07-2009 Press Releases

31/07/2009: One in ten 16 year olds have self-harmed
29/07/2009: Safety of combat military vehicles examined
24/07/2009: Academy award winners at Queen's
24/07/2009: Older people to benefit from Queen's research
24/07/2009: New international student college launched at Queen's University Belfast
22/07/2009: New eco-vehicle puts Queen's in 'green' driving seat
17/07/2009: International students choose Belfast for summer trip
17/07/2009: From Queen's to Capitol Hill
17/07/2009: Heaney Summer School concert at Queen's
16/07/2009: New Honorary Graduate opens £6.7m centre
15/07/2009: Future business leaders graduate from Queen's

10/07/2009: Bombardier Chief Honoured
10/07/2009: Queen's Honours Former Lord Chief Justice
10/07/2009: Sibling Celebration At Queen's
10/07/2009: Special Day For Romanian Graduates
09/07/2009: International Cancer Research Adviser To Be Honoured
09/07/2009: Father - Son Graduation At Queen's
09/07/2009: 'The Priests' and 'leading light' Lisa are Graduate and Student of the Year
09/07/2009: Double Celebration For Birthday Graduation
09/07/2009: Graduation Elation For Dedicated Mum
09/07/2009: Globe Trotting To Graduation
09/07/2009: Graduation A Double Success
08/07/2009: Chemist Receives Honorary Degree at Queen's
08/07/2009: Award Winning Soprano Takes To The Stage
08/07/2009: Poetry Critic Receives Honorary Degree
08/07/2009: New Honorary Graduate to Open £6.7M Centre
08/07/2009: First Class Family
08/07/2009: Geraldine Hughes Centre Stage at Queen's Graduation
08/07/2009: New agreement strengthens Queen's Malaysian links
08/07/2009: Disability No Match For First Class Student
08/07/2009: Never Too Late To Graduate
08/07/2009: Dramatic Graduation For Star Students
08/07/2009: Graduates Shine A Spotlight On Mental Health
08/07/2009: Triumph over Tragedy At Queen's
07/07/2009: Queen's honours 'inspirational' Chancellor
07/07/2009: World Class Academics Honoured at Queen's
07/07/2009: Determined Mum is First Class
07/07/2009: Queen's Honours UK Ambassador
07/07/2009: American Academic Jets in for Graduation
07/07/2009: Work Experience Works in Favour of Graduate
06/07/2009: Nobel Prizewinner To Be Honoured
06/07/2009: Student Defies Odds to Graduate After Accident
06/07/2009: Global Business and Sporting Achievements Honoured
06/07/2009: 'Organised' Graduate combines Career and Classroom
06/07/2009: A Relative-ly Remarkable Day
06/07/2009: Top Student Makes Graduation Tribute
06/07/2009: BBC Foreign Correspondent to be Honoured
06/07/2009: Top Student Makes Graduation Tribute
06/07/2009: Award Winning Nurses At Queen's
06/07/2009: Baby Joy for Midwifery Student
03/07/2009: The Priests top the bill at Queen's Graduations
01/07/2009: Read all about it - Northern Ireland's big book move at Queen's
01/07/2009: Blue-tiful night out

International research honour for young Queen’s scientist
Dr Timo Gans
Dr Timo Gans

A young scientist from Queen's University Belfast has been honoured for his work on plasma physics and his development of imaginative and sophisticated optical diagnostics.

Dr Timo Gans from the University’s School of Mathematics and Physics has won the 2009 International Union of Pure and Applied Physics (IUPAP) Young Scientist prize in plasma physics. He was presented with a prize of €1000 and a medal.

He was awarded the prize as a result of his outstanding contribution to the industry at such an early stage of his career.

Dr Gans said: “I am delighted to have won this prestigious international award. This reflects to a large extend the work of many gifted and enthusiastic people working together with me and everybody who has supported me throughout the last few years.”

His research has already provided a deep insight into the complex theory of low-temperature plasmas, which are widely used in microelectronics, photonics and other applications.

Dr Gans has published more than 30 papers in international journals and has been a regular speaker at international conferences, workshops and seminars. 

He is an expert in advanced optical measurements with very high temporal and spatial resolution.

Dr Gans said: “Many modern technologies are based on exploitations of the exotic properties of low temperature plasmas. Revealing transient fundamental processes of the plasma dynamics is however extremely challenging.

“Recent progress in combining ultra-fast optical experiments with numerical simulations has significantly improved our capability of visualizing these phenomena.”

Prior to taking up his post as Lecturer of Physics in the university’s Centre for Plasma Physics in December 2006 Dr Gans was an Academic Staff Member at Ruhr-University Bochum in Germany, an EU Marie-Curie Individual Fellow at Dublin City University, and an Academic Fellow at Ruhr-University Bochum.

For media enquiries please contact: Emma Blee, Press & PR Unit, +44 (0)28 9097 2576, press.office@qub.ac.uk

Top of Page

One in ten 16 year olds have self-harmed
New research has shown that one in 10 16 year-olds in Northern Ireland have self-harmed in the past year

One in ten 16 year olds who took part in a survey by ARK at Queen's and the University of Ulster have self-harmed in the past year.

Of the 941 young people who were questioned during the 2008 Young Life and Times Survey, a further 14 per cent had thought about harming themselves in the past year but had not done so.

This is the first time a representative sample of young people in Northern Ireland has been asked about their attitudes to and experiences of self-harm.

Other key findings from the survey were:

  • Females were much more likely than males to say that they had thought about self-harm (18 per cent of females, 7 per cent of males) or had tried to harm themselves (13 per cent of females and 5 per cent of males).
  • There were strong links between self-harm and social pressures to drink alcohol, take drugs and to lose weight.
  • There were also strong links between self-harm and high levels of stress, high expectations young people felt they could not fulfil, and experiences of bullying in school. 
  • 25 per cent of respondents said that they had suffered from serious mental or emotional health problems in the last year, for which they felt they needed professional help. Only 9 per cent, however, had asked for professional help.
  • Young people from not-well-off financial backgrounds were significantly more likely than those from well-off backgrounds to be affected by mental health issues, to have considered self-harm or to have self-harmed. Over 42 per cent of females from not-well-off backgrounds said they had suffered from mental and emotional health problems in the past year compared to just 19 per cent of well-off males. Not-well-off females were six times more likely to have tried to harm themselves as well-off males, who were the group least affected by self-harm (18 per cent and 3 per cent respectively).

Dr Dirk Schubotz, Young Life and Times Director based at the School of Sociology, Social Policy and Social Work at Queen’s said: “This research will help fill the gap in our understanding of young people’s attitudes to and experiences of self-harm. We hope these findings will raise awareness of this sensitive issue. Self-harm is something that often happens behind closed doors, but this study has shown that one in ten 16 year olds has tried to harm themselves in the past year, and one in seven have thought about doing so.

“In particular, the findings highlight the pressures experienced by young people. One respondent commented ‘There are so many pressures on young adults, girls especially, that many of us feel that there is no way out, no escape other than to end the hurt’. Another said: ‘I feel young people are put under too much pressure at school and therefore get stressed. I think we are made do too many exams at too young of an age.’

“Perhaps a greater openness towards the emotional upheavals experienced by young people, and an appreciation of the stress they can be under, particularly in school, may help remove the stigma attached to the issue of self-harm and encourage young people to seek help."

The results of the 2008 Young Life and Times Survey are available online at www.ark.ac.uk/ylt/2008 The project on self-harm was funded by the Nuffield Foundation and was backed by academics involved in similar studies in England and Scotland, namely Professor Keith Hawton at the Centre for Suicide Research at the University of Oxford and Professor Rory O’Connor at the University of Stirling.

A Research Update on self-harm is available from the Young Life and Times website at or in hard copy from Dr Dirk Schubotz, YLT Director, School of Sociology, Social Policy and Social Work, Queen’s University, Belfast BT7 1NN.

For media enquiries please contact: Anne-Marie Watson, Press & PR Unit, +44 (0)28 9097 5320, a.watson@qub.ac.uk , 07814 415 451.

Top of Page

Safety of combat military vehicles examined
Wei Sha
Wei Sha

A professor from the School of Planning, Architecture and Civil Engineering is working on research that could help protect the lives of military personnel based in Afghanistan.

Professor Wei Sha has been testing how safe vehicles with titanium alloys are when attacked by bullets or explosions.

Professor Sha’s research examines the damage tolerance of the popular material titanium. It is the first research of its kind to reveal the reasons behind the deformation and damage of titanium alloys under strong impact or fast applied force.

Military based in Afghanistan currently use land rovers which have titanium alloys.

Professor Sha has already discovered that like virtually all metals, titanium is weakened under force and at an elevated temperature.

He said: “This research started with a study visit by Professor Guoqing Wu, from Beijing University of Aeronautics and Astronautics, a university specialised in aerospace education and research. The success of the research shows the importance of developing international collaboration.”

Professor Sha is aiming to go a step further with the research and predict what will happen if the alloys are compressed.

This compression process normally happens when manufacturers want to transform the material into a plate or short drum shape by using a compression machine. This form of titanium is often used in the aeronautic and astronautic industry.

But compression can also happen when faced with an unexpected situation such as when the military are being attacked by bullets or explosives.

Although the process usually happens at room temperature, the temperature inside the alloy could heat up to several hundred degrees as heat is generated through deformation. Professor Sha predicts this could weaken the alloys and endanger the lives of those travelling in the vehicle.

He said: “Sometimes, deformation of a metal is a desirable property.  It is essential for completing its forming and shaping process.  In other occasions, deformation is unwanted, especially in a finished product, which people want to maintain its shape during service.  Either way, it is important to understand the deformation behaviour, so as to be able to devise methods to control the deformation.”

He set out to make sense of the complicated phenomenon so that if an explosion or military attack occurs those involved will know what to expect.

The end research could be used by manufacturers for advice on safety, material selection, optimisation and component design.

Professor Sha hopes that this new model will cut back on the number of costly experiments which are needed to test the safety of titanium.

For further information contact Emma Blee, Press and PR Unit. Tel: +44 (0)28 9097 2576

Top of Page

Queen's leads water-tight training in India
Dr Bhaskar Sengupta
Dr Bhaskar Sengupta

A team of scientists at Queen's University has been chosen to lead a top research and training programme to prevent groundwater poisoning in India.

More than 70 million people in Eastern India and Bangladesh experience involuntary exposure to the poisonous chemical arsenic, from consuming water and rice. This includes farmers who have to use contaminated groundwater for minor irrigation schemes.

It is estimated that for every random sample of 100 people in the Bengal Delta, at least one person will be near death as a result of arsenic poisoning, while five in 100 will be experiencing other symptoms.

Last year Queen’s scientists created low-cost technology that provides arsenic-free water to affected areas. The technology was developed by a team of European and Indian engineers led by Dr Bhaskar Sengupta from the University.

Queen's has now been announced as a provider of training to thousands of people who will learn how to use the equipment and improve environmental conditions.

Dr Harold Johnston, Director of Education of Civil Engineering at Queen’s, also helped develop the training programme in Kolkata and Jamshedpur.

The programme is supported by the British Council under the prestigious Development Partnerships in Higher Education Programme (Delphe).
 
Dr Sengupta, who is co-ordinating the project, said: "This initiative will help to train more than 1,000 people over the next three years in Eastern India in a novel chemical-free arsenic removal method.

"Arsenic poisoning is behind many instances of ill-health in Asia, including a number of cancer cases. Developing a low cost method of decontaminating groundwater that is laced with high levels of arsenic is a key challenge for sustainable agriculture in the region.

“The training programme developed by Queen’s is the only method which is eco-friendly, easy to use and deliverable to the rural community user at an affordable cost."

Dr Satish Kumar, Director of the India Initiative at Queen’s, said: "The theory behind community-based natural resource management argues that the best way to manage natural resources is for the local people to use their knowledge and technologies. The issue of deeply entrenched arsenic contamination of groundwater in Kolkata and indeed in large parts of West Bengal calls for an approach where the local population are empowered to engage with this new technology."

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

Top of Page

Academy award winners at Queen's
Professor Bruce Campbell
Professor Bruce Campbell
Professor Richard English
Professor Richard English

Two Queen's University professors have been recognised by the UK's leading national academy for the humanities and social sciences.

Professors Bruce Campbell and Richard English, both from south Belfast, have been elected Fellows of the British Academy for distinguished achievement in their chosen fields.

The British Academy’s purpose is to inspire, recognise and support excellence and high achievement in the humanities and social sciences, throughout the UK and internationally.

Bruce Campbell is Professor of Medieval Economic History in the School of Geography, Archaeology and Palaeoecology at Queen’s. He joined Queen’s in 1973, and specialises in the economic history of late-medieval Britain and Ireland, when both countries were at an early stage of development. He is currently working on economic and environmental interactions during the fourteenth century, when climate change, cattle plague, and the Black Death had major human impacts.

In 1984 he was awarded the Arthur H. Cole Prize of the Economic History Association of America for "the most outstanding article published in the Journal of Economic History” and he has been a member of the Royal Irish Academy since 1997.

His books include English seigniorial agriculture 1250-1450, England on the eve of the Black Death: an atlas of lay lordship, land, and wealth, 1300-49 (with Ken Bartley) and three volumes of collected essays.

Speaking about his election to the British Academy, he said: “I have always been as much interested in teaching as in research and there are few more challenging and rewarding environments within the UK in which to teach undergraduates than Queen’s University Belfast. What pleases me most about election now to the British Academy is the recognition that it gives to my chosen research field - medieval economic history - as a serious, significant, and worthwhile field of academic study.”

Richard English is Professor of Politics in the School of Politics, International Studies and Philosophy at Queen's. His books include Armed Struggle: The History of the IRA (which won the 2003 UK Political Studies Association Politics Book of the Year Award) and Irish Freedom: The History of Nationalism in Ireland (which won the 2007 Christopher Ewart-Biggs Memorial Prize and the 2007 Political Studies Association of Ireland Book Prize).

He is also a frequent media commentator on Irish politics and history and on terrorism and was recently elected a Member of the Royal Irish Academy.

