Winter 2013 .................................................... Maynooth Alumni Magazine Alumni Scholarships Family Matters Learning in a Changing Climate Alumni Events .................................................... Plus Hitting the Right Note, Graduations 2013 Maynooth Memories & Memorabilia, and much, much more… ‘These are the ties that bind – family, friendships and a shared alma mater.’ 1 The Bridge The Bridge Wİnter ’13 01 Welcome www. alumni. nuim.ie Hello again! 02Alumni Events Alumni return to campus for a variety of events during the year 04Making Positive Difference And forging lifelong friendships along the way 05Alumni Support Alumni Introducing our new alumni scholarship winners 06 Cuimhní ar Mhá Nuad Scéal eile 07 Graduations 2013 New alumni join the ranks 08Learning in a Changing Climate Climate change and a geographer’s passion 10Celebrating the Transition Years Class of 1963 return to campus 11 Family Matters Following in the footsteps... 12 Maynooth Memories & Memorabilia Magnificent memories WELCOME TO THE BRIDGE 14University Strategic Plan Launched Planning for the future 15Hitting the Right Note The Chamber Choir build transatlantic musical bridges 16Online Archive Spoken Irish from the 1920s and 30s now online thanks to collaboration between NUI Maynooth and the RIA 17Silence Would be Treason Hello and welcome to the annual alumni magazine, the Bridge. Hard to believe it’s been a year since I edited the Bridge 2012! A lot has happened since then in the world of Maynooth Alumni. Delighted to let you know about the scholarship programme we launched this year for our alumni – you’ll find out more on page 5 when you read what this year’s recipients had to say about them. We also had our inaugural Summer Soiree back in May. A performance by international soprano, Regina Nathan and a reading by journalist John Drennan from his current book ensured a great evening was had by all – we’re already planning for the 2014 one (keep 29/5 free) it was that good! Maynooth Alumni Advisory Board (MAAB) met regularly during 2013 and we welcomed some new faculty members to our MAAB family. As we head into 2014, our new chairperson is 1988 alumnus, Flor Madden, who follows in the footsteps of our former chair, Bernie Coyne – we thank them all. Our Maynooth Memories and Memorabilia piece in the 2012 magazine proved so popular with alumni, that we’ve run it again in 2013. See pages 12 and 13 for photos and fun! This magazine will be available on the alumni website, http://alumni.nuim. ie. If you need any copies for fellow alumni, please call me at +353 1 708 6492 or by email at [email protected] Hope you enjoy this year’s magazine. It is with great pride that I write to you today. 2013 was a momentous year for NUI Maynooth in a number of ways. I’m delighted to say that we awarded the first three Alumni Scholarships for postgraduate study at the University. The Alumni Scholarships are funded through revenues from the Maynooth Alumni Affinity Credit Card, an inspiring example of alumni supporting the next generation of students. Thank you to all involved in this initiative, your contribution is truly valued. We launched our Strategic Plan earlier this year which sets out the direction of the University and its contribution to education until 2017. Ken Sara-Wiwa’s book and audio archive published by NUI Maynooth 18Clubs & Societies Adding to the Maynooth Experience A key element of the Strategic Plan is engagement with alumni as advisors, friends and supporters of the University in ways that allow our graduates to retain a close relationship with Maynooth and which will be of mutual benefit to alumni and future undergraduates. I welcome your input on this. We hosted the inaugural Alumni Summer Soiree this year – a great success with over 200 alumni and friends enjoying an evening of art, literature and music on a beautiful summer’s evening in the University’s new library. Keep an eye on the alumni website for details of the 2014 event – it’s a great opportunity to reconnect with old friends. Thank you for your continued support and interaction with NUI Maynooth through the year and I look forward to meeting you at future events. Warm regards and go raibh maith agaibh go léir. Karen Kelly Alumni Officer Professor Philip Nolan President, NUI Maynooth 20 Events in the Spotlight A snapshot of the 2013 University events 22 Where are our Alumni now? Continue your Maynooth Experience with the Maynooth Alumni Association 24University Company Develops System to Increase Intellectual Ability Why not join the Maynooth Alumni Association Online Community at http://alumni-network.nuim.ie and discover free membership benefits including: Graduate Profiles SMART move! -b eing the first to know about University news and events (including news about job opportunities or career initiatives) The Bridge is a magazine published by NUI Maynooth. Contributions in the form of articles, graduate profiles and photographs are welcome. We would be delighted to receive your comments and ideas for future editions – please email [email protected] The opinions and views in this publication are those of the contributors and are not necessarily shared by NUI Maynooth. While every care has been taken to ensure accuracy in the compilation of the magazine, NUI Maynooth cannot accept responsibility for any errors or omissions or effects arising thereof. However any errors or omissions should be brought to the attention of the Alumni Office. Editor Karen Kelly Design www.unthink.ie Print Clondalkin Group Paper Offset - l ifelong learning opportunities (guest lectures, inaugural lectures, music and cultural events) - i nvitations to class reunions (or we can assist you in organising one) - a ccess to college services like the library or the sports facilities at reduced rates - n etworking opportunities at home and abroad Maynooth Alumni Association Stay Connected, Keep Connected A NOTE FROM THE PRESIDENT JOIN THE CONVERSATION Search for Maynooth Alumni [email protected] Search for NUI Maynooth WWW.ALUMNI.NUIM.IE 3 The Bridge 2 The Bridge 4/10/2013 ↓ EVENT DATES FOR YOUR DIARY IN 2014 RTÉ’s Big Music Week comes to Maynooth 13/3/2014 Inaugural Guest History Lecture Alumni Events since the Bridge 2012 During the year, many alumni returned to the University and enjoyed a wide variety of events. For some it was a chance to reconnect with their alma mater, to be reunited with former lecturers and classmates or just to take a trip down memory lane. 29/5/2014 Geography Master Class in Climate Change 29/5/2014 Summer Soiree But don’t just take our word for it – as one alumnus commented after the Summer Soiree ‘as a graduate of NUI Maynooth, it is always a pleasure and an honour to return to events that celebrate the success and progress of the College and of course to catch up on old friends.’ night as alumni took full advantage of the library tours on offer. The night began with alumnus John Drennan reading from his recently published book ‘Standing by the Republic – 50 Dáil Debates that Shaped the Nation’, a preview of the recently acquired art exhibition featuring pieces by artists such as Robert Ballagh, Martin Gale and Louis le Brocquy, and finished with a high octane performance by alumnus and international soprano, Regina Nathan who was accompanied on piano by Dr Antonio Cascelli from the Music Department. 29/5/2013 ↓ Pride, culture and friendship see alumni return to Maynooth for the first ever Summer Soiree The foyer of the new €20 million library extension was the venue for the inaugural Maynooth Alumni Summer Soiree on 29th May. Over 200 alumni and friends enjoyed an evening of art, literature and music on a beautiful summer’s evening in the University with the new library proving to be the star attraction on the 4. Enjoying the Summer Soiree As part of the RTÉ Radio 1 Big Music Week, the Ronan Collins Show was broadcast from the Aula Maxima in NUI Maynooth on Friday, October 4th. Following an invitation to apply for the tickets allocated to alumni, many alumni enjoyed what was an engaging and delightful hour of music at Maynooth. The show featured performances by the University Chamber Orchestra, alumnus Éimear Quinn (BA Music 2003), The Heathers (one of whom is an alumnus), The Last Boys and Gavin James. (You can listen back to the show by visiting the RTE Radio Player website at www.rte.ie/radio/radioplayer) 7. Alumni Alison Hood and Éimear Quinn with conductor, Sébastien Petiet October August May March March Dec 7 4 June 1 10/12/2012 ↑ Carol Service 2012 On 10th December, 70 alumni and friends, as guests of the Alumni Office, attended the Carol Service in the College Chapel and enjoyed a mulled wine and mince pie reception afterwards in Renehan Hall. President of NUI Maynooth, Professor Philip Nolan extended season’s greetings to the invited guests some of whom had last been on campus over 25 years ago. This was the first time we had a special alumni gathering and reception afterwards at the Carol Service. It was such a resounding success we’re planning on doing it each year! 1. (l-r); Ciaran Connolly, Natalie Lough (BA 2007), Louise Mooney (BMus 2007) and Stephen McGovern 2 6/3/2013 ↑ Alumni return to give career talks to Anthropology Society Members Following an appeal by the Alumni Office to postgraduate alumni to return to campus to talk to current students about their career path/choices since receiving their postgraduate qualifications, a lively and informative evening took place in the SU building on Wednesday 6th March. Hosted by the Anthropology Society, President Jennifer McConnell welcomed a combination of first year and final year undergraduates to hear talks from Fiona Larkan (BA 2002, PhD 2008), MSc Course Director for the Centre of Global Health at TCD, Dominic Martella (BA 1992, MA 1997), External Communications & Media Relations Manager for UCD and Therese Lyons (BA 2008, MA 2012) now working in the recruitment industry. 2. Jennifer McConnell with Dominic Martella Maynooth Alumni Association Stay Connected, Keep Connected 3 5 10/3/13 ↗ 17/6/2013 ↑ On Sunday 10th March, 30 alumni and friends were invited as guests of the Alumni Office to the performance of Haydn’s Creation in the College Chapel. The NUI Maynooth Choral Society with the Orchestra of St Cecelia directed by Dr John O’Keeffe and featuring soloists Claudia Boyle (Soprano), Eamonn Mulhall (Tenor) and Jeffrey Ledwidge (Bass) entertained a capacity crowd who were not deterred from attending by the wintry weather. For some alumni, the opportunity to enjoy this performance as a spectator rather than as a former member of the choir, made the event even more pleasurable. As one alumnus said afterwards ‘it really was something special.’ Alumni, staff and conference attendees enjoyed an evening in Renehan Hall on 17/6/2013 to mark the retirement of Professor O’Farrell and acknowledge his contribution to the Mathematics Department and the University over the last five decades. Professor O’Farrell, who retired on 30th September 2012, was Professor of Mathematics at Maynooth since 1975 and was responsible for the establishment of the University’s Computer Centre in December 1975. Former departmental staff who joined the celebrations on the evening included alumnus Dr Richard Watson. Easter Music Event – Haydn’s Creation – 3. John O'Keeffe Conductor Alumni mark retirement of Professor Anthony G. O’Farrell 5. Nicola Tickner (BSc 1995), Professor Anthony G. O’Farrell, Aileen Wynne (BSc 1995), Louise Tyrrell 8 6 16/8/2013 ↑ 13/10/2013 ↑ An alumni reunion of the ECTS Group of 1993 (some had travelled from Germany, Austria and Spain) and Maynooth contemporaries together with former lecturers Professors Marian Lyons and Colm Lennon was held on Friday 16th August. The reunion, which was hosted by the Alumni Office, began with a reception at 6pm and was preceded by a tour of the new library, kindly facilitated by fellow alumnus and Deputy Librarian, Helen Fallon. On Sunday October 13th, over 25 alumni and friends who first came to Maynooth in 1963 returned to campus. Following a tour of the John Paul II new library extension and artwork, the group were then shown around the North Campus or their ‘old stomping grounds’ as one alumnus called it, by Alumni Officer, Karen Kelly, before returning to the South Campus for a further trip down memory lane and a commemorative mass in St Mary’s Oratory. 6. (l-r); Prof. Marian Lyons, Pedro J Oiarzabal, Karin Leithner, Eva Keunecke, Marisol Garcia Montoya, Thomas Leipnitz, Line Verselder, Peter Miller, Prof. Colm Lennon, Cristina Sanchez, Caitriona Whelan 8. Pictured (l-r); Jim O'Gorman, John Lyons, Dick Mohan, Mossie Lee, Eamonn O'Boyle, Micheal O'Diarmada*, Tim Hurley, Paddy Hickey, Tom McGuinness, Dan Ahern, Denis Bergin, Jimmy O'Sullivan, Liam Devine, Joe Brosnan*, Seamus Hanrahan, Frank Masterson, Christy McQuinn, Matt Carley, Patsy Lee, Michael Dolan, Michael Meade, Larry Fingleton (*: partly hidden; missing: Sean McDermott, Jim Lynch, Andy Doyle ECTS 20 Year Reunion 16 August 2013 50 Years on – The Class of 1963 return to campus A note from the Editor… If you would like to attend our alumni events, why not join our Online Community at https://alumninetwork.nuim.ie and we’ll make sure you know all about them. WWW.ALUMNI.NUIM.IE 5 The Bridge 4 The Bridge ‘Friendships forged in Maynooth, in my experience are forged deep’ A note from the Editor… Alumni Support Alumni Pictured (l-r); Niall McLoughlin, Gary Byrne, Martin Clancy, Donnacha Brady We would like to offer more scholarships in the coming years. If you would like to help us do that, please consider taking out a Maynooth Alumni Affinity Card. In 2013 the Alumni Office launched three Alumni Scholarships for Postgraduate study in the University. Funded by revenues earned from the Maynooth Alumni Affinity Card, the Scholarships were launched at the Graduate Studies Open Evening in March and formerly presented at Prizes Night in the University in November. Speaking to the Bridge, Sarah, Alan and Tara, our inaugural alumni scholarship winners, shared what their scholarship meant to them; Making Positive Difference Niall McLoughlin BA 1994 This summer three friends and I made our first trip back to Maynooth together since our time there in the early 1990s. Exactly twenty years had passed since we last threw each other around the SU to ‘Smells like Teen Spirit.’ However, I’m very happy to report that as a bunch of friends, we are as close now as we were back then – friendships forged in Maynooth, in my experience are forged deep. So what had changed? Surprisingly the train from Dublin didn’t rattle, screech or let the rain in, and was quite a pleasant experience. In time-honoured fashion we managed to miss our first intended train so had to go for a pint to wait for the next one. On arrival, we turned up by the canal. It took us a while to get our bearings but we succeeded in identifying and paying our respects at each of the houses we had lived in. The memories and stories of all-nighters (both parties and cramming), food rations and marathon games of Risk came flooding back and took us all the way back to the College. The new campus has developed almost beyond recognition, with shinning new buildings in every direction. The library is twice the size that it was, and overall the place looks pretty fantastic. The road which ran through town and under the footbridge is of course no longer the main artery between east and west so there is a weird and welcome lack of traffic around the place. Maynooth Alumni Association Stay Connected, Keep Connected Sarah Ryan MA Mathematics What hasn’t changed of course is the magnificent old campus, the chapel, the Aula Maxima and the beautiful squares. More memories, this time of Frank McGuinness and Peer Gynt, geography practicals and a rugby match that was blown up 10 minutes before time by the (home) ref when Maynooth took a surprise lead. We finished up in the Roost and as we were leaving to get the train home bumped into the great Professor John Sweeny and who kindly took a photo of us. As Director of Development now with the Irish Youth Foundation, my role aims to make a positive difference to the lives of the many vulnerable and disadvantaged children and young people in Ireland. Looking back, I was fortunate to share my time in Maynooth with some wonderful people, and to have learnt from some great (and patient) teachers. Their influence of course lives on in us and this is particularly true for me personally when I think of Fr Michael McGreal and his passion for social justice. That has never left me and it continues to be a driving force in what I do professionally every day. Having first read about the Alumni Scholarships 2013 on the University’ s Mathematics and Statistics Department website I thought it was a fantastic idea for whoever would eventually receive one. After long deliberation and seeking second and indeed third opinions, as to whether I should apply, I submitted an application with the attitude ‘if you’re not in, you can’t win’! My initial reluctance was primarily due to my false assumption that as a Mature Student, I couldn’t compete with younger students who I also thought should be prioritised due to their longer future employment potential. When I was informed that I had actually been chosen to receive the Science and Engineering Taught Masters Scholarship, I was completely stunned. Its value of €5000 meant that the fees for the first year of my programme were almost covered which was a huge help financially but the marvellous sense of achievement greatly outweighed that. I am honoured to have been chosen and still find it somewhat surreal. The whole process from making the application to actually receiving the award was very efficient and well organised, thanks in particular to Karen Kelly from the Alumni Office and Eilis Murray from the Graduate Studies Office. I would encourage everybody considering undertaking a taught Masters Programme in 2014 to apply for the next round of scholarships, and wish them all the best of luck! Alan Clarke MSocSc Social Science Having developed a deep fondness for NUI Maynooth over the course of my undergraduate studies, I was determined to continue my postgraduate studies at the same university. Like many of my peers, I wasn't sure whether my ambition would become a reality due to the significant costs of pursuing further studies at third level in Ireland. Fortunately, through word of mouth I became aware of the New Alumni Scholarship, which aimed to provide three graduates of NUI Maynooth with a €5,000 contribution towards their postgraduate fees. Believing demand for such a scholarship would be extremely high, I originally procrastinated about applying for the scholarship but ultimately concluded I had nothing to lose in trying! As the staff in the Alumni Office already had access to my academic transcripts, the application process was relatively straightforward, involving no more than a short personal statement and the provision of other relevant personal information. When I received the news I had been selected as one of the three successful candidates for the scholarship, it cemented my decision to return to NUI Maynooth. Not only has the Alumni Scholarship reduced the financial burden of completing my master’s degree in Social Science (Rights and Social Policy) but it has also enabled me to focus wholeheartedly on my academic studies and it has introduced me to a wider network of contacts through the Maynooth Alumni Association. Tara McDonald MA Digital Humanities I first heard about the Alumni Scholarship whilst attending the postgraduate open evening in NUI Maynooth. As there was only one scholarship available per faculty, I did not believe that I stood a chance of getting one. Receiving the 2013 Alumni Scholarship has been incredibly beneficial. It has allowed me the chance to further my education without the burden of debt hanging over my head. This has allowed me to focus all of my attention on my master’s degree, rather than being preoccupied with working off a student loan. I am incredibly grateful to the Alumni Office for this opportunity. ............................................... The closing date for applications for the 2014 alumni scholarships is 1/6/2014. These scholarships are only open to graduates (including 2014 graduates) of NUI Maynooth. The terms and conditions and application form are available online at: http://graduatestudies.nuim.ie The University also offers John and Pat Hume Research scholarships each year for undertaking full-time PhD study at the University. The scholarships provide four years full fees and a stipend of €5k per annum to new entrants into postgraduate research programmes; in some departments an additional teaching scholarship of €3k is offered. Interested applicants should first contact the Department/Research Institute where they wish to study to identify a suitable research topic. For further information, please contact [email protected] WWW.ALUMNI.NUIM.IE 7 The Bridge 6 The Bridge GRADUATIONS 2013 Cuimhní ar Mhá Nuad Bhí mé seacht mbliana déag nuair a leag mé mo chos ar thalamh na hOllscoile Má Nuad i 1972. Díreach amach as scoil chónaithe do chailíní i Muineachán, ba bheag taithí ar shaoirse a bhí agam seachas cúpla seachtain ag obair i B+B i mBun Dobhrán an samhradh céanna. Thug mo thuismitheoirí ann mé, sna héadaí álainn nua a ceannaíodh dom roimh imeachta. Bhuaileamar le m’uncail, sagart de chuid deoise Ard Mhacha a dúirt liom go ceanúil ‘An bhfuil aithne agat ar dhuine ar bith?’ ‘Níl ’ ar arsa mise. ‘Bhuel, caithfimid rud éigin a dhéanamh faoi sin’ arsa seisean ag labhairt leis an gcéad cailín a tháinig an treo, ár gcur in aithne dá chéile. Mhair an cairdeas sin le Clare ar feadh na mblianta ina dhiaidh sin agus bhí cónaí orainn sa teach céanna go dtí gur fhágamar beirt Má Nuad. Bhí Coláiste Phádraig, Má Nuad, mar a tugadh air an uair sin, beag agus pearsanta – go háirithe ó thaobh na mac léinn seachtrach de. Ní raibh ann ach sé bliana roimhe sin ó ceadaíodh cailíní isteach don chéad uair. Bhí aithne ag gach duine ar a chéile – aithne súl, pé scéal é. Nuair nach raibh fonn oibre ort d’fhéadfá dul chuig an ceaintín – an foirgneamh beag réamhdhéanta sin trasna ón Aula Maxima – siúl isteach, agus cinnte dearfa bheadh duine éigin ann a mbeadh aithne agat orthu. An chéad lá agam san ollscoil sheasamar go léir, lucht na chéad bhliana, taobh amuigh den Aula Maxima – neirbhíseach agus tógtha. Ní raibh an oiread sin leaids feicthe agamsa in aon áit amháin le chéile roimhe sin! Bhí an saol ar fad romham – saoirse, neamhspleáchas don chéad uair, an seans mo roghanna féin a dhéanamh gan cur is cúiteamh le héinne. Bhí Má Nuad roghnaithe agam mar go ndúirt duine éigin liom gur áit dheas chairdiúil a bhí inti, nach raibh sé i mBaile Átha Cliath, agus go raibh sé beag. Bhí an ceart ag an duine sin! Roimhe sin bhí mé le dul le bunmhúinteoireacht agus an oíche roimh an agallamh d’athraigh mé m’intinn agus dúirt le mo thuismitheoirí gurbh fhearr liom go mór an mheánmhúinteoireacht agus go raibh mé ag dul go Má Nuad. Agus b’shin sin! Ní raibh brón riamh ina dhiaidh sin orm as an athrú intinne sin. Bhí mé lán dóchasach agus mé ag tabhairt faoi shaol na hOllscoile agus níor fheall Má Nuad orm. Bhí sí mar a tuairisc – muinteartha, pearsanta, daonna. Bhí craic ar dóigh againn, sna ranganna agus lasmuigh de na ranganna. Bhí fonn oibre ar na mic léinn don chuid is mó. Ní hionann sin is a rá gur oibríomar go dian an t-am ar fad ach bhí fhios againn cad a bhí le déanamh againn agus rinneamar é. Maynooth Alumni Association Stay Connected, Keep Connected As is the tradition at Maynooth, the graduation ceremonies were held in early September and at the end of October in the Aula Maxima. Although the weather was not particularly kind this year, graduates and their families travelled from the four corners of Ireland and beyond to attend the biggest events of the year that are held on campus. An Dr Íde Ní Uallacháin (BA 1975, HDip 1976, MA 1992, PhD 1998) Bhí eagla Dé orainn ár mbéal a oscailt sa leabharlann agus d’éirigh linn go leor taighde a dhéanamh dá bharr sin. Bhí aithne ag na léachtóirí go léir orainn agus é deacair go leor éalú ó aistí agus tionscnaimh mar gur cinnte go gcuirfí ceist ort luath go leor cá raibh an aiste chéanna. Bhí aithne phearsanta ag go leor acu orainn freisin agus cineáltas ag dul leis – chuir léachtóir amháin ceist orm, tar éis bhás m’athar sa dara bliain, an raibh fadhbanna airgid ar bith agam ó cailleadh mo Dhaid, agus go raibh sé sásta cabhrú liom. Ní raibh – ach bhí an-mheas agam ar an bhfear as an cheist a chur. Bhíomar soineanta ar go leor bealaí. Chuamar amach oíche amháin sa tseachtain – an Déardaoin – chuig dioscó sa seanhalla i lár an bhaile. Sa chéad bhliain bhí mise i mo chónaí i mBrú na mBan Rialta Sailéiseach, Teach Auxilia, ar an gCampas Thuaidh. Bhí smacht orainn – bhí orainn bheith istigh gach oíche roimh 11.00, agus 1.30 ar an Déardaoin, nó chuirfí an doras faoi ghlas! Bí cinnte nár tharla sé rómhinic gur fágadh lasmuigh den doras sinn. Sheas mé lasmuigh den Aula mar chailín óg neirbhíseach I Meán Fómhar 1972 agus sheas mé arís laistigh den Aula céanna trí bliana ina dhiaidh sin, ag bronnadh na céime, fásta agus muiníneach agus an-bhrodúil as an tréimhse a bhí caite agam san Ollscoil iontach seo. Bhí cairde maithe déanta agam don chuid eile de mo shaol – Leona, Clare, Mairita, Mary agus Margaret. Bhí áthas agus brón ag baint leis na laethanta a chaith mé ansin, ach ócáidí fás a bhí iontu go léir. Bhí luachanna iontacha i measc lucht na hollscoile a thug bunús láidir dúinn go léir agus muid ag tabhairt faoi shaol na hoibre agus na clainne. Níl agam ach cuimhní maithe ar na blianta a chaith mé in Ollscoil na hÉireann Má Nuad – blianta i mbun bunchéime, Ard-Teastas san Oideachas, Máistreacht agus faoi dheireadh thiar thall I 1998 céim dochtúireachta. Fuair mé mo sheansanna saoil go léir san Ollscoil seo agus beidh mé riamh buíoch do m’Alma Mater féin – ní amhain I gcúrsaí oideachais ach i gcúrsaí grá chomh maith – mar gur san áit seo ar bhuail mé le m’fhear chéile, a tháinig go Má Nuad sa bhliain 1969 agus atá fós ann. Lean ceathrar dár bpáistí sinn isteach in Ollscoil na hÉireann Má Nuad, sa tslí gur féidir liom a rá go buíoch beannachtach gur ollscoil saoil é an Coláiste céanna ar mhórán slite. September graduation ceremonies saw over 1,850 students conferred over three days. Included this year for the first time were graduates from the BA in Public Policy, BA in Multimedia International, BBA in Business and Accounting, 1 BBS in Business and Accounting International, BBS in Equine Business International, as well as the Diploma in Leadership, Management and Defence Studies for members of the Defence Forces and An Dioplóma i Múineadh na Gaeilge. 1,025 graduates were conferred in October during which three new qualifications were awarded; Honours Degree Bachelor of Arts (Community and Youth Work) from the Department of Applied Social Studies; Higher Diploma in Further Education from the Froebel Department of Primary and Early Childhood Education and the Bachelor of Science (Biological and Biomedical Science International). 2 3 1. The Reynolds family from Lucan who are all graduates of NUI Maynooth,(l-r); Séamus (2012–13 Students’ Union President); Róisín and Micheál (both conferred with a BA Double Honours in September with Saoirse and Cormac. 2. Graduates from the LLM (Master of Laws); Chang Qi, Megan O’Connor and Joanna Malek 3. Niamh Kelly, Naz Mohammed, Aoife Scanlon – all of whom received an Honours Degree of Bachelor of Arts (Multimedia). 4. Mother and Daughter Pauline Rafter from Dunshaughlin, Co. Meath with her daughter Liann Rafter who both graduated with a BA Double Honours in September. 4 5 5. BA Double Honours graduates; Fiona Hartley, Kilkenny; Aoife Lennon, Longford; and Catherine Fagan, Co Meath singing in the rain 6. Kate Fitzpatrick, Navan with her 3 year old daughter Faye Scott celebrating as she was conferred a BA Double Honours 7. Graduates of the Department of LawLLM (Masters of Laws); Philip Devoy, Jamie Whelan, David Byrne, Laura Vidal Foi Patience, John Devenney delighted with their achievements at the October graduation ceremonies. 8. Prof Philip Nolan, President, NUI Maynooth pictured with graduate Robert Holt NUI Maynooth rugby scholar who plays with NUIM Barnhall RFC 8 6 7 8 WWW.ALUMNI.NUIM.IE 9 The Bridge 8 The Bridge Learning in a Changing Climate Dr Conor Murphy’s (alumnus and lecturer with the Department of Geography, NUI Maynooth) passion for climate change research takes him to Africa. When Conor Murphy arrived at NUI Maynooth in 1999 as an undergraduate to study Geography and English, he did not envisage that in 2013 he would still be here, having carved out an immensely successful academic career. Nor did he imagine that he would be taking his passion for climate change research to Zambia and Malawi. His latest project, funded by Irish Aid, is seeking to transform the nature of engagement between rural communities and policy makers in addressing the issues of climate change and food security. The project is strongly focused on integrating teaching and research and brings together the expertise of over thirty academics in the areas of climate change, adult and community education, agriculture, biology and sociology to develop a master’s programme and research agenda for practitioners who work with vulnerable rural communities in both Zambia and Malawi. Conor sees geography as a key discipline in this work, bringing an appreciation of both the physical and social processes necessary in addressing such complex issues and a central recognition of the importance and uniqueness of place in facilitating local scale adaptation. Conor completed his master’s and doctoral studies within the Department of Geography where he is now a permanent member of staff, and Acting Director of ICARUS – the Irish Climate Analysis and Research Units. Since realising my love for geography as a secondary school student at Gorey Community School I always wanted to study the subject at NUI Maynooth. ‘Then, as now, the Department is the strongest nationally with a very strong international presence on topics that are highly relevant for society, the most outstanding of which for me was climate change. I couldn’t imagine myself studying and working on this topic anywhere else in Ireland and 1 Maynooth Alumni Association Stay Connected, Keep Connected I haven’t been disappointed. As both a student and staff member colleagues have been supportive, encouraging and often inspiring, offering a great environment in which to learn, teach and research.’ Following completion of his PhD studies on climate change impacts on catchment hydrology in 2007, Conor’s research interests have evolved to detecting and attributing change in catchment hydrology, understanding uncertainty in simulations of future climate, decision making in adapting to climate change, understanding the dynamics of adaptation at local levels. He has published his work in several leading international journals, most notable of which is his paper in Nature Climate Change exploring the role of social contract theory in understanding the process of adaptation in response to extreme events. This work has been shortlisted for the Lloyds Science of Risk Prize 2013. With colleagues John Sweeney, Rowan Fealy and Steve McCarron, Conor helped the development of ICARUS into the largest dedicated climate research centre in Ireland and highlights the vibrancy and relevance of the work undertaken by colleagues and researchers there as central to his own development, particularly the role of PhD students in pushing the boundaries of new knowledge. The range of work conducted by the group on all aspects related to climate change, and the contribution that has been made to national policy and international knowledge in the field has been impressive. Following the recent retirement of John Sweeney, Conor relishes continuing that contribution as Acting Director, and continuing to teach climate change to both undergraduates and students studying on the MSc in Climate Change programme. 1. Michael Kenny (Adult and Community Education, NUI Maynooth), Dr David Sibalwa (Zambian Open University ZAOU), Dr Conor Murphy (Dept of Geography NUI Maynooth), Dr Bernie Grummell and Prof. Anne Ryan (Adult and Community Education, NUI Maynooth) and Prof. Mwananyanda Mbikusita Lewanika (Zambiab Open University ZAOU). 