01-2005 Press Releases

Visiting Research Fellow at Queen's receives knighthood

It has been announced in the 2005 New Year's honours list that Robert Coleman, a Visiting Research Fellow at the Queen's University Institute of Governance, Public Policy and Social Research, has been awarded a knighthood. Dr Coleman has been appointed a Knight Commander of the Order of St Michael and St George.

Holding law degrees from the Universities of Oxford and Chicago and a barrister of the Inner Temple, Robert Coleman joined the European Commission in 1974, shortly after British accession to the European Community. He held various posts concerning different aspects of the realisation of the Single Market, becoming a Director in 1987 and a Director General in 1991. Until 1999 he was responsible for the Directorate General for Transport, including the five-year period when Neil Kinnock was the Commissioner in this area. From 1999 to 2004, he was responsible for the Directorate General for Health and Consumer Protection, covering amongst other matters food safety, public health and animal health and welfare.

Beginning in 2003, Dr Coleman spent an academic year at the Institute of Governance at Queen's University as a Senior Practitioner Fellow, focussing on EU affairs. He continues to work there as a Visiting Research Fellow.

Professor Elizabeth Meehan, Director of the Institute of Governance, Public Policy and Social Research commented:

"Robert Colman made a very significant contribution to research and research training in the Institute of Governance and provided invaluable advice to the wider University on other issues. The Institute continues to benefit greatly from his continuing association with it. We regard him as eminently worthy of this high honour and the University is very pleased that it has been bestowed upon him."


For further information, contact: Dolores Vischer, 07980 013362

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Schierenberg exhibition opens at Naughton Gallery at Queen's
'Rina, 1999' by Tai-Shan Scheirenberg, whose work is on display in the Naughton Gallery at Queen's, 12 January - 25 February
'Rina, 1999' by Tai-Shan Schierenberg, whose work is on display in the Naughton Gallery at Queen's, 12 January - 25 February

The Naughton Gallery at Queen's University opens its doors for the first exhibition of 2005 on Wednesday 12 January. On show until 25 February will be recent work by well-known contemporary British artist Tai-Shan Schierenberg.

Schierenberg was born in 1962 in Skegness, England to a Chinese mother and German father, also a painter. He studied at St Martin's and the Slade Schools of Art and came to prominence in 1989 when he won the John Player Portrait Award with a painting of his wife, artist Lynn Dennison.

As part of the John Player prize he was commissioned to paint the portrait of writer and barrister John Mortimer for the National Portrait Gallery (NPG) in London. The NPG also holds his portraits of Lord Carrington (1994) and most recently Lord Sainsbury (2002).

Schierenberg's intimate portraits of family and friends and his well-publicised portrait commissions, including that of HM the Queen and Prince Philip commissioned by the Readers’ Digest magazine to celebrate their Golden Wedding anniversary, convey a remarkable insight into the psychological and aesthetic aspects of the genre.

"It is not until the fourth or fifth attempt at painting a subject that I feel I may have begun to capture their real essence as people. I'm always striving for that magic moment when paint becomes an illusion of reality," the artist states.

Schierenberg’s technique illustrates how an artist overcomes many of the restraints of portraiture to create a likeness of a living human being. Having only one or two short sittings with his subject, he makes a rapid oil-sketch, relying on photographs for additional information and together, these form the basis of the composition, executed in the artist's studio.

Schierenberg's subtle landscapes, interiors and still life paintings, together with his portraits, have led to international acclaim and comparisons with Lucien Freud. He treats the paint almost as if it was flesh, and it is this technique that establishes the major paradoxes characteristic of his work. It is both abstract and realist; edgy and sensitive; grand and inconclusive; violent and melancholic; physically intense and aesthetically detached.

"I'm delighted to have the opportunity to put the work of one of the UK's best-known portrait painters on display for people in Northern Ireland," Shan McAnena, Naughton Gallery Curator enthused. "The paintings in the exhibition have been loaned to us by Flowers East Gallery in London that represents the artist."

Ms McAnena added that Tai-Shan Schierenberg was commissioned by the University to paint a new portrait of Nobel Laureate Seamus Heaney for the University collection. "This exciting new work will be unveiled on 3rd February 2005, when the artist will visit the gallery, and will then be included in this exhibition before hanging permanently in the University's Great Hall.

