homework clubs in the Galway area including Scoil Bhríde, the Access Homework Club Uni 4 U, Bohermore Youth Club and Ballinfoyle Homework Club. Various homework clubs

10 Placement & Report

Placements in over 20 NGO’s both nationally and internationally

School of Languages, Literature & Culture

Service Learning in Italian

Dr. Anne O’Connor

Community Based Learning: Language Teaching

5

School of Languages, Literature & Culture

Intercultural and Foreign Languages in the Community Higher Diploma in Academic Practice

Dr. Laura McLoughlin

Marketing Languages Italian in Secondary Schools Civic Engagement

10

Various Primary Schools in Galway that have included Scoil Bhríde, Shantalla, Scoil an Linbh Iosa, Francis St; St. Nicholas NS, Claddagh; and Galway Educate Together NS, Newcastle. St. Mary’s College, Galway

Ageing, Wisdom and Links between Generations Learning to Teach for Social Justice

5

Centre of Excellence in Learning and Teaching (CELT)

Lorraine McIlrath

Dr Ricca Edmondson

10

School of Education

Postgraduate Diploma in Education

Dr. Elaine Keane & Dr. Josephine Boland

School of Psychology

BA in Psychology, HDip in Psychology BA sa Chumarsáid

Dr. Padraig MacNeela Caroline Heary Ronán Ó Dubhthaigh

Service Learning in Psychology Céim sna Dána – 3rd Year Céim sna Dána – 4th Year

School of Health Sciences

BSc. in Occupational Therapy

Margaret McGrath

Emerging Areas in Occupational Therapy

School of Health Sciences

BSc. In Speech & Language Therapy

Ruth McMenamin

Pass/Fail

School of Medicine

MB, BCh, BAO

Dr. Maureen Kelly & Dr. Barry O Donovan & Dr. Gerard Flaherty

School of Medicine

MB, BCh, BAO

School of Medicine

MB, BCh, BAO

School of Medicine

MB, BCh, BAO

Dr. Louise Conlon & Dr. Gerard Flaherty Dr. Rosemary Geoghegan & Dr. Regina Cooke & Dr. Gerard Flaherty Dr. Anne MacFarlane & Dr. Gerard Flaherty

Speech and Language Therapy - The Aphasia Outreach Module Special Study Module in Community Learning Teaching Cardio Pulmonary Resuscitation to School Children Special Study Module in Teenage Mental Health Special Study Module in Adolescent Medicine Special Study Module in Asylum and Refugee Healthcare Special Study Module in Pre-hospital Emergency Care Special Study Module in Sign Language Special Study Module in Medicine and the Arts

3

Special Study Module in Teanga an Leighis Special Study Module in Understanding Complementary Medicine

3

Acadamh na hOllscolaíochta Gaeilge

COLLEGE OF MEDICINE, NURSING AND HEALTH SCIENCES

Module Title

Children’s Studies Creative Writing Film Studies Human Rights Irish Studies Theatre Performance Women’s Studies

School of Political Science and Sociology

45

Course Director

School of Medicine

MB, BCh, BAO

Dr. Gerard Flaherty Galway Ambulance Service

School of Medicine

MB, BCh, BAO

School of Medicine

MB, BCh, BAO

Stephen Curran & Dr. Gerard Flaherty Mary McPartlan & Dr. Gerard Flaherty

School of Medicine

MB, BCh, BAO

School of Medicine

MB, BCh, BAO

CKI Magazine 2010 - 2011 www.nuigalwaycki.ie

Dr. Dorothy Ní Uigin & Dr. Gerard Flaherty Dr. Dilis Clare & Dr. Gerard Flaherty

2.5 or as a Certificate of Achievement 5 60 Placement 10 ECTS Module (5 each semester) 12.5

3

Students who are all lecturers within higher education develop a service learning module which they then can pilot & mainstream within their programmes. To date ten new modules have emanated from this experience.