Professor English said: 'I'm delighted and honoured to be elected a Fellow of the British Academy, and I hope that this will also be of benefit to Queen's.”

Further information on the work of the British Academy can be found at http://www.britac.ac.uk

For further information contact Lisa McElroy, Press and PR Unit. Tel: 028 90 97 5384 or email lisa.mcelroy@qub.ac.uk

Top of Page

Older people to benefit from Queen's research

Queen's University is among institutions across Ireland which will share in €90,000 funding from the Centre for Ageing Research and Development (CARDI).

Academics at Queen's will pool their expertise with other organisations to examine how physical exercise can promote brain function and help people recover from neurological illness.

Its staff will also be involved in establishing a cross-border research network to explore healthy ageing in rural communities.

Experts at the University will also be among those examining the different standards of care for older people in long-stay care and they will work with older people to draw up standards to meet the complex end of life care needs of people with dementia.

CARDI’s Research Grants Programme aims to promote north-south research partnerships that bring together different subject areas to look at issues affecting older people in new ways, to improve policies and services available to them.

Top of Page

Health of a nation: Derry féile shines light on Cuban health system
Cuba's health service comes under the spotlight at Derry's Gasyard Feile

Cubans live longer than almost anyone else in the Americas. Almost everyone on the island has been vaccinated, infant mortality is low and health scourges such as TB, malaria, even HIV/AIDS are rare or non-existent.

Dr Una Lynch from Queen’s University will give an insight into one of the world’s most fascinating health care systems at the Gasyard Féile in Derry on Monday 27 July.

Dr Lynch, who has completed extensive research on the Cuban health system, has been invited by the Bogside and Brandywell Health Forum to speak to festival-goers about this riveting aspect of the Cuban revolution.

Dr Lynch said: "Cuba’s success in health shows us what is possible when there is political commitment to public health. Cuba has the economy of a developing world country and is subjected to all the environmental hazards of other tropical countries, but has nevertheless succeeded in creating a world class health system, which is flexible and responsive to current and evolving needs - a system which is truly fit for purpose."

Tony Doherty, Health Forum General Manager, said: "As well as being of interest to the general public, the event should also be of particular interest to those working in primary care, health service commissioning and those delivering on health improvement within the city and beyond."

The talk will begin at 7pm in Pilot’s Row Community Centre. Admission is free.

For media enquiries please contact: Andrea Clements, Press and PR Unit,+44 (0)28 90 97 5391, Mob 07980 013 362, a.clements@qub.ac.uk

Top of Page

New international student college launched at Queen's University Belfast
Prof Peter Gregson and Andrew Colin at the launch of INTO-Queen's College.
Prof Peter Gregson and Andrew Colin at the launch of INTO-Queen's College.

A new international student college has been launched at Queen's University Belfast.
 
A joint venture between Queen's University Belfast and INTO University Partnerships, the new INTO-Queen’s College will bring hundreds of international students to Northern Ireland and is expected to create up to 40 new jobs over the next three to five years.
 
Vice-Chancellor Professor Peter Gregson said the College would give added momentum to Northern Ireland’s ambition to be a global player: “Our partnership with INTO will ensure that Queen’s and Northern Ireland will be promoted around the world through INTO’s international network. With over 4,000 students who have commenced INTO’s academic preparation and English language programmes in 2008/09, the new alliance will make Northern Ireland a major player in the delivery of higher education to international students.
 
“This region has benefited enormously from the tens of thousands of Queen’s alumni around the world who act as ambassadors for Northern Ireland and who support economic development.
 
“This new College, delivering pre-entry programmes to students who want to come to Queen’s, will provide the next generation of ambassadors.”
 
Andrew Colin, Chairman of INTO University Partnerships said: “UK universities are facing strong competition for international students, not only from universities in the United States and Australia, but from many emerging countries too.  The joint venture aims to enhance the competitiveness of the university and transform the student experience.

“Belfast has enormous potential as an international study destination and in Queen’s it has a University which is truly world-class. The quality associated with Queen’s being a Russell Group member alongside the warmth of welcome and low cost of living in Belfast make INTO Queen’s a high proposition for international students seeking a first class university experience and outcome.”
 
The main intake of students will occur every January and September. Further information on the new College can be found at http://into.uk.com/qub/index.php

Media inquiries to Lisa McElroy, Press and PR Unit. Tel: +44 28 90 97 5384 or email lisa.mcelroy@qub.ac.uk or Jennifer Wong, INTO University Partnerships. Tel: 07891 655608 or email jennifer.wong@into.uk.com

Top of Page

New eco-vehicle puts Queen's in 'green' driving seat
Queen's Director of Estates Gary Jebb hands over the keys of the new vehicle to Security Section Leader Hugh Lewsley
Queen's Director of Estates Gary Jebb hands over the keys of the new vehicle to Security Section Leader Hugh Lewsley

Queen's University has enhanced its 'green' credentials further by replacing one of its older vehicles with an electric powered option.

The new Mega van, which is being used by the Security Department, has already proved itself to be a driving force within the University’s fleet of vehicles.

Powered by electrical charge, it produces no CO2 emissions, is exempt from road tax, and will still be 95 per cent recyclable at the end of its working life. A six-hour electrical charge generates enough power for the vehicle to travel up to 40 miles. The van is also charged by renewable electricity.

Queen’s Director of Estates Gary Jebb said: "The University is committed to establishing a more sustainable transport fleet which reduces its impact on the environment and offers increased value for money.

“We take a pro-active approach to sustainable travel and in 2005 introduced an institutional Travel Plan which aims to raise awareness of staff and students about the impact of individual travel choices on the environment. Since then, the numbers of staff and students using sustainable modes of transport, such as cycling and walking, have increased significantly. The purchase of this new Mega van shows that we continue to practise what we preach."

Queen's recently again graduated with First Class Honours in People and Planet’s Green League for its environmental management performance.  The league, which is sponsored by the global environmental organisation, WWF, encourages environmental improvements across the UK’s higher education sector.

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

Top of Page

From Queen's to Capitol Hill
(From left): Queen’s students Rachel Bergin, Michael Graham, Julie Morton and Alan Clarke on Capitol Hill
(From left): Queen’s students Rachel Bergin, Michael Graham, Julie Morton and Alan Clarke on Capitol Hill

Four Queen's students are currently taking up prestigious Washington postings under an exclusive internship scheme.

Rachel Bergin, Alan Clarke, Michael Graham and Julie Morton are in Capitol Hill under the Washington-Ireland Program, a cross-community leadership and service initiative for promising students from Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland.

Second year Dentistry student Alan is interning for Congressman Tim Murphy. He said: “This experience has allowed me to gain insight into how change in the world happens. Working in government is a window into the issues faced by the whole USA. I feel privileged to be part of the WIP Class of 2009 and to be in DC at this new chapter in history.”

Rachel, a second year Law student, is interning for Congressman Thaddeus McCotter. She said: “Prior to my departure for D.C I had the unique privilege of interviewing the then Lord Chief Justice of Northern Ireland, Sir Brian Kerr.

“The opportunity to meet with the Chief Justices of both Northern Ireland and the United States at all, let alone within a few weeks of each other, is something quite unheard of for a young law student from Belfast. For these and the countless unique opportunities the Washington Ireland Program has provided, I shall be eternally grateful.”

 Meanwhile, medical student Michael is based at the Lombardi Cancer Research Centre, with which Queen’s has strong research links, and postgraduate Law student Julie is working in the Library of Congress.

In week one of their placement, the class met the Chief Justice of the United States, John Roberts, at the US Supreme Court.  They have also had the opportunity to listen to award-winning journalist Mark Shields, the Irish Ambassador, Michael Collins; Norman Houston, Director of the Northern Ireland Bureau, and the former White House Press Secretary, Mike McCurry.

And, during a recent visit to New York, they enjoyed a series of events at the United Nations, gaining private access to the Security Council Chamber, before going to NASDAQ for an informative session on the market system.

For further information, and details of how to apply for the Class of 2010, please visit: www.wiprogram.org

Top of Page

International students choose Belfast for summer trip

Students from all over the world will be in Belfast from next week to attend Queen's University’s Institute of Irish Studies International Summer School.

Now in its ninth year, this year the three-week programme is attracting students from as far afield as the USA, Canada, Austria, Spain and Romania who are coming to the city to learn more about its politics, history and culture.

They will have the opportunity to attend lectures and seminars given by internationally-acclaimed scholars.

The programme, which runs from 20 July to 7 August, explores many aspects of the Northern Ireland conflict and focuses on the current political situation through meetings and dialogue with politicians, community group leaders, church leaders and the PSNI.
 
It includes excursions to archaeological, historical and cultural sites in Northern Ireland from a guided tour of Belfast’s murals and interfaces to visits to the Tower Museum in Londonderry and the Ulster American Folk Park and a tour of the Antrim Coast, Glens of Antrim and Giant’s Causeway.

During a visit to Stormont they will meet representatives from the political parties in Northern Ireland and in Antrim they will learn about new community policing initiatives and the issues of policing in interface areas.

Students will also learn about the role of the churches in responding to conflict from clergy including Bishop Donal McKeown, Reverend Harold Good, Reverend Lesley Carroll and Rev Earl Storey.

A meeting with Councillor Tom Hartley, former Lord Mayor of Belfast, a traditional music session, and a Ceileidh in Queen’s University’s Great Hall also feature on the itinerary. 

The Institute of Irish Studies at Queen’s, established in 1965 and the first of its kind in the United Kingdom and Ireland, is an internationally-renowned centre of Irish scholarship. 

For media enquiries please contact: Andrea Clements, Press and PR Unit,+44 (0)28 90 97 5391, Mob 07980 013 362, a.clements@qub.ac.uk

Top of Page

New Honorary Graduate opens £6.7m centre
Dr Paula Reimer, Professor Minze Stuiver and Professor Gerry McCormac at the opening of the Chrono Centre at Queen's University. The £1m accelarator mass spectromtere can be seen in the background
Dr Paula Reimer, Professor Minze Stuiver and Professor Gerry McCormac at the opening of the Chrono Centre at Queen's University. The £1m accelarator mass spectromtere can be seen in the background

A £6.7 million research centre focusing on environmental change has been opened at Queen's University in Belfast by world-famous geoscientist Professor Minze Stuiver.

The CHRONO Centre for Climate, the Environment and Chronology - the first of its kind in Ireland - was officially launched by the Dutch-born academic has just received an honorary doctorate from Queen's.

His doctorate was conferred for distinction in Geosciences in recognition of over 40 years work at the forefront of geoscientific research.

He is a renowned expert in radiocarbon dating - the method used by archaeologists and geoscientists to establish the age of carbon-based materials up to over 50,000 years old - one of the areas in which the new CHRONO Centre is leading international research.

Professor Gerry McCormac, Pro-Vice-Chancellor at Queen’s, who ran the carbon dating facility for more than 20 years, said: "It’s a little known fact that our team at Queen’s is world leading in research on high-precision carbon dating techniques, having dated important archaeological sites such as Stonehenge and Newgrange.  The CHRONO Centre extends our capability and will help further develop our research, contributing to our knowledge of climate change and carbon cycling.

“To have one of the most cited scientists in the field of Geosciences opening our facility underlines the calibre of our research."

Funded by the Atlantic Philanthropies and the Department for Employment and Learning, the Centre in Fitzwilliam Street was established to help bring together interdisciplinary research on past climate and environmental change, the relationship between human society and the environment, and the modern environment.

It builds on nearly 40 years of experience in environmental and chronological processes including studies into extreme climate events, flood frequency and the impact of past volcanic activity.

The facility includes valuable chronological tools including a £1m accelerator mass spectrometer (AMS) which can examine climate change, assist in forensic investigations, identify sources of pollution and provide carbon dates on material up to 55,000 years old.

Research on the modern environment focuses on natural climate variability and the potential effect of climate change on ecosystems including lakes, soils and peatlands.

Staff from the School of Geography, Archaeology and Palaeoecology and the Environmental Engineering Research Centre (EERC) within the School of Planning, Architecture and Civil Engineering (SPACE) work at the centre.

Centre Director Dr Paula Reimer, who delivered Professor Stuiver’s honorary graduation citation, said she was delighted that he had opened the facility. "His work has had a significant impact in the fields of archaeology, bio-geochemistry, oceanography, palaeo-climatology and solar physics.

“During his distinguished career, Professor Stuiver developed a geoscience laboratory at Yale University, and founded the Quaternary Isotope Laboratory at the University of Washington , where he was director until his retirement in 1998.

“He has also worked closely with the Radiocarbon Lab at Queen's University to construct the first high precision calibration curve for converting radiocarbon measurements to calendar ages."

For media enquiries please contact: Andrea Clements, Press and PR Unit,+44 (0)28 90 97 5391, Mob 07980 013 362, a.clements@qub.ac.uk

Top of Page

Heaney Summer School concert at Queen's
A public concert featuring poetry and music will be held as part of the Seamus Heaney Summer School at Queen's University next week.

The event on Thursday 23 July will include poetry readings from Ciaran Carson, Medbh McGuckian and Sinéad Morrissey and music from Padraigin Ni Uallachain, the traditional singer in residence in Seamus Heaney Centre, and harpist Helen Davies.

It will be held in the Harty Room in Queen's University's School of Music and starts at 7pm.

For media enquiries please contact: Andrea Clements, Press and PR Unit,+44 (0)28 90 97 5391, Mob 07980 013 362, a.clements@qub.ac.uk

Top of Page

Future business leaders graduate from Queen's
Aedean McCotter from Kilrea was awarded the Financial Times prize for Best Graduate, BSC Finance degree, by Chris Carden from the FT at the Queen's University Management School prizegiving
Aedean McCotter from Kilrea was awarded the Financial Times prize for Best Graduate, BSC Finance degree, by Chris Carden from the FT at the Queen's University Management School prizegiving

Over 240 students have graduated from Queen’s University Management School in subjects including economics, accounting, finance and management.

During a special prizegiving ceremony held by the School after graduation businesses including Bank of Ireland, KPMG, PriceWaterhouseCoopers, Deloitte, the Financial Times, Bombardier Aerospace and Randox Laboratories presented awards they had sponsored to the top students.