For further information, contact: Shan McAnena, 028 9097 5383; or Dolores Vischer, Communications Office, 028 9097 5320

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Cardiac help supported by PSNI
At the launch of the new Northern Ireland Public Access Defibrillation initiative are (from left): Assistant Chief Constable Roy Toner, PSNI; Peter Ferguson, project trainer from Queen's University and Dr Michael Moore, project manager, Queen's, along with Paul who demonstrated the defibrillator.
At the launch of the new Northern Ireland Public Access Defibrillation initiative are (from left): Assistant Chief Constable Roy Toner, PSNI; Peter Ferguson, project trainer from Queen's University and Dr Michael Moore, project manager, Queen's, along with Paul who demonstrated the defibrillator.

A new scheme, aimed at bringing treatment to heart attack victims as quickly as possible, will be launched this month in a number of regions across Northern Ireland.

The Northern Ireland Public Access Defibrillation (NIPAD) project will involve training people working and living in north and west Belfast, Ballymena, Antrim and Magherafelt. They will assist suspected cardiac victims, before an ambulance arrives, using an Automated External Defibrillator (AED) – a device which gives an electric shock to try to get the heart back to normal rhythm.

Backed by the Ambulance Service, the volunteers include people from all backgrounds and professions, including officers from the Police Service of Northern Ireland who will be among those carrying defibrillators.

Assistant Chief Constable Roy Toner said the Police Service welcomed the opportunity to take part in the project: "Police officers in the pilot areas will use their training and mobility to contribute whenever possible towards the success of this scheme. We welcome the chance to work with others in the community to help save lives."

Heart disease is the biggest killer in Northern Ireland, with the majority of cases frequently occurring outside hospital. Evidence shows that the sooner defibrillation occurs after the individual collapses the greater the chance of survival.

Project manager Dr Michael Moore said in all cases of out-of-hospital cardiac arrests an emergency ambulance will be dispatched, but the initial actions of a trained volunteer could mean the difference between life and death.

"It is important to realise that from January when you ring 999 for a collapsed victim, a cardiac first responder may arrive at your door first, before the paramedic. The volunteers are either lay people, or police officers, trained in the use of AEDs and in some cases chest compressions and mouth-to-mouth resuscitation.

"However, the paramedics will arrive in all cases as normal and in some cases before the cardiac first responders," he said.

Around 600 people have already been trained across Northern Ireland, but more volunteers are still needed, particularly in the rural areas. The training involves one three hour session with follow up sessions every six months and those who have already undergone it say it is straightforward and enjoyable. Those who are interested in becoming volunteers should live or work in north and west Belfast, Ballymena, Antrim or Magherafelt, hold a driving licence and have access to a vehicle.

"We anticipate that the PAD programme will reduce delay time to defibrillation for out of hospital sudden deaths and ultimately improve survival in North and West Belfast, Ballymena, Antrim and Magherafelt", said Dr Moore.

If you are interested in volunteering or have any queries please feel free to contact us at the Royal Victoria Hospital. The contact details are shown below.

To apply, to go our web page at www.med.qub.ac.uk/nipad/ and download the recruitment sheet. After this has been completed in full print it off and send to the address below or email it to PAD@qub.ac.uk and a training date and venue will be supplied.

If you do not have access to the internet send your name, home address, work address and contact telephone number to: Frank Kee / Michael Moore, Department of Epidemiology and Public Health, Mulhouse Building, Royal Victoria Hospital, Grosvenor Road, BT1 6BA.

The one year pilot programme is organised jointly by the Department of Cardiology and Public Health (Queen's University) at the Royal Victoria Hospital and is being funded by HSS Research and Development Office.

For further information contact: Professor Frank Kee, 028 9063 2746 Dr Michael Moore, (028) 9063 3114 or Communications, (028) 9097 3087

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New portrait of "distinguished scholar" presented to Queen's

A new portrait of one of Queen's University's most distinguished scholars and the inspiration behind the establishment of the Ulster Folk and Transport Museum will be officially unveiled on Thursday evening.

The portrait of the late Professor Estyn Evans, by local artist Raymond Piper, was commissioned and paid for by a group of the eminent academic's friends and former colleagues to commemorate the centenary of his birth and his long association with Queen's. It will be presented to the University by the Duke of Abercorn, whose father was a friend of the Evans family, at a ceremony in the Great Hall.

