Graduate Attributes and Values
My name is Fayza Baslaim and I am a second year student of the BSc (Hons) Medical and Health Sciences.
As much as some people may think that they could live alone and do a good job at it, we are designed by nature to live together as social beings, in harmony with each other. Each one amongst us has a responsibility to the members of the society we live in, and it is we who shape our societies, for better or for worse.
I find pleasure and happiness in simple acts that cost nothing whether it is smiling and saying hello to passers-by, engaging with and getting to know the person who serves me coffee and other people who are often overlooked, helping someone cross the road, removing trash or harmful objects from public paths or from public buses, assisting a drunk person on the road, making time to chat with the elderly and those who may be lonely and longing for human interaction, supporting causes that improve the welfare of animals, students, the evicted, the homeless, the abused, the elderly, the marginalized; standing up to injustice, racism and discrimination, volunteering with UCC in any opportunities that come my way so as to give back to the community; little acts all done in the hopes of leaving a better society for tomorrow than the one I’m in today.
My name is Kyle Macaulay and I am in my 3rd Year of the BA (Hons) Arts-Music, taking Music and Politics.
I believe strongly in the importance of creative practice to enhance learning, refresh and reinvigorate interest in important older works and to invent new inspiring work. As a traditional musician and sound engineer, my creative works come in the form of recordings and new compositions. I am constantly striving to find ways to put my own stamp on compositions or unique older works before releasing the recording in the hope of inspiring a new group of people.
My recently released debut album "Barra Taoide" (Sponsored by UCC's Quercus Talented Students’ Scholarship programme) epitomises my aspirations as a performer, as a composer and as an advocate for the ceaseless promotion of traditional music. The album features a range of significant older tunes from my local area which have been arranged and given new life in the project. These tunes sit neatly alongside my own compositions, written to muse upon a particular historical period, a person or an idea. Recording and releasing this music has allowed it to reach a new audience, one which may not have been privy to the importance and the significance of this older music. It also allows it to reach a more familiar audience, but it refreshes the tradition, ensures its organicity and aids in the passing on of the music through generations. As a creator, this is my most important contribution.
My name is Cailean Coffey and I graduated from the BA in Applied Psychology in 2019.
As a writer, and as a journalist, my job is to keep the people informed. As Editor of the University Express, I did all I could to find, confirm, and verify information that I felt was important for students to know. Knowledge is power, and the more we know as a people, the more powerful we can be in the face of adversity,
As Editor of the University Express in 2018/19, I lobbied the Students’ Union for an increase in the student capitation fee in order to fund and develop student media in UCC. As a student body, it is important to be informed on administrative developments in UCC as well as developments on a wider scale, that could affect our lives as students. The only way to ensure this is to develop the student media facilities in UCC, invest in publications such as the University Express and Motley magazine, and ensure that media in UCC has a bright future. I launched and organised a campaign asking students to increase their capitation fee by €5 to develop student media in UCC. The motion was passed with a 60:40 majority. This meant that UCC students were the first ever student body in Ireland to vote to increase their capitation fee in order to fund student media. This is a legacy and a mindset which, I hope, will last forever.
My name is Jennifer Conroy and I am in year 3 of the Bachelor of Social Work (BSW) programme.
Compassion underpins everything here in University College Cork. I am so privileged to have the opportunity to study on the BSW course and learn from such amazing staff, support staff and fellow students, all of whom have incredible passion and compassion. One of the core values for a social worker is compassion and I am honoured to be here with my classmates developing and enhancing our skills to be the best we can be in order to help others.
Throughout my UCC journey I have been honoured to work with the students in the Certificate for Contemporary Living (CCL) course, hold the position of Class Representative 2018/2019 and Peer Support Leader 2019/2020, all of which require many attributes and values but the most important skill is to be able to show compassion. Starting a new journey can be exhilarating and exciting but it can also be terrifying and daunting.
The start to my own UCC journey was very exciting but brought with it the daunting reality of change, upheaval, nerves, worries and apprehension. I received amazing support everywhere I went, from the Mature Student Office to the Skills Centre and everything in between. I found great reassurance in unexpected brief chats or even a welcome greeting. I feel through my roles as Class Representative and Peer Support Leader, I have had the opportunity to give back at least some of the compassion that was given to me and I will strive to give back more.
My name is Harry McCann and I am in my 2nd year of my BA degree in Digital Humanities and Information Technology.
I have taken a digital-first approach to all of my work in the last 5 years. I truly believe that a digital society, built upon the foundations of technology and connectivity, could change the world we live in for the better. My philosophy is that when we are connected, we are stronger, and there is no limit to what we can achieve.
I founded my first business in 2014, Kid Tech, to 'Teach the Next Generation Tech'. Over the space of 18 months, I taught almost one thousand young people all across Ireland how to code. In August 2015, I founded the first Digital Youth Council in the world to give young people a voice in Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths (STEM). The model which I designed and implemented can now be seen in countries around the world.
In 2017, I delivered my TEDx talk entitled 'The Power of STEM' in Vilnius, Lithuania. My talk explored the idea of the power of introducing STEM into our education system.