Representatives from UTV, BDO Stoy Hayward, Ernst and Young and ASM Horwath also awarded prizes.

The School is continuing to expand with new courses including MSc International Business, MSc Business Economics and MSc New Venture Creation starting in September.

Director of Queen’s University Management School, Professor Richard Harrison said: "We are delighted to recognise another successful graduating class from Queen's University Management School. 

“In a time of continuing economic crisis and uncertainty, we are pleased to celebrate the contribution of our graduates to the long-term development of a sustainable competitive and growing economy. 

“We are delighted that the contribution of QUMS to the Northern Ireland economy is reflected in record applications to both our undergraduate degree programmes and to our taught Masters programmes, including new courses in International Business, Business Economics and New Venture Creation."

For media enquiries please contact: Andrea Clements, Press and PR Unit,+44 (0)28 90 97 5391, Mob 07980 013 362, a.clements@qub.ac.uk

Top of Page

Bombardier Chief Honoured
Northern Ireland's Bombardier chief, Dr Michael Ryan, who was awarded an honorary doctorate for services to engineering, business and commerce
Northern Ireland's Bombardier chief, Dr Michael Ryan, who was awarded an honorary doctorate for services to engineering, business and commerce

Northern Ireland's Bombardier chief Michael Ryan will be honoured by Queen's University today.

At this afternoon’s ceremony, he will be awarded an honorary Doctorate of Science (Engineering) for services to engineering, business and commerce.

A Queen's graduate, Michael Ryan is Vice-President and General Manager of Bombardier Aerospace in Northern Ireland.

In this role, he heads the team that is responsible for the design and manufacture of structures for the world’s most successful regional and business aircraft market sectors, in which Bombardier is today number one in the world.

Born in Belfast in 1959, Michael Ryan joined Short Brothers in 1981. Prior to and since Bombardier’s acquisition of Shorts in 1989, he held various management positions in the company, including general manager of the advanced composites production unit and general manager of fabrications. 

In 1997, he was appointed director of procurement in Northern Ireland, and in June 1999 he was transferred to Montreal where he took up the position of general manager, procurement for Bombardier Aerospace. He returned to Belfast and his current role in May 2000.

Michael Ryan has significant links with Queen’s, supporting the establishment of the Bombardier-Royal Academy Chair in Integrated Aerospace, which led to the creation of the University’s International Centre of Excellence in Integrated Aircraft Technology.   He has also supported and encouraged a number of research programmes and studentships, and the participation of Bombardier staff in teaching in Aeronautical Engineering at Queen's. 

Delivering the citation, Queen’s Pro-Chancellor Rotha Johnston said: “It is a tribute to Michael’s vision and leadership that Bombardier Montreal, the parent company, recognises the current collaboration in Belfast as an exemplar model for industry-university interaction and proposes to extend it to universities in Canada.”

A Chartered Engineer and a Fellow of the Royal Aeronautical Society, Michael Ryan was awarded a CBE in 2005.

Media enquiries to the Press and PR Unit on 028 9097 3091 / 3087 or email comms.office@qub.ac.uk .

Top of Page

Queen's Honours Former Lord Chief Justice
Northern Ireland's former Lord Chief Justice Lord Kerr of Tonaghmore was honoured by Queen's University today. At this morning's ceremony, he was awarded an honorary Doctorate of Laws for distinction in public service and the legal profession
Northern Ireland's former Lord Chief Justice Lord Kerr of Tonaghmore was honoured by Queen's University today. At this morning's ceremony, he was awarded an honorary Doctorate of Laws for distinction in public service and the legal profession

Northern Ireland's former Lord Chief Justice Lord Kerr of Tonaghmore will be honoured by Queen’s University today.

At this morning’s ceremony, Lord Kerr will receive an honorary Doctorate of Laws for distinction in public service and the legal profession.

Lord Kerr, who was elevated to the House of Lords last week, was Lord Chief Justice of Northern Ireland from 2004 until June this year.

A Queen's graduate, he was called to the Bar in Northern Ireland in 1970 and the Bar of England and Wales, Gray’s Inn, in 1974. He served as Junior Crown Counsel and Senior Crown Counsel before being appointed a judge of the High Court of Northern Ireland in 1993, the year in which he received his knighthood. As Lord Chief Justice of Northern Ireland, he also became a member of the Privy Council.

On 29 June he was elevated to the House of Lords as Lord of Appeal in Ordinary, taking the title Lord Kerr of Tonaghmore. As a Law Lord, he will become one of the 12 inaugural Judges of the Supreme Court of the United Kingdom, when it comes into being in October this year.

Delivering the citation for Lord Kerr, Queen’s Pro-Chancellor Sir David Fell described him as “one of the most distinguished lawyers of his generation”.

He said: “Lord Kerr has built a richly deserved reputation as an astute barrister and eminent judge, not only in his native Northern Ireland, but on the wider national stage, and indeed in the international arena.”

Media enquiries to the Press and PR Unit on 028 9097 3091 / 3087 or email comms.office@qub.ac.uk .

Top of Page

Sibling Celebration At Queen's
Proud parents Ralph and Berni Mitchell with sons (L-R) David and Gary who graduated today at Queen's
Proud parents Ralph and Berni Mitchell with sons (L-R) David and Gary who graduated today at Queen's

This morning’s graduation ceremony will see the second Queen’s graduation this summer for an East Belfast family.

David Mitchell (21), who will graduate with a LLB Single Honours Law today, follows on the heels of his brother Gary Mitchell (23), who graduated yesterday with a Bachelor of Medicine.

A third Mitchell brother, Ralph (25) will graduate from medicine next week from the University of Warwick, taking the number of Mitchell family graduations this summer to three.

Proud parents Bernie and Ralph Mitchell will join Gary, who plays rugby for Instonians 1st XV, and younger sister Lauren today to celebrate with David.

Bernie said: “It’s a proud moment for any parent when their offspring graduates, but having all three sons graduate within five days makes it extra special! I’ve been trying to get Ralph Sr to buy me three new dresses for over a year now!

“We’re incredibly proud of the boys and can’t wait to see David walk across the Whitla Hall stage today.”

Law graduate David plans to spend a year gaining experience with a law firm before applying to the Institute of Professional Legal Studies. Gary is to complete his medical foundation programme between the Erne, Altnagelvin and Mater hospitals, while continuing to play rugby. Ralph too is to pursue his career as a doctor in Warwick.

Media enquiries to the Press and PR Unit on 028 9097 3091 / 3087 or email comms.office@qub.ac.uk

Top of Page

Special Day For Romanian Graduates
Alexandru and Camelia Vlasin a Romanian husband and wife team who travelled to Queen's to study Theology
Alexandru and Camelia Vlasin a Romanian husband and wife team who travelled to Queen's to study Theology

A Romanian husband and wife team who made the journey to Belfast to study Theology are to graduate together today.

Alexandru and Camelia Vlasin travelled from Bucharest to Belfast Bible College at Queen’s where Alex undertook a PhD study of missionary training, and Camelia studied a Masters of Theology. 

Alex said: “Graduating together from Queen's will be a special time for both of us. The occasion will probably feel like déjà-vu, as we have also had the privilege of graduating together from the University of Bucharest in 2000! Nevertheless, this combined graduation will never be surpassed by any other.

“I am very passionate about training missionaries, so the offer to come to Belfast was hard to resist. We feel it has been a real privilege for us to be able to study at Queen's, it has definitely been an enriching experience for both of us.

Previously a lecturer at the University of Bucharest, Alex will now return to his job as one of the few qualified teachers in the field of missionary teaching in Romania. Camelia intends to set up a counselling service within their church, the Holy Trinity Baptist Church, Bucharest.

Media enquiries to the Press and PR Unit on 028 9097 3091 / 3087 or email comms.office@qub.ac.uk


Top of Page

International Cancer Research Adviser To Be Honoured
Dr Martin Murphy, a leading American adviser to academic cancer research centres, pharmaceutical companies and governments worldwide was honoured by Queen's University today. Dr Murphy, Chairman of the Scientific Advisory Board of Northern Ireland-founded Almac Diagnostics, was awarded an honorary doctorate for services to medicine and for public service
Dr Martin Murphy, a leading American adviser to academic cancer research centres, pharmaceutical companies and governments worldwide was honoured by Queen's University today. Dr Murphy, Chairman of the Scientific Advisory Board of Northern Ireland-founded Almac Diagnostics, was awarded an honorary doctorate for services to medicine and for public service

A leading American adviser to academic cancer research centres, pharmaceutical companies and governments worldwide will be honoured by Queen’s University today.

This afternoon Dr Martin Murphy, Chairman of the Scientific Advisory Board of Northern Ireland-founded Almac Diagnostics, will be awarded an honorary doctorate for services to medicine and for public service. Dr Murphy is Founding Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of AlphaMed Consulting, Inc. a corporation that provides strategic support for cancer patients, cancer researchers and the pharmaceutical and biotechnology industry.

He is also Founding Executive Editor of The Oncologist – an international, peer-reviewed publication which is one of the most widely read cancer journals in the world, and founder and former CEO of the Hipple Cancer Research Centre.

Delivering the citation, Professor Patrick Johnston, Dean of Queen’s School of Medicine, Dentistry and Biomedical Sciences, said: “Dr Murphy's contribution to cancer patients in Ireland, North and South, has been inspiring, as has his help to cancer research programmes internationally.

“As an academic and a strategic adviser, he has played a leading role in leveraging and enhancing support for cancer patients and cancer research in this crucial area from business and political leaders, among others.

“The direct beneficiaries of his knowledge and wisdom talents are not only the international cancer research community but also patients around the world.”

A graduate of New York University, Dr Murphy held postdoctoral and visiting research positions at the Institut de Pathologie Cellulaire in Paris, the Paterson Institute of Cancer Research in Manchester, and the John Curtin School for Medical Research in Canberra. 

He has served as a Visiting Professor at the University of Cape Town, the Institute of Cell Biology in Shanghai, the Institute for Scientific Investigation in Caracas, Venezuela;  the Hadassah-Hebrew University Medical Centres in Jerusalem and the University of Bologna in Italy.

Dr Murphy is a member of Queen’s Medical School International Review Panel and director of the Foundation for the National Institutes of Health, the American Cancer Society Foundation, and the American Society of Clinical Oncology.

He is also the convener and chief operating officer of the CEO Roundtable on Cancer, which numbers the executives of some of America’s most prominent companies among its members, and was founded at the request of former President George Bush. 

The author of numerous academic publications, Dr Murphy was awarded Irish citizenship by former Taoiseach Bertie Ahern in 2003.  

Media enquiries to the Press and PR Unit on 028 9097 3091 / 3087 or email comms.office@qub.ac.uk .

Top of Page

Father - Son Graduation At Queen's
Dominic Donnelly and his wife Kathleen from Ballymena watched son Peter graduate in Medicine from Queen's University. Dominic will graduate in Theology tomorrow (Friday).
Dominic Donnelly and his wife Kathleen from Ballymena watched son Peter graduate in Medicine from Queen's University. Dominic will graduate in Theology tomorrow (Friday).

A proud father will watch his son graduate from Queen's today whilst gearing himself up for his own graduation tomorrow.

Dominic Donnelly from Ballymena will be at Queen's today to watch his son, Peter, graduating with a Bachelor of Medicine, Surgery and Obstetrics. Dominic is himself to graduate from Queen’s with a Bachelor of Theology in tomorrow morning’s ceremony.

Dominic said: “I am so pleased that Peter has completed his course successfully and proud that we will be graduating at the same time.”

Peter is equally proud of his dad. He said: “I am delighted that he has had the courage to go back to university and complete his degree in a subject he has always had an interest in. His dedication and commitment to achieving his aims has acted as a steadfast example for me and my siblings to follow and I think he should be as proud of his fantastic achievement as we are.

“As is only natural when studying a Theology degree he often brought his work home with him and many discussions and debates would frequently ensue which were almost as challenging as my medical tutorials!”

Joining Dominic to watch Peter graduate today is his wife and Peter’s mother, Kathleen.

Dominic is considering continuing his studies to Masters level and Peter is to begin work as a foundation year one doctor with the Belfast Trust in August, working across various specialities including vascular and fracture surgery.

Media enquiries to the Press and PR Unit on 028 9097 3091 / 3087 or email comms.office@qub.ac.uk


Top of Page

'The Priests' and 'leading light' Lisa are Graduate and Student of the Year
Lisa Collins from Omagh, Queen's University Student of the Year, and Father David Delargy of chart-topping classical trio The Priests, winners of this year's Graduate of the Year. The Awards are supported by First Trust Bank
Lisa Collins from Omagh, Queen's University Student of the Year, and Father David Delargy of chart-topping classical trio The Priests, winners of this year's Graduate of the Year. The Awards are supported by First Trust Bank

Northern Ireland's clerical chart-toppers and 'enterprising'  Lisa Collins, from Omagh, who set up a fundraising project for children in Uganda, are this year’s Queen’s Graduate and Student of the Year.

The Awards will be announced at the University’s graduation ceremony on Thursday morning.

Fathers Eugene and Martin O’Hagan, and Father David Delargy, whose singing voices have captivated audiences around the world, are all serving priests in the Diocese of Down and Connor. Father Delargy will receive the award on the group’s behalf.

Father Eugene graduated from Queen’s in Scholastic Philosophy in 1982, his brother Martin in Ancient History in 1985 and Father David in History the same year.

The trio have sold over two million albums worldwide. Their first album The Priests, recorded last year with the Philharmonic Academy of Rome from St Peter's Basilica in the Vatican, spent 13 weeks at number one and was the fastest debut selling classical album ever.

They also topped the charts with their DVD - The Priests, In Concert At Armagh Cathedral, recorded in September 2008, and have performed all over the world, including for Her Majesty the Queen, the Prince of Wales and the Duchess of Cornwall.

Lisa Collins, a Masters student in History, was recently awarded a prestigious Frank  Knox Memorial Fellowship to conduct graduate study at Harvard University. Only six  Fellows are usually selected annually from the United Kingdom. Successful candidates are chosen on the basis of "future promise of leadership, strength of character, keen mind, a balanced judgment and a devotion to the democratic ideal”.