Galway Traveller Movement & Galway Refugee Support Group, Ballinfoyle Family Services, Bohermore Youth Development Project Centre for Talented Youth in Ireland, NUI Galway Student Services, COPE Galway Various community partners based in the Gaeltach Previous partners have included: MS Society, Galway Simon Community, Galway Hospice Foundation, RehabCare, COPE Services, Alzheimer Society of Ireland, and AIDS West. Through the HSE students work with people living with aphasia after acquired brain injury in the Galway Region Local primary schools based within Galway City and County

3

Jigsaw Clubs, Positive Mental Health

3

The GAF Youth Café

3

Members of the Refugee and Asylum Seekers community University College Hospital Galway Ambulance Service

3 3

University of Limerick, National University of Ireland Maynooth, and St. Theresa’s Ward, University College Hospital Galway. Arus Mhic Dara, An Ceathru Rua Dr. Dilis Clare’s integrative medicine practice

3


COURSES & CONTACTS

PerfectOptions

COLLEGE OF SCIENCE

COLLEGE OF ENGINEERING AND INFORMATICS

cki courses & contacts School

Course

School of Medicine

MB, BCh, BAO

School of Medicine

MB, BCh, BAO

School of Medicine

MB, BCh, BAO

School of Nursing and Midwifery

Bachelor of Nursing Science Programme

School of Nursing and Midwifery School of Engineering and Informatics

Module Title

Credits

Community Partners

Dr. Ailish Hynes & & Dr. Gerard Flaherty Dr. Dympna Waldron & Dr. Gerard Flaherty Dr. Verna McKenna & Dr. Gerard Flaherty Dr. Dympna Casey

Special Study Module in Exercise Physiology Special Study Module in End of Life Enhancement Special Study Module in Homelessness Nursing in the Developed and Developing Worlds

3

Primary schools in Moycullen

3

University College Hospital Galway

3

Galway Simon Community

3

Bachelor of Nursing Science (Psychiatry) BE in Civil Engineering/ BE in Environmental Engineering/ BSc in Project & Construction Management

Mr. Stephen Bradley

Assessing and Promoting Health 11 Civil Engineering Communications

5

International Partners have included: Ranchoid Hospice, Kabwe, Zambia; Ortum Mission Hospital, Ortumn Kenya; Our Lady’s Hospice Lusaka Zambia; Mpongwe Mission Hospital, Zambia and Leprosy Clinic Ho, Ghana Eglinton Asylum Seekers' Accommodation

School of Engineering and Informatics

BE in Mechanical Engineering/BE in Biomedical Engineering

Dr. Dimitrios Zeulogis Prof. Abhay Pandit

Biomedical and Mechanical Engineering Engineering in Society CAIRDE

School of Engineering and Informatics

BE in Civil Engineering/ BE in Environmental Engineering/ BSc in Project & Construction Management

Dr. Jamie Goggins

Civil Engineering Principles of Building

6

School of Engineering and Informatics

BE in Electronic\Electronic & Computer Engineering

Liam Kilmartin

Electronic Engineering Projects in the Community

6

Dr. Martin Glavin

Professional Studies, in Electronic Engineering and Electronic & Computer Engineering Information Technology Project

6

10

School of Engineering and Informatics

Dr. Gordon Baylor

Ability West, Alan Kerins African Projects, Ballyglass Preschool, Clann Resource Centre, Corrach Bui community centre, Creagh N.S. Ballinasloe, Galway Rape Crisis Centre, Galway City Partnership, Portlaoise parish church and Salthill Devon FC. Students take responsibility in initiating community partnership, to date they have worked in a variety of communites nationwide. Project have included the coordination of a Scrapheap Challenge in Ballinafoyle, a fold up wheelchair ramp for Irish Pilgrimage Trust Partners have included: Ability West, Alan Kerins African Projects, Ballyglass Preschool, Clann Resource Centre, Corrach Bui community centre, Creagh N.S. Ballinasloe, Galway Rape Crisis Centre, Galway City Partnership, Portlaoise parish church and Salthill Devon FC. Partners have included: Enable Ireland, DeafHear.ie, the National Council for the Blind of Ireland and COPE Galway Second level schools across Galway City and County.

Previous partners have included: Macnas, Galway Association, Galway Centre for Independent Living, Irish Film School, Galway Civic Trust, Ballinfoyle Youth project and the GAF Youth Café Over 50 national and international non governmental organisations have been profiled.

