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MIC appoints Professor Niamh Stack as new Head of Psychology

Professor Niamh Stack standing in front of corridor

Professor Niamh Stack has recently been appointed as the new Head of Psychology at Mary Immaculate College (MIC). The Clare native takes up the position at an exciting time for the discipline at MIC as the College welcomes the first students on the new Bachelor of Science in Psychology this September. Professor Stack joins MIC following a two-decade long spell at Scotland’s University of Glasgow, where she latterly served as Director of Teaching and Learning in the School of Psychology & Neuroscience.

Professor Stack’s research focuses predominantly on highly able young people but also includes a wider interest in all forms of difference and diversity in development and the important role psychology has to play at a societal level in issues around development, poverty and social justice. This interest led to important research collaborations with the Children’s Wood and G20 Youth Group charities in Glasgow and to long term volunteering roles within the British Psychological Society, where she is currently Chair of the Education and Training Board. Professor Stack has been published on a wide range of topics including high ability pupils, diverse learning, early childhood education and special education.

Welcoming Professor Stack to MIC was Dean of Arts, Professor William Leahy, who said: “I am delighted to welcome Professor Stack to Mary Immaculate College. Professor Stack joins the Faculty at an important and exciting time for the Department of Psychology as this year we welcome our first intake of students to the new BSc in Psychology. Professor Stack's professional achievements in Higher Education and voluntary roles within the British Psychological Society in the United Kingdom speaks for themselves and I look forward to the expertise and leadership these will bring the Department in the coming years."

According to Professor Stack: “I am delighted to be joining Mary Immaculate College and the excellent team already in place within the Department of Psychology here. Psychology at MIC is at such an interesting point of development and growth. When I was an undergraduate, professional placement was a career defining experience for me, and so to be joining MIC when the BSc in Psychology launches – a programme which focuses on the application on psychology in society and which offers substantial placement experience – feels like coming full circle.”

Speaking to the importance of psychology as a discipline, especially in light of the COVID-19 pandemic, Professor Stack said: “The pandemic has highlighted the essential nature of psychology as a subject both in terms of informing health behaviour and health information campaigns but also as an essential support system in addressing the short- and long-term psychological challenges we face globally across all ages and all aspects of life. In our constantly changing world, which is facing such immense challenges in terms of climate change, global health issues, poverty, war, racism, discrimination against minority groups amongst so many important issues it is imperative our future psychology graduates are equipped with the agile skills they will need to best contribute to society whatever field of psychology they chose.”

To find out more about MIC’s Department of Psychology please click here.