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Teaching and Learning Staff 2014
Lorraine Brennan

Professor Lorraine Brennan BA (Mod) PhD.

I am firm advocate of research-led teaching and I believe that our research should inform and develop our teaching at undergraduate level. The BSc in Human Nutrition, run by the School of Agriculture and Food Science, has many examples of research-led teaching and this fellowship will allow me to develop and explore these further. My research is in the field of nutrigenomics and the application of these techniques to further our understanding of the relationship between nutrition and health. I currently sit on the Executive Committee of the European Nutrigenomics Organisation (NuGO) and am involved in developing and delivering postgraduate training at the European level. I hope that my involvement with this Fellowship will allow me to explore further methods for improving the research-teaching linkage in UCD.


Contact Details

School Of Agriculture & Food Science
Science Centre - South
University College Dublin
Belfield, Dublin 4
Tel: +353-1-7162811

Mike Casey

Associate Professor Mike Casey BSc, PhD, DIC

After eight years as a lecturer in the UK, I came to UCD in 1992 to take up a position in organic chemistry.  Since then I have been active in disciplinary research; supervising the work of more than 30 PhD students and publishing the results in international journals.  I have always had a strong commitment to teaching. At first I followed the traditional pedagogy with its emphasis on lecturing and “covering” the curriculum.  However, over the last decade my teaching philosophy has changed fundamentally and I have adopted student-centred pedagogies that focus on maximising learning.  I use peer assisted learning, inquiry-based learning, the flipped classroom approach and online learning in addition to lectures.I use each technique in an effort to achieve improved learning outcomes in particular contexts.  I completed the Professional Diploma in University Teaching & Learning in 2013 and that greatly broadened my knowledge of education.  I am now concentrating on education research, with a focus on developing tools for online learning and for measuring learning gains.  I am really looking forward to participating in the activities of the Fellows on the theme of the relationship between research and teaching. 

Contact Details

School Of Chemistry
University College Dublin
Belfield, Dublin 4
Tel: +353-1-7162420

Tara Cusack

Associate Professor Tara Cusack Dip Physio, MMod Sc, PhD

I am a physiotherapist and senior lecturer at the UCD School of Public Health, Physiotherapy and Sports Science.  Since I commenced my career in UCD I have been keenly interested in education, specifically student engagement, and this interest has now extended to curriculum design, inter-professional learning, and problem based learning.  I believe the theme of the 2014-2016 Fellowship “building research and teaching links” is important for both students and staff. I envisage that by participating in this collaborative research with colleagues from across UCD I will have an opportunity to develop links with individuals who have a similar interest in the scholarship of teaching and learning.

In 2010 I was a recipient of the College Teaching Award and in 2012 I was awarded the Dublin Region Higher Education Teaching Fellowship. In 2011 I completed the graduate diploma in university teaching.  I am an external examiner for inter-professional education in Glasgow Caledonian University (2009-2014). Previously I have held the positions of Head of Teaching and Learning (2005-2008), and Dean of Physiotherapy (2012-2013).  My research expertise lies in the area of physical activity and exercise, and its value for alleviating the symptoms of chronic disease (osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, and stroke).  I have published both clinical and educational papers and have presented my work at numerous national and international conferences. 

Contact Details

School Of Public Health, Physiotherapy and Sports Science
Health Sciences Centre
University College Dublin
Belfield, Dublin 4
Tel: +353-1-7166515

eamon delahunt

Associate Professor Eamonn Delahunt BSc, PhD

I am a Senior Lecturer in the School of Public Health, Physiotherapy and Sports Science and since 2008, Programme Coordinator for the BSc Health & Performance Science.  One of my major undertakings was the complete redevelopment of Stage 3 of the programme using the principles of research enriched teaching and learning.  The aim of this approach is to facilitate the integration of research and teaching in the design and delivery of the programme through evidence-based teaching; research-based curriculum and research-aligned teaching. In relation to the Fellowship theme my interest is in the opportunities and challenges associated with embedding the philosophy of research-enriched learning.

I am an Academic Mentor for the UCD Ad Astra Elite Athlete Scholars. I was a member of the Chartered Physiotherapists in Sports and Exercise Medicine Education Committee (2008-10).  In 2009 I was a recipient of a UCD Module Innovation Grant, and a co-recipient of a National Digital Learning Resources grant in 2012.  In 2012 I was awarded a College Teaching Award.  

