Connect

12-2006 Press Releases

19/12/2006: Well-Known Sporting Talent Presented with Queen's GAA & Rugby Scholarship Awards
15/12/2006: Nursing specialist a triple award winner at Queen's graduations
15/12/2006: Queen's graduate to work with Boston Senator
15/12/2006: A Longer Road Than Most for Fermanagh PhD Graduate at Queen's
15/12/2006: Queen's Graduate Brings New Style of Living to Belfast
15/12/2006: The Three Degrees: Graduation at Queen's An Extra Special Occasion for One Family
15/12/2006: Queen's international perspective "good news for Northern Ireland" - Gregson  
15/12/2006: Nursing specialist a triple award winner at Queen's graduations
15/12/2006: World-leading obstetrician honoured by Queen's
15/12/2006: Queen's honours Irish-American humanitarian
14/12/2006: Award Winning Nurses at Queen's
14/12/2006: Sisters who graduate together work together
14/12/2006: Queen's honours Space.NK founder Nicky Kinnaird
14/12/2006: Queen's honours Lord Patten
14/12/2006: European First for Local Occupational Therapist at Queen's Graduation
14/12/2006: Doctorates for Ballynahinch Father and Son at Queen’s Graduation
14/12/2006: Insight into Social Segregation in Belfast offered by Queen's PhD Graduate  
14/12/2006: Queen's gateway to employment for overseas graduates
14/12/2006: Christmas Gaelic Games Festival at Queen's Sport
13/12/2006: Top Local Entrepreneur to be Honoured at Queen's Graduations
13/12/2006:School of Education puts learning back into the workplace
11/12/2006: Queen's tops UK university spin-out rankings
06/12/2006: NICENT Leads The Way ln Fostering Entrepreneurship
04/12/2006: Queen's Mourne Cottage Selected as Finalist in Rural Tourism Awards
14/12/2006: Doctorates for Ballynahinch Father and Son at Queen's Graduation
04/12/2006: Violence in the spotlight

Well-Known Sporting Talent Presented with Queen's GAA & Rugby Scholarship Awards
(L to R) Derry Footballers, Gavin Donaghy (Claudy) and Sean Leo McGoldrick (Coleraine) and Derry Hurler, Sean Dodds (Lavey), who received their Sports Scholarships from the GAA Academy at Queen's
(L to R) Derry Footballers, Gavin Donaghy (Claudy) and Sean Leo McGoldrick (Coleraine) and Derry Hurler, Sean Dodds (Lavey), who received their Sports Scholarships from the GAA Academy at Queen's
Aiming higher thanks to the Rugby Academy Scholarships they have received from Queen’s University are (from L to R): Banbridge’s Ian Porter and Geoff Thompson and Andrew McNeice from Dundonald.
Aiming higher thanks to the Rugby Academy Scholarships they have received from Queen’s University are (from L to R): Banbridge’s Ian Porter and Geoff Thompson and Andrew McNeice from Dundonald.

Over 55 of the most talented young sports stars in Northern Ireland have been presented with Sports Scholarships by the GAA and Rugby Academies at Queen's University in recognition of their sporting achievements.

Irish Rugby's Michael Barker, David Pollock and Ian Whitten and County GAA players Gerard O’Kane, Kevin McGourty and Miceal O’Rourke, are just some of the well-known names from the local sports scene who will benefit from the latest Sports Science and Medicine services, expert coaching, and free access to facilities in the new £7 million extension at Queen’s PEC, as a result of receiving the Scholarship Awards.

With a long history of producing some of Northern Ireland’s top players and athletes, Queen’s launched its specialised Rugby Academy in 2002 and its GAA Academy in 2004, and as a result has continued to provide cutting edge support services for its high achieving students such as Ireland’s Tommy Bowe and Armagh’s Brian Mallon.

The current scholarship schemes, set up by the University, and supported by past member donations and governing body support, are named after three patrons who are among the best known sporting personalities in Ireland, namely Dr Jack Kyle (Rugby Academy), Sean O’Neill (Men’s Gaelic Football, GAA Academy) and Ted McConnell (Hurling, GAA Academy).

Explaining the importance of the Scholarship Awards, Dr Robert Gamble, who heads the ever expanding Sports Science/Sports Medicine Service area in Queen’s Sport and who has overall responsibility for Academy development said: “The focus of these schemes is to provide players with the opportunity to perform at ever-higher standards whilst at Queen’s. This is achieved through access to the latest sports science/sports medicine services linked to skills development through expert coaching, and of course there are a number of additional benefits such as free access to the University’s fantastic sport facilities and academy clothing.”

Professor Gerry McCormac, Pro-Vice-Chancellor at Queen’s added: “The recent acceptance of Queen’s into the prestigious Russell Group of universities, means our high performance athletes can pursue the best academic education in the UK and at the same time unlock their sporting potential through the services available through our sporting academies. It is this combination of academic and sporting development that defines Queen’s Sport and enables the development of our future leaders.”

In GAA, this year’s top awards went to Derry Senior County Stars Gerard O’Kane, Joe O’Kane and Gavin Donaghy, Down’s Daniel and Eoin McCartan, Antrim’s Kevin McGourty and Kevin Niblock and Armagh’s Charlie Vernon and Miceal O’Rourke. Similarly in Rugby, six top awards were awarded to, Michael Barker, David Pollock and Ian Whitten (who played in the U19 World Cup in Dubai last year) as well as Jamie Cornett, Alex Houston and Michael Pyper.

The University also presented a special prize to medical student Caroline O’Hanlon (GAA Acaemy, Gaelic Football) to recognise her recent achievement of receiving an All Star award.

ENDS.

Top of Page

15/12/2006: Nursing specialist a triple award winner at Queen's graduations
Angela Higgins
Angela Higgins

Martinstown’s Angela Higgins will be having a triple celebration this Christmas as not only has she received her Masters in Business Administration, passed with Distinction, from Queen’s University, but she has also been commended in her final year dissertation, winning the Joint Best Dissertation Award and had her name forwarded by the Chartered Institute of Management for MBA Student of the Year 2006.

No stranger to academic success, the Martinstown woman already holds a BSc Hons Degree in Nursing and works as a Senior Occupational Health Nurse in the United Hospitals Trust in Antrim.

As an Occupational Health specialist, Angela considered the MBA a new challenge, giving over the last two years for advanced study as a part-time student at Queen’s. She said: “It is nice to be able to look back on an achievement and celebrate success. There are always challenges out there and the MBA has encouraged me to look for solutions that bring positive change and help me influence and manage change in my day to day environment.”

Her final year dissertation evaluated The Effectiveness and Barriers to Rehabilitation Programmes in the Management of Long-Term Sickness Absence within Health Trusts in Northern Ireland. The issue has engaged considerable interest from policy makers, health care professionals and occupational health specialists.

Angela has now been invited to submit a paper on her MBA Thesis to the Federation of Occupational Health Nurses within the European Union at their 2007 FOHNEU Congress. The triple winner was joined at the graduation ceremony by her husband Colm who worked in Bombardier Aerospace before joining Queen’s as Business Manager in the Northern Ireland Technology Centre, supporting companies in all industrial sectors here to improve their ability to compete on the world stage.

For further information, please contact the Communications Office, 028 9097 3091 / 028 9097 3087

Top of Page

Queen's graduate to work with Boston Senator
Riona Ward
Riona Ward

Riona Ward will receive her BA Joint Honours Degree in English and Politics from Queen's University on Friday will jet off next month to begin her career working at the heart of American politics.

