HomeAbout UsNewsInitiativesCalendarInteractContact UsLinks
Washington-Ireland Program Alumni Network




  > August
  > July
  > June
  > May
  > April
  > March
  > February
  > January
20/01/2006 Vanessa Is A Movin'
12/01/2006 What Is Ireland Event Launched
06/01/2006 Where Are They Now? - Chris Lyttle (2002)

Vanessa Is A Movin'

The Southern Education & Library Board (SELB) has announced the appointment of Vanessa McGee as Moving Image Trainer with the AmmA Centre in Armagh.

The appointment is the result of a funding agreement with NIFTC Education. The post is being created as part of the Wider Literacy strategy, launched last year by the NIFTC’s Education Policy Working Group. The post holder will be based at the SELB’s AmmA Centre and will also work across the other Creative Learning Centres, South Eastern Education & Library Board’s Studio On in Crossnacreevy and the Nerve Centre in Derry/Londonderry. The Moving Image Trainer will be responsible for delivering a wide range of teacher professional development courses in the key area of moving image education from KS1 to KS4. Vanessa will also provide support for teachers and students undertaking the new Moving Image Arts AS and A-Level qualification. A number of courses have already been delivered in the AmmA Centre, Studio On and the Western Education & Library Board’s Technology Education Centre in Omagh.

Vanessa McGee joins the AmmA Centre from the University of Ulster where she was employed as a graduate software demonstrator and instructor. She holds an honours degree in Interactive Multimedia Design and was a member of the Washington Ireland Program 2004 where she completed an internship with Richfield Productions, a film production and new media company in Washington DC. Vanessa brings a wealth of experience in the teaching and use of moving image technology in education.

Vine Haugh, SELB Creative & Expressive Adviser and Director of the AmmA Centre said:

The SELB welcomes this working partnership with the NIFTC which is tangibly helping teachers keep pace with the developing trends in the curriculum. Vanessa McGee is providing professional expertise in an area which is proving to be exciting and rewarding for both teachers and pupils. Recent weeks have already seen an escalation in interest from a range of teachers largely due to the excellent work she has carried out to date. Over the next three years I am looking forward to building skills for the future in our schools and I have no doubt that this initiative will make this possible. 

Commenting on the appointment, Bernard McCloskey, NIFTC Head of Education said:

"NIFTC Education is delighted with Vanessa McGee’s appointment as Moving Image Trainer. This is an important development in our Wider Literacy strategy, which aims to embed the use of moving image and its related technologies in the curriculum across Northern Ireland. The funding agreement with SELB is unique and provides both organisations with fantastic opportunities to capitalise on these exciting developments in education. We plan to continue funding this initiative over the next three years in order to provide sustainable development in moving image education. A key part of our strategy focuses on teacher professional development – Vanessa’s experience and skills will be vital in developing our teachers’ capabilities in this important area of the curriculum."


What Is Ireland Event Launched

More firsts are heading Galway’s way - the first WIPAN event of 2006 will be held in Galway, which will also be the first WIP or WIPAN event in Galway! ”

A date for your diaries! Following the success of the first WIPAN Galway reunion, the Galway guys and gals are eager to "bring WIPAN to Galway!" That, plus a desire to promote WIP in Galway City’s two third-level institutions (NUIG and GMIT), the WIP Galway alumni will host a weekend symposium that provokes active citizenship education through debate and art.

Open to members of WIPAN, the community of NUI Galway, and the general public, the three-day symposium confronts the question, "What is Ireland?"

Our series of events will include:

  • a series of children's art workshops with a local disadvantaged primary school - Thursday 26 Jan and 2 Feb
  • a tour of Galway City - morning of Friday 10th Feb (Time TBC)
  • a letter-writing 'vision page' campaign to ask civic, community, cultural and corporate leaders to answer the question "What is Ireland?". These 'vision pages'  will feature in the exhibition
  • a WIP-style Colloquium featuring alumni of WIP (modelled on the NIB/ Congressional Forum/ Irish Embassy events) - Friday 10th Feb, 7-9pm, Bank of Ireland Theatre NUI Galway.  Sponsored by the Bank of Ireland and the Centre for Irish Studies, NUI Galway
  • a multi-media Exhibition of visual art, photography and 'vision pages' - launch on Friday 10th Feb, 7-9pm, Bank of Ireland Theatre NUI Galway
  • a day-long art installation workshop facilitated by Macnas - Saturday 11th Feb, 10.30am-4.30pm, Venue TBC.  Sponsored by the Commmunity Arts Initiative, NUI Galway
  • plus a range of social events! (including a jazz brunch on Sun 12 th Feb

The highlight of the weekend will be the free day-long workshop facilitated by Macnas, Ireland's most innovative and leading community arts organisation.  A group of 40 will create an art installation that will be exhibited in the NUI Galway Art Gallery Feb 13-18, across campus during the University Arts Festival, Múscailt, Feb 20-24, in Belfast and then Washington DC this summer.

