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Carnegie Framework: Highlighting NUI Galway’s commitment to civic and community engagement.

SAOL Cafe: Ireland’s first higher education social enterprise cafe.

2016 - 2017


StudentVolunteer.ie: 2016 Finalists in ThinkTech National Awards for innovation in technology and social change.

m a g a z i n e

The Community Knowledge Initiative (CKI) fosters community university partnerships that aim to promote the principles and practices of civic engagement and democracy. Volume 3

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President’s Note

A message from the president A chairde,

It is exciting and heartening for me as President to observe the continuing commitment that NUI Galway students and staff demonstrate in the field of civic and community engagement. This magazine is an important and insightful resource, which highlights the extent of our work with community, our fostering of reciprocal community partnerships and our aim to develop graduates that are global citizens. I would like to congratulate the Community Knowledge Initiative (CKI) on taking a lead nationally, in partnership with University of Massachusetts Boston and the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching and Learning, in piloting the Carnegie Foundation’s Elective Community Engagement Classification. This pilot study that was carried out simultaneously in ten other Higher Education Institutes (HEIs) across the country has been an exciting opportunity to document and consolidate the extent of our community and civic engagement

CKI Magazine 2016-2017 www.nuigalway.ie/cki

activities. It has been both an honour and an opportunity for the University ‘to lead on and be part of this pilot. The examples of civic and community engagement featuring in this magazine highlight the centrality of knowledge democratisation and sharing with the wider community and society. The CKI now enters its second decade of activity at NUI Galway and it is a time in which we aspire to continuing debate with colleagues from around the world on our practice. 2017 will see further exciting developments, as NUI Galway will host two internationally renowned conferences including, the 2017 International Association for Research on ServiceLearning and Community Engagement (IARSLCE) in September 2017 and the 7th International Symposium on Service Learning in June 2017. These events present a great opportunity to discuss, share, learn and enhance our knowledge and practice in our approaches to civic engagement and deepening our approaches

with colleagues from around the world. I must conclude by congratulating the CKI team and all those in NUI Galway who have demonstrated such passion in civic engagement, as showcased within this magazine. The importance of producing socially aware and civically engaged graduates is recognised within the National Strategy for Higher Education to 2030, where civic engagement comprises one of the three key pillars in higher education. I remain committed to leading a civically engaged university and delivering on our national policy mandate. Ní neart go cur le chéile.

James J. Browne PhD, Dsc, MIRA, CEng


Personal Notes


CKI Coordinator Lorraine McIlrath ALIVE Student Volunteer Coordinator Lorraine Tansey EPIC Coordinator Ann Lyons Youth Academy Coordinator Geraldine Marley CKI Administrator Carmel King Community Engagement Development Manager Áine Gallagher ALIVE Intern Lydia Kelly CKI Magazine edited by Céire Broderick and Áine Gallagher Graphic Design Allen Creative www.allencreative.ie



elcome to Volume III of the CKI Magazine that showcases a flavour of NUI Galway’s community engagement activities. The CKI acts as a catalyst for community engagement at the University and facilitates a range of activities including service learning, community-based research, volunteering, and outreach activities. Our work has been growing steadily since 2004 and continues to deepen and spread each academic year The NUI Galway Mission remains central to our work and growth:

“To foster a vibrant community of students and staff, where distinguished learning, impactful research, and creative thinking are shared with the world.” We also maintain our commitment to the NUI Galway vision, that students will be global citizens who are:

“socially aware, distinctive, highly skilled, and wellrounded.”

CKI Staff Team Back row (L-R) Céire Broderick, Lydia Kelly, Ann Lyons. Front row (L-R) Carmel King, Lorraine McIlrath, Áine Gallagher, Geraldine Marley, Lorraine Tansey.

The stories within this volume were captured during NUI Galway’s involvement in the national Irish pilot of the Carnegie Foundation’s Community Engagement Classification Project 2015 to 2016. See page 3 for details on the project, collaborating institutions and funders. We in the CKI were overwhelmed by the return of compelling, rich and deep community partnerships that exist within the academic disciplines of NUI Galway and the initiative and progressive thinking demonstrated by students and staff. To both honour and showcase this work we have decided to produce this magazine to highlight the diversity of approaches

we take at NUI Galway to develop a relationship with our community and society. These approaches take multiple forms, from service learning to outreach, from community based research to public engagement and volunteering, from policy development to the democratisation or sharing of knowledge with community stakeholders. We welcome all these varied approaches and congratulate our colleagues for their creativity, innovation and evident commitment to community engagement. None of this work would exist without the enduring collaboration with community partners and their constant interest in partnering with this institution and affording us with new and interesting learning and engagement opportunities. The narrative within this magazine is very much from the perspective of the University as the Carnegie Pilot is an institutional self-reflective process. We hope that through additional and future publications, the voices of both our students and community will be captured effectively. This will allow for a sharper clarity regarding their views of community engagement and will enable diversity in how we can progress and develop this field within NUI Galway. It has been a wonderful process for us at NUI Galway to consolidate our work and plan for the future while also working in collaboration with colleagues across the higher education section in Ireland through the Carnegie Project. We are now excited about how this collaboration will progress, to continue promoting the ethos of community engagement within higher education. I hope you enjoy reading the stories in this volume. Warm Regards

Lorraine McIlrath CKI Coordinator

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community knowledge initiative



CKI Features


03 04 05 10 20

12 18 26 45 46

CARNEGIE FRAMEWORK Measuring Civic Engagement ILAS The Combined Centre for Social Policy Development SAOL CAFE Ireland’s first higher education social enterprise cafe Cell EXPLORERS A Science Outreach Model StudentVolunteer.ie Finalist in ThinkTech National Awards 2016

EPIC Engaging People in Communities ALIVE NUI Galway’s Student Volunteering Programme Youth Academy NUI Galway’s Civic Engagement Representatives Talloires Network International Developments in Civic Engagement

Community Engaged Learning and Research

06 “ Nothing About Us without Us” Respecting the Global Disability Rights Movement 07 The Mother’s Project Engaging with Mother’s in Prison 24 Young People and Parental Separation Their experiences and insights

Community and University Engagement

Celebrating Civic Engagement at NUI Galway Medical Outreach and Engagement CÚRAM Creating a Scientifically Informed and Engaged Public Threesis and Pint of Science Science Outreach and Communication 28 ReelLIFE Science School Students Create Science Videos 30 100 Shades of Grey An Example of Multidisciplinary Engagement 31 CUSP A Model for Sustainable Engagement 32 User Centred Design in Engineering Professor Gearóid Ó’Laighlin 33 Galway 2020 Cultural Engagement in NUI Galway 38 A Snapshot of NUI Galway Societies 42 Insight Outreach Technology Learning Outreach Programmes 42 Mario The Companion Robot Enhancing Dementia Care 43 Challenge Science Enabling creation and discovery in the world of science


08 14 22 23

Constituent Colleges

34 Inclusive Education at St Angela’s College Sligo 35 Charity Concert Hosted by Shannon College of Hotel Management 35 Art and Ethics The Burren College of Art 36 The Access Schools Programme St Angela’s College Sligo

Service Learning

16 The Conversation Partner Programme Dr Ruth McMenamin 40 An Overview Service Learning Modules in NUI Galway 44 The Student Reflection Katie Hennessy MA in Gender, Globalisation and Rights 47 Europe Engage Creating a Culture of Service Learning in Higher Education 48 Upcoming International Conferences on Service Learning 2 | CKI Magazine 2016-2017 www.nuigalway.ie/cki


20 on the cover ‘Inishlacken – Beloved’ This painting, by artist Rosie McGurran, originally from Belfast, depicts the island of Inishlacken, located off the coast of Roundstone, Co. Galway. This island was once home to Gerard Dillon, another visual artist from Belfast. The painting marks the connection of the Belfast tradition of mural painting with the landscape of the West, using the island as a metaphor for the larger island that we live on.


Can we measure Civic Engagement in Higher Education in Ireland? National Irish Pilot of Carnegie Foundation’s Community Engagement Classification

Representatives from the 12 higher education institutions who engaged in the Irish Pilot of the Carnegie Foundation’s Community Engagement Classification


he Irish Pilot of the Carnegie Foundation’s Community Engagement Classification was conceived in 2013 by NUI Galway’s Lorraine McIlrath, in partnership with Professor John Saltmarsh at the University of Massachusetts and Dr. Elaine Ward at Merrimack College Boston. This was subsequently funded by the Talloires Network and the Ireland funds with support also offered by the two Universities. This project marked the first time that a national pilot of this highly respected measurement tool was to take place, with full support offered by the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching and Learning. The project process began with an introductory workshop, inviting Presidents within all institutions of higher education in Ireland to engage. A critical friendship was created following this initial step, with 12 of the institutions joining forces to establish a group to support the pilot process. A research dimension has comprised a significant component of this pilot, to allow for the development of a national measurement tool to be created and adopted, allowing higher educational bodies in Ireland to measure community and civic engagement. In July 2016, following an intensive institutionwide data gathering process, the 12 institutions submitted their classifications. Bernie Quillinan, Civic Engagement Champion from the University of Limerick said, “It was a great opportunity to discover and celebrate the good

work that is being done at UL and a chance to work with colleagues across the sector Participating nationally in a collaborative way. It gave us a Irish Institutions chance to look at how we might capture and measure our work and develop next steps”. One of the main aims of the process was to bring the disparate parts of an institution together in a way that advances a unified community engagement agenda. At the same time it allows for the identification of promising practices that can be shared and built upon. The aspirations of the 12 institutions involved in Carnegie, has been to ‘test’ the classification for its appropriateness within an Irish context. These institutions also aim to ascertain if the tool could be developed in such a way that it might enable higher education institutions in Ireland to measure, map and develop community engagement practice. In November 2016, the Carnegie Classification Peer Review Team visited Ireland and met each campus individually to offer feedback on their submission. During this time the 12 institutions collectively shared their experience of the instrument and its appropriateness within an Irish context. Strong partnerships have been formed following this process among the 12 institutions. The pilot has been supported by the Higher Educational Authority and Campus Engage at the Irish Universities Association, and will inform the agenda for future measurement.

Institute of Technology Carlow University College Cork University of Limerick Galway-Mayo Institute of Technology Athlone Institute of Technology Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland TU4 Dublin Alliance Including DIT, IT Blanchardstown and IT Tallaght Trinity College Dublin, the University of Dublin NUI Galway Institute of Technology, Tralee

Further information https://carnegiececframeworkire.wordpress.com/


community knowledge initiative

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Social Policy Development

n the 11th of November 2015 NUI Galway was delighted to officially open the Institute for Lifecourse and Society (ILAS), a pioneering research institute for the applied social sciences in NUI Galway. ILAS, which is located on NUI Galway’s North Campus, represents a significant development, bringing together six established centres at the University to work in partnership. These centres include; UNESCO Child and Family Research Centre (CFRC); Irish Centre for Social Gerontology (ICSG) and Centre for Disability Law and Policy; Community Knowledge Initiative (CKI), Irish Centre for Autism and Neurodevelopmental Research (ICAN) and Health Economics and Policy Analysis (HEPA). Supported by the Atlantic Philanthropies, the Institute works in partnership with a diverse range of communities towards the development of positive social change and policy development from cradle to grave.

On Monday 30 November 2015, President Michael D Higgins gave the inaugural lecture marking the official launch of ILAS. President Higgins stressed the importance of the Institute’s “capacity to cooperate across disciplines”, and described the Institute as a response to the fundamental issue of socioeconomic inequality that has existed in Ireland since the formation of the State. The “strong emphasis on civic engagement” was noted by the President as one of the centre’s “great strengths”. When commenting on the development of social science research in NUI Galway over the previous 50 years President Higgins reported that he found it “greatly inspiring to witness the real will that exists to envision a new version of citizenship, one that is fair and equitable and allows all its people to flourish.”

Former Minister Joan Burton (centre) and Mary Sutton from The Atlantic Philanthropies (far left) with NUI Galway representatives at the launch of the ILAS building in November 2015

Project Lifecourse


s the flagship project for ILAS which brings the work of all six centres together and works with a number of stakeholders to address service delivery nationally. This provides a unique opportunity, ensuring the evolution of effective policy change across the life course, avoiding the policy gaps and conflicts that often plague social policy development.

The 3-Cities Project, is the principal project run by Project Lifecourse and reflects the commitment to promote equal voice in its work. The aim of the 3-Cities Project is to engage in a collaborative process to re-imagine services and communities to maximise participation for children and youth, older people, and people with disabilities in their localities and cities. The research is rooted in the communities of Doughishka and Claddagh in Galway, The Liberties and East Wall in Dublin and Garryowen and South Circular Road in Limerick. The project seeks to improve inclusiveness for children and youth, older people and people with disabilities in these urban areas. It does this by actively engaging members of these groups in the research activities. The aim is that this research, which will produce a range of outputs, will help to inform policy, practice and future research activities in the areas of population health, social inclusion, health and social care, and service design. By the end of the 3-Cities Project, the Project Lifecourse team will have trained 25-30 local residents (who are children and youth, older people and people with disabilities) to be researchers, and will have worked in collaboration with these residents on a number of important local topics and issues.

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President Michael D Higgins meets ILAS staff from SAOL CAFÉ

The Irish Centre for Gerontology (ICSG) considers civic engagement to be a core aspect of its ethos and function. Its overall aim is to develop a medium-term strategy for engagement that: • is informed by genuine dialogue with older people •  is empowering for participants and responsive to needs identified by them • involves partnership with stakeholders in NGOs and statutory bodies at national and local level • breaks down barriers between the university and the wider community by disseminating information in both directions

The Touchstone Civic Engagement Programme provides one example of how the ICGS are working to achieve these aims. This project has been developed by a team based in the ICSG, in partnership with Active Retirement Ireland, Age & Opportunity and Third Age. This is a national programme aiming to develop the skills and knowledge of people aged 55 and over who wish to play a part in helping to make their communities more agefriendly. It promotes and supports civic engagement.

‘Making Sense of Social Research’ This course was designed in the ICSG with a view to provide participants with an opportunity to develop an enhanced understanding of the key issues involved in doing social research. This course aims to familiarise participants with the research process, provide them with the confidence and skills they need to develop their own research ideas; and demonstrate how research might be used to identify service and other needs/issues of older people so that more appropriate policy and practice interventions may be made.

SAOLsaol Café

Social Enterprise



AOL CAFÉ has become the pride of the and therefore make NUI Galway deliver its ENTERPRISES promise of applied learning and ILAS building, offering a welcoming onSCCUL space for members of the community community impact. This not-for-profit and University to meet at the heart of this initiative sources all supplies locally, with community-focused building. This café hiring policies that are socially inclusive. one we sent to Annette the café has provided regular has evolved from a partnership betweenthis isSothefar the University and SCCUL Enterprises. employment and training opportunities Much pride is held in the fact that it is the for people who are marginalised first social enterprise café in an institute of from mainstream employment. The higher education in Ireland. SAOL CAFÉ employment model used by SAOL has has recently celebrated its first anniversary become influential, with many businesses and in this time has witnessed a number and organisations now expressing of significant achievements. In October their interest in implementing a similar 2016, SAOL was awarded the prestigious approach. This is indicative of the great title as Ireland’s Friendliest Business by need for alternative models to provide real the Junior Chamber International (JCI), employment opportunities for people that Ireland. One of the aims of SAOL Café experience barriers in accessing gainful is to foster mutual learning and inclusion mainstream employment.

This project began in June 2015, when the Community Knowledge Initiative and the Centre for Disability Law and Policy in collaboration with their community partner EmployAbility Galway, facilitated the Irish Research Council funded event ‘Spending Socially - Achieving Social Value through Public Procurement’.

This public event was borne out of an identified need to support local enterprises to engage in the public procurement process, this need was discovered while exploring the possibilities of setting up a community café in the ILAS building.

Staff from SCCUL Enterprises receive the JCI Ireland’s Friendliest Business Award 2016 for SAOL Café

Thanks to the efforts and interest of the institutional and community partners, and all who contributed to the Spending Socially event on the day, this unique learning exercise and opportunity to network was facilitated very effectively. The event led to a successful bid by SCCUL Enterprises Ltd. to establish SAOL CAFÉ, located in and adding a heartbeat to the ILAS building, which prides itself in engaging with the community to create real change in social practice.

