President's News 2019
- Celebrating Graduation Week
- DCU Honorary Doctorate for Jim Gavin
- SFI Honour for Dr Eilish McLoughlin
- 8,000 Attend DCU Open Days
- Positive News For DCU Researchers
- Ambitious Plans for Access to the Workplace
- DCU Volunteers in Barretstown’s Winter Wonderland
- Leading the Way in Online Learning
- Comhghairdeas le Fáilte Ar Líne
- New Alumni Centre Opens
- Your Invitation to the DCU Party
Celebrating Graduation Week
November’s graduation ceremonies were, as usual, very uplifting and a model of professional organisation. Thank you to everyone who made this a very special event in the lives of our graduates and their families.
Over four days, nearly 4,000 students received their parchments, including 69 PhD’s, watched by around 8,000 proud family members and friends. The presence of large numbers of robed DCU staff at each of the ceremonies added greatly to the occasion and was commented on by many of our visitors.
Friday’s midday ceremony was especially notable as we were joined by graduands and their families from Princess Nourah University (PNU) in Riyadh. Later that day, the Chancellor’s Medal was awarded to Sorcha Killian ( BA, Global Business, Canada. Pictured above) in recognition of both her exceptional academic achievement and her active engagement in student life. There was cause for a double family celebration as her mother, Marie Hayden, received an MSc in Work and Organisational Psychology at the same ceremony.
DCU Honorary Doctorate for Jim Gavin
Dublin’s five-in-a-row winning senior football manager Jim Gavin will be conferred with a DCU honorary at a ceremony in the Helix on Wednesday, December 11th. The event follows hot on the heels of Jim’s announcement that he is calling time on an extraordinary career managing the Dubs.
Not surprisingly, there has been great interest in this event, both from within the DCU community and from fans, GAA clubs and schools around Dublin. If interested in attending, please register here before Wednesday 4 December.
In addition to Jim’s outstanding achievements as a manager, it is worth noting the strong DCU connection with his team. In this year’s All-Ireland final, 17 DCU students and graduates were actively involved in the panel, which has trained at DCU Sports Grounds (St Claire's) for many years. Back to Index
SFI Honour for Dr Eilish McLoughlin
Congratulations to Dr Eilish McLoughlin, Associate Professor in the School of Physical Sciences, who was recently honoured with a prestigious 2019 Science Foundation Ireland award. Dr McLoughlin received the SFI Outstanding Contribution to STEM Communication award for “her incredible contribution to the popularisation of science and her sterling efforts in raising public awareness of the value of science to human progress.”
The award was made at the annual SFI Science Summit in Athlone attended by over 300 leading members of Ireland’s research community.
Dr McLoughlin is Director of the Centre for the Advancement of STEM Teaching and learning (CASTeL) at DCU. She has led several large-scale national initiatives to widen participation in STEM, including Physics Busking, Science on Stage, Improving Gender Balance (all 3 have been funded by SFI) and the STEM Teacher Internships. Back to Index
8,000 Attend DCU Open Days
Congratulations and thank you to everyone involved in making last month’s Open Days such a big success. We estimate that 8,000 people visited our Glasnevin and St Patrick’s Campuses over the two days.
Activities included 164 subject presentations across our 5 faculties, and 33 general presentations covering everything from student life at DCU, to sports opportunities, to our University of Sanctuary initiative. 50 teachers attended a guidance counsellor seminar that featured a presentation from each Faculty, and a briefing on DCU Graduate Employability.
Our new Open Day app proved to be very successful and it is hoped this will allow us to go paper free for future Open Days. Back to Index
Positive News For DCU Researchers
There were a number of notable Research Funding successes for DCU in the last month, with several more to be announced shortly.
€493,000 will be allocated to DCU as part of a successful H2020 SC6 bid. Prof Gabriel Miro-Muntean (School of EE and Insight) is the DCU lead on the proposal 'TRACTION: Opera co-creation for a social transformation' that has been allocated more than €3.75m. The project will research the potential to build more cohesive societies through opera performances that are enhanced via emerging immersive technologies. The researchers will work with marginalised communities in Ireland, Spain and Portugal during the 2- year project.
In other positive news, Prof Federico Fabbrini has been awarded the Charlemagne Fellowship Award for Research in recognition of his work on the future of the EU. Prof. Fabbrini is a full professor of European Law at the School of Law and Government and the Director of the DCU Brexit Institute.
The European Charlemagne Prize Fellowship is an endowed 1-year programme of the European Charlemagne Prize Academy, including individual research, the fulfilment of personal milestones, networking events, as well as the presentation of the research outcomes at a prospective European Summit and through a joint publication.
Congratulations are also due to Dr Simon Dunne, Assistant Professor of Psychology who was announced as the recipient of the 2019 Stimulus Award from the Irish Cancer Society for his lung cancer intervention development study called Supportive Care fOR Everybody (SCORE).
