UCD President’s Award for Excellence in Student Activities 2001

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UCD President’s Awards Recipients 2001

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.

Mark Campbell BA (2002) PhD (2007) is a second year arts student who has achieved great distinction in the sporting field. He has been captain of the UCD Golf team which, for the first time in 75 years, won the All-Ireland Under-21 Golf Championship, and was the youngest ever winner of the South Of Ireland Golf Championships. He was nominated for this award by one of his psychology professors demonstrating that his porting achievements have not been at the expense of his academic work. He is a worthy winner of our first award.

Marianne Connolly BE (2002) is the next one to be honoured. There was a time when we thought of engineering students as so committed to their studies that they would never come to the attention of the wider UCD community. Marianne is one of two engineers who are with us today whose joint involvement in the work of the Engineering Society has made it an integral and essential part of the world, not just of their fellow students but also of the whole faculty. This is borne out by the fact that Marianne was nominated for an award, not just by the Dean but by her head of department and by staff of most of the other engineering departments. The Society’s most innovative activity this year was a Careers Fair, which was awarded a prize of Event of the Year.

Alex Cronin BSc (2001) HDipCompSc (2002) is a 3rd year science student. He has been the driving force behind a very active year for the St Vincent de Paul Society – a good organiser and motivator. Despite spending a good part of the year on crutches following an operation, he has been successful in getting speakers and sponsorship – the prerequisites for any successful society leader in College. He is also active in caving and in the Scuba Diving Club and has contributed to the organisation of Science Day over the years. He crosses many boundaries in the life of the student body and is a worthy award winner.

Brigena Doherty BA (2001) HDipMaSc (2003) MSc (2006) , our next laureate, is unusual in being a modular arts student – such students have some difficulty in relating to the general undergraduate student body. Brigena has seen no such difficulty and has taken her mission to animate other students to discover the world of art. She has been the leader of the Visual Arts Society, has organised exhibitions of students’ art work in the College concourses and has co- operated with the Student Advisors in an art seminar project. For her unusual contribution to the life of the College she deserves her President’s Award.

Paula Gahan BE (2002) is the other half of the pair of engineering students we are honouring today. Paula was the auditor of the Engineering Society and organised Engineering Day, the Engineers’ Ball, and a wide range of other activities. She has been active, also, in the Mechanical Engineering Society and has been a stalwart member of the committees of the Student Consultative Forum. While she dismissed earlier rumours of her interest in running for office in the Students’ Union this year, it seems unlikely that her energy, flair and organising ability will not propel her onto some wider stage at some point in the not too distant future.

Deirdre Hayes BA (2002) is one of those students who manage to spread their contributions over a number of areas and yet makes a significant contribution to each one. A 2nd arts student, Deirdre has been active in the Students’ Union, in An Cumann Dramaíochta and in the French department’s theatrical productions. She is also a committed volunteer in the schools tutoring programme giving grinds to Leaving Cert students and is a student member of the Academic Council. As an elected officer of the local Fianna Fáil training academy, we will undoubtedly see more of Deirdre in the future.

Daniel Mc Connell BA (2000) has excelled in the field of student journalism. He has been the news editor of the College Tribune and then news editor and editor of the University Observer. Apart from attacking the administration regularly – the proper function of any student journalist – he has ensured that the names of those administrators were spelt correctly. Daniel has also been heavily involved with Belfield FM and with the work of the Students’ Union’s Ents Office.

Gerry Mc Gill BA (1999) MA (2001) is the parallel in the sports world, of those students who seem to be involved in every activity on the society front. An MA student, he is the Sigerson Cup goalkeeper, chairman of the GAA club, coach of the Ladies Football Club, a friend of the Rugby Club and an enthusiastic Super-League Soccer player. He is an all-rounder – and not just in sports – who is a great ambassador for the College.

Gearoid O Connor BA (2002) HDipBS (2003) is the other kind of all-rounder whose contributions are mainly in the non-sporting arena. He has been very active in the Students’ Union and is the current Communications Officer. In that role he was particularly responsible for the development of Belfield FM this year and for putting it on a sound financial and administrative basis. He has been active in the committees of the Student Consultative Forum and on the all- important Societies Finance Committee. He has been auditor of the Politics Society, an officer of the L&H and, inevitably, of the Kevin Barry Fianna Fáil Cumann. Another very worthy award winner.

Niamh O Reagan MB BCh BAO (2003) is a member of two embattled minorities – as a student in Earlsfort Terrace and as a 5th year medical student. Most medical students seem to take their life too seriously! Niamh is one of that gallant band who manage to cope with their studies and yet contribute to the lighter side of student life. Her particular contribution has been in organising Earlsfort Terrace Day this year in aid of Chernobyl Children’s Fund. She is very active in the Medical Society and is next year’s treasurer. She is one of those students who get the widespread respect and admiration of their fellow students.

Fergal Power BComm (2000) MAcc (2001) is our first commerce student this year. Fergal is studying for a Masters degree in Accountancy having obtained a very good BComm last year. He has been a live wire in the faculty for a number of years. He was the chair of the Commence Day committee last year, has represented the faculty on the Students’ Union for three years and is currently post-grad commerce representative on the Academic Council. In addition, he has been an active participant in such trivial activities as the Formula 1 Society and the Fianna Fáil Society. He is another distinguished all-rounder.

Ciara Reid BA (2001) is another student whose contributions to student life have earned the support of the Dean of her faculty and her head of department. Ciara is a BA student in history and politics who was auditor this year of the History Society. This is one of those grand old societies, which occasionally fall into a deep slumber and which require, if not a magic wand, at least a talented and energetic individual to restore them to active life. Ciara has done the job this year with competence and imagination. Not content with this, she has been a significant member of the group, which has ensured the continuing success of Arts Day of the last two year. She fully deserves her award.

Roisín Tierney Crowe BA (2002) was described by her nominator as an unsung heroine – he then went on to sing her praises so loudly that the selection committee had no choice but to nominate her for an award. Róisín has been a very hard-working secretary of the Students’ Union, an officer of the Kevin Barry Cumann, an active member of An Cumann Gaelach and a performer with the Traditional Music Society. In her spare time she is involved with the Ladies Basketball Club. She richly deserves recognition for her numerous contributions to student life.

Robert Henson BComm (2002) MAcc (2004) is to be honoured for his contribution to the success of the Rugby Club in what has been its most successful season for many years. For those of my generation this brings back memories of the time when the UCD team would routinely have three or four Irish internationals in its squad. We can but hope! Rob, however, was not to be a member of the playing squad as he was the victim of a permanent neck injury which ended his playing career prematurely. Nevertheless he determined to continue his involvement in the sport and his contribution as secretary of the club has been the epitome of reliability and trustworthiness. He will be a most popular winner of the award.

Susan Quinn BSc (1997) PhD (2003) is a PhD student of chemistry and has been auditor of the Chemistry Society. It is, however, as an elected representative of the student body on the Governing Authority that she has come most to the attention of the wider academic community. Without wishing to downplay the contributions of others who have been student members of the governing body of the College, Susan has been a most valuable member over the past 4 years and her contributions to debate and to decision making have been invariably cogent, well-informed and always in the interests of those whom she represents. Those who are at the top table in College, admire and hear her in equal measure.

For more on the UCD President’s Award for Excellence in Student Activities visit www.ucdsocieties.com/presidentsaward.