12 - 2010 Press Releases

Stellar success for Queen’s solar stars

Astrophysicists from Queen’s University have captured an unprecedented close-up image of the Sun's fiery atmosphere – and, in so doing, have won a major new global award.

‘The Solar Cauldron’, photographed by Dr David Jess and Professor Mihalis Mathioudakis of the University’s School of Mathematics and Physics, is the first winner of Andor Technology’s Insight Award. The Queen’s entry finished ahead of over 100 submissions from across the world in the areas of physical and life sciences.

The prize was launched by Andor Technology plc, a world leader in scientific imaging and spectroscopy solutions, to reward the best scientifically captivating and visually stunning image obtained using Andor equipment.

The Queen’s image provides a unique view of magnetic field lines, as indicated by the dark straw-like structures present all over the field-of-view. Incredibly, these phenomena display supersonic motion, with velocities exceeding 30 kilometres a second.

It was captured using Andor equipment in the Queen’s Rapid Oscillations in the Solar Atmosphere (ROSA) instrument, installed in the Dunn Solar Telescope in New Mexico, the prime US facility for ground-based solar observations.

Dr Andrew Dennis, Andor’s Director of Product Management, said: "The scientific value and visual quality of this year’s entries truly highlights the cutting edge work carried out by researchers using Andor Technology equipment."

The Insight Awards focus on recognising the cutting-edge research carried out by researchers using Andor Technology equipment in the fields of Physical, Life Sciences Imaging and Spectroscopy.

Professor Francis Keenan, Head of the School of Mathematics and Physics and Principal Investigator for ROSA, said: “This award recognises all of the hard work by the Solar Physics Group at Queen's in delivering ROSA as a world-leading instrument. In particular, it recognises the major contributions to ROSA by Mihalis Mathioudakis and David Jess, without whom ROSA would simply not exist.

“Credit is also due to Andor Technology and their staff, who developed the cameras in ROSA. The quality of the instrument is shown by this award-winning image, which demonstrates the potential of ROSA as an exciting research facility for international solar research.”

For media enquiries please contact: Anne Langford, on 028 9097 5310, Mob 07815 871997, a.langford@qub.ac.uk

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Playing by the rules? New book examines relationship between law and sport

From match fixing, to doping allegations, to contract disputes, a new book by a Queen’s University law expert analyses the relationship between modern sport and the law.

In the wake of well-publicised disputes, such as Wayne Rooney’s contractual negotiations with Manchester United and the protracted sale of Liverpool FC, Modern Sports Law examines the relationship between law and sport.

Written by Dr Jack Anderson, a Senior Lecturer at Queen’s School of Law, the book is one of the first of its kind to give an account of how the law influences the operation, administration and playing of modern professional sport.

Dr Anderson, who is from Limerick, said: “The relationship between law and sport is seen most clearly in professional sport where elite professional players, and particularly footballers, can earn huge sums over their relatively short playing careers.

“The current argument between Carlos Tevez and his employer, Manchester City, epitomizes much that is wrong with modern football but is, at the same time, an inevitable consequence of the European Court of Justice’s decision in Bosman, which occurred exactly 15 years ago this month.

“Where such levels of money are at stake, individual players, officials and clubs will go to great lengths and sometimes even to the courts, in an effort to protect their interests.”

“But sports law is not just concerned with big business. Poorly insured amateur players who are injured by an opponent on the field of play have lately taken to seeking compensation in the courts for their injuries and a number of players have even faced criminal prosecution for unacceptably violent tackles. This year Northern Ireland witnessed the first sports-related criminal case of its kind where a GAA player, accused of assaulting an opponent on the field of play, successfully pleaded self-defence and was acquitted by a jury.”

Modern Sports Law covers a number of topical debates in sport. It provides a legal analysis of the current ‘strict liability’ approach to doping in sport, observing that it is a battle that cannot be won – the cheaters will always remain ahead of the testers, especially now that some athletes are resorting to gene and hormone therapies that are virtually undetectable.

The book speculates that some recent anti-doping initiatives, such as the so-called ‘whereabouts’ rule, are likely to be struck down on privacy-related and human rights grounds. Somewhat controversially the book argues that some consideration should be given to the controlled use of performance enhancing drugs in sport.

It states that sports bodies at all levels are going to face increased levels of litigation from aggrieved participants and will have to provide greater levels of alternative dispute resolution, such as mediation and arbitration services, if they are to prevent costly court and insurance-related proceedings. Coaches, referees and sports bodies have all recently faced costly litigation for not upholding their duty of care towards players in their charge. A series of cases against rugby referees by players who suffered serious spinal injuries in scrums, led the rugby authorities to change their scrum laws. Similar cases may arise now if the rugby authorities do not update their laws regarding the mandatory replacement of concussed players from the field of play.

