UCD scholars excel in international award program as eight win Fulbright awards

UCD scholars excel in international award program as eight win Fulbright awards
Pictured (L-R): UCD Awardees - Ben Moore, Aoife De Brún, Cormac O’Brien, Maria Moloney, David Stone, Judith Harford, Niall O’Shaughnessy, Amanda Kelly, with Donncha Ó Murchú absent

Posted 13 June, 2018

University College Dublin is exporting some of its best and brightest after eight scholars were awarded coveted research and teaching roles at some of America’s universities and institutions.

The diverse group were among 37 awardees at this year’s prestigious Fulbright Irish Awards, which presents Irish students, scholars and professionals the opportunity to undertake postgraduate study, research and teaching in the United States.

The UCD recipients of Irish Fulbright Awards 2018-2019 are: 

Dr Aoife De Brún, UCD School of Nursing, Midwifery and Health Systems

Dr Aoife De Brún 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

Professor Judith Harford 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.

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 Ben Moore, final year BE Mechanical Engineering student and Ad Astra Scholar

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.  

Mr David Stone: Fulbright-Creative Ireland Museum Fellow from UCD to the Smithsonian

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 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.

Additionally, Niall O’Shaughnessy, undergraduate Law student, will partake in the Study of U.S. Institutes (SUSI) programme.

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.

Speaking at this year's Fulbright Awards, An Tánaiste and Minister for Foreign Affairs & Trade, Simon Coveney said: “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.”

Since 1957, the Fulbright Awards are given annually by the Irish and US governments, providing Irish students, scholars, and professionals the opportunity to study, research or teach at top American institutions.

These all-discipline awards facilitate knowledge-sharing and cultivate connections between Ireland and the US.

The Fulbright Program runs in 155 countries worldwide, giving awardees access to an ever-growing network of international expertise.

The unique nature of Fulbright Awards is that the program encourages cultural exchange as well as educational.

In addition to completing study or research projects, awardees are tasked with being cultural ambassadors during their time in the US.

The next round of applications for Fulbright Irish Awards will open on 31st August 2018, interested applicants should visit www.fulbright.ie for more information.

By: David Kearns, Digital Journalist / Media Officer