Institute of Technology Sligo » IT Sligo News

By: It Sligo  05/12/2011
Keywords: higher education

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The exhibition features profiles of 20 students who have been recognised for their volunteer work in celebration of the European Year of Volunteering 2011.

A fourth year student of Applied Social Studies at IT Sligo, Mark Millar, is one of 20 students featured. Mark is recognised for the work he has done with the Legion of Mary and St Vincent De Paul Society people in the local community.

Free workshops on interview skills and CV techniques, and information talks on how to maximise work experience opportunities abroad are amongst the features of this year’s IT Sligo Graduate Fair, which will be held in the  Hume Hall in IT Sligo on Tuesday, November 29th from 11am to 3pm.

The Graduate Fair is a must for students, graduates, job seekers and those wishing to re-train or up-skill in what has become a hugely competitive and challenging work environment. Local and national employers, education providers, professional bodies and State agencies will all be represented at what is one of the biggest employment event in the North West.

This will be a very much a ‘hands-on’ Fair, with a number of practical workshops from experts throughout the day, aimed specifically at empowering the individual to exploit their own unique skills set.

Visitors to the fair will meet with potential employers and may have an opportunity to take part in preliminary interviews. Respected employers in attendance will range from Intel and Abbott Ireland to Pramerica and Lotus Technical Services.

Education providers will be visiting from as far afield as St Marys University College Twickenham, Portsmouth University, Edge Hill University and University of Ulster. NUI Galway, Open University, Griffith College Dublin and NUI, Maynooth Graduate School will also be represented.

Recruiting agencies in attendance include Gradireland, CCP Recruitment, Collins McNicholas and Sli Nua Careers.

IT Sligo Careers Officer, Adette Ring, said: “I would advise anyone who is coming close to finishing college or who is looking for employment to attend our Graduate Fair. There are many different options available for people who are graduating from college and for those who are out of work and need to change direction – and sometimes it can be difficult to decipher what is the best route to take. Experts in recruitment, employers and professionals from higher education institutions will be at the fair and it is a valuable and convenient opportunity to learn about all these options under the one roof.”

Ms Ring advised people planning to attend the Fair to bring updated copies of their Curriculum Vitae. The IT Sligo Graduate Fair will take place from 11am to 3pm on November 29th in Hume Hall in the Student’s Services Building. For more information contact the Careers Office at  or 

Image Caption: Hundreds of people attended last year’s Graduate Fair at IT Sligo.

The North West Branch of CIPD Ireland will meet in IT Sligo’s Innovation Centre on Thursday, November 24th to launch its 2011/12 Winter Programme.

The launch will be addressed by key note speaker Mike McDonnell, CEO of CIPD Ireland and will be supported by a presentation from Abbott Ireland and a regional book launch.

CIPD Ireland is the leading professional body in the field of personnel and development. Based in Dublin, it has almost 6,000 members spread across seven regional branches.

With over 70 years’ experience, CIPD is committed to supporting the ever-changing needs of the local HR and business communities. The North West Branch was founded in 2000 and has grown from strength to strength with over 100 professional members across the region.

The launch will take place from 5.30pm on Thursday 24th of November in the Innovation Centre.

Susanne applied for the daunting task of trying to win Bill Cullen’s approval as a future business partner while sitting her final exams at the Institute.

Having survived until the seventh week on the popular but demanding television show, she exited feeling “wiser and more confident” and full of plans for the future.

Next Friday (November 25th) Susanne (22) marries fiancé Richard Kerins, owner and manager of Tubberbride Stables in Collooney, County Sligo. After the rigors of trying to impress the demanding Cullen and his colleagues, she is looking forward to the wedding bash with friends and family at Kilronan Castle.

The wedding comes just two weeks after her graduation from IT Sligo with a Bachelor in Business Marketing degree.

“It was lovely to go back and see the lecturers again. I really loved my course at IT Sligo,” she said.

And will she be as anxious to meet up with The Apprentice judges? “Well Bill Cullen is a tough man but his criticism is always very constructive,” she said. “He comes across as the kind of boss who shouts and screams and throws chairs around the room but of course that does not work in business. A lot of it is for television”.

Susanne admitted that she was disappointed to have been kicked off after Bill questioned her leadership qualities. “I was disappointed because at this stage the final is in sight,” she said.  She felt she put up a great fight on her last task. “Maybe I should have done that earlier but hindsight is a great thing”.

