BA International Relations student, Paula-Avril Jatariu has been awarded the DCU Chancellor's Medal, awarded only where there is an outstanding candidate who achieves excellence in both the academic and extra-curricular domains of University life.
In his citation, Professor John Doyle, Dean of the Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences listed Paula-Avril's many achievements in a vast array of areas,
"Paula-Avril left her home in the small city of Bacau in Romania to attend Dublin City University in 2011. From her first day in class it was clear that Paula-Avril had both an outstanding intellect and was extremely hard working. Getting a degree from DCU by its very nature is an extremely rigorous process and takes strong commitment levels. However academic success is only part of the University experience. The marrying of such success with extra-curricular activities is the hallmark of those who make a lasting contribution to the well-being of the University. Paula-Avril’s academic abilities, her intellectual rigour and curiosity combined with her commitment to the University make her a worthy recipient of the Chancellor’s medal.
Paula-Avril Jatariu graduates today with a first class honours degree. Her academic work has been characterised by the thoroughness, originality and care which informs her work. She writes very well, is an effective communicator of ideas both in her written work and in oral presentations, and excels in teamwork being always willing to integrate into student groups and to help her fellow students. She was awarded a mark of 83% in the Uaneen Module, a unique scheme that formally recognises the work completed and learning achieved by students within the University through their work with clubs, societies, community-based initiatives, and extra-curricular activity in general.
Paula-Avril Jatariu’s extracurricular work is something to behold. She was a key driver of the SUAS Literacy Support Programme with the Virgin Mary Girls National School in Ballymun. Her role entailed pair reading with children to help them improve their reading fluency and comprehension, thereby helping them to build their confidence and self-esteem. Paula-Avril’s involvement with Suas led her to apply for the SUAS Volunteer Programme 2013, a ten week voluntary placement teaching English in high poverty areas in Kolkata, India. Paula-Avril, along with the other teachers, prepared their children for the Speaking Festival, an initiative to encourage the children to improve their English literacy skills. These children, from the Beniapukur Nabadisha Centre, won first place in the Speaking Festival.
Paula-Avril has been central to the organisation of international conferences in DCU for the Ireland India Institute and the Institute for International Conflict Resolution and Reconstruction on the Changing Dynamics of Conflict in South Asia, and Responding to the Global Crisis: Linking Research, Policy and Practice. In addition to this Paula-Avril has been Secretary and Webmaster of the DCU Amnesty Society. She is an EU Careers Ambassador, where she organised events to inform and promote EU job opportunities to DCU students, including an event where the then Minister of State for European Affairs Paschal Donohoe and representatives from European Commission and European Parliament attended. She is a key member of the DCU Model UN society and represented the University at a Model United Nations competition in Prague in 2013 where she was assigned to the Peace Building Commission to represent China. Her discerning and incisive debating skills resulted in her being awarded the best position paper at that model UN. She has been the Chairperson and PRO of DCU’s Karate Club and has represented the University in numerous competitions. She is also a member of the University’s Global Brigades Society, its Surf`n`Sail Society and the DCU AIESEC Society. It is not surprising that Paula-Avril was selected as a Student Ambassador for DCU where amongst other duties she assisted at open day, gave campus tours and promoted the university to prospective students. She also worked with DCU Alumni to reconnect graduates with the university. She has participated in the DCU Mentorship Programme shadowing in the Department of Justice, Equality and Law Reform where she worked in the INIS-Visa Division, the Immigration policy Division and the Asylum policy Division.
Paula-Avril has also been an organiser and volunteer for the annual international World Peace Day Festival. Her roles here have included media interviews, coordinating the 2013 event held in Dublin, volunteer recruitment and delegation of duties. Her three years’ work and commitment to the organisation earned her its prestigious Peace Star Trophy. She has also been a participant in the Clinton International Summer School which aims to provide young leaders from economically and socially disadvantaged areas around the world with the opportunity to enhance their knowledge, skills and abilities in order to benefit their community through various projects.
It is this marrying of the curricular with the extra-curricular that showcases DCU as the University of Enterprise and it has brought Paula-Avril Jatariu to such prominence during her time in DCU. Equally comfortable working autonomously, as in a team environment, Paula-Avril has displayed her ability to listen and to lead and to accommodate the needs of others. Her passion for the University and for the betterment of society and her outgoing nature has endeared her to staff and students alike. Paula Avril’s commitment to a better society for all of us is reflective of the value of combining the personal virtues gained through her extracurricular activities with the structure and theory of academic life. Paula-Avril is not only academically talented but as we have seen she has also had huge drive in her extracurricular activities and has been an extraordinary ambassador for the School of Law and Government, the BA in International Relations Programme and indeed the University itself which is certainly a better place from having Paula-Avril in it."
Congratulations to Paula-Avril on this well-deserved recognition.