Meet our Scholars

Quercus Scholars 2023/24

Front row left to right: Eva Mangan, Alex Linehan, Grace Lynch, Oisin Dilger, Amergin QuinlanOlga Andriyashchenko

Second row left to right: Katie Halpin Hill, Cian Walsh, Robyn Murphy, Daniel MaddenFionn O'HanlonGobnait Kiely

Back row left to right: Ella Barrett, Conor Kelly, Ben Cunningham, Adam Murphy, Aoife HealyConor McGlinchey

Sean Condon and Ben O'Connor were not there on the day because they had a training camp for Munster Rugby.

Eva Mangan - Bio to follow

Alex Linehan

Alex Linehan is a Quercus Innovations and Entrepreneurship Scholar. He founded a company which aims to aid students in their progression onto third level education through teaching about effective learning and building a growth mindset. As a student who went to a DEIS school, Alex places a lot of focus on helping students who encounter more adversities in their educational journey. For every session or course purchased, Alex donates a free one to a student in a DEIS school. He has given talks in schools about his academic journey, from scraping through the Junior Cert and getting very low grades in all subjects, to attaining the highest points in his year by implementing the system he built in fourth and fifth year. Alex enjoys public speaking and has given talks in relation to his business at schools such as C.E.R Cork and Mayfield Community School. He has also participated in talks and events run by universities such as the entrepreneurial camp run by the Hincks Centre for Entrepreneurial Excellence which took place for second level students in MTU. Alex has won awards for past companies he has created such as CourseConnect, and although they have not been as successful as Nextstepuni, he sees them as learning experiences. Experimentation and learning from mistakes is a large part of Alex's entrepreneurial ethos, and he works with UCC Innovation to encourage other students to get involved in entrepreneurial activities.

Grace Lynch

Grace Lynch is the 2023 Quercus University Academic Scholar for the College of Science, Engineering and Food Science. Grace is a first-generation university student from Dublin. She is in her fourth year of Applied Plant Biology at UCC. She is the first of her discipline to have achieved this scholarship, awarded for demonstrating academic excellence during her third year. Grace was also awarded a Quercus College Scholarship for outstanding academic achievement in her second year. Grace has a passion for travel, and witnessing the impacts of the climate and ecological crises first-hand is what motivated Grace to study Applied Plant Biology. Plants are foundational to ecological and global food systems and thus are paramount in navigating towards a sustainable future for humanity and the planet. Grace is keenly interested in the full breadth of plant science research, from beneficial plant-derived bioactive compounds to plant physiology, biotechnology, ecology, and conservation. Grace has volunteered at the National Botanic Gardens in Glasnevin, where she worked on conserving Ireland’s native flora at the National Seed Bank and contributed to research on limiting the spread of invasive alien plant species. Grace’s academic interests expand beyond the plant kingdom, and she has also contributed to research on seaweed bioactive products during an internship at Teagasc. Along with travel and the health of our planet, Grace’s passions include creative expression in art, design, and poetry, and she has had an eco-poem about the climate crisis published in UCC’s Uprooted Magazine. Grace is honoured to be a part of the Quercus Talented Students’ Programme. She endeavours to continue achieving academic success in her final year and hopes to continue nurturing what will be a lifelong dedication to science.

Oisin Dilger - Bio to follow

Amergin Quinlan

Amergín William Quinlan is a student of Law and Irish from Kilcommon, Co. Tipperary. Amergín is this year’s College of Business and Law Quercus Scholar. He attended St. Joseph’s College, Borrisoleigh where he won several awards including the 10th National Essay Writing Competition organised by UL, the best Leaving Cert History Research Project by the Irish History Summit and a Seachtain na Gaeilge Senior Poetry Award. Amergín was awarded a Quercus Entrance Scholarship in 2022. Amergín is Education Officer of An Chuallacht Ghaelach and was on the editorial committee of its magazine Breac last year. In 2023, Amergín was awarded his second Scoláireacht Ionad na Gaeilge Labhartha and a scholarship to attend Daonscoil na Mumhan by the Department of Irish. Foras na Gaeilge awarded Amergín with a bursary to study Scottish Gaelic at the Sabhal Mòr Ostaig on the Isle of Skye. He is a member of Conradh na Gaeilge, the Historical Harp Society of Ireland and Cumann Barra na Gaeilge. Amergín participated in Law First with McCann FitzGerald this year and also attended the Cumann Barra na Gaeilge conference on EU law at the Irish College, Leuven. Rural and environmental affairs are one of his key interests alongside technological development, particularly the advancements of Artificial Intelligence. Is mac léinn Dlí agus Gaeilge é Amergín Ó Caoindealbháin atá sa tarna bhliain den chúrsa Dlí agus Gaeilge. Is as Cill Chuimín a’ tSléibhe i gCo. Thiobraid Árann ó dhúchas dó agus d’fhreastal sé ar Choláiste Sheosaimh Naofa i mBuireas Uí Luigheach. Le linn dó a bheith ansan, bhain sé gradaim amach ag leibhéal náisiúnta i gcomórtais scríbhneoireachta, filíochta agus staire. Bronnadh scoláireacht iontrála Quercus air cheana mar gheall ar a thorthaí Ardteiste, agus i mbliana roghnaigh an Coláiste Gnó agus Dlí é mar scoláire acadúil an choláiste sin don scéim Quercus. Is é Amergín an tOifigeach Oideachais ar choiste na Cuallachta Gaelaí san ollscoil, agus bhí sé ar choiste eagarthóireachta Breac (iris na Cuallachta) anuraidh. I mbliana, bronnadh scoláireacht Ionad na Gaeilge Labhartha air don tarna uair agus scoláireacht chun freastal ar Dhaonscoil na Mumhan. Bhronn Foras na Gaeilge sparánacht air i mbliana chun staidéar a dhéanamh ar Ghaeilge na hAlban sa Sabhal Mòr Ostaig ar an Oileán Sgítheanach. Is ball é de Chumann Barra na Gaeilge, de Chonradh na Gaeilge agus de Chumann Cláirsí Stairiúla na hÉireann. Cuireann Amergín spéis i gcúrsaí tuaithe agus timpeallachta agus i bhforbairt na teicneolaíochta – an Intleacht Saorga ach go háirithe. D’fhreastal sé ar chomhdháil de chuid Chumann Barra na Gaeilge i gColáiste na nGael, Leuven i mbliana ag comóradh 50 bhliain de dhlí na hEorpa in Éirinn.

Olga Andriyashchenko

Olga Andriyashchenko is the 2023 Quercus University Academic Scholar for the College of Medicine and Health, currently in her third year of pharmacy. She was awarded this scholarship based on her outstanding academic excellence and achievement in her 1st and 2nd year exams. Her passion for science began when she participated in the RDS Primary Science Fair at the BT Young Scientist and Technology Exhibition 2015. Based on the project, she and her team were awarded an Order of Merit in the CSO John Hooper Medal for Statistics 2015 Poster Competition. Whilst attending Carrigaline Community Secondary School, Olga received the Student of the Year Award 2016. She achieved the highest Junior Certificate 2018 results in her school, obtaining 9 As and a Distinction in English for 10 higher-level subjects. Due to being a high achiever in both Maths and Science in the Junior Cert exams, she was a finalist in the Irish Junior Science Olympiad 2018 to select students to represent Ireland at the European Union Science Olympiad. Also, Olga acquired the highest Leaving Certificate 2021 result in her school, achieving 625 points with 7 H1s, including achieving 100% in Biology, 99% in Maths and Physics and 98% in French in the written examinations. Due to this high result, she was awarded the Quercus Entrance Scholarship 2021 upon commencing her studies at UCC. In both first and second year of pharmacy, Olga's class ranking from her examinations was first in her class. She was awarded a Quercus College Scholarship in 2022 and 2023 for achieving the highest aggregate score in her examinations. Her passion for pharmacy extends to participating in the Buddy programme set up by the Pharmacy Society to mentor pharmacy students in the years below. She is a member of the PIER Committee (Pharmacists in Industry, Education and Regulatory) and in addition, she works in a community pharmacy. Outside of pharmacy, she has a true interest in learning languages, learning Irish all throughout school and starting learning French outside of school when she was eight years of age. Because of her love and passion for the French language and her academic excellence in French, she was awarded a sponsorship for the French exchange programme at her school in 2019. She is a member of ‘Family Carers Ireland’ and is also passionate about supporting Ukraine and Ukrainian refugees during their time of need. Olga is very proud and grateful to be part of the Quercus Talented Students programme as she continues reaching her potential and contributing to healthcare.

Katie Halpin Hill - Bio to follow 

Cian Walsh

Cian is a Quercus Active Citizenship Scholar from Bandon, Co. Cork. He attended St. Brogan's College and is now in his first year of studying the BSc Government and Political Science at UCC. Throughout his active citizenship, Cian has been involved in a diverse range of advocacy areas. Cian has consistently stood up for the causes he believes in. From leading award-winning climate action projects and fostering a culture of informed consent to being a voice for students, he has had an impact on a number of areas. He has also pushed for equitable agricultural policies and has successfully brought his proposals into national debates and discussions. Beginning his active citizenship journey at the RTÉ Youth Assembly on Climate in 2019, Cian sought to lobby for sustainable agricultural practices and has developed this campaign over subsequent years to today, on a national, European, and international level. By astutely leveraging local, national, and international media, Cian has broadcasted his voice and goals to a larger audience. His involvement in organisations including the Irish Second-Level Students' Union, ECO-UNESCO, the European Youth Parliament, We~Consent Ireland, and others have demonstrated a willingness to fight for the betterment of our world. He has also encouraged others to have their voices heard through the development of Model UN programmes. His efforts, spanning from local grassroots movements to international platforms, highlight his commitment, expertise, and vision for a sustainable and interconnected global community. Cian is now a member of UCC Green Campus, and serves as an academic class representative. He hopes to effect more change in social, economic, and environmental sustainability, consent, and student rights.

Robyn Murphy

Robyn joined Ashton Hockey Club when she was 8 years. At 13 she then attended St Angela’s and started her school career where she made the senior team in second year. Robyn went onto Captain her senior team in her final year. Robyn played for Munster at the u16, u18 and u21 level. She went on to Captain the Munster u18 team to an interpro final. In 2022 Robyn won the Munster young player of the year. In 2023 Robyn was nominated for Munster Senior Player of the Year. At 16 Robyn got her first cap for Ireland against England in 2020. Robyn progressed to the u18 Irish team in 2022. She played a 5 nations series, a Scottish series and an 8 nations in Barcelona. Robyn is currently a first year student studying Government and Political Science.

Daniel Madden - Bio to follow

Fionn O'Hanlon - Bio to follow

Gobnait Kiely - Bio to follow

Ella Barrett 

Ella Barrett is the College of Arts, Celtic Studies and Social Sciences Quercus Academic Scholar for 2023. She is a second-year student studying Social Science. Since joining UCC, Ella has achieved three Quercus Scholarships- the 2022 Entrance Scholarship, the 2023 College Scholarship, and most recently, the 2023 University (Academic) Scholarship. Ella is also the CACSSS Representative to the Students’ Union, focused on increasing engagement within the college. She is working on advocating for the student voice within her college and the university. Having lived in four European countries and attending over seven schools (both primary and secondary), she has native English, French, and Spanish proficiency. In her spare time, she is a coxswain for UCC Rowing and looks forward to gaining more national and international experience this season. Ella is already thinking about her postgraduate studies and is exploring options in policymaking and governance.

Conor Kelly 

Conor is a final year student of the graduate entry medicine programme. Prior to this, he studied Business Information Systems, also at UCC, and is already a proud alumnus of the college. During his time as an undergraduate, Conor gained experience in various roles in the technology sector. With a thirst for knowledge, Conor endeavoured to study medicine. During this time, he noticed the prevalence of overpriced resources available for the entrance exam to medicine, most of which offered little real value. Conor began advising aspiring applicants in online communities and eventually developed this year, which specialises in exam technique for a section of the GAMSAT, and enables members to prepare for it under exam conditions. During his time as a medical student, Conor has collaborated with established physicians working in hospitals and is currently in the process of developing a mobile platform for anaesthetic doctors to use during surgical procedures, improving the accuracy of perioperative record-keeping as well as patient safety. Conor’s goal is to develop his career as a physician-entrepreneur and to bring real, valued products and services to healthcare that will benefit those working in the industry and ultimately, patients.

Ben Cunningham - Bio to follow

Adam Murphy

Adam Murphy is a Quercus Sports scholar for rowing and studying Business Information Systems. He is from Passage West, Cork and attended St. Francis College Rochestown. He has represented Ireland from across all levels Junior to Senior. He won his first medal at the Junior European Rowing Championships in 2020, being a silver in the men's quad. In the following years he won more medals at both the 2021 and 2022 U23 world championships in the men's coxed and coxless fours. He was then selected as the spare man at the 2022 senior world rowing championships and the 2023 senior European world championships. He earned his 1st senior cap at the 2023 Senior World Rowing Championships in the men’s four and his current aim is to qualify a boat for the Paris 2024 Olympic games while also looking towards the 2028 Olympics.

Aoife Healy - Bio to follow 

Conor McGlinchey - Bio to follow

Sean Condon

Seán is Quercus Sports’ Scholar. He attended Presentation Brothers College and he is now studying computer science and sociology through a bachelor's degree in arts. Seán began playing rugby at 12 years of age with his local club, Cork Constitution. During his time in PBC, he represented the school in the McCarthy Cup, Munster Junior Cup, and Munster Senior Cup. Seán represented Munster at U17, U18, U19 and a development level. He has represented Ireland at U18 and U19 levels and was capped last year against Japan in April. Seán is now playing with the UCC Rugby senior team in Division 1B of the AIL and received a sports star reward as a result of his debut season in the AIL.

 Ben O'Connor - Bio to follow




Quercus Scholars 2022/23

Front row Left to Right: Andrew Sheehan, Ruby Falvey, Danny Sheahan, Laura Hayes, Michael Holden. Second row Left to Right: Rere Ukponu, Lauren Cripps, Sinead McMahon, Claudia Kavanagh. Third row Left to Right: Sean EdogboAlex Goodison, Emer Neville. Back row Left to Right: Ger Millerick, Daniel Squires, Sean Burns Desmond, Kacper Bogalecki. Two scholars were not there on the day, Ciara Millerick and Grace O'Sullivan (pictured below).

Andrew Sheehan - Bio to follow soon

Ruby Falvey 

Ruby is a traditional Irish musician and composer from Ballylongford in North Kerry. She is a multi-instrumentalist and plays the tin whistle, flute, button accordion and melodeon. She is a Quercus Creative & Performing Arts Scholar and she studies Arts Music. Ruby was a finalist in this year's prestigious Bonn Óir Seán Ó Riada Competition on the melodeon. She has successfully competed in solo, duet, trio, grupai cheoil & ceili band Fleadh competitions at all levels. She was also a member of an All-Ireland medal winning Community Games music group. Ruby’s compositions have been awarded both County & Munster Fleadh medals. She has been actively involved with her local Comhaltas Branch Ballydonoghue/Lisselton for many years, both performing and teaching. She has also represented the branch at local charity events. Ruby was invited to play and was interviewed for the Ceili House radio programme broadcast from the new Duchas Comhaltas Centre in Tralee to mark the 60th anniversary of the foundation of Comhaltas in Kerry. Ruby co-ordinated and played alongside young musicians and dancers from North Kerry for the Fleadhfest ’21 TV programme on TG4. This summer she recorded a performance with her brother for Realta & Gaolta on TG4. Ruby was honoured to be invited to play for Uachtarán na hÉireann Michael D. Higgins when he visited Listowel in 2019. Ruby recently gained a distinction with 98% in my grade 8 flute exam from London College of Music. She is keen to complete further performance diplomas with LCM.

Danny Sheahan

Danny is from Cork. He went to PBC Cork and is now studying Commerce. Danny played in the 6 nations for Ireland u18s in Paris in April 2022. He represented Munster u18s and u19s in the Interpros.

Laura Hayes 

Laura is fourth year student studying Food Marketing and Entrepreneurship. She is on a Quercus sports scholarship for camogie. She have played camogie for Cork from under 14 up to senior level. She was on the Minor team that won the All-Ireland for the first time in 2018. The same year Laura won an All-Ireland schools title with her secondary school Loreto Fermoy and received the player of the match award. Based on these performances Laura has played with the Cork Intermediates and Cork Senior panel. The following year (2019) Laura made my Cork Senior Debut. In 2021, she played wing back in the 2021 All-Ireland final. Laura received an All-Star for the 2021 campaign. In 2022 we also reached the All-Ireland final. She received an All-Star nomination.

