President's Awards for Civic Engagements
The President's Awards for Civic Engagement, organised by DCU in the Community, have been presented to staff and students of DCU at a special ceremony in The Helix. The awards recognise outstanding engagement with the local community in addressing social, economic, cultural or environmental issues.
Presenting the awards, President of DCU, Professor Brian MacCraith said,
'Engagement is a cornerstone of DCU's uniqueness. As a university, we are rooted proudly in our North Dublin community. We are committed to working with local community, educational, commercial and social groups, clear in our responsibility and determination to play a positive role in the development of the local social and economic fabric. Active engagement with stakeholders and partners is an essential element of DCU's identity and its success. In the years ahead, we are committed to reinforcing that identity by enhancing specific engagements locally, regionally, nationally and globally.'
The Staff award was presented to the Centre for Academic Achievement, a collaborative project between DCU Access Service and the Centre for Talented Youth in Ireland. This project was initiated in 2006 following publication of a research report from local primary school principals which highlighted the lack of support for bright students in disadvantaged areas. To date, over 1000 students from 36 DEIS primary schools in North Dublin have attended after-school classes at DCU studying subjects as diverse as superhero science, aeronautical engineering, architecture, sports science, computers & animation, chemistry, creative writing, forensic science, engineering and computer gaming.
Students from the School of Law & Government were recognised for their work with DCU/Ballymun Community Law Centre Student Mentoring Scheme. Ballymun Law Centre offers a popular FETAC Level 4 course in Family Law Matters and many of its participants require academic mentoring and learning support to help them complete their course successfully. Ruth Crawley, Patrick Collins and Shane Glynn, all Law students, won the Student Award for their voluntary work as mentors, demonstrating how small, practical projects can have a big impact on the learning experiences of students in a community setting.
Speaking at the awards, Professor Ronaldo Munck, Head of Civic Engagement at DCU in the Community said,
'These awards serve to highlight the rich DCU activity around engagement with our community and beyond. DCU is rightly seen as a leading engaged university.'
Other DCU initiatives which received special commendations included:
• EXWELL/DCU Sport Special Population Programme (HeartSmart, BreatheSmart and SmartSteps)
• DCU/Irish Cancer Society Care to Drive cloud computing system
• Dublin 5th Province
• DCU Positive Psychology Module
• DCU Intergenerational Learning Programme Team
• Baby Grace Appeal 24-Hour Lecture
• Techspectations – DCU LINK Research Centre
• Abdul Ali Hassan, DCU Engineering student – Promoting STEM projects
• David Nyaluke, Law & Government student – involvement with African Students Association of Ireland and Dublin Swahili Institute
• DCU Raising and Giving Society
• Rebecca Townsend, Founder & Chairperson of DCU Free Legal Advice Centre