ILAS research staff with former Minister Brendan Howlin and Former TD Derek Nolan at the Spending Socially event in June 2015

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‘Nothing About Us, Without Us’ in the Centre for Disability Law and Policy


he Centre for Disability Law and Policy (CDLP), continue to demonstrate their respect and dedication to the motto of the global disability rights movement, “nothing about us without us” (International Disability Caucus, 2004). This is achieved through a number of research and engagement activities where the CDLP identify, plan and execute various initiatives in collaboration with community partners. The CDLP strongly supports the National Platform of Self Advocates in Ireland. This Platform is funded by Genio and is supported by the CDLP, in partnership with Inclusion Ireland and Seasamh. The Platform represents the first time in Ireland that a concerted effort has been made to establish a platform where self advocates with intellectual disabilities can freely express their views and make progress towards achieving their goals, independent of service providers, families and other vested interests. The Platform secured seed funding from Genio in 2012, and in 2014 was awarded a three year grant from Atlantic Philanthropies. This funding supports the development and implementation of the Platform’s Strategic Plan. In the past year the Platform has secured its own office space in Carmichael House, Dublin, hired a facilitator and administrator to support its work and developed its own website: www.npsa.info.

The Disability Legal Information Clinic operates from the ILAS building, on the first Wednesday of every month between 6.00pm and 7.30 pm. It offers free, accessible and confidential legal information for anyone with a disability-related legal query on a

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range of issues including discrimination, education, employment and housing. This service is now provided by students who are supervised by a legal practitioner and a member of the CDLP staff. In addition to providing this free and confidential service, the clinic also aims to serve as a research resource for practitioners and organisations on aspects of disability law. The CDLP ran the 8th Annual International Disability Summer School from 22-26 June 2016. The aim of the Summer School was to equip participants with the insights and skills necessary to translate the generalities of the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, into tangible reform for persons with disabilities. Participants included persons with disabilities, their families, civil society groups of persons with disabilities as well as advocates for disability law reform, lawyers, policy makers, policy analysts and others. The faculty included senior academics, practitioners, advocates and policy makers from around the world. Most of the speakers have been directly and actively engaged in drafting and implementing the Convention. Others are advocates for change and reform. In 2016, the Summer School attracted over 120 participants from 47 different countries including Africa, Asia, Latin America and Europe. The summer school is supported by Soros Open Society Foundations.


The Mother’s Project The future for mothers in prison ‘making a difference, one mother at a time’. The Mother’s Project is an ongoing participatory research project with mothers in prison in Ireland and is the doctoral research of Sinead O’Malley, BA, MA (Social Work) based in UNESCO Child and Family Research Centre. This piece is written in collaboration with mothers in prison in Ireland, where they describe their experiences of being involved in the design and advertising phase of the project prior to data collection. The Mother’s Project doctoral research is due to finish in 2017.

we no longer feel silenced as mothers

Being part of the preparation and advertising phase of The Mother’s Project was a group effort, it was challenging at times but a worthwhile ‘bonding experience’. The Project gave us a voice, even for the quieter mothers. We no longer feel silenced as mothers and are happy we are getting the word out there; there is no one better to talk about ourselves, than ourselves – this is our voice, our story! Being involved in that phase was emotional but made us feel important and recognised. Feeling useful, having a sense of purpose and knowing that you matter, are also important motives for remaining involved in ongoing activities. As part of the advertising phase we delivered an information event in the prison for staff, external agencies and most importantly for the female prisoner population. The purpose of the event was to advertise and inform mothers about the research and to acquire informed consent for participation. Also, to inform prison staff and external agencies so they could support us throughout this research journey. Preparing and delivering this event gave us a sense of accomplishment and confidence that exceeded personal expectations; even though it was a group effort everybody stood out as individuals in their own right.

Following this event we noted an instant change in prison staff approach, in particular senior Irish Prison Service (IPS) staff. This change in practice made a genuine difference as we felt the Governor was taking note of our emotions and experiences related to our motherhood. This included an improvement in visits with our children. ‘It is important for children to feel comfortable and happy when visiting us and separating from us at the end of visits’. More mothers are now supported around external visits and mothers are often permitted extra time with mother-child internal visits.

Governor Pat Dawson signing the certificates received by the mothers for their involvement in the participatory research. These certificates are symbolic of the first collaboration between the Irish Prison Service and a third level research institute in participatory research with prisoners. The certificates have been used by prisoners in formal arenas such as Family Court to demonstrate positive engagement during their incarceration period.

this is our voice, our story

“ A display made by the mothers showing their expressions of motherhood through poems, crafts and handmade gifts for their children at the information event in Limerick Prison.

We are delighted to have the opportunity to influence thinking in the general population and that academia is taking an interest in getting our stories out there. Being involved throughout this research, as opposed to having research conducted on us, confirms that we are not just a number, nor a statistic. Being heard is very important, ‘we all have to start somewhere and The Mother’s Project is the future for mothers in prison’ in ‘making a difference, one mother at a time’. The Mother’s Project (The Mothers of Limerick Prison)

While it is noted and commended that the Irish Prison Service are fully supporting The Mother’s Project nationally, only mothers who took part in the participatory phase in Limerick Prison contributed to this particular piece due to time constraints.

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Celebrating Community Engagement NUI Galway honours the importance of formally recognising the contributions made by students, staff and community partners to civic engagement

NUI Galway staff and students are awarded the prestigious Galway City Mayors Award for Volunteering

Seas Suas is a training programme designed to encourage students to be proactive in helping fellow students. It aims to improve the health, well-being and engagement of students. The programme helps to improve awareness, develop proactive behaviour, cultivate skills to respond safely and expand a culture of support in NUI Galway. Those who complete the programme contribute in a number of ways to specific events such as Mental Health Week or Student Orientation Week. On completion of the programme students receive ALIVE volunteering certificates.

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The Youth Academy Graduation celebrates and acknowledges the work and contribution made each year by the students, staff, and community members involved in the Youth Academy. This graduation event invites all of the school children who

have engaged in the programme and their families to attend a graduation ceremony officiated by the President. In November 2016, 240 students graduated, with more than 2000 children having graduated in total since the Youth Academy began.

The Community Partner Volunteer Fair is held each September and January. This event hosts over 90 community organisations and is visited by over 2000 students and staff of NUI Galway to create partnerships and connections on volunteering and service learning projects.

The Touchstone Certificate of participation was awarded to community members who engaged in the Irish Centre for Social Gerentology’s Touchstone Civic Engagement Programme for Older People. This acknowledged the contribution made by these members of the public to this research. CKI Gold Medal for Community Contribution is awarded annually by the School of Medicine at the Summer conferring ceremony. It is awarded to the medical graduate with the most outstanding record of service, during their years as an undergraduate, to his or her community and/or to the wider society. This medal is a partnership between the School of Medicine, Croí (communitybased cardiovascular health organisation), and is sponsored by the CKI. Above: Melanie Hennessey, who received this medal in 2013 for her work in establishing Draíocht, a university society which generated funds to build an orphanage in Nepal. NUI Galway staff have also gained international and national recognition for their contributions to civic engagement

Students of St Angela’s College Sligo, as partners with NUI Galway are awarded the Presidential Certificate for Volunteering at campus ALIVE ceremony.

Digital Badges are being used to recognize student volunteering in a number of campus-wide programmes including Cell EXPLORERS, ReelLIFE Science and the ALIVE Programme. A digital badge is an online credential comprised of an image and embedded detail of what the recipient had to do to earn the badge. Digital badges can be shared across social networks and e-portfolios. Badges are a great way of demonstrating extra-curricular skills and achievements.

NUI Galway is currently leading a national initiative, investigating the use of badges in higher education. If you’re interested in learning more about badges, please get in touch at: http:// allaboardhe.org.

Lorraine McIlrath from the Community Knowledge Initiative was among the four people nominated in 2015 as The “Personality of the year” by the European Civic Forum. These European Citizenship Awards recognise and give visibility to outstanding initiatives and civil society actors who put European democratic citizenship into practice and have a real, positive impact on the lives of their communities. StudentVolunteer.ie is a new online national resource developed by NUI Galway’s Lorraine Tansey (ALIVE) in conjunction with a team of colleagues from Campus Engage. The aim of this website is to provide a ‘one stop shop’ to connect students with volunteering opportunities within civil society organizations. StudentVolunteer.ie has received national recognition and has been shortlisted for the THINKTECH awards, a €1 million project to grow ideas for a better Ireland.

Overall, this section does not provide an exhaustive list of awards, instead it aims to highlight some of the methods used by NUI Galway to recognise the contributions made each year by students and staff in civic engagement. If you would like to provide information on awards or acknowledgements regarding civic engagement, please contact the CKI cki@nuigalway.ie. CKI Magazine 2016-2017 www.nuigalway.ie/cki | 9

Science Outreach


Developing National Outreach Models for Science Communication, Teaching and Learning The Cell EXPLORERS programme and activities

Cell EXPLORERS is an outreach and public engagement initiative based in the School of Natural Sciences of NUI Galway. Established and directed by Dr. Muriel Grenon, the programme promotes the research that takes place in the School of Natural Sciences and aims to “Inform, Inspire and Involve” people in the excitement of science. The initiative uses various interactive outreach approaches and activities, which are designed to give an insight into how scientists work on a daily basis and are linked to current scientific research. Activities include school visits, workshops at science festivals, Youth Academy science classes, holiday science camps and on-campus activities such as open days, public workshops and science fairs.

Cell EXPLORERS portfolio of activities. In the second strand of this outreach model these resources are demonstrated to a wider audience by a large volunteer team consisting of undergraduate and postgraduate students, lecturers and researchers. This model creates a sustainable outreach approach for higher education institutions and has the dual benefits of engaging the public in science, whilst also contributing to the training of tomorrow’s science communicators, whether they become educators or researchers.

The interaction with kids brings an awareness, a feeling of joy that is magical.

The Cell EXPLORERS science outreach model

The Cell EXPLORERS programme uses a unique two strand model. The first strand engages undergraduate and postgraduate students in science communication and educational outreach projects as part of their curriculum. Students have the opportunity to develop and pilot novel science outreach resources, which subsequently feed into a

- Volunteer

Cell EXPLORERS Expansion


Cell EXPLORERS has seen major developments since it began in the 2011/12

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academic year. The initiative started with a small group of NUI Galway volunteers visiting one primary school class in Galway city. In the 2015/16 academic year, over 160 volunteers engaged more than 6600 members of the public through hands-on science activities.

It really made biology interesting. My three children 12, 10 and 8 really enjoyed it as did I. - Parent

An exciting recent development has been the national expansion of the Cell EXPLORERS model to other higher education institutions. Cell EXPLORERS teams have now been established in the University of Limerick, Athlone Institute of Technology, the Institute of Technology Tralee and Dundalk Institute of Technology. These partner teams follow the Cell EXPLORERS volunteer model, with a local staff coordinator facilitating student and staff volunteers to demonstrate handson Cell EXPLORERS activities in schools

Science Outreach

Cell EXPLORERS National Network 7

Exis0ng reach  2015-­‐16    

Addi0onal reach  2017-­‐18  


Team Loca)ons  

1 2   3   4   5  








5 8  

10 www.cellexplorers.com

9 Na#onal  Virus   Reference     Laboratory  


around their institution. The expansion of the programme will continue next year with the set up of team based in Institute of Technology Carlow, Letterkenny Institute of Technology, NUI Maynooth, the National Virus Reference Laboratory UCD, University College Cork. These exciting developments are contributing to the creation of a science outreach network through which activities, learning and ideas can be shared. The aim is to investigate whether a sustainable outreach structure for institutions nationwide can be developed, so that all areas and audiences of Ireland can be reached.

It was great fun and we learned lots, everyone was really nice there too!! :) After the visit I decided when I grow up I want to be a scientist!! - Participant

- Teacher



Really enjoyable and memorable day. The children talk about it nearly every day since.



Name of programme Cell EXPLORERS Name of coordinator Dr. Muriel Grenon School/College: School of Natural Sciences, College of Science Public/community targeted: Primary and secondary school students, families, general public Reach: 6600 people directly reached in 20152016, over 16,500 people since set up in 2012 Geographical reach: National partner teams in partner institutions (Athlone IT, Dundalk IT, Limerick University, IT Tralee, IT Carlow, Letterkenny IT, NUI Maynooth, NVRL UCD, UCC) Type of activity run: Development of Educational science activities, School visits, workshops on and out of campus, holiday camps, teacher CPD workshops

Special features: Double educational aim, integrated science outreach projects for undergraduate science students, fee paying holiday science camps, internships for undergraduates Funding : Science Foundation Ireland, Galway University Foundation, Disciplines of Biochemistry & Microbiology, School of Natural Sciences, College of Science, Learning Societies. Team members: Undergraduates, postgraduates, research staff or alumni volunteers and students as part of their degree Size of the team: Approximately 160 in 2015-2016 Programme established in: 2011/12 Academic Year Evaluation tools: Surveys, questionnaires, interviews Impact: Double impact: 1) Sparkle love for science and promote interest in science’s career by engaging young people and their families 2) Train the next generation of science educators / professionals

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Community Based Research


Engaging People in Communities Ann Lyons

Gone but not forgotten: Legacies of community arts and culture as agency for social justice & transformation

What does EPIC do? The activities of EPIC revolve around community-based research and knowledge exchange between the wider community and the university. In community-based approaches to research, community and voluntary organisations are involved in research activities, in partnership with the university. Central to knowledge exchange activities is the creation of platforms and opportunities for the sharing and circulating of knowledge and resources. In the case of EPIC and its partner organisations, it includes a diverse range of activities, such as; the dissemination of research findings from the community-based research projects; co-hosting public talks and workshops with local organisations; organising talks by speakers – local, national and international – on topics related to the work of EPIC; board membership of local community and voluntary organisations; and facilitating the use of space in the university for events organised by organisations from the wider community. Creating Community-University Research Partnerships The particular community-based research model co-ordinated by EPIC involves creating community-university research partnerships between local organisations and post-graduate students who are doing research dissertations as part of their degree. This model of research partnership is informed by an initiative called Science Shop, which developed in the Netherlands in the 1970s – the word ‘science’ is used in a very general sense and covers all types of subject areas. So, in this model of communitybased research, partnerships are created between local community and voluntary organisations and post-graduate students in the university who are doing research dissertations. The topic for the research is chosen by the organisation, so that the research that is carried out reflects the interests of the organisation, and the organisation can participate and be consulted in different ways during the process of the research. This includes being able to

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use the findings that emerge from the research. One of the many advantages of community-based research is that organisations can get some research carried out that they may not have the time or resources to do themselves and students have an opportunity to do ‘real world’ research for their dissertation. The role of EPIC is to liaise between the different people involved – the organisation, the student and the student’s academic supervisor – and to support the research process at the various stages. To date, partnerships have been made between the MA in Social Work and local organisations including Jigsaw, Strengthening Families and COPE Waterside. The Galway Volunteer Centre has also partnered with the MSc in Human Resource Management. Projects currently being undertaken involve partnerships with the Galway Traveller Movement and St. Brigid’s Parish Community Group in Ballybane. Community – University Collaborations In the area of knowledge exchange EPIC has collaborated with a range of community and voluntary organisations in different types of activities. It is particularly pleased to facilitate access to space in the university, including in its new location at the Institute for Lifecourse & Society, situated in Dangan, Newcastle. An important objective of the Institute is to make space available to the wider community, and EPIC engages with a range of community and voluntary organisations to facilitate this. The space is used for a variety of events; meetings, exhibitions, talks and workshops. Recent events include a series of public talks on inter-culturalism in education, co-hosted with the Galway County Intercultural Forum, with talks given by NUI Galway staff from Geography, Education and the Child & Family Research Centre, who spoke about their research in this area. Collaboration on a similar theme is carried out with the Intercultural Diversity & Education Centre (IDEC), with EPIC represented on the board of IDEC and supporting its annual conference, held each year on International Human Rights Day. EPIC supported a symposium and concert organised by the

Community Based Research

Galway Traveller Movement Symposium & Concert, Whiden Toie: A Celebration of Traveller Culture – The Road to Recognition & Rights.