Michael Holden

Michael Holden is a writer, musician, actor and artist, and a Quercus Creative and Performing Arts scholar from Dingle, Co. Kerry. He attended Pobalscoil Chorca Dhuibhne and is currently in his 1st year of studying Theatre and Performative Prac-tices with Music. Michael is currently working on the third draft of a 130,000-word fantasy fiction novel, entitled The Flight of the Sparrow, which he hopes to publish in the near future and with which he has had critical input from Canadian author Sebas-tien de Castell. He is also beginning production on his play – The Shadow Genie, a ‘por-tal fantasy’ parody – and has won a PressPass 2019-20 journalism award for his feature article 'Hanging onto the Yardarm,’ coming second in his category. Michael is a pianist and guitarist and has achieved Distinction in his Grade 8 RIAM examinations for pi-anoforte. He has competed in the Scléip Gael Linn talent competition many times and has won two second-place awards in the Solo Instrumental Performance category (2017 and 2020). Michael had a main acting role in the amateur play ‘Stone of the Sea-sons,’ which was performed twice during the Féile na Bealtaine festival of 2019, was a background extra in the feature film ‘Joyride,’ starring Olivia Colman, and has pro-vided vocal talents to the audio dramas ‘Hounds of Bedlam’ and ‘Yesterday’s News’ from award-winning producers Cold Open Stories. Michael was a 2020 Junk Kouture Grand Finalist with his outfit ‘Arthur’s Legacy,’ appearing both live onstage at the University of Limerick and pre-recorded for RTÉ 2, and was recently asked to help represent the competition in Coventry, England. He has published a cartoon strip, en-titled ‘LipDim,’ in the magazine West & Mid Kerry Live since 2017.

Rere Ukponu

Rere Ukponu is a 23-year-old, Nigerian/Irish writer from Dublin. She has been published in the Irish Times, The HG Wells "Peace" anthology and Metro Eireann. In 2021 she completed a degree in Human Health and Disease at Trinity College Dublin. She is currently studying Graduate Entry Medicine at UCC, where she is a Quercus Creative and Performing Arts Scholar. She was selected as an IWC Young Writer Delegate for Cúirt International Festival of Literature Festival 2022 and received a residential bursary for the John Hewitt International Summer School of Literature & Arts 2022. Most recently she was chosen as one of the writers for the Irish Writers Centre National Mentor Programme, where she is working with her mentor, Jan Carson, on her debut collection.She is a Pisces. Her favourite book is the dictionary. Her favourite author is her grandfather.

Lauren Cripps 

Lauren is Quercus Sports’ Scholar. She attended Mount Mercy College and she is now studying Sports Studies and Physical Education with Irish. Lauren began playing hockey at 7 years of age with her local club, Belvedere Hockey Club. During her time in Mount Mercy College, she won Munster Minor cup, Munster Junior cup, and Munster Senior cup on two separate occasions. Lauren represented Munster at U16, U18, U21 and U23 levels. She has captained Munster at U16, U18 and at U21 level. She has represented Ireland at U16, U18 and U19 levels and has competed in six nations and four nations tournaments. Lauren moved to Cork Harlequins when she was 16 and played in the EYHL1 league with the first team for three years. She is now playing with UCC Women’s hockey team. Lauren’s ultimate goal is to play with the Irish Senior hockey team.

Sinead McMahon

Sinéad McMahon is the College of Arts, Celtic Studies and Social Sciences Quercus Academic Scholar for 2022. She is studying Government and Political Science with Italian. Sinéad is passionate about tackling gender inequalities, engaging citizen participation in political processes and protecting the environment for future generations. She attended Coláiste Muire in Crosshaven, where she achieved a result of 99% in Leaving Certificate History. During her time at UCC, she has been awarded three Quercus College Scholarships for achieving the highest exam results in her degree programme. Sinéad has served as the Policy Officer for Mná Glasa and worked for both Deputy Steven Matthews and Minister Pippa Hackett. She is currently focused on achieving academic success in the final year of her degree and researching measures to increase the representation of women in Irish politics.

Claudia Kavanagh

Claudia is the Quercus Academic Scholar for the College of Business and Law. She is a former pupil of Mount Mercy College, Bishopstown and is currently in her third year studying finance. Claudia received a Quercus Entrance Scholarship based on her Leaving Certificate results and joined the Quercus Talented Students programme based on her second year university exam results. Claudia has represented University College Cork in two international case study competitions, including the world’s largest undergraduate competition: JMUCC. Claudia has also been a committee member of the Consulting Society for the last three years as Social Media Officer, Vice-Chairperson and is currently the Finance Officer. She has also been an analyst on the UCC Student Managed Fund in her first and second year where she applied the knowledge gained from her studies.

Sean Edogbo

Sean is a Quercus Sports’ Scholar and is studying Food Marketing and Entrepreneurship. He is from Cobh in Co. Cork, went to Colaiste Muire Secondary School and he played for Cobh Pirates RFC. Sean played Munster u18s and u19s and Ireland u18s.

Alex Goodison

Alex is a 2022 Quercus Innovation/Entrepreneurship Scholar. He attended Coláiste Iósaef, Kilmallock and is now studying Computer Science. At age 11, he founded his first business, Goodie Graphics, where he sold logos and business card designs to global clients from the Seychelles to New Zealand. By reinvesting the profits earned, Alex upgraded his laptop and ventured into the world of app development. His most successful app, Swiipe News, a news app made for teens, featured in publications like Mashable and the Times. Other apps Alex has released also include, an Irish defibrillator locator. He has also won multiple awards at BT Young Scientist, such as the ISTA Award, and placed 2nd nationally at the Student Enterprise Awards. In recent years, Alex has spoken at various international tech conferences about life as a young entrepreneur including Appril Festival Amsterdam and Medientage Munich. Along with his co-founder in the US, Alex is currently working on his startup, Homeplan, which allows homeowners to manage their household in a single place with personalized help when needed.

Emer Neville

Emer Neville is a Quercus Active Citizenship scholar from Clonmel, Co. Tipperary. She is studying the BA Digital Humanities and Information Technology with Politics. Emer was elected as Uachtarán of the Irish Second-Level Students’ Union (ISSU) in 2021 following her term as Communications Officer (2020-2021) and in this role made historic impacts on the Irish education system while representing the voices of Irish students nationally and internationally. She is a regular contributor to local and national media and has submitted to and appeared before the Joint Oireachtas Committee on Education and the Joint Committee on Gender-Equality on numerous occasions. Emer also works internationally with a number of organisations, she is a member of the Plan International Ireland Youth Advisory Panel and the Global Student's Forum (GSF) where she is currently representing Ireland on a European and global scale. Emer became involved in activism at young age as a former member of Tipperary Comhairle na nÓg and through volunteering in her local community. She is passionate about technology, equality, education and people and their collective ability to transform our world for the better.

Ger Millerick

Ger is a UCC Quercus Sports Scholar for Hurling. He hails from Balllymacoda in East Cork and attended Kilcredan N.S and Midleton C.B.S. He is currently studying Sports studies and Physical Education with Mathematics. He has represented Cork at all ages from under 14 and is currently part of the Cork senior panel. He has won a minor and u21 Munster medal as well as an all-Ireland intermediate with his county. Ger has won 3 senior counties' with Imokilly and received a club all-star award in 2019. Ger was part of the Fr. O'Neill’s team that won their first u21 premier 1 county and won an intermediate Munster medal with his club. Ger made his Cork senior championship debut in 2021 where they reached the senior all Ireland final.

Daniel Squires

Daniel Squires is a UCC Quercus Sports Scholar for Rugby. Daniel is from Douglas in Cork and attended Presentation Brothers College. He is now studying Finance and is in 2nd year. He played 3 years of Senior Cup for PBC. He then went on to play for UCC in Division 1A last season, finishing as the clubs top point scorer. He also has played for Munster Development and was part of the Ireland U20 Six Nations Grand Slam winning squad of 2022.

Sean Burns Desmond

Sean is a Quercus Creative & Performing Arts' Scholar. He is an Arts-music student studying Irish and music. Sean is a classical flautist and he has been playing since he was 9 years old. He attended secondary school at Gaelcholáiste Mhuire A.G. An Mahinistir Thuaidh where his passion for Irish developed over those 6 years of study. He took part in the annual Galway Flute Festival (online) in June of 2021 where he played for famous flautists Andrea Griminelli and Lady Jeanne Galway.

Kacper Bogalecki 

Kacper is a Quercus Active Citizenship Scholar from Gdańsk, Poland. He attended St. Brendan’s College, Killarney and is now in his first year of studying Medicine at UCC. Kacper is a driven individual who embraces any opportunity to make a positive difference in the world around him. From a young age, Kacper branched out into various areas of active citizenship. From leading award-winning climate action projects to educational film-making, from fighting injustice to raising awareness on societal problems, from student governance to promotion of first aid, from fundraising for essential charities to advocating for school rights on an international level, Kacper has always been keen to face any challenges around him. In recent times, he has been heavily involved in student activism. Being elected as ISSU Regional Officer for Kerry in 2019, Kacper sought to address mental health problems faced by the Leaving Certificate students whilst also advocating for fairness in examinations for the state exams of subsequent years. Later, in 2021, Kacper was elected as the International Officer of the ISSU, where he represented Ireland’s second-level students on global forums, advocated for abolishing direct provision, and heavily contributed to TV, radio, and newspaper media to advocate for student rights. At the same time, Kacper led multiple efforts to fundraise thousands for palliative care, suicide prevention, mental health as well as other charities; he continues to help his community in this way. With a great passion for medicine and first aid, Kacper also volunteers with the Order of Malta. Over the years, he has helped recruit and train members of the community in life-saving skills and was involved in providing patient services during the COVID Pandemic. Kacper now serves as the class representative for his year and hopes to effect more change in the area of direct provision, student rights, climate action, and promotion of first aid knowledge.

Ciara Millerick

Ciara is a Quercus University Scholar from the College of Science, Engineering and Food Science, awarded for academic excellence and achievement in her examination results. She is currently in her final year of Chemistry in UCC. She previously attended St. Mary’s High School, Midleton, where she was awarded the CEIST award for the embodiment of key CEIST attributes and was a National Science Olympiad finalist in 2016. She was awarded the Pfizer Silver Medal for outstanding academic achievement in 2019. She enrolled in UCC as a Biological and Chemical Science Student where she was awarded the Eli Lilly Chemistry Prize for her academic achievement in Chemistry. She went on to specialise in the Chemistry degree stream, undertaking the PepsiCo Mentorship in collaboration with UCC in her second year. She undertook an internship in Pfizer Pharmaceuticals API Plant in Ringaskiddy in 2022. She is a member of the Chemical Society committee this year regularly aiding in the organisation of academic and social events for students of all disciplines enrolled in UCC to help spread her passion in Chemistry. Ciara has a keen interest in organic, analytical and environmental chemistry and has a great love of music and dramatic arts. Ciara is committed to continue her studies to establish herself in the pharmaceutical industry as this drives her passion.

Grace O'Sullivan 

Grace O’Sullivan is the 2022 Quercus University Academic Scholar for the College of Medicine and Health. She was awarded this scholarship based on her outstanding academic excellence and achievement in her 1st and 2nd year exams. She is currently in her 3rd year of Dentistry. Grace previously attended Gaelcholáiste Choilm. During her time there, she was identified by the State Examinations Commission as a high achiever in both Maths and Science and competed in the final of the Irish Union Science Olympiad. Grace, along with 2 other classmates, placed 1st in the regionals of The Royal Society of Chemistry School’s Analyst Competition and subsequently represented Ireland in the finals in Wales. Being passionate about online safety, she became a McAfee Internet Safety Ambassador, giving presentations on online safety and security to the junior years in her school and to surrounding primary schools. Grace was presented with The Board Medal by the CETB for achieving 625 points in her LC and was awarded a Quercus Entrance Scholarship upon entering UCC. While in UCC, Grace has continued to excel, embracing all that college life has to offer. She has been awarded a UCC Quercus College Scholarship two years in a row for achieving the highest aggregate score in her examinations in 2020 and 2021. She was awarded the NUI Dr H H Stewart Medical Scholarship in Dentistry 2022 for her academic performance. Grace is also a member of UCC Canoe Club and has competed in the Irish Kayaking Intervarsities competition in the Women’s Long-distance race. Having attended both an Irish primary and secondary school, Grace is an Irish language enthusiast and has a true grá for Gaeilge. During the summer of 2022, she was accepted onto the UCC Scoláireacht Ghaeltachta trip. Grace is particularly interested in oral health promotion, dental public health and making dental care accessible to all. In the future, she would love to collaborate with influential dentistry bodies such as the Dental Health Foundation Ireland and organise national campaigns raising awareness around oral health. She is delighted to be a part of the Quercus Talented Students programme and endeavours to continue reaching her potential and do her best in her work with the ultimate aim to provide patients with the care they deserve.

Quercus Scholars 2021/22

Front Row L - R: Orla Leahy, Siobhán Cronin, Sadhbh Goodwin, Donnchadh HughesReuban Murray, Fiona Keating, Sadhbh O'Leary. Second Row L - R: Emma Coffey, Glenn Curtin. Third Row L - R: Fidaa Marouf, Amy O'Callaghan, Iona Ritchie, Shane Barrett. Back Row L - R: Sarah Murphy, Edwin Edogbo, Darragh French. Two scholars, Áine Ginty and Maha Irfan were not there on the day due to unforeseen circumstances.

Orla Leahy

Orla is a Quercus University (Academic) Scholar from the College of Business and Law. She was awarded her scholarship for outstanding academic achievement in her first year of her degree. Orla attended secondary school in Scoil Mhuire gan Smál in Blarney, and is now a second year Law and Irish student. As a Gold, Silver and Bronze Gaisce Awardee, National Youth Leader, and President’s Award Leader, Orla founded the UCC Gaisce Project in 2021. She is now the chairperson of this initiative, which provides a medium for students and staff at UCC to engage in Gaisce - The President’s Award. Orla aims to create and develop a community that enables Gaisce to thrive and prosper both within the UCC Community and beyond. Orla is also the Internal Convenor of the 92nd Session of the UCC Law Society, and a Peer Support Leader for 2021/2022. Orla has a great interest in journalism, having contributed to UCC’s Motley, and the national publication, STAND News. She has also had pieces published in Irish in UCC’s Campus Narrative, and Breac. Orla also worked as the fashion editor for Breac, Ireland’s first student-led magazine to be published entirely in Irish. Orla is the current News Editor of the prestigious UCC Express. Orla’s other interests include debating, mooting, climate justice, and languages. Orla has been a finalist in a number of debating competitions, including representing UCC in Gael Linn’s National Third Level Debating Final 2020, and holds a digital badge in Climate Law and Governance. She was selected as a delegate for RTÉ’s Youth Assembly on Climate 2019, which took place in Dáil Éireann. Orla strives to continuously improve her Irish and French language skills, and to gain practical based experience to complement her studies, as she aspires to develop her career as a multilingual lawyer.

Siobhán Cronin

Siobhán is a Quercus University Scholar from the College of Arts, Celtic Studies and Social Sciences. She is currently in her second year of the Education Gaeilge programme, with German being her second subject. She attended Millstreet Community School and Coláiste Íde, Dingle in transition year. On the basis of her outstanding Leaving Certificate results, she was awarded the Quercus Entrance Scholarship as well the B.Ed. Gaeilge Scholarship from UCC. Siobhán has a aptitude for languages, having achieved one of the top 100 results in Junior Certificate German and most recently, being a recipient of a DAAD (German Academic Exchange Service) scholarship for a German language course in summer 2021. Siobhán is an established storyteller, achieving 1st place in the 15-18 Scéalaíocht competition at Fleadh Cheoil na hÉireann 2019 in Drogheda, having come 3rd the year before. An avid sean-nós singer, Siobhán has competed in many competitions, including An tOireachtas and Fleadh Cheoil na hÉireann, where she reached the All-Ireland final in 2019. She has also successfully competed in other art forms in the Fleadh Cheoil, including comhrá Gaeilge, English singing and grúpa ceoil. Siobhán has also completed RIAM exams in speech and drama, classical violin, and piano - achieving both Distinction and Honours grades. Siobhán has a huge interest in debating, being a member of the UCC team that won the Gael-Linn 3rd Level Debating Competition at Oireachtas na Samhna in 2021. Siobhán acted as Class Representative for her programme of study in 2020/2021. She has also made a number of student voice videos for the Education Gaeilge course page, as well as the CACSSS Connecting Student Experiences Page. Siobhán is heavily involved with UCC societies, currently being secretary of An Cumann Drámaíochta and Second Year Representative of the German Society. She has a great love of drama, and has taken part in many productions organised by An Cumann Drámaíochta, as well as directing a number of the society’s sketches. She has also written for Breac – a collaborative magazine in Irish between Motley and An Chuallacht.

 Otto Goodwin

Otto Goodwin is a poet and 2nd year English student from Galway. Their poetry has been published in numerous magazines and anthologies, including the Wild Words anthology, Aster Lit magazine, Comhar Óg. They have also had poems published in the Irish Independent, Galway Advertiser and University Express, and their poem “Maw” was featured as poem of the week on Most recently, two of their poems were accepted for publication in the November 2021 issue of Cyphers magazine. They have performed their poetry at a variety of open mic events in Galway and Cork, and performed as featured poet at Over the Edge and Lime Square Poets poetry events.

