BSc MHS News and Events

Congratulations Ms Joan Omosefe Osayande, Keynote Speaker at the UCC Entrance Scholarship Awards Ceremony 2021/2022

7 Apr 2022
Professor Aideen Sullivan and Ms Joan Omosefe Osayande

Congratulations to Ms Joan Omosefe Osayande, a fourth year BSc Medical and Health Sciences student who was the invited Keynote Speaker at the recent UCC Entrance Scholarship Awards Ceremony 2021/2022.

Joan Omosefe Osayande, is a fourth year BSc Medical and Health Sciences student, a Sanctuary Scholarship recipient, a Translational Research Internship (TRAIN) award recipient, and recipient of UCC Works Award and Peer Support Awards in 2019 and 2020.

In her Keynote Speech Joan congratulated the first year students on their excellent results and success, and gently shared with them her brave and resolute journey to her own academic achievements. She described how 'her success was not by chance', but by being ‘courageous and persistent, taking chances, working hard and staying focused on her goal', and also as a result of the 'support and kindness of people who reached out' to help her on her way.  Joan asked the students to ‘become aware of your actions, thoughts, and words as you move through your days', and to ‘imagine the difference we can make collectively by our simple acts of kindness.’ Joan shared with the students how she felt that she ‘was not judged on her journey but empowered by people’s kindness’.  She acknowledged the people who had helped her saying ‘THANK YOU for your kindness’. ‘You were the wind beneath my wings.’

Dr Jennifer Murphy Director of Recruitment and Admissions thanked Joan for her Keynote Speech and noted how Joan ‘has inspired all of us with her motivation and determination to achieve her life’s goals and with her kindness in supporting and encouraging her peers along their life journey.’

A truly inspiring Keynote speaker- Listen here to Joan Omosofe Osayande’s Keynote Speech.

or Link to UCC UCC Entrance Scholarship Awards 2022 Ceremony, Joan Omosofe Osayande’s Keynote Speech is at 48:48 minutes

It is at the Annual Entrance Scholarship Awards Ceremony that the Quercus Entrance Scholarships are awarded to first year undergraduate students who are admitted via CAO onto a full-time Level 8 primary degree programme offered by the University. The recipients are selected on the basis of being among the top 15 students in their College with respect to Leaving Certificate Examination Points achievement. The Entrance Scholarship Awards Ceremony 2021/2022 was held online for a second year due to Covid-19 restrictions. Dr Jennifer Murphy, Director of Recruitment and Admissions gave the Opening Address and President of UCC Professor John O’Halloran in his Welcome Address recognised the outstanding academic achievement of UCC’s first year students and the determination commitment, motivation and perseverance of the students who excelled in exceptionally difficult times during the Covid-19 Pandemic. 239 Quercus Entrance Scholarship, 11 BEd Gaeilge scholarship, 5 Mary Ryan Language Scholarship, 3 Keliher Entrance Scholarship and 2 Kavanagh Celtic Civilization Scholarships were awarded to first year students who represented 126 schools in Ireland and 1 school in Germany.

Ms Joan Omosefe Osayande 

Chatting about her time in UCC for this news item, Joan describes how having excelled in a FETAC Level 5 course in Biomedical and Laboratory Techniques in Galway led to her securing a CAO offer on the Medical and Health Sciences degree course in UCC. To finance her studies, the Equality Diversity and Inclusion Unit (EDIU) in UCC assisted Joan to apply for a Sanctuary Scholarship and assigned Professor Aideen Sullivan as Joan’s Sanctuary Scholarship mentor.  Joan describes how ‘I remember thinking, this is a beautiful school, I want to study here', ‘Professor Aideen Sullivan assisted me in the structuring of my personal statements for the Sanctuary Scholarship application. Thanks to Professor Sullivan’s help I was awarded the Sanctuary Scholarship' 'and thanks to the kindness of Dr Anca and Dr Andrei Mustata, lecturers in the Maths Department UCC, I also had a home in Cork'. Joan described how she felt, 'I had landed, and landed safely!

As a student in the first intake in 2018 to the BSc in Medical and Health Sciences degree, Joan and her classmates will be the first class to graduate with a BSc Medical and Health Sciences degree from UCC, in June 2022.  Speaking of her studies in the BSc Medical and Health Sciences programme, Joan said ‘the course is perfect for individuals like me who are very much interested in science and medical health as these form the basis of the course’. ‘I love the fact that many disciplines feed into the degree, therefore giving students a broad scope of careers to venture into’.  ‘There is an opportunity to apply for the course’s own award, 'Translational Research Internship (TRAIN) Award', where successful students get the chance to identify a supervisor in whose laboratory they would like to intern’.

In Summer 2021, Joan was awarded a BSc Medical and Health Sciences-funded TRAIN Award which gave her the opportunity to intern for 10 weeks in the APC Microbiome Ireland, working on a project studying ‘The effects of C-section on early life neurogenesis of the hippocampus' supervised by Dr Ken O'Riordan and Professor John F. Cryan.  Currently Joan is conducting her final year project with Dr Linda O’Keeffe and Dr Kate O’Neill in the School of Public Health, studying 'Sex Differences in the Association Between Alcohol Use During Adolescence and Cardiometabolic Risk in Early Adulthood'.

Joan Omosefe Osayande working in the lab in the final year of her BSc Medical and Health Sciences degree.

Joan has recently secured a postgraduate degree place in Professor Aideen Sullivan's group, working on Parkinson’s disease research, and is looking forward to commencing her postgraduate studies.

Joan is philosophical. ‘As the Universe would have it, I am one of the first recipients of the UCC Sanctuary scholarship, I will also be one of the first graduates to obtain a degree in Medical and Health Sciences in UCC 2022, the first Sanctuary scholar to be mentored by Professor Aideen Sullivan, and one of the first Medical and Health Sciences graduates to obtain a postgraduate position in Professor Sullivan's Lab.’

Congratulations Joan!


In the News: 

Joan Omosefe Osayande was featured recently on an RTÉ News item supporting University College Cork's appeal to school leavers living in Direct Provision who want to go to University to apply for one of their Sanctuary Scholarships. View the report by Jenny O'Sullivan on RTÉ Twitter or at this link R News report by Jenny O'Sullivan 


Further Information:

Link here to read more about UCC Sanctuary Scholarships which are accepting applications until 5:00 pm on June 1st 2022

View the complete UCC Entrance Scholarship Awards Ceremony 2021/2022 

Link here to the UCC Admissions office Awards page

Link to UCC UCC Entrance Scholarship Awards 2022 Ceremony, Joan Omosofe Osayande’s Keynote Speech is at 48:48 minutes

For more on this story contact:

News item and photographs B. Riedewald

Department of Anatomy and Neuroscience

Anatamaíocht agus Néareolaíocht

Room 2.33, 2nd Floor, Western Gateway Building, University College, Cork, Ireland