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Vive la France for Grad of Year

UCC Graduate of the Year and Peel Memorial Prize winner Ronan Breen with Dr Michael Murphy, President of UCC. Ronan struck a balance of academic, social and humanitarian accomplishments that also proved instrumental in his recent success in securing one of 17 coveted graduate places on Enterprise Ireland’s International Graduate programme.

UCC Graduate of the Year and Peel Memorial Prize winner Ronan Breen with Dr Michael Murphy, President of UCC. Ronan struck a balance of academic, social and humanitarian accomplishments that also proved instrumental in his recent success in securing one of 17 coveted graduate places on Enterprise Ireland’s International Graduate programme.

  • 18 Apr 2013

The UCC Annual Prize Giving, which recognises exceptional students from across UCC, took place on Tuesday 16 April 2013.

The occasion provided an opportunity to highlight the exceptional contribution of many of UCC’s finest students. Awards to the value of 85,000 euro were made, provided by a variety of donors.

President of UCC, Dr Michael Murphy, welcomed an array of prize-winners and their family members, UCC staff, prize-donors, governors and guests and congratulated the award recipients, remarking:

“The prize-winners here tonight are our most talented students, and are among the best and brightest in the country. They epitomise what university life is all about – dedication, application and the thrill of discovery. We gather this evening to express our pride in you. I speak on behalf of the University in wishing you all every success for the future. UCC is proud of its mission to pursue excellence in teaching, learning and research, and continues to serve the interests of Ireland. Yet our mission is not purely “academic’; we also serve the social, cultural, economic and sporting needs of our students and regional community”.

Among the University Awards was the UCC Graduate of the Year,which went to Waterford native Ronan Breen. This award is made annually to the most distinguished UCC student of the year who has not only achieved academic distinction, but has played a significant part in enhancing the public life of the university. Breen, a consummate all rounder and fluent French speaker, emerged on top thanks to an outstanding academic record coupled with exceptional contributions to university life.  Receiving a first class honours degree in Commerce (International) with French, he struck a balance of academic, social and humanitarian accomplishments that proved instrumental in his recent success in securing one of 17 coveted graduate places on Enterprise Ireland’s International Graduate programme. He was selected from over 800 applications and will be based in the Paris Office for the next two years. He currently works in a business development role helping Irish firms to thrive in France, with specific responsibility for Irish agricultural machinery and equine firms exporting to the French market.

From his first day at UCC, Breen became an active and inspiring member of the UCC community. One of the first selected to be part of the UCC Commerce Society Promotions Team in his first year, he went on to successfully run for Sports and Social Officer in his second year. In the same year, membership of the French Society doubled under his watch as Auditor. During his time in UCC he has been a Chair of the Languages Committee, Peer Support Leader, a College Scholar, UCC Society Person of the Year, a participant in Model European Union, Academic Class Representative and Students’ Union International Officer, to mention just a few of his roles in college life.

Speaking following his win, Ronan said:

“I spent only three years of my third level education actually studying in UCC, but I have learned more there than I can even begin to explain. I am immensely proud to have been a student of UCC and will always look fondly on my time here. Reaching the end of my degree I felt that the time was right for me to leave UCC and to move on elsewhere, but, I do, and will always, look back with nostalgia and even a tinge of jealously at those lucky enough to still be there.”

Another University level award, The Peel Memorial Prize, was also presented. The award is made to students who have taken their primary degrees with first-class honours in the minimum time and who, in the opinion of the UCC Scholarships Committee, have played a distinguished part in the public life of the university. This year’s recipients are: Ronan Breen (Waterford), BComm (Hons) International with French (2012), Aisling Brehony (Killaloe, Co. Clare), BA (Hons) Applied Psychology (2012), Luke Burgess (Co. Kerry), BSc (Hons) Business Information Systems (2012) and Jesse Harrington (Douglas, Cork City), BA (Hons) Joint Honours (2012).