Donnchadh Hughes

Donnchadh Hughes is a 19-year old composer and multi-instrumentalist from Dundalk in Co. Louth. He is a Quercus Creative & Performing Arts Scholar and a 1st year BA Arts-Music student. Donnchadh first learned his traditional music with CCÉ Craobh Dhún Dealgan, while also learning classical music on piano with Deborah O’Neill. It is at this interface of classical and traditional genres that Donnchadh finds himself at home. At Fleadh Cheoil na hÉireann, Donnchadh has achieved notable success, winning the u15 and u18 flute competitions in 2016 and 2019 respectively. He was recently awarded the Micheál Ó hEidhin medal for achieving distinction in his SCT grade 8 flute exam. In 2020, he was a finalist on flute in the Bonn Óir Seán Ó Riada competition and in 2021, a finalist on harp. As an ensemble musician, Donnchadh has been actively involved in youth music projects at home in Dundalk, including Nós Nua – the Louth Youth Orchestra, and Music Generation Louth’s Harp Ensemble. Donnchadh was also instrumental in the formation of his school’s trad group, Faoi Gheasa, in which he played a role as composer and arranger for competitions and performances.As a harpist, Donnchadh achieved distinction in his grade 8 RIAM exam, and has also competed with much success at O’ Carolan Harp festivals. He enjoys the many opportunities which the harp affords him, with highlights in recent years including performances on TG4 and RTÉ, in the National Concert Hall, at the International Harp Festival Termonfeckin, Co.Louth, along with performing for US President Joe Biden. Donnchadh is currently studying piano under Maria McGarry at the Royal Irish Academy of Music. He previously completed Grade 8 and achieved distinction in the Advanced Recital Certificate. His training in both classical and traditional idioms influences his compositional output, which consists of works in both styles. His piano piece entitled “Music in the Tuileries” was recently premiered by Finghin Collins at the New Ross Piano festival, while his compositional portfolio includes an array of pieces and arrangements for solo instrumentalists, string quartet, harp ensemble, and larger performance groups.

Reuban Murray

Bio to follow shortly.

Fiona Keating

Fiona Keating is a Quercus Sports Scholar. She attended Kinsale Community School and is now studying Sports Studies and Physical Education with Mathematics. She plays camogie for her club Courcey Rovers, UCC and Cork while she also plays football for both her club and UCC. Fiona was named Munster Young Player of the year at the TG4 Ladies Football All Stars in 2017. Fiona won her first minor camogie All-Ireland final in 2018 and the following year she won both the Munster and All-Ireland minor camogie finals. She received player of the match in both games. Fiona won Munster and All-Ireland football titles with the Cork minor team in 2019 and was also named the Celtic Ross Junior Sports Star of the year.  Fiona won a Senior camogie title with Courcey Rovers in 2020 and received player of the match. She was named the 2020 Sports Direct camogie player of the year. Fiona won a Senior football title with the West Cork Ladies Football Team in 2020. She has represented her secondary school in basketball, camogie and ladies football where she has won both an All-Ireland basketball and Munster football title.

Sadhbh O'Leary

Sadhbh is from Kinsale, County Cork. She attended Kinsale Community School and is currently studying Science Education in UCC. She is a player on the Cork Senior Ladies football team. Over the past year she was selected on the Lidl National League Team of the Year as right corner forward. She has also been recently nominated for an All-Star as right corner forward. She was involved in a highly successful underage Cork team winning four All-Ireland medals at u14, u16 and at Minor. One of the goals she scored in the All-Ireland Minor final in 2017 was nominated as TG4 Goal of the Year. For the year ahead Sadhbh will be teaching in St. Angela’s College undertaking her final year of teaching placement where she teaches Junior Cert Science and Biology.

Emma Coffey

Bio to follow shortly.

Glenn Curtin

Glenn Curtin is a 23 year old final year medical student, first-generation college student, and Quercus UCC Active Citizenship scholar. He has been involved in leadership & management roles since his early teens performing a number of Community Action Projects before his Leaving Certificate earning him a qualification in Youth Leadership & Community Action from NUI Galway. Since entering Medicine in 2017, Glenn has come to realise how impactful meaningful student engagement can be in healthcare education. This led to Glenn representing Ireland as he led a delegation of medical students from UCC, NUI Galway, and UCD to the International Federation of Medical Students Associations 69th General Assembly in Kigali, Rwanda to advocate for greater health equity worldwide. At the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic in March 2020, Glenn created Vampire Cup; a national blood donor recruitment strategy that gets young adults donating blood and saving lives through an intervarsity competition. Vampire Cup has been recognised as a high-value project by Social Entrepreneurs Ireland, the HSE, and the Irish Blood Transfusion Service. Glenn has used what he has learned in creating his own NGO & charity to create more supports for healthcare students to innovate and create community action projects that promote the health & wellbeing of their local, national, and international communities. Currently, Glenn maintains his National Coordinator role of Vampire Cup as well the role of President in the Association of Medical Students in Ireland and Co-Chairperson of the Irish Medical Organisation Student Working Group.

Fidaa Marouf

Bio to follow shortly.

Amy O'Callaghan

Bio to follow shortly.

Iona Ritchie

Iona Ritchie is a multi-instrumentalist, composer, singer, and dancer from Dunmore East, Co. Waterford. Iona was awarded a Quercus Creative & Performing Arts Scholarship and is studying a BA in Music and English. Iona has achieved two diplomas (DipLCM) in Irish Music Performance on both Fiddle and Button Accordion from the London College of Music, where she also received a 98% in her Grade 8 in Melodeon. In Classical Piano, she has completed a Grade 6 from the Royal Irish Academy of Music. She has played nationally and internationally with Music Generation Waterford Senior Traditional Ensemble and is a member of Craanhill Ceilí Band and Grúpa Cheoil. In 2014, Iona released her debut album “Iona” which had great success in Ireland, the U.K and the U.S. Iona has worked with composers such as Martin Tourish and Fergal Scahill in various composition projects, as well as composing her own music. Iona’s true passion is traditional singing. A member of CCÉ Cathair Phort Láirge, she has represented her branch and is a county, provincial and All Ireland prize-winner and in 2021, she competed in Fleadhfest in the Traditional English Singing category. She has performed in concerts, online singing sessions and T.V shows, including PBS’s “Ireland with Michael" and as part of the opening act for Damien Mullane at Tradfest Dungarvan. During her time in Newtown Secondary School, Iona was a member of the Girls Choir, Orchestra and also organised music recitals and traditional music groups. Iona is also a member of the Mulcahy-Bible School of Dance where she has competed in both solo and figure dance competitions in county, provincial, All Ireland and World Championships and has performed with her dance school in Disneyland Paris as part of their Performing Arts programme. Iona has a huge interest in musical theatre and was part of the original children's ensemble in both the debut performance and original cast recording of “Noël” the musical, performed at the Wexford Opera House. Iona plans to complete her ALCM in Irish Traditional music performance, while also continuing to develop her love of traditional music and song through performance and teaching.

Shane Barrett

Shane is a UCC Quercus Sports Scholar for hurling. Shane is from Rathpeacon in Cork and attended Christian Brothers College. He is now studying Accounting and is in third year. Shane has been involved and represented Cork at all ages from u14 to senior level. Shane has captained the Cork minor hurling team, has won a Munster and All Ireland u20 medal and was awarded the Munster u20 player of the year. This year Shane made his breakthrough with the Cork Senior hurling team which got to the All-Ireland Final. As a result of his performances in 2021 Shane was awarded with a nomination for Young Hurler of the Year.

Sarah Murphy

Bio to follow shortly.

Edwin Edogbo

Edwin is from Cobh in Co. Cork. He went to Colaiste Muire Secondary School and played for Cobh Pirates RFC. Edwin has played Munster u18s and u20s and Ireland u18s. Edwin, who is studying Economics, now plays on the senior Munster team. 

Darragh French

Darragh is from Cork and attended Presentation Brothers College secondary school. He was the captain of the PBC Senior Cup team in 2021. Darragh is studying Arts and is a Quercus Sports’ Scholar for his Rugby. Darragh has represented Munster at u17-u19 level while also being selected for Ireland u18.

Áine Ginty

Aine is a 2021 Quercus Academic Scholar. She is currently in her third year studying Data Science and Analytics. Aine is a former pupil of Regina Mundi College, Douglas. She received a Quercus Entrance Scholarship based on her Leaving Certificate results and is also the recipient of the 2019 McAfee Women in Technology Scholarship. Aine completed an internship on the Global Threat Intelligence team at McAfee in the summer of 2021. She also participated in a startup accelerator program where she worked with her team to create an online platform for artists to showcase their work. Aine is co-founder and secretary of the UCC Data and Analytics Society. She also enjoys Irish Dancing and has travelled to Romania, Bulgaria and Malta to participate in Folk Dance Festivals with her Irish Dance Team.

Maha Irfan

Maha is a 2021 Quercus Academic Scholar from the College of Medicine and Health. She is currently in her third year of Graduate Entry Medicine programme and was awarded the 2021 Quercus Academic Scholarship for demonstrating academic excellence in her previous year’s exams. She has received an honours bachelor’s degree in Neuroscience and Nutritional Sciences with high distinction from University of Toronto in 2018. During her time at University of Toronto, she received 2 renewable entrance scholarships and was the Dean’s List Scholar every year for 4 years. She attended secondary school in Sarnia, Ontario where she was in the top 2% of her class and was awarded the OPG high achievement award. During her time at UCC, Maha has been heavily involved in leadership and management roles. She is currently the Chair of Emergency Medicine Students Society of Ireland and the co-chair of UCC Emergency Care Society. In addition, she is also the GEM representative of General Practitioner’s Society. Maha has also been serving as the class representative of her year since last year. She has a keen interest in research and has previously been a part of preclinical research labs where she secured multiple publications. Currently she is a part of team at APC Microbiome doing research on microbiota-gut-brain axis. Alongside working as a physician, Maha is passionate about incorporating clinical research in her career and promoting healthcare equality.

Pictured below is the 2021/22 Quercus Scholars at their awards night, which took place on March 24th, 2022.

From left to right: Fidaa Marouf, Siobhán Cronin, Orla Leahy, Donnchadh Hughes, Sadhbh Goodwin, Emma Coffey, Amy O'Callaghan, Shane Barrett, UCC President Prof. John O'Halloran, Darragh French, Edwin Edogbo, Iona Ritchie, Sadhbh O'Leary, Glenn Curtin, Maha Irfan, Áine Ginty, Sarah Murphy.

Quercus Scholars 2020/21


2020/21 Academic Scholars

Marieke BuckleyEllen ConnollyHannah KeohaneRichard Keyes McDonnellAndrew NashDarragh O'Keeffe

2020/21 Active Citizenship Scholars

Anna O'ConnorAlicia O'Sullivan

2020/21 Creative & Performing Arts' Scholars

Jennifer Barry, Nyala GrunwaldSíofra Thornton

2020/21 Innovation Entrepreneurship Scholars

 Annie Madden

2020/21 Sports' Scholars

Nikki BarryMaeve GallagherTara HanlonLydia HeaphyJohn KearneyAlex Kendellen




Marieke Buckley

Marieke is a 2020 Quercus Academic Scholar. She is currently in her third year of studying Children's and General Nursing. Marieke is the first nursing student to achieve a Quercus Academic Scholarship, which was awarded to her for demonstrating excellence in her academic work. in 2019 Marieke also achieved a Quercus College Scholarship for finishing top of her class in first year. She attended secondary school in Kinsale Community School, and later Bruce College. She represented Kinsale C.S. three times in the BT Young Scientist and Technology Exhibit, achieving multipe awards, commendation from the President of Ireland, and a nomination for a West Cork Garda Youth Award. Marieke plays hockey with UCC and captained her team in first year. She also sails with the UCC Sailing Club, and passes this skill on to children as an ISA Sailing Instructor. In April Marieke decided to join her fellow healthcare colleagues in the fight against COVID-19, and worked in the Intensive Caer Unit in CUH for three months during the height of the pandemic, isolating from her family, and caring for many ill patients suffering from COVID-19. Marieke is part of the Emergency Care Society in UCC, and continues to develop her emergency medicine and trauma skills. She has a love for working with children, and spent May and June of the last year teaching English as a volunteer in disadvantaged promary schools in Kerala, India. In the future she would like to deliver healthcare in developing countries, or train in emergency paediatric medicine.

Ellen Connolly


Ellen Connolly is a Quercus Academic Scholar from Belfast. She is currently in her final year of BComm International with Hispanic Studies and her focus is on Economics and Government. She recently returned from her Erasmus year abroad at the University of Deusto in Bilbao, Spain. Ellen was awarded the Quercus College Scholarship for two consecutive years before she became a Quercus Academic Scholar. She has experience in a number of business areas, including digital marketing, corporate finance, and audit. Ellen is a keen cellist, having toured in the USA, Spain, and Portugal, and played in the Royal Albert Hall in London with City of Belfast Youth Orchestra. She has been part of the UCC Orchestra since joining UCC, and on the committee since her second year. She was also part of the UCC String Quartet in previous years. In the future, Ellen can see herself moving back to the north of Spain to keep up her Basque and live in the sun. Ellen is a 2019/20 Quercus scholar but because she was studying abroad last year not all of the benefits of the Quercus scholarship were available to her. This is her first full year as a Quercus scholar and that is why she is showcased with the 2020/21 scholars.

Hannah Keohane


Hannah is a Quercus University Scholar from the College of Medicine and Health, she was awarded this scholarship for academic excellence and achievement in her examination results in second year. She attended Scoil Mhuire gan Smál in Blarney and Bruce College Cork before coming to UCC to study Medicine, where she is currently in the third year of her degree. She was previously awarded a Quercus College Scholarship for finishing top in her class in first year. Hannah was awarded a Quercus Entrance Scholarship in UCC based upon her Leaving Certificate results. During her time at UCC, Hannah has also been awarded both the Prize in the Foundations of Medicine (AnatBioPhys) Year One and Year Two. Hannah is currently the Education Officer on UCC's Medical Society. Since her childhood, Hannah has been heavily involved in the dramatics arts and achieved a Gold Medal with Distinction in Acting from LAMDA in 2017. Hannah has a keen interest in social justice and wishes to study public health, healthcare disparities and the ecomonics of healthcare in the future.

Richard Keyes McDonnell

Richard is a 2020/21 Quercus University Scholar from Castlelack, Co. Cork and is a former student of Hamilton High School, Bandon, and is a CACSSS student completing their final year in History. He was awarded the Leona Hanrahan Prize in History in 2019, and was joint 2nd Year History Student of the Year with Cian Deasy. He was Highly Commended in the Global Undergraduate Awards in 2020 in the category of History for his paper "The Development of the Image and Imagination of the Caspian Sea in Medieval Mappae-mundi, 1040-1460", and is a partipant of the School of English's Inkwell Medieval and Renaissance Symposium. Richard is planning to pursue a MA programme in Medieval History, with a strong interest in historical cartography, with a broader interest in exploring intercultural/interfaith encounters in ancient/medieval contexts, with the hope of challenging and deconstructing nationalist perceptions of ancient/medieval history which has been weaponised in present-day racist and far-right discources. In his spare time, Richard enjoys playing the piano and messing around with synthesizers.

Andrew Nash

Andrew Nash is a Quercus University Scholar from the College of Science Engineering and Food Science, awarded for academic achievement over the course of his first year studying Data Science and Analytics. He formerly attended Coáliste Muire Réalt na Mara, Crosshaven and was awarded a Quercus Entrance Scholarship after receiving a 625 point Leaving Certicate. He previously represented Ireland in the 2019 International Olympiad in Informatics, after having been involved in UCC's MPT programme and competitive programming for many years, and placing second in the All Ireland Programming Olympiad at UCC. Andrew previously competed at the BT Young Scientist with a project in machine learning in cancer prediction, with the UCC Department of Computer Science and Cork University Maternity hospital, and has completed internships at the UCC Mobile and Internet Systems laboratory. He has also recently worked on developing HR feedback solutions for SMEs at a startup accelorator in Dogpatch Labs, Dublin. He is currently focused on achieving academic success at UCC in his programme of study.