At Queen’s Lisa was involved in setting up SIFE (Students in Free Enterprise) and is the current chairperson. SIFE is a global network of business executives, academic leaders and university students dedicated to nurturing students’
entrepreneurial skills in a way that benefits their careers and the wider community.

Earlier this year Queen’s Students in Free Enterprise (SIFE) initiative was named Rookie Champion 2009 at the Students in Free Enterprise national awards in London, after only eight months of existence.

Linked to SIFE, Lisa has also organised and raised funds for a volunteer mission to an orphanage in Uganda. The project, entitled Share Uganda is now linked to primary schools in Northern Ireland, has included the creation of scholarships to help children go to school, and helped set up pig farming projects to help people run their own businesses.

Lisa has also been a volunteer with the Spirit of Enniskillen Trust and in the Belfast City Hospital Emergency Response Ward.

The Graduate and Student of the Year Awards, now in their 10th year, were launched in 1999 by the Queen’s Graduates’ Association and the University’s Development and Alumni Relations Office, with the support of First Trust Bank. The Awards aim to recognise excellence, achievement or service by Queen’s alumni and students, either to the University or to the wider community.

Media enquiries to the Press and PR Unit on 028 9097 3091 / 3087 or email comms.office@qub.ac.uk .

Top of Page

Double Celebration For Birthday Graduation
Birthday boy Joel White graduated from Queen's today on his 25th birthday
Birthday boy Joel White graduated from Queen's today on his 25th birthday

A student graduating from Queen's today will be celebrating not one, but two landmarks in his life.

Joel White from Dungannon is graduating with a BEd Religious Studies (Post Primary) degree, on the same day he turns 25.

Joel said: “Finding out I was graduating on my birthday was quite a surprise. It’s going to be quite a party, graduating and turning 25 on the same day.”

Media enquiries to the Press and PR Unit on 028 9097 3091 / 3087 or email comms.office@qub.ac.uk

Top of Page

Graduation Elation For Dedicated Mum
Proud graduate and dedicated mum Angelina Bell with her sons (l-r) Jarlath (15), Aidan (11) and Conor (17).
Proud graduate and dedicated mum Angelina Bell with her sons (l-r) Jarlath (15), Aidan (11) and Conor (17).

A dedicated single mother of three children, who each have some form of special or educational needs, is to graduate from Queen’s today.

Angelina Bell from the Ormeau Road, Belfast managed to complete her degree whilst raising her three boys, Conor (17), Jarlath (15) and Aidan (11). They will all be at Queen’s today to celebrate their mum’s success.

Angelina, who is to graduate with a Bachelor of Education in Primary Science, is turning her attention to giving something back. She is to begin her teaching job in Our Lady of Lourdes High School’s special needs unit this September.

Angelina said: “I am very passionate in my profession as a teacher and my experiences with my children and their special needs inspired me to follow that route. I believe that children with special needs give so much more and when you can be a part of their experiences and accomplishments, it makes doing your job so meaningful.

“It was hard to try and balance my studies and time with the boys, especially on my own. I have two wonderful and very supportive parents, Geraldine and Seamus, and without their support it would have been impossible to carry on with my degree.”

Proud parents Geraldine and Seamus Bell will also accompany Angelina to graduation today.

Media enquiries to the Press and PR Unit on 028 9097 3091 / 3087 or email comms.office@qub.ac.uk

Top of Page

Globe Trotting To Graduation
Globe-trotting graduand Aidan McCrossan meets former President George W Bush at the White House
Globe-trotting graduand Aidan McCrossan meets former President George W Bush at the White House

A Strabane man who managed to climb the Great Wall of China, meet the President of the United States and fly over the Grand Canyon, all while studying for his degree will graduate from Queen's today.

By taking advantage of Queen’s numerous Study Abroad programmes, Aidan McCrossan (24) has studied at five universities on three continents during his degree. He will graduate today with a 2.1 Bachelor of Education in Religious Studies.

Aidan studied in Alvarnia College in America in 2007/08 on the Business Education Initiative, where he got the opportunity to meet the then current President of the United States, George W. Bush in the White House. He also visited Las Vegas where he got the chance to fly over the Grand Canyon in a helicopter.  Despite also visiting New York, Chicago, San Francisco and the Dominican Republic, Aidan managed to achieve a perfect 4.0 Grade Point Average in his exams.

On the Study China programme in 2009, Aidan climbed the Great Wall of China and visited the impressive Beijing National ‘Bird’s Nest’ Stadium that played host to the 2008 Summer Olympics.

Aidan also studied at Universidad de la Salle in Madrid on the Erasmus programme, where he saw Zinedine Zidane score his first hat trick for Real Madrid and played for the Madrid GAA team in Amsterdam. Added to this, he taught English as a foreign language in Milan for three summers and travelled around Italy.

Aidan said: “I studied at St Mary’s, and we are very lucky to have a principal like Professor Peter Finn who sees the value of international study programmes and lends financial support to these initiatives.

“There are so many opportunities available as a student that there is really no reason why anyone can’t get a great education and see the world at the same time. I managed to balance sport, studies and travelling and still compete with some of the highest achievers in Northern Ireland who are at Queen’s and St Mary’s.”

Media enquiries to the Press and PR Unit on 028 9097 3091 / 3087 or email comms.office@qub.ac.uk



Top of Page

Graduation A Double Success
Gavin McConvey and niece Ciara Gilmore who both graduated from Queen's this week
Gavin McConvey and niece Ciara Gilmore who both graduated from Queen's this week

It will be a double celebration for an uncle and niece who both graduate from Queen’s this week.

Gavin McConvey and Ciara Gilmore, both from Downpatrick, are to graduate with a BA in Business and Management and Bachelor of Education respectively.

In a remarkable twist, graduation isn’t the only life landmark that the relatives share. Ciara and Gavin also share a birthday and celebrated their 40th and 18th birthdays on the same day.

Having graduated on Monday, Gavin is attending Ciara’s graduation today when the celebrations will truly start.

Media enquiries to the Press and PR Unit on 028 9097 3091 / 3087 or email comms.office@qub.ac.uk

Top of Page

Chemist Receives Honorary Degree at Queen's
Eminent chemist Professor Amos B Smith, who was awarded an honorary Doctorate of Science for distinction in organic chemistry by Queen's University.
Eminent chemist Professor Amos B Smith, who was awarded an honorary Doctorate of Science for distinction in organic chemistry by Queen's University.
Renowned Chemist Professor Amos B Smith will receive an honorary degree at Queen’s University Belfast today.

Professor Smith will be awarded an honorary Doctorate of Science for distinction in organic chemistry.

Professor Robbie Burch, who will deliver the citation at tomorrow’s ceremony, said: “Professor Smith is an outstanding synthetic organic chemist. He is distinguished for his exemplary research contributions to the field of organic synthesis and new reaction development, and to the application of new methodologies for the synthesis of natural products that have the potential to be the basis of new anticancer drugs. This research has particular relevance to Northern Ireland and Queen’s University where the internationally renowned Centre for Cancer Research and Cell Biology is based.”

 Professor Smith’s research has encompassed three main areas - natural product synthesis and structure elucidation, bioorganic chemistry, and materials science. He has supervised more than 120 PhD students and has been advisor to almost 200 postdoctoral researchers. He has published almost 600 research papers in his 35 year career and has given more than 600 invited lectures. In 2006 he was elected a Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.

He was the Founding Editor-in-Chief of the American Chemical Society Journal, Organic Letters, and stationed one of the publication’s editorial office’s within Queen’s School of Chemistry and Chemical Engineering– the only such office in the UK.

Born in Pennsylvania, USA, he completed a Masters degree in chemistry in 1966. After one year in graduate medical school, he moved to Rockefeller University and obtained his Doctor of Philosophy degree in 1972. He joined the Department of Chemistry at Pennsylvania State University in 1973 and he is currently the Rhodes Thompson Professor of Organic Chemistry.

Media enquiries to the Press and PR Unit on 028 9097 3091 / 3087 or email comms.office@qub.ac.uk .

Top of Page

Award Winning Soprano Takes To The Stage
Singing sensation Sarah Richmond from Carrickergus graduated on Wednesday
Singing sensation Sarah Richmond from Carrickergus graduated on Wednesday

An award winning mezzo soprano is to take to the Whitla Hall stage today – not to perform – but to graduate from Queen's.

Sarah Richmond from Carrickfergus was recently announced as Northern Ireland Singer of the Year and Overall Vocal Champion at the 2009 Ballymena Music Festival. In the past three years, she has clocked up 54 awards from music festivals across the country.

Sarah is to be awarded an impressive first class honours Bachelor of Music degree today.

Sarah said: “I had considered studying at a conservatoire instead of a University, however, Queen’s reputation convinced me of the advantages in securing a solid academic foundation.

“It is an incredible feeling to be graduating, knowing that now I am part of Queen’s legacy. I have so many highlights, but it was an absolute privilege to perform at Queen’s centenary celebrations in the Mandela Hall last year.

“Thanks to Queen’s awarding me the Hamilton Harty and Kodály Society of Northern Ireland Scholarships, I have been able to build on my technique through summer schools and technique courses.”

Sarah has ambitions to become a professional mezzo soprano and is to follow her dream at Royal Northern College of Music. She will be accompanied to graduation today by her mother and father, Anne and Garry Richmond and her grandfather, Queen’s alumnus John Fearon.

Sarah is currently seeking sponsorship for her musical training. More information can be found at www.sarah-richmond.com

Media enquiries to the Press and PR Unit on 028 9097 3091 / 3087 or email comms.office@qub.ac.uk

Top of Page

Poetry Critic Receives Honorary Degree
Professor Edna Longley
Poetry critic Professor Edna Longley receives an honorary degree from Queen's University for distinction in literature

Renowned poetry critic Professor Edna Longley will receive an honorary degree at Queen’s University today.

Professor Longley is one of the most influential critics writing on modern Irish and British poetry, and is one of the most powerful voices in contemporary Irish culture. She will receive an honorary Doctorate of Literature at Queen’s, where she lectured for much of her career and is now a Professor Emerita.

Professor John Thompson, who will deliver the citation at the graduation ceremony, said: “Professor Longley is one of the leading Irish literary critics of her generation, and her world-class work sets a formidable pace for those whose critical ambition is the study of Irish poetry.

“Professor Longley has had a huge and enabling influence on the literary culture of Northern Ireland, especially through her teaching at Queen’s and robust observations of the contemporary critical scene in these parts. The University’s English Society flourished under her direction, giving much impetus to the creation of the Seamus Heaney Centre for Poetry and our burgeoning links with the BBC.

“We are honoured that Professor Longley chose to spend so much of her career at Queen’s.  She remains a welcome presence in the School where we are delighted that this honorary degree will be awarded in recognition of her extraordinary critical talent.”

Professor Longley is the wife of distinguished poet Michael Longley. She is author and editor of many works including The Living Stream: Literature and Revisionism in Ireland, Poetry and Posterity and her most recent work, Edward Thomas: The Annotated Collected Poems. She was a founding editor of the Irish Review and is a Member of the Royal Irish Academy and a Fellow of the British Academy.

Media enquiries to the Press and PR Unit on 028 9097 3091 / 3087 or email comms.office@qub.ac.uk

Top of Page

New Honorary Graduate to Open £6.7M Centre
Professor Minze Stuiver
Professor Minze Stuiver received an honorary degree from Queen's University for distinction in Geosciences

A £6.7 million research centre focusing on environmental change will be opened by world-famous geoscientist Professor Minze Stuiver at Queen’s University tomorrow (Thursday).

The CHRONO Centre for Climate, the Environment and Chronology - the first of its kind in Ireland - will be officially launched by the Dutch-born academic who receives an honorary doctorate from Queen’s University today (Wednesday).

His doctorate is being conferred for distinction in Geosciences in recognition of over 40 years work at the forefront of geoscientific research.

He is a renowned expert in radiocarbon dating - the method used by archaeologists and geoscientists to establish the age of carbon-based materials up to over 50,000 years old – one of the areas in which the new CHRONO Centre is leading international research.

Professor Gerry McCormac, Pro-Vice-Chancellor at Queen’s, who ran the carbon dating facility for more than 20 years, said: “It’s a little known fact that our team at Queen’s is world leading in research on high-precision carbon dating techniques, having dated important archaeological sites such as Stonehenge and Newgrange.  The CHRONO Centre extends our capability and will help further develop our research, contributing to our knowledge of climate change and carbon cycling.

“To have one of the most cited scientists in the field of Geosciences opening our facility underlines the calibre of our research.”

Funded by the Atlantic Philanthropies and the Department for Employment and Learning, the Centre in Fitzwilliam Street was established to help bring together interdisciplinary research on past climate and environmental change, the relationship between human society and the environment, and the modern environment.

It builds on nearly 40 years of experience in environmental and chronological processes including studies into extreme climate events, flood frequency and the impact of past volcanic activity. The facility includes valuable chronological tools including a £1m accelerator mass spectrometer (AMS) which can examine climate change, assist in forensic investigations, identify sources of pollution and provide carbon dates on material up to 55,000 years old.

Research on the modern environment focuses on natural climate variability and the potential effect of climate change on ecosystems including lakes, soils and peatlands.

Staff from the School of Geography, Archaeology and Palaeoecology and the Environmental Engineering Research Centre (EERC) within the School of Planning, Architecture and Civil Engineering (SPACE) work at the centre.

Centre Director Dr Paula Reimer, who will deliver Professor Stuiver’s citation, said she was delighted that he was opening the facility. “His work has had a significant impact in the fields of archaeology, bio-geochemistry, oceanography, palaeo-climatology and solar physics.

“During his distinguished career, Professor Stuiver developed a geoscience laboratory at Yale University, and founded the Quaternary Isotope Laboratory at the University of Washington , where he was director until his retirement in 1998.

“He has also worked closely with the Radiocarbon Lab at Queen's University to construct the first high precision calibration curve for converting radiocarbon measurements to calendar ages.”