School of Engineering and Informatics

Masters in Information Technology (MIT)

Pat Byrne

School of Engineering & Informatics / School of Geography and Archaeology

BE in Civil Engineering / BE in Environmental Engineering / BSc in Project & Construction Management / MA in Environment, Society and Development BA Omnibus (Mathematics); BA Mathematics & Education; BSc Mathematics; BSc Applied Mathematics Bachelor of Civil Law

Dr. Jamie Goggins Dr. Brenda Gallagher Dr. Mark Healy & Dr. Marie Mahon

“The Professional Engineer in Society” (BE & BSc).

Dr. Rachel Quinlan

‘Undergraduate Ambassador’ Module in Mathematics

5

Second level schools located in Galway City.

Larry Donnelly

Clinical Legal Education Placements

6

Partners have included: Equality; Rape Crisis Network Ireland; National Federation of Voluntary bodies; Various national and international non-governmental organisations and Legal practitioners throughout Ireland. Disabled Drivers Association of Ireland

J.E. School of Business and Economics

Bachelor of Commerce

Dr. Christine Domegan

5

J.E. School of Business and Economics J.E. School of Business and Economics

Bachelor of Commerce

Dr. Elaine Wallace

The Use and Abuse of Disabled Car Parking Spaces in Galway City – Marketing Research study Marketing of Services

MSc. Marketing

Dr. Elaine Wallace

Strategic Brand Management

5

School of Mathematics, Statistics & Applied Mathematics

School of Law

COLLEGE OF BUSINESS, PUBLIC POLICY, & LAW

Course Director

3

“Managing Development” (MA)

5

A new partner is taken on an annual basis. Current partner is Alan Kerins African Projects A new partner is taken on an annual basis. Current partner is CD’s Helping Hands.

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CKI

CKI SERVICE LEARNING

NEEDS ANALYSIS MATRIX Service Learning is a teaching tool which encourages students to learn and explore issues vital to society, inside and outside the classroom. Students learn from engaging with communities by active participation. Academic staff guide students through this process through structured reflection and the integration of theory and practice. Communities involved in Service Learning can be charities, nongovernmental organisations, statutory bodies, community associations or organisations with a focus on social responsibility.

Please detail any projects within the following disciplinary areas that students and staff of NUI Galway could conduct for or with your organisation. In the past we have had Engineering students build fold up wheel chair ramps for people with disabilities, Law students updating legal framework documents and Occupational Therapy students conducting research into OT needs within a range of service providers.

Name:

Job Title:

Organisation:

Tel:

Address:

Email:

COLLEGE OF MEDICINE, NURSING AND HEALTH SCIENCES Occupational Therapy

Speech and Language Therapy

Medicine

Health Promotion

Nursing

Psychology

COLLEGE OF ENGINEERING and INFORMATICS Information Technology

Civil Engineering

Mechanical Engineering

Biomedical Engineering

Electronic Engineering

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CKI Magazine 2010 - 2011 www.nuigalwaycki.ie