Darragh O'Keeffe

Darragh is a Quercus University Scholar from the College of Business and Law. He is currently in the third year of his four-year Law and Irish degree, Darragh attended Coláiste Treasa, Kanturk, where he achieved 613 points in his Leaving Certificate in 2018. His Irish essay in that examination was a Department of Education "Duais-aiste" (Proze-essay), one of only two such prizes awarded each year. On the basis of his Leaving Certificate results Darragh earned the Chairman's Medal from the Cork Education and Training Board as well as a Quercus Entrance Scholarship from UCC. In 2019 Darragh was awarded the NUI Dr. H.H. Stewart Literary Scholarship for his results in first-year Irish examinations and the Bloomsbury Prize for attaining the highest marks in the First Civil Law Examinations at the first attempt. He was also a Quercus College Scholarship for the College of Business and Law on the basis of his overall first-year results. Darragh writes poetry in Irish and his work has been published in magazines such as Motley and Comhar. He won first prize at Comórtas Liteartha an Oireachtais (the Orieachtas Literary Competition) in the Poetry (under-21) category in 2019, and he was awarded Duais Uí Longáin (the O'Longan Memorial Prize) for efforts in creative writing by the Department of Modern Irish UCC that same year. His work was adapted to choral music by Críostóir Ó Loinsigh and performed for the Half Moon Festival in 2020, and his poem An tEarc Luachra was added to the UCD undergraduate Irish syllabus for this year. An avid debater, Darragh was a member of UCC's team in the Gael-Linn 3rd Level Debating Competition at Oireachtas na Samhna for two years running, finishing runner-up in 2019. His team was runner-up in the UCC Law Society's First-Year International Moot and we was also part of the winning Bréagchúirt Uí Dhálaigh team in November 2019, an Irish-language moot compeition held in the Four Courts. Darragh is heavily involved in UCC Societies, playing roles in several productions by An Cumann Drámiochta and serving as Chairperson of An Chuallacht in 2019/20. Currently completing an internship with Fiontar agus Scoil na Gaeilge in Dublin City University, Darragh hopes to begin an internship as a lawyer-linguist with the Court of Justice of the European Union after graduating.

Anna O'Connor

Anna O’Connor is an Active Citizenship scholar studying BA English. She has a broad range of interests ranging from science to the arts. She tries to use her abilities in both strands to solve different problems that the world faces. In science, Anna is developing solar-powered devices that can be used to aid education in developing worlds and refugee camps. These devices could be used in areas with a lack of teachers or as a teaching aid in schools and communities. Anna has worked closely with the Tanaiste, Irish Aid and many NGOs in the development of said devices and they have won multiple awards including the Trinity College award for Solving Global Challenges at the BT Young Scientist competition. Anna also loves writing and acting and often brings these areas into her activism work. Most recently she was the face of an AIB campaign promoting carbon neutrality. Through her youth theatre at Graffiti Theatre, Anna has taken part in many projects that tackle important political and social issues such as the AB project which she shared on the Abbey Stage. Anna’s writing can be seen in newspapers and magazines and has also been performed on stage and in short films. She has written articles on important topics such as the MeToo movement and the Leaving Cert issues during Covid. Her plays and short films also cover important issues such as mental health and homelessness. Her book ‘Santa’s Magic Mask’ was written in order to help young children understand the Coronavirus pandemic and to calm their worries about Christmas. It was released in November 2020 to a great response.

Alicia O'Sullivan


Alicia O'Sullivan is a 19 year old first year law student and UCC Quercus scholar. She has been an activist since the early age of eight on environmental issues. In 2019 she represented Ireland at the first UN youth climate summit in New York. She now works on campaigns locally, nationally and internationally such as with Former US Secretary Of state and currently Climate Envoy John Kerry. She also works on areas of education and mental health in her role as education officer for the Irish second-level students’ Union and when she created her own youth mental health event for parents called GenZ in 2019. Currently Alicia sits on the NYCI Young Peoples Committee working on Climate Justice, she is working with Lust for Life on an activism course and is the National Ambassador for Ireland for Generation Change.

Jennifer Barry

Jennifer is delighted to be a Quercus Scholar under the Creative & Performing Arts Programme. She is a student in the Department of Theatre and she also studies Geography and Religion through Arts. Acting has always been her passion, and when she was 16 she was delighted to land a role in BBC's "The Young Offenders" before going on to sign with agencies in LA and London. Working as an actor means Jennifer must be ready at any time to drop everything for a role, so the Quercus scholarship allows her to work in her dream industry whilst also giving her the opportunity to go to college, She would 100% recommend everyone to apply for this programme, and believes that even the application process is a learning journey in itself. 

Nyala Grunwald


Nyala Grunwald is a Franco-Trinbagonian musician - steel drums and percussion - and current UCC student and Quercus scholar. She recently graduated a BA (Hons)(Arts Music - Major) with first class honours and was privileged to receive the Quercus Scholarship for Creative and Performing Arts for her current BMus IV course.

Síofra Thornton


Síofra Thornton is a Harper, Singer, Composer and Final Year Music Student from Ballina County Tipperary. She has performed both nationally and internationally with The Irish Harp Orchestra and Ned Kelly’s In Tune for life Orchestra. Síofra is currently All Ireland Slow Air Champion and has many other accolades at a County, Provincial and All Ireland level. She is heavily influenced by the music of her area and is currently doing research on composers of the Irish harp as part of her Major Study Project.

Annie Madden


Annie is a 2020 Quercus Innovation/Entrepreneurship Scholar. She went to school in Loreto College, St. Stephen’s Green in Dublin and is now studying Law and Business. Annie founded her business FenuHealth in 2015 when she was just 13 years of age alongside her sister Kate, who is a 2018 Quercus scholar. FenuHealth supplies equine supplements to 15 countries & there is currently 9 people on the FenuHealth team. Annie also co-founded the Irish, British and American Junior Chamber of Commerce at the beginning of 2020, which helps connect young entrepreneurs and give them support and advice to ensure they succeed to the best of their ability. Annie is the incoming President of the Chamber for 2021. Annie plans to expand the chamber in 2021 while also continuing with FenuHealth and her studies.

Nikki Barry


Nikki Barry is a Quercus Sports Scholar. Nikki is currently in her first year in UCC, where she is studying Business Information Systems. Nikki began playing hockey with Ashton Hockey Club at the age of 7. On her transition to secondary school, she played with the Scoil Mhuire Senior Team from first to sixth year. During her Secondary School years, she represented Munster at five consecutive interpro tournaments, three times at U16 and twice at U18 level, two of which she was captain. Nikki was chosen to represent Ireland U16 for two years, which consisted of a Six Nations Competition which was held in the Mardyke Arena. Nikki was also chosen to represent Ireland U18 team for the following two years. While in Secondary School, she played with Cork Harlequins where she won an Irish Senior Cup Medal in 2019. She is currently playing with UCC Women's Hockey team and involved in the Ireland U19 Team. Her aim for the future is to make the Irish Senior Women's Hockey Team.

Maeve Gallagher


Maeve Gallagher is a Quercus Sports Scholar from Swinford Co.Mayo. She attended St.Joseph's Secondary School in Castlebar and is now a 1st Year student studying Pharmacy. Maeve is an Elite Irish Triathlete and has 24 National titles to her name, across 3 different disciplines. These include national cycling titles, multiple national triathlon and duathlon titles along with All Ireland gold medals in cross country and 1500m track & field athletics. In 2017 she competed at the European Youth Olympic Festival in Hungary, receiving a top 10 result in the road race. In 2018 Maeve won a silver medal at the European Junior Triathlon Cup in Romania. In 2019 Maeve achieved something special by representing Ireland in 3 separate European Championships in Cycling, Triathlon and Cross country running. In 2019 Maeve competed in the World Cycling and Triathlon Championships, along with winning her first International Elite race at the African Cup Triathlon in Senegal. Maeve has won the best Irish riders jersey at the Ras na mBan International Women's Cycling stage race for the last 2 years. In 2019 she was awarded the Irish Junior Triathlete of the Year Award by Triathlon Ireland. Recently in 2020, Maeve was selected to represent Ireland in Hamburg at the Elite World Triathlon Championships and is currently on the long list of athletes for the Tokyo 2021 Olympics. Maeve’s ambition for the future is to represent Ireland in the Olympic Games and World Championships in Triathlon and receive her Masters degree in Pharmacy.

Tara Hanlon


I am from Cork City and am studying for a Bachelor of Commerce Degree in UCC. I started rowing in 2013 in Cork Boat Club in Blackrock and have been hooked ever since. I have won 5 National Championships with Cork Boat Club and represented Ireland at the Coupe De La Jauneese as a Junior wining a silver medal. Since moving to UCC Rowing Club I have been actively involved in the clubs committee and am currently the Clubs Vice Captain and PRO. I started rowing full time with the Rowing Ireland High Performance team in 2018. I have competed at many international regattas most notably winning a Silver Medal at the U23 World Rowing Championships in 2019 as well as winning a Bronze Medal at the U23 European Championships in 2020. I hope to qualify and compete at the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games and go on to continue rowing for Ireland for the Paris 2024 Olympics!

Lydia Heaphy


My name is Lydia Heaphy and I am from a small town in West Cork called Leap just outside Skibbereen. I am currently in my final year of my Law Degree at UCC and I am hoping to graduate in 2021. From studying law at UCC for the past 3 years I think my favourite areas of study would be Medical Law and Family and Child Law. As well as a Quercus Scholar and UCC Law Student, I am also on the Irish Rowing Team. I have won 4 All Ireland National Championship Pots for Skibbereen Rowing Club as well as 1 Varsity Pot for UCC. I have also been representing Ireland on the World Stage in Lightweight events since 2018 in both u23 and Senior Competitions including the U23 World Championships, Senior World Championships, U23 Europeans, Senior Europeans and 2019 World Cup Series. I finished 11th at the Senior World Championships in Austria in 2019. My most recent result and probably most accomplished would be Winning the U23 European Gold Medal in September and Winning the B Final placing me 7th at the Senior Europeans Championships 3weeks after in October of this year (2020). My next goal as an athlete is try and qualify the Lightweight Women’s Double for the Tokyo Olympics, and try and get in with the medals in Lightweight Women’s Single.

John Kearney


John Kearney is from Ballinhassig, County Cork. He was first selected to row for Ireland in 2018 at Coupe de la Jeunnese where he placed 5th in the coxless four. In 2019 he stroked the coxed four at Junior Europeans where he won silver and later on narrowly missed out on a medal in Junior World's. He raced again in the coxed four in 2020 at the U23 European championships and won bronze. Shortly afterwards he was selected to row as the spare for the Men's Senior double at the Senior European Championships.

Alexander Kendellen

Alex is from Cork. He is in the Munster Rugby Academy. Alex captained PBC to the Clayton Hotels Munster Schools Senior Cup final last year. He has lined out for the Munster U18s and U19s along with lining out for the Ireland U18 7's team.

This image was taken on the 5th October 2021 once we had returned to campus. Some of the 2020/21 scholars had graduated at this stage. Front Row L - R: Darragh O'Keeffe, Marieke Buckley, Hannah Keohane, Maeve Gallagher, Andrew Nash. Second Row L- R: John Kearney, Annie Madden, Tara Hanlon, Richard Keyes McDonnell (graduated). Back Row L - R: Anna O'Connor, Jennifer Barry, Nikki Barry.


Quercus Scholars 2019/20

Quercus Scholars 2019/2020

Back Row, left to right: Sophie Ryan, Daniel Maguire, Marcus Hogan, Martin Keenan, Louise Coombes, Nick Cotter, Louis Bruce, Anthony Cahill. Middle Row, left to right: Conor Beck, Aoife Slattery, Nada Ní Chuirrín, Sarah Stafford, Caoimhe Perdue. Front Row, left to right: Gormfhlaith Ní Shiocháin Ní Bheoláin, Kate O'Gorman, Chloe Sigerson, Rian O'Sullivan, Nicola Dineen.

Two of the 2019/2020 scholars were missing for the Induction Day photo, they are Scott Buckley and Emily Hegarty. These scholars can be seen below in the Quercus Gala Awards Night photo.

Sophie Ryan: Sophie is a harp player from Laois and is a past student of Sacred Heart Secondary School, Tullamore. Sophie was awarded a Quercus Creative & Performing Arts Scholarship and is studying a BA in Music and Irish at UCC. Sophie began playing music with her local CCÉ branch, competing regularly in Fleadhanna Ceoil and attending traditional music festivals and workshops around the country. Sophie now plays with CCÉ Croabh Seán Ryan, a newly formed branch in Laois set up in memory of her Grandfather, where she teaches regularly. During her time in Secondary school, Sophie was part of the school choir and performed throughout the country and abroad, winning awards at Sligo Choral Festival, Feis Ceoil, Feis Maitiú, and in the Eisteddfod in Wales. Sophie has worked with notable Irish composers such as Ryan Molloy, Ernestine Healy, Michael Rooney, and Martin Tourish, in various composition projects and commissioned works as part of Laois Music Generation Trad Orchestra. In 2018, Sophie performed in the National Concert Hall in the Siansa Gael Linn competition. After college, Sophie would love to continue teaching and performing and hopes to be part of initiatives that help make music more inclusive to everyone. Sophie is really looking forward to the coming years in UCC and getting involved in all the musical opportunities UCC has to offer. 

Daniel Maguire: Daniel is a Quercus University Scholar from the College of Science, Engineering and Food Science, he was awarded this scholarship for academic excellence and achievement in his examination results. He is currently in third year of Process and Chemical Engineering. Formerly a student of Gaelcholáiste Mhuire An Mhainistir Thuaidh A.G., Daniel was awarded a Quercus Entrance Scholarship to UCC based upon his Leaving Certificate results, having achieved 625 CAO points. During his time in UCC, Daniel has received two Quercus College Scholarships and has been awarded the Janssen Engineering Scholarship and Eli Lilly Award for Excellence in Process & Chemical Engineering. He has recently completed a SEFS Summer Research Bursary, having created an automatic ultrasound system to detect olive oil fraud. He has also undertaken an internship at the start-up company Swyft Energy (, an online platform for gas boiler installations and heating controls upgrades. Daniel has developed a keen interest in automation, sustainability and programming, and is currently committed to completing an Integrated Masters in Process and Chemical Engineering.

Marcus Hogan: Marcus Hogan is a Quercus Academic Scholar from Kilkenny. Marcus attended the CBS secondary school in Kilkenny City where he completed the Leaving Certificate in 2015. Marcus started a BA in World Languages in 2016 and is now in his final year. As part of this programme he studies German, Spanish and Portuguese. Marcus has recently returned from a year abroad in Hanover, Germany as part of the Erasmus programme. In 2017, Marcus was awarded the NUI Dr HH Stewart Literary Scholarship for German and received a commendation from the Dr HH Stewart Literary Scholarship for Spanish. The same year, Marcus was also awarded a Quercus College Scholarship based on his academic achievements before he became a Quercus University Scholar for Academia in 2018. Outside of Ireland, Marcus has received a scholarship from the Camamões Institute of the Portuguese Foreign Ministry which allowed him to undertake a language course in Lisbon, Portugal during the summer of 2017. Next year Marcus intends to undertake Master studies in International Relations as he wishes to pursue a career in the field of Diplomacy and International Relations. Marcus believes this is the perfect profession to combine his two main interests; language learning and politics.

Martin Keenan: Martin Keenan is currently in the third year of the BSc in Public Health Sciences and Epidemiology with the School of Public Health in UCC. Martin is a Quercus University Scholar and was awarded this academic scholarship based on his results at the end of second year. Martin has an outstanding track-record of academic excellence, community activism, political and social engagement as well as personal achievements.

Martin is involved in many outreach programmes within diverse community settings around the area of sexual health in Cork. He has been involved in many HIV and Hepatitis C outreach prevention programmes within diverse organisations such as the Simon community, Arbour House (HSE adult addiction centre) and the Gay Men’s Health Project (This project provides information, support and education on issues relating to sexual health, lifestyle, sexuality and engage in outreach and awareness /education programmes).

He is currently preparing for a work placement within the World Health Organisation in Copenhagen. This placement is an opportunity to use a mixture of both qualitative and quantitative skills for research and potentially contribute towards publication. In the longer-term, Martin is planning to do a structured PhD 4 programme within the UCC School of Public Health. He is particularly interested in the research areas surrounding risk-taking behaviours and lifestyle epidemiology with a focus on the methodology of clinical trials surrounding these areas

Louise Coombes:  Louise is a Quercus University Scholar from the College of Medicine and Health. She attended Regina Mundi College before coming to UCC to study Occupational Therapy. Louise was awarded the Quercus University Scholarship based on her second year results and is currently in her third year of the degree. She was previously awarded a Quercus College Scholarship for finishing top of her class in first year. This scholarship also recognised Louise's extra curricular activities. Louise plays on the Ultimate Frisbee Team in UCC and has previously held coaching and leadership roles in the club. She has represented Ireland in the sport four times. Louise is also very interested in the area of music and has completed her Grade 8 in piano and in music theory. She is currently working on her teaching diploma in piano and hopes to combine these skills with her OT skills to enable children with complex needs to get the same enjoyment out of playing music as she does.  Louise's academic interests are not limited to pediatrics as she is also very interested in the areas research, stroke and neuro-rehabilitation.

Nick Cotter: Nick is a 2019 Quercus Innovation/Entrepreneurship Scholar from Abbeyfeale, Co. Limerick. Formerly a student of Colaiste Ide Agus Iosef, Nick is currently studying his first year of Law and Business. Nick was 11 when he set up his first business, Cotter Bros Firewood with his brother Jack (13) in 2011. The business has won numerous awards including Irelands Best Young Entrepreneur Regional Finalist 2014 and the Wood Fuel Quality Assurance Award (WFQA) in 2013 which it has achieved every year since. Nick sits on the Oversight Committee of WFQA working to improve firewood quality nationally and to provide information to other producers on best practice in the industry. Nick turned his interest in music into a business in 2018, running his own music events in a sheep shed on the family farm, called ‘Shedworks’. Nick is a DJ and played at his own events, as well as 2 festivals in 2019.