Estyn Evans came to Queen's in 1928 and retired in 1968. He founded the Department of Geography, becoming a Professor in l945. During his years at Queen's he also helped establish the Departments of Archaeology and Social Anthropology, and the Institute of Irish Studies of which he was the first Director.

His achievement in these several fields was recognised in his Presidency of the Institute of British Geographers, and of both the Geography and Anthropology sections of the British Association for the Advancement of Science. He was accorded the membership of the Royal Irish Academy and was awarded honorary degrees by universities in Britain, Ireland and America. He died in 1989.

Professor Evans' contribution to public life was both wide-ranging and important. He was committed to encouraging understanding of Northern Ireland's cultural heritage and served as a Trustee of the Ulster Folk and Transport Museum and the Ulster Museum for many years. He also became well-known to the general public through his many radio broadcasts and television appearances.

Queen's Vice-Chancellor Professor Peter Gregson said: "Estyn Evans epitomised the best of Queen's, combining scholarly ability with a deep regard for his students and a major contribution to the wider community in Northern Ireland.

"This is underlined by the fact that this is not the first image of Estyn to adorn the walls of Queen's. As one of our most renowned academics, he was one of the 'Faces of Queen's' featured in the Visitors' Centre exhibition celebrating the contribution to life and learning of some of Queen's most notable personalities."

For further information contact: Anne Langford, Tel 028 9097 5310

Note for Editors: The presentation and unveiling of Professor Evans' portrait will take place at 5pm on Thursday 20 January in the Great Hall, Queen's University. Media facilities will be available.

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Queen's mental health expert to retire
Professor Roy McClelland who will retire at the end of January
Professor Roy McClelland who will retire at the end of January

A Queen's University psychiatrist and one of Northern Ireland's most prominent mental health experts is to retire.

Roy McClelland, Emeritus Professor of Mental Health in the University's School of Medicine and consultant psychiatrist at Belfast City Hospital Trust, is a leading authority on the study of suicide on the island of Ireland. He will retire at the end of January.

He is chairman of the Northern Ireland Healing through Remembering project which seeks to identify options of remembering and truth recovery for people affected by the Troubles, and deputy chairman of the Northern Ireland Review of Mental Health and Learning Disability.

Professor McClelland is also chairman of the Royal College of Psychiatrist's Advisory Group on Confidentiality and co-ordinator of the European 5th Framework Project, which is developing confidentiality guidelines for healthcare practice in Europe.

He was recently awarded the Prize of Geneva, a prestigious international accolade for his work in protecting the rights of people with mental illness. His guidelines examined how healthcare professionals should protect patients' confidentiality in the age of networked computers and databases.

For further information contact: Professor Roy McClelland, (028) 9097 5790 or Communications, Queen's University, (028) 9097 3087

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Burns night special at Queen's University

Burns Night, Tuesday 25 January, is to be celebrated in style at Queen's University, when the Seamus Heaney Centre for Poetry's Burns Night gets underway at 7.30pm in the University's Great Hall.

Robert Burns, poet and songwriter, Scotland's favourite son and champion of the common people, was born on January 25, 1759 in the village of Alloway near Ayr. Each year the Scottish national icon's birthday is celebrated by Scots around the world at Burns Suppers and readings of his poetry.

Tuesday evening's celebration at Queen's will include a talk on the poet's song lyrics in the context of their performance by the current leading Burns authority and editor of the Canongate Burns book, Dr Andrew Noble. Later, Len Graham from Mullaghbawn, one of Ireland's well-know traditional singers will perform a number of Burns songs with Glasgow's inimitable Adam McNaughton, one of the most original of Scotland's contemporary folksingers. The evening's entertainment will be rounded off with lively renditions of Irish and Scottish music on accordion and fiddle from James McElheran and Dominic McNab from the Glens of Antrim.

"I'm delighted to start the new Seamus Heaney Centre for Poetry programme of events for the semester with this exciting Burns Night," said the Centre's Director Professor Ciaran Carson. "We've brought together an impressive line-up of musicians who will be introduced by Dr John Kirk, Senior Lecturer in English and Scottish Language in the School of English, and a keen Ulster-Scots supporter."

Dr Kirk adds that "this new annual event aims to bring to the province the finest in current Burns criticism and editorial scholarship. There will be no supper, none of the cult speeches, and no tartanry. The emphasis will be on celebrating the poems and songs through renditions, and on the fullest interpretation of Burns’s poetic intentions in his contemporary political context."

