There was much celebration at Mary Immaculate College (MIC) this week as almost 1,500 students from 30 counties, 25 countries and 5 continents were conferred with academic awards across the College’s 30+ undergraduate and postgraduate programmes in Education and the Liberal Arts.
Speaking at the conferring ceremonies, Professor Eugene Wall, President of MIC congratulated graduates for their achievements, saying: ““On behalf of MIC – your Alma Mater – I want to extend my warmest congratulations to you for arriving at this important milestone in your lives. We all share your pride today and we delight in your presence. My earnest wish for you is that the personal qualities and characteristics that you have developed will be key assets in enabling you to flourish both professionally and personally.”
Among the graduating cohort were 30 students who were presented with doctoral awards, the highest number of research degrees awarded in the College’s history. Areas of exciting new research undertaken included by doctoral awardees include: Dr Andrew Jordan from Limerick City, who was awarded a doctorate for his research on the exploration of a community of musical practice using Music Generation Limerick City as his case study; Dr Aisling Mythen from Tralee, Co. Kerry whose research involved a literary arts-based narrative inquiry into the lived experiences of women in Higher Education Management and Leadership in Ireland; Dr Tom Carroll from Dripsey, Co. Cork whose research evaluated the compatibility of mindfulness and ethos in the Irish Catholic Primary School; and Dr Ciara Concannon from Castlegar, Co. Galway who was awarded a doctorate for her research on the needs of students with Speech, Language and Communications Difficulties in primary schools in Ireland.
A number of undergraduate award winners were recognised for their remarkable achievements over the course of the three ceremonies, including Mary O’Riordan from Macroom, Co. Cork, who was awarded the College Gold Medal for achieving first place on the BA in Education (Post-Primary Teaching) programme, and the ASTI Medal, presented to the graduate who excels in education and school placement on their post-primary teaching programme.
Grace O’Connor from Ballybunion, Co. Kerry, who was awarded the College Gold Medal for achieving first place in the BA in Liberal Arts programme, and also the Saint Bonaventure Trust Prize for achieving first place in Theology and Religious Studies as part of her studies on the Bachelor of Arts. Beibhinn Byrne, from Tinahely, Co. Wicklow, was awarded the Saint Bonaventure Trust Prize for achieving first place in Theology & Religious Studies as part of her BA in Education (Post-Primary Teaching) and was also awarded the TUI Medal in recognition of academic excellence in the education portfolio.
Mairead Brosnan from Tralee, Co. Kerry, was awarded the Bonn Vere Foster Award by the President of the INTO, John Driscoll, for obtaining first place in Teaching Practice on the B Ed in Education (Primary Teaching) and Psychology programme. Mairead is also the recipient of the Duais Carlisle agus Blake Award, presented by the Department of Education and Skills, to the graduate who was awarded first place in Education, Theory and Practice on the same programme. Niamh McKeon from Bunmahon, Co. Wexford was awarded the Bonn Vere Foster Award, presented by the President of the INTO, for obtaining first place in Teaching Practice on the Bachelor of Education (Primary Teaching) programme.
Other students awarded for academic excellence include: Ryan Goodfellow from Abbeydorney, Co. Kerry, who was awarded the College Gold Medal for achieving first place in the BA in Contemporary and Applied Theatre Studies programme; Jane Henry from Ballyneety, Co. Limerick, who was awarded the College Gold Medal for achieving first place in the Bachelor of Education (Primary Teaching) programme; Clodagh Carey from Tralee, Co. Kerry, who was awarded the College Gold Medal for achieving first place in the Bachelor of Arts in Early Childhood Care and Education programme; Emma Ambrose from Ovens, Co. Cork, who was awarded the College Gold Medal for achieving first place in the Professional Master of Education (Primary Teaching) programme.
Brid Brennan from Mallow, Co. Cork, was awarded the Diocese of Limerick Medal, for achieving first place in the Certificate in Religious Education in the B Ed in Education (Primary Teaching) & Psychology programme. Úna Ryan from Donohill, Co. Tipperary, was awarded the Diocese of Limerick Medal for achieving first place in the Certificate in Religious Education in the Professional Master of Education (Primary Teaching) programme. Sadhbh Ní Cheallaigh from Ennis, Co. Clare, was awarded the Bonn Uí Bhroiméil for achieving first place in Gaeilge on the Bachelor of Arts programme and completing the undergraduate dissertation in Roinn na Gaeilge.
Among those congratulating the College’s graduates on their achievements were a number of MIC alumni who sent video messages wishing the Class of 2022 well, including: former Kerry footballer Tomás Ó Sé; the first ever female Editor of the Limerick Leader newspaper, Áine Fitzgerald; author Dan Mooney, former Head of YouTube and Video Operations for Google in Europe and the Middle East; David Graham, Head of News at Clare FM; Fiona Cahill, theatre practitioner; Ann Blake, Japan based sports broadcaster; John Gunning, and the so-called ‘hurling priest, Fr Vincent Stapleton.
Joining graduates to celebrate was Cllr Frances Fitzgerald, Mayor of Limerick; Dr Teresa Kirk, Assistant Chief Inspector, Department of Education & Skills; John Driscoll, President of the INTO; Liz Farrell, President of TUI; Vice-President of the ASTI, Geraldine O’Brien; President of the University of Limerick, Professor Kerstin Mey and Bishop of Limerick, Bishop Brendan Leahy.