Media enquiries to the Press and PR Unit on 028 9097 3091 / 3087 or email comms.office@qub.ac.uk

Top of Page

First Class Family
Heather Montgomery from Ardkeen who graduated with a first class degree in Archaeology with her partner Joe, her son Joshua (back) and Joe's sons Daniel and Thomas
Heather Montgomery from Ardkeen who graduated with a first class degree in Archaeology with her partner Joe, her son Joshua (back) and Joe's sons Daniel and Thomas

A mature student who made the transition from single mum to family of six whilst studying for her degree is to graduate with first class honours today.

Heather Montgomery (41) who lives in Ardkeen, County Down began her BA Archaeology degree as a single mum to Joshua (15). After meeting her partner Joe, the couple moved in together and combined families, bringing Joshua together with Joe’s children Christi (18), Thomas (7) and Daniel (6).

Joe, Joshua, Thomas and Daniel will be celebrating Heather’s first class honours degree with her today.

Heather said: “The move was a massive transition at a hugely important time of my life, but with the help of my partner Joe and the rest of the troop I did it. I’m absolutely thrilled to be graduating and delighted to be awarded with first class honours!”

Heather will also be accompanied to graduation by her parents Richard and Leslie Montgomery, who she attributes some of her success to.

She said: “My parents were both amazing throughout my studies and are still. I thank them very much for everything they did to help me get here.”

Heather is currently working as a Site Assistant for Gahan & Long Archaeological Services.

Media enquiries to the Press and PR Unit on 028 9097 3091 / 3087 or email comms.office@qub.ac.uk

Top of Page

Geraldine Hughes Centre Stage at Queen's Graduation
Dr Geraldine Hughes
Dr Geraldine Hughes who was honoured at Queen's for services to performing arts
Belfast born actress Geraldine Hughes, star of blockbuster movies Rocky Balboa and Gran Torino, will take to the stage at Queen’s University today to receive an honorary degree.

Ms Hughes will be awarded an honorary Doctorate of the University for services to performing arts at this morning’s graduation ceremony.

One of Northern Ireland’s most talented actresses, Geraldine Hughes is originally from Divis Flats on the Falls Road. At the age of 18, she moved to the USA after being awarded a private scholarship to the University of California in Los Angeles (UCLA), where she graduated from the School of Theatre, Film and TV.

She is best known for her role as Marie, starring alongside Sylvester Stallone in the 2006 film Rocky Balboa, and most recently starred alongside Clint Eastwood in Gran Torino. She also wrote and performed a one-woman show entitled Belfast Blues which played to rave reviews New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, London and Belfast, winning a number of major awards.

An actress of stage, film and television, she has appeared in smash-hit TV series ER and Law and Order, amongst others. She has also played in a number of New York stage productions, including a Tony nominated performance in Brian Friel’s Translations on Broadway. After portraying the role of Sinead in PUMPGIRL, a play by Newry playwright Abbie Spallen, in the US premiere at the Manhattan Theatre Club in New York, Geraldine returned home recently to star in the film version. 

Her rise to fame from such humble beginnings has been remarkable and yet despite her fame, Geraldine frequently takes time out of her busy schedule to promote acting and theatre among disadvantaged children in Northern Ireland.

Professor Anna McMullan who will deliver the citation at the graduation ceremony, said: “This honorary degree recognises Geraldine’s extraordinary talent and achievement in her field of the performing arts.

“One of Geraldine’s most remarkable qualities, however, is her generous commitment to supporting others, to promoting Northern Ireland and to improving the quality of life here especially for young people. She is a patron of the Integrated Educated Fund and a board member of the newly formed Talent Tribe Academy, and continually gives hope to others through her own example and her extraordinary story.

“Geraldine’s brilliant talent, determination, energy, and focus have taken her from humble beginnings to the global recognition she now enjoys, but she is not only a movie star. Her generosity, vibrant humour, her commitment to others, and to theatre and film here and in the international arena, make Geraldine Hughes a truly inspiring role model for any young person, and especially for our students in the performing arts at Queen’s.”

Media enquiries to the Press and PR Unit on 028 9097 3091 / 3087 or email comms.office@qub.ac.uk .

Top of Page

New agreement strengthens Queen's Malaysian links
The Chief Minister of Terengganu Datuk Ahmad bin Said attended the graduation of Malaysian students Lili Hassan (left) and Martini Muhamad
The Chief Minister of Terengganu Datuk Ahmad bin Said attended the graduation of Malaysian students Lili Hassan (left) and Martini Muhamad

Two Malaysian students at Queen's University had a very special guest in the audience when they graduated this week.

The Chief Minister of Terengganu in Malaysia watched the first students from his region graduate with a BEng in Chemical Engineering under a special international agreement.

The students, Martini Muhamad and Lili Hassan, received their degrees as a result of an agreement between Queen’s University and Terengganu Advanced Technological Institute (TATi).

In 2006 Vice-Chancellor of Queen’s University Professor Gregson signed a Memorandum of Understanding with TATi to allow its well-qualified students to enter Level 2 of Queen’s BEng Chemical Engineering programme.
 
The first cohort of these students started the programme in September 2006, with the support of the State of Terengganu.

This week a new Memorandum of Understanding was signed to extend the agreement, enabling up to 20 Malaysian students to come to Belfast and study engineering at Queen’s.

The MoU was signed by Professor Gregson; the Chief Minister of Terengganu, Datuk Ahmad bin Said, and Dato’ Latiff bin Awang, Director of the Board of Governors, TATiUC. Dr Rozailan bin Mamat, CEO of TATiUC and Haji Omar bin Haji Haran, Honorary Advisor to Queen’s in Malaysia also attended the event.

Professor Gregson said: “We are pleased that the Chief Minister and leading representatives of TATi are visiting Queen’s University to witness the graduation of the first of their sponsored students.

 “We are delighted to expand our current articulation agreement so that more students from Terengganu can benefit from the Queen’s Experience.”

The Chief Minister of Terengganu said: “This visit marks the beginning of a new era of collaboration between Terengganu and Northern Ireland in the fields of education, trade and tourism.

“The State of Terengganu intends to sponsor up to 20 students each year in electrical civil and mechanical engineering in order to fulfil the future needs of the State.”

For media enquiries please contact: Andrea Clements, Press and PR Unit,+44 (0)28 90 97 5391, Mob 07980 013 362, a.clements@qub.ac.uk

Top of Page

Disability No Match For First Class Student
First class student Rebecca Donnelly who overcame dyslexia to graduate today
First class student Rebecca Donnelly who overcame dyslexia to graduate today

A Queen's student will graduate with first class honours today, proving that dyslexia is no barrier to excellence.

Rebecca Donnelly from East Belfast struggles with writing, organisation skills and comprehending speech due to dyslexia. She will graduate today with a MEng in Computer Science, proving that the condition is no match for her determination.

Rebecca said: “I overcame the day-to-day problems by being aware of my difficulties and putting in ten times the effort where it was needed. I had a rigorous time plan, took endless notes and started assignments early to give myself time to redraft and get them up to standard.

“Disability Services at Queen’s were really helpful and made sure I had everything I needed, encouraging me to work harder and do better.”

Making the most of every opportunity to excel during her degree, Rebecca completed a placement with Microsoft and completed summer work experience as part of a research team in Budapest. She was also selected to represent Queen’s at the Undergraduate Computing Conference in Cambridge and the British Computer Society Women Undergraduate Lovelace Colloquium in Leeds.

Rebecca plans to return to Queen’s in October to commence a PhD in Computer Science. She will be accompanied to graduation today by proud parents and Queen’s alumni Hazel and Liam Donnelly.

Media enquiries to the Press and PR Unit on 028 9097 3091 / 3087 or email comms.office@qub.ac.uk

Top of Page

Never Too Late To Graduate
Neill Murray from Newtownabbey graduated with a BSc in Business Information Technology today
Neill Murray from Newtownabbey graduated with a BSc in Business Information Technology today

A man who left his full-time job of ten years to study at Queen's will graduate today, proving that it’s never too late to embark on higher education.

Neill Murray from Newtownabbey (34) came to Queen’s after completing a HNC in Business Information Technology and getting a taste for academia. He will graduate with a BSc in Business Information Technology today.

Neill said: “My biggest fear when coming to Queen’s was sitting exams, something I had not done from secondary school. I took all the help and advice that was available to me and now that I have completed my degree I feel excited that I have accomplished what I set out to do seven years ago. My degree at Queen’s is the best thing I have achieved to date.”

Neill, a keen entrepreneur, is currently exploring options to expand his computer maintenance business, Murray Computer Maintenance, that he set up in 2005 and nurtured while at Queen’s.

Media enquiries to the Press and PR Unit on 028 9097 3091 / 3087 or email comms.office@qub.ac.uk

Top of Page

Dramatic Graduation For Star Students
Dramatic graduates and rising stars (l-r)Elaine Cooper, Richard Lavery and Emma Mallon.
Dramatic graduates and rising stars (l-r)Elaine Cooper, Richard Lavery and Emma Mallon.

Three rising stars graduating from BA Drama Studies today have recently directed and produced a dramatic sell-out production in the Old Museum Arts Centre’s Pic ‘N’ Mix 3 Mini-Festival.

Richard Lavery from East Belfast (Director), Elaine Cooper from Ballygowan, County Down (Production Manger) and Emma Mallon from Newry (Dramaturg) performed DEATH (on a shoestring) to two sold-out audiences just three weeks ago.

The production is a dark musical comedy about the grim reaper, who in a fit of angst embarks on making heaven more ‘politically correct’.

The students performed under the banner of Accidental Theatre, a theatrical company that they formed with others in 2008 to create and develop new, exciting and provocative work that reflects the cultural diversity of Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland.

DEATH (on a shoestring) is Accidental Theatre’s third production and will be showcased in a fuller and larger production later this year. In the meantime, the company is working to be included in some of the major theatrical festivals in the U.K. and Ireland.

Today, Richard, Elaine and Emma are concentrating on a joint celebration.

Richard said: “We rehearsed for DEATH (on a shoestring) from the minute our final essays were submitted right up until show time. Today is about toasting to our time as students and looking forward to our future in professional theatre.”

For more information about Accidental Theatre, please visit the website at www.accidentaltheatre.co.uk

Media enquiries to the Press and PR Unit on 028 9097 3091 / 3087 or email comms.office@qub.ac.uk

Top of Page

Graduates Shine A Spotlight On Mental Health
Film studies graduates Fionnuala O'Boyle from Kilclief, County Down and Gerard Dickson from Newry
Film studies graduates Fionnuala O'Boyle from Kilclief, County Down and Gerard Dickson from Newry

Two Film Studies students graduating today have used their cinematography skills to help achieve a better understanding of the challenges and issues around mental health.

Fionnuala O’Boyle from Kilclief, County Down and Gerard Dickson from Newry created a short film, Shades of Mental Health based on the Arts in Health project which explored how participation in an arts-based programme can contribute to mental health care. They will both graduate with 2.1 BA Film Studies degrees today.

During a six-week period, Fionnuala and Gerard filmed mental health service users and Queen's University students participating together in a series of music, film-making, dance and visual art workshops. The project culminated in a dance performance and screening of their film at Queen’s Film Theatre on 5 June 2009.

Project co-ordinator, Dr Jenny Elliott said: “Fionnuala and Gerard are two very talented young people. They experienced, captured and expressed on film the challenges of mental health and well-being within a healthcare environment and in creating the film, passed this understanding onto others. They both deserve big graduation celebrations.”

Fionnuala said: “The Arts in Health project was a really valuable opportunity to give something back. The people I have met were an encouragement to my journey through university and I feel that I have made many friends for life along the way. I’m delighted to be graduating from Queen’s today and hope to practice all that I have learnt.”

The Arts in Health project brought together Queen’s students from Film, Social Work and Medicine. It was funded by the Centre of Excellence in Interprofessional Education (CEIPE) at Queen’s University Belfast and supported by Arts Care and Belfast Health and Social Care Trust. The project was built on an existing model of Arts in Health developed by Dr Sue Morison (Director, CEIPE) in partnership with Dr Jenny Elliott and Arts Care.

For more information specifically about the Arts in Health project, please contact Project Co-ordinator, Jenny Elliott (Arts Care) at j.elliott774@btinternet.com.

Media enquiries to the Press and PR Unit on 028 9097 3091 / 3087 or email comms.office@qub.ac.uk


Top of Page

Triumph over Tragedy At Queen's
Hannah Stratton and Sarah McGuickin - Meningitis survivor Hannah Stratton (l) and best friend Sarah McGuickin who graduated together at Queen's today
Hannah Stratton and Sarah McGuickin - Meningitis survivor Hannah Stratton (l) and best friend Sarah McGuickin who graduated together at Queen's today

A student who graduates from Queen's today has triumphed over tragedy with the help of a good friend.

Hannah Stratton from Downpatrick fell ill with meningitis in her first year studying Music and Drama at Queen’s. She spent two weeks in hospital battling the disease, and faced a long recovery.

Hannah’s best friend Sarah McGuickin was with Hannah when she fell ill and arrived at her bedside an hour after she heard the news of Hannah’s diagnosis. She visited Hannah every day and gave her the inspiration and courage to get well so the childhood friends could graduate together.

Hannah will graduate today with a BA in Music and Drama and Sarah a LLB in Single Honours Law.

Hannah said: “Sarah, along with my family, was my rock when I was battling meningitis. I am a huge fan of musical theatre, and it is my lifelong dream to attend drama college in London. Sarah would bring me DVDs of my favourite musicals and remind me that I had to fight the meningitis if I wanted to achieve my dream. With Sarah’s help I bounced back quicker than expected.”

Sarah said: “It’s fantastic to be able to share such a great moment with someone who means so much to me.”

The friends are now set to go their separate ways, but are adamant their friendship will not falter. Hannah is to study Music Theatre at the Guildford School of Acting in London, whilst Sarah is to stay in Belfast to pursue her legal career. Before Hannah’s departure, the friends are organising a fundraising concert for her drama college fees in Downpatrick Arts Centre on 29 August.