The book also claims that the biggest threat to the integrity of modern professional sport comes from corruption in its various forms but mainly from gambling-related financial crime. Match fixing, spot fixing and the bribing of referees and players – all aggravated by the weak regulation of online betting exchanges – has seen a wide range of sports being targeted by crime syndicates, notably cricket but also football, snooker and tennis. How sport will deal with this threat is ultimately a matter of law and regulation.

Dr Anderson said: “This book shows that the law’s influence can stretch from the local coach’s responsibility for the children in his or her care on a Saturday morning, to a world governing body’s duty to ensure proper corporate governance in its sport.

“Sport is a huge global industry. Major sports events are one of the few things that still capture a nation’s imagination – whether it is London’s plans for the 2012 Olympics or England’s failed 2018 World Cup bid. Sports-related stories are now found on the front pages almost as often as the back, and many of them have a marked legal element – something that will become more and more prevalent in the years ahead.”

Modern Sports Law is available from The Bookshop at Queen’s. For more information on Law at Queen’s visit www.law.qub.ac.uk

Media inquiries to Anne-Marie Clarke at Queen’s University Communications Office on 00 44 (0)28 9097 5320 or email anne-marie.clarke@qub.ac.uk

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Queen’s pays tribute to eminent historian
Leading academics at Queen’s University have paid tribute to one of Ireland’s most distinguished historians, the late Dr ATQ Stewart, who died on Friday.

Dr Anthony (Tony) Terence Quincey Stewart, was a historian, teacher, academic and a best-selling author on the politics of Ulster and Northern Ireland.

He had a long connection with Queen’s University, from which he graduated in 1952. His doctoral thesis, which was completed under the supervision of Professor J C Beckett, was published as The Ulster Crisis in 1967. After working as a lecturer in the then Stranmillis College of Education, he joined the staff at Queen’s as a lecturer in Irish political history in 1968. He was appointed Reader in Irish History in 1975 and retired in 1990.

Leading the tributes, Professor Lord Paul Bew, from Queen’s School of Politics, International Studies and Philosophy, said: “Tony Stewart was an outstanding historian in an outstanding generation of Queen's historians.

“His original Master's thesis on the transformation of Presbyterian radicalism from the 1790s remains an absolutely essential work and has inspired many other scholars. Many other books were to follow - his celebrated study of the Ulster crisis, his insightful work on the Pagoda War and his prize winning and most famous book, The Narrow Ground.

“He was also a well-known journalist and broadcaster, capable of bridging the gap between the academic and public sphere. His generosity to young scholars was legendary and there are many who owe him a great deal for his kindness and scholarly insight. Tony Stewart was a gentleman of the old school and he will be sorely missed.”

Head of the School, Professor Richard English, said: “In my view, A T Q Stewart was one of the most important Irish historians of the late-twentieth century, and someone whose work will prove of enduring value for many years to come.”

His colleague, Professor Graham Walker, described Dr Stewart’s contribution to modern Irish history as “immense”.

He added: “His works are models of scholarly integrity. They illuminate in particular the mind and the world of Protestant Ulster. No other scholar has conveyed the history of this community with such insight and panache.”

Dr Stewart was a frequent contributor to numerous newspapers and journals, and was a consultant to several prestigious television series.

He won many plaudits for the accessibility of his writing style which meant that his books were read by a far wider readership than most academic history texts. In 1978, he was the joint winner of the first Christopher Ewart-Biggs Prize for The Narrow Ground. The Summer Soldiers was shortlisted for the 1996 Ewart-Biggs Prize and for the 1997 Irish Times Irish Literature Prize for Non-Fiction.

He is survived by his wife, Anna and sons, Christopher and Peter.

For media enquiries please contact: Anne Langford, on 028 90 97 5310, Mob 07815 871997, a.langford@qub.ac.uk

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New book spreads the magic of Christmas and an enterprising new year

A Queen’s University enterprise expert has written a Christmas story with a difference, to encourage anyone facing professional or financial difficulties to turn their lives around through entrepreneurship.

The Enterprise Secret by David Gibson is a fictional story set at Christmas time. It follows the fortunes of an unemployed graduate, a struggling small business owner and a redundant executive as they attempt to create their own destiny using enterprise skills.

David, from Ballinderry, Co. Antrim, was recently named one of the world’s top three enterprise educators, by the United States Association of Business Educators. The Enterprise Secret is his fifth book, but his first work of fiction.

He said: “The Enterprise Secret is aimed at anyone who wants to take charge of their life and turn their fortunes around, in the face of the recession. I wrote it for a friend who was experiencing some difficulties. It helped him so much he insisted I make it available to the wider public.

“The economic downturn is affecting people from all walks of life. Perhaps you thought you were in a job for life, but now you are facing redundancy. Maybe you are a young person or a graduate finding it difficult to get a foot on the career ladder, or a business owner trying hard to make ends meet.