Ye see yon birkie, ca'd a lord,
Wha struts, and stares, and a' that;
Tho hundreds worship at his word,
He's but a coof for a' that:
For a' that, and a' that,
His ribband, star, an' a' that:
The man o' independent mind
He looks an' laughs at a' that.
Extract from A Man's a Man For A' That, Burns' famous song of liberty and independence.

For further media information, contact: Dolores Vischer, Communications Office, 028 9097 5320.

1. The Burns Night Special will take place at 7.30pm on Tuesday 25 January in the Great Hall at Queen's. No tickets or advance reservation is required.
2. The next Seamus Heaney Centre for Poetry event will take place on Thursday 10th February at 7pm in the Visitor's Centre to mark the launch of a new book edited by Selina Guinness, The New Irish Poets.

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Aladdin lights up winter nights

A tale from the far east will be coming to south Belfast next week when nurses at Queen's University take to the stage to perform the pantomime "Aladdin".

Staff and students at the School of Nursing and Midwifery will be taking part in the spectacular production all in aid of charity, with money raised going to the tsunami disaster appeal, local children's charities and the School's Overseas Development Fund which supports students undertaking elective placements internationally.

Audiences will get the chance to meet the fearless Aladdin, evil Jafar, a rascally genie, and the lovable Wishee Washee. There will also be a frantic widow Twankey and by Special Command, Carmel the Camel.

Join us for a riot of fun and laughs and make sure to book your tickets without delay! Priced at £5 for adults and £3 for children, tickets are available from reception at the School of Nursing and Midwifery, 97 Lisburn Road, or by calling 9097 2233. Everyone is welcome.

The pantomime will run from Thursday February 3 to Saturday February 5 in Stranmillis Theatre, Stranmillis University College at 7.30pm. There will also be a matinee performance at 2pm on Saturday.

Note to Editors: "Aladdin" will run from February 3 - 5 at Stranmillis Theatre, Stranmillis University College. Photographic opportunities will be available.

For further information, contact: Communications, (028) 9097 3087

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Queen's staff to learn inside story of Poppleton University

Members of staff at Queen's University Belfast are looking forward to receiving a few pearls of wisdom on the issues facing higher education, when Laurie Taylor reveals the inside story of Poppleton University on Thursday evening.

Laurie Taylor, whose weekly satirical column on university life has been appearing in the Times Higher Education Supplement for the last eighteen years, will share the secrets of the mythical Poppleton University about which he regularly writes, at a seminar hosted by the Times Higher team at Queen's.

Currently a visiting professor in the department of politics and sociology at Birkbeck College, University of London, Laurie Taylor was recently made a Fellow of Birkbeck College and holds visiting professorships at the London Institute and Westminster University. As well as writing for the Times Higher Education Supplement he is a regular contributor to the New Statesman, The Independent, and The Times. For the past twenty years he has been heard frequently on a range of BBC Radio 4 programmes and can currently be heard every Wednesday afternoon on R4 presenting Thinking Allowed, a programme devoted to society and social change. He has made several major television documentaries on such topics as crime, drinking behaviour, and the purpose of education.

In a message sent to all of Queen's staff ahead of his visit, Professor Taylor wrote: "Sorry to bother you when you're so very very busy, but I wanted to invite you to my special seminar. I'll be explaining in graphic detail how Poppleton University is rising to the challenge of the 21st century." If cajolement wasn’t to work, he also added ominously that, "your absence will be noted!"

"The Times Higher team is visiting Queen's in Belfast as part of a tour with Laurie to a number of universities in the UK," explained Gerard Kelly, the paper's Deputy Editor. "We are grateful to Queen's for letting us bring our road show to Belfast this month. This road show visit will give us a great opportunity to meet as many of our Northern Ireland readers as possible, to find out what the issues in higher education of interest to them are. Our columnist Laurie Taylor should get the evening off to a humorous start as he recounts some wry observations of higher education as he knows it at 'Poppleton University'!"

For further information, contact: Dolores Vischer, Communications Office, 028 9097 5320

Notes: The 'Articulated Laurie' seminar will begin at 6pm on Thursday 27 January in the Canada Room at Queen's University.

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Queen's research on cystic fibrosis awarded national funding

Cystic fibrosis researchers from Queen's University have won a share of a major £500,000 funding grant.