The Belfast graduate has been offered a political internship with State Senator Jarrett Barrios and will fly to Boston after Christmas to join his staff team. The Senator is himself a law graduate of Georgetown University with which Queen's recently signed a historic academic agreement.

Delighted with the offer, Riona said: "Senator Barrios has been involved in a lot of high profile issues as Senate Chairman of the Joint Committee on Public Safety and Homeland Security in Massachusetts. He led the campaign in the Massachusetts Senate this year to halve water rate increases and saved taxpayers over $5 million in their rates. He also championed a successful amendment to raise the minimum wage from $6.75 per hour to $8.25 per hour over the next two years and then link it to inflation. The increase benefited 486,000 working people state-wide and 60% of those were low paid women."

Many of these issues are live for citizens in Northern Ireland with current and recent controversies over water charging, minimum wage and women on low pay. They should provide excellent opportunities to test some of the theory in studying politics against the reality on big issues like take home pay and tax.

"I am really interested in their Clean Water Act as capital improvement projects needed to overhaul a system with 100-year old water pipes, caused water and sewer rates in Massachusetts to skyrocket over ten years ago. If politics is the art of the possible, then perhaps I can pick up a thing or two from the Senator and his staff about getting water rates reduced or at least a rate relief scheme like theirs that will reduce the burden on those least able to afford additional taxes."

"In Massachusetts they overturned the Governor's veto on relief money and allocated $25 million to a debt service assistance fund and I would say I am excited at the prospect of working in an environment where legislation can be influenced by local people and local politicians in practice and not just in theory," the new graduate said.

For further information, please contact the Communications Office, 028 9097 3091 / 028 9097 3087.

ENDS.

Top of Page

A Longer Road Than Most for Fermanagh PhD Graduate at Queen's
Ann Begley
Ann Begley

[Note: Ann Begley will be awarded her degree at the 2.30pm graduation ceremony on Friday, 15 December]

Achieving her Doctorate has quite literally been a longer road than most for Fermanagh’s Ann Begley, as the mother of three has regularly made 180 mile return journeys from her home at Macken, near Bellanaleck in Co. Fermanagh, to Queen’s University, in order to gain her PhD in Philosophy.

Ann is mother to twins Stephen and Michael, aged 12, and Philip, aged 14 and is married to Brian Mc Teggart, a Civil Servant in the Department of Culture, Arts and Leisure (DCAL). She originally came to Queen’s for the first time 23 years ago to study for a BA in General Studies and after that also achieved her MPhil in Moral Philosophy.

Working as a lecturer in Ethics at the School of Nursing and Midwifery at Queen’s, Ann’s particular areas of interest and research are professional conduct and governance in the public sector, particularly healthcare. She chose the area of Virtue Ethics as her topic for the research leading to her PhD.

Speaking about her achievement and long association with the University Ann said: “Sometimes it has seemed like a very long road to today and my graduation ceremony but what I do have is a tremendous sense of achievement that will stay with me for a long time.

“I would encourage anyone thinking about returning to Queen’s to study to give it a try. Achieving a goal like this is very satisfying. You have to be very disciplined and have a strong family and support network. You also have to balance focus on your study with the natural desire to always put your family first.

“As well as my family, I’d also like to thank my supervisor Christopher McKnight and Mary Emerson, Administration in Philosophy at Queen’s and my colleagues in the School of Nursing and Midwifery, for their help and support.

“Life is not unproblematic as a mature student but today will be a memorable one for my family and I. I think the road back to Fermanagh possibly won’t seem as long this evening.”

For further information, please contact the Communications Office, 028 9097 3091 / 028 9097 3087

Top of Page

Queen's international perspective "good news for Northern Ireland" - Gregson
Queen's University's increasingly international focus will enhance Northern Ireland's reputation as a leading centre of learning and a magnet for inward investment, Vice-Chancellor Professor Peter Gregson has said. Speaking at this afternoon's graduation ceremony, the Vice-Chancellor said that Queen's recent designation as a member of the prestigious Russell Group would make the University an even more attractive destination for high-quality students and staff.

He said: “The 20 members of the Russell Group represent the cream of higher education – not just in these islands but in the world. They are the powerhouse of research and education and include Oxford, Cambridge, Edinburgh and University College London.

“This news underlines Queen's credentials as one of the leading universities in the United Kingdom, and it will make us an even more attractive destination for the highest quality students and staff with an international reputation in research.”

Professor Gregson told the graduating students that Queen's Russell Group membership will make their degrees even more highly valued around the globe.

“Queen's is not only looking forward with confidence; it is also looking outwards with optimism and a strong sense of self-belief. The stronger Queen's international connections and reputation, the greater the contribution we can make to economic and social development here in Northern Ireland.”

The Vice-Chancellor cited as an example the agreement forged in September between Queen's and Georgetown University in Washington DC which covers subject areas ranging from cancer research to post-conflict resolution and from human rights to creative writing.

And he referred to this week's news that Queen's has emerged as the leading higher education institution in the United Kingdom in terms of the annual turnover of spin-out businesses formed by its venture capital company, QUBIS Ltd, and second to Cambridge for the number of jobs which these companies have created.

He said: “These results are not achieved in isolation. They flow from the commitment, the quality and the entrepreneurial spirit of our staff and reinforce our confidence in a bright future as a world leader in research and education.”

For further information, please contact the Communications Office, 028 9097 3091 / 028 9097 3087

Top of Page

Queen's Graduate Brings New Style of Living to Belfast
Leo Callow
Leo Callow

[Note: Leo Callow will be awarded his PhD at the 2.30pm graduation ceremony on Friday, 15 December.]

When Colonel Leo Callow steps up to receive his Executive MBA from Queen’s University today, he will be doing so knowing he is about to offer a whole new ‘style of living’ concept to the people of Belfast.

Leo began his MBA while serving as a Commanding Officer in the Royal Irish Regiment, meaning many of his assignments were completed in some rather unusual locations while on operational tours of duty.

Several of the modules on his Executive MBA led the Dublin man to think about new ventures and upon completion of his course Leo decided to create his own property development company. Entitled Holywood Homes, Leo’s company is developing a new brand of luxury homes in Belfast, which amongst other services, will see new residents offered IT experts to help them with their computers and broadband services and a team of sound specialists who will help develop personalised integrated sound and entertainment systems in their homes.

Speaking about his transition from commanding troops to managing his own firm, Leo said: “Having spent many years working in the public sector, I decided to undertake the MBA Course at Queen’s in order to gauge how my skills could be best put to use in the private sector and to improve my commercial knowledge and expertise.

“Several of my modules got me thinking of new ventures and I was very much encouraged to think outside of the box, so upon completion of the course I left the Regiment and proceeded to set up Holywood Homes.

“I like to think of it as bringing a little bit of D4 to BT9, and offering residents a hassle free lifestyle, courtesy of our premium management company. We have several exciting projects ongoing throughout the Greater Belfast area at the moment, including Cultra, Belmont and Crawfordsburn and I know the knowledge gained via my Executive MBA from Queen’s will stand Holywood Homes in good stead as it develops and expands.”

For further information, please contact the Communications Office, 028 9097 3091 / 028 9097 3087

ENDS.

Top of Page

The Three Degrees: Graduation at Queen's An Extra Special Occasion for One Family
Philomena Donaldson (R) her daughter Caoimhe and Caoimhe's fiance, Ian McCutcheon
Philomena Donaldson (R) her daughter Caoimhe and Caoimhe's fiance, Ian McCutcheon

[Note: Philomena Donaldson, her daughter Caoimhe and Caoimhe’s fiancé Ian McCutcheon, will be presented with their degrees at the graduation ceremony on Friday, 15 December at 10.30am]

Graduation at Queen’s University will be an extra special occasion for the Donaldson household this week as mum Philomena, her daughter Caoimhe and Caoimhe’s fiancé Ian McCutcheon are all set to graduate with their Masters degrees at the same ceremony.

