Explore UCD

UCD Home >

Committee Members

UCD Widening Participation Committee Members

UCD's Widening Participation (WP) Committee is made up of 31 members, representing the University's various programme boards, policy and support units, as well as students.

‌‌Professor John Brannigan

Chair | University Widening Participation Committee  
Professor Brannigan is Professor of English, and Head of the School of English, Drama and Film, University College Dublin. He is the author of several books on modern and contemporary Irish and British literature, and specialises in the study of the relationship between literature and the sea. The first in his family to go to university, Professor Brannigan is committed to ensuring that UCD is a university for all. 

Agriculture and Food Sciences 

Professor Olaf Schmidt

Professor Schmidt represents the Agriculture and Food Science Programme Board. He is Head of Subject of Agri-Environmental Science, Professor at the UCD School of Agriculture and Food Science where he teaches entomology and soil science, and a member of the Executive of the UCD Earth Institute. Outside UCD, Olaf is Secretary of Global Action Plan (GAP) Ireland, a charity based in Ballymun that focuses on behaviour change to promote environmental sustainability in communities.

Architecture, Planning & Environmental Policy

Associate Professor Ellen Rowley

Dr Rowley is Assistant Professor in Modern Irish Architecture at the School of Architecture, Planning & Environmental Policy. She is an architectural and cultural historian, a teacher and a writer. Interested in architectural obsolescence, the intersection of social histories and buildings, and the place of the Catholic Church in Ireland’s built environment, she has published extensively including Housing, Architecture and the Edge Condition (2019, Routledge, Taylor + Francis); and (co-editor), Making Belfield. Space + Place at UCD (2020, UCD Press); as well as More Than Concrete Blocks, volumes 1 and 2 (2016/9, Four Courts Press) which are socio-cultural histories of Dublin’s buildings from 1900 to 1972. Volume 3 is currently under production. Before that she was co-editor of the landmark Yale series, Art and Architecture of Ireland (Volume 4, Architecture 1600 – 2000, YUP/RIA, 2014), Generally, this history is pioneering and so, she admits, there are mistakes. In 2017, Ellen was awarded Honorary Membership of the Royal Institute of Architects of Ireland, for services to Irish architecture.

Arts & Humanities

Dr Fionnuala Walsh

Dr Walsh is Assistant Professor of Modern Irish History in the School of History and represents Arts and Humanities on the UCD Widening Participation Committee. She is also a University for All Faculty Partner for the College of Arts and Humanities. Since 2018 she has coordinated and taught the School of History's contribution to the Access to Arts, Humanities, Social Sciences and Law (AHSSL) programme.



Professor Mark Flanagan

Mark Flanagan is Professor in the School of Electrical and Electronic Engineering and represents the Engineering Programme Board on the Committee. He leads the UCD Communications and Signal Processing research group and has authored more than 100 peer-reviewed papers in international journals and conferences. In 2014, he was a Visiting Senior Scientist with the Institute of Communications and Navigation, German Aerospace Centre, under a DLR-DAAD Fellowship. He is currently serving as TPC Co-Chair for the IEEE International Conference on Communications (ICC) 2020, and he is also serving as an Executive Editor for the journal IEEE Communications Letters.


Professor Gavin Barrett

Gavin is a professor specialising in EU Law in the Sutherland Law School, and the sometime Jean Monnet Professor of European Economic and Constitutional Law. He is the author or editor of several books on EU law, most recently co-editing The Future of Legal Europe: Will We Trust in It? and has published articles in the Common Market Law Review, the European Law Review, the European Constitutional Law Review, the Yearbook of European Law, the Cambridge Yearbook of European Legal Studies, the European Law Journal as well as numerous book chapters. He is a frequent contributor to both broadcast and written media. He was recently the recipient of a university research impact award and was previously the School Head of Teaching and Learning. He is coordinator of the Dublin EU Law Working Group as well as a frequent chair and contributor at the Institute of International and European Affairs.


