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President’s Award: Twenty students honoured for “exemplary service” to UCD community

Posted 13 March, 2024

Twenty students have had their service to UCD campus life recognised by this year’s President’s Award.

Given to those who have excelled in extracurricular activities of a kind that make UCD an exciting, interesting, dynamic, and humane place to live, study and work, recipients of President Awards are nominated by their peers.

Winners are, typically, actively engaged in service to UCD societies, clubs, or the Students’ Union, or are involved in student support services or competitive activity in inter-varsity events.

UCD President’s 2024 Awardees

Name Citation

Adam McNally

As the manager of the Fresher B football team, Adam not only provided unwavering support but also brilliantly organized a fundraiser for Pieta House, successfully raising over €2,300.

His commitment to inclusivity shone brightly, as he welcomed players of all skill levels, nurturing a strong sense of community and encouraging broader participation in football.

Under Adam's inspiring leadership, the team achieved an unbeaten record, a testament to his effective and inclusive approach.

Anna Hazlett

A Veterinary Medicine student at UCD since 2021, Anna has excelled in various leadership roles, including serving as an exemplary Peer Mentor. Her proactive involvement in UCD Orientation and the Vet School Open Day demonstrated her reliability and commitment to the university community.

Anna's effective participation in forums with the Irish Veterinary Council highlighted her ability to represent student perspectives articulately.

Additionally, her compassionate support to fellow students, including international and transfer students, showcases her empathetic nature. Her contribution to the UCD Ladies’ Gaelic team, both as a player and a recruiter, further illustrates her diverse talents.

Aoibh McIntyre

Aoibh, an active Medical Society member since her first year at UCD, quickly became a vital part of the team, notably leading charity initiatives like the Howth Cliff walk in a debs dress.

Progressing from class representative to auditor, she played a key role in the society's success, including being awarded Society of the Year twice.

Aoibh's leadership saw the society raise over €30,000 for charities and reintroduce social events post-pandemic, reflecting her unwavering dedication and impactful contributions to UCD.

Brian Higgins

Brian has significantly elevated UCD student life through his roles in the Musical Society.

His early leadership in directing and managing Front of House contributed to an inclusive atmosphere and financial success, earning national recognition. As OCM for Inclusions and Associate Producer, he ensured a welcoming environment and efficiently managed society resources.

His tenure as auditor marked a period of unprecedented growth and success for the society, with record memberships and the reintroduction of key events, showcasing his effective and respectful leadership.

Christopher O’Dwyer

Christopher, a mature student and INMO Class rep since 2022, has been instrumental in advocating for student nurses and midwives, notably in securing new allowances. Christopher also serves on the European Nursing Students Association as Director of European Affairs and Council Member for Ireland.

Beyond class representation, Christopher's advocacy extends to various boards, including chairing the INMO's student section, demonstrating the comprehensive and impactful contribution made to nursing and midwifery student welfare.

Ciara Douglas

Ciara, an influential member of UCD, has notably enhanced the archery club as head coach and events officer. Her revamp of the beginners' coaching structure led to increased retention rates. She's been pivotal in organising social events, contributing to a vibrant club atmosphere.

Her presence at the student desk adds to a welcoming campus environment. Ciara's roles extend to mentoring HDip students, fostering their integration into UCD. Her commitment to both sporting excellence and community building, alongside her academic achievements, exemplifies her positive impact on UCD.

Donal Healy

Donal, a fourth-year medicine student, exemplifies commitment and leadership at UCD. As Vice-Auditor of the St Vincent de Paul Society, he led the Social Outreach Programme, directly aiding those experiencing homelessness.

His leadership in these initiatives inspired others to volunteer, amplifying his impact on the community.

Beyond this, Donal's roles as a Peer Mentor and Student Ambassador demonstrate his dedication to supporting and guiding his peers, embodying the spirit of community and academic excellence at UCD.

Emma Kelly

Emma, a standout leader and scholar, has excelled as the captain of UCD Women’s Rugby for two years. Known for her welcoming nature and dedication, she balances high-level competition with academic excellence as an Ad Astra Scholar.

Her leadership contributed to winning the SSI league and retaining the Colours Cup. Actively involved in club fundraisers like Daffodil Day, Emma embodies the values of hard work and inclusivity, significantly enhancing the club's ethos.

Faith Molloy

Faith, the captain of UCD Karate, is known for her vibrant energy and leadership skills. She has successfully led the team to various competitions, including events at Maynooth and NUIG. Her organisational abilities and understanding nhas been invaluable in guiding new members.

Faith is goal-oriented and self-driven, contributing significantly to the club through her innovative ideas and event organisation.

