Seven Fulbright Awardees & a SUSI Awardee from UCD

An Tánaiste and Minister for Foreign Affairs & Trade, Simon Coveney TD, and Chargé d’affaires of the U.S. Embassy in Ireland, Mr Reece Smyth, were pleased to announce 37 Fulbright Irish Awardees for 2018-2019, seven of whom are from UCD, plus one SUSI award winner. Recipients were presented with Awards at a Ceremony in the U.S. Ambassadors Residence, Phoenix Park last week.

Students, academics and professionals from 13 HEIs in Ireland and Europe will go to 33 leading U.S. institutions to study and collaborate with experts in their fields. This year’s Fulbright recipients are from diverse disciplines spanning science, languages, technology, medicine, literature and the arts.

The Fulbright Programme in Ireland has been a key driver in cross-atlantic collaborative research for over 60 years.

Details of UCD awardees are:

Dr Aoife De Brún: Fulbright-HRB HealthImpact Scholar from UCD to Northwestern University
Dr Aoife De Br
ún is a Research Fellow at the School of Nursing, Midwifery and Health Systems at University College Dublin. As a Fulbright-HRB HealthImpact Scholar, she will undertake research in collaboration with colleagues at Northwestern University mapping leadership configurations in healthcare teams and explore associations with team performance outcomes and staff engagement.

Professor Judith Harford: Fulbright Scholar from UCD to Boston College 
Judith Harford is Professor of Education at the School of Education, University College Dublin. She is a Fellow of both the Royal Historical Society (London) and the Massachusetts Historical Society (USA) and an International Clinical Practice Fellow of the American Association of Teacher Educators. She was the Ireland Canada University Foundation Flaherty Visiting Professor, 2017-18. As a Fulbright Scholar, she will undertake research into Irish American women teachers and the rise of the Irish American elite in Boston in the period 1880‒1920.

Dr Maria Moloney: Fulbright-TechImpact Scholar from UCD to Maryland University 
Dr Maria Moloney works in the School of Computer Science in University College Dublin and is currently collaborating with the Centre for Cybersecurity and Cybercrime Investigations (CCI) there. Prior to this, she was Head of Research at Escher Group Holdings Plc, the leading software supplier to the postal industry worldwide. She was awarded a Government of Ireland Research Scholarship under the Embark Initiative to pursue her PhD in Information Systems at Trinity College Dublin, which she completed in 2014.  Her research interests lie in the areas of Data Protection, Privacy by Design, Security by Design and Cybersecurity. Her work has been published in journals such as the International Journal of Industrial Ergonomics and presented at prestigious conferences such as the International Conference on Information Systems. As a Fulbright TechImpact Scholar, she will study cybercrime and criminal behaviour in online settings in Maryland University.

Mr Ben Moore: Fulbright-EI Student from UCD to Stanford University
Mr Ben Moore is a final year B.E. Mechanical Engineering student and Ad Astra Scholar at University College Dublin. His current work focuses on the development and testing of the Attitude Determination & Control System for the first Irish satellite, EIRSAT-1. As a Fulbright Student he will pursue a Master of Science degree in Aeronautics & Astronautics at Stanford University. He will direct the focus of his studies and conduct research into satellite design and control.  

Dr Cormac O'Brien: Fulbright Irish Scholar from UCD to the University of South Carolina
Dr Cormac O’Brien is Assistant Professor of Anglo-Irish Drama in the School of English, Drama, and Film at University College Dublin, where he lectures in drama, gender and sexuality, and queer studies. Cormac further specialises in medical humanities, interrogating representations and histories of HIV and AIDS in western cultures. Based at the University of South Carolina in Columbia, SC during his Fulbright Award, Dr O’Brien will conduct research into the hidden histories of Irish gay men whom, due to the illegality of homosexuality in Ireland until 1993, emigrated to the USA and subsequently contracted HIV. He will explore how these men became involved in HIV activism and community care in the USA during the AIDS ‘crisis years’ of 1981-1996. He will also investigate the ways in which, upon their return to Ireland, the models of care these men learned in the USA had impact on Irish HIV healthcare policies.