The Stimulus Award will facilitate the development of an evidence-based supportive care intervention to increase the quality of life and reduce distress in lung cancer survivors, their families and caregivers. Back to Index
Ambitious Plans for Access to the Workplace
Our Access to the Workplace initiative has proven to be a great success and DCU Educational Trust (DCUET) recently announced plans to double the number of summer work placements on offer to students from disadvantaged backgrounds through the scheme.
The ambitious target was announced as DCUET shared the results of an evaluation of the programme’s pilot in 2019. This showed that 39 participating companies provided 50 DCU Access students with 440 weeks of quality work experience in a professional environment and collective earnings of €180,000. 94% of participating students reported they would have been unable to achieve an equivalent placement through their own networks.
The Access to the Workplace pilot programme, which was developed jointly by DCU Educational Trust and DCU Access Service, also raised an additional €395,000 to support the provision of scholarships for DCU Access students, with all 39 partner companies making a philanthropic contribution to DCU Educational Trust’s Access Scholarship Programme. Back to Index
DCU Volunteers Help to Make Barretstown a Winter Wonderland
Well done to the many DCU staff and students who volunteered for the recent Barretstown Winter Wonderland event. Despite the poor weather, this annual fundraiser was a great success and the volunteers had a fun and rewarding day.
This was the first significant volunteering opportunity as part of DCU’s new partnership with Barretstown. Members of the DCU community made a great contribution to the day, helping out with a variety of Christmas market stalls and children's activities, including Santa's Grotto.
We are the first University in Ireland to embark on a charity partnership such as this, which addresses our strategic goal ‘to engage with our communities’. As part of that partnership, instead of producing a printed card for Christmas, DCU President's Office will be sending an e-card this year and the money saved on printing will be donated to Barretstown. Back to Index
Leading the Way in Online Learning
DCU’s excellence in online learning space was underlined by the success of the recent World Conference for Online Learning 2019, hosted by DCU at the National Convention Centre. The conference attracted around 800 delegates from 80 countries around the world. Some 30 University Presidents, Vice-Chancellors and Rectors attended. Congratulations are due to Prof Mark Brown and the team at the National Institute for Digital Learning for making this a successful event.
Congratulations to the #Openteach project team on Teaching online is different: Critical perspectives from the literature, a report launched at the Conference and praised by Minister for Higher Education Mary Mitchel O’Connor for its contribution to research about online teaching.
DCU continues to demonstrate its leadership in the development of online learning opportunities. We recently announced an agreement with global online learning services enterprise InStride, becoming their first European partner. InStride enables employees of multinational companies to access educational opportunities and earn degrees from prestigious universities worldwide. The partnership reflects the shift towards online study and the University’s commitment to lifelong learning. Back to Index
Comhghairdeas le Fáilte Ar Líne
Our online degree programme in Irish language and culture, Fáilte Ar Líne, recently won the Irish Language Award at the 2019 National Lottery Good Causes Awards. The award recognises the initiatives that advance the Irish language.
The project is a collaboration between Fiontar & Scoil na Gaeilge and the National Institute for Digital Learning.
The initiative has proven to be hugely successful. More than 45,000 students from 140 countries have registered for Fáilte ar Líne courses. Back to Index
New Alumni Relations Centre Opens
It was a milestone month for our Alumni Relations Office, at home and abroad. November 26th saw the official opening of the new Alumni Relations Centre on ‘The Street’ in the Henry Grattan building. The centre sends a positive message to our almost 85,000 Alumni that ‘the door is always open’ for engagement. Our thanks to international canoeist Jenny Egan and Alumni Council Chair Marian Corcoran for doing the honours by cutting the ribbon at the opening event.
Earlier in the month, we were proud to host DCU’s first Tech Talk in Silicon Valley, featuring DCU alumna, Lorraine Twohill, Chief Marketing Officer at Google. In a ‘fireside chat’ interview, Lorraine recalled the passion of DCU lecturers as a strong memory from her student days, where she graduated with a BA in International Marketing and Languages (1992).
The event, the first in a series, was also an opportunity to present Lorraine with an Outstanding Alumni Achievement Award for her work in the areas of Equality, Diversity and Inclusion. She was one of five recipients of this year’s awards, but was unable to attend the ceremony in person, earlier this year. Back to Index
Your Invitation to the DCU Party
Our annual seasonal celebration for staff takes place on the DCU St Patrick’s Campus this year. It promises to be an appropriately festive event, with mulled wine, mince pies and music from our Campus Choir.
The celebrations take place in Java City, DCU St Patrick's Campus on Tuesday 17th December at 3.30pm. Christmas jumpers optional! If you plan to join the festivities click here.
Meanwhile, DCU’s Campus Choir is holding its Christmas concert in All Hallows Chapel on Monday 9th December at 7.30pm. The concert will feature the beautiful Vivaldi Gloria in its entirety along with a number of well known Christmas carols and songs. There will be seasonal refreshments for all afterwards. Tickets cost €5 at the door. Back to Index