Galway Traveller Movement, to mark its 20th anniversary in 2015, entitled Whiden Toie: The Road to Recognition and Rights. The ceremony for the newly inaugurated Traveller Pride Awards was also held in the Institute for Lifecourse & Society, in June 2016. Recent Speakers and Exhibitions International speakers in the past year have included Dr. Crystal Tremblay and Maeve Lydon from the University of Victoria, Canada, who gave a talk on how video can be used in carrying out community-based research. TULCA, the local visual arts festival is held in November each year and EPIC collaborates with the festival in a variety of ways, including facilitating access to space in the university and making links between the work of the visual artists taking part in the festival and disciplines in the university. For example, last year’s festival, Seachange, was on the theme of the environment and climate change and academic staff from Geography, Geology and Irish contributed to a series of public talks held in the University and the festival gallery. In conjunction with the Galway University Hospitals Arts Trust and the CKI, The Institute for Lifecourse & Society was the venue for a Galway International Arts Festival exhibition in July of this year – The Savage loves his Native Shore – a collaborative visual art project with patients in the dialysis unit in a local hospital, facilitated by Marielle MacLeman. EPIC is involved in an ongoing collaboration with Blue Drum, a national organisation advocating for cultural rights and locally based cultural groups, co-organising workshops and developing a Charter for Cultural Rights. There are also collaborations between EPIC and other centres in the university, such as the Chimera visual art project at CÚRAM – a centre for research on medical devices – which brought together artists and scientists to investigate social and cultural issues regarding medical devices and tissue engineering. With regard to board membership of community and voluntary organisations, EPIC is represented on boards such as the ALa Participatory Theatre Group, the Intercultural & Diversity Education Centre, TULCA Visual Arts Festival, Domestic Violence Response and Galway County Intercultural Forum.

Images from ‘The Savage Loves His Native Shore’, an exhibition of works inspired by the West of Ireland - Galway University Hospitals Arts Trust & Galway International Arts Festival. Photos Copyright Paul Fennell

I hope this ‘snapshot’ of EPIC activities and partnerships provides an idea of our work. If you have any queries or have ideas for collaborations we would love to hear from you! Ann Lyons, the EPIC coordinator, can be contacted at: ann.lyons@nuigalway.ie or on 091-492228.

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Medical Outreach and Engagement

‘No Doctor No Village’


n this past year, staff and students from the Discipline of General Practice in the School of Medicine joined their GP colleagues and patients in rural Ireland launching a political campaign to highlight the loss of GP services in rural communities. In a community-led initiative, the ‘No Doctor No Village’ national campaign sees rural patients and GPs alike joining forces to save and protect the already limited GP service provided to isolated rural communities. Co-founder of this national campaign, and Senior Lecturer in General Practice, Dr. Liam Glynn, explains his motivations to create change for GPs and communities in rural Ireland. “As a GP serving a rural and remote community in Co Clare, I found it particularly poignant to see a whole generation of Rural GPs who are close to retirement totally disillusioned. They have spent their careers providing a critical service in their communities yet their practices had become unviable with little prospect of young GPs willing to continue the service in such remote, rural and often vulnerable communities”. Dr. Glynn was joined by colleagues in General Practice, Dr. Maureen Kelly and Prof. Andrew Murphy, at a series of public meetings held across rural communities in Galway, Mayo, Clare and Tipperary with involvement of GPs from Wexford to Donegal attended by several thousand rural patients. The first public commitment to the reinstatement of funding to Rural General Practice was given by Government TDs at one such public meeting in Corofin, Co Clare. This was followed by a General Election campaign which proved what can be done through such community action. This resulted in the historic election of a “No Doctor No Village” candidate, Dr Michael Harty to the 32nd Dail. More recently, Dr. Harty has been appointed as Chair of the powerful cross –party Oireachtas Health Committee which will greatly increase the potential of the campaign to realise its aims.

One of the mantras of the “No Doctor No Village” campaign was the immortal exclamation of statesman Edmund Burke “No one could make a greater mistake than he who did nothing because he could do only a little”. It is truly inspiring to see so many people come together and do a “little” and how this could change the course of history.

Clár Ambasadóireachta Scoil an Leighis


he Clár Ambasadóireachta Scoil an Leighis was set up by Dr Maureen Kelly, Discipline of General Practice, in 2011 as part of the Medical School’s strategy to widen access to the Medical School. The specific aim of this outreach programme was to set up a medical student ambassador programme to target Gaeltacht schools, with a view to encouraging interested Gaeltacht school leavers to apply to study medicine at NUI Galway. Workshops are delivered in the schools, by medical students, accompanied by a member of Faculty. On average ten schools are visited annually, in counties Galway and Donegal. At national school level the workshop aims to demystify what doctors do in a fun and child appropriate manner, involving games and interaction. At secondary level it presents medicine as a prospective career choice, shares medical students’ testimonials, summarises what the course entails and clarifies subject requirements and admission criteria.

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Joseph O Connor and Alison Fahey visit Scoil Einne, Spiddal.

Medical Outreach and Engagement


Schools Teaching Awareness of Randomised Trials

Clinicians Engaging With The Community T

Name of programme: START Schools Teaching Awareness of Randomised Trials Name of coordinator: Dr Sandra Galvin School/College: Health Research Board (HRB) - Trials Methodology Research Network (TMRN), School of Nursing & Midwifery, College of Medicine, Nursing and Health Sciences Public/community targeted: Primary school students and their teachers Reach: National Campaign Type of activity run: This was a national primary schools competition. Teachers and students were asked to identify a suitable research question they could answer scientifically using the information provided. The purpose of this competition is to help students become aware of the clinical trial process, rather than answering a ground breaking question. Schools picked a simple, easy to answer question, and used the proper steps of a clinical trial to answer it. Special features: An outreach competition. The aim was to mark International Clinical Trials Day (20 May) by creating awareness of clinical trials among the younger members of our community.

Funding : HRB with remainder of costs covered by HRB-TMRN Who volunteers? Staff of the HRB-TMRN (School of Nursing and Midwifery), PhD students of the HRB-TMRN nationally (TCD, UCC, NUIG) and undergraduate students (paid volunteers from nursing and midwifery) Size of the team: HRB-TRMN, approximately 10 members involved in this project. How long has the programme been established? Started in 2016, this will launch again for 2017. Impact: Currently assessing impact. This campaign was covered by RTÉ News 2 Day and TG4 Nuacht as well as Flirt FM, Galway Bay FM and the Irish Times. We have been contacted by research groups in Spain and Australia who would like to replicate this initiative. The campaign was also extensively promoted on social media.

he HRB Primary Care Clinical Trials Network Ireland (CTNI) is a collaborative partnership between NUI Galway, the Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland (RCSI), the Irish College of General Practitioners (ICGP) and Queen’s University Belfast and is led by NUI Galway’s Professor Andrew Murphy. Working closely with the public, patients and with GPs and other healthcare professionals, the Network aims to improve individual patient health and health care by conducting high quality randomised trials in Irish primary care, addressing important and common problems. A key focus of the Network is the involvement of members of the public throughout the research process – not as research participants, but as partners and advisors, helping to shape and guide the research. We have set up a Public and Patient Involvement (PPI) group, consisting of ten people drawn from the local community in county Galway. The members represent a broad, cross-section of the population, with a mix of gender, age, occupation, and health status, all of whom have their own history of life, of major or minor illnesses and of involvement with the healthcare system. The group meet at regular intervals with researchers to discuss research plans and drawing on their own, personal experience to inform their opinion, they give feedback on these plans. For example, the group gives feedback on draft protocols, gives advice on proposed recruitment strategies, comments on the language used in patient-focused study materials and contributes to the development of study data collection tools. The contribution of the group helps the researchers to conduct research that is more participant-friendly, improves communication with participants throughout the research process and ultimately leads to better research.

Photo: Carmel Geoghegan, a member of the PPI group CKI Magazine 2016-2017 www.nuigalway.ie/cki | 15

Service Learning

Overcoming Communication Disability as a Barrier to Inclusion in Teaching and Research In 2005/2006 Ruth McMenamin, lecturer in Speech and Language Therapy (SLT) successfully applied for seed funding from the CKI to establish a service learning Conversation Partner Programme (CPP) module in the undergraduate BSc in SLT. Since then, she has completed a PhD to determine how this module may be evaluated, using participatory methods to engage all stakeholders including; service users, students, health care providers and educators.


uth has taken the time to discuss her research and highlight that “by co-creating participatory spaces the ‘voice’ of all stakeholders can be heard, acknowledged, and valued.” What is the Conversation Partner Programme? The CPP creatively uses the resources of a novel Service Learning (SL) initiative at NUI Galway, where third year SLT students are paired with people living in the community who have aphasia. Aphasia is a chronic language disorder impairing speech, listening, reading and writing which can be acquired following a stroke. The SL CPP is a mandatory module during which, third year students engage in the CPP training which is delivered collaboratively by academic staff and aphasia trainers. Aphasia trainers are people with aphasia (PWA) who volunteered to be trainers. Following this training, students are paired with a peer and matched with a PWA with whom they engage in weekly conversation visits. This initiative was developed in collaboration with service users and the SLT Primary Community Continuing Care team in the Health Services Executive, West. SLTs working in the local community refer approximately 5–20 new PWA into the programme annually. The majority of PWA choose to continue their participation across several iterations of the programme (one iteration equates to 7-10 conversation visits) over a number of years.

Students meet PWA in the environment chosen by the PWA which may be their home or social location within the community i.e. a coffee shop. The SL CPP provides a unique opportunity for students to learn about the lived experience of aphasia and apply theory to practice in a relaxed environment which is different from the classroom or clinical settings. Reflective blogs are completed by students after each visit, along with fortnightly

tutorials and assessment involving individual and group work which facilitates students’ reflective practice and learning throughout the module. The programme is structured to provide the PWA both; the opportunity to practice conversation skills with unfamiliar interlocutors in a relaxed environment and to increase their feelings of social connectedness.

PWA co-researchers working on a flexible brainstorming exercise

Can you explain what motivated you to evaluate this programme for your PhD? Given the fact that one third of the 176,000 people in the UK and Ireland diagnosed with stroke annually will experience aphasia, this is an area of practice that requires significant attention. One of the most disabling impacts of aphasia is the way that it excludes the person from everyday conversation and PWA frequently experience social isolation and marginalisation. The CPP is a community based aphasia intervention that offers one solution to enhance the communicative competence and life participation of PWA. Policy imperatives for Patient and Public Involvement (PPI) and the recommendations of the World Report on Disability (WHO) outline the importance to involve service users in service design and evaluation. However, PWA are often excluded because of their communication disability. The motivation for this evaluation stemmed from the fact that currently there is no national or international system for evaluating CPPs. This participatory research study included PWA and other key

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stakeholders as co-researchers in a multiperspectival evaluation of the programme which achieved these policy imperatives. Can you briefly explain your methodological approach to the research? I used a participatory learning and action (PLA) research approach in the evaluation of the service learning CPP. The goal of PLA is to maximize the participation of those whose life or work is the subject of the research in all stages of the research process, meaning that they are regarded as co-researchers. The researcher and participants co-create data that is intended to positively impact participants’ lives.

There were 26 participants in this study including; PWA (5), SLTs (5), students (9), educators (6) and the CPP coordinator (1). All 26 participants were involved as coresearchers. A range of PLA techniques e.g. Flexible Brainstorming and Card Sort, were used to generate and analyse data. In individual or interstakeholder groups (n=22), co-researchers explored the lived experience of aphasia and identified CPP evaluation criteria. The principles of thematic analysis guided the co-analysis of data generated with stakeholder groups. The effectiveness of SL was explored with key stakeholder groups using: qualitative methods such as, PLA focus groups, interviews and orthodox focus groups and through a critical review of the SL literature in pre-professional healthcare curricula. What conclusion can you draw from this community engaged research? This study critically interrogated communication disability as a barrier to inclusion in research. Participatory research methods enabled PWA and other key stakeholders to meaningfully participate as co-researchers in this research. These coresearchers evaluated the service learning conversation intervention and examined the impacts of service learning as a

Service Learning

Interesting Findings from this Research Study The Voice of People with Aphasia One of the key research questions in this study aimed to determine how the lived experience of having aphasia, affected people’s lives. The participatory approach used in this research enabled the co-researchers with aphasia to generate these eight themes which capture, in their own words, their response to this question. The development of these themes also demonstrates that disabilities in communication were overcome to enable people to express themselves effectively in response to this question.

(1) Back to pre-school

(2) Tiredness

(3) It’s Like in Prison

(4) Emotions

(5) Not able to talk the words

(6) Escape

(7) Changing

(8) Family

People with aphasia reported that participation in the Conversation Partner Programme Minimised feelings of

Increased feelings of

• Isolation

• Social Connectedness

• Communicative Incompetence

How to Evaluate the CPP This research engaged all stakeholders including, PWA, health care professionals, students and academic researchers, to determine how the CPP should be evaluated. These five items represent the agreed and prioritised evaluation criteria for the CPP from the multiperspectival evaluation of all co-researchers. This aspect of the study acknowledged that those who have experiential knowledge, either personally or professionally, have increased insight and ability to understand and interpret experience.

(1) shared understanding of structure, (2) clarity about the programme, (3) agreed evaluation mechanism, (4) linking with other organisations and (5) feedback

Service Learning, a suitable Pedagogical Tool Service Learning appears to be an appropriate pedagogical tool to underpin the CPP because it supports mutuality and reciprocity in university and community partnerships. However the inconsistency in terminology to describe SL internationally and the paucity of robust methodological studies to establish effectiveness definitely warrants further research.

Co-researchers with personal experience of aphasia from the Conversation Partner Programme Evaluation team

pedagogical tool. This novel collaborative work generated new empirical evidence about the lived experience of aphasia and resulted in agreed CPP evaluation criteria. This study also found that SL is a suitable pedagogical tool to embed the CPP in a higher education setting. These findings will directly impact the Galway service learning CPP and may be transferable to other similar conversation interventions nationally and internationally. I believe that the findings and methods used in this research will be of interest to healthcare professionals; service users; educators and researchers seeking to involve marginalised groups, especially people with aphasia, in scholarship and research. Do you have any personal reflections about your community engaged research? By co-creating participatory spaces the ‘voice’ of all stakeholders can be heard, acknowledged, and valued. It has been my experience that listening to and understanding the knowledge held by each stakeholder within the research process, contributes to different ways of understanding that are complementary and avoid the traditional hierarchical approach taken in research studies. Critical selfreflection was a core feature throughout the research process, the knowledge I have learned from my fellow co-researchers has resulted in a transformative paradigm shift for me as an individual, educator and researcher. I would like to thank all of the participants who acted as co-researchers in this study and who willingly shared their experiential knowledge and co-created new learning about the service learning CPP in our participatory spaces. What are the NEXT STEPS for the Service Learning CPP? The co-researchers were enthusiastic in their vision for the future of the CPP and aim to develop public awareness about aphasia, educate community members, especially those working in public facilities about supportive communication strategies and create ‘an aphasia friendly city’ in Galway. I look forward to working with all co-researchers and implementing this vision for an ‘Aphasia friendly Galway’. You can contact Ruth on ruth.mcmenamin@nuigalway.ie to learn more about any aspect of this article. CKI Magazine 2016-2017 www.nuigalway.ie/cki | 17



LIVE (A Learning Initiative and the Volunteering Experience), NUI Galway’s student volunteer programme, was established by the CKI to harness, acknowledge and support the contribution that NUI Galway students make by volunteering. The ALIVE programme offers an extensive range of volunteering opportunities to students, allowing their own interests and passions to guide their engagement and contribute to the capacity of their communities. The goal of NUI Galway’s internationally

acclaimed student volunteering programme, is not only to connect students with volunteer vacancies in Galway but also mould and design graduates who make meaningful contributions to society as future volunteers and community actors. Lorraine Tansey, ALIVE Coordinator, feels that “Volunteering makes a difference. Students at NUI Galway are encouraged to volunteer to learn valuable civic skills that will enhance all of our communities into the future.”

