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DCU President's Office

May 2018 E-zine

Introducing DCU's Autism-Friendly University Coordinator 

As mentioned in my last Newsletter, DCU has been designated as an Autism-Friendly University (the world’s first!). This designation is based on our commitment to deliver on a range of specific actions aimed at creating a supportive environment for students with autism. Arising from this, we have received philanthropic support to fund a full-time coordinator to drive the project forward over the next 3 years.

Dr Cat Hughes has been appointed to the position. She already has great experience in working with the autism community and has spent many years researching autism. She set up a support group for autistic women and is on the board of autism charity, Aspire Ireland. She received an autism diagnosis herself while she was in university, and she is an active advocate within the community. Prior to arriving in DCU, Cat worked as Research Manager in Pieta House, where she developed an award-winning education programme, adapted services for marginalised groups and created an Autism-Friendly service.

If you would like to get involved in the Autism-Friendly University project, please contact Cat at

DCU Alumni Awards 2018

On Friday April 20, the 2018 DCU Alumni Awards Gala was held in the Helix. The event was a wonderful opportunity to acknowledge the invaluable contributions of our alumni to an array of professions nationally and internationally. Seeing so many of our talented alumni in attendance and hearing of the significant role that DCU has played in shaping their lives made for a truly memorable evening. DCU can be proud of the transformative impact that our talented graduates continue to make across a wide range of sectors.

On the night, we presented five Outstanding Alumni Achievement Awards and we added ten new names to the University Alumni Wall.

The recipients of the Outstanding Alumni Achievement Awards were: 

Civic Engagement: Minister of State for European Affairs Helen McEntee TD for her work across a range of areas of importance to Irish society including ageing, mental health and most recently Brexit

Sport: Recently retired Irish and Leinster rugby legend Jamie Heaslip

Leadership: Former GAA President Aogán O’Fearghaíl

Diversity & Inclusion: Accenture MD Michelle Cullen for her pioneering work in this area

Innovation and Technology: Former EY Entrepreneur of the Year and co-founder of Openet Joe Hogan

Each of DCU’s five faculties also honoured two successful alumni for recognition on the University’s Alumni Wall. We are delighted to place the biographies and photographs of our new additions on the wall in each of our two main libraries. These serve to showcase superb role models and provide inspiration to our current students.

Alumni Wall Awardees 2018:

DCU Business School

Bronwyn Brophy - Vice President Early Technologies at Medtronic

Mark Redmond - Chief Executive of the American Chamber of Commerce Ireland

DCU Institute of Education

James Spillane - Prof. in Learning and Organisational Change Northwestern University

Ann Power Forde - Presiding Judge, Constitutional Court Chamber, KSC, The Hague

Faculty of Engineering and Computing

Lisa Ainsworth - CEO and co-founder of NuWave

Gavin Gollogley - Head of Digital, Asia at Sun Life Financial (Hong Kong)

Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences

John Devitt - Chief Executive and founder of Transparency International’s Chapter in Ireland

Sarah McInerney - Journalist and Broadcaster

Faculty of Science and Health

Sinead McCluskey - Director of Commercial Innovation at PEI

Lisa Cusack - Pilot at Aer Lingus

Anam: DCU's Festival of Arts Culture

On April 11 and 12 our three campuses came alive with a host of creative activities as we hosted our first ever cultural showcase, Anam, produced and curated by the superb Philip King of South Wind Blows (and Other Voices fame)

It was a truly wonderful event comprising poetry, song, drama, film, dance, spoken word and music performed by staff, students and renowned Irish artists, mainly from our neighbouring regions. As a first step in demonstrating our commitment to creating a North Dublin Cultural Quarter (as highlighted in our Strategic Plan), it was a tremendous success. It undoubtedly showcased the rich creative and cultural talents within the university community and the surrounding North Dublin neighbourhoods.

