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Teaching and Learning Staff 2014
People
Dr Gerry Mac Ruairc

Dr Gerry Mac Ruairc BEd MEd PhD

A former primary school teacher and member of the Primary Inspectorate in the Department of Education and Science, I moved to University College Dublin to take up a position as lecturer in education with specific responsibility for developing the work of the school in the area of school leadership and management in September 2005 where I now direct the Masters in Education programme. My developmental work to date includes the setting up of an Erasmus Intensive Programme on the theme of Leadership for Inclusive Education. This programme is in its third year and has resulted in the identification of research and publication possibilities in conjunction with colleagues from the University of Oslo, the University of Christchurch, Canterbury, the University of Murcia, Spain and the University of Seluck, Turkey and most recently Jagiellonian University, Krakow. The programme has utilised a number of innovative teaching, learning and assessment strategies and is the impact of this model on the quality of student engagement is currently under review by the team. In addition to my interest in teaching and academic development in higher education, I am deeply committed to attempting to provide a better insight into the reproduced patterns of inequality that persist in the education system where I have received a number of research awards.

Contact Details

School of Education & Lifelong Learning
Roebuck Castle, UCD, Dublin 4
Tel: +353-1-7167942
gerry.macruairc@ucd.ie
Dr Aoife Ahern BA, BAI, PhD, PGDip

Dr Aoife Ahern BA, BAI, PhD, PGDip

Studying for the postgraduate diploma in teaching and learning in UCD awakened my interest in the scholarship of teaching and learning. I am interested in how we can make the experience of learning more interesting for students. I hope that my involvement with the fellowship will allow me to help students to become more active learners. My other research interests are in transport and traffic engineering.

Contact Details

School of Architecture, Landscape and Civil Engineering
Newstead Building , UCD, Dublin 4
Tel: +353-1-7163218
aoife.ahern@ucd.ie
Mr John Dunnion MSc

Mr John Dunnion MSc

I'm a Senior Lecturer in the School of Computer Science and Informatics. I graduated in Computer Science from UCD in the early 1980s. After graduating, I spent some time researching and studying in England and Germany. On returning to Ireland and UCD, I worked as a researcher on a number of European research projects before being appointed to the academic staff in 1991. I have lectured at all levels and to all years on the undergraduate programmes and on postgraduate programmes in UCD and in other Irish universities. I have also lectured abroad, in Sri Lanka and, since 2007, in Fudan University, Shanghai. My main research area is that of Intelligent Information Retrieval, which I define as the application of Artificial Intelligence techniques, in particular Computational Linguistic techniques, to improve the effectiveness and efficiency of Information Retrieval. I have supervised a number of MSc and PhD students, and with my research group have participated in many of the important text-based retrieval initiatives, including TREC, DUC and Pascal. I have been Principal Investigator in a number of national, European and worldwide projects, and have published in many conferences and journals.

Contact Details

School of Computer Science & Informatics
Computer Science Building, UCD, Dublin 4
Tel: +353-1-7162474
john.dunnion@ucd.ie
Dr Hilda Loughran BSocSc, MSocSc, PhD

Dr Hilda Loughran BSocSc, MSocSc, PhD

My commitment to excellence in teaching and learning has influenced my indefatigable interest in developing innovative approaches to teaching and commitment to understanding and building on what works in terms of engaging students and facilitating their learning and creativity. I have published on social work education and addiction issues. I teach on the Masters in Social Work and am now developing a general elective for undergraduates on Alcohol and Drug Policy with Dr Mary Ellen McCann. Engagement with teaching and academic development can be a personal endeavor but I view it as an organizational issue. I have had a record of involvement with teaching and learning at college and university levels. I am the Head of Teaching and Learning for my School. The Fellowship in Teaching and Academic Development is an opportunity for me to work with other academics interested in the scholarship of teaching and learning. My work as a fellow will focus on research in the area of the pedagogy of electives. It will involve an exploration of the pedagogical rationale informing electives in curriculum development. My research covers: alcohol and drug policy and service provision, social work education and evaluation of social work interventions.

Contact Details

School of Applied Social Science
Newman Building, UCD, Dublin 4
Tel: +353-1-7168421
hilda.loughran@ucd.ie
Dr Martin McNamara EdD MA MEd MSc BSc RNT RGN RPN

Dr Martin McNamara EdD MA MEd MSc BSc RNT RGN RPN

I qualified as a Psychiatric Nurse in 1989, as a General Nurse in 1993 and as a Nurse Tutor in 2000. I obtained a BSc (Hons) degree from the Open University in 1997 and an MSc (Nursing) from UCD in 2000. I subsequently undertook MEd and MA (SocSci) degrees with the Open University graduating in 2002 and 2003 respectively. My Doctor of Education (Open University Research School, 2007) was a sociological investigation into the underlying principles structuring academic nursing in Ireland. I am currently Head of Teaching and Learning (Graduate) at the UCD School of Nursing, Midwifery and Health Systems and a researcher at the UCD Irish Centre for Nursing and Midwifery History.

Contact Details

School of Nursing, Midwifery & Health Systems
Health Sciences Centre, UCD, Dublin 4
Tel: +353-1-7166486
martin.mcnamara@ucd.ie
Mr Tom O'Connor MSC

Mr Tom O'Connor MSC

My interest in the scholarship and practice of teaching and learning stems from a curiosity with how it is people learn. My professional background is in nursing and I have 10 years experience in nursing education. In my early teaching career I was always keen to try new techniques in the classroom to make things easier and more enjoyable for students to learn. While I will freely admit that not all of these were successful, they all provided me with some experience and insight into learning and how it can be guided. In my current position as head of teaching and learning in the School of Nursing, Midwifery and Health Systems I am afforded the opportunity to grapple with wider issues than those of the delivery or organisation of a particular class. In this role I have initiated and participated in a number of projects aimed at improving the teaching and learning experience. During my Fellowship I hope to advance knowledge in the area of identifying and attainment of graduate attributes. My other research and teaching interests include the development of professional competence the use of elearning in nursing education and gender relations in nursing.

Contact Details

School of Nursing, Midwifery & Health Systems
Health Sciences Centre, UCD, Dublin 4
Tel: +353-1-7166430
tom.oconnor@ucd.ie
Dr Patrick J Purcell BE, M Eng Sc, PhD

Dr Patrick J Purcell BE, M Eng Sc, PhD

As director of First Year Engineering from 1995 to 1999 and Programme co-ordinator for the Civil Engineering degree programme since 2005, I am particularly interested in innovative methods of enhancing the educational experience of undergraduate engineering students. One of the great benefits of my time as director of First Engineering was engaging on a regular basis with engineering colleagues teaching our first year students and with university staff outside of the engineering disciplines providing service teaching. Likewise, the Fellowship Programme will provide an opportunity to interact with like-minded colleagues across the University keenly interested in third-level education. I have published a number of papers relating to engineering education and I also have an undergraduate textbook published by Thomas Telford, publishers for the U.K. Institution of Civil Engineers. My other research interests focus on the area of water resources engineering. I am an active member of the Institution of Engineers of Ireland.

Contact Details

School of Architecture, Landscape & Civil Engineering
Newstead Building, UCD, Dublin 4
Tel: +353-1-7163216
pj.purcell@ucd.ie