In 2019 Nick and his brother Jack started their second business, ‘Cotter Organic Lamb’; direct selling the organic, 100% Grass Fed lamb they produce on their farm outside Abbeyfeale. Nick is currently working on ‘The Cotter Crate’ with his brother Jack, their third venture. The Cotter Crate won ‘Best Agri-Engineering Start-up’ and the Alfred Cox Founder’s Perpetual Trophy for the ‘Best Overall Start-up Innovation’ at the 2019 Enterprise Ireland Innovation Awards at the Ploughing Championships. Nick continues to expand Cotter Bros Firewood and is helping develop policy to grow the firewood market nationally through Government support (dSSRH). He is planning more events on the family farm for next summer, marketing and promoting Cotter Organic Lamb and working to launch ‘The Cotter Crate’ in 2020 along with meeting his own high standards in his studies at UCC.

Louis Bruce: Louis Bruce, is 19 years old and just finished six years in Presentation Brothers College. Louis is now studying Arts in UCC afters being awarded a Quercus Scholarship for sport. Louis plays rugby and has represented his province and country over the past few years, Louis hopes to continue playing rugby at this level while also playing for the college. 

Anthony Cahill:  Anthony Cahill is an Accordion/ Melodeon player from Ballycotton in East Cork. A former student of St. Colman’s Community College Midleton, Anthony is in his final year of study of a BA in Music and Irish and was awarded a Quercus scholarship for Creative and Performing Arts.Anthony has an incredible interest in the polka and slide tradition of Sliabh Luachra, which he places special emphasis on in both his performance and teaching practice. His passion for the tradition has gone beyond the music and onto the instrument itself in his work on repairing, tuning, designing and building accordions and melodeons.

Since starting at UCC, Anthony was awarded the Comhaltas scholarship for performance in traditional irish music. He has won numerous county and provincial titles and has performed with the Meitheal Orchestra on a number of occasions. Anthony has a strong love for teaching and teaches in several Comhaltas branches around Cork. In 2016, Anthony graduated from the Albert Schweitzer Leadership for Life programme in conjunction with Foroige and accredited by NUIG for his work in community action and youth leadership. Anthony’s short-term plans include continuing his academic and teaching careers as well as continuing the development and manufacturing of his own custom instruments.

Conor Beck: Conor Beck is a Quercus Sports Scholar from Clonlara Co. Clare.Conor is currently in his second year in UCC, where he is studying Law (Clinical). Conor was awarded a Quercus Sports Scholarship for his achievements playing Hockey. Conor's love for hockey first started at the age of 7 when he joined Limerick Hockey Club and this progressed when he started playing in Villiers Secondary School. It was in Villiers where Conor's hockey career truly began. Throughout Conor's time in Villiers he was represented to play for Munster at four consecutive interpro's tournaments, twice at u16 anf u18 level. On the back of these tournaments, Conor was also chosen to be a memeber of the Irish u16 and u18 teams. Conor also captained Villiers School to two Munster Schools Senior A Cups. For the last season Conor has been playing for UCC Men's Hockey club in the newly formed EYHL2 National league, last Season Conor was also selected for the Irish u21 Men's squad on the back of his performances for UCC> Futhermore, Conor won the UCC Clubs Fresher of the Year award for his commitment and achievement in hockey in his first year of college. His plan for the future is to make the Irish Senior Men's Squad.

Aoife Slattery:  Aoife Slattery is from Slieverue in Co. Kilkenny. Aoife attended Abbey Community College school. Aoife is a first year student studying Sports Science and Education with Maths in UCC. Aoife has been awarded the Quercus Scholarship for Sport. Aoife plays soccer with Wexford Youths and is currently on the Irish u19 soccer team. Aoife has played with the Irish u16,u17 and u19 teams over the last few years. Aoife won the FAI International u16 Soccer Player of the Year in 2018. Aoife hopes to play soccer with UCC and continue to play soccer at a high level while also obtaining her degree in Sports Science and Education in UCC.

Nada Ní Chuirrín: Biography to follow shortly. Nada is an Irish traditional musician specialising in the tin-whistle and concertina. She is also a highly acclaimed sean-nós dancer. Nada is a native Irish speaker raised in the heart of Connemara, Co. Galway, where she was deeply emersed in rich Irish culture. A past pupil of Coláiste Naomh Feichín, Corr na Móna, Nada is now a Quercus Creative and Performing Arts Scholar undertaking a BA in Music and Irish. Since coming to UCC Nada has been awarded the Comhaltas Scholarship for Irish traditional music and the title of College Scholar as the top scoring student in her degree programme in the 2019 exams. Nada was also awarded the Kylemore Abbey Scholarship for Leaving Certificate music. Nada has won numerous county, provincial and All-Ireland titles in both music and dancing. Most recently she was awarded the highest accolade of all for sean-nós dancing, having won the senior Oireachtas title at Oireachtas na Samhna 2018. Nada is not only one of the youngest recipients of this title but also one of only four women in the history of the competition. Nada has performed on national and international stages alongside internationally acclaimed artists and has also featured on a number of albums, radio and television programmes. Nada is currently focused on persuing her academic career and hopes to continue to develop her creative practice and bring her talents and expertise to a wider audience.

Sarah Stafford: Sarah Stafford is a 2019 Quercus scholar in her first year in UCC studying Biological and Chemical sciences. Sarah is from Carlow and attended both Kilkenny College and Gaelcholaiste Ceatharlach at secondary level. She was awarded the Performing Arts scholarship based on her outstanding achievements in the performing arts having performed in a wide variety of roles both locally and nationally. At 16 she was selected to join the Youth Theatre Ireland residential programme under the directorship of Catriona Mclaughlin in the Abbey Theatre, Dublin.  She has performed in a variety of roles including ‘you can’t feel, what you feel’ under the directorship of visual artist Yvonne McGuinness and performed the lead roles of Cinderella and Dorothy in the Wizard of Oz in the George Bernard Shaw Theatre, Carlow. Sarah achieved a distinction in her Grade Eight Trinity London Speech and Drama exams in 2018. She has attained grade eights in the both the RIAM Musical theatre and Classical singing exams.

Sarah’s love for acting started when she was three and she has developed her skills in drama, singing and dance. She has trained with young screen actors, the Lir and the Gaiety school of acting. She was a senior member of Kilkenny College’s Chamber Choir which featured in Neven Maguires Christmas in Kilkenny this year and has sang with John Spillane, the Celtic tenors and in the O2 with the RTE concert orchestra Lord of the rings as a youth member of Aspiro choir. Sarah is a fluent Irish speaker and is very interested in promoting the Irish culture. She is currently working on achieving the Gold Gaisce award, having completed a silver award in 2018. Sarah loves Biology and likes the challenge and excitement of the broad range of options it offers while at the same time she hopes to pursue her passion for acting in Cork. Sarah is looking forward to bringing her performing arts skills to the highest level possible to be able to reach her full potential in UCC.

Caoimhe Perdue: Caoimhe Perdue is from Cashel in County Tipperary. Caoimhe attended both Ursuline Convent Thurles and Cashel Community school at secondary levels.  Caoimhe is in her first year at UCC, studying Nutritional Science. She have been awarded the Quercus Scholarship for Sport. Caoimhe has played hockey with Munster and Ireland at under 16 and under 18 levels and she is currently on the under 21 Irish team. Caoimhe played EYHL with Cork Harlequins and has won an Irish senior cup title. Caoimhe hopes to play competitive hockey with UCC and progress with her Irish hockey career while securing a degree in Nutritional science at UCC.

Gormfhlaith Ní Shiocháin Ní Bheoláin: Gormfhlaith Ní Shíocháin Ní Bheoláin is a Quercus Creative and Performing Arts scholar. She is in her first year of Arts-Music  in UCC and is studying both German and Irish with music. She is a classical pianist, traditional tin-whistle player, sean-nós singer and set dancer. She received an ALCM (Associate of the London College of Music) diploma in piano performance in 2017, performed Fermoy’s first piano concerto (Haydn No.11 in D major) in 2018 and has won numerous accolades at various Feiseanna Ceoil, including Cork’s Feis Maitiú, and Féile an tSamhraidh. She studies piano with Aidan Duggan, and has also received some masterclasses from the renowned concert pianist, John O’Connor.  Gormfhlaith learned the tin-whistle at home from her mother, Tríona Ní Shíocháin, and was always immersed in the Irish music tradition. She has competed at many Fleadhanna Ceoil, winning numerous prizes including first place at the All-Ireland Fleadh on tin-whistle slow airs (2013), and first place and third place in tin-whistle slow airs in the Munster and All-Ireland Fleadhanna Ceoil respectively (2019). Gormfhlaith also learned sean-nós singing at home from her mother and has attended workshops with the greats of the sean-nós singing tradition, such as Máire Ní Chéileachair, Páidí Mhártain MacGearailt, Nell Ní Chróinín, Caitríona Ní Cheannabháin and Cárthach MacCraith. She is 2019 All-Ireland and Munster champion in ladies’ sean-nós singing 15-18 at the Fleadh Cheoil. She attended Loreto Secondary School, Fermoy, where she joined the acclaimed school choir, under the direction of Mr Tim Fouhy, and later accompanied the choir on piano (2016-2019), including at the Cork Choral Festival where they came first in their category (2017). She was also a member of the Loreto Folk Group, under the direction of Sr Nuala Reidy, and again later accompanied them on piano (2016-2019). She is a member of Irish Youth Choir 2019. This year she is studying for a licentiate diploma in piano performance, and also looking forward to becoming an active contributor to Cork’s Irish traditional music scene.

Kate O'Gorman: Kate O’Gorman is a 21 year old musician from Boherbue in Co. Cork. Kate attended Boherbue Comprehensive school and is now a final year student of BA World Languages. Kate studies French and Irish. Kate has been awarded the scholarship for Creative and Performing Arts due to her success at Fleadh Cheoil na hÉireann over the years, and her efforts to carry on the Sliabh Luachra style of Irish traditional music. Kate has just returned from Rennes, France,  where she spent her Erasmus year, and hopes to graduate next summer and pursue a Masters Degree in Irish. 

Chloe Sigerson: Chloe attended St Mary's High School, in Midleton Co. Cork and is starting her 3rd year of Biochemistry in UCC. Chloe was previously awarded a UCC sports scholarship sponsored by Greenstar in 17/18 and 18/19. Chloe was awarded a Quercus Sports Scholarship for her achievements with the Cork Senior Camogie team over the past 3 years, which included 2 All Ireland titles, 1 All-Star , a Player of the Year nomination and longlisting for RTE Sportsperson of the Year 2018. Chloe's short term plans are to continue playing for Cork at Senior level and to pursue an Ashbourne title with UCC and to play as a Senior with her county club Killeagh. Chloe will also be focusing on her academics to graduate with her degree and secure a job after Graduation.

Rian O'Sullivan: Rian is a Quercus Sports Scholar who attended Brookfield College in Tralee. Rian is a first year student in UCC and he is studying Commerce. Rian has played soccer with the Republic of Ireland at u15, u16, u17, u18 and u19 levels. Rian also signed a professional contract with Brighton and Hove Albion for three years in July 2015, playing at u18 and u23. With Brighton and Hove Albion, Rian played in the Checkatrade Trophy against MK Dons in a first team competition. Rian's short term plans are to make the UCC Soccer team with the hopes of securing a place on the Ireland university team. Rian is aiming to make the Ireland u21 team and hopes to eventually play for the Irish Senior team. Rian would also like to return to the UK to play, once he has completed his Commerce degree. 

Nicola Dineen: Nicola Dineen is a mature student studying a degree in social work at UCC. Nicola attended Carrigaline Community School, and studied childcare in the College of Commerce the year immediately after. Nicola went on to work extensively in the area of childcare before working as an English language teacher for several years in Vietnam. Nicola has been awarded the Quercus Scholarship for ‘outstanding academic achievement’, saying that it was "something that I never would have associated with my name, but proof that choosing a course of study that you are passionate about can lead to discovering new abilities and intelligence." Nicola has just begun her third year of the four-year programme and on completion of the course will hold a professional qualification. Nicola's new-found love for learning has resulted in her considering going on to study at a higher level within UCC in the future, after gaining some experience in the social work field.

Scott Buckley:  Scott Buckley is from Belgooly and he attended Christians Brothers College Cork for all six years of his secondary education. Scott is now studying a degree in Finance and was awarded a Quercus Sports Scholarship for Rugby. Scott started playing rugby at the age of six where he began in he local club, Kinsale RFC. Scott continued to play with Kinsale until he joined CBC. During his time in CBC, Scott won a Junior and Senior cup. Scott captained at both senior and junior level. Scott has represented both Ireland and Munster at Underage Level. Scott most recently played in the Celtic Cup for Munster A. He hopes to remain with Munster and progress through the ranks over the coming years and hopes to make it back from a significant hamstring injury in time for the Irish 20s World cup this July.

Emily Hegarty: Emily is in her second year of Biological Sciences in UCC and went to school in Skibbereen Community School. Emily has rowed for Skibbereen Rowing club as a junior and has won 12 events at the National Rowing championships and has competed internationally since 2014, including Junior world championships in 2016. Since joining UCC rowing club, Emily has competed at both under 23 and senior world championships. In 2018, Emily competed in the womens pair at the U23 world championships and placed 6th in the woman's pair at the senior world championships. In 2019, Emily won a silver medal at the under 23 world championships in the woman's four and placed 10th in the women's four at the senior world championships. Emily's goal is to qualify as a part of the woman's four in the coming season for the Tokyo 2020 Olympics games.

Back Row, left to right: Martin Keenan, Tommy Kirkham, Conor Beck, Louise Coombes, Anthony Cahill, Louis Bruce, Marcus Hogan, Daniel Maguire, Scott Buckley. Middle Row, left to right: Sophie Ryan, Sarah Stafford, Gormfhlaith Ní Shíocháin Ní Bheoláin, Nada Ní Chuirrín, Kate O'Gorman, Nick Cotter, Nicola Dineen, Rian O'Sullivan, Michele Power, Prof John O'Halloran. Front Row, left to right: Chloe Sigerson, Aoife Slattery, Caoimhe Perdue, Emily Hegarty.

Quercus Scholars 2018/19


Quercus Scholars 2018/19 from left to right: Mary O'Donnell, Johnny Durcan, Harry McCann, Mark Coleman, Libby Coppinger, Tommy Kirkham, Ciara-Beth Griffin, Maeve Richardson, Conor Healy, Jenny Clein, Mary Murphy, Mary Fitzgerald, Kyle Macaulay, Kate Madden, Daisy Pemble, Yubo Wang, Deirdre QuigleyVera Stojanovic

A number 2018/19 scholars were missing for the induction day, they are, Aoife Casey, Margaret Cremen, John HodnettÉabha Landers and Paul O'Donovan. These scholars can be seen below in the Quercus Gala Awards Night photo.

Mary O'Donnell: Mary is a fiddle player from Portarlington, Co. Laois. A past pupil of Coláiste Íosagáin, Portarlington. She is now a Creative & Performing Arts scholar studying a BA in Music and Geography. Since coming to UCC she has been awarded both the Comhaltas Ceoltóirí Éireann scholarship for traditional musicians and the Dónal Gleeson award for excellence in undergraduate performance, which she received after being awarded the top grade in her first year performance exam. She is heavily involved in performances in the music department at UCC and regularly performs at concerts including UCC Culture Night, the partnership launch concert at the Cork Opera House and on radio for RTÉ Drivetime RnaG. She has also performed for Prince Charles during his visit to UCC and has many achievements in Fleadhanna Cheoil across a range of competitions, and  won 2nd prize at Fleadh Cheoil na hÉireann 2018 in senior fiddle slow airs. She became a member of the Bridge Céilí Band at 16 and  she released an album with them. Mary was the Chairperson of UCC TradSoc, with whom she performed at Electric Picnic 2018. She is planning on specialising in music in the next few years and wants to work on creating a better music education system for primary school children and children with special needs, as well as creating better opportunities and recognition for children and young people in tradtional music in Ireland. 

Johnny Durcan: Johnny is a Quercus Sports' Scholar. He is a student of Law and Business and is currently in training for the Olympics in the discipline of Sailing. Johnny went to secondary school in Presentation Brothers College Cork and helped them to win three Schools Munster and National Championships. He is also a three time National Champion in his own individual sailing. Johnny has helped UCC to second at the Irish Universities Team Racing Championships and second at the Irish University Yachting Championships. 