Susanne, a native of Co Louth,  is an avid show jumper and has competed at Grand Prix level, most recently with her beloved stallion Varo whom she since sold  to international show-jumper Darragh Kerins.  She continues to compete on the show jumping circuit and is very involved with Richard at Tubberbride.
She has plenty of business ideas and has done a lot of research on a plan to set to a website aimed at the over 50 age group. In the meantime she hopes to get more experience under belt, preferably in the area of sales and marketing.

“I learned a lot from The Apprentice, she said. “I know I would feel much more confident now going for interviews.”

Not surprising after the rigors of the television show she is exhausted and looking forward to unwinding. “I can’t wait for the wedding and I can’t wait to get into that thermal spa in Kilronan Castle the next day”, she said.

The 28 year old Leitrim-based postgraduate student said that the award felt like “coming to end of a long tunnel” so great was the relief of knowing that her work had been recognized.

Linzi arrived at   the Centre for Design Innovation at IT Sligo as a research PhD student after completing a Master of Science in Product Innovation and Development in Brighton University. She has an honours degree in Industrial Design and has worked as product designer in a small start-up medical device company in Waterford.

The Marian McAneney Award was set up to promote understanding between the academic and wider communities and it acknowledges excellence in reviewing academic literature on any aspect of innovation.

“It’s great honour to win such a prestigious all-Ireland award and to be honest it is very reassuring to know that after so much hard work that what you did made sense and was deemed valuable,” said Linzi.

The award comes with a bursary worth €580. It was designed to foster links between emerging research scholars and relevant policy and practice audiences.

“We have a wonderful post graduate society in IT Sligo – everyone is very supportive,” said Linzi. “My two supervisors, Dr David Tormey head of the Mechanical Engineering Department and Dr Perry Share, Head of the Humanities Department, have really encouraged me.

“When you are battling your way through a project and have so much literature to review, you could feel isolated but I have been supported all the way and now this award has really encouraged me as I face the last lap”.

The award winner has her sights set on getting into the area of product service systems. “I am fascinated by the idea of combining products and services, for example how to marry the iPod and iTunes,” she said. “My main interest is in the medical services area”.

Tourlestrane native, Greg Tobin, and his colleague at Spear Product Design, Honora Egan, won the award for their design of the ‘Read Assist’ product which helps people with dyslexia and reading difficulties to become more confident readers.

The concept of the design was developed by Sheila Byrne to aid her daughter with mild dyslexia. Sheila realised that her daughter was having difficulty in focusing on one line at a time when trying to read.

The ‘Read assist’ is a simple and beautiful design solution to a problem which, according to the Dyslexia Association of Ireland, between 2-10% of the population suffers from.

“With such an educated workforce in Ireland there is no reason we cannot become an innovation hub within Europe and it is nice to see the government put so much emphasis on innovation recently. This is a truly unique product, an Irish product designed by an Irish design team, hopefully its success can be emulated across the country,” he said.

Captions: Margaret Crerar of Miele, Carol Coffey IDI President, Grand Prix Winners Honora Egan & Greg Tobin from Spear Technologies

Caption: Read Assist, the product for which IT Sligo graduate Greg Tobin was awarded The Grand Prix Award at the 2011 IDA Design Awards.

Ten IT Sligo students willshowcase their personalities, talents and traits on the evening and the winner will be crowned Miss IT Sligo for the 2011 – 2012 academic year.

Entertainment will be provided by DJ Martin Friel and special guests Staticmovement. Tickets are €7 and will be on sale on the door on the night.

Watch the skies over IT Sligo at 1.30pm this Thursday when 400 balloons will be released by the Sligo Rover’s player, Raffele Cretaro, as part of a student charity initiative.

Third year marketing students are organising a balloon race as part of their non-profit marketing module.

All the money raised will be donated to  the Laura and Lynn Children’s Hospice Foundation which has just recently opened its first house in Ireland, providing aid to children with life threatening conditions.

Up to 5,000 visitors attended the annual Science Fair at IT Sligo, yesterday. The event was the official launch event of Science Week Ireland 2011.

One of the largest, free events for families in the North West, the 12th annual Science Fair at the Institute was officially launched by Mayor of Sligo, Councillor Rosaleen O’Grady.