Associate Professor Suzanne Donnelly

Associate Professor Donnelly is UCD Director of Clinical Education and consultant rheumatologist at the Mater Misericordiae University Hospital. In January 2017, she was appointed Associate Dean for Programmes & Educational Innovation.

Nursing, Midwifery & Health Systems

Dr Freda Browne

Dr Browne is a Lecturer/ Assistant Professor in General Nursing in UCD School of Nursing Midwifery and Health Systems. Dr Browne is the Programme Director for the BSc in General Nursing and a Module Co-ordinator and Lecturer on the undergraduate nursing programme. Dr. Browne is also a Module Co-ordinator on the MSc/ Graduate Certificate in Health professional Education. Dr. Browne has a strong background in the research of teaching and learning scholarship. She became a UCD for ALL Faculty Partner in 2021. Through her work on this strategic university project, she is leading the implementation of Universal Design for Learning in the SNMHS and across the University.

Physiotherapy, Public Health and Sports Science

Associate Professor Caitriona Cunningham

Caitriona Cunningham is an Associate Professor at UCD School of Public Health, Physiotherapy and Sports Science and represents her school on UCD’s Widening Participation Committee. Her research and teaching focuses on Musculoskeletal health, related health services and promotion of physical activity and exercise for all. She has a strong commitment to facilitating the translation of evidence into practice, with active involvement in national and international research, professional and community networks. In 2015, she cofounded the innovative UCD Physio Hub to facilitate the delivery of Physiotherapy-led exercise and health promotion programmes to a wider community and provide ‘real world’ learning and research opportunities. She is Chairperson of UCD’s Widening Participation Outreach Coordination Network.


Associate Professor Siobhán McClean

Dr McClean is an Associate Professor in the School of Biomolecular and Biomedical Sciences and the Head of Biochemistry. She is the College of Science Associate Dean for Widening Participation. Siobhán is committed to widening participation at UCD and will strive to contribute to a supportive and inclusive environment of all students at UCD. She welcomes the diversification of the University population and the opportunities that the University has given to students via a variety of non-traditional access routes.

Social Science

Dr Graham Finlay

Dr Finlay is Vice Principal for Widening Participation in the College of Social Sciences and Law. He teaches the theory of justice and human rights in the School of Politics and International Relations and engages in research on human rights policy, access to citizenship and inclusion, the human rights of migrants and justice in education. As a volunteer, he is involved in addressing educational disadvantage and promoting disabled people's rights in Inchicore and Ballyfermot.

Veterinary Medicine and Veterinary Nursing

Dr Arun Kumar

Dr Kumar is a clinician, drug discovery scientist, and entrepreneur, with over 15 years of research and teaching experience in pharmacology and regenerative medicine. Extensive international experience with over 100 peer-reviewed publications. He has successfully directed several projects in preclinical/clinical pharmacology, specifically in cardiovascular pathophysiology, diabetic complications, medical devices, arthritis, and regenerative medicine, which has resulted in either patentable products and/or high impact publications.

Access & Lifelong Learning

Dr Anna Kelly

Dr Kelly is Director, Access & Lifelong Learning in UCD, and with a team of access professionals, leads the ‘University for All’, a strategic whole-institution initiative to mainstream and embed access and inclusion. She is the Chair of PATH HEI Cluster, (Trinity, NCAD, IADT, MIE, and RCSI). She represents UCD on the IUA Access Steering Group, and chairs the sub-groups on supplementary admissions routes, and part-time flexible higher education. Her doctorate is in Inclusive Design in Higher Education, and her research interests are in the areas of organisational change in the fields of access, widening participation, mainstreaming, and inclusion


Jill O'Mahony 

Jill joined UCD in 2007 and currently works as Director of Admissions and Enrolment Planning. Jill's early student years were also spent in UCD in the Engineering and MBA programmes. Working with her colleagues in Admissions and other teams in UCD, Jill enjoys participating in all processes and reviews that influence the different cohorts of students entering UCD.

