The 2015 President’s Awards for Engagement were celebrated at a ceremony in the Helix earlier today. These awards recognise the outstanding contributions by staff and students, in the wider community, across a range of activities such as social regeneration and community empowerment, social enterprise and local economic development, sustainability and voluntary activities.
Congratulations to the following four winning projects, chosen from a total of 40 nominations.
Overall staff award: The ComputeTY Team – Dr Jennifer Foster, Mr Gary Conway and Ms Christine Stears (School of Computing)
Now in its tenth year, ComputeTY is a technology course run by the School of Computing for transition year students. The course aims to introduce and promote interest in computer science as a third level subject among school children, many of them in socio-economically disadvantaged areas.
ComputeTY is closely aligned with DCU’s strategic commitment to advancing access to STEM subjects, while also addressing the skills gap and gender balance in this area nationally.
Special merit staff award: Service Improvement with Cooperative Learning - Deirdre Corby, Richard Jackson, Therese Danaher and Liz Hartnett (School of Nursing and Human Sciences)
This project has a vision of building leadership capacity in people with intellectual disability, family members and service staff. It involves teams, representatives of each group, undertaking a module within the university.
The project brings multiple stakeholders together, including those whose voices may not always be heard, to make long-term positive changes in intellectual disabilities services and supports, and in people’s lives.
Overall student award: DCU Students’ Union E-Voting - Steven Conlon, Returning Officer DCU Students’ Union (in collaboration with Dr Mark Glynn and the Teaching Enhancement Unit) –
This project group introduced an online e-voting system for DCU Students’ Union through creating a voting module on Loop, resulting in a 19% increase in turnout as well as the reduction in student time and resources and significant savings.
It increased awareness of the importance of voting among the wider student body and improved students’ engagement with democratic processes.
Special Merit student award: Disability and Learning Support Service – Student Volunteer Team on the “Addressing the Double Disadvantage” Programme
This programme addresses the challenge of a “double disadvantage” existing among secondary school students. As well as being from socio-economically disadvantaged backgrounds, some students also experience an additional challenge of having a physical, learning or sensory disability, which adversely affects the chances among the cohort in progressing to higher education. In the academic year 2014/2015 this team delivered outreach workshops in 20 DEIS schools linked with the university engaging with some of the most vulnerable young people in society.