The students who engage in the ALIVE programme continue to show unbelievable commitment, innovation and creativity in what they do. The following provides some examples of the inspiring work of recent student volunteers. NUI Galway Student Volunteer Achieves National Award In December 2015, Barry Foley, who has since qualified with a BSc in Occupational Therapy from NUI Galway, won the National Award for Volunteering in the category of Health and Disability at the Volunteer Ireland awards. Barry began volunteering with Ability West while he was completing two courses in Community College Galway, one to become a qualified fitness instructor and one to become qualified as a Special Needs Assistant. Barry put his volunteering skills to good use to facilitate people with intellectual disabilities to access local community gym facilities. This allowed Barry to integrate and develop his skills working in both of these areas, and also incorporate his belief and passion to promote mainstream social inclusion for people with disabilities.

gym facilities and the fact that he uses the same approach as he would in any gym class he provides, ‘as an instructor, I treat everyone equally, there’s no concessions and everyone can work well together.’ Similarly he describes how this work is important to challenge attitudes and perceptions, where sometimes people think a ‘softer’ approach is required but Barry continued ‘I let them know when they need to push themselves more, I give out to them and they give out to me, but that’s what mates do’. Staff from Ability West, who nominated Barry for this award, have acknowledged the work and commitment that Barry has provided. Speaking on behalf of Ability West, Linda Keane reported that “Barry has

Barry recalled that he was motivated to do this work because he felt that ‘people with disabilities, especially intellectual disabilities, have the ability and the need to engage in exercise the same way anybody does.’ Barry described the value of this work and how it can break down barriers and promote integration, ‘People I know would have never spoken to someone with Down’s Syndrome or another type of disability. By including people with intellectual disabilities it allows people within mainstream society to see people as individuals and can reduce the fears related to disability.’ Barry also discussed how he felt that this initiative has worked so well because of the strong connections with the 18 | CKI Magazine 2016-2017 www.nuigalway.ie/cki

made a difference to the lives of so many. In my 10 years as Volunteer Manager, no volunteer has shown our service users more what they are capable of achieving, in such a positive way.” Linda highlighted the importance of this work in breaking down barriers and promoting positive attitudes within the community. She also emphasised how this work can do so much to promote mainstream inclusion for people in minority groups, such as those with an intellectual disability. Barry continues to volunteer with Ability West, enabling two groups to access their local gyms on a weekly basis, as well as working on many other initiatives which promote social inclusion and independent living for individuals.

Barry Foley, with Linda Keane from Ability West (far right), Lorraine Tansey (far left) and NUI Galway President Dr James Browne.


The Brain Café: NUI Galway’s Second Annual Undergraduate Conference A team of undergraduate and postgraduate student volunteers collaborated with Lorraine Tansey to organise, promote and run every aspect of this undergraduate research conference in March 2016. ‘The Brain Café’ provides a platform for enthusiastic undergraduate researchers to present their work in a supportive and fun environment. Céire Broderick, chair of the Brain Café steering committee and NUI Galway postgraduate student, reported that this event, ‘gives students the opportunity and the encouragement to go out there and present their research to those in their field.’ Felipe Amaya, a student volunteer, also reported that the Brain Cafe is ‘a more relaxed way of presenting what you’ve got and it saves you from getting a bit anxious if you’re one of those people who finds that big public speaking in front of a crowd difficult.’

Students presenting their research to their peers at The Brain Cafe 2016.

Céire also described that the conference used a world café format, meaning that students sat and presented at round tables with 8-10 individuals at each table. Aaron Kilboy an undergraduate researcher stated that the Brain Café was ‘a fantastic opportunity to get some feedback on research that we’ve done as students, not just from lecturers or people who are specifically in our field.’ Aaron explained ‘there’s going to be, at my table, people from nursing, engineering, arts, people that might ask questions that I may have overlooked in what I’ve done.’ This student-led, student-focused initiative is the brain child of Lorraine Tansey, who praised all involved for the high calibre research presented on the day. This event allows students to not only develop their communication skills, but fosters an awareness and engages students in discussions related to various study disciplines and facilitates a diverse learning experience.

Ceremony These examples only provide a taster of the range of volunteering activities the thousands of NUI Galway student volunteers engage in each year. Students who engage in the ALIVE programme and who complete a reflection of this experience, are acknowledged annually, with over 1,000 receiving volunteering awards at a ceremony on campus in April 2016. The theme for the 2016 award ceremony was ‘Volunteering for Social Change’ and showcased a diverse range of student activists with passions for promoting LGBTQ rights, developing political awareness amongst young people and promoting social inclusion for minority groups. The ALIVE certificate acknowledges volunteering efforts made by NUI Galway students both on and off campus in a range of clubs, societies and community-based organisations. CKI Magazine 2016-2017 www.nuigalway.ie/cki | 19


StudentVolunteer.ie, the ‘One Stop Shop’ for Volunteering, nominated as Finalists in the THINKTECH Awards: Creating Ideas for a Better Ireland


he ALIVE programme has pioneered and developed the first online resource to ‘match-make’ students to community volunteer roles. The development of this online resource demonstrates ALIVE’s continued dedication to create sustainable solutions and enable the progression of young activists in their journey to create more equal societies. Lorraine Tansey Student Volunteer Coordinator at NUI Galway has worked with the Irish Universities Association and Campus Engage to develop StudentVolunteer.ie. This is an online student civic engagement platform, matching students with volunteering opportunities to make impact and change in their communities for all Higher Education Institutions of Ireland. This online resource received national recognition when it was shortlisted as a finalist in the 2016 THINKTECH awards, a €1 million project to grow ideas for a better Ireland. This ‘one stop shop for volunteering’ was launched in September 2016 and has been created in partnership with a number of Higher Education Institutions in Ireland. Speaking about StudentVolunteer.ie, Lorraine Tansey has said that this “is an exciting new portal for young people to sign up to volunteer, manage their community engagement and reflect on their learning for a campus recognition certificate. NGOs are also welcome to add their volunteering roles addressing a wide range of issues from environmental concerns, social justice, or children and youth work to StudentVolunteer.ie for students across Ireland to see.” The portal provides an online mechanism to mobilise civically responsible graduates with an understanding of the cause and effect of grand social challenges. The tool offers students a platform to build a ‘twenty first century skills portfolio’ acquired through volunteering. It also offers higher education management extractable data on the social impact of volunteering at a local, national and international level.


tudentVolunteer.ie is an innovative approach, using technology, which demonstrates how volunteering, community engagement and

NUI Galway Volunteer Fair 2014

technology can work together to create solutions for social equality in Ireland. When speaking prior to the THINKTECH awards, Minister Simon Coveney, T.D., said, “I am delighted to see such a wide range of impactful technology-driven solutions to the social issues we all want to see resolved in Ireland.” Director of Google.org, Jacqueline Fuller said, “These ideas are becoming a reality and addressing a wide range of social issues...We see great potential for these ideas to make a lasting impact and they also demonstrate Google’s view that technology has the power to make a real difference and create positive change in society.” StudentVolunteer.ie is funded by each Higher Education member institution and Campus Engage. It was built by Campus Engage’s Kate Morris and the Working Group Convenors Gabriella Hanrahan (UL), Joanna Ozarowska (DCU) and Lorraine Tansey (NUI Galway) in conjunction with their team of contributors. The THINKTECH initiative is run by the Social Innovation Fund Ireland and funded by Google and the Department of Housing, Planning, Community & Local Government.


hen speaking at the launch of StudentVolunteer.ie Dr Pat Morgan, NUI Galway Vice President for the Student Experience reported that

Students and community partners celebrate the launch of StundentVolunteer.ie in September 2016 20 | CKI Magazine 2016-2017 www.nuigalway.ie/cki

“NUI Galway truly values experiential education and nurturing students’ sense of community. We achieve this ambitious goal with our wider community with a wide range of benefits for all. This means our students learn communication and teamwork skills, alongside meeting the vital needs of our communities most vulnerable. Finally, we strive to offer all our students the opportunities to build their own ideas and be innovative, responsive and entrepreneurial within their communities.”


The ALIVE Civic Engagement Fund Allows Volunteering to Grow into Something Bigger ALIVE strives to support student volunteers to develop their skills, confidence and means to create new and innovative methods to engage with the community and share a passion for social change. The ALIVE Civic Engagement Fund provides an example of how ALIVE can act as the catalyst to enable students to develop tangible solutions in response to their desire for social justice and creating change. The Student ‘Fáilte Refugees’ Campaign provides one example of the lengths that student activists can go to, taking their volunteering to new, socially innovative and self motivated levels. This initiative has been developed by seven NUI Galway students who attended the national meeting to create a new student-led campaign and advocate to Irish politicians to fulfil their promise of welcoming at least 4,000 Syrian Refugees into Ireland.

The purpose of the fund is to provide a space for students to deepen their volunteering beyond helpful support, to create their own social innovations to address social justice concerns. Students not only volunteer to create change and provide key supports but they also take the lead and see how change can come about from taking an idea through to action.

GAISCE Awards Arecent Gaisce Bronze ceremony held on NUI Galway campus, hosted by ALIVE and organised by students from the School of Cairnes. This project is a partnership with Oughterad Youth Café and St. Paul’s Secondary School. The Gaisce award is a personal challenge for young people to engage with their communities and develop personal skills. The ALIVE programme supports students to achieve these awards.

“There’s so many volunteering options available to students that it would be a shame not to sample some of them as you might find something that you really enjoy. My advice for anyone who is considering volunteering would be choose an area that is of interest to you. The volunteering is a lot more rewarding if you can enjoy and look forward to the work you are doing. When I was studying Electronic and Computer Engineering, I volunteered with Age Action Ireland teaching older people to use computers and I also volunteered with CoderDojo teaching children to code. It could open up more opportunities for you and it is something that potential employers have always asked me about.” Julie O’Connor NUI Galway Graduate in B.ENG. 2016

ALIVE Promote Academic Research in Student Volunteering NUI Galway hosted the first Symposium on Student Volunteering in July 2016 to build the peer-reviewed research landscape needed to address the scarcity in student engagement literature, from the Irish higher education perspective. The recent expansion of Irish Higher Education Institutions community engagement initiatives supporting student volunteering raises important questions and the Symposium is a critical, safe place to build a scholarly layer of enquiry. The Symposium, which was attended by volunteer coordinators from across Ireland, saw a showcase of research findings on volunteer motivations, barriers, and experiences from NUI Galway, DCU, NGOs, Comhlámh and Gaisce. Lorraine Tansey, Student Volunteer Programme, ALIVE Coordinator, said: “We are delighted to see a debate and discussion on a topic that can often be simply seen as a benevolent act. Current trends and our ability to inspire the future generation of volunteers are at stake. We hope annually we can lead the national conversation and create rich theory and data to create the policies needed to support student civic learning.” CKI Magazine 2016-2017 www.nuigalway.ie/cki | 21

Public Engagement

CÚRAM working to create a Scientifically Informed and Engaged Public For CÚRAM, the Science Foundation Ireland (SFI) Centre for Research in Medical Devices, working with community partners is key to the success of their public engagement programme. The two specific initiatives; Science On Screen and The Artists in Residence programme, which are currently underway, illustrate how the Centre aims to create a scientifically informed and engaged public. Both initiatives are funded through SFI’s Discover Programme, with the CKI part funding the Artists in Residence programme. Science on Screen Together with Galway Film Centre, under the Galway UNESCO City of Film designation, CÚRAM’s ‘Science on Screen’ project aims to facilitate, promote and increase the inclusion of science content in Irish film and TV production. The Science on Screen project funds two short science films each year which tell the story of current research in CÚRAM and its impact on our society. It was launched in January 2016 after which CÚRAM hosted an information day for filmmakers, where leading scientists gave a breakdown of their research and explained the purpose, methodology and every day application of their work to participants. Filmmakers and production companies applied to the partnership and filmmakers were shortlisted and selected on the basis of experience and the creative approach to the project. Filmmakers Mia Mullarkey and Alice McDowell will co-direct and co-produce Feats of Modest Valour, which will investigate the challenging physical reality for three individuals living with Parkinson’s Disease. The film features the EU funded BrainMatTrain project, which investigates novel biomaterials-based treatments for Parkinson’s Disease that could potentially halt or even cure the devastating disease and the profound impact this will have on people with Parkinson’s Disease, both nationally and worldwide.

‘Mending Legends’ will explore the physical and psychological impact of tendon injuries amongst sports players and will visit the team of CÚRAM researchers who are trying to design a new type of tendon implant – in the form of the world’s first 3D cell assembled tendon prototype. The ‘Tendon Therapy Train’ research 22 | CKI Magazine 2016-2017 www.nuigalway.ie/cki

project is led by Dr Dimitrios Zeugolis. Mending Legends is directed by Paul Webster and produced by James Ryan of Station House Media.

Artists in Residence at CÚRAM The Artists in Residence programme at CÚRAM was originally developed and curated by Andrea Fitzpatrick with support from Ann Lyons, CKI, as a pilot project called ‘CHIMERA Art and Science’ in 2015, which aimed to investigate the meeting point of art and science. The project brought artists and scientists together to create a dialogue around the cultural issues of tissue engineering and medical devices at CÚRAM. The project hosted two artists in residence, Siobhan McGibbon and Joanna Hopkins, and a student project comprising of eleven students from the Centre for Creative Arts and Media, Galway Mayo Institute of Technology. The focus of the project was to develop a visual arts research project within the CÚRAM laboratories, exploring experimental practice and investigating the resulting composite space of enquiry. Artists were given full access to the CÚRAM laboratories and its staff and artist studio spaces were also provided on the NUI Galway campus. An exhibit of their work, called ‘The Future is Here’ was shown at the Galway City Museum from October 30th to December 23rd 2015 and received over 16,000 visitors in that time.

Following this successful project, the artists in residence programme has been incorporated as a key part of CÚRAMs Public Engagement plan. The goal is to provide visiting artists with the opportunity to interact with leading researchers, entrepreneurs and other creative individuals and get inspiration from a dynamic scientific environment to inform their work and allow them to incorporate scientific concepts or elements of the experience into what they produce, be it sculpture, interactive display, written work or theatre.

Public Engagement


Threesis is an academic challenge for staff, researchers and students to present their research using 3 slides, in 3 minutes to 3 judges in a way that anyone and everyone can understand.

Threesis Winner, Paul Mannion I participated on behalf of the Geec (Galway Efficient Energy Car) team to bring the knowledge of our ongoing efforts to design, build and test eco friendly cars here in NUI Galway to a local audience. We are quite proud of our achievements and our claim to Ireland’s most fuel efficient car. For myself, it provided invaluable experience at presenting research to a booked out audience. Workshops facilitated by Threesis most certainly improved my presenting skills, and aided in overcoming nerves. Standing under a spotlight on a stage and speaking to an audience you cannot see is a challenge for many, especially myself. As a researcher, it’s extremely important to be able to communicate effectively to an audience who may not have prior knowledge of your field of study. It is a skill gained through practice and experience. Threesis provided the opportunity for both, and will most certainly have an impact on future presentations I make.

Judge: Dr Miriam Haughton, Centre for Drama, Theatre and Performance, School of Humanities Threesis is a challenging yet rewarding platform for emerging scholars to bring their research to the wider public. Students from across disciplines come together and present their ideas, works in progress and aspirations to the public. It is a daunting task, and as a judge, observing the added pressure that comes from the live public speaking element really emphasized how important these opportunities are for emerging scholars as they prepare to enter the workforce. However, it is also a great reminder that the purpose of gaining knowledge is to contribute to society, and to do that effectively, academia must dialogue openly and frequently with its communities. The heats and final competition are dynamic events but also friendly and supportive. An extensive breadth of multidisciplinary research is presented and there is a significant sense of achievement and pride at the end. Threesis makes visible how the scholarly community is engaged in the major questions confronting society, culture, state, and industry.

Pint of Science Galway


int of Science is the largest festival of science globally, taking place each year over 3 days in May in multiple pubs across eleven countries in 50 cities. The idea is to bring scientists into the pub to present and discuss their research work with the general public in a relaxed atmosphere, and in an easily accessible style. Speakers have included scientists from departments or research centres in NUI Galway, GMIT and the Marine Institute as well as local science and technology companies.

Coordinating team: Dr. Roisin Dwyer, Dr. Sonja Khan, Dr. Muriel Grenon & Dr. Claire Concannon School/College: College of Science and College of Medicine, Nursing and Health Sciences Public/community targeted: General public with an interest in science Reach: 167 people in 2016 Type of activity run: Public lectures are provided in a pub setting. Research scientists talk about their work in an accessible way in this informal setting. Funding: College of Science, MSC Who volunteers? Staff members and postgraduate students Size of the team: 31 in 2015, 16 in 2016 (including speakers) How long has the programme been established? Since 2015 Evaluation tools: Attendees complete a questionnaire, speakers are asked for feedback on the evening. Impact: Engage members of the public in the research work happening in their locality.