2. Prof. Anne Ryan and Conor Murphy from NUI Maynooth with TEN (Transformative Engagement Network) – the group delivering the MA Programme in the African Universities 2 WWW.ALUMNI.NUIM.IE 11 The Bridge 10 The Bridge ‘These are the ties that bind – family, friendships and a shared alma mater’ 1 2 Celebrating the Transition Years – A Half-Century Later Family Matters Denis Bergin (BA 1966) recalls the time he first came to Maynooth in 1963 and the era it heralded to a socially and culturally different Ireland of the 1960s. He is a writer and editor who lives in Co. Offaly and in Mount Pleasant, South Carolina. Many alumni have family members who attended the University over the years. Mother and daughter, Breda and Maria Sunderland who graduated with BA’s over 30 years apart, share their memories of college life with the Bridge. Breda Sunderland (nee Desmond) We were the ‘transition year’ students, a motley grouping of youthful promise from the four corners of Ireland who were riding out the most traumatic turn of events in the history of the nation, the Catholic Church and its institutions. In the early 1960s, a ‘perfect storm’ was blowing up around the advent of television, the workings of Vatican II, the awakening of the oppressed that was to give rise to three decades of Northern ‘Troubles,’ the prospect of universal free secondary education, and the opening up of the protected Irish economy and workplace to the realities of modern commerce. For the one hundred members of the Maynooth entry class of 1963, the effects were not very noticeable at first. The solid structures and traditions that had buoyed up a dozen generations of trainee pastors for the Irish church protected us from the harsh edges of change. But soon the diminishing numbers on the class list told the truth: at this rate, less than half of the initial enrolment would reach their planned destination. It took a while for the reframing to take place: most of us were being educated, or had been educated, for something different than what we had set out to be. Our diet of secular knowledge was not exactly meagre, but it was limited. There were luminaries among our professorial corps (O’Fiaich in History, Connolly in English, McConnell in Maths Physics, O’Doibhlinn in French), but in some departments the professors almost outnumbered the students in any given year, and those seeking cultural adventure or intellectual excitement in the broader context often had to look elsewhere. The winds of change could be felt, however, in small advances. Two nuns joined the Arts course and the post-graduate Higher Diploma in Education class was opened up to lay participation in 1966, experiencing an enrolment explosion in the subsequent years. And out of what might be regarded as an unpromising mix in that transitional era came what might be claimed to be one of the most impressive cohorts of professors, educators, public servants and (dare we say it!) pastors in the College’s history. So when the Class of ‘63 assembled on the forecourt of the John Paul II Library on a Sunday in October 2013, there were apologies from a Professor of Politics at Princeton, the current Minister for Trade and Development in the Irish government, the founding professor of Ireland’s first university department of Communications, and the former Head of Human Resources at Bournemouth University. Maynooth Alumni Association Stay Connected, Keep Connected But we had with us on the day a former member of the International Monitoring Commission for Northern Ireland, the former heads of a half-dozen of the country’s largest secondary schools, an international authority on stress in industry and education, a retired Professor of Classical Philology from the University of Hamburg, the current chairman of Dundalk Town Council and the man who up to recently was the Prior of Lough Derg! As on most such occasions, the talk was mostly of student escapades, professorial quirks, and the perspective that the passage of time brings to all human endeavours. But underlying the light-hearted banter was the sneaking suspicion that we were, in fact, the heralds of a future Maynooth where the lion of intellectual advancement would lie down with the lamb of spiritual discernment to create something unique in the progress of Irish third-level education. Floreat! 1&2. Members of the Maynooth Science Class of 1963–66: at back: Dick Mohan (Tyrone); front left to right: Michael Dolan (Leitrim), Christy McQuinn (Carlow), Larry Fingleton (Laois)… and on the same spot fifty years later: Michael Dolan, farmer and community leader; Larry Fingleton, formerly Vice-Principal, Blessington Vocational School; Christy McQuinn, formerly Principal, Tullow Community School; Dick Mohan, formerly Prior, Lough Derg and currently P.P. Clones, Co. Monaghan BA 1979, MA 1980, PhD 1989 St Patrick’s College in 1976 was on the cusp of great change; I was a 1st Arts student. Within a year the North Campus was open. In ways my undergraduate journey paralleled the emergence of the university from a cloistered past towards tentatively embracing its academic potential. In later years, as a postgraduate and through my work, I’ve watched proudly as NUI Maynooth progressed towards a justifiable confidence in what it does so well – teaches. Maynooth was truly an alma mater, nurturing passion for learning. Special memories include Patricia Coughlan’s lectures on ‘Wuthering Heights’ and Heaney; Tadhg Ó Dúshláine on Ó Riordáin’s ‘Brosna’ and every course taught by Fr Peter Connolly. I was blessed by inspiring academic supervisors – John Sweeney, Peter Denman and, again, Peter Connolly. A circle of friends wont to talk about Yeats or ‘Hamlet’ over lunch was such a privilege – we were serious students! I’ve worked in Athy College for over 32 years. I enjoy liaising with the University’s Access office – Ann O’Brien became part of the tapestry that is ‘My Maynooth.’ I love when our students – including my daughter, Maria – opt to study at NUI Maynooth. This autumn I sat in the Aula Maxima as Maria was conferred with an MSc and quietly reflected on the bonds that Maynooth has forged, between past and present, between mother and daughter. Maria Sunderland BA 2009, PGDE 2010, MSc (Mathematics for Education) 2012 Having spent the past six years as a student at NUI Maynooth, I can honestly say that I chose the right place to study! As a student of mathematics and geography, I have many happy memories of great lecturers. I’ll always be grateful to Ann O’ Shea for continuing to build my interest in mathematics as an undergraduate and as a postgraduate. John Sweeney, whose geography courses I loved, was even there in mum’s time! I enjoyed many visits to the library – often for a social call! Most special to me are the friendships forged that will last a lifetime. I have survived exam fever, writer’s block, deadlines, Christmas day in the SU and even a canteen fire! Currently, I am teaching mathematics and geography in Piper’s Hill College, Naas. In Springsteen’s words, ‘These are the ties that bind’– family, friendships and a shared alma mater. A note from the Editor… If you or a family member would like to share your memories of your student days in Maynooth, we’d love to hear from you. WWW.ALUMNI.NUIM.IE 13 The Bridge 12 The Bridge f l Maynooth Memories & Memorabilia Where to start? In no particular order: 1. Sunday night movies in the Aula Maxima. Hoping they'd finish before last orders in The Roost. 2. Student Union discos on a Wednesd ay night in the students’ union building Rag Week 1994 Responses Here’s a selection of some of the comments from our LinkedIn and Facebook members after we posted the Rag Week ’94 videos to YouTube: peal to Following a successful ap e is delighted alumni in 2012, the Bridg responses to feature a selection of ar’s appeal. we received from this ye Week ’94 Also, check out the Rag to YouTube. videos that we’ve posted ise anyone Let us know if you recogn friends. and do share it with your Sc (General ) Chemistry class outside Logic House – April 1977 Back: Vincent McCarvill, Tom Slevin, Ger Curtin, Patrick Layola, Francis Mulligan, Michael Halton, Tommy Byrne. Front: Eamon Mulvihill, Ann McDonald, Sr Nora Ryan, Michael Nevin, Revd Prof. Michael Casey, Mary Duffy, Tony Shields Ciarán Nugent (BA 1995) Wow. That’s me at the 1.00 minute mark in Episode 2 being kissed by Stephen Murphy (who was dressed as a woman for some reason). Dáithí Neligan is the Crimeline policeman. Others featured are Joe Donnelly and Denis Clohessy (the SU president and Vice President). Joe Donnelly is now a radio producer and presenter whilst Denis scores music for theatre and film productions. I could go on for ages here but I’ll end by remembering that the Rag Week t-shirts worn by the Hit Squad were designed by Deirdre de Barra. She’s creating comic books these days. Patricia Rose Love (BA 2003) What a great place! Patrick Downey (BA 1997) I LOVE IT! Great seeing those old faces. Thanks for posting and for making my day! :) Karen O'Hanlon Cohrt (BSc 2007) I miss Maynooth now!! that was a glorified shed, at the back of a field behind the Arts Block. 3. Bringing over a video tape (yes, it was a long time ago) for the barman in the students’ union to show a movie and whiling away a rainy afternoon with some friends there. 4. The grass getting cut in Joe’s square and people getting worried as that was the indicator about how prepared you should be by then for exams. 5. Everyone being evacuated from the chemistry lab by Logic House, due to someone breaking a thermom eter or some such. 6. Studying in Loftus Halls in the evenings, coming up to the exams and strolling around the Graf. 7. The song contest. 8. The carol service in The Gun at Christm as. 9. Sitting around in sparsely furnished student houses, including our own, and doing nothing of value and enjoying it. Happy Days (1985-1988) By Seamus O'Boyle Kevin Walsh (BSc 1999) The year I started! Makes me feel old but great memories :) Conferring ceremony outside the Aula Maxima, November 1981 Prof John Briody, Mary Lynam (BSc 1981), Prof Peter Carr, Tony Alcock (BSc 1981) ECTS Students St Joseph’s Square 1993 ) ughlin and Denise Boles (BA 1994 Evelyn Slye (BA 1994), Niall McLo 1994 – Celebrating their thesis submission Thomas Leipnitz , Sharon Fides, Bernadette Talty, Prof. Vincent Comerford, Christophe Caron, Maynooth Alumni Association Stay Connected, Keep Connected Conor McHugh (BA 1996) I'm loving the Rag TV videos. I was actually one of the camera men in 1996. One of the best weeks of my life! Back when college was still fun! I was at the Galway Cycle Ball last Friday night, and got chatting to a gang of lads who were in college during that era. Your videos have prompted great memories! Annmarie Cudden (BA 2011) Amazing to think this was almost twenty years ago. Few flashbacks to the nineties, hair, clothes and the ashtray with the cigarettes in. How times have changed, no more cigarettes indoors, new canteen, and better still a new library... Onwards and upwards Maynooth University, but thank you to you guys for giving us something to look back on :) Graduation Ball Anne Plunkett (BSc 1981), Teresa Redmond (nee Berrill) (BSc 1981), Bob McKiernan (BSc 1980), Michael ?(Biology Dept Technician) and Cathal ?