Mayor O’Grady said the Science Fair is one of the ‘most exciting and early anticipated educational events in the North West’.

“The Science Fair is a colourful, entertaining and dynamic celebration of science and learning, it takes education to a new and exciting level and the crowds it attracts year after year is an indication of its enduring popularity,” she said.

Peter Brabazon, Director of Discover Science and Engineering which co- ordinates Science Week said “ Science Week is now a an important national initiative to promote a stronger take-up of STEM subjects which both help us better manage the world around us, and take up critical new job opportunities. The Science Fair is a brilliant example of what Science Week is all about and we are delighted to see the national kick off of Science Week here in IT Sligo.”

Science Week continues at IT Sligo all week with nightly, public lectures. Victoria Stevens, a lecturer at the School of Science who organised this year’s Science Week lectures, says that the programme has very broad appeal thanks to a particularly exciting line – up of high profile, internationally recognised speakers, who are all leading scientists in their fields.

On Tuesday, November 15th, Professor Margaret Cox  will outline how DNA has helped to identify the remains of 110 soldiers who perished in World War 1  near the village of Fromelle in northern  France – and who until recently lay undiscovered in a mass grave.

On Thursday, November 17th ‘The Hunt for Alien Life’ will be examined in a lecture by award-winning speaker, Dr. Lewis Dartnell who works in the field of Astrobiology in the Department of Planetary Sciences in the University of London, UK.

A lecture by Professor Billy O’Connor on Monday, November 14th about the workings of the brain, with a special focus on Alzheimer’s disease, will have particular resonance given the high incidence of this disease in Ireland.

Also on the agenda during the week will be an illuminating lecture about “Drugs in Sport” by Dr Cathy McHugh from Sligo General Hospital (Wednesday, November 16th) and a talk about “The re-introduction of Irish Birds of Prey” by Lorcan O’Toole of the Golden Eagle Trust (Friday, November 18th).

Dr Jeremy Bird, head of the School of Science at IT Sligo, pointed out that science is a popular option at the Institute. “We are very proud of how Science Week has evolved and how the event provides an opportunity for the community to engage with a range of international experts on such topical subjects,” he said.

Amongst them are the first cohort of graduates from a Master of Science in Biopharmaceutical Science, Bachelor of Science in Environmental Management, Bachelor of Engineering in Polymer Processing, Graduate Diploma in Science in Biopharmaceutical Science and Higher Certificate in Science in Environmental Management.

A number of postgraduate degrees by research will also be awarded including a number of Masters of Science by Research and Doctorates of Philosophy in Business and Humanities.

The annual Corn Sheáin Mhic Mhagnais award, established by former IT Sligo Chairman the late Seán McManus, will be awarded to Team Hermes and their team mentor, computing lecturer Padraig Harte. Team Hermes – Calum Cawley, Aine Conaghan, James McNamara, and Matthew Padden –took were placed first in the world in the Microsoft Imagine Cup Competition earlier this year and were the first team from Ireland to do so.

Speaking at the Conferring, IT Sligo Registrar Brendan McCormack said that while employment opportunities are not as plentiful as they were in recent years, a third level qualification is essential;

“While it has to be recognised that employment opportunities in Ireland currently are unfortunately not what they were in recent years, we know from surveys that we conduct with our graduates that they are finding employment, whether it is at home or abroad. The awards you are being conferred with here today will stand you in good stead, wherever the next step in your life takes you, and we all remain hopeful that the employment market here will improve in the near future.”

Referring to national developments in the higher education sector, he said that it is important that the North West is well represented in new alignments that will arise under the Government’s National Strategy for Higher Education; “Gaining the status of Technological University is our ambition for IT Sligo and the region. This will empower us to continue to provide courses right up to PhD level and to gain standing that is on an equal par with the University sector.

“We in the North West have suffered from the problems of geographical exclusion and regional growth imbalance and IT Sligo sees the National Strategy for Higher Education as an opportunity to overcome these problems by providing leadership in creating new employment opportunities in the North West and a more vibrant and globally engaged knowledge-based regional economy,” he said.

Image Caption: Almost 1,800 graduates will be conferred with awards at IT Sligo at the annual conferring ceremonies today and tomorrow.

The information in this article was current at 02 Dec 2011

Keywords: higher education

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