The Cystic Fibrosis Trust was awarded £509,759 from the Big Lottery Fund to help improve the lives of disadvantaged children and young adults with the disease. The condition, which is genetically inherited, causes the body to produce an abnormally thick, sticky mucus that clogs the lungs and leads to life-threatening lung infections.

A total of 370 people in Northern Ireland suffer from cystic fibrosis.

According to the researchers people with cystic fibrosis are subject to a "draconian" policy of segregation to prevent cross-infections as lung damage is the cause of death in over 90 per cent of sufferers.

The new medical project aims to improve the lives of those with the disease by helping develop faster and more accurate diagnosis of life-threatening lung infections. It also plans to identify virulent strains of bacteria and develop more effective drugs to control infection.

Consultant Respiratory physician, Professor Stuart Elborn, who is part of the research team, said: "Transmission within the cystic fibrosis community of life-threatening lung infections can have a devastating effect on lives. This means that many individuals are often forced to live in isolation, unable to interact and share experiences with other cystic fibrosis sufferers.

"Thanks to the Big Lottery Fund award our ground-breaking research will investigate the spread of 'superbugs'. It will also improve speed and accuracy of diagnosis and treatment of respiratory infections. This will help those living with the UK's most common, life-threatening inherited disease have healthier and happier lives," he said.

The Queen's researchers are Dr Andrew McDowell, Microbiology and Immunobiology; Professor Stuart Elborn, Respiratory Medicine; Dr Lorraine Martin, and Professor Brian Walker, both from Pharmacy. The research will be carried out in collaboration with Edinburgh, Cardiff, Liverpool, Manchester, Cambridge and Colindale, in London.

For further information contact: Communications, Queen's University, Belfast (028) 9097 3087

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Drama graduates return to enjoy new facilities at Queen’s
SNEAKY Productions actors rehearsing in the Queen's Drama and Film Centre ahead of the Drama graduates showcase on Tuesday 25 January (l-r): Conor Morrison, Ruairi Tohill, Bronagh Taggart and Grainne Gilmartin.
SNEAKY Productions actors rehearsing in the Queen's Drama and Film Centre ahead of the Drama graduates showcase on Tuesday 25 January (l-r): Conor Morrison, Ruairi Tohill, Bronagh Taggart and Grainne Gilmartin.

Many recent Drama graduates of Queen's University Belfast were invited to return to perform for a public audience in the new studio theatre within the Drama and Film Centre opened last autumn as part of a £2m investment in the arts by the University.

The showcase line-up included a range of short performances featuring a spread of graduates from the past four years - and the work of a few current students too. Previews of new writing from Lisa Mc Gee, Mark Caffrey and Caoileann Hughes, glimpses of new projects from directors Ciaran McQuillan and Miriam Haughton, and a peek at the future work of Sneaky Productions were all on the bill. Each involved graduate and student actors, technicians and musicians.

Commenting on the showcase, David Grant, Head of Drama Studies said," Since 2001, graduates of the Drama degree course at Queen's have been making marks and waves on the professional scene. The showcase was a chance for us and the public to see exactly what they've all be doing since returning their gowns and going their separate ways."

He added, "The showcase also gave the recent graduates a tremendous opportunity to return and take advantage of the splendid new facilities in the Drama and Film Centre and allowed the staff and students of the department to celebrate the significant contribution that these graduates are already making to the local arts scene."

Included on the very enjoyable bill on Tuesday evening were:

  • Oleg by Declan Feenan. A staged extract, directed by Ciaran McQuillan (Class of 2002). It was performed by Conor Morrison (2003), Julie-Anne Bolton (2003), Paul Kelly (2003) and Cat Barter (2004).
  • Portia Coughlan by Marina Carr. A staged extract directed by Miriam Haughton (2004). It was performed by Conor Morrison (2003), Ross Anderson (2003), Geoff Gatt (2003), Rosie McClelland (2004),and Sarah-Jane Reynolds (2004), with Lighting by David MacDonald (2004).
  • SNEAKY Productions presented Sneaky Peeks 1.5, selected, edited and directed by Declan Feenan. Performances were enjoyed from Bronagh Taggart (2002), Conor Morrison (2003), Grainne Gilmartin, and Ruairi Tohill (2002).

Completing the showcase were, Jack and Jill by Caoileann Hughes, a current student;Tender by Mark Caffrey who graduated last summer; April in Crinklewood by John McBride; and Girls and Dolls by Lisa Mc Gee (2002).

