DCU Presidents Staff Recognition Awards

Winners of DCU Staff Recognition Awards announced

A total of 21 teams and 33 individuals from across DCU were nominated for this year’s Staff Recognition Awards - with eight teams and nine individuals announced as winners.

The DCU President's Staff Awards were established to recognise individuals and teams who consistently make outstanding contributions to the university and who, through their actions every day, exemplify its mission and values. 

In welcoming everyone to the virtual event, Director of Human Resources, Marian Burns said: ‘The Panel was truly impressed by the consistent efforts made by all nominees, particularly during these challenging times, to make DCU the exceptional university that it is.’

DCU President Professor Daire Keogh congratulated all nominees and winners, adding: 

'As we come to the end of the year, it’s a great moment to celebrate people - our friends, our colleagues. 

'It’s been another challenging year -  a rollercoaster with some lows but a lot of highs, such as our return to campus.

'DCU would not be in the place it is now without the huge commitment, hard work, creativity and resilience of colleagues. 

'When discussing the talents and skills our students need to flourish in life, we  often talk about transversal skills - 21st century skills that cut across disciplines and faculties.

'When you look at the citations for nominees and awardees this year, you see these attributes coming through so strongly - Problem-solving, Collaboration, Creativity, Communication. 

'The one that jumps out the most is empathy. Empathy is perhaps the softest of the soft skills - it’s not “flashy”.

'But it’s clear that empathy was the thing that was most appreciated, and needed, by our students, by our colleagues and by our wider community.'


The 2021 recipients for the ‘Team’ category are: 

ADAPT Education and Public Engagement Team

The ADAPT Centre’s Education and Public Engagement (EPE) team have truly represented DCU’s values in both the scientific community and the public. Their work in informing the public about the research being carried out in DCU in areas such as AI in modern life, disinformation and response to the pandemic through the COVID-19 Irish Citizens’ Forum are great examples of their active engagement. These events allowed the communicate to actively engage in the work carried out here in DCU and allows them to shape research direction in several areas.

Andrea Cleary, Dr Michael Flannery, Lucy Hamilton-Turley, Sarah Ward and Colin MacAuley from the School of Arts Education and Movement

With total intake of students coming to 550 of whom 10% were specialism students, the challenge of teaching art safely seemed insurmountable. However, throughout the summer of 2020, the art team engaged in extended planning meetings, research, consultation and exchanges with the relevant teams across the university and devised a completely novel way of teaching visual art, safely and in person to all year one teacher education students throughout the academic year.

DCU Campus Residences team

This team worked every single day throughout lockdown, helping students with shopping, managing Covid symptoms, with mail, with support and being somebody they could talk to. 

The team adapted and innovated in providing a 24/7 support service for students, and they managed to do so in such an efficient manner that DCU escaped the levels of infection sustained elsewhere

Eimear Millington and Mary Hassett - Reception Team, Glasnevin, Human Resources

Both Eimear and Mary worked on the main university reception desk during the pandemic, including the periods of lockdown. They worked throughout the challenges faced by the University, and society at large, and their contribution enabled the university to maintain the reception desk which provided a service to staff, students and the general public.

Georgina Roberts and Olivia McGinn - CAO Admin Process, Registry Team Members

Their exceptional contributions were clearly evident in their operational leadership of one of the most successful DCU undergraduate admissions seasons to date, against a backdrop of continuous uncertainty, challenges and change due to COVID-19.

Jessie Byrne, Paula Harrison and Catherine Glennon - Student Health Centre 

The Health Service provided a point of contact to students who were living on campus many miles away from their families and friends, to students who became sick with an illness we knew little about at the time. The commitment this team made during those days was immense and 'steadied the ship' for students who needed that care and attention. They were the 'support team' on the ground for students and showed a commitment to our community 

Laura Lynn Memorial Tree team - Liam Domican, Dean McLoughlin and Cian Meme from the School of Mechanical and Manufacturing Engineering

This project is an excellent example of STEM at DCU expanding into STEAM through the interaction with an Artist on a memorial project for a wonderful Foundation, LauraLynn. The Memorial Tree was built by students during Lockdown and completed in time for the September 2021 deadline, the 10th anniversary of the LauraLynne Foundation

Maurice Burke; Stephen Fuller, Graham Dodrill; Michael Henry, Veronica Dobbyn and Javier Monedero - Faculty of Science and Health Technical Officers 

It was apparent in the early months of the pandemic that shortages in PPE and hand sanitiser were creating enormous problems for the healthcare sector and for core DCU operations staff. This group of technical officers felt that DCU, with its stock of PPE and ability to produce hand sanitiser and visors, had a responsibility to help frontline workers at a time when such items were difficult to source. With that in mind, through a combination of donations from the NRF, School of Biotechnology, NICB, School of Health & Human Performance, Institute of Education and the School of Chemical Sciences, a plan was coordinated by the technical group to supply and deliver the PPE and sanitiser to as many groups as possible. 

Donations of PPE were delivered to - Cappagh Hospital, St. Francis Hospice Blanchardstown, St Luke’s Oncology Beaumont, James Connolly, Midland Regional Hospital Tullamore, Swords HSE Community care, Northside Community Centre, St John Ambulance, and within DCU to the estates office, the Contact Tracing Centre and security. The NRF manufactured visors using 3-d printing, supplying Mary Mercer Health Centre Jobstown, Helenburgh Care home Greystones, Eyrefield Manor Nursing home Greystones and St Luke's Oncology Beaumont.

