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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 and Food 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 Ellen Rowley | Architecture, Planning & Environmental Policy

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.

Dr Fionnuala Walsh | Arts & Humanities

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.

Aoife Doherty | Business

Aoife Doherty is Director of the Lochlann Quinn School of Business Office and represents the College of Business on the UCD Widening Participation Committee. With a background in third level education administration and governance, Aoife has been in UCD since 2007 and has been a member of the College of Business WP committee since its inception. Aoife is committed to promoting and valuing diversity and inclusion across the business student cohorts and fostering opportunities for underrepresented groups.

Dr Md Salauddin | Engineering 

Dr Md Salauddin is an Assistant Professor in the School of Civil Engineering, where his teaching and research focus is Water and Environmental Engineering. He joined the School of Civil Engineering as an Assistant Professor in 2020, prior to which, he held research positions at the University of Warwick and at the University College Dublin on research projects funded by the European Regional Development Fund. Md Salauddin also worked as a Faculty Member at the Chittagong University of Engineering and Technology, where he was engaged in teaching and research activities in hydraulics and water resources engineering.

Professor Gavin Barrett | Law

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 | Medicine

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.

 Dr Freda Browne | Nursing, Midwifery & Health Systems

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.

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 Coordination Network.

Professor Keith Murphy | Science

Professor of Neuropharmacology and VP for Widening Participation, College of Science.

Dr Graham Finlay | Social Sciences

Dr Finlay is Vice Principal for Widening Participation in the College of Social Sciences and Law. He is also co-chair of the UCD EDI Sub-Committee on Sanctuary. 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

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.

Dr Bairbre Fleming | Access and Lifelong Learning

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 | Admissions

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.

Dr David Foster | Career Development and Skills

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.

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.

PJ Barron | Estates Services

PJ is Director of Estates Operations & Services.

Gráinne Keane | Finance

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.

Caroline Hackman | IT Services

Caroline is Head of Customer Services.

Philip Russell | Library

Philip is Information Services Manager at the Library, University College Dublin. He has 25 years’ experience working in the library and information sector and previously held professional library posts at Technological University Dublin, Accenture, Trinity College Dublin and the Central Bank of Ireland. Philip has a deep commitment to creating an inclusive and equitable learning experience for everyone and has played a prominent role in this regard at institutional & national level, through various library positions and as Chair of the Library Association of Ireland’s Literacies Committee. Philip has published widely and is a regular contributor to national and international conferences and seminars. He holds a BA (Hons) in Arts from University College Dublin (UCD) and an MSc. in Information and Library Studies from Robert Gordon University (Aberdeen).

Dr Lisa Padden | University for All

Lisa has led on the University for All initiative in UCD since it’s inception. Lisa works to build capacity in Universal Design and UDL with colleagues across the tertiary sector through joint coordination of the Digital Badges for Universal Design. Lisa has been lead editor on four collections of UDL Case Studies and has co-wrote the Toolkit for Inclusive Higher Education Institutions.

Aisling O’Grady | Student Advisors

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.

Dr Leigh Wolf | Teaching and Learning

Leigh Graves Wolf is teacher-scholar and an Assistant Professor in Educational Development with the Centre for Teaching and Learning at UCD. She teaches on the University Teaching and Learning programmes where she is module coordinator of Becoming a Better University Teacher. Her work focuses on online education, critical digital pedagogy, educator professional development and relationships mediated by and with technology. She is first in family to attend university and has worked across the educational spectrum from primary to higher to further and lifelong.  

Tristan Lennon

Martha Ní Riada | UCD Student Union President

Rory Carey | Human Resources

Rory is Director of Culture & Engagement.

Marcellina Fogarty | UMT EDI Committee

Marcellina is Strategic Equality, Diversity & Inclusion Manager.

Deirdre Healy | UCD Global

Deirdre is Associate Director, International Student Recruitment.

Emma Mescall | UCD Agile 

Emma has been working closely with the USM team in her representation of the UCD Operations Group since July 2020 & the extended Agile team since July 2021. She has held numerous roles across UCD since joining in November 2012. Emma has a MSc in Project Management from the Michael Smurfit Graduate School of Business. She has worked previously in several other third level institutions in Ireland since 2010, with international expertise at the heart of her early career. Most recently she has pivoted towards staff support project facing roles for programme development, consulting, event management, technology implementation and advanced communications. It is hoped that her diverse representation on several groups & collaboration with teams will prove valuable in terms of the transformation of service delivery and operations, with a people centred focus for the future for UCD.

University for All

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