“While it might be tempting to bury your head in the sand and hope that everything will be ok, the best thing you can possibly do is to look for the opportunities in your own situation and make things happen. In other words, find your inner entrepreneur.

“Being entrepreneurial is not necessarily about making millions; instead it is about having a mindset which is geared towards making a contribution, and the skills to turn opportunity into reality. This is what I teach my students at Queen’s, and it is the foundation for The Enterprise Secret.

“The story is deliberately set at Christmas time. This is the ideal time for people to take stock, put their difficulties behind them and realise that anything is possible. So this Christmas, get hunting for the business opportunity in your life and have an enterprising new year!”

David is one of the leading figures in enterprise promotion in the UK. He works with individuals, companies and governments around the world to help them be more enterprising and to deal with the challenges of the recession.

David is Senior Teaching Fellow in Enterprise Education at Queen’s University Management School. He has led the introduction of the ‘E-Factor’ into courses across Queen’s, particularly those not traditionally associated with entrepreneurship, such as nursing and the arts. His pioneering model of enterprise education is now embedded in Queen’s curriculum, in 116 pathways, reaching 11,000 students across the University.

David concluded: “At Queen’s we believe it is vitally important to give students an injection of the E-factor to give them the edge in the highly competitive job market. There is a need to nurture the enterprising behaviour and employability of students at all levels, not only to encourage small business start-ups but also to develop a culture of enterprise and innovation.”

The Enterprise Secret is available for download (£5) or to order in hard copy (£10 including postage and packaging) from www.theenterprisesecret.com All proceeds go to Northern Ireland charities.

Media inquiries to Anne-Marie Clarke on 00 44 (0)28 9097 5320 or email anne-marie.clarke@qub.ac.uk

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A poetic day at Queen’s graduations
Professor Helen Vendler
Professor Helen Vendler

Literary critic, Professor Helen Vendler, who is renowned for her work on Irish poetry, will be honoured by Queen’s University today (Friday 10 December).

Professor Vendler, will be awarded an honorary Doctorate of Literature for distinction in literature, during Queen’s Winter Graduations.

Professor Ed Larrissy, Head of the School of English at Queen’s, will deliver the citation. He said: “Professor Vendler is one of the leading literary critics of our day. Her books on Seamus Heaney, WB Yeats, John Keats and Wallace Stevens are vital reference works for poetry scholars, students and critics around the world.

“Through her groundbreaking work on Heaney and Yeats, she has made a huge contribution to the study of modern Irish poetry. Queen’s has a proud tradition of poetry, and as Seamus Heaney’s alma mater and the home of the Seamus Heaney Centre for Poetry, we are delighted to welcome Professor Vendler to the University and to present her with this honorary degree.”

Professor Vendler is an A. Kingsley Porter University Professor at Harvard University, where she worked alongside Seamus Heaney in the 1980’s. In an interview with The Paris Review in 1997, Seamus Heaney said of Professor Vendler: “She is like a receiving station picking up on each poem, unscrambling things out of word-waves, making sense of it and making sure of it. She can second-guess the sixth sense of the poem.”

In 1980 Professor Vendler became the first female President of the Modern Language Association, and in 2004 she was invited to deliver the Jefferson Lecture – the US Government’s highest honour recognition of achievement in the humanities.

Professor Vendler has also been a judge for the Pulitzer Prize and the National Book Award for poetry.

For more information about Queen’s Winter Graduations visit www.qub.ac.uk/graduation

Media inquiries to Anne Langford at Queen’s Press and PR Unit on 00 44 (0)28 9097 5310, 00 44 (0)7815 871997 or email a.langford@qub.ac.uk

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Minimal risk for graduates as all secure high quality jobs
Anne Holland graduated with a MSc in Risk Management and Financial Planning
Anne Holland graduated with a MSc in Risk Management and Financial Planning

The first set of graduates from a new course in financial risk management will graduate from Queen’s today – and all have secured high quality jobs.

Twelve students will graduate from the MSc in Risk Management and Financial Planning, equipped with the cutting-edge risk management tools and strategies used by leading financial firms.

Anne Holland from Dungannon is among today’s graduates. She said: “Completing the MSc in Risk Management and Financial Regulation has been a challenging but extremely rewarding experience.

“Through the course, I completed a four month internship in the Life Actuarial department of Avivia Insurance in Dublin, the company asked me to stay on and I am now working there on a longer term contract.

“In today’s economic climate, many financial firms are expanding their risk management functions. This degree has opened a wide range of new and exciting career opportunities for me and my fellow graduates, and has given me the best possible start for a career in any aspect of financial services.

“One of the main attractions of this Masters programme was the option to undertake a work-based dissertation and gain experience in my chosen career path before undertaking a full-time job. My work in Aviva is largely dependent on changing market conditions with regard to the term and risk of investments in various life policies. Coming into this type of work with the knowledge and experience I gained during my studies has been invaluable.”

