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National University of Ireland, GalwayLorraine McIlrath

Project Coordinator and Academic Staff Developer (Service Learning) at the Community Knowledge Initiative

Lorraine is responsible for developing and supporting the introduction of the service learning component of the Community Knowledge Initiative and management of the overall project.  Prior to her present position she worked at the UNESCO Centre at the University of Ulster (1998 – 2003).  There she embedded service learning as a teaching tool and developed strong relationships with the diverse communities of Northern Ireland, transforming the conflict and working toward democratic peace.  Since joining the National University of Ireland Galway in 2004, using the experience gained though her work in Northern Ireland, she has worked with over 50 academics to develop in excess of 25 service learning modules that connect student learning to communities on the island of Ireland. She also supports student volunteering through the ALIVE programme and finds innovative ways to connect the institution with communities nationally and internationally.  In addition, through Campus Engage, a network to support civic engagement activities in Ireland, she is sharing knowledge and experience gained through coordinating the CKI with colleagues nationally.  Lorraine recently edited the book Higher Education and Civic Engagement: International Perspectives (2007).

The role of education in contested societies, civic engagement and higher education, conflict transformation and democratic participation

Relevant Publications:
McIlrath, Lorraine, Higher Education and Civic Engagement: International Perspectives.
Ashgate Pub Co, 2007.

Gonzalez-Perez, M.-A., Mac Labhrainn, I., & McIlrath, L. (2007). The Civic Purpose and avowed mission of Higher Education Institutions – diversity or uniformity? International Journal on Diversity in Organisations, Communities and Nations. Vol. 7

Community Knowledge InitiativeNUI CKI
Galway, Ireland

Mission: The CKI aims to promote greater civic engagement through core academic activities, namely teaching, research and service at the levels of students, staff, courses, programmes and the institution as a whole.

Staff size:

Overview of programs:
Student volunteering
Service learning
Knowledge sharing


Contact Information:
Telephone: 353 (0)91 495234