Harry McCann: Harry is a 2018 Quercus Innovation/Entrepreneurship Scholar. Formerly a pupil of Scoil Mhuire Community School Clane, Harry is studying Digital Humanities and IT in the College of Arts, Celtic Studies and Social Sciences. Over the last four years, Harry has founded the first Digital Youth Council in the world, been appointed as a Digital Ambassador for the European Commission, and been named as one of Top Ten Outstanding Young Persons in the World Award by JCI. Harry is currently working on his latest business venture Trendster Media and is contributing regularly to Today FM and Newstalk as a media pundit. In the future, Harry hopes to continue to grow Trendster Media and possibly pursue a career in politics.

Mark Coleman: Mark is a UCC Quercus Sports' Scholar. He attended Scoil Mhuire gan Smal Secondary School in Blarney. He is studying Commerce and is really enjoying his studies. Mark has represented Cork at Minor, U-21 and now Senior level. He has won two Munster Senior Championships, a Munster U-21 and a Senior All Star award in 2017. His focus at the moment is on achieving success with UCC in the Fitzgibbon Cup and getting good results in his exams. Mark was on the winning team in the 2019 Fitzgibbon Cup final.

Libby Coppinger: Libby is a Quercus Sports' Scholar. She studied Public Health and Health Promotion. She attended Colaiste Pobail Bheanntraí. Libby plays Camogie and Ladies Football with St. Colums and Cork and played for UCC during her time as a student. She has represented Cork at Minor, U21, Intermediate and Senior Level with both Camogie and Ladies Football. She has won two Division 1 Leagues, two Munster Senior Championships and one All-Ireland with Cork Ladies Football. She has also won three Munster Senior Championships and two All Irelands with Cork Camogie. Libby has played in both the Ashbourne and O'Connor Cup and she has done all of this while working hard on her Final Year Project. 

Tommy Kirkham: Tommy grew up in Vancouver, British Columbia and he did his undergraduate degree in Life Sciences at Queen's University in Kingston, Ontario. He is doing Graduate Entry Medicine in UCC. He was awarded the 2018 Quercus University Scholarship for his academic performance in 2017/18. He was also awarded the GEM2 certificate and was a finalist for the Edward Gurr prize and the Dr. H.H. Stewart Medical scholarship and was a College Scholar in 2017. He is also a committee member for the Emergency Care Society and was part of the winning team at the National Simulations in Emergency Medicine Competition in 2018. He is also a Peer Support Leader for the GEM programme. He be returned to Canada to complete an Emergency Medicine elective in Toronto at St. Michael's Hospital, which is one of the pre-eminent centres in the Country. After graduation, Tommy hopes to pursue a career in Emergency Medicine anywhere he can, whether that be here in Ireland, the US or back home in Canada.

Ciara-Beth Griffin: Ciara-Beth is on a mission to prove to the world that Autiam doesn't define a person. She completed her Leaving Certificate in Coláiste an Éachreidh, Athenry, in June of 2018 and is now studying Psychology and Computing in UCC on a Quercus Innovation/Entrepreneurship Scholarship. She received the scholarship as a result of her creation of an app called "MiContact", which aims to help people who are on the Autism Spectrum learn to make and maintain eye contact in a way that is comfortable to them. As a result of her app she has traveled the world to work with UNESCO and was honoured to be named a 2018 Global Teen Leader with the We Are Family Foundation. She hopes to launch MiContact in early 2019 and to continue to develop digital resources to help people on the Autism Spectrum in the coming years.

Maeve Richardson: Maeve is an Active Citizenship Scholar. She is formerly a student of St. Anne's Secondary School, Tipperary Town and is currently studying BSc Government & Political Science in the College of Arts, Celtic Studies and Social Sciences. Maeve has been involved in Active Citizenship since she started with the Scouts at a very young age. She has shown leadership and a great interest in youth affairs in her roles on the Irish Second Level Students' Union, the National Youth Council of Ireland, UCCSU, UCC Societies, Comhairle na nÓg and most recently a delegate to the EU Youth Conference. Mainly she has been involved in youth empowerment, equality issues and student activism. Maeve, being on the Autism Spectrum, has continued to power through and be a representative for the autism community. 

Conor Healy: Conor Healy is a Quercus University Scholar from the College of Science, Engineering and Food Science, he achieved this scholarship based on his second-year results. A former student of Coláiste an Chraoibhín, Fermoy, Conor was awarded a Quercus Entrance Scholarship based on his Leaving Certificate resutls when he started in UCC. During his time in Univeristy he has also received two Quercus College Scholarships and the Dr. Elmer Morrissey Memorial Scholarship. Before coming to UCC, Conor was awarded the highest Junior Certificate Woodwork result in Ireland. He was also successful at Leaving Certificate level, getting the second highest Design Communication Graphics (DCG) result in Ireland and the third highest Construction Studies result in Ireland. Conor's Leaving Certificate Engineering Project reaced the final of the Engineering Techonology Teachers Association (ETTA) Young Engineer Competition. Conor received the Board Medal from Cork ETB for achieving 625 points in his Leaving Cert.

Jenny Clein: Jenny is a 2018 Quercus Sports' Scholar. She went to school in Crescent College Comprehensive in Limerick, and is now studying Pharmacy. Jenny was awarded a Quercus Sports' Scholarship for her achievements in hockey. She has represented Munster at U-16, U-18 and U-21 level, and Ireland at U-21 level. Whilst in school, she won three senior cups as well as gold and a silver medal in the All-Ireland schools. At club level, Jenny has won a Munster Senior Cup and two Munster Senior Leagues, including the 2017.2018 League with UCC. She is captaining the first division team for the 2018/19 season. Last year she won a UCC Sports Star award and a Munster Hockey special achievement award. Jenny's short-term ambition is to achieve as much success as possible with UCC in the 2019/20 season.

Mary Murphy: Mary is a 2018 Quercus Innovation/Entrepreneurship Scholar. Formerly a student of Jesus and Mary Seocndary School, Gortnor Abbey in Co. Mayo, Mary is now studying Government in UCC. Mary was awarded the scholarship for her work as Managing Director of Make a Mark Ltd. She co-founded this company with her twin sister Sarah and they have since gone on to win numerous awards and accolades, including an All-Ireland Business All Star for Student Entrepreneurship and a prize winner at the BT Young Scientist and Technology exhibition. In the near future, Mary plans to expand Make a Mark, hoping to launch new products and move into new countries as well as continue her studies in UCC.

Mary Fitzgerald: Mary is studying Occupational Therapy at University College Cork. She was honoured to be awarded a UCC Quercus Talented Students' Sports' Scholarship in 2018 for her achievements in para-sport. Her main events are javelin, discus and shot put and she holds the Irish record in all three of these events. Mary was ranked 2nd, 5th and 10th respectively in the World Para Athletics Rankings in 2018. She has travelled to four IWAS World Junior Games and has won ten gold and silver medals at these games. Mary competed at the 2019 World Para Athletics Championships in Dubai, UAE, where she placed 7th in shot put with a best throw of 6:87. Mary hopes to compete in the 2020 Paralympics in Tokyo, Japan. Mary has also competed in the 2019 IWAS World Games which will be held in Sharjan, UAE.

Kyle Macaulay: Kyle is a guitar player from Co.Donegal and a past student of Loreto Community School Milford. He is currently a recipient of a Quercus Creative and Performing Arts scholarship. Benefiting from a nurturing traditional music environment in Donegal, Kyle cut his teeth in Paul Harrigan's music school 'Ceol na Coille' profiting from Paul's teaching and knowledge as well as the countless performance opportunities provided by Paul, including the school's performing group 'Coirm' with whom he played in "An Grianán Theatre Letterkenny" "RCC Letterkenny" and "The MAC Belfast" on several occasions. Kyle is currently studying music and politics in the BMus Arts programme where he is part of the vibrant tratitional music scene. The department have afforded him countless performance opportunities such as: on Culture Night, at the launch of the Cork Opera House-UCC partnership, during the music school open day and with the UCC choir. During his time in the college, he has been awarded the Quercus entrance scholarship, the Comhaltas scholarship and the Quercus Scholarship. During the summer, Kyle work alongside Paul Harrigan in running his annual summer school, also performing with many of the tutors including: Conor Moriarty, Bróna Graham, Dale McKay, Michael Carey, Hamish Napier and Niall Hackett. Acting as producer and engineer for Chris McMullan's second album, Kyle recorded as guitarist on the album, due to be released in the coming months. He has several compostional, performance and recording projects in the works and hopes that his studies at UCC will continue to inform his work and aid his well-rounded development as a musician.

Kate Madden: Kate went to school in Loreto College St. Stephen's Green in Dublin. Kate is now studying Food Marketing & Entrepreneurship in the College of Science Engineering and Food Sciences. She is a Quercus Innovation and Entrepreneurship Scholar. After Kate won a prize at the BT Young Scientist & Technology Exhibition, 2015 with her sister, Annie, they co-foudned a business called FenuHealth. FenuHealth supplies a range of supplements to the equine industry with their main products surrounding the issue of stomach problems in horses. They have nine people working on their team and export to 15 countries worldwide, to date. Kate's future short-term plans are to expand the product range, their team and the amount of countries to which they export, as well as continuing her education.

Daisy Pemble: Daisy is a Quercus University Scholar. She attended Kinsale Community School before coming to UCC to study Law and French. Daisy graduated with a degree in Law and French in 2019. She was awarded the Quercus University Scholarship for her second-year results. The scholarship also recognised her extra-curricular activities which allowed her to contribute to student life in UCC. She founded the Knitting Society and held positions on other societies, while maintaining a high standard of academic performance. Daisy hopes to enter into the Charities and Not-for-Profit sector on a graduate placement. 

Yubo Wang: Yubo is a composer. Because he is obsessed with the texture of sound and interested in minimal form, he likes to say things as simply as possible. Due to his personal experiences, he would like to write music combined with arts, trying to create a new sound atmosphere. Yubo is from China and the English for his name is Sylvian Wang. He won a scholarship to do an exchange study year in Wesleyan University. He has been awarded a Quercus Creative and Performing Arts Scholarhip and he graduated with a BMus degree. Yubo won the Chinese Artist Foundations in 2015 and won the 13th Chinese Young Generation Film Forum Award for Best Original Score this year. Yubo hopes to do a Masters in Compostion in the Guildhall School of Music and Drama. He is also planning to release a book including works of music, art designs, photography and painting.

Deirdre Quigley: Deirdre is a Quercus University Scholar. She is studying the intergrated Pharmacy Masters degree programme. Deirdre was awarded the title of Quercus University Scholar based on her outstanding second year results. Deirdre is a former pupil of Loreto Secondary School, Fermoy. She previously completed a B.Sc. (Business Information Systems) degree and a Post Graduate Diploma in Science (Web Application Development). She worked as a software developer and analyst in the IT field for a number of years before deciding to return to UCC to study Pharmacy. Her decision to return to college was driven by a keen interest in the impact medicine can have on the human body, and in current advances in the development of new approaches to medical treatments and drug delivery. Deirdre has a particular interest in the fields of immunology and gastroenterology. She finds the Pharmacy programme fascinating and the decision to change career paths is constantly being reaffirmed.

Vera Stojanovic: Vera is a Quercus Active Citizenship scholar.  She returned to education as a mature student and is currently studying social science. Vera is the founder and coordinator of BetterTogether, a local charity working to empower women seeking asylum in Cork City and County. She has been working directly with women and children living in Direct Provision since 2016. Her work over this time has been with the aim of enhancing the social and emotional wellbeing of women seeking asylum.  Vera sits on the working group of the UCC University of Sanctuary, the board of management for the Social Health and Education Project and represents BetterTogether on the advocacy and child and family subcommittees of the Cork City of Sanctuary programme. Vera’s aim is to work for the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees in the future.

Aoife Casey: Aoife went to Skibberenn Community School. She is now studying Medical and Health Sciences in UCC. Aoife was awarded a Sports' Scholarship for her achievements in rowing. With Skibbereen Rowing Club Aoife won 10 National Rowing Championships and has competed internationally since 2015. In 2017 Aoife placed 8th in the junior double sculls in the Junior World Championships and received a silver medal in the junior double sculls European Championships. In 2018 she placed 8th place in the lightweight double sculls Senior European Championships and placed 13th in the lightweight double sculls in the Senior World Championships. Aoife's goal is to race at the Tokyo 2020 Olympics in the Irish lightweight women's double sculls. Aoife and her partner came 5th in their final at the 2019 World Rowing Championships. 

Margaret Cremen: Margaret is a 2018 sports scholar for Rowing and is currently studying Sports Studies and Physical Education. Margaret began rowing in Lee Rowing Club where she won the clubs first ever women’s Irish Championship, and continued on to win 5 in total for the club. In her Leaving Cert year in 2017, she took home Ireland’s first European Junior Silver medal with her partner Aoife Casey and later that summer competed at the World Junior Championships. Margaret made her senior debut at World Cup I in the lightweight double in 2018 and competed in the u23 World Champs that summer. In 2017  she took home 2 Irish Championship titles for UCC. In the upcoming season she is looking forward to making gains in the winter and therefore eager on getting into Ireland’s lightweight double. Margaret is very proud to wear the skull and cross bones.

John Hodnett: John is a Quercus Sports' Scholar. He is from Rosscarbery and attended Mount Saint Michael's. He is studying Sports Studies & Physical Education in UCC. John has played U16 and U18 rugby for Ireland. More recently, however, he has played with the Irish U20 team in the U20's Six Nations where he made a huge impression at number eight. John also plays with UCC RFC in the AIL Division 1A.

Éabha Landers: Éabha is a 2018 Quercus University Scholar. Formerly a student of Cólaiste and Phiarsaigh, Glanmire. Éabha now studies Finance in the College of Business and Law. Éabha received this academic scholarship as a result of her first year examination results. In 2017, Éabha was awarded a Quercus Entrance Scholarship after receiving 7 H1 grades in her Leaving Certificate Examinations. A lover of all things finance, Éabha was the first year representative of the Accounting and Finance Society in 2017 and she was the Finance Officer for UCC Choral Society. She is also the Vice-President of her investment fund under the UCC Student Managed Fund sponsored by GoodBody Stockbrokers. Éabha volunteers to be a Peer Support Leader to 20 first year BSc Finance students. Academics aside, Éabha is very active in the performing arts sphere. She received 5 year-long scholarships to study Speech and Drama in CIT Cork School of Music where she completed her Grade 8. She also was a member of the 2015 National Youth Theatre cast of "Salt Mountain" which was commissioned by the Abbey Theatre in Dublin. Éabha is also a member of UCC Singers, the competitive a cappella chamber choir of UCC where she regularly competes on a National and International level.

Paul O'Donovan: Paul is a Quercus Sports' Scholar. He is from and went to school in Skibbereen, and he is now studying Graduate Entry Medicine in UCC. Paul's sport is rowing and he quiet often shares a lightweight double scull with his brother Gary. In 2016 Paul and his brother won a silver medal at the Rio Olympics. In the Rowing World Championships in 2017 Paul won a gold medal in the lightweight men's single sculls. The following year, 2018, Paul and his brother became world champions in the lightweight men's double sculls. In 2019, Paul and his partner Fintan McCarthy won Gold in the men's lightweight double sculls at the Rowing World Championships.

From left to right: Back Row - Kyle Macaulay, Conor Healy, John Hodnett, Paul O'Donovan, Johnny Durcan, Mark Coleman, Yubo Wang, Kate Madden, Mary Murphy, Aoife Casey, Jenny Clein. Middle Row - Libby Coppinger, Harry McCann, Daisy Pemble, Éabha Landers, Deirdre Quigley, Mary O'Donnell. Front Row - Maeve Richardson, Vera Stojanovic, Mary Fitzgerald, Ciara-Beth Griffin. Tommy Kirkham was on placement in Canada on the date of the Gala.

Quercus Scholars 2017/18

Quercus Scholars 2017/18 from left to right: Back Row - Jack O'Sullivan,  Emily Duffy,  David O'Sullivan, James Harte,  Robert O'Donovan,  Alana Daly Mulligan,  Rhianne Kelly,  Sumitha Pandiaraja,  Ben Kavanagh,  Paddy Cadell, Front Row -  Cian Bohane,  Maria Carey,  Nicole Delaney,  Brian Ó Beaglaoich,  Hannah Humphreys,  Hannah Looney,  Ciara Cullinane,  Eimear De Brun,  Ben Smith.  Sophie Healy-Thow (pictured below)


Jack O'Sullivan: Biography to follow shortly.

Emily Duffy: Emily is a 2017 Active Citizenship Scholar studying Commerce. While fundraising for a homeless charity in Limerick, Emily became familiar with the homeless population and the issues they face on a daily basis. Her experience inspired her to create the Duffily Bag - a sleeping back that is lightweigth, waterproof, heat retaining, non-flammable, highly reflective, with a strap for easy transport, a place to store valuables, and three layers on the botton for extra support. In two years, Emily has produced and distributed hundreds of Duffily Bags. Working to reduce homelessness overall, Emily also employs homeless individuals to produce the bags. Emily showcased the Duffily Bag at the BT Young Scientist and Technology competition in 2015. Emily was named on the's 20 under 20 list for 2016, was All-Ireland student volunteer of the year for 2017 and she is currently Global Teen Leader with the We Are Family Foundation. Ultimately, Emily's goal is to distribute the Duffily Bag worldwide to  help improve the lives of homeless individuals everywhere.

