Alumni Awards | Awards

Alumni Awards

The Inaugural Alumni Awards

The Inaugural Alumni Awards took place on May 8th 2006. The Irish President Mary McAleese presented six Alumni Awards to six distinguished DCU Alumni.

The DCU Alumni Awards will be presented annually to graduates who have made substantial achievements in their chosen fields, or who have contributed in a significant way to the social, artistic or economic development of Ireland. The Awards have been initiated this year as part of DCU's celebration of its 25th Anniversary.

Mark Mortell, Chairman of the Alumni Council, was master of ceremonies for the event. Mark compared the occasion with professional ease highlighting the importance of the DCU Alumni Council and its 27,000 Alumni Association members.

Guests included, the Alumni Council, staff, students and indeed Alumni who enjoyed the lunch time ceremony in Albert College. The DCU Student Choir opened the event with outstanding melodies. The choir also concluded, singing to President Mary McAleese, who congratulated the choir personally.

The award winners were presented with DCU Bog Oak incorporating a swivelling medal with a modern style to reflect the dynamic innovative initiatives of Dublin City University.

The President of DCU Ferdinand von Prondynski said "DCU is the youngest university in Ireland, but the breath of our graduates' contribution to Ireland is well represented in these awards, from sporting achievement to business innovation, outstanding media performance and contributing to the social development of Ireland. DCU has led the drive to increase the numbers of Irish people from marginalised communities receiving third level education and I'm delighted the access programme is represented today.

"We are honoured that President McAleese has come to DCU to present the inaugural Alumni Awards and we are proud of our first award winners; Sean Og O hAlpin is a sports leader who illustrates the mark DCU is making in Ireland's sporting life, leading Cork to victory in the All Ireland hurling final last year. Emma Kiernan has demonstrated her commitment to equality in education through her work in the Ballymun Initiative for Third Level Education and her current role in Collinstown; Michael Dwyer, Liavan Mallin, Bryan O Brien and Ena Prosser through their successful entrepreneurial activities, can serve as role models for our ten young budding NFTE entrepreneurs who met the President today! Their attendance at the awards will also help demonstrate the benefits of continuing into third level education. ".

The Alumni Awards were selected by each facility this year. The nominations for 2007 will take place in September 2006. Forms and procedures will be placed on this website.

Thank you; Mr Mark Mortell, Chairman of the Alumni Council, The DCU Student Choir, Heads and Deans of each DCU Faculties, DCU PR office, Estates Office, Tri-Space catering and The Educational Trust.

Congratulations to the Alumni Award winners 2006.

The Award Winners 2006


Michael Dwyer

Michael Dwyer is a graduated with a degree in International Marketing and Languages in 1985. During his time in what was the the National Institute for Higher Education, Dublin, he was Auditor of the Debating Society, a Chairman's Medallist (Student of the Year 1983) and recipient of a German Government scholarship for the academic year 1983-84.

His initial career was in fast moving consumer goods with Jacob's in Ireland, Danone in France and Britain, and Green Isle Foods in Ireland and Britain, where he was Group Marketing Director until early 2000.

Michael is a recipient of the "Marketing Professional of the Year" Award in Ireland in 2003 and the Internet Hero Award at the 2006 Golden Spider Awards.

Michael founded in Ireland in early 2000 and launched it in the UK in June 2005. is the leading online marketing model in Ireland and is making fast inroads into the UK market. It is building a very substantial community in Ireland and the UK, already boasting over half a million members. The company employs 55 people in its Dublin and London offices.Michael hails from Dundalk, but now lives in Co Kildare with his wife Karen and three daughter, Kerry, Nicky and Ella.


Emma Kiernan

Emma Kiernan is a Graduate of Bachelor Business Studies 1998. She is the Co-ordinator of the Collinstown Park School Completion Programme, part of the Department of Education and Science national initiative that aims to have a significant positive impact on levels of pupil retention in primary and post-primary and on the number of pupils who successfully complete the Senior Cycle.

Prior to this, Emma was Programme Director of BITE (Ballymun Initiative for Third Level Education) for five years.

The Programme aims to increase the third level participation rate in the Ballymun area and has a long-standing relationship with DCU. Emma received a Direct Entry Scholarship (predecessor to North Dublin Access Programme) to study Business Studies in DCU in 1994 and she is just recently completed a Masters in Education and Training Management in DCU.


Liavan Mallin

Liavan Mallin a graduate of the School of computing in 1985.She is a highly accomplished business entrepreneur, having founded successful companies in the telecommunications, retail, IT and real estate sectors, based both in the United States and in Ireland. She is also a committed philanthropist and gifted athlete, serving on several not-for profit Boards, and holding the women's world record for longest distance in hang gliding.