Contact Details

School of Public Health, Physiotherapy and Sports Science
Health Sciences Centre
University College Dublin
Belfield, Dublin 4
Tel: +353-1-7166671

Suzanne Donnelly

Associate Professor Suzanne Donnelly MB, BCH, BAO, MRCPI

I am Director of Clinical Studies in the School of Medicine.  My interest in teaching and learning stems from a realisation quite early in my academic career, that medical education was a discipline in its own right. I have sought out and secured roles which have allowed me to develop this interest. My role as Clinical Lecturer at the University of Oxford enabled me to work with inspirational educators and to contribute to a best selling medical textbook, Medicine at a Glance.  At St George’s Hospital, London the first graduate school of Medicine in the UK I was involved in the delivery of a Problem Based Learning medical curriculum. More recently through as a Board Director of Arthritis Ireland I developed a partnership to recruit and train patient educators to provide systematic patient delivered teaching to students in small groups, thus enhancing students’ motivation, clinical acumen, professionalism, communication and appreciation of patient’s perspectives. 

Despite the undisputed relevance of research and discovery in medical sciences to the lifelong practice of doctors, literature on research-teaching linkages in undergraduate medical programmes is surprisingly sparse. This Fellowship offers the opportunity to explore an area of medical education which is under threat from the external drivers of medical curricula which focus on the delivery of safe and competent practitioners.

One of the most engaging aspects of this Fellowship is the opportunity to work as part of an academically diverse team passionate about teaching and learning and to learn from that process. 

Contact Details

School of Medicine 
University College Dublin
Belfield, Dublin 4

Katherine Howell

Dr Katherine Howell BSc, PhD

I have a strong background in both medical research and teaching, and co-ordinate and teach modules within the undergraduate medical programme, graduate entry medicine and Physiology Degree. As Head of Teaching & Learning for Physiology, I coordinate the BSc Physiology degree programme and represent the School of Medicine on the Science Programme Board.  I have implemented a number of important teaching and learning approaches within the programme including degree structural changes and a new assessment strategy as well as ensuring that Physiology is integrated fully within the Science degree.  I recently established the School of Medicine and Medical Sciences Post Doctoral Teaching Committee, which will ensure that the school provides structured teaching opportunities for post-doctoral researchers with the support of academic staff.  In terms of developing my own teaching, I am currently undertaking the UCD Professional Diploma in University Teaching & Learning, was recipient of a teaching award in 2014 and have recently become involved in supervision of medical education projects within the school.

As an active researcher in the Conway Institute I have been awarded over 700,000 euro in grants and recently initiated a 4-year programme through SFI funding into lung disease.  I am a strong supporter of the integration of research into teaching.  I believe this Fellowship will give me the opportunity to contribute to the scholarship in teaching and learning, both in medicine and science as well as more widely in UCD.

Contact Details

School Of Medicine
Conway Institute
Dublin 4
Tel: +353-1-7166730

Maria Meehan

Associate Professor Maria Meehan BSc, MSc, PhD

I am a Senior Lecturer in the School of Mathematics and Statistics and I have lectured mathematics for the last nineteen years, teaching classes of all sizes and levels across a range of programmes in Arts, Business and Science.  My aim is to engage undergraduates in the processes of mathematical thinking. I have developed innovative modules such as the Undergraduate Ambassadors Scheme that involves students serving a placement in a post-primary school and reflecting on how they develop transferable skills.

In 2004/5 I was awarded a UCD President’s Teaching Award and a Quinn School of Business Teaching Award. 

At present I am teaching Mathematics Education, a module jointly developed and delivered with the School of Education and one which integrates current educational research into the classroom.  I applied for the Fellowship because I am interested in exploring the ways that we can encourage students to engage in the foundational knowledge of the discipline of mathematics in a way that leads them through an exciting process of discovery and sense-making. I feel the Fellowships are a way of being part of a community of like-minded people and I feel my research will really benefit from this.  

Contact Details

School of Mathematics and Statistics
James Joyce Library Building
University College Dublin
Belfield, Dublin 4
Tel: +353 1 7162581