The School of Pharmacy hosted it’s School Assembly on Tuesday 2nd October 2018

18 Oct 2018
Pictured Rob Heffernan, Prof Stephen Byrne, Dr Abina Crean and some of the students who attended College Assembly.

The School of Pharmacy  hosted it’s School Assembly on Tuesday 2nd October 2018 with a focus on the theme of  Building Connection and Community


The School was delighted to have the key note address given by Mr Rob Heffernan, World Champion race walker. Deemed too small for his school’s Gaelic football team at the age of fourteen, Rob Heffernan took up race walking on a whim. Over the next twenty-four years, driven by a fiercely competitive nature and a dogged desire to be the best in the world, he strode his way to the pinnacle of the sport, becoming world champion of the 50km walk in Moscow in 2013 & Bronze medal in London 2012 Olympics. In 2016, he became the first athlete ever to represent Ireland at the Olympic Games for a fifth time.

Rob, from Togher in Cork City, said, ‘Years of dedication, self-sacrifice and hard work might get you qualification for the Games, but even after that you still have to time everything right to be in the best form of your life on that one day that counts, the day of your race.’

Rob described his battles with injury, depression and abject poverty on his way to the top. Even when at his best, he often found himself cheated out of medals by those who crossed the dark line into doping. Rob spoke about the mistakes he made, the lessons he learned, and the people who inspired, challenged and supported him along the way. Rob told his story in a funny, open way and reminded students about the importance of not giving up, about resilience, and about holding on to your dreams.

Dr Abina Crean addressed the assembly on the key University values of  equality, diversity and inclusion and briefed the group on the School’s recent Athena Swan award.  Dr Crean outlined the importance of  Culture to the School of Pharmacy and wider University community and how all staff and students can benefit practically from a culture that seeks, respects, values and harnesses individual differences. She also reminded the group about  Respect and how any failure to respect individual differences can adversely affect the environment.  It was also emphasised that it is the responsibility of all members of the School’s community to help to create and maintain a Positive Working Environment.  Students were invited to volunteer to sit on the School’s Athena Swan Committee.  A competition was launched where Pharmacy students were invited to create short video pieces highlighting equality, diversity and inclusion in Pharmacy.

School of Pharmacy


Cavanagh Pharmacy Building Room UG06 University College Cork