UCD President’s Awards Recipients 1995
Gach bliain tugann Dámhachtainí an Uachtaráin aitheantas do na mic léinn sin a bhaineann an scoth amach in imeachtaí seach-churaclaim, imeachtaí a chinntíonn gur áit spleodrach, shuimiúil, dhinimiciúil agus dhaonnúil é UCD le cónaí ann agus le hobair agus staidéar ann chomh maith. Iarrtar ar fhoireann agus ar mhic léinn UCD iarrthóirí a ainmniú le haghaidh na ndámhachtainí sin.
The President’s Awards each year provide recognition for those students who excel in extracurricular activities of a kind that make UCD an exciting, interesting, dynamic and humane place to live, study and work. Staff and students at UCD are invited to nominate candidates for these awards.
Ashar Bari BA (1995) MA (1996) The awards will be presented in alphabetical order so it is an accident of the alphabet that the first recipient of the President’s Award this year is Ashar Bari. However it is no accident that Ashar has been selected. He has, apparently single handedly, raised the profile of one of the smallest societies in College – the Islamic Society – to a position where it is now one of the best known. If it were not that he attracted the largest attendance at any meeting in College to hear the former Ca Stevens last year, his cheerful personality might on its own have merited an award.
Michael Collins BA (1994) might well have got an award last year when he was auditor of the Film Society. Under his leadership the interest in film by students has grown very rapidly so that the Society is now the largest society in College. However it was not just as a mere auditor but as producer, director and entrepreneur of film at UCD that he has excelled. I am not sure if as Registrar I should be welcoming the student who made the film “How to get a seat in the Library”, but as it was before my term of office I am very happy to introduce Michael for an award.
Martin Conway BA (1996) In the bad old days – a year or two ago – Martin Conway might have been selected as a token disabled student to receive a President’s Award. However those old days have passed due in substantial measure to Martin himself. His work on behalf of the Action Society has been outstanding both in terms of raising awareness of the role of disabled students in College and in terms of organising activities for disabled people within and outside the College. He has in addition served on the Students’ Union and his abilities have now been recognised by AHEAD – the Association for Higher Education and Disability – by asking him to undertake similar activities at a national level. We are glad to add to that recognition by making this award.
Rob Corbet BBLS (1995) is another one of those students who make life difficult for the administration by fighting for the rights of their fellow students – in this case the first cohort graduating from the Business and Legal Studies course. Rob Corbett has been a leading member of that distinguished group, a founding member and past auditor of the Business and Legal Studies Society as well as being an active committee member of the Law Society and the organiser of the Business and Legal Day this year. He is a young man of much energy!
Shane Fitzgerald BA (1997) In a year when the number of female recipients of this award is surprisingly low, Shane Fitzgerald might almost be considered as an honorary woman as he is about to take over the traditionally female territory of the Students’ Union Welfare Office. Apart from his work at different levels for the Students’ Union and the Student Forum, however, Shane is being particularly honoured for his work in the broad area of Human Rights and, in particular for his work in chairing Amnesty in 1993-94 where he made a major contribution to the raising of awareness in the student body about the situation in Bosnia.
Conal Hickey BComm (1994) MBS (1995) has been praised by his nominators as that rara avis, a student who keeps his own and others financial accounts in order. This feat he has managed both for the Bar Committee and for the Students’ Union over a number of years. The fact that he has done this and still retained enough friends to nominate him makes him a truly rare bird and a worthy winner of an award.
John Kennedy BBLS (1995) is another winner from the Business and Legal Studies stable. He has been auditor of both the Business and Legal Studies Society and of the real Law Society and has been very successful in both roles. In addition he has been a member this year of the Forum Finance Committee. If only he had hired the previous winner to keep the Law Society over-draft in a healthy shape he might have got a hold star as well as the President’s Award.
Peter Martin BA (1994) MA (1999) is a student with a conscience and with tremendous energy. He has been a stalwart of Amnesty, the One World Society, the Labour Party as well as the Games Society and been responsible for many of their most significant activities over four years. He has been the editor of a number of student magazines and also a member of the Forum Finance Committee. In addition he has managed the trivial fear of getting a First in History in his spare time. His work in raising awareness of Human Rights issues in the student body over the years makes him a very worthy award-winner.
David Matthews BComm (2001) The fact that relatively few of our award winners come from the sporting arena may arise because there are various award ceremonies confined to our sports stars or because their activities are not sufficiently appreciated by their fellow students. However, David Matthews has had such an outstanding record as a student athlete that we were unable to resist the opportunity to recognise his achievements on Irish and international running tracks. We hope he may be able to add another trophy to this one after the Olympic Games in Atlanta next year.
Damien Mc Donald BA (1993) MA (1994) is another who has spread his energies widely. He has been involved deeply in the Enterprise Society and the Kevin Barry Cumann of Fianna Fail on campus and he has twice represented the College on the Challenging Times competition. However his major contribution to College life has been through his role as chair of the Students’ Union Council in both 1993-94 and again this year.
Emer Murphy At last we come to the only female award winner this year – Emer Murphy. Emer has been the quintessential debater in College during her time here both as an organiser of such events as the schools debating competition and, most prominently, as a brilliant debater. She crowned her career as a debater by taking the Newman Shield Medal as the best individual speaker in the Irish Times debate final. She demonstrated that one does not have to be the auditor to shine.
John Travers BE (1995) is the last of the award winners today but was among the first to be chosen. An Electrical Engineering student he has won praise from both staff and students for his innovative involvement in so many activities – both academic and social – in a faculty whose students are so often shy and retiring. He was the founder of the Engineering Society, which aimed to bring them out of their shells and it has been most successful in this endeavour. Perhaps in return for this award he might start another society to get them back in again.
Article posted April 21, 2014 societies.ucd.ie.
For more on the UCD President’s Award for Excellence in Student Activities visit societies.ucd.ie/presidentsaward.