In 2017, I founded my most recent venture, Trendster Media. A digital media agency, creating the next generation of digital footprints.
I have received a number of awards and honours in recognition of my work over the years, the most notable being the JCI Ten Outstanding Young Persons in the World Award in Amsterdam in 2017. In 2018, I was appointed EU Ambassador for #SaferInternet4EU campaign by the European Commissioner for Digital Economy and Society, Mariya Gabriel.
My name is Temitope Akinlade and I am currently studying Biological Sciences and I am in my 2nd year.
Personally, I love being organised. This enables me to think ahead and most of the time, know the right thing(s) to do. Therefore, when I have a set goal, I like knowing what my options are so that I can plan ahead and with a determined mind, be able to achieve my goal.
One of my best achievements to date is securing a scholarship to study in UCC. I never thought I could or would win it. It was very competitive and there were many abled contestants, but I was among the few that were chosen.
UCC has always been a place that I wanted to study at. Even when I got offers and letters from other universities, I still had my mind set on UCC. I mean, what’s not to love about the college?; its scenery, its location, its hardworking staff, its diverse students, and most importantly, an array of services that ensure that you have a great time in college. UCC is a community in its own right and a welcoming one at that. Therefore, being able to study here is one dream I never thought would come true.
My name is Lina Skarabis I am a final year Bachelor of Arts student majoring in Geography and having Economics as a minor.
I believe that respect for our fellow human beings as well as all other living forms on Earth and for our planet itself is vital to build a flourishing community and a sustainable future. In everyday life, I try to treat everybody with respect and tolerance and without prejudice or judgement. I strive to help people to be content with who they are and want to help them to fulfil their potential.
With my activism, I try to increase students’ respect for and awareness of our planet Earth. I think it is vital for humanity to reconnect to nature and to learn to respect it in order to protect it. Last year as the UCC Environmental Society’s Campaigns Officer I ran a campaign around sustainable eating habits. At the core of sustainable eating is respect, in my view. Respect for the people who work the soil and produce our food at home and overseas, respect for the Earth from which our food ultimately comes and also respect for the flora and fauna as biodiversity is vital to ensure future food supply.
With the campaign, I aimed to make students aware of the relationships between the Earth, all living things and the food we eat daily. Appreciating and respecting these relationships is essential to become good global citizens.
My name is Colla McMahon and I have just graduated from UCC with a degree in BSocSc (Social Science).
I am the Co-Founder and Director of a company called Tiny Homes and I believe that in business, when you are trying to think of a new product or service idea, the idea should revolve around a solution to a problem experienced by large groups of people.
To identify a problem or the scale of a problem, one has to willingly put oneself in other people's shoes and consider the needs of others. By doing this, one can create a product or service that not only solves a big problem but solves it in a way that is socially responsible and keeps the users at heart.
Although it is early days for us as a company, we have been able to provide a couple of Tiny Homes to people who have really needed an additional house.
There was one client in particular who lived with her sister and her sister's young family. This person did not have the confidence to leave her sister's house but both her and her sister wanted their own space, creating quite the dilemma.
In the end, we built her a Tiny House in the back garden of her sister's property. Since moving into her own Tiny Home, she has enjoyed her own independence, her own space and the whole family has peace of mind. We hope to continue providing housing solutions to the people in society who need it most.
Meet Mary FitzGerald who represents our core value of Ambition.
My name is Mary FitzGerald and I am in 2nd year of my Occupational Therapy degree.
I always want to be the best that I can be in every aspect of my life - whether as a university student, international para-athlete or otherwise. I am not defined by my 'disability'; I do not feel that there is a limit to what I (or indeed anyone) can achieve. As an athlete, I always want to be better than yesterday's performance. I never want to have regrets; I give 100% to everything I do. Of course, people may doubt you, but that only drives one on further in pursuit of their goals. My personal motto is 'never tell me the sky is the limit when there are footprints on the moon!'.
If I had to pick one achievement to best speak the core value of ambition, it would be making it onto the Paralympics Ireland Fast-Track Panel at the age of nineteen. Of course, it was a dream of mine for a long time; however, I knew it would not come easy. I knew that it required nothing but hard work, diligence, dedication and focus. It was hectic at times, balancing my athletics with a full-time university degree, but I always focused on the big picture and what I wanted to achieve. Many probably said that it was unrealistic, but I knew that if I could put my mind to it that I could achieve it. In January 2019, I was delighted to be called to the panel. I'm hoping to go to the World Para Athletics World Championships in Dubai in November 2019 and of course the 2020 Paralympics in Tokyo!
Meet Sophie Healy-Thow who represents our Graduate Attribute of being an Effective Global Citizen who recognises and challenges inequality.
My name is Sophie and I am in 3rd year of the BSc (Hons) International Development and Food Policy degree.
I think I embody the attribute of being an Effective Global Citizen who recognises and challenges inequality as I am a youth activist who promotes Food Security, Gender Equality and Anti-bullying at local, national and global levels. I speak regularly at events such as The European Development Days in Brussels, WE Day UK, Irish Aid Awards, Thought for Food Conference and Cork Climate March among others.