Philomena, a teacher of P3 pupils at Our Lady’s Primary School, Deanby Gardens, Oldpark Road, Belfast, is graduating with a Masters in Education from the School of Education at Queen’s, while Caoimhe and Ian will be among the first cohorts to graduate with the innovative MSc in Leadership in Sustainable Development from the University’s Gibson Institute.

Family was also the subject of Philomena’s main project for her Masters when she focused on the area of Twins and Education, and the issues of how twins cope with failure, success, fears and anxieties in the classroom environment. Speaking about graduation and the inspiration behind her return to study, Philomena said: “I find my job very fulfilling but wanted to return to education to help with my personal development and also to further study how twins learn, study and cope in the educational environment. It has always been of interest to me due to my own experiences as I am a twin myself.

“One of my most poignant memories was of the day when my identical twin sister Bernadette, now a teacher in Our lady of Mercy Secondary School, Ballysillan and I received the results of the 11+. We were afraid that, depending on our results, we would be separated and have to go to different schools. Thankfully that didn't happen.

“My Masters will also be of use to me in the work I do with Project Zambia. It’s a Christian Brother’s inspired charity involving people from all walks of life in Belfast such as local teachers, students, taxi-drivers, builders and housewives who fundraise and do so much to help the people and street children of Lusaka.

“I have been before and my family and I are all going again in July. A recent quiz raised £650 and we are hoping to have 26 Project Zambia relay teams in the next Belfast Marathon. My husband, Dr Aidan Donaldson, came second in the Marathon some years ago and while we might not match that feat we hope the fundraising aspect will be as satisfying.

“If anyone wants any more information on the Charity they can go to www.projectzambia.com but as far as this week goes, it will be a memorable one for all the family and we will be having a meal to celebrate all our academic achievements, with my daughters Éadaoin, who is currently studying in Edinburgh and Grainne, 14, coming to join us.”

For further information, please contact the Communications Office, 028 9097 3091 / 028 9097 3087

ENDS.

Top of Page

Nursing specialist a triple award winner at Queen's graduations
Angela Higgins can justify a triple celebration when she receives her Masters in Business Administration, passed with Distinction, at Queen's University on Friday. For Angela has also been commended in her final year dissertation, winning the Joint Best Dissertation Award and her name has separately been forwarded by the Chartered Institute of Management for MBA Student of the Year 2006.

No stranger to academic success, the Martinstown woman already holds a BSc Hons Degree in Nursing and works as a Senior Occupational Health Nurse in the United Hospitals Trust in Antrim.

As an Occupational Health specialist, Angela considered the MBA a new challenge, giving over the last two years for advanced study as a part-time student at Queen’s. She said: “It is nice to be able to look back on an achievement and celebrate success. There are always challenges out there and the MBA has encouraged me to look for solutions that bring positive change and help me influence and manage change in my day to day environment.”

Her final year dissertation evaluated the Effectiveness and Barriers to Rehabilitation Programmes in the Management of Long-Term Sickness Absence within Health Trusts in Northern Ireland. The issue has engaged considerable interest from policy makers, health care professionals and occupational health specialists. Angela has now been invited to submit a paper on her MBA Thesis to the Federation of Occupational Health Nurses within the European Union at their 2007 FOHNEU Congress.

The triple winner will be joined at the graduation ceremony by her husband Colm who worked in Bombardier Aerospace before joining Queen's as Business Manager in the Northern Ireland Technology Centre, supporting companies in all industrial sectors here to improve their ability to compete on the world stage.

For further information, please contact the Communications Office, 028 9097 3091 / 028 9097 3087

ENDS.

Top of Page

World-leading obstetrician honoured by Queen's

Professor Babill Stray-Pedersen, a world-renowned specialist in women's reproductive health, was today honoured by Queen's University.

At this morning's graduation ceremony, she was awarded an honorary Doctorate of Medical Science for services to medicine.

Based in the Faculty of Medicine at the University of Oslo, Professor Stray-Pedersen is a medical adviser in the prevention of diseases in pregnant women and new-born babies, and in reproductive health. She has been a senior adviser for the World Health Organisation, the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) and UNICEF and to several universities worldwide. Her international research programmes include projects in the Baltics and Russia as well as in South-East Europe, Asia and Africa.

She is currently an executive board member of the European Society for Infectious Diseases in Obstetrics and Gynaecology and a director of the Norwegian Women's Public Health Association.

Delivering the citation, Dame Ingrid Allen, Professor Emerita of Neuropathology at Queen's, described Professor Stray-Pedersen as “a 21st century Renaissance woman”.

Dame Ingrid said: “As an international researcher, Professor Stray-Pedersen has contributed significantly to women's and newborn babies’ health worldwide. Her international view of medicine has also directly benefited our medical students here at Queen's, with whom her department in the University of Oslo operates a valuable exchange programme.”

The author of some 500 scientific papers in international medical journals, Professor Stray-Pedersen has been invited to give lectures at numerous international medical meetings. In l985, she was the recipient of the Royal Golden Medal of the University of Oslo for medical research (health education in mass-media), and has received prizes for the best posters and clinical research work at a range of world congresses.

A former medical journalist, she wrote a weekly column in a family magazine for 20 years and has also edited several books about health and the prevention of disease.

For further information, please contact the Communications Office, 028 9097 3091 / 028 9097 3087.

ENDS.

Top of Page

Queen's honours Irish-American humanitarian

Leading Irish-American businessman and noted humanitarian Thomas J Moran was today honoured by Queen's University.

At this afternoon's graduation ceremony, he was awarded an honorary Doctorate of Science (Economics) for services to business and commerce and for public service.

A native New Yorker with ancestral roots in Fermanagh and Cavan, Thomas J Moran is listed as one of the top 100 Irish-American business people in the USA. He has been President and Chief Executive Officer of the Mutual of America Life Insurance Company since October 1994, the first person to have emerged as CEO from within corporate ranks.

He is also currently Chairman of Concern Worldwide (US), Inc., an international humanitarian relief organisation that operates in 30 of the poorest countries of the world. He has contributed to several Irish-American humanitarian and community causes, including acting as one of a group of unofficial peace envoys to Northern Ireland throughout the 1990s.

Thomas Moran also serves on the North American Advisory Board for the Michael Smurfit Graduate School of Business at University College Dublin (UCD), the American Ireland Fund, the Taoiseach¹s Economic Advisory Board, the Irish Chamber of Commerce in the USA and the Ireland-US Council for Commerce.

Among many honours, he has been awarded the Calvary Hospital Medal of Honor, the New York City Fire Department Humanitarian Award, the Ellis Island Medal of Honor, the Terence Cardinal Cooke Award and the Concern Worldwide Humanitarian Award.

In his graduation address, Thomas Moran said he was a regular visitor to Belfast, initially because of his involvement in the Peace Process and latterly because of his love of the city. He added: “I have always admired the strength and integrity of the people of Northern Ireland.”

He told the graduating students: “It is rare that you get to live during a moment in time that you know will be recorded as an important part of history. Yet, here you are at Queen's University at the centre of commerce for Northern Ireland. You have already seen the changes that have begun to take hold. Your education now prepares you to make your own dreams into a reality. And, in doing so, you can make the dreams of all those around you possible as well.”

Delivering the citation, Tom Lynch, Chairman of the Queen's University of Belfast Foundation Board, said: "Today we honour a man whose public and private lives are defined by service and generosity and a steadfast commitment to helping others."