(BSc 1980) A note from the Editor… Why not join our Facebook and LinkedIn Groups so you can be part of the discussion? WWW.ALUMNI.NUIM.IE 15 The Bridge 14 The Bridge Minister Quinn launches University Strategic Plan Minister for Education and Skills, Ruairi Quinn TD and Professor Philip Nolan, President NUI Maynooth The NUI Maynooth Strategic Plan 2012–2017 was launched in June this year by the Minister for Education and Skills, Ruairi Quinn, TD. The Strategic Plan sets out the direction of the University and our contribution to education and research until 2017 and focuses on key areas such as a radical enhancement of undergraduate education, developing centres of excellence for research, doubling international student mobility and collaborating with other institutions domestically and internationally. Speaking at the launch, University President, Professor Philip Nolan said: ‘We know the world is changing more rapidly than at any point in human history, and we asked ourselves how we can prepare graduates for such a complex and unpredictable future. Our goal is to be the best place in Ireland to learn, where we furnish graduates not just with knowledge and skills, but with the capacity to reflect, to analyse, to reason, to articulate clearly their point of view, with the flexibility to adapt to challenge and change, and with the confidence and capacity to make their world a better place.’ NUI Maynooth’s Strategic Plan sets out the direction of the University and its contribution to education until 2017. It focuses on key areas such as creating a liberal education model, collaborating with other institutions domestically and internationally and developing centres of excellence for research and entrepreneurship. Developing centres of excellence in key areas of research -- Building on the University’s existing research strengths to create centres of excellence in information and communications technology, biochemical sciences, social and spatial analysis, digital humanities, and innovation -- Implementing strategic measures to attract the best researchers and scholars -- Ensuring that the benefits of university research flow to the economy and society, building on the University’s strong record of commercialisation Further internationalising the University -- Doubling international student mobility, the number of international students attending Maynooth and the number of Maynooth students with an international experience as part of their degree -- Creating a vibrant multi-cultural, multi-lingual environment that will prepare graduates to work across boundaries, across borders, across cultures Increased collaboration with other institutions Key initiatives under the Strategic Plan include: -- The consolidation of Froebel College of Education to NUI Maynooth, the 3U Partnership with DCU and RCSI, and the recently announced partnership with Athlone Institute of Technology, Developing a radically different model of undergraduate education Speaking at the launch of the Strategic Plan, Minister for Education and Skills, Ruairi Quinn TD said: -- Developing new subject combinations across the sciences, social sciences and humanities to prepare graduates for emerging roles in the economy and society ‘I am particularly pleased to see the focus that NUI Maynooth’s Strategic Plan provides on creating graduates who can think critically. -- Ensuring students are highly competent in their own subject areas, but also giving students structured opportunities to broaden their education so they can appreciate different perspectives and operate in interdisciplinary teams -- A strong emphasis on the important intellectual skills of reflection, analysis, critical thinking and problem-solving I welcome the long-term view that the University has taken. I too am firmly of the view that education is for life, and while there is much that needs to and is being reformed within the system, I am always conscious that the purpose of any reform is to improve outcomes for students.’ Hitting the Right Note The University’s Chamber Choir make their debut tour of the US. In March 2013, the NUI Maynooth Chamber Choir returned from a hugely successful debut tour of the US, performing a special St Patrick’s Day Concert at The Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception, Albany. The tour, which also included performances in the Leighton Concert Hall, Notre Dame and the Irish American Heritage Center, Chicago, generated significant media publicity on St Patrick’s Day radio in NYC, on Albany state television and in the Irish Examiner New York edition. US based alumni were invited to attend these performances which received standing ovations at each and every venue. The Choir, consisting of twenty-four singers under the direction of alumnus and conductor Michael Dawson (BMus 2011), performed an imaginative and exciting programme of Irish, European and American choral music. While in the States, they were invited to perform live on the Adrian Flannelly Radio Show in New York on Irish Radio Network USA and to perform for the ‘Fighting’ 69th Infantry Regiment in New York where they were presented with a Medal of Excellence. Another tour highlight was their performance for the Ireland-US Council and Governor Como of New York. In 2011, the Choir celebrated their 25th anniversary with a gala performance attended by former President Mary McAleese as Guest of Honour under the baton of Maynooth Alumni Advisory Board member, Áengus O’Maoláin (BMus 2009, MA 2011). The Chamber Choir also performed at one of the regional finals of the 2013 All-Island School Choir competition which was recorded by RTÉ in October in the College Chapel. Membership of the Choir is by audition and is open to all students and staff of both NUI Maynooth and St Patrick’s College Maynooth. Members are offered the chance of choral experience at a very high level and to date over 250 of the Choir’s graduates have gone on to take their place in many of Ireland’s premier choral groups, including Anúna and the National Chamber Choir. The on-campus work of the Choir centres each year on its involvement in the annual Maynooth Carol Services and on a major end-of-year concert in the College Chapel which in 2014, will take place on Sunday, 11th May. Founded in 1986 under Emeritus Professor Gerard Gillen, the Choir was first directed by alumnus Dr John O’Keeffe. Since then the Choir has gained recognition as one of the leading university choirs in Ireland. It has mainly specialised in the performance of sacred repertoire from renaissance polyphony to contemporary works, maintaining a consistent focus on major works by twentieth-century composers, stretching from Duruflé, Vaughan Williams and Pizzetti through to Bernstein, Barber and Part. The Choir has an established tradition of commissioning and promoting new music and has presented premières of a number of pieces by Irish composers. A note from the Editor… If you’d like to be kept up to date on music and cultural events in the University, make sure you’ve registered with our Online Community at https://alumni-network.nuim.ie If you’re a former member of any of the University’s choirs, the Alumni Office would love to hear from you. Pictured (l-r); Siobhain Maguire, Amy Gleeson, Mikaela Bonner and Erin Dollard Maynooth Alumni Association Stay Connected, Keep Connected WWW.ALUMNI.NUIM.IE 17 The Bridge 16 The Bridge ‘In the month since you left, I see the situation in N. Ireland has improved tremendously.’ Online Archive of Spoken Irish from the 1920s & 30s Academics from NUI Maynooth have been working with The Royal Irish Academy, to put a unique record of the sounds of Irish as it was spoken throughout Ireland in the 1920s and ’30s online. www.doegen.ie is home to audio recordings made by Dr Wilhelm Doegen, who came to Ireland eighty-five years ago at the request of the new Ministry of Education, to make a permanent record of the spoken language in all districts in which it was still spoken. The project ran from 1928 to 1931, and 136 speakers from 17 counties recorded 400 stories, songs, prayers, charms and parables. The original wax matrices were transferred to Berlin and reformatted onto shellac disks. Although the shellac recordings have been long known to linguists, the Academy Library wanted to make them freely available to all via a digital archive on the internet. In 2008, with a funding grant under the Higher Education Authority’s PRTLI4, the Academy Library commenced a project to transfer the recordings to the web, together with annotated transcripts of content, speaker details, translations of the transcripts and other data. The site is fully bilingual. It will enable linguistic, folkloric and musicological research and teaching, as well as providing a resource for family and local history. Lead academic project partner is Professor Ruairí Ó hUiginn, Roinn na NuaGhaeilge, NUI Maynooth, and website editor is Dr Eoghan Ó Raghallaigh, Roinn na NuaGhaeilge, NUI Maynooth. The project also benefitted from work done by Maynooth students Siobhán Barrett and Líadan Ní Chearbhaill under the NUI Maynooth Summer Programme for Undergraduate Researchers (SPUR). About Dr Wilhelm Doegen Dr Wilhelm Doegen (1877–1967) was Director of the Lautabteilung, Preussische Staatsbibliothek (the Sound Department at the Prussian State Library), Berlin. Doegen had made recordings with the Odeon Recording Company, Berlin (1909–14) for the purpose of teaching foreign languages at the Borsig High School, where he was employed as a teacher. During World War I, he visited 70 POW camps where he recorded over 250 languages and dialects, as well as examples of traditional music. The prisoners of war recited the Parable of the Prodigal Son in their own language and dialect for comparative purposes. This work resulted in the production of 1,650 shellac records. In 1926 the Irish government asked Dr Doegen to make recordings of Irish speech in the Gaeltacht and in areas of the country where Irish had suffered decline. Suitable speakers were secured and arrangements were made for them to be recorded. Speakers were transferred to the recording location where they were expected to sing a song, tell a story, recite a version of the Parable of the Prodigal Son (based on a copy supplied to them in advance), count numbers or recite a prayer. The recordings were made on wax matrices which were then transported to Berlin where they were converted to shellac. Siobhán Fitzpatrick, Royal Irish Academy Librarian, Professor Luke Drury, Royal Irish Academy President, and Dr Eoghan Ó Raghallaigh, Roinn na Nua-Ghaeilge, NUI Maynooth Maynooth Alumni Association Stay Connected, Keep Connected Helen Fallon, Sr Majella McCarron, Dr Íde Corley, Dr Owens Wiwa, Prof. Philip Nolan, Baroness Nuala O’Loan, Dr Anne O’Brien (Kairos Communications) and Dr Lawrence Fox Silence Would be Treason NUI Maynooth publishes book and audio archive to mark the 18th anniversary of the death of human-rights activist, Ken Saro-Wiwa. A book of letters and poems written by Nigerian environmental and human rights activist and Nobel Peace Prize nominee Ken Saro-Wiwa, was launched at NUI Maynooth on November 8th by his brother, Dr Owens Wiwa, to mark the 18th anniversary of his execution by the then Nigerian military regime. The book, ‘Silence Would be Treason, last writings of Ken Saro-Wiwa’ features the private letters written by Ken SaroWiwa to Irish missionary nun Sister Majella McCarron (OLA) while