Prof Sharon O'Brien
Prof Sharon O'Brien, Dean of Graduate Studies in Dublin City University

Professor Sharon O'Brien awarded an honorary doctorate in Philosophy from the University of Eastern Finland

Professor O'Brien has been awarded honorary doctorate in recognition of her contributions to research in translation studies.

Prof O’Brien is a translation studies scholar who has studied the effect of machine translation on the translator’s work and thinking, the translator’s professional practices, and the role of translation and interpretation in crisis communication. Her research emphasises digital humanism and the working life perspective, and she has collaborated with translation technology companies and humanitarian NGOs.

She has visited the University of Eastern Finland and lectured on translation technology, its impact on the translation process, and her research on crisis communication. 

During the doctoral conferment ceremony held at the Joensuu Campus from 6-8 June, UEF selected 13 individuals distinguished in science or society to receive honorary doctorates. 

Speaking about receiving her honorary doctorate, Prof O'Brien said

"It is a great honour to receive this honorary doctorate from the University of Eastern Finland and I am deeply grateful to my colleagues in Translation Studies in UEF for the nomination. My research work has of course involved collaboration with many local and international researchers and I take the opportunity to recognise their contributions to my research journey so far."

The Finnish academic community cherishes numerous traditions that trace back to Academia Aboensis, established in Turku in 1640 by Queen Christina of Sweden. These traditions are particularly prominent during conferment ceremonies, which are rich in symbolism and pageantry. The elaborate program includes planting "seeds of knowledge" in the botanical garden, a hat-fitting ceremony, the main conferment ceremony for awarding degrees, a procession through the town, a banquet, and a ball culminating in an address to the rising sun. Participants follow a strict dress code, including the wearing of a doctoral hat, which symbolises academic achievement and the pursuit of truth. These traditions highlight the importance of advancing science and contributing to society.

More details of the ceremony are available here.