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Community Based Research

Understanding Young People’s Experience of Parental Separation Research partners Ann O’Kelly, PhD candidate in UNESCO Child and Family Research Centre (CFRC) and fourteen youth researchers aged between 9 and 19 have written, directed and produced two educational videos, ‘Dear Parents; Dear Friends’ and ‘It’s OK’. These videos are a product of participatory doctoral research, exploring young people’s experience of parental separation.


hese two videos, outlined on page 25, are an outcome from Ann O’Kelly’s participatory doctoral research and have been produced in association with Foróige, Ireland’s national youth development organisation and TechSpace, a Creative Youth Education Programme. Ann has expressed that the empathy, thinking and learning displayed within these videos highlights for her, how the purely adult-centric way of organising children’s and young people’s lives needs to be challenged through the inclusion of their views. “You need to hear the voices, you need to ensure that listening has happened and that it’s not just going to sit, that there’s going to be an influence of some sort”. Ann was inspired to use a participatory research approach with young people, following 17 years’ experience as a family mediator, working with families who were separating. In this time she recognised a mismatch between parents’ views of their children’s experience and the level of awareness that these young people actually had. In an effort to try to explore this, she engaged 14 young people in this research and over a two year period; completed individual interviews, maintained regular contact and arranged a collective group meeting for reflection. Ann wanted to allow these young people to realise their own views and facilitate these views to be expressed and heard. Ann has reported that from this research she has learned a valuable lesson in trusting the process of participatory research. It was during the reflective

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session, when the young people could discuss what they had gained from the process, this was when the participants decided that they wanted to disseminate their findings by producing videos and their roles evolved from research participants, to research leaders. The children and young people participating as researchers on the project expressed many outcomes coming from their experience in this project. There was a keen recognition for the level of support they each felt from being part of the group and also how much their understanding of the research and the issues around it progressed through the process. This is clear in one youth researcher’s claim in a casual discussion about dealing with parental separation that: “It’s a bit like a shadow, isn’t it? And sometimes the shadow gets bigger and sometimes it gets smaller”. Ann has also commended the input from Foróige and TechSpace, who provided the physical space and supportive environment which was invaluable for this project. These elements allowed the young people to develop their ideas, learn how a project like this develops and involve themselves in every aspect of the process. They created dialogues and decided on ways of presenting the messages they wanted to share. It was this process that has led to the production of these videos. Ann commends the strength of the videos and their value, but says that she feels a sense of responsibility beyond that. It is imperative for her that services such as family court and mediation

Community Based Research

‘Dear Parents; Dear Friends’ “This is what we wanted you to know, this would have helped us, we hope it helps you” This video identifies the difficult aspects of parental separation and divorce as expressed by the youth researchers. It provides positive suggestions, especially for parents, to help children and young people overcome these challenges. The importance of having support from friends when difficulties arise is also highlighted as a key need for young people.

“Dear friends, I know that it is not easy to know what to do, but I’d still like you to be there for me when I need you, even though I might not always say what’s on my mind”

‘It’s OK’

Parental Separation “It’s OK to talk about it” This video is aimed at primary school children and teachers and highlights the need for the subject of parental separation and divorce to be discussed openly with young children in school. The youth researchers wanted their peers to know that they are not alone in their feelings of isolation or confusion.

“It’s normal and I know I’m normal too”

services, all of which are developed by adults with no input from children and young people, also gain access to the findings of this participatory research. A quote from an email written to Ann by one of the youth researchers in relation to her participation in this research says it all: “I never thought when I was 10 years old that my situation could be used to benefit other people. My voice was heard, and I am so grateful for that. I have made some great friends through this project, and I have learned to appreciate the power of young people’s minds.” To watch these videos and learn more information about participatory research with youth researchers in NUI Galway please access this link http://www.childandfamilyresearch.ie/cfrc/ youth-as-researchers/ CKI Magazine 2016-2017 www.nuigalway.ie/cki | 25

Community Engagement

Youth Academy N

UI Galway is committed to sharing knowledge with the wider community and in particular young people. The Youth Academy at NUI Galway works with high ability 4th, 5th and 6th class primary school students to support their learning and academic development. Since we started in 2012, almost 2000 students from across the Western region have taken part in specially designed courses. Every Saturday morning hundreds of students attend classes on campus and learn firsthand from our lecturers and post-graduate students. The courses on offer are outside of the primary school curriculum which allows students the opportunity to explore different areas of study, in a fun and interactive way. Courses range from Engineering to Art, Mandarin to Law and Social Innovation to Creative Writing. On the final day of the Youth Academy a graduation ceremony takes place where students receive certificates of participation from the President of NUI Galway. Families and friends are invited on campus to share in the celebrations. Demand for the programme has soared and is increasing yearly. In the past year alone almost 700 students attended a choice of 38 weekend courses and a week long summer camp at NUI Galway.

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Community Engagement

Youth Academy has been excellent for me as a teacher – providing very different challenges to what I’m normally used to. I have loved every minute, and I know that most of our students have too. – Psychology Instructor

I liked the innovation of NUI Galway to bridge the gap between the enthusiastic and encouraging delivery of education to talented young students in primary school with third level. – Parent

I liked the chance to extend my knowledge and to learn about something I had never covered before. The lecturer was great and I enjoyed the activities. – Student

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Community Engagement

Cmdr Chris Hadfield, Candian Astronaut with pupils at the ReelLIFE Science finals in 2015.


Engaging students to research and communicate scientific topics using film Enda O’Connell (NCBES), Creator of ReelLIFE SCIENCE


’m a Senior Technical Officer in the National Centre for Biomedical Engineering Science (NCBES), managing the High Throughput Screening and Genomics Core Facility, supporting biomedical research in areas including stem cell biology, drug discovery and cancer biology. My first involvement with outreach was winning the inaugural ‘I’m a Scientist…get me out of here’ science communication competition in 2012. The following year, I used that prize money, a Students’ Union EXPLORE Innovation Initiative Award, and the considerable help of Dr. Muriel Grenon from the Cell EXPLORERS outreach programme, to set up ReelLIFE SCIENCE. I liked the idea of ‘outreach without going out’, as funding and time constraints made visiting schools difficult. So I developed ReelLIFE SCIENCE to facilitate the students and teachers to direct their own learning and pass on their knowledge to others via video. The work involves organising photoshoots, designing posters, managing and updating websites and social media accounts (e.g. @ReelLifeScience), writing press releases, recruiting volunteers, coordinating the judging, screening videos at the ‘ReelLIFE SCIENCE Cinema’ at the Galway Science and Technology Festival and evaluating everything at the end of the year. It can be hectic,

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but is hugely rewarding and I’ve met some amazing people over the years, from astronauts to zoologists to the students and their immensely proud families. ReelLIFE SCIENCE will continue to grow, and the plan is to bring the programme to a new target audience of local and national community groups in 2017, with the support of the CKI. In 2015, SFI published the ‘Science in Ireland Barometer’, revealing that 41% of the public are disinterested in science, while 51% feel uninformed. Significantly, however, 89% of people recognise that science is important for improving human health, while 85% believe it is important that people have a good understanding of science as it impacts on all of our lives. This demonstrates there is considerable scope for engaging the public outside the classroom, particularly the disengaged and disenfranchised, who, as is evident from the data, may be keen to learn about science, but lack the opportunity to do so. By expanding the successful ReelLIFE SCIENCE format to community groups, inviting new and often difficult-to-reach audiences to engage, the project will facilitate self-directed science education and foster a passion for science and communication.

Community Engagement

Facts about ReelLIFE SCIENCE Public/community targeted: Primary

and Secondary school students as direct participants, with the general public as a significant secondary audience.

thousands of students to actively engage with a science topic. In order to communicate a topic it must be well researched and understood. So students explore its details as a group led either by a teacher, or are facilitated to engage in selfdirected learning. The process of scripting, storyboarding and filming a video enables students to appreciate the subject in a novel and memorable way. The general public are a significant secondary audience who view the short science videos at public screenings and online, which provides the opportunity to learn about science in an entertaining manner.

Who volunteers? Each year, a team

of approximately 50 volunteers assist in judging the hundreds of videos received, to compile a shortlist for the special guest judges. This team is made up of science students (undergraduates and postgraduates), staff (academic, technical and administrative) and recently graduated alumni, keen to continue supporting the initiative.

Size of the team: Approximately 50


How long has the programme been established? ReelLIFE SCIENCE was

piloted in Galway schools in 2013, and with support of SFI funding, launched nationwide in 2014.

Evaluation tools: Firstly, before the

Reach: Since launching in 2013, more than 5,000 students in 178 schools in 25 counties have taken part in ReelLIFE SCIENCE, while the short science videos they produced have been viewed more than 65,000 times in 130 countries. Type

of activity run: ReelLIFE SCIENCE is a science video competition where students research and communicate a scientific topic via a short animated or live action film. The programme aims to encourage an interest in science, while developing participants’ communication, multimedia and digital skills.

programme commences each year, a formative evaluation is carried out to implement outcomes from the previous year’s evaluation report, to improve the competition and the new participants’ experience. Secondly, the students’ videos are submitted via an online application form, which incorporates a built-in process evaluation, gathering participant statistics (no. of students, classes/years involved, time spent on the project, etc.) and assessing the effectiveness of various marketing methods. Finally, a summative evaluation is performed via a SurveyMonkey. An online feedback form is sent to all participants to determine participants’ experience, where they could have used more support (technical, scientific or other) and their likelihood of taking part again and if they would recommend taking part to a friend.

Impact: Public interest and understanding of science is stimulated by encouraging

The programme enables teachers to employ different teaching methods, encouraging creativity and communication skills, while incorporating group-learning and technology into a science-based project. The videos themselves are made freely available as a teaching and learning resource for teachers and students. The competition benefits NUI Galway staff and students by enabling volunteer researchers to communicate their research activities to the general public via short blog articles or videos published online. Previous articles have featured NUI Galway-based research as diverse as Honeybee Health, Exploring Ireland’s Deep Sea Habitats, Smart Medical Devices and Stem Cell Research. Moreover, many ReelLIFE SCIENCE volunteers have gone on to participate in other outreach activities, such as school visits and the Galway Science and Technology Festival. For more information, see www.reellifescience.com.

Special features: Each year, the winning videos are selected by a panel of special guest judges, who have included Canadian Astronaut Cmdr. Chris Hadfield, Mathematician and Broadcaster Aoibhinn Ní Shúilleabháin and a number of prominent Irish and international scientists. The winning videos are awarded a total of €3000, to spend on their schools’ science programme, and the students are invited to the Galway Science and Technology Festival to see their videos being screened for the general public. Funding:

ReelLIFE SCIENCE is currently funded by the Science Foundation Ireland (SFI) Discover programme and the CÚRAM Centre for Research in Medical Devices. In 2017, ReelLIFE SCIENCE will also be funded by the CKI Seed Funding Development Scheme to bring the programme to a new target audience of local and national community groups.

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Multidisciplinary Engagement

100 Shades of Grey Disseminating Sexual Health Research using Theatre and SMART Consent Workshops In 2014 Dr Pádraig MacNeela completed a collaborative research project with Rape Crisis Network Ireland, titled ‘Young People, Alcohol and Sex: What’s Consent Got to Do With It?’ This research has since prompted a comprehensive range of follow up by Dr MacNeela and PhD students at the School of Psychology at NUI Galway. This has included a survey of over 1,200 students conducted by Elaine Byrnes, a PhD candidate in Psychology. This survey found that lifetime prevalence of reported unwanted sexual contact by means of force or threats of force was 25% among female students (and 6% among male students). Unfortunately, similar statistics have also been produced within international studies from the USA and across Europe, showing that this is a prevalent issue requiring action in the higher education sector. The Use of Theatre Academic collaborations have since formed between the School of Psychology and the School of Drama and Performance where Dr Charlotte McIvor has been responsible for developing the academic module for third year NUI Galway students, ‘Contemporary Drama: Text and Performance’. This module has engaged students to devise and produce the theatre piece‘100 Shades of Grey’, which explores the serious and prevalent issues surrounding the experience of sexual assault and the definition of consent within sexual encounters in contemporary times. This project provides an inspiring and dynamic example of how students, academic staff and community partners can collaborate and engage with important and intense subject matter to produce effective means to educate and disseminate academic research results with the wider population. Dr McIvor reports that she has ‘had a long-time activist interest in sexual assault on college campuses, in particular as an educator and theatre-maker’ and this academic project has been ‘catalyzed by her colleague Dr Pádraig MacNeela’ who approached her after completing his report. SMART Consent Initiative This initiative delivers sexual consent workshops to students and is an additional approach that has been developed to use these research findings to support students to engage with a positive model of sexual consent based on mutuality, agreement and communication. Students who take part in the SMART Consent workshop never have to disclose any personal information, but the use of peer learning, realistic scenarios and feedback on survey findings ensures that it is relevant to them and grounded in familiar experiences. The research group is multidisciplinary, including sexual health promotion experts like Dr Siobhán O’Higgins, and collaborators in NUI Galway

like Ms Lorraine Tansey, coordinator of the NUI Galway ALIVE programme. Dr MacNeela says that “sexuality is an integral part of personal identity, and students have told us that agreement and mutual respect are important to them. We decided to offer students a space in which they can work out how to navigate ‘grey areas’ that arise in situations of intimacy, which occur due to factors like alcohol use and not feeling comfortable talking about what you want”. The development of both the SMART Consent initiative and the ‘Contemporary Drama: Text and Performance’ academic module demonstrate how staff in NUI Galway have been taking a proactive approach to educating students and promoting positive sexual health and well-being for students.

The Manuela Programme is a collaborative project between the Rape Crisis Centres and Network in Ireland, initiated and funded by the Manuela Riedo Foundation Ireland and facilitated by Dr. Susan Redmond. The SMART Consent workshops have facilitated over 800 students to take part since they began in 2014. A number of institutions have expressed interest in the initiative, and Dr MacNeela’s research team recently worked with Trinity College Dublin Students Union in the delivery of SMART Consent workshops to 400 first year students. This initiative is now being supported by the Irish Research Council / Crisis Pregnancy Agency Research for Policy & Society scheme. Dr Pat Morgan, Vice President for the Student Experience and Mr John Hannon, Director of Student Services have both championed SMART Consent through support from the NUI Galway Student Projects Fund. To hear interviews with students, staff and community partners in relation to this work log on to this link http://www.flirtfm.ie/ articles/2016/2/shag-week-interviews/


The Student Response While no formal evaluation has been completed, students involved in the 2015/2016 ensemble working on ‘100 Shades of Grey’ have reported ‘consent we figured out is such a grey area, and a lot of people think they know what consent is but don’t actually know what the boundaries are’. These students acknowledged the complexity of defining consent and outlined the importance of exploring consent within different scenarios and from different perspectives including; gender, sexual orientation and within relationships. When reflecting on the educational benefit of this project, one student reported ‘I feel since we’ve come together to complete this drama piece, I do understand it [consent] so much better, I think it will help me and protect me because I understand the situations, what can happen and what the dangerous boundaries.’ Expanding the Reach Since ‘100 Shades of Grey’ was first devised and performed in the Autumn of 2014, it has seen significant developments in how it is being disseminated to impact the wider student population and community members. The academic module continues each year, the theatre piece has been performed during events such as orientation weeks and SHAG week in NUI Galway. Videos of the original staged reading have been circulated for use in education programmes by community stakeholders including the Kerry Rape Crisis Centre and HSE South. A recent film adaptation will also be used as part of a series of affirmative consent-focused sexual health workshops called the “Manuela Programme” aimed at secondary school students.

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of female students (and 6% of male students) report that, in their lifetime, someone has used or threatened physical force to have / attempt to have sexual contact with them.


Over of students say it is important to provide information / talks about sexual consent.


of female students report unwanted sexual advances in the past year due to someone else’s drinking (e.g., being touched, grabbed, or groped)


of single NUIG students are comfortable telling a romantic partner what they like sexually

Sustainable Engagement heading



he Community and University Sustainability Project (CUSP) adopts a holistic approach to sustainability to include environment, health, economy, community and culture. Established in 2015 under the direction of the Registrar and Deputy President, it aims to make NUI Galway one of the greenest, smartest and healthiest campuses in the world. CUSP will develop metrics and roadmaps to embed a model of sustainability in the teaching and learning methods adopted by the University and establishing links with the teaching hospitals and local community. This initiative is developing an engaging, inclusive and holistic Sustainability Initiative for NUI Galway and its communities. It will adopt a ‘Learn-Live-Lead’ model (inspired by international best practice), where: the University builds on its core strengths in teaching and research to learn about the environment and new techniques; analyses campus operations, builds performance and user habits to live more sustainably; and connects to the broader community and other institutions to lead by example. CUSP will be led by NUI Galway’s Ryan Institute, and is the first step in an ambitious vision which recognises the role of a sustainable third-level campus in the transition towards a sustainable community. The CUSP team is comprised of more than 20 members of staff, drawn from a range of University faculties, University services and Galway University Hospitals. CUSP is supported in its mission by the University, Students’ Union, Saolta University Healthcare Group and Galway City Council. It is funded through the Student Projects Fund.