Favour Ochonma


Favour's leadership as Chairperson of the UCD Africa Society and a Peer Mentor in Nursing and Midwifery has made a significant impact. Her inclusive and creative approach has promoted African culture and supported students, while her role as a Residential Assistant exemplified her commitment to fostering community spirit.

Balancing academic excellence with multiple leadership roles, Favour has been an advocate for cultural diversity and respect, winning the top prize at the MyEU50 Third Level competition for her inspiring speech. Her dedication to nursing and student life makes her a deserving candidate for the President's Award.

Hazel Hourigan


Hazel, as captain and then President of the UCD Equestrian Club, has significantly enhanced the club's activities and members' experience. She successfully introduced polo, leading to victories and a US tour, and managed various events, including national varsities competitions, with exceptional skill.

Her efforts in reviving equestrian varsities earned the club significant recognition. Hazel's active roles in IURCA and the

Irish Polo Foundation demonstrate her commitment to promoting student equestrian sport nationally.

Iva Sharma


Iva has demonstrated academic distinction through prestigious scholarships like the UCD Global Excellence program, coupled with her varied leadership roles.

Her significant contributions as a UCD Career, Social Science, and Dignity and Respect Ambassador, along with her role as Project Leader for Headstarts at Enactus UCD, have made a meaningful difference for intellectually disabled individuals.

Additionally, her active roles in the UCD Hult Prize Foundation and as an Enactus World Cup Ambassador underline her commitment to social entrepreneurship and addressing global challenges.

Lateefat Ladipo


Lateefat's exceptional performance in diverse roles, including Treasurer for Africa Soc, Senior Advisor and Vice Auditor for French Soc, and organizing international trips, showcases her versatility.

Additionally, she has effectively served as a Class Rep for BAFS, and currently shines as a UCD Student Ambassador and Science Student Leader.

Her remarkable dedication, organizational prowess, and positive influence on society, combined with her academic commitment, underscore her multifaceted capabilities.

Luke Shiels


Luke's remarkable involvement at UCD, initially as Events Officer and presently as Vice-Auditor of the Film and Video Society, has been crucial to its development and event success. His tenure as Musical Director for the Musical Society further demonstrates his wide-ranging abilities.

Renowned for outstanding organizational skills and a welcoming approach, Luke has significantly enriched UCD's student life with his contributions.

Ryan Corley


Ryan has actively served as a class representative and SU Officer for the College of Science at UCD, advocating for affordable food options and a more balanced academic structure.

His commitment to student welfare is clearly demonstrated by his organization of numerous social and academic support events, consistently enhancing student life in line with UCD's core values.

Sharon Fajemiyo


Sharon has played a significant role in enriching UCD student life, holding positions like Social Media and PR Officer for the Africa Society and Events Officer for Women in STEM. Her responsibilities as a Residential Assistant and her involvement in the Engineering program have contributed to heightened community interaction and academic engagement.

Balancing these extensive extracurricular activities with academic achievements, including receiving the Réalta Master in Engineering Scholarship, Sharon exemplifies commitment and versatility.

Simon Peter


Simon has significantly impacted UCD's engineering community, particularly as EngSoc's auditor, organising successful events such as a major charity boxing fundraiser.

His roles as an Ad Astra member, Engineers Ireland ambassador, and senior sailing instructor highlight his diverse talents and outgoing personality. Simon's approachable nature has positively affected many students' experiences at UCD.

Simran Khatri


Simran, actively involved in UCD's non-academic activities, holds roles such as International Students Campaigns Coordinator at SU, peer mentor, Science Student Leader, and Career Ambassador.

Her participation in the Legacy Dublin 23 Programme and her work with the Careers Network significantly enhance the student experience. Simran's dedication to supporting fellow students through these varied roles, coupled with her academic success, showcases her comprehensive contribution to university life.

Tia Cullen


Tia, an outstanding contributor to UCD, has served as Peer Mentor, revived the Nursing and Midwifery Society, and excelled as Class Representative and Health Science College Officer.

Her extensive involvement in UCD's boards and committees underscores her dedication to student representation and community enhancement.

Una Sinnott


Una, distinguished as a Walsh scholar from Teagasc, is celebrated for her active participation in agriculture and food science at UCD. She demonstrates exceptional leadership as the captain of the debating team.

Her influential role as the Graduate Council Member for the Agricultural Science Association underscores her notable contributions in this field.

The objective of the Awards is to give recognition to the efforts of students in areas of University life other than the academic, particularly where those efforts provide the leadership, commitment and energy which help to turn UCD into a lively, engaged university community.

To date, over 350 students have received the UCD President’s Award – which are annually awarded during a ceremony held in O’Reilly Hall every March.

By:David Kearns, Digital Journalist / Media Officer, UCD University Relations

To contact the UCD News & Content Team, email: newsdesk@ucd.ie