Professor Donal McKillop from Queen’s University Management School said: “Risk management is, and will be for the forseeable future, an employment hotspot for graduate recruitment to financial institutions, regulatory bodies and government agencies.

“Students on this course have the opportunity to undertake a salaried four-month internship in a risk management environment. Last year, our students went to multi-national companies such as CitiGroup, Bank of America, the New York Stock Exchange and Allstate Insurance.

“This work experience, along with the fact that the course is accredited by the Institute of Risk management and the Professional Risk Managers International Association, has given today’s graduates an impressive head-start in the job market.”

For more information about Queen’s University Management School visit www.qub.ac.uk/mgt 

For more information about the MSc in Risk Management and Financial Planning visit http://www.qub.ac.uk/schools/QueensUniversityManagementSchool/ProspectiveStudents/PostgraduateTaughtProgrammes/MScRiskManagementFinancialRegulation/

Media inquiries to Queen’s University Communications Office on 028 9097 3087/3091 or comms.office@qub.ac.uk

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From Queen’s to Stormont – first set of graduates from new Assembly course
Anne Pauli  graduated with a MA in Legislative Studies and Practice
Anne Pauli graduated with a MA in Legislative Studies and Practice

From Queen’s to Stormont – first set of graduates from new Assembly course
The first group of students to complete an innovative course developed by Queen’s and the Northern Ireland Assembly, will graduate today (Friday 10 December).

Seven students, including one from Germany, will receive their Masters degrees in Legislative Studies and Practice, which included a nine month work placement at the Assembly.

Anne Pauli from Aachen/Aix-la-Chapelle in Germany is among today’s graduates. She said: “This course was a uniquely interesting, challenging and eye-opening experience. It gave me a vital insight into the practical workings of Northern Ireland’s political institutions and governance structures.
“One of the highlights was the educational visit to the European Institutions in Brussels with the Northern Ireland Assembly Business Trust - its aim being to strengthen business engagement with the European Union. But being at the heart of the Assembly, especially at a time of great political change and the devolution of policing and justice, is something I will never forget. 
“I completed my work placement in the Bill Office - the primary legislation department of the Assembly, whose primary function is to ensure the smooth running of legislation through the Assembly. This gave me invaluable experience, which I’m sure will help me pursue a career in politics back home in Germany.
“Having completed my undergraduate degree at Queen’s School of Politics, International Studies and Philosophy in 2009, I was well aware of the School’s excellent teaching and facilities, and its international reputation. This, along with a desire to move beyond the study of political theory to a more practical understanding of politics, led me to apply for the MA in Legislative Studies and Practice – and I couldn’t have made a better decision.”

Professor Rick Wilford from Queen’s School of Politics, International Studies and Philosophy said: “The MA in Legislative Studies and Practice has broken new ground in the development of the politics curriculum at Queen’s. It gives tomorrow’s leaders the opportunity to develop their knowledge of practical politics, and marries the ‘chalk board’ study of politics with the ‘chalk face’ of real world politics.

“The MA is supported by a generous bursary scheme funded by the Assembly and all those involved are committed to ensuring that the students not only enhance their own education but assist in the effective and efficient delivery of the Assembly’s core services.”

For more information about Politics at Queen’s visit www.qub.ac.uk/pisp

For more information about the MA Legislative Studies and Practice visit http://www.qub.ac.uk/schools/SchoolofPoliticsInternationalStudiesandPhilosophy/

For media inquires please contact comms.office@qub.ac.uk 028 9097 3091

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Musical twins strike a chord at Queen’s graduations
Musical twins Omar and Eduard Zitriqi
Musical twins Omar and Eduard Zitriqi

Twin brothers from Bangor, Co. Down will strike a chord at Queen’s today when they will graduate together for the second time.

Eduard and Omar Zatriqi will each graduate with a MA in Music Composition. This is their second graduation celebration, as they both received first-class undergraduate Music degrees from Queen’s in 2009.

The twins hope to make it three in a row, as they are about to begin their PhDs in Music Composition at Queen’s School of Music and Sonic Arts.

Omar said: “Over the years, Eduard and I have done everything together – from starting school, to learning to play piano and clarinet, to pursuing our love of music at Queen’s. We have shared all the major milestones in our lives, and graduating together for the second time is the icing on the cake.”

Eduard said: “We grew up in a very musical household. From a young age, our mother Maree instilled in us a love of music. She achieved a MA in Ethnomusicology from Queen's in 1983, so when Omar and I finish our PhD studies, between the three of us, we will have seven music degrees from Queen’s! Our father Nusret also comes from a very musical background, having been a drummer in a Croatian band which toured throughout Europe during the 1970s."

Eduard and Omar’s musical mother and father will join them at their graduation.