Dates: Fri 10 & Sat 11 Feb 2006
Venue: NUI Galway

For more info contact Martina Callanan

Email What Is Ireland?


Where Are They Now? - Chris Lyttle (2002)

A prestigious Harvard scholarship was recently awarded to Chris Lyttle (2002) who has begun his postgraduate studies at the Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University. He took some time out of his crazy timetable to share his experiences and thoughts with Martina Callanan.

The Frank Knox Scholarship is awarded annually to recent graduates from the UK who display outstanding leadership potential in their field.

Five fellowships were awarded this year, and four out of five went to Oxbridge graduates, leaving Chris to fly the flag for QUB, where he was awarded a first class honours degree in Politics and English.

For the next year Chris will be a Frank Knox Scholar and special student, with permission to take any course from the Masters in Public Policy at Kennedy School of Government (KSG) and other departments of Harvard.

The scholarship awards tuition fees, health insurance and a living allowance.

Chris noticed advertisements for the scholarship at Queen’s and was awarded it after a rigorous application and interview process and separate successful application to his respective course at KSG, Harvard University.

He hopes to "get the opportunity to examine real time implications of specific policy under the guidance of globally recognised experts. I’m looking forward to exchanging with the people at KSG - the professors, speakers, and of course the students who are themselves world leaders. Present in my Human Rights course is a juror from the Post-Conflict Tribunals in Rwanda and my Christian Fellowship is the assistant secretary to the Nicaraguan Department of Defence."

His wishes seem to be coming true: this semester Chris is studying Criminal Justice Policy with Professor Chris Stone, Human Rights Policy with Michael Ignatieff, Leadership: the mobilization of group resources with Professor Ron Heifitz, Running for Office with Professor Steve Jarding and Spanish at Harvard College.

The Kennedy School attracts various speakers, which have so far included the President of Serbia who addressed the challenges for democracy in the Balkans and the UK Minister for Culture, David Lammy, himself a graduate of Harvard Law School.

Even with all the excitement and challenge, Chris misses home a wee bit. "I miss the city, the people, my church, football! I have a big heart for Belfast and it is always a challenge to depart from these shores." And he’s not looking forward to the Boston chill: "I am told it is even colder in Boston than in Northern Ireland during the winter!"

But he’s not getting much time to miss home too much - days at Harvard are best summed up in one word: "Crazy. The people at KSG are committed to learning. There is no room for the traditional student timetable at Harvard. Finding free time in a day that involves criminal justice class in the morning, leadership at lunch, Spanish in the afternoon and an address from the President of Serbia at the Kennedy School Forum in the evening is not an easy task. My basic disciplines of eating, sleeping and praying are taking a hit."

The tough schedule reflects the demanding attitude of KSG - apart from the rigorous academic requirements, admissions also look for leadership potential and a record of public service. "I have endeavoured to serve my community at local level and in my previous employment as constituency assistant to Cllr Naomi Long MLA," says Chris.

He points to his experience of the Washington-Ireland Program as a contributing factor to his attitude and success. "It goes a long way to explain the heart for service and leadership."

The vision of the Kennedy School of Government is to be a place ‘preparing leaders for service to democratic societies; contributing to the solution of public problems’. Chris is keen to point out that this is a vision shared by the Washington-Ireland Program.

"I hope to return to Northern Ireland as someone with the willingness to serve and the ability to pose solutions to the public problems faced by our society, in whatever tangible way possible.

I thank the Washington Ireland Program for a founding in this vision that I may never have received otherwise, and hope to see our Alumni Network display our gratitude for this opportunity by becoming involved with the development of this great program in whatever way we can."

For Chris, it is all "a real blessing".


Blank WIPAN 2006   WIP Home Top Of Page