"To all Tom does he brings a profound sense of disinterested public service, whether it be in Northern Ireland or in his charitable, philanthropic and educational work. He does this without ever being arrogant or self-important. His achievements would not have been possible without a sincere interest in others and a genuine understanding of people. "Today this University is honoured to recognise Tom's achievements in business and commerce and public service and bear testimony to the high regard in which he is held by all those who know him; we also recognise the values which have been the guiding principles in all aspects of his life."

For further information, please contact the Communications Office, 028 9097 3091 / 028 9097 3087.

ENDS.

Top of Page

Award Winning Nurses at Queen's

Among the 260 Nursing and Midwifery students graduating from Queen's University today will be those who have also been recognised for outstanding Academic or Clinical Excellence. During the graduation ceremony on Thursday morning all students will receive their certificate and Nursing Badge, which they must wear while on the wards. This will then be followed by a separate presentation where Awards for Academic Excellence are given to the nursing student with the highest marks from the University-based aspect of the degree.

Also presented will be Awards for Clinical Excellence based on feedback from staff in the wards where the students did their placement. A student is selected from each of the areas of nursing covered at Queen’s including Children’s Nursing, Adult Nursing and Mental Health Nursing.

The Florence Elliott Prize is awarded to the best overall student, and is the highest award given. This year’s recipient is Lorraine Courtney from Ballymena.

The full list of winners, and the award title, is as follows:

 Prize/Medal  TitleWinner(s)  Home
 The Cleland Ormond Rogers Medal for Academic Excellence in Children’s Nursing   Jane Kearney   Belfast – BT11
 The RBHSC/QUB Joyce Gardiner Medal for Clinical Excellence in Children’s Nursing  Ciara Philomena Blayney   Ballymena   
The Professor Sheila Harrisson Medal for Academic Excellence in Adult Nursing 

Gillian Ruth McKee  

Sean Gerard Orr

Alexandra Horwood-Barrett 

Newtownards  

South Belfast

Bollingstown, Craigavon

 The Mary Waddell Medal for Clinical Excellence in Adult Nursing  Denise Morrison  Belfast
The Moutray/McAuley Medal for Clinical Excellence in Mental Health Nursing  Christina McMillen  Dromore
The Lawrence and Nora McAuliff Curtin Medal for Academic Excellence in Mental Health Nursing  Cara McCarron  Fintona
 The Florence Elliott Prize  Lorraine Elizabeth Courtney  Ballymena

For further information, please contact the Communications Office, 028 9097 3091 / 028 9097 3087

ENDS.

Top of Page

Sisters who graduate together work together
(L-R) Andrea and Lynne Harbinson who graduated with a Diploma in Nursing Science today from Queen's University Belfast, also pictured is Lynne's six year old daughter Sophie.
(L-R) Andrea and Lynne Harbinson who graduated with a Diploma in Nursing Science today from Queen's University Belfast, also pictured is Lynne's six year old daughter Sophie.

Newtownards sisters Lynne and Andrea Harbinson will today graduate together with a Diploma in Nursing Science from the School of Nursing and Midwifery at Queen’s University.

Lynne (26) began the course first, with Andrea (21) enrolling in the year below. However Lynne then became ill, spending a few weeks in City Hospital. After taking a year out to recover she rejoined the course in her sister’s year, sharing the same lectures and assignments.

Often mistaken for twins, the sisters have shared more than just their text books while on the course. Andrea explained: “During our course, we were lucky in that we were able to share experiences, both from university and our placements and give each other different perspectives and advice. If I wanted advice about my work, Lynne would be honest about how she thought I could improve on it. Friends often don’t want to offend you by telling you to do something differently, but as Lynne and I are sisters it was easier to be honest.”

The sisters also found their different working styles benefited each other. Lynne, who has a six year old daughter Sophie, was much more organised and planned work in advance, while Andrea found last minute trips to the library essential: “It was really helpful having each other because we were always in the same boat. We could be stressed together and share the same sense of relief when the assignments or exams were over” said Lynne.

Both sisters are already working in the Ulster Hospital where Lynne works in the Orthopaedics Ward and Andrea in Plastic Surgery. Andrea said: “We are really enjoying our jobs because we both got to go where we wanted to work. With working in the same hospital people are still asking us quite a lot if we are twins. It’s funny as we can’t see the resemblance. We have both really enjoyed meeting new people and new friends. It is strange being in a full time job now, but it’s also good to have the security of a challenging and rewarding job that you enjoy.

“I am really proud of Lynne, it hasn’t been an easy course for her having a child and then needing to take a year out, but she tried hard and got there.”

Accompanying the girls to the ceremony will be their parents, grandmother and Lynne’s daughter Sophie. “The benefit of graduating together is that we have enough tickets for everyone to come and watch,” said Andrea. “It has made the day extra special having everyone together and our family is proud to see two daughters graduating at once.”

For further information, please contact the Communications Office, 028 9097 3091 / 028 9097 3087

ENDS.

Top of Page

Queen's honours Space.NK founder Nicky Kinnaird
Nicky Kinnaird
Nicky Kinnaird

Northern Ireland's budding entrepreneurs have been urged to ‘go for it’ by leading Belfast-born businesswoman and Space.NK founder Nicky Kinnaird.

Nicky Kinnaird was speaking at this morning's graduation ceremony at Queen's University, at which she was awarded an honorary Doctorate of Science (Economics) for services to business and commerce.

She told the graduating students: “Northern Irish people enjoy a big reputation for hard work and gritty determination – don't waste it, go out and capitalise on it.

She said: “People from Northern Ireland have traditionally had a history of aversion to innovation. Times and consumer tastes are changing. People are travelling more frequently and further afield. There is an increased desire for self-betterment.

"It is staggering how quickly Belfast is developing; just look at the transformation along the Lisburn Road. We are going through the same urban regeneration witnessed first in Glasgow, then Manchester and more recently in Newcastle. However, the pace here is quite remarkable. Consumer tastes are changing, and there are huge opportunities out there for specialist retailers."

Embrace change, support innovation and be proud of what others are creating.”

Delivering the citation, Queen’s Director of Development and Alumni Relations Aine Gibbons said the graduation class “should be inspired by Nicky Kinnaird's accomplishments”, adding that they need look no further for “a superb example of entrepreneurship”.

Born in Belfast and educated at Victoria College and Reading University, Nicky Kinnaird has revolutionised the face of the British beauty market over the past ten years through the success of her retail venture, Space.NK. A former chartered surveyor, she first worked as a retail consultant for a prominent London based property investment company before establishing her first store in Covent Garden, London, in 1993.

Today the brand focuses on the provision of globally-sourced, high quality, original and effective beauty products through some 45 stores operating across the UK. Extending to an additional specialist day retreat centre and a mail order company, Nicky Kinnaird's business is now a multi-million pound operation, a testament to her meteoric rise and inspirational example to other young business entrepreneurs. She is also author of the book, Awaken your Senses, Change your Life, which was published in 2002.

Nicky Kinnaird has been awarded the first Save the Children Women of Achievement Award for business and Invest Northern Ireland's best female entrepreneur of the year. Her first US store is due to open in Manhattan in the spring.

For further information, please contact the Communications Office, 028 9097 3091 / 028 9097 3087.

ENDS.

Top of Page

Queen's honours Lord Patten
Lord Patten pictured at Queen's graduation
Lord Patten pictured at Queen's graduation
Former Northern Ireland Office Minister and Governor of Hong Kong Lord (Chris) Patten of Barnes was honoured by Queen's University today.

Now Chancellor of the University of Oxford and Newcastle University, Lord Patten was also Chairman of the Independent Commission on Policing for Northern Ireland which reported in 1999.