For further information, contact: Dolores Vischer, Communications Office, 028 9097 5320

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Top students awarded Queen's sports bursaries
Students from Queen's University Belfast who were awarded with special sports bursaries to help them develop their potential. The awards were handed over by Professor Ken Bell, Pro-Vice-Chancellor for Students and Learning during a ceremony in the Physical Education Centre.
Students from Queen's University Belfast who were awarded with special sports bursaries to help them develop their potential. The awards were handed over by Professor Ken Bell, Pro-Vice-Chancellor for Students and Learning during a ceremony in the Physical Education Centre.

Top student athletes at Queen's University have been awarded with special sports bursaries to help them develop their potential.

The Queen's Sports Bursary Awards were presented at a special ceremony this morning by Professor Ken Bell, Pro-Vice-Chancellor for Teaching and Learning.

A total of 15 students will receive awards including Olympic rower, Richard Archibald, who was a finalist in the Irish lightweight coxless four in Athens and Caroline O'Hanlon, a top class participants in three sports – netball, Gaelic football and basketball.

The awards, which have been running for 13 years, provide elite sportsmen and women with the opportunity to develop their skills while studying at the University. Over the years the best players and athletes at Queen's have been able to raise their game by accessing training assistance through sports science programmes, psychological support and nutritional advice and injury prevention and treatment.

In the past the programes have assisted the development of some of Northern Ireland's top athletes, including Ulster and Irish rugby star David Humphries, All-Star Gaelic footballers Anthony Tohill and Diarmuid Marsden, international runner Dermot Donnelly and Commonwealth Games judo silver medallist Lisa Bradley.

Queen's Sport and Exercise Sciences Development Manager, Dr Robert Gamble said: "This Sport Bursary Awards give recipients the best chance to combine their study needs with their desire to develop their sporting potential. It gives great satisfaction to see the progression of these student athletes during their time at Queen's."

The scheme has awarded 188 sports bursaries in 28 different sports.

The following applicants received Sports Bursary Awards for the academic year 2004/2005: Richard Archibald, Rowing; Caroline O’Hanlon, Multisport (Netball, Gaelic Football, Basketball); Caroline Kelly, Gaelic Football; Victoria Mallet, Multisport (Soccer, Gaelic Football); Alastair McKinley, Golf; Gareth Sykes, Fencing; Simon Wells, Cricket; Martin Campbell, Rowing; Aoife Kerrin, Squash; Kate McNulty, Tennis; Lynsey Smythe, Tennis; Kenneth Grahame, Fencing; David Hamilton,Volleyball; Diarmuid O'Meara, Athletics(Decathlon); Lynsey Patterson, Soccer; Charles Shanks, Handball.

For further information contact: Debbie McLorinan, Development Manager - Marketing & Customer Services, (028) 9068 1126, email: d.mclorinan@qub.ac.uk or Communications, Queen's University, Belfast (028) 9097 3087

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Belfast City Council staff collect language awards at Queen's

An awards ceremony at Queen's University marks an innovative partnership between Queen's University and Belfast City Council to promote the development of foreign language skills among council staff and elected representatives.

The University's Language Centre has delivered French conversation classes to several local councillors and staff from the Council's Development Department. The idea for the language course arose from an audit carried out by the Council's European Unit, which found tremendous interest among councillors and staff in developing foreign language skills to assist their working relations at EU and international level. The French conversation classes will be followed by similar tuition in Spanish.

The Language Centre at Queen's provides foreign language learning opportunities, facilities and resources for all students and staff of the University as well as providing a valuable translation, interpretation and tuition service to the Northern Ireland business community. The Centre offers private or group tuition in 17 different languages as well as cultural awareness training for individuals or companies. The courses are delivered by native speakers and experienced teachers and are tailor-made to individual and business requirements.

Speaking at the ceremony, Deputy Lord Mayor Councillor Joe O'Donnell said:

"Belfast City Council has an ambitious vision for Belfast and we will use every tool at our disposal in order to make that vision a reality. These language classes have an important role to play and we look forward to continuing this collaboration with Queen's University in the future".

Professor Gerry McCormac, Pro-Vice-Chancellor for Community and Communications at Queen's University said:

"The development of strong and strategic national and international connections is a priority for Queen's University. By working together to develop our language skills, we will be able to communicate better with our international partners and promote Belfast as a city that attracts international investment and the leading companies and minds from across the world."