I was selected by the UN to be a Youth Leader for Zero Hunger at United Nations General Assembly in 2015. In 2017 I was chosen to represent Ireland at the bi-annual Youth Ag Summit where the delegates were challenged to find solutions on “How to Feed a Hungry Planet”. While at the Summit, I co-founded “Agrikua”, an online platform to promote women in agriculture in developing countries. Agrikua went onto win the first prize at the summit and our are now being funded by Bayer Crop Sciences to develop the idea further. In 2017, I was also invited to participate in the inaugural UNleash Innovation Lab in Denmark working to find solutions to Sustainable Development Goals.
I am one of only 10 women (along with Facebook founder, Sheryl Sandberg) to be included in the Disney book about leadership, 'Choose to Matter' written by Olympic medallist and ESPN presenter Julie Foudy.
Meet Jamie who embodies our core value of Resilience.
My name is Jamie Twomey and I am currently in my third year of BSc Government.
I feel like I show resilience through my work ethic and my willingness to push on. Throughout the college year there can be many tough and testing times. It is during these tough times that my resilience, along with a strong support network, pays off. As a student who suffers with a visual impairment, it can get tough around exam time with the extra pressure of study. Due to my visual impairment, I often get migraines from extensive reading. This can be a nuisance when it comes to study. Knowing my condition has enabled me to prepare myself around exam time. Thankfully, the Disability Support Service are also a massive help in this regard. This ensures that I am at no disadvantage.
When I completed my Leaving Certificate, I did not get offered the course I really wanted. I then took the decision to attend a PLC for a year. Throughout the year, I put in the hard work and it paid off. The following summer I was offered my dream course. Since coming to UCC I have not allowed my disability to get in the way of enjoying everything that the university has to offer. I am deeply involved in Societies and have also sat on the Student Council. In January 2020, I will be heading off to New York interning in the State Assembly as part of my work placement.
Meet Hannah who typifies our core value of Respect.
My name is Hannah O’Connor and I am a final year Chemistry student, having entered through Biological and Chemical Sciences.
As the Welfare and Accessibility Officer on the UCC Societies Executive this year, my role encompasses the value of Respect. As Welfare Officer, my main aim is to support the wellbeing of committee members of various societies and help them to maintain the balance between academic and extracurricular activities. As Accessibility Officer, I help create inclusive and accessible UCC Societies. These roles are achieved by the respect that is shared by everyone in UCC Societies.
Before I was elected to my role on the UCC Societies Executive, I was heavily involved in the UCC LGBT* Society and still am this year. I served as Chairperson from June 2018 to May 2019 and, in October 2019, we organised a panel of LGBT* speakers from various STEM disciplines to talk to students about their experiences as a queer person in STEM. The event was inspired by House of STEM, the national organisation for queer people in STEM disciplines in Ireland. This event is close to my heart as it encompassed two facets of my life, my love of chemistry and my sexuality. It was heart-warming to speak with people who had similar experiences to me and whom I respected. When promoting this event, I contacted representatives of various STEM departments in UCC and the enthusiasm that staff showed towards the event proved just how inclusive UCC can be!
My name is Amy Sinnott and I am a third year BComm student.
As I am visually impaired, I believe I challenge inequality almost every day when using my problem-solving skills to find ways to carry out the necessary activities that a sighted person would be able to do in a more common way. If I find that these ways are beneficial to me, I will then share them with anyone who I think would also benefit. I also challenge inequality by volunteering with different organisations such as Camp Abilities which have helped me to become the person I am and showing the younger people in these organisations that a disability will not define them or hold them back from achieving their dreams.
I believe that my biggest achievement to date that best illustrates the Global Citizen who recognises and challenges inequality attribute is moving away from home for college. This has made me more confident as I am living a healthy balanced lifestyle independently. I also view my volunteering as an achievement. it is very rewarding to see young people become more confident about themselves and their abilities after helping them with little things along the way.
Meet David who exemplifies the graduate attribute of Independent and Creative Thinking.
My name is David Killoughy and I will be graduating in October 2019 with a degree in BSc Computer Science.
I think I embody the attribute of being an Independent and Creative Thinker as together with Jordan Morrison, a fellow UCC student, I am co-founding my own start up, Setlist, which is a social music app that connects user’s music streaming services together, analyses their listening history and creates perfect playlists for groups of people of all sizes. Setting up a business requires creative thinking skills to overcome the challenges in doing so. As my degree has given me a background and training in software development, this has allowed me to develop our business and build the app myself without needing to hire outside help. This gives me a great deal of control and independence.
I believe my greatest achievement to date regarding independent and creative thinking is having been accepted on to entrepreneurial accelerator and incubator programmes such as Student Inc., this last summer, and Ignite which I will begin in October. These achievements best speak to my independent and creative thinking as I have not only proven to myself that I am capable of taking exciting risks and choosing the path less travelled but I have also received external validation in that there are others who see the value in my work and are willing to help it reach its full potential.