At this afternoon’s Queen's graduation ceremony, he was awarded an honorary Doctorate of Laws for distinction in public service.

Born in 1944 and a graduate of Balliol College, Lord Patten was elected Member of Parliament for Bath in May 1979, a seat which he held until April 1992. Between 1983 and 1992, he was successively Parliamentary Under Secretary of State in the Northern Ireland Office, Minister of State at the Department of Education and Science, Minister for Overseas Development at the Foreign and Commonwealth Office, Secretary of State for the Environment, Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster and Chairman of the Conservative Party.

In 1992 he was appointed Governor of Hong Kong, a position he held until 1997, overseeing the return of Hong Kong to China. He was Chairman of the Independent Commission on Policing for Northern Ireland which reported in 1999, served as European Commissioner for External Relations from 1999 to 2004 and in January 2005 took his seat in the House of Lords. He became Chancellor of Newcastle University in 1999 and was elected Chancellor of the University of Oxford in 2003.

Delivering the citation for his honorary degree, Queen's Pro-Chancellor Brenda McLaughlin said: “Variously referred to as the best leader the Tory Party never had and even the best Prime Minister Britain never had, Lord Patten is internationally recognised for his role as the last British Governor of Hong Kong, overseeing its return to China.

"To a Northern Ireland audience, of course, he is much more familiar as former Chairman of the Independent Commission on Policing for Northern Ireland, The Patten Commission, which was established as part of the Good Friday Agreement."

In Northern Ireland, we have particular reason to be grateful for the legacy of his involvement here and for the historic role he has played in helping to secure a peaceful future for ourselves and our children.

“Today this university recognises and honours the contribution and achievement of a unique and remarkable man and we are proud and delighted to welcome him formally into the family of Queen's.”

For further information, please contact the Communications Office, 028 9097 3091 / 028 9097 3087.

ENDS.

Top of Page

Doctorates for Ballynahinch Father and Son at Queen’s Graduation
Garth and Leslie Bryans, father and son from Ballynahinch, who both graduated today with PhDs from Queen's
Garth and Leslie Bryans, father and son from Ballynahinch, who both graduated today with PhDs from Queen's

[Note: Garth and Leslie Bryans will be awarded with their PhDs at the 2.30pm graduation ceremony on Thursday, 14 December]

It will be a case of Double Doctorates for the Bryans family at Queen’s University today, as Leslie Bryans and his son Garth will both receive PhDs from the School of Electrical Engineering for their work on sustainable energy supplies. From Ballynahinch, Leslie, who works as Manager Transmission Planning with NIE, focused on the area of Wind Power Integration, while Garth, an employee of Airtricity in Dublin, researched Tidal Power Integration.

A graduate of Queen’s Leslie has worked in the energy sector for many years and his work has been commended outside of Queen’s as being an important springboard for a great deal of future research in the sustainable energy sector. Speaking about his research, Leslie said: “My work involved analysing both technical issues related to the grid supply and managing energy certainty and variability. As a result of this work, a new suite of novel system management tools have been developed, many of which are now being introduced along with advanced wind energy forecasting by NIE.

“At NIE we are also working towards establishing an R&D programme aimed at exploring how networks will develop for the changing needs of 2020 and I hope that this, together with recent funding won by the School of Electrical Engineering at Queen’s, will foster more linkages between the two organisations and will benefit future generations of students.”

Garth graduated from the University of Wales with a BSc in Marine Biology and Oceanography in 2002 and an MSc in Oceanography in 2003. Explaining the reason behind his choice of PhD at Queen's, Garth said: “The increase in fuel prices, concerns over energy security and global warming have all helped fuel a global drive towards renewable power generation, something I, along with my father, have long had an interest in.

“Having looked around I saw that Queen’s was carrying out some leading research in the field of electrical engineering and I realised that there was tremendous scope to merge my marine and oceanography knowledge with that of their engineering skills.

“This was further helped by my relationship with the Electricity Research Centre at UCD and both universities made for an excellent environment in which to further my research and studies. Queen’s looks set to continue to lead the way and act as a gateway to some excellent career opportunities for graduates for some time to come. Research into effective integration of distributed, clean and renewable energy sources is an important area where Queen’s can continue to contribute to a lower carbon emissions future with a reduction in global warming.

“I would like to pay tribute to Northern Ireland Electricity’s SMART programme, the Department of Enterprise, Trade and Investment and Sustainable Energy Ireland for their financial support. In partnership with them and my colleagues at Queen’s and UCD, people can look forward to their pooled resources delivering the best possible results in the area of sustainable energy for all on the island of Ireland.”

For further information, please contact the Communications Office, 028 9097 3091 / 028 9097 3087

Top of Page

Insight into Social Segregation in Belfast offered by Queen's PhD Graduate
David McNair with parents Dr Victor McNair and Ruth McNair at Queen's graduation
David McNair with parents Dr Victor McNair and Ruth McNair at Queen's graduation

[Note: David McNair will be awarded his PhD at the 2.30pm graduation ceremony on Thursday, 14 December.]

Graduate Residential Segregation is less important for social networks than it used to be in Belfast and did not increase between 1991 and 2001 according to research by David McNair, who will graduate today with a PhD in Social Geography at Queen’s University.

David’s research also highlighted how current trends in today’s crowded housing market are seeing traditional contributory factors to social segregation having much less of an effect than in days gone by and that people are now relying a lot less on the areas they live in for their social network – another significant factor in the decrease in residential segregation in some areas of Belfast.

From Castlereagh, David first graduated from Queen’s in 2002 with a BSc in Geography and is now working as an Emergency Response Development Officer for the British Red Cross which involves liaising with Emergency Services and developing contingency plans and policies to be used in the event of a major emergency.

Speaking about his graduation David said: “I hope my PhD research presents a balanced picture of segregation in Belfast. It’s a very complex picture involving sectarian and non-sectarian factors and there are clearly many areas of Belfast that have major problems, but I think it’s wrong to focus on problem areas without acknowledging all the positive changes which have come about in the last decade.”

“The skills I developed during my PhD are proving useful in my new job as I am currently managing a project involving social research.”

For further information, please contact the Communications Office, 028 9097 3091 / 028 9097 3087

Top of Page

14/12/2006: European First for Local Occupational Therapist at Queen's Graduation
Geraldine Hamilton, one of the first Occupational Therapists in Europe to be working in the area of Trauma, pictured with her mum Kathleen Magee, from Clonard, West Belfast, after graduating with Distinction from her Diploma in Trauma Studies from Queen's University.
Geraldine Hamilton, one of the first Occupational Therapists in Europe to be working in the area of Trauma, pictured with her mum Kathleen Magee, from Clonard, West Belfast, after graduating with Distinction from her Diploma in Trauma Studies from Queen's University.

[Note: Geraldine Hamilton will be presented with her Diploma in Trauma Studies at the 10.30am graduation ceremony on Thursday, 14 December.]

When Geraldine Hamilton, graduates today with a Diploma in Trauma Studies from the School of Nursing and Midwifery at Queen’s University, she will be one of the first Occupational Therapists in Europe to be working in the area of trauma and actively assessing how it impacts on the lives of each of her clients. Geraldine currently works as part of a multi-disciplinary team from North and West Belfast Health & Social Services Trust who work with people adversely affected by the Troubles.

In conjunction with WAVE, a cross-community, voluntary organisation, which helps people bereaved or traumatised as a result of the Troubles, the Diploma was developed as a response to the need for accredited trauma training at government, statutory and community levels.