he was on death row, as well as a selection of his poems. Ken Saro-Wiwa was the author of poetry, short stories, novels, children’s books and various pieces of journalism. He produced work for radio and wrote a topical television series that satirized the get-rich-quick mentality of his countrymen and women. Much of his fiction addressed current Nigerian socio-political and economic issues. He was a member of the small ethnic group, the Ogoni, numbering over half a million people who inhabit a small region in the South East of the Niger Delta. Over 100 oil wells, a petrochemical complex and two oil refineries were located in the area. Smuggled out of his detention centre in bread baskets, the letters document Ken’s painful transition from political activist to political prisoner, his courageous efforts to protect the Niger Delta, and an enduring friendship with Sister Majella. The letters also address the growing political instability in Nigeria, the writer’s hopes for peace in Northern Ireland, and his passion for peace and justice throughout the world. The letters were donated two years ago to the University by Sister Majella, a native of Derrylin, Co. Fermanagh, who first met Ken during the 1990s, on foot of NUI Maynooth sociology students’ involvement in environmental campaigning. The resulting book was edited by Dr Íde Corley, Helen Fallon and Dr Laurence Cox of NUI Maynooth. The strong bond between Saro-Wiwa, who is considered to be one of the great humanitarian figures of the late 20th century, was strengthened following Saro-Wiwa’s arrest and detention as Sr Majella became his lifeline to the outside world. He shared with her his despair at his incarceration and also the comfort he received from their correspondence. In one letter, dated the 16th September 1994, he wrote, ‘In the month since you left, I see the situation in N. Ireland has improved tremendously. The possibility of peace is so comforting, I hope it happens. 25 years is a long time to be fighting, surely. God grant that it works. Nigeria has progressively gone down the drains to its worst possible nadir. With all sensible newspapers banned, a lot of people in detention & laws which establish that the dictatorship cannot be challenged in court, we are in real trouble, to say the least.’ She was to receive his final letter one month after his execution by hanging. He also sent her a number of his poems which had not yet been published. At the launch, the University also unveiled a new Ken Saro-Wiwa Audio Archive in the Library. The audio archive, a joint initiative between NUI Maynooth Library and Kairos Communications, features a collection of recordings including extensive interviews with Sister Majella, speaking of her childhood in County Fermanagh, her decision to join a religious order, working in Nigeria and meeting Ken Saro-Wiwa, and her efforts to save his life and the lives of the Ogoni Nine. The web-based audio archive is on open access at http://library.nuim.ie/electronicresources/ken-saro-wiwa-audio-archive WWW.ALUMNI.NUIM.IE 19 The Bridge 18 The Bridge Adding to the Maynooth Experience – Clubs & Societies throughout the years For many, clubs and societies are considered to be the lifeblood of extra-curricular activity on campus. These student-led groups provide every student with an opportunity to get involved in activities outside of the lecture halls, to try new activities they might never have considered before becoming a student and to acquire skill sets which became invaluable to them when they entered the working world. Traditionally, there have always been two major highlights of the academic year for clubs and societies – Clubs & Societies Fairs Day and Clubs & Societies Awards Night. Clubs & Societies Fairs Day, which takes place at the start of every academic year, has consistently proved to be the main method of recruiting members. Originally held in the Aula Maxima on the South Campus until 1991, it was transferred to the Sports Complex where it has been held every year since then (bar one when the new Phoenix Restaurant was being built). Over the years, the University has seen the formation of a diverse and eclectic mix of clubs and societies. Societies in the 1980s, which included the Caradas Society, Maynooth Alumni Association Stay Connected, Keep Connected Nigerian Students Union, and the Social Action Group, reflected the social and cultural landscape of that decade. Some of the more traditional societies such as the Biology Society and the Sociology Society are still in existence today. Another key date on the student activities calendar is the Clubs & Societies Awards Night. This event had humble beginnings under Mags Murphy and Ronan Barry (SU President and Vice-President) in the academic year 1994 / 95 when the ceremony was hosted in the SU Bar. However, as its popularity soared, the event was transferred to the local Glenroyal Hotel where it has gone from strength to strength each year. 2014 is the 20th anniversary of the Clubs & Societies Awards Night and we would like to invite any alumni who served as a committee member with a club or society over the years to get in touch and register their interest in a reunion event. Just email [email protected] stating the year and club or society you were involved with. We’d love to hear from you! 1. Grace Crehan, President of the Rugby Club celebrates with her club mates as they win the Best Club Award at the 2009 Clubs and Societies Awards night 2. Enjoying Clubs & Societies Fairs Day 2/10/2013 A number of our society winners have gone on to achieve national recognition of their efforts at the Board of Irish College Societies (BICS) National Society of the Year Awards including; Paul Donnelly (Best Society Individual 2008), Lydia Farrell (Best Fresher 2008), GLB Society (Best Society 2008), Erin Barclay (Best Individual 2009), Spotlight Fashion Show (Best Event 2010), Anthropology Society (Most Improved Society 2012), Finomics Society (Best New Society 2013). WWW.ALUMNI.NUIM.IE 21 The Bridge 20 The Bridge EVENTS IN THE SPOTLIGHT 2013 1 5 2 1. Investment Funds Industry Offers Job Opportunities for Award-Winning Graduates Two NUI Maynooth students have won awards for their work during an innovative new funds law course taught at the University. The investment funds industry is a growth area for jobs in Ireland, employing about 12,000 people. NUI Maynooth anticipates that its new funds law course, launched earlier this year, will open opportunities for its graduates. Andrew Norry and Tomás Nolan were presented with their awards on 30 September at the offices of Dublin law firm Matheson. Andrew Norry won the prize for best overall student, winning a 6-month internship at Matheson. NUI Maynooth partnered with Matheson to create the first-ever funds law module available at an Irish university earlier this year. In a unique collaboration between academia and industry, Liz Grace of Matheson designed the course and taught the students at Matheson’s docklands headquarters every week. She is Visiting Professor in Funds Law at NUI Maynooth. The funds law module formed part of the Master of Laws Degree and the Master of International Business Law Degree offered by NUI Maynooth. Pictured (l-r); Andrew Norry, Winner Matheson Funds Law Intern 2013, Liz Grace, Matheson, Visiting Professor in Funds Law and Prof. Michael Doherty, Head of NUI Maynooth Law School 2. Young Scientist Tanzania Now in its Second Year NUI Maynooth is pleased to announce its association with the second year of the Young Scientist Tanzania Exhibition, the genesis of which occurred when trainees from Tanzania were in Ireland through a project hosted by researchers at Maynooth. Young Scientist Tanzania aims to promote and popularise science and technology by linking these disciplines to social themes, such as active citizenship and 3 the fight against poverty. Participating secondary-school students generate the ideas for their projects under four broad categories – Biological and Ecological Sciences, Chemical, Mathematical and Physical Sciences, Social and Behavioural Sciences, and Technology – based on the realities within their communities. The Young Scientist Tanzania is the only example of its kind in sub-Sarharan Africa. More than sixty projects from eighteen of the twenty-three regions of Tanzania were competing for twelve awards. Pictured (l-r); Aisha Nduku, Monica Shinina and Nengai Moses from Kibosho Girls Secondary School in Kilimanjaro are honoured at NUI Maynooth. 3. Irish Universities Pledge to Help Small Business Succeed in China A group of five Irish Universities and Institutes of Technology, led by NUI Maynooth have come together to support small businesses in China. The Ireland-China International Strategic Collaboration Programme (ISCP) funded by Science Foundation Ireland aims to unlock the experience of many years of research operation in China to help companies make their first moves into the world’s second largest economy. The ISCP University partners include NUI Maynooth, Trinity College Dublin, DCU, DIT and the Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland. The SFI supported event brings together Enterprise Ireland and the IDA in a unique single venue to support Irish Business. Discussing the initiative, Professor Bernard Mahon, VP Research said: ‘As the recent international financial crisis has engulfed the economies of the western world, the importance of the Chinese economy on the world stage has never been more evident. The Chinese domestic consumer market continues to go from strength to strength, and Chinese companies are now increasingly emerging as not only out-sourcing partners for western business, but also as competitors to these same businesses. With these Maynooth Alumni Association Stay Connected, Keep Connected 4 market trends in mind it is becoming more important Irish Universities to support the business community to gain a greater understanding of the Chinese economy, and Chinese society’. Further information at www.iscpchina.ie Pictured (l-r); Prof. Bernie Mahon, Vice-Pres for Research, NUI Maynooth; Shelly Xiong, Senior Partner, Haoliwen Partners; Bernard Durkan, TD, Vice Chairman Foreign Affairs Committee, Xiaochuang Wu, Chinese Embassy, Brian Harrison, Science Foundation Ireland 4. Breakthrough for Inflammatory Bowel Disease A research team led by Professor Paul Moynagh, Head of the Department of Biology has made a breakthrough discovery by identifying a protein ‘Pellino3’ that may protect against inflammatory bowel diseases such as Crohn’s disease. The research findings have been accepted and published in the prestigious ‘Nature Immunology’ journal. The research team has discovered a crucial role for a protein, Pellino3, in controlling unwanted inflammation in the intestine and therefore protecting against the development of Crohn’s disease. According to the Crohn’s & Colitis Foundation of America, 1 in 200 Americans struggle with Inflammatory Bowel Disease, while in Europe it is estimated that upward of two million are suffering with it. When chronic inflammation occurs in the intestine, this can lead to conditions known as inflammatory bowel diseases of which Crohn’s disease is an especially debilitating strand. The team at NUI Maynooth has discovered that the levels of Pellino3 are dramatically reduced in Crohn’s disease patients, which is a major advance in the understanding of inflammatory diseases of the digestive system. The team is now building on these findings and aims to use Pellino3 as the basis for a new diagnostic for Crohn’s disease and as a target in the design of drugs to treat this incurable disease. 