The 2021 recipients for the ‘Individual’ category are: 

Derek Brennan - Estates Office

Derek epitomises operational excellence in his daily work but more importantly rallies the DCU Community in St Patrick’s Campus and makes everyone’s day  a better day 

Paddy Browne - Estates Office 

Paddy takes it upon himself to provide exceptional support and service to everybody on campus.

His colleagues say he has been excellent in responding to the challenges of COVID, and has been instrumental in arranging the campus for staff and student returns.

Liliana Ciulei - Trispace Catering

Lili has been an employee of Trispace for 16 years, and is well known to staff and students in Glasnevin. Her position at Starbucks means she often acts as the first point of contact for people in the restaurant and has numerous positive interactions with staff, students and visitors to the university. 

Paula Kierans - Health & Safety Office

Paula worked tirelessly to develop COVID 19 guidance documentation for staff and students - allowing DCU to maintain critical operations at all times during the crisis.

The Return to Campus in September 2021 was one of the most comprehensive in terms of the scale of student activities on campus in the country - this was only possible with the tireless work of Paula through staff engagement and reassurance that the range of COVID-19 specific health and safety measures that were in place rendered our campuses safe for all.  

Darragh Murphy - ISS

Darragh gives outstanding support to everyone in DCU. He has been on campus throughout the pandemic from March 2020, ensuring that there was support for all staff working remotely.

Theresa O’Farrell - President’s Office

Since October 2016, Theresa has worked on the delivery of countless events for the University, from guest Astronauts, Heads of State and Nobel Laureates, to University Honorary Conferring ceremonies, President’s Awards ceremonies, key University Centre launches and staff events such as the summer barbeque and Christmas carols.  Her work requires her to engage with staff in faculties, schools and units across the university as well as with the teams in the Helix and Trispace. She has become our resident expert in matters of protocol and has built an extensive external network of people and organisations she has worked with in managing protocol and supporting the delivery of successful events for DCU.  

During the pandemic, more than 30 online events were successfully managed in a 12 month period in no small part thanks to Theresa’s efforts. 

Patricia O’Sullivan - Human Resources

During the pandemic, Patricia consistently went above and beyond to ensure that the experiences of staff would be positive and to the fore in everything she did.  An example of this includes three recent retirement functions that were, for the first time, held on-line.

Whilst members of our team were involved in project related work Trish held the fort and ensured that the business of the team was maintained and that to users of our service that it was 'business as usual'.

Trish is a wonderful mentor to new staff within our team or within the department in general.  Despite a busy workload she is always giving of her time and expert knowledge.  

Maeve Power - School of Policy and Practice

Maeve Power always puts students to the forefront of everything that she does, and her innovative administrative and management skills at the School of Policy and Practice has been exceptional. 

Dave Walsh - Londis, DCU Glasnevin Campus

Dave Walsh made an outstanding contribution to DCU during the pandemic because under his leadership as store manager, the Londis provided a shining light for visitors to campus.

During the lockdowns the Londis was essentially a meeting point for staff, students and visitors. Our campus was the home for many international students - and Dave made the Londis a beacon of light and positivity for students to visit and share so many positive social interactions.

Other individuals nominated for the Staff Recognition Awards were: Mario Andrade (Information Systems Services - ISS); Marcella Bannon (Cultural Arts Officer, President’s Office); Gavin Brown (DCU Business School); Maurice Burke (NRF); Michael Burke (Faculty of Science & Health); Jessie Byrne (Student Health Service); Theresa Collins (ISS); Dr Sandra Cullen (School of Human Development); Dr Aisling de Paor (School of Law & Government); Deirdre Harper (Finance); Noel Jackson (ISS); Amanda Jordan (Human Resources); Dr John Judge (ADAPT Centre); Karen Keating (Graduate Studies Office); Dr Anna Logan (School of Inclusive and Special Education); Andrew MacIntyre (DCU Business School); Sinead McCrohan (Student Recruitment Office); Dr Elaine McDonald (School of Policy and Practice); Paul Moore (Registry); Kevin Moran (Estates); William Murphy (ISS); Emma Theron (Faculty of Science and Health); Dr Xiaojun Wang (School of Electronic Engineering); Mary Whelan (Estates)

Other teams nominated for the Staff recognition awards were:  Chris Fogarty and the DCU Languages team; the DCU Ability team from the School of Nursing, Psychotherapy and Community Health; DCU Library team; DCU Research Lifecycle Project Team; Digital Learning Design Unit from the National Institute for Digital Learning; Dr Geraldine Scanlon and Adam Platt from the School of Human Development and Innovation Support; Dr Siobhan Rothwell and the PNU team from the Faculty of Science and Health; Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences Administrative team; Faculty of Science and Health Technical Officers; Health and Safety Office team - Paul Kierans, Paula Hawkins and Amanda Kavanagh; ISS team; International Office team; Prof Alan Smeaton, Dr Hyowon Lee and Dr Michael Scriney (Insight Centre and School of Computing); Teaching Enhancement Unit (National Institute for Digital Learning)