UCC Academic Secretary Paul O'Donovan, who presented the awards, extended his congratulations to the prizewinners for their hard work, dedication to their studies and their excellence in academic scholarship and extracurricular activities. He also offered his congratulations to the parents of the awardees for the unwavering support they had provided.

Awards were also made from each of UCC’s four Colleges.

The College of Arts, Celtic Studies & Social Sciences through Professor Patrick O’Donovan, Vice-Head (Research) of the College of Arts, Celtic Studies and Social Sciences, presented five prizes:

The Ann Moloney Bursary in Applied Psychology: Michelle Griffin (Co. Kerry)

The Boyle Postgraduate Scholarship in German: Uschi Linehan (Cork)

The John B. O'Brien Annual Prize in History: Luke Dineen (Cork)

The Peter Dempsey Award in Applied Psychology: Gillian Murphy (Ballinhassig, Cork) and Timothy Tierney (Limerick)

The Staf Gebruers Memorial Prize: Fiachra Ó Corragáin (Kinsale, Cork)

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The College of Business & Law through Dr Ed Shinnick, Senior Lecturer in the Department of Economics, presented eight awards:

The Aidan Synnott Graduate Study Travel Bursary: Maria-Alejandra Calle-Saldarriaga (Cork), Rachel Hanley (Tipperary), Maria Murphy(Kinsale),Caroline Somers (Cork)

The Chartered Accountants Cork Society Bursary: Sandra Brookes (Cork)

The Comyn Kelleher Tobin Graduate Bursary: Fiona Broughton (Carrigaline, Cork)

The Edward P. Cahill Prize: Roisín O’Sullivan (Mallow, Co Cork)

The James D. Donegan Moot Court Prize: John Beechinor (Waterfall, Co Cork) and Julie O’Leary (Cork)

The PricewaterhouseCoopers Prize in Accounting: Emma O’Shea (Tralee)

The PricewaterhouseCoopers Prize in Commercial Law: Amy Connolly (Cork)

The Ronan Daly Jermyn Scholarship: Jonathan McCarthy (Killarney, Co. Kerry)

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The College of Medicine & Health through Professor John Higgins, Head of the College of Medicine and Health, presented seven awards:

The Ainsworth Scholarship: Richard Bambury (Cork)

The Charles Medals: Anatomy - David Vaughan (Cork); Physiology:James Stewart (Co Down)

The Edward Gurr Prize: Dental - Anand Iyer (Ontario, Canada); Medical - David Vaughan (Cork)

The James M. O'Donovan Medical Prize: Barry Harrington (Dublin)

The John Kelly Prize in Clinical Surgery: Antoinette O’Connor (Cork)

The R.G.G. Barry Prize in Paediatrics: Michael Murphy (Limerick)

The William Kearney Prize in Obstetrics and Gynaecology: Karen O’Mahony (Tralee)

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The College of Science, Engineering and Food Science through Professor Patrick Fitzpatrick, Head of the College of Science, Engineering and Food Science, presented nine awards:

The Boyle Food Science Prize: Laura Baasner (Cork)

The Dónal McCarthy Postgraduate Research Scholarship in Statistics: Ronan Fitzpatrick (Co Cavan)

The Eli Lilly Chemistry Prize: Daniel Crowley (Macroom)

The Joe Gantly Prize in Engineering: Kevin O’Keeffe (Kerry)

The John Joseph McCarthy Prize in Civil & Environmental Engineering: Martin Hickey (Cork) and Brian O’Callaghan (Douglas, Cork)

The John Sisk Postgraduate Research Scholarship in Civil Engineering: Paul Cahill (Ennis, Co Clare)

The Karl McCarthy Prize: Stacey Sheehan (Dungarvan, Co Waterford)

The Reilly Prize: Máire Power (Crosshaven, Cork)

The SEFS Graduate of the Year Award: Phelim Bradley (Monkstown, Cork)

 

The full background to each prize can be found at the following link: https://www.dropbox.com/s/dbia2g1cid9ulzv/New%20UCC%20Booklet%20Interior%20%2712.pdf

Congratulations to all of our students.

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