For further information, contact: Communications Office, 028 9097 3087

Notes: The awards presentation ceremony will take place in the Canada Room at Queen's University on Friday 28 January at 12.30. Media facilities will be available.

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Northern Ireland "needs to build on tradition of innovation" - Gregson
President of the Royal Academy of Engineering Lord Alex Broers (centre) in ECIT's anechoic chamber which is used to measure the radiation patterns of microwave antennas being developed in ECIT for use in mobile communications. Included are Queen's Vice-Chancellor Professor Peter Gregson (left) and ECIT Director Professor John McCanny.
President of the Royal Academy of Engineering Lord Alex Broers (centre) in ECIT's anechoic chamber which is used to measure the radiation patterns of microwave antennas being developed in ECIT for use in mobile communications. Included are Queen's Vice-Chancellor Professor Peter Gregson (left) and ECIT Director Professor John McCanny.

Northern Ireland needs to build on its traditions of innovation to ensure future economic success, Queen's University Vice-Chancellor Professor Peter Gregson has said.

The Vice-Chancellor was speaking during a visit by Lord Alex Broers, President of the Royal Academy of Engineering, to one of the University's flagship research centres - ECIT, the Queen's Institute of Electronics, Communications and Information Technology in Titanic Quarter.

He told the audience of distinguished engineers: "Northern Ireland needs to open up new avenues through which innovative ideas can be transformed into business results, and it needs to have faith in the imagination, ability and creativity of its people."

And he cited ECIT, which matches world-class research with commercial opportunities, as an example of innovation in practice.

He said: "This new Institute, on the site of Belfast's industrial past, is a symbol of Northern Ireland's emergence as a global centre of excellence in advanced digital and communications technology.

"It is also a role model of innovation, ideally placed to make a major contribution to Northern Ireland's continuing economic development.

"It brings together seven research teams working in fields ranging from telecommunications networks and systems to image processing and it operates on the basis of collaboration with industrial and research partners throughout the world.

"These partnerships will underwrite a new vision for Northern Ireland as a dynamic place with a high-quality of life and sustainable economic growth."

The Vice-Chancellor added: "ECIT is a compelling demonstration of the qualities and values enshrined in our Vision for the Future of the University, a vision which will ensure its position as an international centre of academic excellence rooted in the heart of Northern Ireland.

"A core element of its ethos is the recognition that innovation is the key to future success. In this respect, it is a prototype for the future of economic development in Northern Ireland."

The Royal Academy of Engineering, of which both Professor Gregson and ECIT Director Professor John McCanny are Fellows, brings together over 1200 distinguished engineers from all engineering disciplines and aims to promote excellence in engineering for the benefit of the people of the United Kingdom.

For further information contact: Anne Langford, Tel 028 9097 5310

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Queen's student society tackles international issues

Students at Queen's University will join with guests from University College Cork for a weekend of lively debate as they enact a Model United Nations in Belfast.

The Queen's student debating society is hosting the weekend to discuss a range of topical global issues. Among those on the agenda are: the situation in the Congo and North Korea, nuclear proliferation and measures to tackle humanitarian emergencies such as the recent natural disaster in the Indian Ocean. The weekend's committee panels will be chaired by representatives from universities in London and Canada.

Ahead of the second annual Queen's student gathering, that is being held in association with University College Cork, Queen's President of the Model United Nations, Joe McAleer, explains the concept.

"Basically we set up a simulation of the United Nations. Participants assume the roles of ambassadors from UN member states to debate current issues within the organization's extensive programme. Delegates must represent the foreign policy of their adopted country and do their best to convey these views to the other members. Organs such as the Security Council or the International Court of Justice are replicated.

"Before playing out their ambassadorial roles, students research global problems to be addressed, drawing on current media reports. It presents a fun opportunity to learn how the international community acts on its concerns about topics including peace and security, human rights, the environment, food and hunger, economic development, and globalization. Model UN delegates also look closely at the needs, aspirations, and foreign policy of the countries they will represent at the event."

Student members of the Model United Nations engage in high-level debate at many major conferences held throughout the world and at small workshops held within different university campuses and schools. The society at Queen's is dedicated to developing oratorical skills, and improving knowledge and understanding of international politics and political situations.

The Alumni Fund at Queen's has lent its support to the event.