Speaking about her decision to undertake the Diploma, Geraldine, from the Ormeau Road in Belfast, said: “Having worked for ten years as an Occupational Therapist in the Mental Health area, I had heard about the Diploma from other health professionals. All of them recommended it as being a great help to them in expanding their awareness of the various issues when working directly with victims of the Troubles, and I thought it would help me.

“I’m glad to report that it has certainly done that and more. Due to the course content, the diversity of political and religious backgrounds of my fellow students and the variety of jobs that they do, I have built up an incredibly useful network of contacts. These contacts are not just useful to me but perhaps, more importantly, also to my clients - the people I try to help every day. Also, I have now developed a much stronger sense of ‘self-care’ and a whole new range of coping mechanisms to guard against burnout.

“Simply put the course has been invaluable to me and I would have no hesitation in recommending other health professionals in Northern Ireland to consider it. I would also like to take this opportunity to thank the School of Nursing and Midwifery at Queen’s, WAVE, my team at North and West Trust, and of course my husband David, who was a tremendous support to me while studying.”

For further information, please contact the Communications Office, 028 9097 3091 / 028 9097 3087

Top of Page

Queen's gateway to employment for overseas graduates
Kaustuv Banerjee (L) and Adnan Meerlabi (R) pictured at Queen's graduation
Kaustuv Banerjee (L) and Adnan Meerlabi (R) pictured at Queen's graduation

A student who took a loan from the Bank of India to fund his postgraduate course at Queen's expects to be one of the first beneficiaries of a new scheme that will allow overseas students to take up local employment when they graduate.

Kaustuv Banerjee says that the new scheme will encourage more students from outside the European Union to consider studying at UK universities and he has already made application to get work with one of Northern Ireland’s top organisations. Kaustuv studied for his first degree in Electrical Engineering at the University of Kalyani near his home city of Calcutta in India.

“The decision to come to Queen's was influenced by a friend of my father who works in the United States and told us that it was considered one of the top universities in the UK. I did my own internet search and decided to apply to continue my studies in Telecommunications in Belfast because the facilities were here and many of the important major telecommunications companies have operations here."

Under new UK legislation, from this year, students from outside the European Union who have studied and graduate here, can apply for a special work permit and work locally for a further year.

“This is very important for many students who have travelled from China and Malaysia in some instances to study on this course and now have the opportunity to put into practice locally what we have learned,” Kaustuv said.” I have applied to Norbrook, BT and even Citibank who are all looking to recruit good graduates from local universities. If I am successful, then my visa will be extended and I have a chance to work for a year with one of the world’s top companies, so that when I do go back home, my experience will be more highly valued. I have also applied to do a PhD at Queen's if I can sort out the funding, and I would like to complete my studies here because Northern Ireland is a place I have been fortunate to make many good friends and also be successful in my studies.”

For further information, please contact the Communications Office, 028 9097 3091 / 028 9097 3087.

ENDS.

Top of Page

Christmas Gaelic Games Festival at Queen's Sport
PE and Sports Development Officer, Kevin Murray, pictured with (L to R), Natlaie Magill of Botanic PS, Jodie Carson of St Malachy's PS, Andre Santa-Maria of St Bride's PS, Dominic Corr and Niall Burns of St Matthews PS at the Queen's University Christmas Gaelic Games Funday.
PE and Sports Development Officer, Kevin Murray, pictured with (L to R), Natlaie Magill of Botanic PS, Jodie Carson of St Malachy's PS, Andre Santa-Maria of St Bride's PS, Dominic Corr and Niall Burns of St Matthews PS at the Queen's University Christmas Gaelic Games Funday.

Children from throughout Belfast had the opportunity to get into the Christmas spirit at Queen's University as they dressed up as Christmas Crackers, Santa’s Elves and Reindeers and took part in the first ever inter schools Christmas Gaelic Games Festival at Queen’s Physical Education Centre.

Over the last 8 weeks children from four local primary schools have received expert coaching from students & coaches of Queen’s GAA Academy and the Ulster Council of the GAA.

Kevin Murray the PE & Sport Development Officer at Queen’s Sport explains “The main aim of this event is to celebrate the Gaelic Games theme as part of the developing schools programme at Queen’s Sport. It also provides the opportunity for local schools and their pupils particularly those non sporty children to enjoy taking part in PE & Sport”

Henry Duffin PE Co-ordinator at St Bride’s PS added “This event and others like it at Queen’s have shown that bringing local schools together to celebrate Gaelic Games or any sport in fact has great benefits for the children such as learning new skills, meeting new friends from different backgrounds and having fun at the same time."

Notes to Editor

The PE & Sport Programme aims to enhance the delivery of PE and Sport in local schools, sports clubs and the wider community through the provision and access to improved sports facilities and development programmes.

Queen's Sport, in partnership with St Bride's, St Matthew's, St Malachy's and Botanic Primary Schools and nine other community organisations, received an award from the Big Lottery Fund (PE & Sport programme) to fund the project.

For further information please contact Lisa Mitchell, Communications Office. Tel 028 9097 5384 or Kevin Murray, PE 7 Sport Development Officer, Queen's Sport. Tel: 028 9038 7675

Top of Page

Doctorates for Ballynahinch Father and Son at Queen's Graduation
It will be a case of Double Doctorates for the Bryans family at Queen's University today, as Leslie Bryans and his son Garth will both receive PhDs from the School of Electrical Engineering for their work on sustainable energy supplies.

From Ballynahinch, Leslie, who works as Manager Transmission Planning with NIE, focused on the area of Wind Power Integration, while Garth, an employee of Airtricity in Dublin, researched Tidal Power Integration.

A graduate of Queen's Leslie has worked in the energy sector for many years and his work has been commended outside of Queen's as being an important springboard for a great deal of future research in the sustainable energy sector. Speaking about his research, Leslie said: “My work involved analysing both technical issues related to the grid supply and managing energy certainty and variability. As a result of this work, a new suite of novel system management tools have been developed, many of which are now being introduced along with advanced wind energy forecasting by NIE.

“At NIE we are also working towards establishing an R&D programme aimed at exploring how networks will develop for the changing needs of 2020 and I hope that this, together with recent funding won by the School of Electrical Engineering at Queen's, will foster more linkages between the two organisations and will benefit future generations of students.”

Garth graduated from the University of Wales with a BSc in Marine Biology and Oceanography in 2002 and an MSc in Oceanography in 2003. Explaining the reason behind his choice of PhD, Garth said: “The increase in fuel prices, concerns over energy security and global warming have all helped fuel a global drive towards renewable power generation, something I, along with my father, have long had an interest in.

“Having looked around I saw that Queen's was carrying out some leading research in the field of electrical engineering and I realised that there was tremendous scope to merge my marine and oceanography knowledge with that of their engineering skills. “This was further helped by my relationship with the Electricity Research Centre at UCD and both universities made for an excellent environment in which to further my research and studies.” Queen's looks set to continue to lead the way and act as a gateway to some excellent career opportunities for graduates for some time to come. Research into effective integration of distributed, clean and renewable energy sources is an important area where Queen's can continue to contribute to a lower carbon emissions future with a reduction in global warming.

“I would like to pay tribute to Northern Ireland Electricity's SMART programme, the Department of Enterprise, Trade and Investment and Sustainable Energy Ireland for their financial support. In partnership with them and my colleagues at Queen's and UCD, people can look forward to their pooled resources delivering the best possible results in the area of sustainable energy for all on the island of Ireland.”

For further information, please contact the Communications Office, 028 9097 3091 / 028 9097 3087.

ENDS.