Academic Board of Studies

Dr Bairbre Fleming

Dr Fleming is Deputy of UCD Access & Lifelong Learning. She has extensive experience working with underrepresented students through the UCD Access programmes, with particular emphasis on mature students and part-time programmes. Her PhD drew on a sociological analysis of the experiences of mature students in higher education.


Gráinne Keane

Gráinne is Director of Finance and leads two finance teams with a focus on strategic and financial planning. Gráinne is a member of the Board of Directors of RCSI UCD Medical Campus in Malaysia (RUMC) and a member of the University due diligence team for two current bids for international Colleges in China. She is also a member of the Steering Group for the UCD College of Health and Agricultural Sciences Student Support Fund. Gráinne is Treasurer and Council Member for the Irish Federation of University Women, a national organisation of female graduates that supports educational initiatives for women.

Communication & Marketing

Mary Staunton 

Mary is Communications Manager at UCD. With a background in financial services, and working at UCD since 2007, Mary now works closely with the President's Office to ensure that the President's internal and external communications and speeches are consistent with the University's strategic messaging. She is protocol officer for the University, advising on and managing many key University events and produces the quarterly campus magazine, UCD Today. She is a firm believer in participation for all, in society, as well as in education, and is the representative of UCD University Relations on the committee.


Anne-Marie Harvey

Anne-Marie is currently Director of Student Recruitment at University College Dublin a position she has held since 2007. Anne-Marie was also responsible for the incubation of UCD’s Ad Astra Academy and the Scholarships programmes from 2011 to 2016. With long experience in UCD, she also serves on the University Management Team (UMT) for Education, Global Engagement Group, and Ad Astra Academy committees. 

IT Services

Caroline Hackman

Career Development and Skills

Dr David Foster

Dr Foster is the UCD Director of Career Development and Skills and Director of UCD Careers Network. As such, David has both institutional and local responsibilities for the development, delivery, and enhancement of strategic initiatives and operations that enhance students’ personal, professional, and career development. In addition to working with students at all levels, a range of professional and career development services are offered to Postdoctoral Researchers. David has been an active member of professional associations and is currently a Director of the Association of Higher Education Careers Services and a member of the Association of Graduate Careers Advisory Services.


Philip Russell

Student Advisors

Aisling O’Grady

Aisling, a graduate of UCD, has worked in student services for over twenty-five years in UCD and other third-level institutions across Ireland. Aisling was a UCD Student Adviser for sixteen years and has been Head of the UCD Student Advisory Service for the past three years, overseeing the development of the service and working on meeting the needs of an increasingly diverse student body.

Teaching and Learning

Dr Sheena Hyland

Dr Hyland is Assistant Professor in Educational Development. She teaches on UCD’s University Teaching and Learning programmes where she is module coordinator of Teaching Across Cultures and Designing Curricula. Her research and teaching interests include inclusive and intercultural learning, assessment and feedback, and the philosophy of higher education.

Estates Services

PJ Barron

John Ryan

John is undertaking his Bachelor of Arts, majoring in History and Philosophy, having completed Access to Arts, Humanities, Social Sciences and Law (AHSSL).

Eleanor Ronan

Eleanor is a stage 4 Music student and ALL Access Leader. 

UCD Student Union President

Molly Greenough

Molly is a Law with Social Justice graduate and has spent the past year working as the UCDSU Welfare Officer. She works to amplify the student voices at a local and national level. Working to create a sense of community on campus will also be a priority for the SU next year.

Rory Carey, Human Resources

Rory is Director of Culture & Engagement

Marcellina Fogarty, UMT EDI Committee

Marcellina is Strategic Equality, Diversity & Inclusion Manager.

Dr Muireann Ní Raghallaigh & Assoc Prof Liam Thornton

Joint Chairs - EDI Sub-Committee on Sanctuary

Deirdre Healy, UCD Global

Deirdre is Associate Director, International Student Recruitment.


University for All

University College Dublin, Belfield, Dublin 4, Ireland.
E: UniversityforAll@ucd.ie