Project Framework: Components of a sustainable campus

1. Learn.

 Third-level campuses and affiliated teaching hospitals occupy a unique position, educating thousands of students each year. These campuses have the potential to promote and educate about sustainability. Sustainability should be embedded at all levels of research and teaching at the university and hospitals.

2. Live. The sustainable operation of a third-level campus can potentially have a major positive impact on health and wellbeing, the natural environment, efficiency of the built environment and on fiscal matters. Embedding sustainability into an organisation requires long-term cultural and behavioural change achieved by committed leadership and system-wide engagement.

3. Lead.

 Through a sustainable development approach, third-level institutions can effectively achieve public sector targets and show leadership. Sustainable campuses can leverage their societal standing, partnerships with communities and other organisations. They can effectively link to regional and national economies to promote sustainability.

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Engineering Engagement

Putting the User at the Centre of Design Gearóid Ó Laighin, Professor in the School of Electrical and Electronic Engineering, reflects on his own design practice and discusses why User Centred Design Initiatives now form an essential component of his research and teaching in NUI Galway. Introduction I have been involved in the design of Electronic Medical Devices since 1992, when I started my PhD studies at NUI Galway. The model that I (and in reality most other engineers in the same situation) adopted at that time was: “I have a great idea for a device that should really help a particular category of person and before I start the design process I know exactly how this device should function, what features it should have, how the user should interact with it” etc. I would have possibly consulted with clinical collaborators, albeit in a very unstructured manner,

However the first interaction that patient users would have with the systems was when the design was complete. This approach seems to be far from unusual within the practices of both academia and industry. Realising the Need for User Centred Design Over the years, this initial confidence I had began to diminish as I found that the users of a particular device struggled to use the device as it was designed. They may not have adhered to using a device over the full period of testing or they may have found the device cumbersome to wear. This experience made me realise more and more that we needed to incorporate Usability analysis and User Centred Design into our design efforts. Meaning that ultimately, we would incorporate the user, their needs and opinions into the design process to ensure a suitable product could be developed. Figure 1 shows how the usability of a device is determined by achieving a suitable balance between the capabilities of the user and the demands which the intended device puts on the user .

co-supervised a PhD student, Richard Harte. The usability analysis of this system involved a complex process, engaging all of the different users of the system (older adult wearing the device, physician prescribing it, physiotherapist assessing it etc.). The user engagement process was completed throughout a number of stages to design, trial and develop a ‘Use Case’ and ultimately a product that was suitable for all potential users.

Being involved in this process was revelatory and the power of involving the user in all of their diversity in the design process quickly became apparent to me. We quickly decided to adopt User Centred Design as a cornerstone of our group’s design methodology. Advancing User Centred Design Practice in NUI Galway Since this project, we have applied the User Centred Design methodology to a number of other projects including; swim sensor development, neuromuscular electrical stimulation device development for Parkinson’s disease. In keeping with NUI Galway’s philosophy of “Research-led Teaching”, based on our very positive experience with using Human/User Centred Design, I thought it important to educate the next generation of Electrical & Electronic Engineers in Human Centred Design. The most effective and efficient way to do this is to incorporate the

Designing a Model for User Centred Design In 2011 I secured funding for a 3 year project to design an instrumented insole that would be worn by older adults on a daily basis to assess their risk of falling. I saw this as an opportunity and incorporated a User Centred Design approach as a strategy of enhancing the ultimate usability of the system. During this research project, I worked with my academic colleague Leo Quinlan from Physiology and together, we 32 | CKI Magazine 2016-2017 www.nuigalway.ie/cki

teaching of Human Centred Design into the curriculum at NUI Galway. I have developed a new masters level course Electronic Systems and Devices Experience Design which teaches this methodology to Electrical & Electronic and Electronic & Computer Masters of Engineering students and the course was run for the first time in the academic year 2016-2017. I am also guiding Electronic & Computer Engineering Final Year Project students on incorporating the methodology into their projects’ design methodology.

I believe that User Centred Design is very much in keeping with the mission of CKI as it embraces all users, regardless of their capabilities and brings them to the centre of the design process. This is very good for the user but also very good for the developer and ultimately it is good for society.

Figure 1

Gearóid Ó Laighin is Professor of Electronic Engineering and is an Investigator in the CÚRAM SFI Centre for Research in Medical Devices.

Cultural Engagement

n 2020 Galway will be the European Capital of Culture (ECoC). This incredible opportunity comes on the back of over two years of extensive research and engagement with the people of Galway to discover how we view our city and what issues are most important to us as a community, with a view to incorporating this into the bid for ECoC. This initiative and the success of the bid involved many stakeholders including several members of the NUI Galway community. In 2014, Dr. Pat Collins, Lecturer in Geography, and Prof. Kevin Leyden, Sociology and Political Science, led a team of colleagues from across the University and beyond to answer a call from City Hall to start work on this bid. Pat has kindly shared his experience with us, building from these initial stages.

Pat and the rest of the team worked closely with the steering and advisory committees set up in City Hall as well as council staff. “We had a straightforward plan of attack, sit down with all the major cultural stakeholders, move from there through all the major societal/community groups and then to all the people of Galway. We knew from the start that the smart money was on making it ‘the public’s’ bid so we quickly set about getting a website up, a social media presence as a platform for explanation and discussion, and a good brand for Galway 2020”. Pat’s research focuses on the contribution of culture and creativity to place making, which meant he was already familiar with the ECoC initiative. Having seen it develop into a campaign that places an emphasis on cultural inclusion and public participation, Pat knew that the focus of the Galway bid needed to be on public engagement. They set about “gathering the thoughts, wishes and visions of Galway’s key actors”. This information was attained through a number of face to face interviews, focus groups and targeted conferences like the TULCA and 126 supported ‘sound outs’ held during the 2014 festival, which was prior to the official announcement of the competition of the ECoC title for 2020. “In March 2015 we developed the Speak Out platform. We used it to solicit visions from the people of Galway from all walks of life”. This gave people a sense of ownership of the bid. For Pat, more than anything, this sense of ownership “is what proved crucial in the past 2 years”. Through the Speakouts, interviews and focus groups, Pat and his group met with key players across the social and economic spectrum in Galway. Some of the groups that participated include: Galway Traveller Movement; Foróige; SCCUL social enterprise; Áit Eile; 126 Artists; Galway Civic Trust; Hewlett Packard; GAA; Údarás na Gaeltachta; Gaillimh le Gaeilge. “The visions and desires of these diverse groups could be boiled down to three simple works. Care, connect and share”. These desires have evolved into culture-led projects that help us recognise the rights of children as equal citizens of our society to art that challenges of views of mental illness. “Notions of connection were espoused in many different forms from traffic problems to how we are governed. Sharing related to the pride that people had in their place, and how they wanted to share it with others. These proved to be key themes in the winning artistic programme”. The artistic programme to which Pat refers has many facets and indeed NUI Galway is also contributing largely to it. Through a steering group led by, Prof. Patrick Lonergan, Head of the Centre for Drama Theatre and Performance, the University has contributed greatly to the programme of events for Galway 2020. Patrick also kindly shared his experience of heading up NUI Galway’s participation in developing this programme which

aided the successful bid in 2016. They initially put out a call for proposals of projects to run if the bid was successful, and got more than 50 proposals from staff across all five Colleges.

We expect that in the coming years, we’re going to coordinate a huge number of projects across the University, and we hope that there will be opportunities for everyone in our community—staff, students, alumni, visitors—to get involved. There are also huge opportunities for new European partnerships, for research, and more.


Patrick informed us that this committee will be engaging in conferences, cultural events, research activities, outreach, and more, up to 2020 and beyond.

The central questions that drive the steering committee to ensure that NUI Galway in collaboration with the wider Galway community makes the most of this unique opportunity include: “How can we use this opportunity to develop new courses, build new infrastructure, change the way we work together, and reevaluate the role of universities? How can we build links between the arts and sciences, in order to show that ‘culture’ cuts across all academic disciplines? How can we reach out to new communities in the city and county, and in the nation and the world – both in real and virtual spaces?” Patrick knows that the Creative Arts will play a huge role in Galway 2020, especially given the construction of the new theatre space. This will provide state-of-the-art facilities that will host new work, “but we also see our space as a kind of laboratory that will allow creative artists to try out new things— in theatre, music, creative writing, and many other forms of art”. While the theatre will be central, Patrick insists that the steering committee want the entire campus to be part of Galway 2020. We can be very proud of the part NUI Galway has already played in securing the bid for Galway 2020, with both Pat and Patrick insistent that many staff and students from across all areas of campus life strongly contributed to this initial success. We are excited to watch these plans now be put into action and realised leading up to and throughout 2020. Galway will share the title of European Capital of Culture with Rijeka, Croatia in 2020.

CKI Magazine 2016-2017 www.nuigalway.ie/cki | 33

Constituent Colleges

Celebrating Inclusive Education

at St Angela’s College, Sligo

Graduates of the Certificate in LifeSkills Studies in April at St Angela’s College, Sligo. Front Row: Dr Dympna Walsh-Gallagher, Denise Healy, Carmel Jennings, Siobhan Healy-Mc Gowan, Sharon Sherlock Second/Middle Row: Maggie Keenan, Bernadette Mc Andrews, Jason Mc Teague, Marion Sheridan, Yvonne Mulhern, Aisling Connolly, Back Row: Martin Devaney, Freda Mannion, Patricia Sweeney, Ursula Gilrane, Kenny Fleming, Mark Mc Loughlin, Jason Hyland, Aisling Reynolds, Susan Carton, Dolores Mc Donagh, Martin Mc Tiernan


n the spring of 2016, St Angela’s College, Sligo held a graduation ceremony for students with an intellectual disability who successfully completed the Certificate in Lifeskills Studies. “These students have studied at St Angela’s over the past three years,” explains Ms. Carmel Jennings, Programme Director and Lecturer in the Department of Nursing, Health Sciences and Disability Studies. She adds, “This is a great achievement for each student and also demonstrates the College’s dedication to inclusive education and opening the College campus to the community.” Since 2013, students completed three modules on personal effectiveness, including learning about their rights and responsibilities, as well as personalised planning and advocacy. The following year students completed a module that focused on applying mathematical skills to a variety of everyday living skills such as shopping, cooking, managing money, budgeting and using timetables. This past year the students focused their studies on health and well-being. “This module enabled students to acquire the skills necessary to maintain positive physical and mental health,” Ms. Jennings explains, “It focused on developing the students understanding of maintaining a healthy lifestyle in all aspects of their daily life. Students also learned about health screening and about communicating with health professionals.”

The Certificate in Lifeskills Studies is a unique programme developed by the academic staff in the Department of Nursing, Health Sciences & Disability Studies with the support of the Centre for Special Education Needs, Inclusion and Diversity, along with the Home Economics Department. “This programme is part of the College’s commitment to connect with the wider community,” notes Dr Michele Glacken, Head of the Department of Nursing Health Sciences & Disability Studies. Dr Glacken continued “Engaging with 34 | CKI Magazine 2016-2017 www.nuigalway.ie/cki

the local community, such as with the Disability Network in Sligo, allows for wider community input on the programme design and channels to promote the programme widely across the North West region.”

Student Kenny Fleming who completed the three year course commented: “I love coming to college. I really liked doing maths and science. The science lab was great and we learned a lot.” Aisling Reynolds talked about feeling part of the wider College community, “We all loved being in the Students’ Union. We decided to get college hoodies and we decided on the logo and the colour”. The completion of this final module enabled the students to complete the Certificate in Lifeskills Studies presented at a Graduation Ceremony in the Virginia Henderson Theatre in April. These graduates were presented with a Certificate of Engagement and Participation from the College. This is the second such graduation for the Certificate in LifeSkills Studies at the College. “The academic team is currently completing research to explore the experiences of the Certificate in LifeSkills Studies students of being part-time college students,” Ms Jennings said, “We hope that this will inform future development of the course.” The College aims to keep in touch with these graduates as the College builds this alumni group. “This initiative is a wonderful opportunity for people with an intellectual disability to experience college life,” says Dr Anne Taheny, President of St Angela’s College, Sligo, “For the students and staff of this College it is a privilege to share this campus with such enthusiastic students.”

Another cohort of students for the Certificate in Lifeskills Studies started in September. For more information on the programme, please contact Ms. Carmel Jennings at 071 91 43580 or visit the College website: www.stangelas.nuigalway.ie.

Constituent Colleges heading

Choirs join forces for charity concert at Shannon College S

hannon College’s newly-formed choir recently hosted a charity concert in aid of Milford Hospice in Limerick. The event was the first of its kind as it saw the Shannon College Choir join forces with the Ennis Cathedral Choir, the Burren Trio and musician Helen Ball for a night of instrumental and choral performance. The Shannon College Choir master, Dr Sean T. Ruane, organised the event which combined the best of Shannon hospitality with wonderful musical performances. The visiting choir and musicians were hosted for lunch at the College’s training restaurant where their meal was prepared and served by Year 1 hotel management students. Over the academic year Shannon College raised G10,000 for Milford Hospice. We look forward to the upcoming academic year where we hope the College and community can come together again for another successful fundraising evening of hospitality and music.

Proposition: An Art of Ethics


roposition: an Art of Ethics was a two day symposium which took place at the Burren College of Art on Friday 11th and Saturday 12th March 2016. The event was supported by Clare County Council, NUI Galway and the Burren College of Art and was co-organised by MichaĂŤle Cutaya, Katherine Waugh and Conor McGrady (Dean of Academic Affairs, Burren College of Art). This symposium gathered together artists, theorists and curators for two days of research and experimentation. All contributors were invited to engage through their practice with ideas relating to a conception of ethics which differs substantially from dominant notions of morality. The many nuanced and singular methodologies required in artistic practice were addressed in a variety of presentational formats by the invited participants: from art and music, film and writing, to conversation itself. A continuous dynamic of responsiveness and discussion was facilitated between both participants and attendees. Photo by David Burrows, Plastique Fantastique

CKI Magazine 2016-2017 www.nuigalway.ie/cki | 35

Constituent Colleges

Widening Participation St Angela’s College, Sligo Celebrates a Vibrant Access Schools Programme


he Access Schools Programme at St Angela’s College, Sligo (STACS) engages with 4,000 regional primary and secondary school students annually, encouraging progression to third level education. The programme aims to create a positive experience of third level education, through key activities and ongoing academic and motivational supports. Carol Carty, Access Schools Programme Coordinator reports that “The Access Schools Programme is designed to develop a relationship between the regional schools and the Further Education sector with St. Angela’s College and NUI Galway, with the aim of promoting and encouraging entry into third level education. Integral to the initiative is a focus on the provision and promotion of educational opportunity to a student population that is marginalized, specifically in terms of equality.” Since its inception in 2004, the Access Schools Programme has been inventive and creative in designing a wide range of workshops, seminars and activities, in order to appeal to the diverse needs regionally. The multifaceted activities engage students using various practical, fun, social and academic methods, all with the aim of encouraging and motivating students from both primary and secondary schools to access third level education, with activities also designed to support parents. The programme uses an extensive range of outreach activities including; Third Level Taster Days, Positive Communication Workshops, Art and Design Workshops on the Theme of Third Level Awareness, Seminars for Leaving Certificate Oral Exams and Leaving Certificate Study Skills Seminars. Career Guidance Seminars, After-school subject support classes and Parental Support Study Skills initiatives are also provided. School Ambassadors Programme, Community Links Programme, Mentor Programmes, Orientation and

Preparatory Course, and HEAR & Access Routes Information Sessions are also among the outreach initiatives provided. Significant also is the large number of school leavers (under 23 years) from regional schools that have participated in the schools programme and progressed onto the Access Course and undergraduate degrees in STACS and NUI Galway. In recent findings from link schools, 4 out of 5 schools surveyed reported an increase in progression to Higher Education through “increased motivation and confidence in pupils”. Schools also reported that St. Angela’s Access Schools Programme has helped progression by “enhancing pupils’ academic skills”. Feedback from participating students, principals and media is continually very positive and supportive and as a direct result, both STACS and NUI Galway have developed enhanced community links. In addition, The Access Schools Programme operates as a regional anchor for the national College Awareness Week campaign (www.collegeaware.ie) and conducts regional and national competitions to engage schools and whet students’ appetites for third level. Carol Carty commented “the Access Schools Programme provides vital supports and stimulus to improve student performance in achieving their examination goals. This is an essential step of the Access Schools Programme in its aim of making third level accessible to all.” Student’s opinions have reiterated Ms. Carty’s sentiments, reporting the programme to be ‘very useful’, ‘helpful for upcoming exams’ with one particular student claiming the programme helped her “think of third-level education in a much more positive light”.

