Alumni Spotlight

Rev Prof John Ryan - Bishop of Mzuzu, Malawi

2 Nov
Rev Prof John Ryan

This week’s alumnus became the first Professor of Mathematics at the University of Mzuzu, Malawi and was recently appointed Bishop of Mzuzu Diocese. Bishop Ryan is a Kiltegan Father and has worked in Malawi for the past 40 years. He introduced the first PhD programme in Mathematics in Malawi and has a special interest in coding theory.

Course/subjects studied in UCC

1970 - 1974 Honours BA in Mathematics 
1980 - 1982 MA in Group Theory by correspondence ---supervisor Prof Desmond MacHale
2000 - 2004 PhD in Coding Theory by correspondence ---supervisor Prof Patrick Fitzpatrick

Best memory of UCC

Being welcomed back in 2000 to study for PhD by both professors and students at that time. By this time I had spent 20 years in the 'bush' and going back to university was a bit 'daunting' but made easy by the people of the mathematics department

How has your time at UCC helped you to get to where you are now?

Enabled me, with help from professors and students from UCC, to introduce postgraduate studies in mathematics at Mzuzu University (MZUNI). This raised my profile a lot and gave me good standing in MZUNI, in Mzuzu Diocese and in the community around MZUNI.

What is your advice to current UCC students?

For the developing world, education is all important and anything which can be done to promote education in developing countries is well worth it. Consider a career in Africa ---it has great energy, joy and liveliness. Yes, Africa has its problems but the joys and positive energy outweighs the negatives.

What person/people at UCC had the most positive influence on you?

Professor Barry (Head of Maths in the seventies)
Professor MacHale
Professor Fitzpatrick 
Dr Katie O'Brien
Dr Henry O' Keeffe

Were you involved in any Clubs or Societies?

Debating (a little bit)

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