Top of Page

Top Local Entrepreneur to be Honoured at Queen's Graduations

More than 1,700 students will graduate from Queen's University this week at the winter graduation ceremonies which take place from Wednesday 13 to Friday 15 December. Among those receiving honorary degrees will be former Northern Ireland Office Minister and Governor of Hong Kong Lord Patten of Barnes, Belfast-born Space.NK founder Nicky Kinnaird.

Leading Irish-American businessman Thomas J Moran and distinguished obstetrician Professor Babill Stray-Pedersen will also be honoured. Nicky Kinnaird will receive an honorary Doctorate of Science (Economics) for services to business and commerce. Since opening her first store in April 1993 Nicky Kinnaird has revolutionised the face of the British beauty market through the success of her retail venture, Space.NK, now a multi-million pound operation.

Lord Patten of Barnes will receive an honorary Doctorate of Laws for distinction in public service. His notable career has included chairmanship of the Conservative Party and Governorship of Hong Kong, during which he oversaw the return of Hong Kong to China, He was Chairman of the Independent Commission on Policing for Northern Ireland which reported in 1999, served as European Commissioner for External Relations from 1999 to 2004 and in January 2005 took his seat in the House of Lords. He is Chancellor of Newcastle University and the University of Oxford.

A world-renowned professor in women’s reproductive health, Babill Stray-Pedersen will be awarded an honorary Doctorate of Medical Science for services to medicine. Based in the Faculty of Medicine at the University of Oslo, she has been a senior advisor for the World Health Organisation, the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) and UNICEF and several universities worldwide, extending her research activities to Central and South-East Asia, Africa, the Baltics and Russia.

An honorary Doctorate of Science (Economics) will be conferred on Thomas J Moran for services to business and commerce and for public service. Listed as one of the top 100 Irish-American business people in the United States, he has been President and CEO of the Mutual of America Life Insurance Company since October 1994. An eminent humanitarian, he is Chairman of Concern Worldwide (US), Inc. and has contributed to several Irish-American humanitarian and community causes, including acting as one of a group of unofficial peace envoys to Northern Ireland throughout the 1990s.

Details of the ceremonies are as follows:
Wednesday 13 December

7.00pm - School of Education 
Address by: Professor Ken Brown, Pro-Vice-Chancellor

Thursday 14 December 10.30am:

School of Nursing and Midwifery
Honorary graduand: Nicky Kinnaird
Address: Nicky Kinnaird

Thursday 14 December 2.30pm
Schools of:
Chemistry and Chemical Engineering
Electronics, Electrical Engineering and Computer Science
Geography, Archaeology and Palaeoecology
Mathematics and Physics
Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering
Planning, Architecture and Civil Engineering
Psychology


Honorary graduand: Lord Patten of Barnes
Address by: President and Vice-Chancellor Professor Peter Gregson

Friday 15 December 10.30am

Schools of:
Biological Sciences
Biomedical Sciences
Education
English
Medicine and Dentistry
Pharmacy
Institute of Theology

Honorary graduand: Professor Babill Stray-Pedersen
Address by: Professor Babill Stray-Pedersen

2.30pm Schools of:
History and Anthropology
Languages, Literatures and Performing Arts
Law
Management and Economics
Music and Sonic Arts
Politics, International Studies and Philosophy
Sociology, Social Policy and Social Work


Honorary graduand: Thomas J Moran
Address by: Thomas J Moran

Notes for Editors
Press officers will be on duty at the Sir William Whitla Hall for each of the ceremonies. Media packs will be available in advance. Requests for interviews with the honorary graduands should be made in advance of each ceremony by calling Anne Langford on 028 9097 5310.

For further information please contact: the Communications Office, 028 9097 3091 / 028 9097 3087

ENDS.

Top of Page

School of Education puts learning back into the workplace

Ruth Mormecha received a Certificate in the Effective Management of Volunteers, accompanied by her youngest son Michael and husband Michael.
Over three hundred and fifty adult learners, including working professionals who came back to study part-time, will be rewarded at the first ceremony of Queen's University Winter Graduations on Wednesday evening. Some are students who have completed a Foundation Studies Programme in Further Education Colleges and will use the qualification as a bridge into the University, while others are professionals in different occupations who have attended Queen's part-time to update their knowledge and skills.

Ruth Mormecha is one of the learners who will take the stage at the Whitla Hall to receive a Certificate in the Effective Management of Volunteers. A Family Worker with the charity Positive Futures in Lisburn, she has responsibility for 26 volunteers who she describes as critical in their work with children who have a learning disability. She said:”I already had five years practical experience of working with volunteers but when I saw this course it offered both a solid foundation in theory with good practice guidelines and was designed and delivered by professional tutors from the Volunteer Development Agency. From the first day of the course I was able to identify areas in our own practice where we could make improvements to benefit both our volunteers and the young people that we work with. “As a mother of four children there was some re-organisation in my own life aside from becoming a grandmother just one month into the course but the time was so well managed in the course itself, the assignments and the work based project just came and went and the important thing for me was that I have been able to put the learning I received into practice in the workplace.”

Paul Nolan from the School of Education at Queen's said: “The people who receive their Certificates, Diplomas and Degrees on Wednesday evening, are all people who have achieved a personal success. It is when they take the learning back into the workplace that they will be improving the quality of a key resource, the Northern Ireland workforce. Our part-time programmes in particular, are designed to ensure that we are at the forefront of the lifelong learning revolution, helping both the individual to progress, but also meeting the skills needs of the Northern Ireland economy.”

A number of special prizes and awards will also be presented on the evening to top students:

The Graduate Certificate in Business Development

IntertradeIreland Award for top student
John Ross Kane;

Marketing, Advertising and Public Relations Degree and Diplomas

Belfast Telegraph Award for the top degree student
Alison Jayne Bell;

British Telecom Award for the best written paper
John Mc Candless;

Belfast Newsletter Award for the top student
Lesley Doherty;

UTV Award for outstanding achievement
Emma Bustard;

Anderson Spratt Group Award for the best essay (degree student)
Lynette Fegan;

Anderson Spratt Group Award for the best essay (diploma student)
Ross Bloomfield.

For further information, please contact the Communications Office, 028 9097 3091 / 028 9097 3087.

Photo opportunities are available with the Prize winners at 6.00pm in the Old Common Room in the Lanyon Building in advance of the ceremony in the Whitla Hall.

ENDS.

Top of Page

Queen's tops UK university spin-out rankings
Queen's University has emerged as the leading higher education institution in the United Kingdom in terms of the annual turnover of spin-out businesses formed by its venture capital company, QUBIS Ltd, and second to Cambridge for the number of jobs which these companies have created.

The league tables are included in the most recent Higher Education-Business and Community Interaction (HE-BCI) survey published jointly by the Department of Trade & Industry (DTI) and the Higher Education Funding Council for England (HEFCE).

The figures, for the 2003-2004 academic year, give the turnover for Queen's companies as £49.6 million, placing the University first out of 164 higher education institutions. The turnover figure has since risen to around £66 million.

The number of those employed by the University's spin-outs, recorded in the league tables as 761, is now 864.

Panos Lioulias, Chief Executive of QUBIS Ltd, said the results underlined the University's role as a major contributor to local economic development and illustrated the quality and entrepreneurial spirit of Queen's researchers.

He said: “This kind of success does not happen in a vacuum. Just last month, Queen's was invited to join the Russell Group, the Ivy League of UK universities, acknowledging its role as a world-class centre of excellence in research and education. These figures from the HEFCE survey also point to the innovation and commitment of our academic staff, as well as the vision and business acumen of our partners and investors.”