For more information about Music at Queen’s visit www.qub.ac.uk/music<http://www.qub.ac.uk/music

For more information about Queen’s Winter Graduations visit www.qub.ac.uk/graduation<http://www.qub.ac.uk/graduation

For media inquires please contact comms.office@qub.ac.uk 028 9097 3091

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Peace negotiator and education leader honoured by Queen’s
Former President of Finland Martti Ahtisaari
Former President of Finland Martti Ahtisaari
Professor Sir Tim Brighouse
Professor Sir Tim Brighouse

Former President of Finland Martti Ahtisaari, and renowned educator Professor Sir Tim Brighouse, will be honoured by Queen’s today (Thursday 9 December).

Nobel Peace Prize winner Martti Ahtisaari will receive an honorary Doctorate of Laws for distinction in public service.

Delivering the citation, Queen’s Vice-Chancellor Professor Peter Gregson said: “Over the last thirty years, and across several continents, Martti Ahtisaari has played a central role in resolving international conflicts.

“From 2000 to 2001 he served as an arms inspector for the Independent International Commission on Decommissioning, making an important contribution to the Northern Ireland peace process – for which all of us in Northern Ireland owe him a great debt.

“Mr Ahtisaari made his name as an international mediator in the 1970s, working to bring about the independence of Namibia from South Africa. In 1999 he was instrumental in helping persuade then Yugoslav President Slobodan Milosevic to accept NATO’s terms for ending the war in Kosovo; and in 2005, through his own organisations, the Crisis Management Initiative, he helped to end 30 years of fighting between Aceh rebels and the Indonesian government.

“Mr Ahtisaari’s reputation as a skilled negotiator, and his success in handling some of the world’s most challenging situations, has earned him numerous accolades, including the 2008 Nobel Peace Prize. I am delighted that today he can add an honorary degree from Queen’s to that list of tributes.”

Professor Sir Tim Brighouse will be awarded an honorary Doctorate of Social Sciences for services to education and for public service.

Queen’s Pro-Vice-Chancellor Professor Tony Gallagher said: “Tim Brighouse is one of the most inspirational education leaders of our time. Fulfilling one of the great joys, but also one of the most formidable challenges, of working in education, he inspires teachers and young people to fulfil their potential.

“Having become a deputy head teacher at the age of 26, Tim went on to become Chief Education Officer for Oxfordshire, Professor of Education at the University of Keele, Chief Education Officer of Birmingham and Schools Commissioner for London. He also set up the University of the First Age, which encourages extra-curricular activities to enrich children’s learning.

“In 2000 he was invited by the Department of Education for Northern Ireland to join the Post Primary Review Group, making an important contribution to the Burns Report.

“As Chief Education Officer of Birmingham, Tim had pioneered the idea of school collaboration as a way of encouraging teachers from different schools to work together for mutual benefit. Using this experience, he promoted the value of school collaboration in Northern Ireland – a recommendation of the Burns Report, which can now be seen in practice through the entitlement framework, area learning communities and the Queen’s led Sharing Education Programme.

“Tim instils in young people a sense of ambition and achievement – a sense that I know today’s graduates will share as they receive their degrees.”

For more information about Queen’s Winter Graduations visit www.qub.ac.uk/graduation

Media inquiries to Anne Langford at Queen’s Press and PR Unit on 00 44 (0)28 9097 5310, 00 44 (0)7815 871997 or email a.langford@qub.ac.uk

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International and postgraduate students benefit from new £1.3m centre

International and postgraduate students at Queen’s will benefit from a new £1.3 million centre, which will be officially opened tonight (Thursday 9 November) by the University’s Chancellor, His Excellency Kamalesh Sharma. The event is one of the highlights of Queen’s Winter Graduation week.

The International and Postgraduate Student Centre, which is located adjacent to the new McClay Library, provides a contemporary space for students to study, undertake group work and socialise. Staff at the centre provide advice on a range of issues including postgraduate skills training, employability and immigration requirements.

Queen’s continues to invest in its international and postgraduate population and the facilities within the centre will further enhance the world-class student experience already on offer at the University.

Queen’s Chancellor, His Excellency Kamalesh Sharma, said: “Attracting international students is vital if students from Northern Ireland are to enjoy the full breadth of experience that a high quality higher education should provide. This Centre will provide an intellectual meeting place for different cultures and a hub for the increasingly influential strategic partnerships which Queen’s has established with leading global institutions.”

Director of Academic and Student Affairs, Wilma Fee is delighted that the Centre has now opened saying: “We know that international and postgraduate students enjoy having dedicated space where they can meet and study. Alongside the McClay Library, the International and Postgraduate Student Centre offers a rich range of study and social opportunities.”

The Centre also provides a base for the Postgraduate Students’ Association which represents the interests of both postgraduate research and postgraduate taught students, and which organises a range of events and programmes.