For more information on the programme, please contact Ms. Carol Carty at 071 91 95575 or visit the College website:


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heading Constituent Colleges

Science Together


n 2015, Gerardine Moloney, William Brennan and Eadaoin Timmins, all members of staff in National Centre for Biomedical Engineering Science (NCBES), identified a noted absence of people with intellectual disabilities in science research and learning. With the support of Prof. Rhodri Ceredig, Director of NCBES they went about making this project a reality. They established a partnership with Lucy Walsh, the Galway People’s Resource Centre, Snipe Industries, Medtronic and Science Foundation Ireland (SFI). Members of staff from Snipe Industries, which employs people with intellectual disabilities, were trained to assemble, use and explain the use of cardboard microscopes that could be operated using smart phones. They subsequently exhibited these microscopes at a stand at the Galway Science and Technology Festival which is supported annually by the NCBES. Cathy Burke, of Snipe Industries, was also trained by Medtronic on how stents work and how to assemble them. During the festival, with the support of Tim Jones, of Medtronic, Cathy demonstrated the assembly of the stents and informed the public of their uses. Plans are already underway to make this an annual initiative undertaken by NCBES in partnership with Snipe Industries, Medtronic, SFI and the Galway People’s Resource Centre. The stand won an award from Medtronic on the day. Under the supervision of Mary Ní Fhlathartaigh, the Masters students were also invited to teach the staff from Snipe Industries once a week for six weeks on different aspects of Science, such as anatomy and microscopy. This partnership is considered very successful from both the NCBES’ perspective and that of their community partners. In addition to the science festival, the NCBES hosted a Science Achievement Awards where each student attended a full day’s workshop in the NCBES laboratories and were awarded a Science Achievement Certificate for the training they had completed by the Dean of the College of Science, Prof. Dónal Leech. Prof. Rhodri Ceredig has approved funding for this event to continue on an annual basis.

Eco Explorers Name of programme Eco Explorers Name of coordinator Dr Michel Dugon School/College: School of Natural Sciences – Discipline of Zoology Public/community targeted: Primary and Secondary schools from preschool pupils to Leaving Certificates; young people at public events (library, open days, educational camps); Media (TV programmes, radio, movies) Reach: 104 School visited nationwide since September 2013, representing approximately 17,000 pupils in direct outreach; over 10,000 direct outreach at major public events since 2014 (e.g. BTYS, Bloom Festival, eco UNESCO); 30 episodes of Bug Hunters on RTEJr (hosted by Dr Michel Dugon) broadcasted regularly on the RTE network (RteJr / RTE2); Regular TV / Radio / Press features (e.g. SKY, Irish TV, MicroMonster with David Attenborough, RTE1 Radio, RTE2 television, TG4, featured movie the Cherry Tree with the Irish Film Board) Type of activity run: School visits; Workshops; Easter and Summer camp (NUI Galway Bioexplorer camps, UNI4U camps); Youth Academy; Media consultancy; TV and event hosting; Public lectures (library network, Galway Science Festival); Public talks / display / public engagement. Special features: Easter and Summer camps (NUI Galway Bioexplorer camps, UNI4U camps), Youth Academy. Funding : Initial funding from the NUI Galway School of Natural Sciences and self-funded since 2014 Who volunteers? 74 postgraduate and undergraduate volunteers, with approximately 10 members of the “core” team participating regularly at events. How long has the programme been established? Since September 2013 Evaluation tools: Pupil and teacher informal feedback – our overall success as a self-funded outreach initiative!

NUI Galway staff with community partners at the Science Achievement Awards hosted by the NCBES

Impact: We are active on all fronts: schools, libraries, public events, university-backed events and on the media scene. Our metrics probably place us as one of the most successful science outreach initiatives in the country. Children meeting Michel in their schools usually know him through his TV show (Bug Hunters) and other TV appearances. CKI Magazine 2016-2017 www.nuigalway.ie/cki | 37

NUI Galway Societies Representatives from the staff and student Choral Societies

Students from the Best Buddies Society

Cancer Society Students at the Spring Programme Launch 2016, advertising their Relay for Life event

Students attending the annual USI Pink Training held in NUI Galway 2015

The GOAL Society hosting a Christmas fundraiser 2015

The 2015 Annual Diwali Festival, hosted by India Society in the Bailey Allen Hall 38 | CKI Magazine 2016-2017 www.nuigalway.ie/cki

Students from the Rover Society collect sleeping bags annually left over from music festival events and donate them to the Simon Community Galway.

CiarĂĄn MacChoncarraige receiving the Best Fresher award from NUI Galway President 2016

Students from the DraĂ­ocht Society with NUI Galway President, receiving the award for Best Society in the Charity Civic Society Category at the annual society awards in 2016

NUI Galway students from Fem Soc attending rallies and events to repeal the 8th amendment. CKI Magazine 2016-2017 www.nuigalway.ie/cki | 39

Service Learning Modules


College of Business, Public Policy and Law

College of Engineering and Informatics

College of Arts, Social Sciences and Celtic studies

College School


Course Director

Module Title

School of Humanities

MA in Public Advocacy and Activism

Dr Fiona Bateman

Service Learning Placement

School of Humanities

Options for US Study Abroad

Dr Dermot Burns

Community Based Learning: Literacy Project

School of Humanities

BA with Human Rights

Dr Noelle Higgins

Service Learning Placement

School of Humanities

BA with Women’s Studies

Ms Mary Clancy

Service Learning Placement

School of Political Science and Sociology

MA in Gender, Globalisation and Rights

Dr Niamh Reilly

Community Learning and Research Collaboration (CLÁR)

School of Geography and Archaeology

MA in Environment, Society and Development

Dr John Morrissey

Field Based Learning

School of Geography and Archaeology

Masters in Rural Sustainability

Dr Marie Mahon and Dr Maura Farrell

Engaging with Rural Communities

School of Languages, Literatures and Cultures

BA Joint Honours and BA International: Italian

Dr Anne O’Connor

Service Learning in Italian

School of Languages, Literatures and Cultures

Acadamh na hOllscolaiochta Gaeilge BA sa Chumarsáid 2nd

Mr Uinsionn Mac Dubhghaill

An Fhoghlaim sa Phobal (2nd year)

School of Languages, Literatures and Cultures

Acadamh na hOllscolaiochta Gaeilge BA sa Chumarsáid 3rd year

Mr Uinsionn Mac Dubhghaill

Foghlaim Phobalbhunaithe (3rd year)

School of Psychology

BA in Psychology, HDip in Psychology

Dr Pádraig MacNeela

Service Learning in Psychology

School of Engineering and Informatics

BE in Mechanical Engineering/BE in Biomedical Engineering

Professor Sean Leen

CAIRDE - Engineering in Society, Ethics and Community Outreach

School of Engineering and Informatics

BE in Civil Engineering/ BE in Energy Systems Engineering/BSc in Project & Construction Management

Dr Jamie Goggins

Principles of Building and Communications

School of Engineering and Informatics

Electrical & Electronic Engineering, Electronic & Computer Engineering, Sports & Exercise Engineering, Energy Systems Engineering

Dr Maeve Duffy

Professional Studies

J.E. Cairns School of Business and Economics

Bachelor of Commerce

Dr Christine Domegan

Marketing Analytics and Research

J.E. Cairns School of Business and Economics

MSc Digital Marketing / Dr Christine Domegan MSc International Marketing and Exporting / MSc Marketing (Professional Selling and Sales) / MSc Marketing (Technology and Innovation) / MSc Marketing Management

Social and Sustainable Marketing

J.E. Cairns School of Business and Economics

Bachelor of Commerce and B.Sc. in Business Information Systems

Mr. Michael Campion

Skills for Work Life

J.E. Cairns School of Business and Economics

MSc Marketing

Dr Elaine Wallace

Strategic Brand Management

J.E. Cairns School of Business and Economics

MSc in Information Systems Management

Ms Mairead Hogan and Dr Trevor Clohessy

Major Project

School of Law

Bachelor of Civil Law (BCL) and Bachelor of Law (LLB)

Mr. Larry Donnelly

Clinical Legal Education Placements

School of Law – Irish Centre for Human Rights

LLM in Peace Operations, Humanitarian Law and Conflict

Prof. Ray Murphy

International Peace Operations Module

40 | CKI Magazine 2016-2017 www.nuigalway.ie/cki

Service Learning Modules

Courses & Contacts

College of Medicine, Nursing and Health Sciences

College School


Course Director

Module Title

School of Health Sciences

BSc. Occupational Therapy

Dr. Sinéad Hynes

Community Engagement

School of Health Sciences

BSc. In Speech & Language Therapy

Dr Ruth McMenamin

The Aphasia Outreach Module

School of Medicine


Mike Smith (Paramedic), Prof. Gerard Flaherty

Special Study Module in Pre-hospital Emergency Care

School of Medicine


Dr Maureen Kelly

Special Study Module in Community Cardio Pulmonary Resuscitation Instruction

School of Medicine


Mary McPartlan, Prof. Gerard Flaherty

Special Study Module in Medicine and the Arts

School of Medicine


Mary McPartlan, Prof. Gerard Flaherty

Special Study Module Medical Orchestra SSM

School of Medicine


Stephen Curran, Prof. Gerard Flaherty

Special Study Module in Sign Language

School of Medicine


Dr Dilis Clare and Prof. Gerard Flaherty

Special Study Module in Complementary Medicine

School of Medicine


Dr Deirdre Nic Gearailt, Prof. Gerard Flaherty

Special Study Module in Management of the Addicted Patient

School of Medicine


Dr Dorothy Ní Uigín, Prof. Gerard Flaherty

Special Study Module in Teanga an Leighis

School of Medicine


Dr. Andrea Holme, Prof. Gerard Flaherty

Special Study Module in Sexual Health

School of Medicine


Nurse Caroline Canny

Special Study Module in Healthcare of the Travelling Community

School of Medicine


Mr Neil Johnson

Special Study Module in the Patient’s Voice

School of Medicine


Dr Elaine Walsh

Special Study Module in The Cancer Journey

School of Medicine


Dr Edina Moynett

Special Study Module in Paediatric HIV

School of Medicine


Dr Eva Flynn

Special Study Module in Women’s Health in Marginalised Groups

College of Science

Please note that the Special Study modules offered in the School of Medicine vary each academic year. The above provides an overview of the modules offered in the 2016 / 2017 academic year School of Nursing and Midwifery

BSc in Nursing

Prof. Dympna Casey

Nursing in the Developed Worlds and Developing Worlds

School of Nursing and Midwifery

Postgraduate Diploma in Nursing

Ms Sinéad Hahessy and Dr Service Improvement Module Marcella Kelly

School of Mathematics, Statistics and Applied Mathematics

Mathematics Programmes in Arts and Science

Dr Rachel Quinlan

Undergraduate Ambassador Module in Mathematics

School of Natural Sciences

BSc Biomedical Science

Dr Derrick Morris

Community Knowledge Initiative Programme

School of Natural Sciences

BSc in Biochemistry/Biotechnology/Biomedical Science/Microbiology

Dr Muriel Grennon

Cell EXPLORERS 4th Year Education and Science Outreach Research Project

The CKI have attempted to source all available information in relation to the service learning modules on offer across all disciplines within NUI Galway, however it is noted that this overview does not provide an exhaustive list of these modules. Please contact us at CKI@nuigalway.ie if you have any additional information relating to service learning modules on offer within your discipline and the University. CKI Magazine 2016-2017 www.nuigalway.ie/cki | 41

Community Engagement

Insight outreach 2016 T

he Insight Centre for Data Analytics in NUI Galway operates one of the most extensive technology learning outreach programmes in Ireland. Its activities range from mentoring coding courses in Irish primary and post primary schools across the West of Ireland, to providing app-making Open Data workshops for teenagers. It also hosts the volunteer Coderdojo movement on Saturday mornings, organises IT classes for community sectors such as older people and asylum seekers and provides seminars to highlight the role of women in technology. In addition to these activities the centre gives regular talks on Internet Safety/Cyber bullying Awareness aimed at parents, teachers and students of all ages. The institute is also the location for the Computer and Communications Museum of Ireland which is the country’s only such technology heritage facility. Insight actively participated throughout the year in the 1916 centenary celebrations and initiated the BEO Local Heritage Digital Archives project. This involves the gathering, digitising and annotation of photographs and stories of rural life in Ireland throughout the 20th century. As part of its involvement in the Galway 2020 proposal and towards its goal of developing Galway as a Smart City, Insight has recently partnered with digital makers clubs on a Citizens’ Science initiative to create a network of local sensor-based Open Data Weather Stations.

MARIO the Companion Robot


very three seconds a new person somewhere in the world is diagnosed with dementia. Research carried out in 2013 by Alzheimer’s UK found that more than a third of people with dementia reported feeling lonely. Loneliness is a problem because it can impact on the development of and the rate of decline of dementia. For many older people with dementia the social part of their life is diminished as a result of their dementia. The MARIO project will build companion robots with the aim of reducing isolation and loneliness for people with dementia. It is funded by the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme, within the thematic section ‘Societal Challenge on Health, Demographic Change and Wellbeing’. It brings together a team of international experts from academia and industry from six different countries to work collaboratively to tackle the burdens imposed by dementia and develop innovative solutions using caring robots. The project is led by Professor Dympna Casey in NUI Galway, who explained “I have seen at first hand the struggle that people with dementia have to stay connected to friends and community and was looking at ways of tackling this, I believe that companion robots have a real and meaningful contribution and MARIO is an innovative project with the potential to make a difference”. Professor Kathy Murphy, the MARIO communications manager explained that “we will be working directly with people with dementia to ensure that the issues they see as important are addressed and that the robot is developed to do the things that are meaningful to them.” The project started in February 2015 and will take three years to complete. We are about to enter the pilot sites with MARIO to carry out trials aimed at improving and developing MARIOs capacity to work well with people with dementia.

42 | CKI Magazine 2016-2017 www.nuigalway.ie/cki

Community Engagement

Challenge Science 2015/16


hallenge Science 2015/16 is an exciting science road show run in higher education institutions that introduces young students aged 10-12 to a world of creation and discovery and illustrates the importance of science in the world of work. The workshops incorporate activities which also highlight STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics), demonstrating how they are relevant to a variety of industries in Ireland. Challenge Science, developed by Junior Achievement with the support of Discover Science & Engineering (DSE), comprises a series of activity-based science workshops taught to young people by business volunteers from the science industry. This year, more than 100 pupils from Primary Schools in Galway had the chance to experience the wonderful world of science and learned that science is actually fun! The students from St. Brendan B.N.S., Loughrea, Killeeneen N.S., Craughwell, St. Michael’s B.N.S., Mervue and Scoil Bhríde, Shantalla had a day to remember at Challenge Science 2016, which was supported by Boston Scientific and held in NUI Galway. The budding scientists were assisted by business volunteers from Boston Scientific, who held workshops on Forensic Science, Defence against Disease, Careers in Science, Technology and Engineering. They were also treated to a tour of the Science Department and Campus at NUI Galway by student volunteers from the ALIVE programme. The workshops provided an appreciation

and greater understanding of the ever evolving world of science. The event was opened by Prof. Donal Leech, Dean of Science, who welcomed the students to the University and commented “NUI Galway is delighted to provide the opportunity to our young Galway students to experience working as a scientist on campus, through Junior Achievement and the volunteers from Boston Scientific Galway. I hope we see many of these students on campus again at our STEM Promotion events or eventually as students.” The enthusiasm of the students was evident from the start. “The boys thoroughly enjoyed their day in NUI Galway. We were delighted to be invited to take part by Junior Achievement Ireland. The children loved the hands on nature of the activities and the volunteers from Boston Scientific were enthusiastic, helpful and they related brilliantly with the children”, reported Principal Annette Regan, St. Brendan’s Boys N.S., Loughrea. Elaine Boyd, Director Human Resources at Boston Scientific, Galway commented, “We are delighted to be involved in the Challenge Science event once again this year. Encouraging and supporting students to be interested in taking up any of the STEM subjects (Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths) at second level is critical to the ongoing success of businesses like Boston Scientific in Ireland. I was very impressed by the talent and enthusiasm displayed by all the students and their teachers.”

