Monday 19 November saw almost 150 students, graduates and alumni from MIC being recognised for their academic and other notable achievements with almost €250,000 being presented on the night in scholarships and bursaries.
Presenting on the night was Mary Mitchell O’Connor TD, Minister of State at the Department of Education with special responsibility for Higher Education who said: “The job of our educators is to inspire, to fire imaginations, to make students curious, critical, analytical … to harness potential and to reveal every child’s individual brilliance”.
Amongst other awards Minister O Connor presented the 1916 Bursaries to six recipients from MIC. These bursaries, valued at €5,000 per annum, are funded by the Department of Education and Skills, and commemorate the centenary of 1916 as part of the overall measures to encourage participation and success by students from sections of society that are significantly under-represented in higher education. Presenting the awards to the successful recipients Minister O’Connor said: “The inspiration for the 1916 Bursary Fund is the equality of opportunity envisioned by the signatories of the Proclamation of Independence … Events like this evening make us reflect on the progress we have made to date; striving to achieve a fairer and more equitable Ireland”.
Minister O Connor also presented Certificates of Achievement to seven individuals who recently graduated as primary teachers, having embarked as mature students on the Teacher Education Access Programme (TEAP) five years ago, the first cohort in the country to do so. This innovative programme, delivered in partnership with Limerick and Clare Education and Training Board, commenced in 2013 as a pilot programme, aiming to increase diversity within the teaching profession by providing a direct entry route for mature students.
Presenting the certificates Minister O’Connor said “I understand the importance of having teachers from the community, teaching in the community. Teachers shape student expectations. We cannot under-estimate the importance for our society of having great teachers”.
Commending Mary Immaculate College Minister O’Connor said “MIC is doing marvellous co-operative work in the Mid-West with the University of Limerick and Limerick IT. Together, all three institutions are unlocking opportunity and building an inclusive higher education system in the region”.
The night also saw 50 scholarships across MIC’s nine undergraduate programmes, valued at €2,000 each, awarded to first year students on the basis of CAO points obtained in the Leaving Certificate Examination.
Liam Lenihan, Vice Chairman of Munster GAA, was present on the night to distribute the GAA bursaries valued at €750. Click here to view the full list of awardees.
Other awards on the night included the John Hayden Memorial Award, in memory of John Loftus Hayden. John was the Chief Executive Officer of the HEA from 1983-2003. Following his retirement in 2003 he became a Governor of Mary Immaculate College in 2004 and served on An Údarás Rialaithe until 2013, during which time he made a very valuable contribution to the development of the College. John was appointed to the MIC Board of Trustees in September 2013. He passed away in June 2015.
The award, valued at €1500, was presented to Evan Gorrell from Ardeskin, Co. Donegal. Evan, who is currently in his 3rd year of the BA in Education, Business Studies and Accounting programme at MIC Thurles, received the award in recognition of his volunteering initiatives and his tireless work in the field of mental health. He has successfully launched his own campaign called Cycle Against Suicide, whose aim is to break the stigma surrounding mental health issues by using social media and by launching various innovative pilot schemes.
Olivia Dineen from Ballyheigue, Co. Kerry, received the Shellie Murtagh Memorial Bursary. Shellie was a student on the Bachelor of Education (Primary Teaching) programme and fought a brave battle with cancer before she sadly passed away in November 2013. The bursary, named in her honour, is generously funded by her family and MIC, and is presented to a postgraduate student wishing to pursue their dissertation in the area of autism.
Leah Elsted from Dungarvan, Co. Waterford, received the INTO Scholarship. In 2018 the INTO celebrated 150 years since its foundation and as part of this commemoration MIC offered a scholarship in the form of a fee waiver for a primary teacher to undertake a Structured PhD in Education.
MIC lecturers Seán de Brún and Martina Ní Fhátharta, both from the Department of Language and Literacy, MIC, were presented with a Research Award, from the Educational Company of Ireland, in recognition of the huge impact of their multi-award winning programme Bua na Cainte. Their digital research has revolutionised the teaching and learning of Gaeilge in primary schools in Ireland and internationally. Bua na Cainte is already the recipient of the European Language Label of the Year Award and the National Digital Media Award of the Year.
I láthair ag Searmanas Dámhachtainí a reachtáileadh i gColáiste Mhuire gan Smál le déanaí bhí léachtóirí CMgS Seán de Brún agus Martina Ní Fhátharta, ón Roinn Teanga agus Litearthachta, ar bronnadh Dámhachtain Taighde orthu ó Edco, mar aitheantas don tionchar mór atá ag a gclár, Bua na Cainte (atá tar éis roinnt mhaith dámhachtainí a ghnóthú). Tá claochlú tagtha ar theagasc agus ar fhoghlaim na Gaeilge i scoileanna náisiúnta na hÉireann agus thar lear mar thoradh ar a dtaighde digiteach. Bronnadh Duais um Lipéad Eorpach na dTeangacha ar Bhua na Cainte cheana féin mar aon le Dámhachtain Náisiúnta na Bliana sna Meáin Dhigiteacha. Tá siad anseo i dteannta Martina Harford, Príomhfheidhmeannach Chomhlacht Oideachais na hÉireann.
A number of other students from both the Limerick and Thurles campuses were presented with awards in recognition of their academic achievements.
Karen Hoban O’Brien from Westport received a Gold Medal for achieving first place on the Certificate in the Leadership for Inclusion in the Early Years (LINC)programme at MIC. While Josephine Thompson from Balbriggan, Co. Dublin, received the Early Childhood Ireland Best LINC Portfolio Award in the Leadership for Inclusion in the Early Years (LINC) programme.
Also honoured on the night were three MIC alumni, RTE’s Dáithí Ó Sé and Jacqui Hurley and recently retired CEO of Trócaire, Éamonn Meehan. The alumni awards are presented to those who have made an outstanding contribution in their field of endeavour.
Congratulating all the recipients Professor Eugene Wall, President of MIC said: “Individually and collectively, all of our students, both current and graduated, whom we honour today embody our College’s mission - ultimately to make the world a better place through our ideas, our innovations and our engagement. They have the ability to develop and shape ideas that will make a positive and lasting impact on the world”.
Please click here to view a video from the MIC College Awards.