For more information visit www.qub.ac.uk/directorates/sgc/aboutus/ipsc/

Media Inquiries to the Communications Office at Queen's University on +44 (0)28 9097 3087/3091 or email comms.office@qub.ac.uk

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Award Winning Nurses at Queen’s

Cara McNulty from Bangor is celebrating after being named the best overall nursing and midwifery student at Queen’s University Winter Graduations.

Cara will receive the Florence Elliott Prize at today’s (Thursday 9 December) graduation ceremony in recognition of her outstanding academic and clinical achievement.

The top student, who will graduate with a BSc (Hons) in Nursing Sciences, has consistently attained top marks throughout the three years of her degree.

Cara said: “I have been looking forward to my graduation, but I didn’t expect to win an award, so when I found out I was ecstatic! I would like to thank all the staff at the School of Nursing and Midwifery for their encouragement and support, and all my class mates for an enjoyable three years. I would also like to thank my family and my boyfriend Christopher for all their support. I am delighted to leave Queen's today with this award. Nursing is a very rewarding and satisfying career, and all the hard work was definitely worth it.”

Awards for Academic Excellence are awarded to the nursing students with the highest marks from the University-based aspect of the degree, while Clinical Excellence awards are given to those who have received outstanding feedback from staff in the wards where they completed their nursing placements.

Professor Linda Johnston, Head of the School of Nursing and Midwifery at Queen’s said: “Queen’s is the foremost provider of Nursing and Midwifery education in Northern Ireland. Our graduates play a central role in delivering healthcare to us all and I congratulate Cara and her fellow award winners for their hard work and dedication.”

Another eight students will also be recognised by the School of Nursing and Midwifery at Queen’s for academic or clinical excellence. They are:

  • Karen Rogers from East Belfast
  • Aine Mulvenna from Newtownabbey
  • Lesley Barnes from Kilkeel
  • Colm Darby from North Belfast
  • Claire Black from West Belfast
  • Sylvia Mills from Lisburn
  • Dermot Byrne from Bangor
  • Karen Kerr from Carrickfergus

During the graduation ceremony all students will receive their certificate and Nursing Badge.

Media inquiries to Judith Rance at Queen’s Press and PR Unit on 028 9097 5292 or j.rance@qub.ac.uk

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Young photographer picture perfect at Queen’s graduation

A budding young photographer from Glenariff, Co. Antrim, will find himself in front of the camera as he graduates from Queen’s University today (Wednesday 8 DecemberPeter Marley will graduate with a MA in Film and Visual Studies from Queen’s School of Languages, Literatures and Performing Arts.

The course allowed Peter to pursue his love of photography and led to his first solo exhibition, Nape, which ran in QFT earlier this year.

Peter said: “For hundreds of years people have believed that an individual’s facial features can reveal a lot about that person’s character. In Victorian times, for example, the police used photos of criminals’ faces to try to compare their facial features with those of law-abiding citizens.

“For my final project I decided to take a new approach to this process and photograph, not faces, but the backs of people’s necks. The nape of the neck can be hidden with hair, bared, shaved, wrapped in a collar or scarf, or even painted with a tattoo, but as the physical link between a person’s body and mind, what does it reveal about their character?

“The final exhibition of photos ran in the QFT last summer. While my work has featured in exhibitions before – including the ReCollecting exhibition at the Naughton Gallery in 2008, at which I was the youngest featured artist – as my first solo exhibition, this was a milestone in my career, and I hope there will be many more to come.”

Peter now hopes to pursue a career in photography. He continued: “Through my studies I got involved with Belfast Exposed and I am now a regular volunteer there, working in community arts projects to encourage local communities to use photography to record and understand their environment.

“I work on the BBC Blast initiative, introducing young people around Northern Ireland to the creative industries and giving them hands-on experience in photography, and continue to use my work to support the local arts scene.”

For more information about Film Studies at Queen’s visit www.qub.ac.uk/film

Media inquiries to Queen’s University Communications Office on 028 9097 3087/3091 or comms.office@qub.ac.uk

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Youth climate champion celebrates at Queen’s graduation
Barry McCarron celebrates his graduation with girlfriend Aisling Sheridan. Aisling will graduate later this week with a MA in Early Childhood Studies.
Barry McCarron celebrates his graduation with girlfriend Aisling Sheridan. Aisling will graduate later this week with a MA in Early Childhood Studies.

A ‘Climate Champion’ from Monaghan will graduate from Queen’s today (Wednesday 8 December).
Barry McCarron was one of 38 Climate Champions from 18 countries who participated in the British Council’s Youth Forum on Climate Finance conference in Shanghai, China, in September.
At the conference, Barry helped write a youth declaration on tackling climate change. The declaration was submitted to representatives from all participating countries at last week’s United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP16) in Cancun, Mexico.
Barry will graduate today with a MSc in Sustainable Development from the Gibson Institute in Queen’s School of Biological Sciences. He said: “The Shanghai event brought together young people from climate change projects in different countries around the world. The Youth Forum gave participants the opportunity to voice their opinions on economic and financial approaches to tackling climate change.
“The whole experience gave me a huge sense of achievement and emphasised that young people can make a real difference when it comes to the debate on tackling climate change.” 