QUBIS Chairman Professor Bryan Keating said: “These rankings are a vote of confidence in the future for Queen's spin-out companies and we are very excited by the possibilities that lie ahead for us. We hope to create many more entrepreneurs for Queen's and Northern Ireland as we continue to pioneer the transformation of university research to local wealth and job creation. In the near future, we are likely to see the creation of more companies emanating from the University’s leading-edge research.”

Since its establishment in 1984, QUBIS has created some 50 high technology companies. One of the most successful of these is Andor Technology which was successfully floated on the Alternative Investment Market in December 2004 – the first flotation of a university spin-out company in Northern Ireland.

For further information contact:

Panos Lioulias, Tel 028 9068 2321
Anne Langford, Tel 028 9097 5310

ENDS.

Top of Page

NICENT Leads The Way ln Fostering Entrepreneurship
The Northern Ireland Centre for Entrepreneurship (NICENT), a partnership between the University of Ulster and Queen's University Belfast has gained national recognition for leading the way in fostering business enterprise.

University-sector representative body Universities UK have featured the unique project in their top level briefing document “Higher level learning: Universities and employers working together” released today. The report showcases how universities are working with employers to develop new business-focused degrees and to enhance graduate employability.

“Higher level learning” pulls together case studies from 26 universities across a range of industries including financial services, computing, media and fashion, the public sector, construction and sport and leisure. It also looks at how universities connect with SMEs and help instil entrepreneurship. NICENT was featured in the publication for its work in developing a new culture of entrepreneurship.

The centre's primary focus is to embed the spirit of entrepreneurship in the science, engineering and technology departments in universities in Northern Ireland.

Head of the Centre at Queen’s University Richard Millen said:

“Our efforts within NICENT to promote appropriate entrepreneurial attitudes among students at all levels within the Centre's partner institutions and indeed amongst staff reflects our belief that entrepreneurship is not just about starting a new business. We within the NICENT partnership seek to engender a change in attitude among students and inspire them to be entrepreneurial and innovative so that they can make a difference as employees or employers."

The Centre has introduced the concept of entrepreneurship to over 7,500 students since it was first established in 2000.

ENDS.

Top of Page

Queen's Mourne Cottage Selected as Finalist in Rural Tourism Awards
Cathy Gallagher and Liz McLaughlin of Queen's University Belfast pictured with Mandy McAvoy and Camilla Fitzpatrick of Mourne Heritage Trust at the NRRTI Awards.
Cathy Gallagher and Liz McLaughlin of Queen's University Belfast pictured with Mandy McAvoy and Camilla Fitzpatrick of Mourne Heritage Trust at the NRRTI Awards.

The redevelopment of Queen's University's Cottage in the Mournes has resulted in the University being shortlisted as a finalist in the Accommodation Provider Category at the Rural Tourism Awards co-ordinated by the Natural Resource Rural Tourism Initiative.

Located in Ballymartin, Co. Down, half a mile from Silent Valley and one hours drive from Belfast, the Cottage was always been a popular base for outdoor activities amongst many clubs and societies from the University. Now an extensive refurbishment programme funded by Queen's, The Mourne Heritage Trust and the Donal Deery fund, has seen the Cottage officially reopened in June of this year and it is now available to members of the public, schools, clubs and community groups for as little as £6 per person per night.

Expressing her delight at the recognition for the project, Maureen Cusdin, Director of Queen’s Sport, stated: “We are delighted to be a finalist in this category as it recognizes the hard work of the staff and students from Queen’s University and the Mourne Heritage Trust to make sure the project happened.

"The Cottage will add greatly to the existing portfolio of accommodation options in the local area and the development of an associated programme of activity will bring together students, members of the community and other users to create new sporting opportunities of which everyone involved can be very proud.”

Further information on the Rural Cottage can be found at www.qub.ac.uk/pec/Facilities/MourneCottage/

Notes to Editor

Investment of £100,000 from Queen's University Belfast, Mourne Heritage Trust and the Donal Deery Fund enabled the reopening of the Cottage in June 2006. Work included the installation of electricity, a water supply, heating system and a major refurbishment. 

A two-storey building with bunk-style bed space for 30 people, it also contains a large fully equipped kitchen, a living area with a large open fire complete with logs and coal, and a shower/ toilet block. It provides the perfect setting for residentials, team-building sessions and outdoor activity trips at a cost of £2 per night per person for Queen’s students, £5 per person per night for Queen’s Sports members and £6 per person per night for all others. There is also a one-off booking fee of £5 for Queen’s Students, £8 for Sports members and £10 for others.

Mourne Heritage Trust: http://www.mournelive.com
DARDNI (Natural Resource Rural Tourism Initiative) ; www.dardni.gov.uk

For further information, please contact Lisa Mitchell, Communications Office, 028 90 97 5384 or Debbie McLorinan, Queen’s Sport, 02890 387660. Email: d.mclorinan@qub.ac.uk.

 ENDS.

 

Top of Page

Students Awarded by School of Management and Economics
School of Management and Economics Prize Winners (from L to R): Francis Irvine, Michael Cox, Laura Hyland, Samuel Cottney, Paula O’Neill, David McAlister, Conor Bell, Brenda Dolan
School of Management and Economics Prize Winners (from L to R): Francis Irvine, Michael Cox, Laura Hyland, Samuel Cottney, Paula O’Neill, David McAlister, Conor Bell, Brenda Dolan

Hard work has paid off for a number of undergraduates in the School of Management and Economics as ten students were recently presented with awards at the annual Accounting and Economics Prize Ceremony.

A number of top companies, including KPMG, Deloitte, BDO, Ernst and Young, PriceWaterhouseCoopers and the Chartered Institute of Management Accountants, sponsored the awards and p rizes ranged from Best Graduate, to Best First and Second Year Student, while other students were awarded for achievements in different modules.

Accounting Prize Awards for 2005-2006 were:
KPMG Best Graduate Award, Francis Irvine
KPMG Best First Year Student 101/103 Award, Samuel Cottney
Deloitte Best Second Year Student Award, Brenda Dolan
PWC Best Financial Accounting 204/310 Award, Paula O'Neill
CIMA Best Management Accounting Award, Michael Cox
BDO Taxation Award, Francis Irvine
Ernst & Young  Auditing and Accountability (210ACC309) Award, Laura Hyland
PWC International Financial Management, Kiera McKenna

Economics Prizes 2005-2006:
KPMG Best Graduate Economics Award, David McAlister
Queen's McKane Medal and Prize Award, Conor Bell

Further information from Lisa Mitchell, Communications Office, 028 90 97 5384 or Edith Caulfield, School of Management and Economics. Tel (0)28 9097 3356.

ENDS.

 

Top of Page

Violence in the spotlight

A free public lecture by Professor Stephen Hart from the Department of Psychology at Simon Fraser University in Canada on the 'Assessing risk for Violence: Promise & Perils' is to be held on Monday 4 December 2006 at 6.00pm in the The McWilliam Suite, Wellington Park Hotel, Malone Road, Belfast.

The lecture forms part of a two day conference organised by the Northern Ireland Branch of the British Psychological Society and The Psychological Society of Ireland which will examine topics of increasing concern to mental health professionals, primary care and criminal justice agencies.

Professor Hart’s primary area of expertise is clinical-forensic psychology and most of his work focuses on clinical-forensic assessment in criminal and civil settings, and especially on the assessment of violence risk and the assessment of psychopathic personality disorder.

Professor Hart is also a Visiting Professor in the Faculty of Psychology at the University of Bergen in Norway.

For further information please contact Geraldine O’Hare 07710 523014 or Anne Kerr, Queen's University on 028 90974129. During the event, the conference organisers can be contacted on 07931 467283.

ENDS.

Top of Page