6 5. 3U Partnership and Ikea Combine to Highlight Diabetes Risk A novel way to reach the estimated 30,000 Irish people with undiagnosed diabetes, and the many thousands more at risk of developing diabetes was launched earlier this year at IKEA’s Dublin store by the 3U Partnership comprising academics from NUI Maynooth, Dublin City University (DCU) and Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland (RCSI). On varying days, the free IKEA tape measures that customers pick up to help with their purchasing will also carry the critical waistline markers – 32 inches for women and 37 inches for men – that are the globally recognised indicators of risk for Type 2 diabetes. Dr Jan Rigby, Head of Geography at NUI Maynooth said the idea to approach IKEA came about during the consortium’s study over the past year: ‘What we found time and again was that often people in Ireland were completely unaware of what their waist sizes were. And I think that’s partially linked to another modern phenomenon. The tape measure in the sewing box was once commonly available to keep track of family heights and waistlines so we wanted to bring the tape measure back into people’s lives and were delighted that IKEA decided to come on board.’ She added that customers could take the tape measures home and use them for a handy reference guide in the future. Pictured (l-r); Prof. Philip Nolan, President, NUI Maynooth; Dr Ruth Davis, Director, 3U Partnership and Prof. Brian MacCraith, President, DCU 6. Maynooth Education Forum In the summer of 2013, NUI Maynooth hosted the inaugural Education Forum, an event which will become an annual platform for open and honest dialogue, and stimulating debate. The 2013 Forum, entitled ‘Irish Education: Differing Views, Developing Visions’, brought together the very brightest and best in modern thinkers, strategists, academics and practitioners to analyse topics such as What is An Educated Person? Is Higher Education Educating? and Schools for the 21st Century. 7 The event featured speakers including Professor Richard Pring of Oxford University, Professor Richard Arum of New York University, Dr Kevin Marshall, Head of Education at Microsoft Ireland and Sean O’Foghlú, Secretary General at the Department of Education and Skills, with lively contributions from panellists and the floor. The University welcomes your attendance and contribution at future events which will be run as part of Maynooth Education Forum. Pictured at the event are Dr Kevin Marshall, Microsoft Ireland; Prof. Richard Pring, Oxford University; Prof. Richard Arum, New York University and Prof. Philip Nolan, President, NUI Maynooth 7. NUI Maynooth Tops Irish Rankings in World’s Best ‘New’ Universities In June this year NUI Maynooth was named as the highest placed Irish university in the Times Higher Education (THE) 100 Under 50 rankings, which lists the leading new universities in the world. The ranking which focuses on the world's best 100 universities less than 50 years old, is now in its second year and NUI Maynooth, named at #74, retains its position as the top-ranked Irish institution. The survey helps identify which countries are challenging the US and UK as the next education powerhouses. Universities are ranked according to a range of criteria including research income achieved, reputation for teaching, numbers of PhDs awarded, the number and quality of scholarly papers and citations from staff and numbers of international staff and students. Commenting on the rankings NUI Maynooth President Professor Philip Nolan said, ‘It is important not to place too much emphasis on rankings of this nature as 8 they are largely subjective and fail to capture the full value of a university’s work, however this does underline that the tremendous achievements of NUI Maynooth since its foundation continue to be internationally recognised.’ Full details on the Times Higher Education 100 Under 50 at www. timeshighereducation.co.uk/ world-university-rankings 8. Official Opening of the Library NUI Maynooth’s library building was also officially opened by the Minister for Education and Skills, Ruairi Quinn in June this year. At a total size of 10,000sqm, the University’s library caters for a diverse range of study styles ranging from social and collaborative to silent and individual. The library features fullyequipped seminar and group study rooms for groups, complete with computer access and interactive whiteboards to aid collaborative study activities and meets the changing needs of students with longer opening hours, particularly flexible during exam times, and extensive electronic resources and services. Professor Philip Nolan thanked those who had brought the project to fruition. ‘This new library building represents an investment of €20 million by the State, an investment from which generations of students will benefit. I would like to thank all those in Government, the Department of Education and Skills, the Higher Education Authority and the design and construction teams as well as the staff here in the University for making this a reality for our students.’ Pictured (l-r); Prof. Philip Nolan, President, NUI Maynooth, with Minister for Education and Skills, Ruairi Quinn at the launch of the University’s Strategic Plan 2012-17 This does underline that the tremendous achievements of NUI Maynooth since its foundation continue to be internationally recognised. Prof. Philip Nolan WWW.ALUMNI.NUIM.IE 23 The Bridge 22 The Bridge Where Are Our… Sr Isabelle Smyth Mary Lynam BA 1969, MA 1970 BSc 1981 1970s 1980s I went to Maynooth in 1966 when it first opened to women students – there were only seven of us there in my first year and the late David Thornley was our lecturer. I witnessed the present campus being built brick by brick. I graduated from Maynooth with a BSc. (hons) in Biology and Chemistry in 1981. In 1985 I obtained an MS in Chemistry from the University of Notre Dame. After graduation I worked at the University of Minnesota, and Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute (NY) and the University of Michigan (Ann Arbor). I returned to school and graduated with a PhD in Environmental Health Sciences from the University of Michigan in 2003. From there I moved to North Carolina to pursue postdoctoral research at the US Environmental Protection Agency in Research Triangle Park. In 2007 I returned to Michigan to teach in the Science and Mathematics Department at Marygrove College, Detroit. In 2010 I became a Research Investigator in the Department of Environmental Health Sciences at the University of Michigan. I am a member of a group that characterizes constituents in air pollution, e.g. particulate matter, mercury, trace element etc. My job entails, field monitoring of air pollutants, laboratory analysis and manuscript writing, all of which I love. I belong to the Medical Missionaries of Mary (MMM). My first assignment after graduation took me to Tanzania in the inspiring times of Julius Nyerere. I was the Administrator of a small but very busy mission hospital at Makiungu - a semi-desert area. After that I spent six years as Secretary General of MMM and my next assignment was to Brazil where I was greatly influenced by Paulo Freire and his pedagogy of the oppressed, as well as by liberation theology. I was recalled to Ireland after seven years to work at the Communications Desk of the Irish Missionary Union, and later ran the Communications Department for MMM, editing the Yearbook ‘Healing & Development’. This job took me travelling to USA, UK, Nigeria, Angola, Ethiopia, Kenya, Uganda, Malawi, Rwanda and back to my beloved Tanzania. I am now kept busy as Writer in Residence with MMM based in Dublin. Since 2005 I have been involved with the Irish anti-human-trafficking campaign known as APT (Act to Prevent Trafficking). I am the Website Content Manager of www.aptireland.org. Maynooth Students actually feature in our masthead helping this campaign. In October 2013 APT collaborated with the Maynooth chaplaincy and Social Justice Week to bring a Belfast theatre company, called Spanner in the Works, to the Student Centre to stage their riveting play about human trafficking, Diablo. I believe tackling the problem of human trafficking is the cutting edge of Christian mission today! My days in Maynooth were filled with great times, great professors, students, friends, parties, dances etc. There is so much about my education there that makes me realise how progressive and forward looking a place it was in the 1980s. During my last year of studies, there were ten of us in the BSc (hons) cohort. We had small lecture classes, engaged in undergraduate research and interacted with faculty on a daily basis. Thirty years later, research is considered a must in the undergraduate curriculum in the Science Technology Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) fields in the United States. Maynooth was also ahead of its time with respect to the presence of women faculty in STEM fields notably, Professors Anne Burnell (Biology) and Susan McKenna Lawlor (Physics) who were my teachers and role models who inspired me to pursue a career in the sciences. My education at Maynooth prepared me to pursue further studies in the US and compete with the brightest and best from around the globe. Maynooth Alumni Association Stay Connected, Keep Connected Alumni Now? Sean Ryan Mark Neville BA 1989 BA 1991, 1992 HDip Ed Elaine Collins 1990s In 1985 I went to Maynooth to study for the priesthood and lived on the ’Old Campus’ in different buildings. College life included singing (Chapel Choir and Choral Society), sport (soccer and swimming) and dramatics. On Saturdays I took the number 66 bus to explore Dublin. I would board the Nesters bus at the Leinster Arms to travel to Ballinasloe for holidays. In 1989 I graduated with a Bachelor of Arts (Hons) in History and Geography. I studied other subjects: Philosophy, French, English and German. After a year studying theology I decided that priesthood was not for me. After moving to London in 1990 I got a job working as a curator at the Science Museum where I set up the Documentation Centre and then worked as information manager on the Wellcome Wing project. In 1996 I worked in the private sector as a consultant at A.T. Kearney and Ernst & Young. My education continued with an MSc in Information Science from City University and learning French and Italian. In 2000 I moved to Paris working at Ernst & Young