Media enquiries to the Press and PR Unit on 028 9097 3091 / 3087 or email comms.office@qub.ac.uk

Top of Page

Queen's honours 'inspirational' Chancellor
President of Ireland Mary McAleese with the Vice-Chancellor and Senator Mitchell at the Graduation Dinner.
President of Ireland Mary McAleese with the Vice-Chancellor and Senator Mitchell at the Graduation Dinner.

Queen’s University has paid tribute to its former Chancellor, world statesman Senator George Mitchell, who stepped down this year following his appointment as US Special Envoy to Middle East Peace by President Barack Obama.

At the summer graduation dinner, attended by Senator Mitchell and his wife, Heather, Vice-Chancellor Professor Peter Gregson described the former Chancellor as "an inspirational figure for Queen’s and Northern Ireland".

Professor Gregson said: "The Chancellor sets the tone for a university, and Queen’s has been inspired by Senator Mitchell’s commitment, his leadership and his sense of public duty and the public good.

“His role as the man who presided over the peace talks which led to the Belfast Agreement secured his place in the history of Northern Ireland.  And, as the eighth Chancellor of Queen’s, his name is now enshrined in the story of the University.
 
“As an outstanding and influential ambassador for Queen’s and for Northern Ireland around the world, his contribution has been immense in helping the University forge dynamic global connections through strong international partnerships. His active support for The Queen’s University of Belfast Foundation helped to secure funding which has been invested in staff, students and facilities.

“Most importantly, he inspired the students and staff of Queen’s through his commitment to a new and inclusive Northern Ireland and his message that their individual actions can help to transform the world."

Senator Mitchell said: "Serving as Chancellor of Queen’s offered a great opportunity for me to contribute to Northern Ireland’s future within an institution that plays a leadership role in its community and in the field of education.  
 
“I was privileged to represent Queen’s around the world and to use what influence I have to help in forging the global partnerships essential for the success of any 21st century university. In my view, the ambassadorial duties of a university Chancellor are crucial, and I found these to be a particular pleasure to perform.

“I have found this role to be both enriching and fulfilling. Above all - a point brought home to me when I shake the hands of tomorrow’s leaders as they cross the stage at graduation - it was an honour and a privilege."

Commenting on Senator Mitchell’s time as Chancellor at Queen’s, Minister for Employment and Learning Sir Reg Empey said: "Senator Mitchell has played a pivotal role in supporting and promoting Northern Ireland’s Higher Education sector on an international stage. The knowledge, expertise and professionalism Senator Mitchell brought to the post has been central to the ongoing development of Queen’s University as a world class institution and his leadership is very much appreciated, not just by the University, but the wider community as a whole."

Senator George Mitchell was installed as Chancellor of Queen’s University Belfast in 1999.

A lawyer by profession, he was a US Senator from 1980 to 1994. During that time, he was voted ‘the most respected member’ of the Senate for six consecutive years.

He has received numerous awards and honours for his service as Chairman of the Peace Negotiations in Northern Ireland. These include the Presidential Medal of Freedom - the highest civilian honor the US government can give; the Philadelphia Liberty Medal, the Truman Institute Peace Prize, the German (Hesse) Peace Prize, and the United Nations (UNESCO) Peace Prize.

The distinguished guest list at the event included this year’s Queen’s honorary graduates and graduands, as well as leading figures from the worlds of academia, business, politics, the arts and the professions.

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

Top of Page

World Class Academics Honoured at Queen's
Dame Janet Nelson
Dame Janet Nelson
Dame Marilyn Strathern
Dame Marilyn Strathern

Renowned medievalist Dame Janet Nelson and expert anthropologist Dame Marilyn Strathern will receive honorary degrees at Queen’s University today.

This afternoon Dame Janet will be awarded an honorary doctorate for distinction in history while Dame Marilyn will receive an honorary doctorate for distinction in anthropology and social sciences.

Dame Janet’s research is mainly focused on earlier medieval Europe though most of her work has been on kingship, religion and ritual. She has become increasingly interested in the history of women and gender. A co-founder of the Women’s History Seminar at the Institute of Historical Research (IHR) in 1986, Dame Janet has been a co-convenor of the IHR’s Earlier Medieval Seminar for many years.

Dame Janet has also been President of the Royal Historical Society and Vice President of the British Academy as well as being recently appointed the President of the ASA of UK and Commonwealth. She became Dame Commander of the British Empire in 2006 and Emeritus Professor of King’s College London in 2007.

Professor Margaret Mullett, who will deliver the citation at the graduation ceremony, said: “Dame Janet’s distinction as a medievalist is clear from recognition by her peers in being elected President of the Royal Historical Society (RHS) and Vice-President of the British Academy.

“Her work as President of the RHS was untiring in making the case for humanities before a wider public. She is an inspiration to all women academics in Northern Ireland, the UK and beyond.”

Dame Marilyn Strathern is one of the most distinguished anthropologists worldwide. Her research and publications range from topics such as gender, kinship and relatedness and intellectual property rights, to ethics and bioethics, reproductive technology, consumer culture, and comparative issues in knowledge, technology and personhood.

Professor Lisette Josephides, who will deliver the citation, said: “Dame Marilyn Strathern is one of the most original thinkers in her discipline. Though quintessentially an anthropologist with lengthy fieldwork experience in Papua New Guinea, she has been internationally recognised and honoured beyond her discipline with requests to give prestigious lectures on such topics as psychoanalysis, the history of science, and jurisprudence.

“She is also a Fellow of the British Academy. In recognition of her work, in 2001 she was made a Dame Commander of the British Empire. Her fellow anthropologists responded by electing her lifetime President of their professional association, the Association of Social Anthropologists.”

Media enquiries to the Press and PR Unit on 028 9097 3091 / 3087 or email comms.office@qub.ac.uk .

Top of Page

Determined Mum is First Class
First class honours graduate Patricia Delaney with her son, Martin Delaney who is also gradating form Queen's this week
First class honours graduate Patricia Delaney with her son, Martin Delaney who is also gradating form Queen's this week

A mature student and mother of three will be celebrating in style today when she graduates with first class honours.

Patricia Delaney from Crumlin, Co. Antrim withdrew her initial application from Queen's because of illness and family commitments. She returned to Queen’s determined to succeed and has since studied relentlessly to achieve her BA English and Social Anthropology degree.

Patricia has shown a natural flair for Social Anthropology whilst at Queen’s by winning the John Blacking Memorial Prize in 2006 for achieving the highest mark in her anthropology module.

To make the week even more memorable for Patricia, her son Martin is due to graduate on Friday with a 2.1 BSc (Hons) Architecture degree.

Patricia said: “I feel very proud to be graduating in the same week as my son, and equally proud at what we have both achieved.

“My experience of Queen’s has been extremely positive; every lecturer I have been taught by has been approachable, helpful and wants every student to succeed. My Advisor of Studies, Graham McFarlane is one of the most excellent teachers I have ever met and I couldn’t have done it without him.”

Patricia plans to apply for a PhD in the future, while Martin has secured a placement in a local architecture firm. Helping them celebrate in style today are husband and father Martin Sr and daughters and sisters, Emma and Carmel.

Media enquiries to the Press and PR Unit on 028 9097 3091 / 3087 or email comms.office@qub.ac.uk


Top of Page

Queen's Honours UK Ambassador
Dr Francis Campbell
Dr Francis Campbell

Rathfriland man Francis Campbell, the first British Ambassador to be appointed by open competition, will be honoured today by Queen’s University.

Ambassador Campbell has been the UK’s Ambassador to the Holy See in Rome since 2005. At a ceremony this morning he will be awarded an honorary doctorate for distinction in public service.

Ambassador Campbell, who graduated from Queen’s with a BA in Political Science and Scholastic Philosophy, also completed postgraduate studies at the Katholieke Universiteit, Leuven, and attended the University of Pennsylvania on a Thouron Award Fellowship before joining the British Diplomatic Service in 1997.

He is the first Northern Irish Catholic to hold a UK ambassadorial post since the Republic of Ireland gained independence in 1921. The post was advertised in a newspaper in 1995 - the first time an ambassadorial position had been put out to open competition in an advert.

Queen's Pro-Vice-Chancellor Professor Gerry McCormac, who delivered the citation, said: "Mr Campbell’s story is as interesting and compelling as the man himself. He has been propelled to the head of a diplomatic mission in Rome far sooner than is the norm.

“Religion has played an important role throughout his life and career, and the thoughts of priesthood have never been far away.  He possesses our most valued qualities; intelligence, determination, leadership, and compassion.  These attributes will continue to serve him in the future, so although he does not need it, I wish him luck on all of his future endeavours."

Francis Campbell focused his early diplomatic career on Europe, with postings to the European Enlargement Unit of the Foreign and Commonwealth Office and secondment to the European Commission, as part of its delegation to the United Nations in New York.

He worked at 10 Downing Street, as Policy Adviser to the Prime Minister and then Private Secretary to the Prime Minister. He was also First Secretary at the British Embassy in Rome and Senior Policy Director with Amnesty International in London.

Media enquiries to the Press and PR Unit on 028 9097 3091 / 3087 or email comms.office@qub.ac.uk .


Top of Page

American Academic Jets in for Graduation
Queen's graduate Michelle Byrne with Professor Nancy Burgoyne
Queen's graduate Michelle Byrne with Professor Nancy Burgoyne (University of Washington, Seattle University) who flew from the United States to see Michelle graduate today

This morning's graduation ceremony at Queen's has attracted international interest due to one dedicated student.

Professor Nancy Burgoyne (University of Washington, Seattle University) has flown from the United States to see Michelle Byrne from Glengormley graduate with a BA (Hons) Politics degree today.

Michelle struck a chord with Professor Burgoyne when she visited Seattle University in 2003 to present her experiences of living in a divided country in the Shifting Borders, Changing Spaces programme. She has since taken part in a second conference in Seattle University examining the Israeli / Palestinian situation.

Michelle’s love for politics, born in Seattle and inspired by Professor Burgoyne, led her to study the subject at Queen’s. Professor Burgoyne has made the journey to Belfast today to congratulate her.

Michelle said: “It feels amazing to graduate today, never mind having Professor Burgoyne here to celebrate with me.

“I knew I wanted to study politics after being in Seattle, and Queen’s is a fantastic university to study such a degree. I’ve met some very well respected lecturers and researchers and certainly don’t see this as the end of my relationship with the University; in fact, this may only be the start.”

Michelle is a politico in the making. Her dissertation, An Investigation of the Effect of Devolution of Policing and Justice Powers in Northern Ireland, led her to interview many of Northern Ireland’s political figures such as Alex Attwood, David Ford, Danny Kennedy, Alex Maskey and Ian Paisley Junior.

She was also selected to complete a competitive twelve week internship in the Office of the Police Ombudsman for Northern Ireland (OPONI) during her degree.

Joining Michelle and Professor Burgoyne at graduation today will be Michelle’s parents, Tom and Ursula Byrne.

Media enquiries to the Press and PR Unit on 028 9097 3091 / 3087 or email comms.office@qub.ac.uk

Top of Page

Work Experience Works in Favour of Graduate
Danielle McDougall
Danielle McDougall has landed a graduate job with Tesco thanks to the Queen's Summer Internship Programme.

A Queen’s student graduating today is ready to take her first step on the career ladder, thanks to the Queen’s Summer Internship Programme.

Danielle McDougall, from east Belfast, completed the award last summer, developing her employability skills by spending eight weeks on placement at Aventure Media selling web design and hosting. She is due to begin employment this September on the highly sought-after Tesco graduate management scheme.

Danielle said: “The Internship Programme helped me decide on what field of work would best suit me, and got me thinking about my next step after Queen’s. The experience stood by me as I went through the stages of recruitment with Tesco, as I was more aware of what they were looking for.

“I am honoured to be graduating from Queen’s. I put a lot of hard work into my degree which was tough at times, but the friends I’ve made and the facilities have been fantastic.”

Danielle will graduate with a 2.1 BA Politics and Sociology degree today, watched by her proud parents, Frank and Georgina McDougall.

Media enquiries to the Press and PR Unit on 028 9097 3091 / 3087 or email comms.office@qub.ac.uk

Top of Page

Nobel Prizewinner To Be Honoured
Nobel prizewinner Professor Gerhard Ertl, from Germany, has been honoured by Queen's University. The ground-breaking chemist was awarded a Doctorate of Science for distinction in chemistry.
Nobel prizewinner Professor Gerhard Ertl, from Germany, has been honoured by Queen's University. The ground-breaking chemist was awarded a Doctorate of Science for distinction in chemistry.
Queen's Professor Emerita Ruth Lynden-Bell, who has been awarded a Doctorate of Science for distinction in chemistry. Professor Ruth Lynden-Bell is a theoretical chemist who has used classical molecular simulation techniques to study the properties of molecules in liquids and solutions
Queen's Professor Emerita Ruth Lynden-Bell, who has been awarded a Doctorate of Science for distinction in chemistry. Professor Ruth Lynden-Bell is a theoretical chemist who has used classical molecular simulation techniques to study the properties of molecules in liquids and solutions

Two leading figures in the world of chemistry were today being awarded honorary degrees from Queen’s University.

Nobel prizewinner Professor Gerhard Ertl, from Germany, and Queen’s University Professor Emerita Ruth Lynden-Bell, will be awarded Doctorates of Science for distinction in chemistry.

Professor Ertl’s groundbreaking studies are important for the chemical industry and have helped people understand processes including why iron rusts, how fuel cells function, how the catalysts in cars work and how pollutants can make holes in the ozone layer.

Professor Robbie Burch from the School of Chemistry and Chemical Engineering, who delivered his citation, said: “Professor Ertl is recognised as an outstanding innovator and researcher who has challenged the boundaries of scientific knowledge while at the same time emphasising the importance of investigating real applied problems.

“As we move into the 21st century there is no doubt that the foundations laid by his outstanding work will provide a basis for addressing and solving the problems facing us in many areas including green chemistry, environmental protection and climate change.”

Professor Ertl’s work is also significant for the agriculture industry as he has helped explain how nitrogen from the air is captured and reacts with hydrogen to make ammonia, the basis of nitrogen fertilisers.