David O'Sullivan: Biography to follow shortly.

James Harte: James is a 2017 Quercus University Scholar who studied Biomedical Science in Iniversity College Cork  and Cork Institute of Technology, awarded a Quercus Scholarship for academic excellence and achievement in his examination results. Formerly a student of Gaelcholáiste Choilm, his childhood passion for scientific and medical endeavour has progressively developed into a fundamental aspect of his character. In choosing medical science, and with the incredible support of the Quercus Programme, James aims to embark on an academic career that straddles experimental research and clinical diagnosis, translating empirical investigation into therapeutic and diagnostic opportunites that could potentially make a distinct difference to the well-being of others. In the future, James hopes to pursue doctoral  studies, perhaps to add to the sum of medical knowledge, but also amalgamate his love of science with an equal avidity for education, teaching and learning.

Robert O'Donovan: Rob is a 2017 Quercus Sports' Scholar. He is a past pupil of Christian Brother's College and he studied Business Information Systems in the College of Business and Law. Rob was awarded his Quercus Scholarship based on his merits and achievements in Rugby. Rob was part of the 2015 Senior Cup team and, as a result of his performances, was picked to represent Munster in the U20 Interprovincials, where he was part of the team which won the Interprovincial title in 2016. Rob was was also a member of the UCC Rugby team which was promoted to division 1b and as recognition of this was awarded a UCC Sports' Star Award in 2017 for his contribution to UCC Sport. Rob was also a year 1 member of the Munster Rugby Academy and was capped twice in the group stages of the British and Irish Cup 2017/2018 season for Munster A.

Alana Daly-Mulligan: Alana is a 2017 Quercus Active Citizenship Scholar, studying Arts International in the College of Arts, Celtic Studies and Social Sciences. Alana's interest in activism and citizenship stems from an early background in theatre and the arts in her home of Waterford City. Over the past decade, she has worked extensively both on and off the stage, using her knowledge to create innovative and exciting youth projects. The Lions' Club Waterford Youth Ambassador 2016/17 has worked across the country and Europe at large with organisations like,, to name a few. Her continued involvement in Waterford Comhairle na nÓg (and further representation of the organisation in The European Parliament in Brussels) led to the development of the TeenSpace portal-Ireland's first purpose built regional youth services site. She has also worked extensively with the homeless, being part of the founding team of The One Campaign for Change and BuskAid, two groups that strive to raise awareness of homelessness in Ireland. Her most recent project was the curation of The Lit Festival; Ireland's first dedicated YA literature festival which took place in November, 2017. She is a vocal Repeal the 8th Activist, writing many spoken word pieces for the campaign. her biographical piece My Great Aunt Chrissie won Best Writing Piece at the NoiseFlicks Film Festival in October 2017. Alana wants to use her BA International degree to help arm her for a world of media and journalism. Alana currently works as a reporter and news reader with the regional radio station Beats 102-103.

Rhianne Kelly: Rhianne is a 2017 Quercus Creative and Performing Arts Scholar. She studied for a BA in Music and English in the College of Arts, Celtic Studies and Social Sciences. Having started out in classical music, Rhianne was awarded distinctions in all of her flute exams under the Royal Irish Academy of Music. She has also been awarded three High Achievers' Awards under the academy, whereby she achieved 100% in her music theory exams. Going on to specialise in Irish tradtional music, Rhianne's interests lie in both performance and composition in the genre, with  piano-accordion and flute being her main instruments. She has won numerous medals at all levels in Fleadhanna Ceoil, most notably three consecutive All-Ireland titles as part of her Grupa Ceoil, as well as four solo All-Ireland titles in the piano accordion category, including the highly coveted Senior All-Ireland title. She has provided entertainment for President Michael D. Higgins and his wife Sabina, and has performed as part of the Meitheal Orchestra in the National Concert Hall, Dublin alongside Sharon Shannon and Liam Ó Maonlaí. She has also provided support for Delores Keane during her concert series and has performed in several other venues such as The Olympia Theatre, Dublin, The Black Box, Galway, the Millennium Theatre, Limerick and many more. Rhianne was also awarded with a Gradam na nÓg award this year, which is an award presented by Comhaltas Ceoltéori Éireann in appreciation of service and dedication to the organisation and the promotion of Ireland's cultural traditions.

Sumitha Grace Pandiaraja: Sumitha, an international student from Singapore, is studying Medicine in the College of Medicine and Health. She was chosen to receive the 2017 Quercus University Scholarship in recognition of her outstanding academic results at UCC. In 2017, she was awarded the Summer Undergraduate Research Experience grant for eight weeks of paid laboratory research with the Cork Cancer Research Centre. Sumitha, along with a team of undergraduate students from the pharmacy, biochemistry and mathematics disciplines, presented this research project at the International Genetically Engineered Machine competition in Boston and clinched a Silver award for UCC. Furthermore, Sumitha has also competed at national level to win the 2017 NUI Dr. H.H. Stewart Medical Scholarship in Anatomy 2017. In addition, she has also been previously nominated for the MacConaill Prize in Anatomy, following her excellent performances in the anatomy component for first and second year studies. In the future, Sumitha hopes to be a source of strength and support for her patients while providing them with appropriate, cutting-edge care. Having volunteered with various healthcare organisations, she also intends to broaden her knowledge in the related fields of public health and policy to improve healthcare access for underprivileged and marginalised communities.

Ben Kavanagh: Ben Kavanagh is a Creative and Performing Arts Scholars studying Film and Screen Media in the College of Arts, Celtic Studies and Social Sciences. Ben is a writer, cinematographer and editor hailing from Tralee. Ben set up his own Film & Media Company at 15, using unique concepts and imaginative visuals to craft engaging and  powerful videos. His work has been screened at dozens of Film Festivals, both nationally and internationally, including Dublin, Toronto, Los Angelas and New York. Ben is currently working on his first feature film.

Paddy Cadell: Paddy Cadell is a 2017 Quercus Sports' Scholar studying BCL Law Pathways in the College of Business and Law. Paddy has represented Tipperary in hurling form U-14s up along and is currently on the Tipperary Senior panel. Paddy played midfield on the Tipperary team that won the Munster and All-Ireland Minor Champioship in 2016. He further went on to captain the Tipperary Minor Team in 2017. Paddy also achieved success with his former secondary school Our Lady's Templemore by captaining the senior team to Dr. Harty Cup and Dr. Croke Cup success in 2017. He is currently hoping to achieve success with the UCC Freshers hurling team in the coming championship. In 2019, Paddy won the U-20s All-Ireland Hurling Final along with his teammates, for Tipperary. He also won a Senior All-Ireland medal with Tipperary in 2019. 

Cian Bohane: Cian is a 2017 Sports Scholar studying for a BEd in Sports Studies and Physical Education. Cian, a former student of Presentation Brothers College Cork, was chosen to receive a Quercus Sports' Schoalrship because of his exploits in Rugby. Cian was a professional rugby player with Munster Rugby for 5 seasons, having been involved in the academy system for the three years prior. He made nine appearances in the Guiness Pro14 and was the captain of the Munster A team which won the British and Irish Cup in 2017. Cian has also represented Munster in the World Club 7's tournament which was held in Thomond Park in August 2014. Cian retired from the professional game in July 2017 to return to full-time education in UCC. He is now playing for the UCC senior men's rugby team.

Maria Carey: Maria is a 2017 Quercus Creative and Performing Arts' Scholar. She is a student of the College of Medicine and Health, where she is undertaking a degree in Pharmacy. Maria is an Irish traditional musician who plays the flute, tin whistle and button accordion. She has won numerous solo county and Munster titles, and in 2016, won the 15-18 All Ireland title in Flute Slow Airs in Ennis. She was part of the band 'Gluaiseacht', who performed in the National Concert Hall at the finals of Siansa Gael Linn 2016, where they claimed third prize. She was one of the 2015 Comhaltas SCT exam candidates who received a Micheál Ó hEidhin Medal for achieving 4 Distinction Grades in their final exams. As well as performance, Maria enjoys composition, and in 2014, was awarded a scholarship in composition at Meitheal Irish Trad Summer School. She was elected as First Year Rep for UCC Tradsoc in 2017. Notable performances to date include performing as support act for Four Men and a Dog, playing flute for "Puttnam plays Puttnam" with Sacha Puttnam as part of National Digital Week, and performances on Radio na Gaeltachta and TG4. She enjoys contributing to the musical life of University College Cork in various events throughout the college year, in between labs, placements and lectures for her Pharmacy studies. Highlights have included performances at Electric Picnic 2018 and Birmingham Tradfest.

Nicole Delaney: Nicole is a 2017 Quercus Creative and Performing Arts Scholar. A former student of Pobalscoil Chorca Dhuibhne in Dingle, she is now studying a Bachelor of Arts Music in the college of Arts, Celtic Studies and Social Sciences. Having started the Tin Whistle at the age of four, Nicole is now a well rounded traditional musician being highly accomplished in a number of instruments such as the Tin Whistle, Flute, Concertina, Fife, Fiddle and the Harp. Nicole has also taken part in the Fleadh Cheoil and has won numerous County, Munster and All Ireland titles in both solo and group competitions. She recently performed on TG4's live show 'Failte 2018' New Years Eve alongside Muireann Nic Amhlaoibh, Donogh Hennessy and Gary O'Brien. Nicole took part in singing and playing on Méabh Ní Bheaglaoich's single 'Amhrán na nGael'. She has also featured on Raidio na Gaeltachta, Clare FM, RTÉ and TG4 frequently.

Brian Ó Beaglaoich: Brian is a 2017 Quercus Sports' Scholar who studied Commerce International with Irish in the College of Business and Law. Formerly a student of Pobalscoil Chorca Dhuibhne, Brian received his Quercus Sports' Scholarship due to his GAA achievements. It is in Pobalscoil where he won two Hogan Cup titles and three Corn Uí Mhuirí titles. He won an All-Ireland Minor title in 2014 with Kerry. He has played under-21 football with Kerry in 2015, 2016 and 2017. He made his senior Championship debut in the Summer of 2016, winning a Munster Senior Club Championship. Brian has represented the College in the Fresher's competitions, in the County Championships and in the Sigerson.

Hannah Humphreys: Hannah is a 2017 Quercus Sports' Scholar. Formally a pupil of St. Angela's College Cork, Hannah studies Chemical Sciences in the College of Science, Engineering and Food Sciences. Hannah is a hockey goalkeeper. She has played Munster U-16 and U-18 and vice-captained the U-16 team in 2014 which was the first Munster team to beat Ulster in over a decade. She has also played Irish U-16 and U-18 and is currently involved in the Irish U-21 development squad. Hannah was voted Munster Young Player of the Year for the 2016/17 hockey season. Hannah's ultimate ambition is to part of an Irish senior team to compete in an Olympics.

Hannah Looney: Biography to follow shortly.

Ciara Cullinane: Ciara is a 2017 Quercus Creative and Performing Arts Scholar and a former student of Loreto Secondary School, Wexford. She is studying Medicine in the College of Medicine and Health. She has achieved seven distinctions in her classical singing exams with the Associated Board of the Royal Schools of Music and is currently studying for a vocal performance diploma. She has achieved numerous awards for her outstanding examination results, winning 'Student of the Year' in the County Wexford School of Music in 2014, 'Music Student of the Year' and various academic awards from her secondary school in 2017, as well as her LAMDA dramatic arts examinations. Ciara won 1st place in the AIMS Choral Festival Singing Competition in New Ross in 2015 and also won 1st place in the Arklow Music Festival in 2016. She has previously appeared on the Late Late Toy Show and has perfromed solos on RTE's 'Mass on Sunday' with her various choral groups. Ciara has been actively involved in musical societies in Wexford from a very young age, with performance in 'Annie', 'Ragtime', 'Hairspray', 'Oliver', and 'Jesus Christ Superstar'. She has performed various principle roles in the National Opera House with Wexford Light Opera Society, including the 2016 production of 'Evita' and the role of 'Johanna' in the 2018 production of 'Sweeney Todd'. She went on to win best musical item for her solo performance at the Carrick on Suir Music Festival, as well as playing the lead role of 'Eponine' in her school's production of 'Les Miserables'. Ciara co-founded a vocal group 'Seventh Fret' who perform regularly at events in Wexford and won 'Wexford has Talent' in 2017. Ciara is now enjoying representing UCC as part of the UCC Singers who were runners up in the 2017 Sligo International Choral Festival.'

Eimear De Brún: Eimear is a 2017 University Scholar and is currently studying Irish and French under the BA Arts International programme. Eimear is from Slaughtneil, County Derry and was awarded this Quercus Scholarship in recognition of her academic success in her first year summer exams. She has a zeal for learning languages and was recently awarded second place in Italian in The Dr H H Stewart Literary Scholarships. An avid Gaeilgeoir, Eimear is passionate about the promotion of Irish both on and off campus and is heavily involved in both An Chullacht and An Cumann Drámaíochta. Outside the academic world, Eimear has achieved a distinction and merit in grade 8 violin and piano respectively. In the future, she hopes to actively use her languages in the fields of Interpretation/Translation or media.

Ben Smith: Biography to be follow shortly.

Sophie Healy Thow: Sophie is a 2017 Active Citizenship Scholar. Formerly a student of Bruce College Sophie is studying International Development and Food Policy in the school of Business and Law. Sophie is a youth activist who promotes Food Security, Gender Equality and Anti-bullying at local, national and global levels. She is on the UK Board of the leading International charity ActionAid and is an Ambassador for both the ONE Campaign and ISPCC. Sophie was selected by the UN to be a Youth Leader for Zero Hunger at United Nations General Assembly 2015. In 2017 Sophie 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 Sophie co-foudned "Agrikua", an online platform to promote women in agriculture in developing countries, Agrikua went onto win the first prize at the summit and Sophie and her team are now being funded by Bayer Crop Sciences to develop the idea further. Also in 2017 Sophie was invited to paraticipate in the inaugural UNLeash Innovation Lab in Denmark working to find solutions to Sustainable Development Goals. Sophie speaks 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. She was one of only 10 women (along with Facebook founder Sheryl Sandberg and Good Morning America Anchor Robin Roberts) to be included in the Disney book about leadership. 'Choose to Matter' written by Olympic medallist and ESPN presenter Julie Foudy features 10 female leaders who share their stories and experiences to encourage young women to find the leader within. A past Google Science Fair, European Union Young Scientist and BT Young Scientist winner, she was named by TIME magazine as one of the most influential teens 2014.


 Quercus Gala 2017. Back Row, left to right: Nicole Delaney, Hannah Humphreys, James Harte, David O'Sullivan, Paddy Cadell, Brian Ó Beoglaoich, Hannah Looney, Cian Bohane, Robert O'Donovan, Jack O'Sullivan, Ben Kavanagh. Front Row, left to right: Maria Carey, Rhianne Kelly, Ciara Cullinane, Sumitha Pandiaraja, Eimear De Brún, Ben Smith, Sophie Healy Thow, Emily Duffy, Alanna Daly Mulligan.

Quercus Scholars 2016/17

Quercus Scholars 2016/17 from left to right:  Rose Keating,  JD Kehoe, Stephen Cronin,  Sinéad Ní Argáin,  Cathal O'Hanlon,  Ronan Byrne,  Tom Devine,  Mark O'Connor,  Elaine O' Connell,  Michaela Crosbie,  Hannah Collins,  Michael Gleeson,  Ciara Judge, Ailish McMahon,  Darragh Meaney,  Miah Phelan Sweeney,  Clara Hurley,  Emer Hickey,  Shane Kingston,  Mark Hassett,  Paul Kiernan (picture below).

1. Rose Keating: Rose is a 2016 Quercus Creative and Performing Arts' Scholar. She is studying for a BA in English in the College of Arts, Celtic Studies and Social Sciences. Coming from St. Angela's College in Waterford, Rose was chosen to receive the Quercus Scholarship for the uniqueness and quality of her creative writing. Rose has won the local category of the Séan Dunne Young Writers Award and was both the overall national winner, and the readers' choice winner, of the Write Here, Write Now National Writing Competition (Hot Press). She is currently working as a columnist for the Waterford News and Star. She has written various reviews for Hot Press Magazine, and has recently been published in an anthology book of young writers, 'Magic is Everywhere'. Rose has recently been published in Not One of US magazine, The Incubator magazine, in the Cornerstone publication, had one of her stories published in a podcast called The Breakroom Stories, and had a story in UCC's own literary journal Quarryman. Rose has also written music reviews for UCC's magazine Motley, and has conducted an interview with the band Mount Kimbie with the Motley.