Consulting then at the headquarters of Capgemini’s French business as a senior communications manager. Since 2012, I am an executive coach, communications consultant and corporate journalist working with French and international companies. Life can be an interconnected journey as my contact with NUI Maynooth continues by attending seminars at the Centre Culturel Irlandais given by visiting lecturers. In May 2013 I successfully passed the University’s Teastas Eorpach na Gaeilge A1 exam. I am also in charge of communications for the Irish Chaplaincy Paris. Since leaving Maynooth in 1992 after completing a BA and HDip Ed, I managed to get a job at Castleknock College for six years. During this time I married my lovely wife Brenda (née O’Shea) who also is a past student of Maynooth having graduated in 1991 with a BA Th. We took a career break in 1998 and travelled to Australia on a one year work/holiday visa. Having visited New Zealand during this time, we decided to return there once we finished our year. Since arriving in New Zealand in 2000, we have had three children Daniel 12, David 10 and Leah 4 and are very well settled in this beautiful country. Currently I am a Year Head at St Peter’s College in Auckland where Brenda is also teaching. We have very fond memories of Maynooth as this is where we meet and it will always be a special place for us. Having gone back to Ireland in 2008 for my sister’s wedding, we popped in to show them the campus and look around. Lots of great memories came flooding back and of note was how friendly and warm everyone was there and the great friendships that were made. I can’t believe that it is 25 years since I first attended – it doesn’t feel like it one bit! The years have been good to Brenda and me and for those of you who have not been to New Zealand, I can’t recommend it highly enough. Mark Wehrly BSc 1999, HDip Mathematics 2000 BA 2002, PhD 2009 2000s I will always remember my time in Maynooth as one of the happiest periods in my life. My studies with the Science Department provided me with a knowledge base and skill-set that helped me to forge a career with Dell over the last twelve years. I must admit that even though my science degree brought with it a heavy schedule of lectures and labs, I still found time to enjoy the social aspects of the college with some memorable nights of fun and laughter spent in The LA, The Roost and at SU bar Extensions. It was however, during a hectic, end of year revision session in the JP2 library that I met my future husband and even though he was an Arts student, Mick Grogan and I finally tied the knot in September, after almost 16 years together. Although my academic life got off to a shaky start, after a repeat of first year, I embraced the challenge and went on to complete a post grad in applied and theoretical statistics. The day after finishing my final exams, I started work in the Department of Finance but after a brief stint (a year); I left the security of the civil service and started work with Dell Inc. My first years were spent as a business analyst and after many interesting and diverse roles I am currently the worldwide Director of Customer Experience for Dell.com It is difficult to convey just how much the Maynooth experience gave me, I will always be grateful for the valuable life lessons learned there but primarily it offered me the opportunity to discover how to survive and thrive in an environment unlike anything I had previously experienced. If you’d like to get in touch, you can find me on LinkedIn; www.linkedin.com/in/elainecollins Maynooth was a very different place on the eve of the millennium when I started my academic career, studying English and History. On campus in 1999, there were fewer students, fewer buildings, and lots of talk of the Y2K bug causing chaos! Three years later I graduated on the day the world marked the first anniversary of the cataclysmic events of 9/11. The world was a very different place. I recall a particularly energetic and enthusiastic debate surrounding those events in my final BA year. Despite many differences of opinion, there was a great sense of collegiality and togetherness. We were – students and teachers alike – united in our desire to make sense of the post-9/11 world – and to cheer on Ireland (sadly without Roy Keane) at the World Cup in Korea and Japan! Doing Arts was a great fit for me because it gave me lots of options. After graduating, I worked as a journalist for 18 months in the sports department at Ireland on Sunday (now the Irish Mail on Sunday). I came back to NUI Maynooth to do a PhD in history in 2004, and went through a very different – but equally rewarding – second career in Maynooth, forging new friendships and exploring new horizons, both intellectually and in ‘the college of life’. Since graduating in 2009, I worked in various academic institutions as a lecturer in journalism and history, before fate called me back to Maynooth once more in my current job as a National Administrator with the Golfing Union of Ireland, whose headquarters are in Carton House. WWW.ALUMNI.NUIM.IE 25 The Bridge 24 The Bridge University Company Develops Online System to Increase Intellectual Ability Irish research reveals it is possible to increase intelligence – significant increase in students’ IQ levels. A new spin-out company from NUI Maynooth has demonstrated that it is possible to increase intelligence levels and has developed an online programme which can measurably increase intellectual ability. The company, www.raiseyouriq.com, has developed the ‘SMART’ (Strengthening Mental Abilities with Relational Training) programme which equips the user with the cognitive skills which lay the foundation for better intelligent reasoning and thinking and increases intelligence levels. Unlike ’brain training’ products on the market which merely enhance memory, SMART improves the ability to reason logically and think clearly, so it also leads to improvements in verbal ability, perceptual reasoning and speed of information processing. The system has been trialled in Irish schools with the latest research showing primary school students experienced an average IQ rise of 23 points. An increase in IQ above 10 points represents a significant increase in intellectual ability. Evidence shows that increases in the IQ levels of SMART participants are still in place four years later. The latest trials were conducted with 15 students from Rathmore National School in Athboy, Co Meath where students took training exercises two to three times weekly for over four months. SMART training helps to improve skills such as vocabulary, abstract thinking, concentration, memory, judgement, task management, alertness to detail, eye-hand coordination, non-verbal reasoning, planning ability and processing speed for information. Results from the latest trial included: -- Average IQ rise among students of 23 points -- The average IQ of the children before their SMART training was 97 (Average). After training it was 120 (Superior Intellectual Functioning). -- In two cases, diagnoses of dyslexia were revised following improvements in reading skills that resulted from SMART training -- Lowest IQ level rose from 84 before training to 106 following the training -- Highest IQ level rose from 119 before training to 140 following the training -- 2 children moved from the low average range into the average range -- 4 children moved from average to high average, 1 moved from high average to superior -- 4 children moved from average to superior, 2 children moved from high average to exceptional intellectual functioning (gifted) The SMART system is based on Relational Frame Theory, which has been developed over the past 20 years and concludes that the development of relational skills, i.e. understanding words and numbers in terms of how they are related to other words and numbers (the relational concepts of Same, Opposite, More than, Less than, Before, After, and so on) is critical to intellectual development. Behavioural analysis research has shown that relational skills are fundamental to all the main features of intellectual development in education such as reading, writing, vocabulary, problem solving and mathematics. The SMART programme was developed by Dr Bryan Roche, Lecturer in Psychology at NUI Maynooth and Dr Sarah Cassidy, Psychologist and Licensed Psychometrician, who designed a series of training programmes (55 in total) packaged into an online game where users acquire points as they advance through the levels. The team is currently launching the programme internationally to the general public. Discussing SMART training, Dr Bryan Roche, Lecturer in Psychology at NUI Maynooth said: ‘Much of what we need to know in order to solve problems cannot be figured out by the brain on its own and involves skills rather than mere brain mass. The skills that make up intelligence relational skills – must be learned and even a brain that is highly developed has to learn how to solve problems. The SMART system, unlike some ‘brain training’ games, does not work by merely enhancing memory, it improves the ability to reason logically and think clearly, so it also leads to improvements in verbal ability, perceptual reasoning and speed of information processing. The programme we have developed teaches a range of basic ‘relational skills’ that facilitate more intelligent thinking. Relational skills were first discovered by psychologists using a theory known as Relational Frame Theory, which over the past two decades has revolutionised the way we think about learning and intelligence.’ The SMART programme is suitable for both adults and children and is designed to improve performance in school, at work and in normal dayto-day decision making and problem solving. The programme is available online at www.raiseyouriq.com Dr Bryan Roche, Dr Sarah Cassidy and John Chambers with the pupils of Rathmore NS. Maynooth Alumni Association Stay Connected, Keep Connected WWW.ALUMNI.NUIM.IE Help us award alumni scholarships Enjoy a great rate with the NUI Maynooth Affinity Credit Card and each time you use your Bank of Ireland Affinity card a percentage of every transaction supports NUI Maynooth in the following areas: Provides scholarships for our Alumni Adds to the development of the University library Contributes to the construction of our new education building Funds from the Maynooth Affinity Card have provided scholarships for Sarah Ryan and her MA in Mathematics, Alan Clarke and his MSocSc in Social Science and Tara McDonald and her MA in Digital Humanities pictured here with Professor Ronan Reilly, Dean of International and Graduate Studies. To apply: Visit any Bank of Ireland branch www.bankofireland.com/alumni ' or call 1890 365 100 You must be over 18 to apply for a credit card. Lending Criteria, terms and conditions apply. Credit cards are liable to Government Stamp Duty annually. Currently e30 per account. Bank of Ireland is regulated by the Central Bank of Ireland.
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