After completing his PhD at the Technical University of Munich in 1965, he became professor and director at Technical University of Hannover, and was later appointed professor at the Institute for Physical Chemistry, Ludwig Maximilian’s University of Munich.

From 1986 to 2004 he held the position of Director of the Department of Physical Chemistry at the Fritz Haber-Institut der Max-Planck-Gesellschaft, where he now works as a Professor Emeritus.  During the 1970s and 1980s he was also a visiting professor at the California Institute of Technology, the University of Wisconsin, and the University of California, Berkley.

Professor Ertl won the 2007 Nobel Prize in Chemistry for his outstanding contribution to the understanding of chemical processes on solid surfaces.

He will receive his honorary degree at the same ceremony as Professor Ruth Lynden-Bell, a theoretical chemist who has used classical molecular simulation techniques to study the properties of molecules in liquids and solutions.

She obtained her degrees from the University of Cambridge, before her career took her to the University of Sussex, where she was lecturer in Chemistry before returning to Cambridge.

In 1995, she moved to Queen’s University as a co-founder of the interdisciplinary Atomistic Simulation Group (now the Atomistic Simulation Centre). She achieved the highest honour possible for a UK scientist when she was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society. She is an Emerita Fellow of New Hall (now Murray Edwards College) at the University of Cambridge.

Professor Tom Millar, Dean of Engineering and Physical Sciences, said: “Professor Ruth Lynden-Bell is a distinguished scientist who has worked at the boundaries between physics and chemistry, and solids and liquids.

“She has developed sophisticated mathematical models to probe the properties of strange liquids such as the so-called ionic liquids - molten salts which have the ability through their properties as solvents to bring a completely new green revolution to industrial chemistry.”

Professor Ruth Lynden-Bell has served on the editorial boards of the Journal of Chemical Physics, Chemical Physics Letters and Science and was an editor of Molecular Physics from 1998 to 2003, as well as having been a member of Boards of Electors to Professorial positions in Sweden, the Republic of Ireland, and Oxford and Cambridge Universities.

She retired as a Professor in the School of Mathematics and Physics at Queen's in 2003 but following her award of a Leverhulme Emeritus Fellowship in 2004, is a frequent visitor to Belfast and still collaborates on research with colleagues at Queen’s.

As well as being a leading scientist, Professor Lynden-Bell was also a founder member of Queen’s University’s Women’s Forum and played a leading role in developing the academic careers of a number of women.

Top of Page

Student Defies Odds to Graduate After Accident
Determined graduate Carmel Duggan from Magherafelt
Determined graduate Carmel Duggan from Magherafelt

Carmel Duggan (21) from Magherafelt, County Derry thought the second year of her Psychology degree was lost when she was hospitalised and underwent risky surgery on her neck after an accident in October 2007.

A year and a half later the determined student has overcome seemingly impossible odds and is to graduate with a 2.1 BSc Psychology degree, along with the rest of her class today.

Carmel fractured two bones in her neck, resulting in a long progressive recovery, but returned to Queen’s in February 2008, missing only four months of teaching.

She said: “Staff at Queen’s put a disability scheme in place to help me return to classes and catch up with exams and coursework after missing just one semester.

“I was wearing a plaster hard cast collar around my neck for three months, had to be dressed and guided where to walk, but you can’t keep a good woman down! I really believed it was worth it – today I will know that it was.

“I'm so lucky to have had the support from family, friends and University staff to help me get back on my feet and achieve the best I could.”

Carmel began to volunteer and work with children who have autism through the E.A.G.L.E. (Embracing Autism Through Guidance, Love and Education) project on her return to Queen’s, a move which has led her to embark on a career in social work.

Carmel said: “I volunteered to befriend with E.A.G.L.E. through the Careers Service at the Student Guidance Centre at Queen’s. This is a massive part of my life now and I love it. I have gained valuable work experience, a part-time job as a children’s worker and, most of all, practical knowledge that helped guide me to choose a career in social work. I have chosen to study it at Queen’s this September; I’m not done with Queen’s yet!”

Carmel will be celebrating today with her parents, Mary and Patrick, brother Liam, sister Anne-Marie, aunts Jacinta and Marie and boyfriend Brian.

Media enquiries to the Press and PR Unit on 028 9097 3091 / 3087 or email comms.office@qub.ac.uk


Top of Page

Global Business and Sporting Achievements Honoured
Neville Isdell
Neville Isdell
Jason Smyth
Jason Smyth

The Downpatrick-born former Chairman of Coca-Cola and a Derry double world champion sprinter will receive honorary degrees at Queen’s University this afternoon.

Neville Isdell, who was previously Chief Executive of the global company, will be awarded an honorary doctorate for services to business and commerce, while an honorary doctorate for distinction in sport will be conferred on visually impaired athlete Jason Smyth.

Since joining the Coca-Cola Company in 1966 with the local bottling company in Zambia, Mr Isdell held management positions within the company across the world in Africa, Australia, Europe and America.

The Chair of The Queen’s University of Belfast Foundation Board, Tom Lynch, who is delivering Mr Isdell’s citation, said:  “His outstanding leadership has been instrumental in building the global brand of this iconic American company and in forging partnerships between business, government and civil society throughout the world.”

From 1998 to 2000 Mr Isdell served as chairman and CEO of Coca-Cola Beverages Plc in Great Britain, overseeing its merger with Hellenic Bottling to form the world’s second largest Coca-Cola bottler at the time. After retiring as Vice Chairman of Coca-Cola HBC in December 2001 he was in international consultant to the Coca-Cola Company and headed his own investment company in Barbados.

In 2004 Mr Isdell was elected chairman of the Board of Directors and chief executive officer of the Coca-Cola company. He retired as CEO in July 2008 and Chairman in April 2009.

He holds a Bachelor of Social Science Degree from the University of Cape Town and is a graduate of the Harvard Business School Programme for Management Development. 

He is also Chairman of the US-Russia Council and Chairman of the Board of Trustees of the International Business Leaders Forum (IBLF).  He is a member of the Centre for Strategic and International Studies and also a member of Business and Human Rights Leadership Group of the UN Human Rights Council.  He is a Director of General Motors Corporation and in Atlanta he is a Lifetime Trustee of Pace Academy.

Mr Isdell will receive his honorary degree at the same ceremony as athlete Jason Smyth.

Former Limavady Grammar pupil Jason, 22, is from Eglinton, Derry,  and is partially sighted due to Stargardt’s disease, a form of macular dystrophy that begins early in life.

A Paralympic double world champion, he currently holds the record in the 100m and 200m sprint. 

Isabel Jennings, Director of StudentPlus at Queen’s University, who delivered Jason’s citation said: “Jason Smyth has the ability to connect with all people regardless of age or sporting ability. His determination, courage and humility are an inspiration to all of us. I congratulate Jason and wish him every success for the future.”

In May 2008 he set a new Paralympic world record of 10.85 seconds over 100 metres, when he won gold at the Paralympic World Cup in Manchester.  He then went on to win two gold medals in the Beijing Paralympics, including the 100 metres in 10.62 seconds.

On June 28 this year he set a new Irish under 23 record and new personal best of 10.42 over 100 metres, making him the third fastest man of all time in Ireland.

He is also a regular competitor in sighted competition and is ranked second in Ireland over 100m and third over 200m and is a strong contender for the 2012 Olympics in London.

Media enquiries to the Press and PR Unit on 028 9097 3091 / 3087 or email comms.office@qub.ac.uk

Top of Page

'Organised' Graduate combines Career and Classroom
Graduate John Rafferty with his wife Barbara and daughters Sarah (18) and Hannah (11).
Graduate John Rafferty with his wife Barbara and daughters Sarah (18) and Hannah (11).

A mature student who juggled his full-time working life with his studies will graduate today with a Masters in Organisation and Management. John Rafferty from Camlough, Newry held down several positions simultaneously during his studies including Manager of Cloughreagh House, a residential and day care facility in Bessbrook, and Managing Director of Phoenix Nursing Agency in Newry.

As part of his degree, John completed dissertation research on the impact of regulation on the independent domiciliary care agency sector, an interesting piece of work for regulators, educators, commissioners of services and policy makers alike.

John said: “Queen’s supportive approach to learning was perfect for someone like me who is extremely busy and meeting the challenges of employment as well. Motivating myself to study after a long day’s work was tough, but the support of the academic staff and researching a topic that interested me pushed me to excel.”

It seems that John’s ambitions are not yet fulfilled, however. He said: “I definitely intend to apply for another course at Queen's. I also intend to write a book on management in healthcare and business organisations, and test my entrepreneurial side by opening an equestrian centre in the future.”

John is attending graduation today with his wife, Barbara and daughters Sarah, Kerri and Hannah.

Media enquiries to the Press and PR Unit on 028 9097 3091 / 3087 or email comms.office@qub.ac.uk

Top of Page

A Relative-ly Remarkable Day
Michelle Hamilton (R) and her niece Rachel Pedlow celebrate together after their graduation ceremony
Michelle Hamilton (R) and her niece Rachel Pedlow celebrate together after their graduation ceremony

This afternoon’s graduation ceremony at Queen's will see an aunt and niece graduate within minutes of each other.

Michelle Hamilton, from Dundonald, will graduate with a BA (Hons) Early Childhood Studies, while her niece, Rachel Pedlow from Moneyreagh, will graduate with a BSc (Hons) Health and Leisure Studies degree.

Rachel is the daughter of Michelle’s sister, Sharon, who will watch proudly as both walk across the stage of the Whitla Hall this afternoon.

Michelle said: “It was great studying with Rachel and it will be great graduating with her. As a part-time student, mum, wife and classroom assistant, I found it tough juggling family life, work and studies. I didn't face any of these obstacles alone however, as Rachel was there for extra support around assignment deadlines and exams. She really got me through.”

Rachel said: “It's been really good studying at the same time as Michelle. She kept me motivated which was good as I am rather laid back and it probably would have been left to the last minute without her!”

Michelle and Rachel’s academic relationship might not end at today’s graduation, as both are considering embarking on a PGCE in the future. Also joining the family today are Michelle’s husband Keith, sons Stephen and Michael, Rachel’s father Ian and proud mother of Michelle and grandmother of Rachel, Mary Love.

Media enquiries to the Press and PR Unit on 028 9097 3091 / 3087 or email comms.office@qub.ac.uk


Top of Page

Top Student Makes Graduation Tribute

A single parent who was inspired to return to education following the sudden loss of her mother has paid tribute to her memory in the run up to her graduation today.

Lilian McCann (31), who is from West Belfast but now lives in Lisburn, will graduate today with a 2.1 BA Business Studies degree. A single mum, Lilian has worked for the Royal Mail for 12 years and continued to work part-time whilst studying for her degree. She attributes her work ethic to her late mother, Mary McCann.

She said: “I decided to go back to education to obtain this degree not only to give me more options in life but also as a thank you to my mummy, as she has made me the strong person that I am today and I have achieved this in her memory. 

“I am very proud of myself for achieving this, but I don’t think that the reality of graduating from Queen’s University has hit me yet!  It will be a very special day for me and my family.”

Lilian is set to continue her career with Royal Mail, now she has a 2.1 degree under her belt. Helping her celebrate after the ceremony today will be her son Fernando (10), grandfather Sam, sister Sinead and niece Clodagh.

Media enquiries to the Press and PR Unit on 028 9097 3091 / 3087 or email comms.office@qub.ac.uk

Top of Page

BBC Foreign Correspondent to be Honoured
BBC journalist Orla Guerin
BBC journalist Orla Guerin

BBC journalist Orla Guerin will be awarded an honorary doctorate for services to broadcasting at Queen's University this morning.

The Dublin-born reporter is the BBC's new Pakistan Correspondent and has recently taken up her appointment in Islamabad.

She has spent the past 20 years working as a foreign correspondent - first for RTE, and later for the BBC, which she joined in 1995. She has reported from over 50 countries, and has been based in Jerusalem, Johannesburg, Rome, Moscow and Los Angeles.

Professor Shane O’Neill, Dean of the Faculty of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences, said: “Orla Guerin has acted as our eyes and ears in some of the most harrowing situations where human beings have been caused to suffer, often unnecessarily.

“In her work she combines professionalism and impartial analysis with a clear passion and sense of empathy for the people whose security and well-being is at stake.

“Her bravery and courage is inspiring for all of us, and particularly for today’s graduates who are intent on making a real difference in the world.”

Ms Guerin was a BBC Middle East correspondent for 5 years (2000-2005), covering the second Palestinian uprising, the death of Yasser Arafat, and the Israeli pull-out from Gaza. She travelled widely, reporting from Jordan, Kuwait, Iraq, Egypt, Syria and Lebanon.

During her stint as Africa correspondent (2006-2008) Orla reported from conflict zones including Darfur, Eastern Congo, and Zimbabwe - which she entered undercover.

In the 1990s Ms Guerin reported extensively on the collapse of the former Soviet Union, and war in the former Yugoslavia, reporting from Serbia, Croatia, Slovenia and the besieged Bosnian capital, Sarajevo. She covered the Kosovo conflict and the refugee crisis in Macedonia.

She is a journalism graduate from the Dublin Institute of Technology and holds a Masters Degree in Film Studies from University College Dublin.

She has received a number of awards for her work and her documentary on the Basque separatist organisation, ETA, was nominated for a BAFTA.

In 2002 she was awarded the Broadcaster of the Year Award by the London Press Club.
She won the News and Factual Award from Women in Film and Television in 2003 and in 2004 she was awarded an MBE for services to broadcasting.

Media enquiries to the Press and PR Unit on 028 9097 3091 / 3087 or email comms.office@qub.ac.uk .

Top of Page

Award Winning Nurses At Queen’s
Moyra Cather Rev Ken Bradley
The first winner of The Lilian Bradley Prize, Moyra Cather from South Belfast, with Rev Ken Bradley widower of Lilian
Michelle Angelone
Winner of The Edward and Ann Smyth Medal for Academic Excellence in Learning Disability Nursing, Michelle Angelone, from Glenavy

A Lisburn nurse is celebrating after being named the best overall nursing and midwifery student graduating from Queen’s University.