There were many highlights but I have to give a special mention to the ‘Heart of the Rowl’, a wonderful celebration of traditional Irish music, in all its diversity, made all the more evocative, when set against the stunning backdrop of the All Hallows chapel. The curtain has come down on DCU’s first arts and culture event but plans are already shaping up for Anam 2019 - watch this space!

FuJo to lead €3.9 million Data Journalism EU Project 

This last week brought the wonderful news that the DCU Institute for Future Media and Journalism (FuJo) will lead a €3.9M EU project harnessing digital and data technologies for journalism.

Led by Dr Jane Suiter, Director of FuJo, the JOLT (Journalism and Leadership Transformation) project is very timely and comes at a critical juncture as journalism faces myriad challenges in contemporary society. DCU has always played a leading role in journalism education and this announcement reflects our unwavering commitment to remain at the forefront of one of the pillars of our democracy.

Specifically, JOLT is a European Training Network (ETN) funded under the European Commission’s Marie Skłodowska-Curie Actions to provide structured training and excellent supervision to a cluster of 15 PhDs. The JOLT Network includes nine university and industry partners from six countries: Dublin City University, Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, University of Amsterdam, University of Navarra, University of Toulouse III, BBC, European Journalism Centre, The Irish Times, and

The 15 PhD projects draw on expertise from multiple disciplines including journalism, data science, computer engineering, and social science. Data science projects will develop new protocols and storytelling forms for video, Virtual Reality and Augmented Reality and will also be supported by the Insight Centre for Data Analytics, the SFI Research Centre that has a strong base at DCU. Data based projects will explore algorithms in news, mining online multimedia data, audience analytics, data mining and data visualisation.

 DCU a winner at KTI Impact Awards

DCU was among the winners at the recent Knowledge Transfer Impact Awards (KTI), collecting the honours in the Licence2Market Impact category.

The award was in recognition of the licensing which enabled DCU spin-out Iconic Translation Machine to launch the world’s first patent specific translator. The company is now one of the world’s leading language software companies.

KTI plays a crucial role in connecting businesses to the research base across Ireland and this accolade is a strong endorsement of our commitment to transformative research and engagement.

DCU Alpha, our Innovation Campus, also received a special recognition award.

 Launch of the Cambridge History of Ireland

Congratulations to Professor James Kelly, Head of the School of History and Geography at DCU and Editor of one of the 4 Volumes comprising the Cambridge History of Ireland, a truly impressive publication that was launched at Dublin Castle on April 30 by President of Ireland Michael D Higgins. DCU colleague Dr Daithí Ó’Corráin was also a contributing author.

The Cambridge History of Ireland presents the Irish story from the year 600 to the present day and places our history within broader Atlantic, European, imperial and global contexts. Along with James, the co-editors are Thomas Bartlett, (recently retired from University of Aberdeen), Brendan Smith (University of Bristol) and Jane Ohlmeyer (Trinity College, Dublin).

James (Jimmy) edited Volume 3, which spans the period 1730-1800 and presents accounts of the economy, society, population, emigration, religion, language, state formation, culture, art and architecture and the Irish abroad in 28 chapters.

 IITD Awards

DCU was announced as the overall winner in a very competitive Coaching & Mentoring Category at the Irish Institute of Training & Development (IITD) National Training Awards on Friday April 20th. The IITD National Training Awards promotes excellence, best practice and innovation in training, learning and development.

Founded in 2003, the Mentoring Programme pairs DCU students with alumni of DCU. It is a joint initiative delivered by the Careers Service within Student Support & Development and the Alumni Office. Since 2013, over 600 students have been mentored by hundreds of DCU Alumni. The Programme runs for six-months between October and March and pairs second-year students with graduate mentors for the purposes of personal and professional development. It is an opportunity for students to gain insights into the world of work, develop key workplace skills, and explore career areas of interest.

The Mentoring Programme greatly assists the University in meeting its strategic goals of providing a transformative student experience by pursuing active engagement with our Alumni and Employer communities.