The Gibson Institute is involved in education and research in the areas of sustainability, rural development, environmental management, food marketing, renewable energy, nutrition, physical activity and public health. The Institute is a key member of Queen’s sustainability initiative and affiliated to the University’s Institute for a Sustainable World.

For more information visit www.qub.ac.uk/sites/GibsonInstitute

For media inquires please contact comms.office@qub.ac.uk 028 9097 3091

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UK’s largest source of early stage capital funding needs ‘Angel Academies’

The United Kingdom should urgently establish ‘angel academies’ for private investors in order to grow this critical source of funding for new ventures.
The call has been made by leading academics from Queen’s and the University of Strathclyde in Glasgow, following the findings of a new study which offers a deeper insight into the decision making process of business angels.
The study, entitled Business Angel Investing as a Learning Process, was conducted by Professor Richard Harrison of Queen’s University Management School, Belfast, Professor Colin Mason of the Hunter Centre for Entrepreneurship at the University of Strathclyde and Donald Smith, a Director of the Discovery Investment Fund Limited, an angel group in Dundee.
According to the researchers, would-be and novice angels need to be urgently provided with opportunities to actually “learn the art” of angel investing.
Professor Harrison said: “Our recent report for the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills revealed that business angels currently account for between £400 million and £500 million of early stage investment in the UK, making them the single largest source of early stage capital in the country.
“Business angels are recognised as pivotal to the stimulating entrepreneurial activity. Not only do they provide the risk capital that is necessary for growth of early stage, high potential start-ups, but their hands-on involvement in the businesses in which they invest also strengthens business capacity to manage and absorb growth.
“Our study makes it clear that angels are on a steep learning curve, gaining knowledge from their very first investment, and learning from every subsequent one. It is vital that they are given opportunities to share these experiences so they are not put off making further investments, and also to learn from other investors about how to focus and discriminate in order to make the quick, effective, business decisions needed in future.”
The study, which was based on data collected from 12 business angels, with a mix of experience, indicates three major ways in which angels learn:

  1. From mixing with, observing, and listening to other business angels.
  2. From experience – developing ‘rules of thumb’ that allow them to make more effective decisions as their experience increases.
  3. From so-called ‘learning events’ – most notably failed investments. In the absence of direct experience, however, the ability of angel investors to learn vicariously from the experience of others is the most effective learning process.

Professor Mason said: “The importance of business angels as a source of finance for entrepreneurial businesses is well-recognised, especially at the present time when bank lending is so much harder to secure. Quite simply, we need to do all we can to encourage more business angels.
“The benefits of developing a strong, vibrant ‘angel academy’ type culture can clearly be seen in the United States, where in contrast to Europe, their angel market currently benefits from annual investment by business angels of some $23b. In Europe, our current business angel market is currently some 15 per cent of the size of that of the United States.
“Our study emphasises the importance of providing would-be, and novice angels, with the opportunity to learn the art of angel investing in order to grow private investment in businesses in the UK. To ensure business angels have the confidence to continue to invest at current levels, and to encourage growth, our policy makers urgently need to recognise that we need to follow the example of some other European countries which have established angel academies.”
Donald Smith, of the Discovery Investment Fund, said: “One of the most interesting aspects of our research is that more experienced business angels emphasise the people involved in the business rather than business models or technology. It also emphasises the importance of angels being focused and discriminating in order to make quick, effective, business decisions.”
The study Business Angel Investing as a Learning Process was presented at the recent Babson College Entrepreneurship Research Conference in Lausanne, Switzerland and isavailable as a Working Paper from Queen’s University Management School and the Hunter Centre at the University of Strathclyde: http://www.strath.ac.uk/huntercentre/research/wp/.

The full report is available here http://www.qub.ac.uk/schools/QueensUniversityManagementSchool/Research/WorkingPaperSeries/Management/2010/

Media inquiries to the Communications Office at Queen's University on +44 (0)28 9097 3087/3091 or email

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‘Wii’ study could have big benefits for people with Parkinson’s

A Queen’s researcher is to carry out the UK’s first study on the potential benefits of the Nintendo Wii for people with Parkinson’s.

Dr Cathy Craig of the School of Psychology has been awarded an innovation grant of nearly £35,000 by Parkinson’s UK. The charity invested in this research because it has received overwhelming feedback from people with Parkinson’s who are finding that using a Wii is a really good way to exercise at home and has helped them with their balance, movements and mood.

Existing research shows that exercise could protect the nerve cells that are dying in Parkinson's, helping them work better and survive for longer.

Dr Craig’s team will evaluate the benefits of existing games using Wii technology and harness the power of this movement-based game technology to develop their own bespoke games to be used by people with Parkinson’s.