CKI

COLLEGE OF BUSINESS, PUBLIC POLICY AND LAW Accountancy and Finance

Economics

Management

Marketing

School of Law

COLLEGE OF ARTS, SOCIAL SCIENCES, and CELTIC STUDIES Education

Philosophy

Languages

Literacy

Children’s Studies

Film Studies

Human Rights

Women’s Studies

Theatre & Performance

Creative Writing

COLLEGE OF SCIENCE Mathematics, Statistics & Applied Maths. Chemistry

Microbiology

CKI Magazine 2010 - 2011 www.nuigalwaycki.ie

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OPINION

Civic Exchangement. Have Vision, Will Travel. You Had Me At Hello t stands to reason that the dissemination of civic engagement ideas should be somewhat social. Then explain to me when it comes to the web, why do civic engagement leaders tend to become anti-social troglodytes? That might sound harsh, but bear with me. I believe it’s got to do with control and trust. You might say that it’s a carbon copy of where we were five years ago on the web - a place full of administrators and moderators. Of course, the theory behind this type of approach makes sense; you regulate the producers and in turn, that guarantees high quality content. And this works - to a point. A number of years ago attitudes on the Internet changed and we witnessed a new kind of web, a ‘read-write web’. We saw administrators relinquishing control and thereby allowing anyone to become an author. At last, you no longer needed expertise in a complex technical language to publish on the web. Instead, people had greater freedom to do so. This meant that content became social and people began to engage with content in an organic, collaborative way. We began to see evangelists being replaced by online communities - collective intelligence was now a paramount component of the web. This collective contribution led to a phenomenon known as the ‘network effect’. In the past, the value of a website increased linearly over time when the editor would post regular updates. Once administrators changed their strategy and allowed the public to publish freely, initially they saw very little uptake. However, in the long term, some of these sites proved to be very successful because they all had a tipping point. There is a point at which the engagement of the community exceeds a critical mass and something very interesting begins to happen. At this stage, the value of the site begins to grow exponentially. Facebook, YouTube and Twitter are examples of sites that have experienced this kind of growth. This all sounds fascinating, but how exactly does the network effect relate to civic engagement? Civic engagement, by its nature, is an idea based on social values, and so it naturally lends itself to online collaboration, whether it is between academics, students or community

I

partners. This realisation dawned on me while I was designing the tawasol.org website. I had a eureka moment when I imagined ‘a geographically distant community being united as one virtual online community’. All of a sudden, this made sense. We would allow the Tawasol community to exist in an online space and we would thereby harness the collective intelligence amongst the group. We started off by creating structures that would allow any member of the community to post content on the site. Each user would have their own profile and they could post news, events, blogs, case studies, videos, publications and projects. Crucially, other users could come along later and comment on somebody else’s content. In this way, members of the Tawasol community could actively collaborate without the need for administrator or moderator control. In this way, we created a fertile environment that would allow for future exponential growth in a civic engagement space. We have also applied this idea of open data access to students in the area of volunteering. In collaboration with NUI Galway, we developed an online eportfolio system for managing volunteer activity. Students were invited to document their volunteering experience by recording the organizations that they volunteered with, the number of hours that they volunteered and their experience through a series of reflective questions and blogs. This, in turn, empowers the student and makes them more responsible for their own volunteering experience. It has also proved a very efficient way of managing such a programme. To conclude, I would like to leave you with the idea that open collaboration on the web is a very powerful tool for the development and expansion of civic engagement ideas. Two voices speaking will always be louder than one. Therefore, civic engagement evangelists across the world need to be brave enough to entrust that the community will carry the message. When a baby chick leaps from the nest for the first time, she will either fly or plummet. If she flies, she will fly high to the most distant parts of the Earth. Paul Killoran is the Managing Director of Starlight Solutions, a Galway-based web application company. Starlight develop web-based software for educational institutions and as part of that brief, they have developed web applications that support the development of civic engagement and volunteering.

I had a eureka moment when I imagined a geographically distant community being united as one virtual online community.

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CKI Magazine 2010 - 2011 www.nuigalwaycki.ie


CAMPUS ENGAGE UPCOMING EVENTS • 13th November 2010: Student Volunteer Day • November 2010: Lectures and workshops with Dr. Patti Clayton, U.S.A • 2011: Proud to support European Year of Volunteering

Campus Engage is a national network to support and promote civic engagement activities in higher education in Ireland. It was established in 2007 by a partnership of 5 universities (DCU, NUI Galway, NUI Maynooth, UCD and UL), with the support of funding under the Strategic Initiative Fund 1 (SIF 1). The activities of Campus Engage now encompass institutions beyond the founding partners and it is envisaged that the network will be sustained beyond the end of the funding period of December 2010. OUR OBJECTIVES ARE: • strengthen the relationship between institutions of higher education and the wider society through the sharing of knowledge between civic and academic communities • widen studentsʼ civic awareness and participation • develop social and civic ʻcompetenciesʼ as a key element of the student experience • develop a coherent national policy framework for civic engagement in Irish higher education. WE ACHIEVE THESE THROUGH: • Service Learning / Community Based Learning • Community-Engaged research • Volunteering • Community / Economic regeneration • Capacity building CHECK OUT: • 2009 Conference ʻHigher Education and Civic Engagement Partnerships: Create, Challenge, Changeʼ for details and recordings of the keynote addresses on www.campusengage.ie/conference • Case studies of our work and that of participating Universities on www.campusengage.ie"


cki m a g a z i n e

T: + 353 91 493823 E: cki@nuigalway.ie W: www.nuigalwaycki.ie


CKI Magazine 2010 - 2011