Mr Donncha Ó Murchú: Fulbright Irish FLTA from UCD to University of Montana
Mr Donncha Ó Murchú was raised through Irish in Dublin. He plays hurling for the local club, Kilmacud Crokes, and attended Coláiste Eoin, an Irish language secondary school. He was recently awarded a degree in History and Irish from University College Dublin. As a Fulbright Foreign Language Teaching Assistant, he will teach the Irish language and take classes at the University of Montana.

Mr David Stone: Fulbright-Creative Ireland Museum Fellow from UCD to the Smithsonian
Mr David Stone is a second-year Government of Ireland Irish Research Council doctoral scholar at the School of Archaeology, University College Dublin. He received his BA in Archaeology from UCD and a MSt in Archaeology from the University of Oxford in 2016. His research focuses on the study of archaeobotanical material from excavations in Azerbaijan dating to the 6th–15th centuries. As a Fulbright-Creative Ireland Museum Fellowship student, he will conduct research at the Department of Anthropology, Smithsonian Institution, Washington DC. David will draw upon techniques used in leading international museums for the curation and digital archiving of archaeobotanical remains, which will enable him to address current and pressing issues in archaeological practice in both Ireland and Azerbaijan.


Mr Niall O’Shaughnessy is an undergraduate Law student in UCD, with a minor in Social Justice. Mr O’Shaughnessy has a background in volunteering and activism, focusing predominantly on the rights of asylum seekers. He has been to Greece with this work and is currently a project leader with the ‘Tour the City’ social inclusion project here in Dublin. He will be travelling to the University of South Carolina at the end of June to partake in the Study of U.S. Institutes (SUSI) program examining Civic Engagement in the U.S. SUSIs are highly competitive short-term, academic programs providing undergraduate student leaders with a deeper understanding of the U.S., while simultaneously enhancing their leadership skills.


An Tánaiste and Minister for Foreign Affairs & Trade, Simon Coveney TD said: “I am delighted to extend my warmest congratulations to the 37 Irish Fulbright Awardees for 2018 – 2019.  People are at the heart of the extraordinary relationship between Ireland and the United States, and the Fulbright Commission has an unrivalled record in selecting the very best people as Fulbrighters. This year’s Awardees will have the exciting opportunity to study, work, and experience life in the U.S., to forge new relationships, and to represent the best of contemporary Ireland to the United States.  I wish this year’s Awardees every success for their time in the United States.”

Chargé d’affaires Reece Smyth, U.S. Embassy, said: “I warmly congratulate the 2018-2019 cohort of Irish Awardees. The Fulbright Awards are highly competitive, globally recognised, and associated with excellence and prestige. We are proud to have such bright minds embarking on educational and cultural exchanges to the United States, and we look forward to seeing the fruits of their studies and research when they return to Ireland.”

Dr Sarah Ingle, Chair of the Board of the Fulbright Commission in Ireland said: “The high standard and expertise of Fulbright scholar and student award recipients continues to increase after more than 60 years in Ireland.  They are being providing with a great opportunity, but also a responsibility to continue Senator Fulbright’s vision of creating avenues for mutual understanding and sharing of ideas. The Commission has full confidence in the new awardees and wishes them every success in their Fulbright experience." 

Dr Dara FitzGerald, Executive Director of the Fulbright Commission in Ireland said: “This year we have seen a surge in applications and awards across all of our Fulbright award programmes, and we hope to see that trend continue to grow. Cultural and academic exchange between the U.S. and Ireland is alive and well.

We would like to thank our partners, the U.S. Department of State and the U.S. Embassy in Dublin, the Irish Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, and the Department of Culture, Heritage, and the Gaeltacht. We are grateful to have the support of our Irish award sponsors: Enterprise Ireland, the Environmental Protection Agency, the Health Research Board, the Higher Education Authority, the Geological Survey of Ireland, the Marine Institute, National University of Ireland, Teagasc, the National Lottery and such notable U.S. Institutions as the Exploratorium, the Smithsonian and the Harry Ransom Center.

We also have tremendous support from Irish institutions such as University College Cork, University College Dublin, Dublin City University, Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland, National University of Ireland Galway, Maynooth University, University of Limerick, The AMBER and INFANT SFI Centres, and the Hugh Lane Gallery. The impact of their support is momentous, especially in terms of diversity and range of disciplines that enhance the Ireland-U.S. relationship.”