The research will address two questions:

  • Does the use of the Wii system improve the physical abilities and lifestyle of people with Parkinson’s?; and
  • How do the various games improve specific symptoms of Parkinson’s including tremor, slowness of movement and balance?

Two groups of people with Parkinson’s will take part in the study. One group will be asked to use the existing Wii system. The second group will try out new, specially designed movement-based games.

Dr Craig said: “Our hope is to harness the benefits of the Wii technology to develop a system designed specifically for people with Parkinson’s. If the project is successful the benefits could be twofold. It could allow us to develop a simple way to assess Parkinson’s symptoms yet provide a safe and effective way for people with the condition to be more active and keep fit.”

Dr Craig’s research previously received funding from the Changing Aging Partnership. That project successfully showed how existing Wii technology could be adapted to create a specially tailored balance training programme for older adults. Research in this area is still ongoing.

For media inquiries please contact: Anne Langford, +44 (0)28 9097 5310, Mob: 07815 871 997, a.langford@qub.ac.uk

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Developed world at risk of forgetting about AIDS pandemic
Media coverage on HIV/AIDS has fallen by more than 70% in developed countries over the last 20 years, according to an international team of researchers.
While in the early 1990s, an average of 1.5 articles linked to HIV/AIDS could be found in every issue of the main broadsheet newspapers, levels of coverage have dropped to below 0.5 articles per newspaper issue since 2008. Coverage in French and US-based newspapers has decreased particularly dramatically during this period.
The findings are part of an ongoing study into sustainability-related media coverage worldwide by the University of Leeds, Queen’s University Belfast, the Berlin-based Institute for Futures Studies and Technology Assessment (IZT) and Euromed Management School in Marseille.
The Trends in Sustainability project tracks coverage of issues such as climate change, poverty and human rights in 115 leading broadsheets newspapers from 41 countries over a 20-year period from 1990 until May 2010. To date the research has looked at approximately 69,000,000 articles in 410,000 newspaper issues, and the results have been used to generate a new website, trendsinsustainability.com, which launches on World AIDS Day (1 December). 
The research shows that while attention to sustainability-related issues has increased overall during the last 20 years, the media agenda in this area has changed considerably.  In general, coverage of environmental problems like acid rain and the ozone hole, which have been successfully addressed, has diminished since the early 1990s.
On the other hand, articles on climate change have increased more than 10-fold since this time, amounting to an average of more than two articles per newspaper issue across the overall sample of 115 newspapers.
Dr Ralf Barkemeyer from the University of Leeds said: “The analysis of levels of broadsheet newspaper coverage on sustainability-related issues can help to shed light on levels of public attention to specific issues.
“In recent years, climate change has emerged as a defining issue in the context of sustainability. This globally-important issue has been very successful in terms of gaining general public acceptance of and attention to sustainability, but at the same time it may have significantly changed the sustainability agenda itself – possibly at the expense of attention to socioeconomic problems such as malaria and HIV/AIDS or even corruption, human rights or poverty. All of these issues have seen a stark decline in media coverage in recent years, in particular since early 2006 when media attention devoted to climate change started to pick up markedly.”
However, this changing agenda has been largely identified in newspapers based in the developed world.  Attention levels in areas that are hit hardest by the AIDS pandemic – such as South Africa – have remained at a high level or even increased throughout the last 20 years.
“If we look at generic differences between the agendas that are reflected by newspaper coverage in developing and developed countries, we can arguably identify typical ‘Northern’ and ‘Southern’ sustainability agendas, with the latter tending to revolve around issues commonly associated with socioeconomic development rather than climate change,” said Professor Frank Figge from Queen’s University Management School Belfast.
“HIV/AIDS has emerged as a key issue that increasingly tends to be treated with neglect by newspapers based in the developed North. This does not necessarily come as a surprise, as the remarkable progress that has been made in tackling HIV/AIDS has also largely been restricted to the wealthy North. Hence, the problem itself has shifted towards the global South.”
As the vast majority of research into HIV/AIDS takes place in the developed world, the researchers argue that a lack of interest in these countries might hamper the advance of solutions for the spreading pandemic in developing countries, particularly Sub-Saharan Africa.
Dr Tobias Hahn of Euromed Management School Marseille added: “It’s not just the geographic shift of the problem and the emergence of climate change as a global concern that might crowd out levels of public attention to the pandemic. Over the last ten years, the threat posed by international terrorism also appears to have crowded out most of the set of 20 sustainability-related issues we have analysed in US-based newspapers. The global recession certainly hasn’t helped in terms of public attention to HIV/AIDS, either.”
The project was funded by the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research and the Swedish Foundation for Strategic Environmental Research (Mistra).
For more information: Both the online tool and a discussion paper providing an overview of key results derived from the analysis are available at www.trendsinsustainability.com

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