Amanda Mary Smith is being awarded the Florence Elliott Prize at this morning’s graduation ceremony.

She is among 11 students to be recognised for their outstanding Academic or Clinical Excellence. Almost 300 Nursing and Midwifery students will graduate from the University today.

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

The Lilian Bradley Prize will be awarded for the first time this year for excellence in the academic field of Tissue Viability Nursing. The award has been sponsored by the Tissue Viability Nurse Network as a memorial Lilian, who died of cancer in November 2006. She was a Lecturing/Practitioner staff member in the School of Nursing and Midwifery. The first recipient of the award, Moyra Cather, was taught by Lilian during her degree.

During the graduation ceremony all students will receive their certificate and Nursing Badge, which they must wear while on the wards. 

The Lilian Bradley Prize -  Moyra Cather, South Belfast

Dame Mary Uprichard Prize for Academic Excellence in Midwifery Studies -  Julie Rachel Elwood, North Belfast

Elizabeth Rainey Prize for Clinical Excellence in Midwifery Studies - Angela Ruddell, South Belfast

Dame Mary Uprichard Prize for Academic Excellence in Midwifery Sciences - Daphne Elizabeth Glenn, Bangor

Elizabeth Rainey Prize for Clinical Excellence in Midwifery Sciences - Nicole Scholgel, North Belfast

The Edward and Ann Smyth Medal for Academic Excellence in Learning Disability Nursing - Michelle Angelone, Antrim (Dunadry)

The Hill-Rom Medal for Clinical Excellence in Learning Disability Nursing - Michael Kennedy, Armagh; Ian McKnight, Antrim (Muckamore)

The Professor Sheila Harrisson Medal for Academic Excellence in Adult Nursing - Deborah Louise Lowry, Belfast

The Mary Waddell Medal for Clinical Excellence in Adult Nursing - Aoife Claire Reddy, Carlow

The Florence Elliott Prize - Amanda Mary Smith, Lisburn

Media enquiries to the Press and PR Unit on 028 9097 3091 / 3087 or email comms.office@qub.ac.uk

Top of Page

Baby Joy for Midwifery Student
Midwifery graduate Brenda McCabe with her children (clockwise from left) Naoíse (4), Eoín (7), Caítlín (6) and Ríona (nine months).
Midwifery graduate Brenda McCabe with her children (clockwise from left) Naoíse (4), Eoín (7), Caítlín (6) and Ríona (nine months).

A Midwifery Studies student from Lisnaskea who gave birth during her degree will graduate with first class honours today.

Brenda McCabe (32) completed the 18 month BSc (Hons) intensive course while heavily pregnant and also raising her four children, Eoín (7), Caítlín (6), Naoíse (4) and Darragh (2). She submitted assignments early and took five weeks maternity leave from her studies to give birth to baby Ríona (now nine months) in September 2008.

Brenda said of her hectic schedule: “When at classes, I had to get up every morning at 6am to travel a two hour journey to Belfast, make the same journey home, see to my family needs and have my children in bed so that I could spend the rest of the night studying.”

Brenda also completed placements in the Altnagelvin and Erne hospitals before and after the arrival of baby Ríona, travelling from as early as 5am to complete twelve hour shifts.

She said: “Studying at Queen’s was challenging but so rewarding. I was fortunate to have the help of a fantastic support network; my personal tutor, Annette Taylor and placement mentors, Sisters Anne-Marie McDonnell and Nora Cadden and my husband, mother and parents-in-law.

“I originally studied my Nursing diploma at Queen’s in 1996 but I had always aspired to become a midwife, so I was delighted to be accepted onto the accelerated Midwifery Studies degree, especially because Queen’s is so well recognised.”

Brenda is currently working as a Midwife in Erne Hospital, Enniskillen and is in the process of being trained to become a Union Steward for the Royal College of Midwives. As an added bonus to her first class honours, research she completed during her degree is due to be submitted to academic journals later in the year.

Brenda’s whole family will be celebrating with her at graduation today, including her husband Brian, sisters Lorraine and Una, mother Bridie, Eoín, Caítlín, Naoíse, Darragh and of course, baby Ríona.


Media enquiries to the Press and PR Unit on 028 9097 3091 / 3087 or email comms.office@qub.ac.uk

Top of Page

The Priests top the bill at Queen's Graduations
The Hawthorne triplets, Debbie (L), Mark and Laura
The Hawthorne triplets, Debbie (L), Mark and Laura, will be celebrating in style at this year's Queen's University summer graduation, which takes place from Monday 6 to Friday 10 July. Laura, who has just been re-elected as Queen's Students' Union Vice President for Community, graduated last year and will be involved in the Academic Procession at this year's ceremonies. Debbie will graduate in Nursing and Midwifery while Mark will graduate in Theology.

Northern Ireland's chart-topping clerical singing sensation The Priests will strike the right chord at Queen's University’s summer graduations next week.

Fathers Eugene and Martin O’Hagan, and Father David Delargy, whose singing voices have captivated audiences around the world, are this year’s winners of the University’s Graduate of the Year award.

Father Eugene graduated from Queen’s in Scholastic Philosophy in 1982, his brother Martin in Ancient History in 1985 and Father David in History the same year. All three are serving priests in the Diocese of Down and Connor.

The trio have sold over two million albums worldwide. Their first album The Priests, recorded last year with the Philharmonic Academy of Rome from St Peter's Basilica in the Vatican, spent 13 weeks at number 1 and was the fastest debut selling classical album ever.

The award will be announced at next Thursday morning’s graduation ceremony. During the week of celebration some 4,000 Queen’s students will receive their degrees and the University will honour leading figures from the worlds of science, medicine, business, the arts and sport.

They include Belfast actress Geraldine Hughes, star of Rocky Balboa, Nobel prize-winning chemist Professor Gerhard Ertl, the BBC's Pakistan correspondent Orla Guerin and Northern Ireland’s Paralympic world champion sprinter Jason Smyth.

Former Lord Chief Justice Lord Kerr of Tonaghmore, Francis Campbell, from Newry, the first Catholic to become UK Ambassador to the Holy See, and influential poetry critic Queen’s Professor Emerita Edna Longley, will also be honoured.

Honorary doctorates will also be conferred on cancer research adviser Dr Martin Murphy, Chairman of the Scientific Advisory Board of Almac Diagnostics; and distinguished chemists Professor Emerita Ruth Lynden-Bell and Professor Amos Smith.
 
Two business leaders feature on the roll of honour. Honorary doctorates will be conferred on Michael Ryan, Vice-President and General Manager of Bombardier Aerospace and Neville Isdell, Chairman of the Coca-Cola Company, who is from Northern Ireland.

The list includes a number of distinguished academics. Medieval historian Professor Emerita Dame Janet Nelson, anthropologist Professor Dame Marilyn Strathern and geoscientist Professor Emeritus Minze Stuiver will also receive honorary degrees.

The honorary degrees will be awarded as follows:

Monday 6 July:
10.30am: Orla Guerin
2.30pm: Neville Isdell and Jason Smyth
7pm: Professor Gerhard Ertl and Professor Ruth Lynden-Bell

Tuesday 7 July:
10.30am: Francis Campbell
2.30pm: Professor Dame Marilyn Strathern and Professor Dame Janet Nelson

Wednesday 8 July:
10.30am: Geraldine Hughes
2.30pm: Professor Edna Longley and Professor Minze Stuiver
7pm: Professor Amos Smith

Thursday 9 July:
10.30am: Student and Graduate of the Year Award
2.30pm: Dr Martin Murphy

Friday 10 July:
10.30am: Lord Kerr of Tonaghmore
2.30pm: Michael Ryan

Media enquiries to the Press and PR Unit on 028 9097 3091 / 3087 or email comms.office@qub.ac.uk .

For media enquiries please contact: Anne-Marie Watson, Press & PR Unit, +44 (0)28 9097 5320,
a.watson@qub.ac.uk , 07814 415 451.

Top of Page

Read all about it - Northern Ireland's big book move at Queen's

A team of more than 20 Queen’s students are carrying out volumes of work as Northern Ireland’s largest ever book move takes place at the University.

By 11 July the team will have moved a massive 1.2 million volumes into the University’s landmark £45 million new library, which opens for business next month.

The project, which involves moving around 30,000 books a day, is being managed by the University’s Estates and Information Services Directorates, and is being carried out by Belfast-based firm Delivery Services. The logistics of the major relocation were planned by a specialist library removal company, Hallett Movers from the United States.

Gary Jebb, Queen’s Director of Estates, said; "The completion of the book move will be a huge milestone in the delivery of the new library and has been one of the most fulfilling parts of the project.
 
“It has involved a huge amount of advance planning and attention to detail, from measuring books to checking volume sequences and configurations to make sure they fit the shelving, and it’s very satisfying to see that they do!"

Trevor Lyttle, Assistant Director in Information Services, said: "We started planning for this around four or five years ago. At a very early stage we had to work out how many books we had and where they would all go. The information then went to the architects and they had to decide the sizes of the floors to accommodate those books.

“It’s been really exciting to see the exterior of the library take shape over the last couple of years and it’s been just as thrilling to watch as it gradually fills up with books from the top down. The new library will bring together a wide range of library and computer support services, both print and electronically based, and this will be of enormous benefit to future generations of students."

The new library is part of a £300 million capital programme to transform the Queen’s campus, and is a tangible symbol of the University’s faith in itself and the future.

It will be the focal point of the campus, underpinning the two University’s key functions of research and education. Designed by Boston-based architects Shepley, Bulfinch, Richardson & Abbott (SBRA), working in association with Robinson Patterson Partnership, Belfast, it will accommodate 2,000 reader places and offer unparalleled facilities for study.

Ground floor facilities will include an exhibition space, a café, a combined language laboratory, information points and multi-media resources. The upper storeys will accommodate the University’s Special Collections and a vast range of printed works.

The Library project represents the most significant fundraising initiative in the University’s history. The fundraising campaign was spearheaded by The Queen’s University of Belfast Foundation, and much of the funding for the project came from philanthropic sources locally, nationally and internationally. 

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

Top of Page

Read all about it - Northern Ireland's big book move at Queen's

A team of more than 20 Queen’s students are carrying out volumes of work as Northern Ireland’s largest ever book move takes place at the University.

By 11 July the team will have moved a massive 1.2 million volumes into the University’s landmark £45 million new library, which opens for business next month.

The project, which involves moving around 30,000 books a day, is being managed by the University’s Estates and Information Services Directorates, and is being carried out by Belfast-based firm Delivery Services. The logistics of the major relocation were planned by a specialist library removal company, Hallett Movers from the United States.

Gary Jebb, Queen’s Director of Estates, said; "The completion of the book move will be a huge milestone in the delivery of the new library and has been one of the most fulfilling parts of the project.
 
“It has involved a huge amount of advance planning and attention to detail, from measuring books to checking volume sequences and configurations to make sure they fit the shelving, and it’s very satisfying to see that they do!"

Trevor Lyttle, Assistant Director in Information Services, said: "We started planning for this around four or five years ago. At a very early stage we had to work out how many books we had and where they would all go. The information then went to the architects and they had to decide the sizes of the floors to accommodate those books.

“It’s been really exciting to see the exterior of the library take shape over the last couple of years and it’s been just as thrilling to watch as it gradually fills up with books from the top down. The new library will bring together a wide range of library and computer support services, both print and electronically based, and this will be of enormous benefit to future generations of students."

The new library is part of a £300 million capital programme to transform the Queen’s campus, and is a tangible symbol of the University’s faith in itself and the future.

It will be the focal point of the campus, underpinning the two University’s key functions of research and education. Designed by Boston-based architects Shepley, Bulfinch, Richardson & Abbott (SBRA), working in association with Robinson Patterson Partnership, Belfast, it will accommodate 2,000 reader places and offer unparalleled facilities for study.

Ground floor facilities will include an exhibition space, a café, a combined language laboratory, information points and multi-media resources. The upper storeys will accommodate the University’s Special Collections and a vast range of printed works.

The Library project represents the most significant fundraising initiative in the University’s history. The fundraising campaign was spearheaded by The Queen’s University of Belfast Foundation, and much of the funding for the project came from philanthropic sources locally, nationally and internationally. 

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

Top of Page

Blue-tiful night out
Success at the Blues for Queen’s Athletics Club: (l-r) John Saulters, Laura Loughlin, Andrew Agnew, Judi Graham and Phillip Donnelly.
Success at the Blues for Queen’s Athletics Club: (l-r) John Saulters, Laura Loughlin, Andrew Agnew, Judi Graham and Phillip Donnelly.

An Armagh medical student has been rewarded for her dedication to sport at Queen’s University’s annual Blues Awards.

Caroline O’Hanlon is among 90 students from across the University awarded Full or Half Blues in recognition of their sporting success. Queen’s annual Blues Awards Dinner is sponsored by Powerade.

Caroline, who has been a member of the University’s netball, ladies football and Gaelic football teams while studying medicine, was named winner of the ‘Special Contribution to Sport’ award.

The Rugby Men’s 1st XV beat off stiff competition from the Waterpolo Club and the Men’s Boat Club to claim the title of Sports Achievement Team Award.  While hockey player Hannah McMillan won the Sports Achievement Individual Award.

Rugby legend Jack Kyle spoke about his time as a medical student at Queen’s and his rugby playing days.  He told the students: “Natures gives the ability and fate the chance to play.  I got a last minute call to go to a train station and when I arrived I was told someone had broken their leg and I was off to Dublin, it really was my lucky break.  By the time he was up again I had established myself as a player."

Praising the facilities and equipment available to the Queen’s students he reflected on how little he was providing for as a national player: “When I played we had to supply our own socks and shorts, we received one top that we had to return at the end of every match.  On my first international away trip we were told to bring our own soap and towels.

“We had very little training time together and you never knew until you arrived at the match who would be playing, I just worked out a few simple leg slapping signals and off we went."

For more information about Queen’s Sport visit www.qub.ac.uk/sport

For media enquiries please contact: Judith Rance, Press & PR Unit, +44 (0)28 9097 5292, Mob: 07814 415 451, j.rance@qub.ac.uk

Top of Page