Notes: Media opportunities will be available during the concluding General Assembly on Sunday between 2-5pm in the Senate Room, Lanyon South. (During Saturday committees will meet in sessions in the Peter Froggatt Centre)

For further information, please contact: Joe McAleer, 07887 842378, Model United Nations President

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Equality issues on agenda for Belfast Telegraph Lectures at Queen's

Equality issues in Europe and further afield will be on the agenda when around 300 sixth-formers from schools throughout Northern Ireland attend a major lecture series at Queen's University on Tuesday, 1 February.

"Worlds Apart: Why Inequality Matters" is the theme of the 2005 Belfast Telegraph Lectures at Queen's which have been organised by the University's Faculty of Legal, Social and Educational Sciences and will be delivered by staff of the School of Sociology and Social Policy.

The series starts with a talk by Professor Mick Mann. Entitled "Is the World Becoming More Unequal?", his lecture will discuss recent trends in inequality in countries around the world.

He will be followed by colleague Professor Dennis O'Hearn whose lecture, "The Celtic Tiger and the Mayan Jaguar: Two Responses to Global Inequality", will compare Ireland's rapid economic growth with the Mayans' efforts to increase autonomy and democratic self-government.

Professor Mary Daly will then talk on "Social Exclusion in Europe", while various dimensions of social inequality in the UK and Ireland and their implications for society will be examined by Professor Paddy Hillyard in "Islands Apart: Inequality in the UK and Ireland".

The Belfast Telegraph Lectures are held annually at Queen's in memory of the late John E Sayers, the newspaper's editor-in-chief from 1961 to 1969.

For further information contact: Anne Langford, Tel 028 9097 5310

Note for Editors: The Belfast Telegraph Lectures will take place in the Whitla Hall at Queen's on Tuesday 1 February, from 10.45am to 1pm. Media facilities will be available.

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Prestigious award for book by Queen's child care researcher
Professor Dorota Iwaniec, Director of the Institute of Child Care Research, whose book ‘Children who Fail to Thrive’ was announced as the 2004 British Medical Association Book of the Year.
Professor Dorota Iwaniec, Director of the Institute of Child Care Research, whose book ‘Children who Fail to Thrive’ was announced as the 2004 British Medical Association Book of the Year.

A book written by Professor Dorota Iwaniec, Director of the Institute of Child Care Research at Queen's University, has garnered the prestigious 'Book of the Year award from the British Medical Association.

The award signifies that the book makes an outstanding contribution to the broad field of medicine.

A leading international figure in the field of child care research, Professor Iwaniec's book, Children who Fail to Thrive: a Practice Guide, was published in January 2004 by John Wiley and Sons.

The book is based on a 20-year follow-up study and extensive clinical experience of working with children identified as not developing according to expected norms and whose welfare causes concern. It brings together key findings of the longest world-wide study of children who fail to thrive and emphasises the need for early intervention to minimise long-term adverse effects into adulthood.

There has been widespread international acclaim for the book:
"This very important book is essential reading for child protection coordinators/chairs, and practitioners of all disciplines working with children who are failing to thrive…. Iwaniec has created an integrated child-centred model of intervention, and tied theory and practice firmly together. This book is an accolade for psycho-social therapeutic interventions that look to me like gold standard ‘social work’. ” The British Journal of Social Work

The distinguished Professor of Psychiatry, Sir Michael Rutter, wrote personally to congratulate Professor Iwaniec on her achievement. "A splendid new book. I think you have provided a masterly, and most interesting and readable, account of the topic. Many congratulations."

Professor Iwaniec was the founder of the Institute of Child Care Research at Queen's in 1995. The Institute is a major international centre of research in the field of child care and plays a key role in influencing the development of child care policy and practice in Northern Ireland.

"I was really delighted to receive this award, particularly as it is so unusual for a social scientist to be given such recognition by the medical world,” Professor Iwaniec commented.

"I am particularly pleased that my work has been recognised as my career is coming to an end: I will be retiring at the end of this academic year. I am proud also that the award brings prestige to the University as whole, but particularly to the Institute of Child Care Research and the School of Social Work.

"This is particularly rewarding news as the Institute has just been through a very successful assessment by an independent panel of experts from outside Northern Ireland, resulting in approval for a further five years' funding. The Panel was very impressed by the Institute's work and productivity with the assessors singling out for praise 'the quality of its research work, and its good organisational management," Professor Iwaniec added.

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