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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. 

Professor Olaf Schmidt

Agriculture, Food, Environmental Sciences

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.

Associate Professor Eoin O'Neill

Architecture, Planning and Environmental Policy

Dr Mary Farrelly

Arts and Humanities

Mary Farrelly teaches Spanish in the School of Languages, Cultures, and Linguistics. She completed the Graduate Diploma in University Teaching and Learning and the Digital Badge in Universal Design for Learning in 2021. She has a special interest in outreach and Widening Participation and loves tinkering with new software and video editing tools to bring UDL to students and colleagues.

Dr Darren Baker


Dr Baker is Assistant Professor / Lecturer of Business in Society. He is also currently Adjunct Fellow at University Technology Sydney Business School and has previously been a Visiting Fellow at Macquarie University Faculty of Business and Economics, Cranfield University School of Management and the Open University of Catalonia. Darren has taught at King’s Business School and Queen Mary University, London. He read for an MA at the University of Oxford and holds a PhD from King’s College London. Darren draws on psychoanalysis for ontological, epistemological and methodological inspiration to explore how subjectivities are forged at the intersection of class and gender, as well as broader ethical considerations, including capacities to care, in precarious and ‘elite’ banking and finance professions in the UK, US and Australia.

Associate Professor Mark Flanagan


Mark Flanagan is an Associate Professor in the School of Electrical and Electronic Engineering and represents Engineering on the UCD Widening Participation 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 Barrett is a professor specialising in EU Law in the Sutherland Law School, University College Dublin, 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. He is also a committee member of the Square One Theatre Group.

Associate Professor Suzanne Donnelly


Associate Professor Suzanne 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.

Dr Phil Halligan

Nursing, Midwifery and Health Systems

Dr Halligan has been a lecturer in UCD Nursing, Midwifery and Health Systems since 2004. Teaching involves Leadership, Management and Quality Improvement. Specialist interest in supporting students who have a disability on work placements and cofounder of the dedicated SNMHS Disability Liaison Team in 2011.

Associate Professor Caitriona Cunningham

Physiotherapy, Public Health and Sports Science

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 Coordinating 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.

Dr Graham Finlay

Social Science

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.

Dr Arun Kumar

Veterinary Medicine and Veterinary Nursing

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. I have attracted investments from several national and international organisations at various stages of my carrier. I have 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.

Dr Anna Kelly

Access & Lifelong Learning

Dr Kelly, DipEd(HEc), MEd(SEN), MSc(Mgt), PhD (Inclusive Design) is Director, Access & Lifelong Learning at University College Dublin. Dr Kelly leads a team of access professionals who support the University to realise its strategic objective to become a diverse and inclusive scholarly community. She is Chair of the Steering Group for HEAR/DARE Alternative Admissions Routes to Higher Education and is Ireland's representative on the European Access Network. In addition, Dr Kelly has extensive experience of the further education sector, including St Michael's House, the National Rehabilitation Board, and FÁS.

Dr Bairbre Fleming

Academic Board of Studies

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. 

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. 

Mary Staunton

Communication & Marketing

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. The primary goal of the Director is to design, develop and deliver student-centred recruitment strategies to attract high calibre students, to increase student diversity and retention and to ensure UCD as the University of first choice. 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, Widening Participation and Ad Astra Academy committees. Previously she was Director of Continuing Professional Education at UCD, the first person to hold the position, focussed on delivering professional learning, via a choice of innovative delivery methods – remote, self-paced and with multiple entry and exits routes. Anne-Marie was instrumental in the origins of UCD Nova, a logical development from the UCD Industry programme, forging innovative industry education partnerships, with particular focus on health and safety education, mediation, Environmental Impact Assessment to industry professionals. 

Genevieve Dalton

IT Services

Genevieve Dalton is currently the Director of Customer and Academic Services for UCD IT Services with responsibility for the delivery and support of IT solutions, services and applications in the areas of Customer Services, Educational Technology Services and Research IT.  Her previous roles in UCD IT Services include Head of Educational Technology Services and Head of Infrastructure. Prior to joining UCD Genevieve worked in the private sector in roles ranging from software developer to project manager, across a number of industries including the financial, Hi-Tec manufacturing, food, and software development industries. Genevieve completed a M.Sc. in Cyberpsychology with IADT in 2011 and more recently in 2017 undertook a Diploma in Advanced Management Performance with UCD Smurfit.  Outside of her core IT role in UCD, Genevieve has contributed to the UCD community by being an active member on the  University EDI Committee for a number of years and also sitting on the organising committee for the University Community Choir.

Dr David Foster

Career Development and Skills

David 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. In addition to UCD Careers Network, Belfield, David has line management responsibility for the UCD Careers Network, Blackrock. 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.

Aishling Kennedy-Dalton

Estate Services

Aishling has worked in a variety of roles in Campus Operations since 1993 and has engaged on behalf of her Unit with many community-based initiatives during that time.   Among her most recent responsibilities is the recruitment, training and support of 80 students as Residential Assistants (RAs). She is committed to fostering a supportive and inclusive community within the Residences and beyond.

Aisling O'Grady

Student Advisory

Aisling O Grady, 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.

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.

Dr Sheena Hyland

Teaching & Learning

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.

New student representatives are being appointed for the coming academic year 2022-2023.

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