CKI Magazine 2016-2017 www.nuigalway.ie/cki | 43

Service Learning

Theory v’s Reality Achieving the Balance

The CLÁR module in the Centre for Global Women’s Studies (CGWS) provides students with the opportunity to bring their knowledge, critical analysis and gender lens to assist in meeting the needs of the community.


LÁR stands for Community Learning and Research and is the Irish word for ‘agenda’ or ‘platform’. CLÁR is a particularly appropriate acronym to capture the ethos of engaged teaching and research that underpins the mission, programmes and activities of the Centre for Global Women’s Studies. CLÁR Collaboration is a module of the CGWS Masters in Gender, Globalisation and Rights. In this module students are partnered for eight weeks with a well-established NGO or agency concerned with social issues, development, equality or human rights.

Katie Hennessy, a 2016 graduate of this MA, discusses her experience of completing the CLÁR module.


he opportunity to complete the CLÁR module, was a unique selling point that initially attracted me to the MA in Gender, Globalisation and Rights in NUI Galway. I knew that the theory of the MA would take me far, but the opportunity to actively apply my knowledge and gain experience working in the NGO sector was what would truly prepare me for the field of practice after graduation. This was my chance to jump in at the deep end, to learn from those working on the frontline to protect women’s rights in Ireland, and to contribute what I could at such a unique time in the history of promoting equality for women.

As part of the CLÁR module, my specific areas of interest guided me to choose to work with The National Women’s Council of Ireland (NWCI). I had studied their publications for the purposes of my own assignments and I relished the thought of being able to contribute first hand to their work. The task I was presented Just as I began my eight-week placement, the NWCI were beginning their own work on a report to be submitted to the UN committee that focused on women’s rights. This provided me with an invaluable learning opportunity as since starting in NUI Galway, I had been learning about the UN Convention of the Elimination of all forms of Discrimination against Women. Now, with the NWCI, I had the chance to start their research that would inform their own report to be sent to Geneva before Ireland’s review in March 2017. The very idea had seemed daunting to me at first, but the NWCI were very supportive and happy that I had such experience and appreciation of the convention and process. The Action I completed The work involved reaching out to the NWCI member organisations to gather their insights into how women’s rights had progressed since the last review in 2005. The NWCI’s membership is broad, ranging widely across all areas of society, and can potentially reach a diverse range of women in Ireland. I was responsible for submitting a final report, which was based on my consultations with these member organizations, as well as my own research.

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My learning and reflection I had spent the last year studying the philosophy of grassroots activism, which was an area I felt personally passionate about. Engaging in this experience through the CLÁR module has provided me with the opportunity to apply this theory and engage with a diverse range of women in a discussion to portray their real, lived experiences. On completing this task presented to me, I felt privileged to be part of not only a process that embodied the ideals I so cherished, but also to be part of an important global structure, that can bring about real changes in government policy and practice, and can create real change in the lives of women in Ireland. The Outcome The NWCI were extremely grateful for the final report I submitted. I have since nurtured a positive relationship with the organisation, and am still invited back to check in with the progress of the work I started. Not only this, but engaging with the NWCI membership has given me insight into the diverse range of organisations working to protect the rights of all women in Ireland. This has further informed my own research on potential organisations with whom I would like to work with in the future.

Katie Hennessey with fellow MA Students from the CGWS 2015 / 16

College Champions

Civic Engagement Representatives

There are five academic NUI Galway staff members who currently hold the position of Civic Engagement Representative (CER) within their respective disciplines. These representatives are responsible for championing the civic engagement agenda within their colleges and supporting colleagues to implement relevant civic engagement and service learning programmes. The presence of these representatives demonstrates NUI Galway’s commitment to support and advance community engagement in conjunction with the University’s Learning, Teaching and Assessment Strategy. Dr Pádraig MacNeela, CER College of Arts, Social Sciences & Celtic Studies Dr. Pádraig MacNeela, is a lecturer in the School of Psychology with an extensive background in community engaged research. In collaboration with Josephine Boland at the School of Medicine, Dr MacNeela has set up a support network of academics, thirdsector partners, and students at NUI Galway and in the local community named CORA (Community-Engaged Research in Action). Dr MacNeela also works to support volunteering and student engagement, which extends to the Service Learning in Psychology module, which he has coordinated since 2010. This module has allowed students to work on community research and practical projects with partners including the Galway People’s Resource Centre, COPE Galway, Croí, the Centre for Talented Youth in Ireland, and the Health Promotion service at NUI Galway. Dr Maureen Kelly, CER College of Medicine, Nursing & Health Sciences In addition to her role as lecturer in General Practice within the Medical School, Dr Kelly delivers an innovative Special Study Module. This module is for First Year Medical Students and involves teaching Cardio Pulmonary Resuscitation to national school children. A unique feature of this module is that the teaching is conducted through Irish in Gaeltacht national schools and Gael Scoileanna. As part of a medical school widening participation programme she established and leads ‘Clár Ambasadóireachta Scoil an Leighis’, an outreach programme, developed with the input of local national and secondary school teachers, aimed at encouraging and supporting Gaeltacht secondary students to consider a career in medicine. Dr Kelly has co-authored several peer reviewed conference papers and workshops examining embedding community engagement in medical curricula.

Dr Mark Healy, CER College of Engineering and Informatics Dr Mark Healy is a Senior Lecturer in Civil Engineering. In addition to promoting community engaged learning within his teaching methods and research projects, Dr Healy demonstrates his commitment to community engagement through his membership on various advisory boards. These include the Going to College Programme, which aims to integrate people with intellectual disabilities into university life, and the Youth Academy Project, which introduces children and their families to the university environment and aims to inspire school aged children to attend university. Dr Rachel Quinlan, CER, College of Science Dr Rachel Quinlan has been a lecturer in Mathematics at NUI Galway since 2005. Dr Quinlan was responsible for establishing the Undergraduate Ambassador module in Mathematics, which is a service learning module in which final year students of mathematics contribute to the work of local second level schools. She is also the vice-dean for Promotion of STEM in the College of Science, which involves a number of community engagement initiatives in the form of science outreach activities.

Photos Left to Right: Dr Pádraig MacNeela, CER College of Arts, Social Sciences & Celtic Studies, Dr Maureen Kelly, CER College of Medicine, Nursing & Health Sciences, Dr Mark Healy, CER College of Engineering and Informatics and Dr Rachel Quinlan, CER, College of Science

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International Engagement

Creating a Culture for Service Learning in Higher Education

Europe Engage is a project which brings together twelve European universities to further develop service learning and civic engagement within higher education. This three year project began in September 2014, receiving a funding grant of €345,000 from EU Erasmus Plus KA2. The overarching objective of Europe Engage is to embed the concept of the civic university through the growth and development of service learning initiatives within the participating universities. Through these actions, healthy levels of social capital can be maintained and democracy can continue to develop within a European context.


urope Engage began in 2014 and is colead by Pilar Aramburuzabala from the Universdad Autónoma De Madrid and Lorraine McIlrath from NUI Galway. Since 2014, the Europe Engage partners have worked to gather knowledge on existing service learning practices and the evidence demonstrated within their universities, regarding their commitment to this educational approach. Ultimately, Europe Engage aims to develop a central resource and create a network of support to share knowledge, evidence and practice to promote service learning as a pedagogical approach and develop a culture of service learning within higher education in Europe. To date, this project has worked to publish a report outlining the results from a survey conducted among the twelve partner universities. This report, ‘EUROPE ENGAGE – Developing a Culture of Civic Engagement through Service-Learning within Higher Education Europe’ documents the nature of the work of these universities in service learning and civic engagement. Information regarding the internal policies, strategies, resources and practices was also gathered to gain an understanding of the perspective of each institution regarding civic engagement. The Europe Engage partners are happy that this report provides a ‘snapshot’ from which the project can establish a baseline and work

towards future targets, plans and growth of activities. The project team have also developed a MOOC, which is a free online course, which provides participants with an introduction to service-learning pedagogy and methods of integrating meaningful community service into the curriculum, as well as the evaluation. A book is also currently in development, which will add to the resources available, supporting educators across Europe in using service learning as a pedagogical teaching approach. Dr Hector Opazo, Europe Engage Project Manager, affiliated with the Universidad Autónoma De Madrid, reported that “The final challenge of “Europe Engage” is to build the capacity within higher education, moving beyond theory, to meet our primary objective and facilitate more collaborative work with the community. Taking a long-term view, “Europe Engage” expects to build up a momentum enabling universities, institutions and the NGO’s to create meaningful connections to make civic engagement more effective. It is crucial to seek and develop opportunities with our universities, students and community partners, to convey the importance of service-learning as a tool to create the conditions and develop the knowledge, practical wisdom, competencies,

skills and abilities of our citizens to improve the common good.” The Europe Engage project partners have been invited to share their research and knowledge with colleagues internationally including at the 16th International Association of Research on Service Learning and Community Engagement (IARSLCE) 2016 Conference. This was hosted by the Univeristy of Tulane in New Orleans with Hector Opazo and Lorraine McIlrath from Europe Engage co-directing an international panel to address cultural dimensions of the pedagogical approach. NUI Galway look forward to hosting the 7th International Symposium on Service Learning in June 2017, which will also host the final meeting for the Europe Engage project. Prior to this symposium students from the 12 partner universities in Europe Engage will travel to Ireland and engage in a service learning placement and present their feedback as part of this symposium. This student exchange project presents a significant opportunity for the universities to understand the student perspective, establish further connections, share experiences and develop knowledge in how to promote service learning within higher education across Europe.

The partner universities in Europe Engage include; Autonomous University of Madrid, Spain; National University of Ireland, Galway, Ireland; Erasmus University of Rotterdam, Netherlands; Ghent University, Belgium; ISPA – Instituto Universitário de Ciências Psicológicas, Sociais e da Vida, Portugal; IMC University of Applied Science-Krems GmbH, Austria; University of Bologna, Italy; University of Brighton, United Kingdom; University of Duisburg-Essen, Germany; University of Helsinki, Finland; University of Zagreb, Croatia and Vytautas Magnus University, Lithuania.

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International Engagement

NUI Galway Contribute to International Developments in Civic Engagement NUI Galway’s Lorraine McIlrath has recently been elected as a member of the Talloires Network Steering Committee. The Talloires Network is an international association with a mission to ‘strengthen the civic roles and social responsibilities of higher education’, share knowledge, work collaboratively and ‘build a global movement of engaged universities’.


he Network is housed at Tufts University and Chaired by their President Anthony Monaco with Vice Chancellor Cheryl de la Ray from the University of Pretoria as Deputy Chair. This Network provides a platform for universities all around the world to speak as one collective, international voice, supporting the role of civic engagement within higher education. The Steering Committee is comprised of a number of Presidents, ViceChancellors and academic staff from international universities. The election of Lorraine McIlrath to this committee is a great honour for NUI Galway who now has the opportunity to steer and influence the direction of civic engagement at an international level, in partnership with committed colleagues and leaders within international universities. Since it began, ten years ago, the Talloires Network has grown to over 350 members in 77 countries, with a combined enrolment of over 6 million students. The Network over the last decade has supported and advocated for regional university networks to emerge globally to articulate and advocate for civic and community engagement. It co-operates and provides a hub for partnerships with many regional networks including Campus Engage in Ireland, Engagement Australia, SAHECEF in South Africa, Asia Engage, CLAYSS in South America and Campus Compact in the US to mention a few.

When speaking, Minister Pandor reported “I’m really pleased that the Network has developed a strong collaborative partnership, that is committed to community engagement in higher education... Given the role that universities play in generating new knowledge, new products and new ideas, it makes absolutely common sense to seek out to civic engagement and civic responsibility”. When speaking of the importance of civic engagement within higher education Minister Pandor said she felt this was “a way of building a very strong and dynamic link between graduates and our communities throughout our society. So it allows us to ensure that we are not producing graduates who become apathetic about our society.” Minister Pandor also spoke about the need to design community engagement initiatives not simply as a form of service provision but an opportunity to create and develop civic awareness among students. “They’re designed to develop, or should be, to develop a new ethos among graduates, an appreciation for the inextricable link between human development and intellectual rigour. If we don’t see the training we receive as part of training us for development, then I think we are going awry in higher education.” Through the numerous values and goals of this network, it is aimed to develop the knowledge, skills and support for higher educational bodies to integrate their work with their communities. The next international conference will be held in 2017 in the University of Veracruzana in Varacruz, Mexico.

The Network has seen many developments since Tufts University organised the founding Talloires Conference in 2005 in Talloires, France, hence the adopted name, with two international conferences being held since this time. The third international conference held in Cape Town, South Africa in 2014, was the first to be organized within the Global South. This demonstrated The Talloires Network’s aspiration to recognise, understand and develop diversity in its approach to civic engagement. The Network was delighted that this conference had the highest representation and participation seen by the Southern Hemisphere to date, in terms of both content and attendance. Students from more than 20 countries were among the 250 delegates, with the Network reporting that this allowed for enriched debates as these students shared their aspirations and experiences. South African Minister of Science and Education, Naledi Pandor was also in attendance at the conference, demonstrating the national relevance and commitment held by South Africa in relation to civic engagement within higher education. The Talloires Network Steering Committee Representatives include: Chair Anthony Monaco, President Tufts University; Vice-Chair Cheryl de la Rey, Principal University of Pretoria; Ernest Aryeetey, Vice-Chancellor University of Ghana; Engr Muhammad Asghar, Rector, National University of Sciences and Technology; Lisa Anderson, President, American University in Cairo; Mark Gearan, President Hobart and William Smith Colleges; Sara Ladron de Guevara, President Universidad Veracruzana; Lorraine McIlrath, Coordinator Community Knowledge Initiative at the National University of Ireland Galway; Olive Mugenda, Vice-Chancellor, Kenyatta University; Andrew Petter, President and Vice-Chancellor, Simon Fraser University (Canada); María Nieves Tapia, Director Latin American Center for ServiceLearning; Timothy Tong, President Hong Kong Polytechnic University; Andrew Vann Vice-Chancellor, Charles Sturt University and two student representatives; Purity Gitonga from Kenya and Basavanagouda Patil from India. CKI Magazine 2016-2017 www.nuigalway.ie/cki | 47


community knowledge initiative



2017 IARSLCE Annual Conference International Association for Research on Service-Learning and Community Engagement

National University of Ireland, Galway

14th to 16th September 2017 IARSLCE in partnership with the Community Knowledge Initiative (CKI) are delighted to announce that the 2017 IARSLCE Annual Conference will be held at the National University of Ireland, Galway from September 14th to 16th 2017. The Academic Programme Chair Lorraine McIlrath and CKI team look forward to welcoming you to the west of Ireland and the University that centralises the importance of service learning and community engagement. We endeavour to create a rich and engaging international conference so as to share and progress scholarship in the field.

Further information on the conference will be accessible at http://www.researchslce.org/ #IARSLCE2017 The annual IARSLCE conference is scholarly venue to disseminate new knowledge on servicelearning and community engagement. The focus of presentations, symposiums, and keynotes is on research incorporating a variety of theoretical, methodologies, and perspectives. The conference also serves as a gathering place for networking and association business meetings for members. A significant component of the conference is the mentoring of graduate students and new faculty members interested in advancing their own research agendas in this field.

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7th International Symposium on Service-Learning

National University of Ireland, Galway 14-16 June, 2017

Conference Announcement We are delighted to announce that the 7th ISSL Symposium 2017 will be held at the National University of Ireland, Galway, hosted by the Community Knowledge Initiative (CKI) based at the Institute for Lifecourse and Society (ILAS) June 14-16, 2017. Lorraine McIlrath, National University of Ireland, Galway Marianna Foulkrod , University of Indianapolis Jacob du Plessis, Stellenbosch University We look forward to welcoming you to NUI Galway www.conference.ie #ISSL17

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T: + 353 91 493823 E: cki@nuigalway.ie W: www.nuigalwaycki.ie @CKIatNUIG ‘Inishlacken - Beloved’ by Rosie McGurran, NUI Galway Collection

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CKI Magazine Vol. 3  

CKI Magazine Vol. 3