Ms. Mallin launched her business career in 1987 by founding an innovative retail group that became the leading mail order company in Ireland. Liavan also co-founded, an online retailer of arts, antiques and crafts based in Saratoga, New York.

As Chairperson & Investor of Killeen Golf Club, she led the launch of an innovative asset backed share membership offer to the public. Liavan also has extensive experience in real estate investment in Ireland, UK, US, Germany and founded a real estate & venture investment company, Zalco Investments Inc.

In recognition of her many accomplishments, Liavan was named 1995 Businesswoman of The Year by Veuve Cliquot, and in 2000 was recognized as a Global Leader of Tomorrow by the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland. She was been appointed to the Board of Trustees & the Governing Board at Dublin City University, where she initiated and co-funds the Mallin-DCU Enterprise Award to encourage entrepreneurship within the post graduate & student body. She was also a member of the organizing board for the Special Olympics World games, the largest sporting event in the world in 2003 in Ireland.

In 2003 she was appointed to the Enterprise Strategy Review Group, , to set out a new Enterprise strategy.This report was launched in July 2004.

The most comprehensive report on enterprise policy since Culliton, "Ahead of the Curve" was launched by the Tánaiste Mary Harney.


Bryan O Brien

Bryan O'Brien, a native of Killarney, County Kerry graduated from DCU (then NIHE) in 1985 with a BA Hons in Communication Studies.

He kicked off his career in press photography with the Longford leader, where he worked for two years, before moving to London to work with The Post newspaper group in North London.

On his return to Ireland in 1989 he began work as a freelance photographer with Independent Newspapers. He joined the Irish Press Group in 1990, where he worked for two years before returning to Independent Newspapers as a staff photographer.

In 1998 Bryan crossed the Liffey again to join the staff of The Irish Times, where he still works today, carrying out a wide range of news, sport and feature assignments.

Those assignments have taken him throughout Ireland and abroad, to locations as diverse as Sierra Leone, Kosovo, The Lebanon, India, and Chernobyl.

Bryan has won a number of National Awards, including the prestigious PPAI (Press Photographers Asociation Of Ireland) Photographer Of The Year a record 4 times (1995, 1998,2000 and 2001). He has represented Ireland in the European Press Photographer of the Year on two occasions, and this year became the first Irish photojournalist to win the prestigious UK Picture Editors Photographer Of The Year Award .

He is married to Louise Ni Chriodain and has two daughters Evie (4) and Neasa (11 months).


Sean Og O hAilpin

Sean Og graduated from DCU in 1999 BSC Airgeadas, Riomhaireachet and Fiontraiocht-Finance Computing and Entrepreneurship.

His leadership, dedication and commitment to excellence in sport is testament to the hard work and sacrifices required to achieve a high standard. He has captained Cork to their 30th All-Ireland Senior Hurling Championship title 2005 and deemed RTE Sports Personality of the year 2005.

2004 was also a very successful year for Sean as he received GPA Hurler of the year 2004, Texaco Hurler of the year 2004 and Vodafone Hurler of the year 2004.

Sean has represented Ireland in International Rules. He has three all Ireland senior medals and two under 21 all Ireland medals.

He is the eldest of six kids, three boys who live abroad and two girls who live at home. His father is from Fermanagh and his mother is from Fiji islands.


Dr Ena Prosser

Dr Prosser has a Ph.D in immunology, a B.Sc in biotechnology from Dublin City University and is a graduate of the Marketing Institute of Ireland. Dr Ena Prosser is a partner in Fountain Healthcare Partners, a new venture capital firm based in Ireland and the US which was formed by former Elan Corporation executives.

Previous to this, she was Director of Enterprise Ireland Biotechnology Directorate, EI bio. In this role she led a team focused on lifesciences commercialisation, bioincubation and technology transfer across universities and public research organisations. Her team was also responsible for the coordination of EU FP6 programme for Health in Ireland. Ena joined Enterprise Ireland's from Élan Corporation where she held a number of key positions culminating in her appointment as Director, Corporate Office of Technology in 2001.

Her industry experience spans project management in drug delivery, oncology and neurology, competitive intelligence and IPR management and she has significant experience in international joint venture management and strategic partnering. Ena completed post-doctoral work with the CNRS in France and at UCC, Ireland. She was awarded the AGB medal in Biotechnology; First Place and First Class Hons.

She was a member of the INVENT Board and served on many other boards and advisory groups. Recently,she was Chair of the ICSTI task force on IPR that was responsible the developing recently launched National Code of Practise on the Management of Intellectual Property from Jointly Funded Research. In 2004, she also Chaired of the EU CREST expert group on IPR, who are working to develop a common framework for IPR exploitation in the European research Area. Ena is currently a member of the Advisory Science Council of Ireland, she is on the research board of St Vincent's Hospital, the board of the Irish BioIndustry Association and the executive committee of Women in technology and Science.