2. JD Kehoe: John David (JD) is a 2016 Quercus University Scholar who studied Medicine. JD, a former student of Ardscoil Rís in Limerick, was chosen to receive the Quercus University Scholarship because of the outstanding results he received in his second year at UCC. JD intends to be an advocate for cancer research and desires to provide hope, reassurance and knowledge to those suffering specifically from breast cancer. He is a previous winner of the Dr. Kate Flynn Memorial Medal in Physiology and he was a UCC Entrance scholar also. JD won the Dr. B Foley Medal in Microbiology 2016/1017 and the Bristish Pharmacological Society Prize for Clinical Pharmacology 2017/2017, both for in-house college exams. Over the last two years he has been nominated to compete for the Anatomy, Physiology, Biochemistry, Pathology, Microbiology, Public Health and Pharmacology Dr. Henry Hutchinson Stewart Medical Scholarships (7/7 nominations), and he won the NUI Dr. HH Stewart Medical Scholarships in Pharmacology 2017, which is a national competition. While his academic achievements will help JD become a good doctor, his kindness of spirit will ensure that he will be a great doctor.

3. Stephen Cronin: Stephen is a 2016 Quercus Sports' Scholar who studied Computer Science in the College of Science, Engineering and Food Science. Formerly a student of Coláiste Chriost Rí, Stephen received his Quercus Sports' Scholarship due to his notable GAA achievements. Stephen plays Gaelic Football  Nemo Rangers and Cork. Stephen made his Cork Senior Debut in 2015 and captained Cork U21 footballers in 2016. He has won two Munster u21s, one Senior County with Nemo Rangers and two U21 County titles.

4. Sinéad Ní Argáin: Sinéad is a 2016 Quercus Creative and Performing Arts' Scholar. Coming from Coláiste an Phiarsaigh, Glanmire, Sinéad is now studying Mathematical Sciences in the College of Science, Engineering and Food Science. Sinéad received the Quercus Scholarship because of her many musical accomplishments, including three Diplomas from Trinity College London in Piano, Clarinet and Violin. Sinéad was also awarded the 'Most Distinguished Student' in the Department of Keyboard Studies, Senior Cycle in Cork School of Music. Living and breathing musicality, Sinéad constantly challenges herself by entering as many musical competions as possible. Sinéad also received a 2016 Quercus Entrance Scholarship due to her excellent leaving cert results.  

5. Cathal O'Hanlon: Cathal is a 2016 Quercus Sports' Scholar and he studied for a BA in Arts in the College of Arts, Celtic Studies and Social Sciences. A native of Cobh, Cathal attended Coláiste Muire before starting at UCC. Cathal was awarded a Quercus Sports' Scholarship because of his achievements in soccer. Cathal has played as goalkeeper on the Republic of Ireland International U15's, U16s and U19s soccer squad. He also completed a two year scholarship at Charlton Athletic Football Club and played for Cork City U19's, and trained with the Cork City senior squad. He also guarded the net of the UCC senior soccer team. 

6. Ronan Byrne: Ronan is a 2016 Quercus Sports' Scholar. He is studying Nutritional Science in the College of Science, Engineering and Food Science. Ronan, a former student of Douglas Community School, was awarded the Quercus Scholarship based on his achievements in rowing. Ronan previously won gold in the men's junior doubles and quads. In the Autumn of 2019 Ronan and his partner, Philip Doyle, won Silver in the Men's Double Sculls event at the Rowing World Championships, and Ronan then went on to win Gold in the Men's Single Sculls at the European U23s Rowing Championships. Ronan spends the bulk of his time training on the Marina and intends to make Tokyo 2020 his first Olympic games.

7. Tom Devine: Tom is a 2016 Quercus Sports' Scholar and studied Medicine in the College of Medicine and Health. Tom, a former student of St. Augustines in Dungarvan, was awarded a Quercus Sports' Scholarship based largely on his outstading GAA achievements. Tom has represented Waterford from U14s-U21s football and from U14 to senior in hurling.  The Waterford man was part of the team that won the Minor Hurling All Ireland 2013, the National League in 2015 and the U21 Hurling All Ireland in 2016. To add to this Tom also displayed his UCC colours proudly while playing Fitzgibbon Hurling.

8. Mark O'Connor: Mark, a former student of PS Chorca Dhuibhne, is a 2016 Quercus Sports' Scholar. A significant part of the Kerry Minor Football team, Mark currently is on a rookie contract with Australia League Football team Geelong. Mark, who elected for Commerce in the College of Business and Law, is deferring his course of study to pursue his professional AFL career.

9. Elaine O'Connell: Elaine, a native of Ballybunion, is a 2016 Quercus University Scholar. Having completed a First Class Honours degree in Occupational Therapy in NUI Galway in 2012, Elaine went on to study Graduate Entry Medicine in the College of Medicine and Health, UCC. Her hard work and diligence earned her 'The Graduate Entry to Medicine First Year Prize 2015/16. Following on from that Elaine's outstanding second year results helped her to secure a Quercus University Scholarship. Her academic achievement is not, however, the only thing that defines her. Elaine has volunteered selflessly with an organisation called BTBAB, which provides medical help for underprivileged communities in Peru and the Philippines, and once qualified she aims to use her skills to aid those most in need in developing world countries.

10. Michaela Crosbie: Michaela is a 2016 Quercus University Scholar who studied Nutritional Sciences in the College of Science, Engineering and Food Science. A former student of Coláiste Dún Iascaigh in Cahir, Michaela was an International Junior Science Olympiad finalist in 2011, and a European Science Olympiad finalist in Biology in 2012. Michaela received an ETB award for excellence in her leaving certificate and also received awards from her school for excellence in: Maths, Chemistry, Home Economics, Biology and Best Leaving Cert that year. Michaela's outstanding results in her second year in Nutritional Sciences helped to secure her Quercus Scholarship. She has always been interested in health and specifically in preventing diseases through diet. Michaela also enjoys writing science-fiction, and hopes to one day be a published writer in this genre. 

11. Hannah Collins: Hannah is a 2016 Quercus Creative and Performing Arts' Scholar. Hannah, a native of Skibbereen and former student of Mercy Heights Secondary School, is studying for a BA in Arts Music in the College of Arts, Celtic Studies and Social Sciences. Having started playing the piano at the age of seven, Hannah is a highly accomplished pianist who has extensively studied both classical and Irish traditional Music. Hannah has participated in Fleadhanna Cheoil from a young age and over the years she has been the winner of multiple County, Munster and All-Ireland titles in solo piano and group competitions. In May 2015 she was amongst twelve recipients of the Micheál Ó hÉidhinn Medallion for achieving maximum results in the 2014 SCT Senior Cycle 4 exam. In 2014 Hannah was one of only 15 performers selected by Comhaltas to perform with the Comhaltas Tour of Ireland, Britain and North America. Hannah's future aim revolves not only around creating beautifully crafted traditional Irish music pieces but also in experimenting with fusion between different genres.

12. Michael Gleeson: Michael is a 2016 Quercus University Scholar who studied BIS in the College of Business and Law. Michael, once a student of Douglas Community School, was the first mature student to receive a Quercus scholarship. Michael was awarded UCC Quercus College Scholarship in 2014 and 2015. As a Health Research Board Summer Scholarship 2015 recipient, Michael undertook and Information System research project in the area of mHealth investigating the usability of CHeITA (Child Health Information Tracking Application) amongst healthcare professionals. He is currently part of an fp7 research project for the European Commission in the area of emergency management, named S-Help (Securing Health-Emergency-Learning-Planning), led by the BIS department in UCC, along with a number of other universities and organisations. Michael's areas of interest include mHealth, Emergency Management decision support systems, data visualization, and application development. He believes that evolving health information systems will revolutionize health and healthcare programs in Ireland, and that the use of Information Systems can greatly aid the decision making capabilities of emergency personnel.

13. Ciara Judge: Ciara is a 2016 Quercus Innovation/Entrepreneurship Scholar. Formerly a pupil of Kinsale Community College, Ciara is studying Genetics in the College of Science, Engineering and Food Science. Over the past three years Ciara has won the BT Young Scientist, the EU Young Scientist and the Google Science Fair with two teammates for their scientific research  into seed germination. In 2014 TIME Magazine named her as being one of the 25 most influential teens worldwise, and she is currently a Global Teen Leader with the We Are Family Foundation. In the past year she co-founded two starts-up - Germinaid Innovations, and PurchaseMate. Ciara is also working on the not for profit initiative Project Zilkr, an outreach platform for young entrepreneurs, which recently merged with the United Nation's YouthCorp. In 2016 Ciara was also awarded the title of one of the ten Outstanding Young People of the World.                      

14. Ailish McMahon: Ailish is a 2016 Quercus University Scholar. Ailish is a former student of Colaiste Muire Crosshaven and studied a joint degree in Music and Maths in the College of Arts, Celtic Studies and Social Sciences. While this may seem like a unlikely combination to some, to Ailish it makes perfect sense. She likes both of them for the same reason; both incorporate elements of logic and creativity, both are concerned with patterns, and musical pitch has a mathematical basis as it is related to the frequency of the sound source. Her instrument is piano and in March 2015 she received a Gold Medal for the Advanced Piano Recital with the Royal Irish Academy of Music. 

15. Darragh Meaney: Darragh is a 2016 Quercus Innovation/Entrpreneurhsip Scholar. A former pupil of the Patrician Academy Mallow, Darragh studied BIS in the College of Business and Law. Darragh started, iPhone repair specialists, after seeing a sizeable gap in the market in 2015. Starting from scratch, has grown to be Cork's best rated iPhone repair service developing pioneering methods of repair. Darragh was hugely involved in promoting Entrepreneurship in UCC and was Education Officer for the Entrepreneurial and Social Society. Darragh does not just use his technological know how to make profit, he has also volunteered as a 100minds participant working with other students to raise €1,000,000 to save Childline's night services. Although Darragh has a huge love for everything in the technology spectrum this does not make him a robot. He loves life and laughter and encourages enthusiasm in anybody that comes in contact with him.

16. Miah Phelan Sweeney: Miah is a 2016 Quercus Creative and Performing Arts Scholar and a former student of Cross and Passion Secondary School in Co. Kildare. Miah studies BCL (Pathways) in the College of Business and Law. She has completed her diploma exam in musical theatre performance and is currently studying for a performance diploma in classical piano performance. In 2016 Miah was awarded a Royal Irish Academy of Music High Achiever's Award. Miah is also a singer/songwriter and has won RTE's Star Search competition as well as being a finalist in the UCC Songwriting competition. Miah works as part of the Music Generation Carlow songwriting and community outeach programme. A multi-talented scholar, Miah is not only blessed with musical abilities but she is also gifted in sport and academia. Miah plays hockey with UCC 1st XI and has been a part of Leinster U16s and U18s panels. In 2014 she captained Leinster to an interprovincial title and was named on the Irish U16s Panel. In 2016 she won young player of the year for Old Alex HC. Miah's motivation and diligence will no doubt serve the world well as she pursues her intended career in human rights advocacy. Miah is also a 2016 Quercus Entrance Scholar due to her high leaving cert results.

17. Clara Hurley: Clara is a 2015 Quercus University Scholar, she is not featured in this group photograph as she was studying abroad in Leiden University for the Academic year 2015/2016. Formerly a pupil of Christ King Girls Secondary School Clara studied BCL (International) in the College of Business and Law. Her third year was spent in the University of Leiden, the Netherlands, specialising in European and International Law. She was the sole undergraduate finalist in the Legal Student of the Year category at the Irish Law Awards 2016 and was Highly Commended in the International Undergraduate Award 2016. Her academic work has been published in the Irish Law Times, Trinity College Law Review and University College Dublin Law Review. She has interned in the Office of the Attorney General and several top tier Irish law firms. Clara intends to complete a PhD in Public Law, with the aim of working in academia and research.

18. Emer Hickey: Émer is a 2016 Quercus Innovation/Entrepreneurship Scholar. A former pupil of Kinsale Community College, Émer studies Biological and Chemical Sciences in the College of Science, Engineering and Food Science. Émer, as part of a three person team, won the BT Young Scientist and Technologist Competition in 2013 with a project that increased germination rates of barley and oats using a naturally occurring bacteria. With this project, the team went on to win both the EU Contest for Young Scientists and the Google World Science Fair. Alongside fellow Quercus Scholar Ciara Judge, Émer continues research based on the findings of the original project in their startup 'Germinaid'. Émer speaks regularly at various conferences across Europe to promote STEM including WeDay London in Wembley Arena, Wired 2015 and at the European Union Innovation Convention in Brussels. In 2014, she was featured by TIME Magazine as one of the 25 most influential teenagers in the world. She was also named by Silicon Republic as one of their role models for Women in  STEM. Émer holds a position in the London Internaitonal Youth Science Forum team based in Imperial College London each summer. Émer aims to promote science both inside and outside the classroom.

19. Shane Kingston: Shane is a 2016 Quercus Sports' Scholar. He attended secondary school at Rochestown College and now studies Arts in the College of Arts, Celtic Studies and Social Science. Shane has been playing Hurling and Gaelic Football since the age of four and has been playing county level since the age of 13. To date he has won nine county medals with his club, Douglas GAA. Shane can operate anywhere within the forward line and his scoring rate has acted as an inspiration to his teammates. Shane's determination and love of the game means that no obsticle is insurmountable, including injury. After returning from a serious leg injury, six weeks earlier than expected, Shane came on with 12 minutes to go and scored 1-2 to help Douglas win the Minor County Premier 1 Hurling Championship 2015. Shane has played in the Harty Cup Final, Corn Ui Mhuiri Final and the Simcox Final and has helped Rochestown College to win two O'Callaghan Cup Finals. Shane, who currently plays with UCC, having won a Fitzgibbon Cup in 2019, and Cork Seniors, is no doubt an All-Star for the future.

20. Mark Hassett: Mark is a 2016 Quercus Sports' Scholar. Formerly a student of Schull Community College, Mark studied Mathematical Sciences in the College of Science, Engineering and Food Science. Mark is a notable sailor and has been a member of the ISA Development Squad since 2013. He has numerous national titles and has also represented Ireland at World Championship level on a number of occasions. Mark was captain when his crew won 1st place in both the 2014 and the 2015 ITRA Team Racing National Senior Championships. In 2015 Mark also captained the Senior Irish team in the Team Racing World Championships, finishing 9th.

21. Paul Kiernan: Paul Kiernan is a 2016 Quercus Sports' Scholar. Paul is missing from the photo above because he was having minor surgery on the day of the Quercus induction. Paul, a former pupil of Presentation Brothers Cork, studied Commerce in the College of Business and Law. Paul was chosen as a Quercus scholar because of his Rugby achievements. Paul was captain of Presentation Brother's Senior Cup Squad while in secondary school and from there his rugby career has flourished. He captained the Munster U20s when they won the Interprovincial title in September 2016, and was a member of the Ireland squad who reached the final of the U20s World Cup in Manchester in June. During that tournament he captained the side in their victory over Georgia. Paul, who played a pivitol role in getting UCC Rugby promoted to division 1B and then division 1A, was awarded the UCC Sports' Star Award in 2015 and 2016 in acknowledgement of his contribution to UCC Sport.



 Quercus Gala 2016. Back Row, left to right: Daragh Meaney, Cathal O'Hanlon, JD Kehoe, Ronan Byrne, Tom Devine, Shane Kingston, Elaine O'Connell. Middle Row, left to right: Michaela Crosbie, Clara Hurley, Emer Hickey, Sinead Ní Argáin, Hannah Collins, Miah Phelan Sweeney, Rose Keating. Front Row, left to right: Ciara Judge, Paul Kiernan, Michael Gleeson, Mark Hassett, Ailish McMahon.



Quercus Scholars 2015/16

Quercus Scholars 2015/16 accompanied by Professor John O'Halloran from left to right: Back Row - Aidan Marnane,  Calvin O'Callaghan,  Conor Arkins,  James McGlynn,  Jennifer Chadwick,  William Ormonde,  Cian Gallagher,  Alan Hayes,  Seafra Guilfoyle, Front Row -  Ann Christin Bloch,  Kaumal Baig Mirza,  Sarah Jameel,  Chris Mintern,  Sam Grace,  Alexandra Whelan,  Robert Kerley,  John Power (not included in photo)

1. Aidan Marnane: Aidan is a 2015 Quercus University Scholar. Formerly a student of St. Francis College in Rochestown, he chose to study Mathematical Sciences in the College of Science, Engineering and Food Science. Aidan loves the order and structure that mathematics can bring to seemingly chaotic problems, and is constantly in search of that eurika moment when all the pieces of a mathematical problem merge to form a solution. Aidan's enthusiasm for mathematics was rewarded with his extraordinary 2nd year college results and this in turn helped him to secure the Quercus University Scholarship. Aidan's academic achievements are not in mathematics alone and delve also into the realms of linguistics and art. In linguistics Aidan represented Ireland at the 10th International Lingusitics Olympiad 2012 in Slovenia, and won Gold Medal Standard in the All Ireland Linguistics Olympiad 2012. Aidan was a member of the UCC Maths Society and he volunteers with the Maths Circle Outreach Programme, this allows him to pass his mathematical knowledge onto others, especially those in the Junior Cycle.

2. Calvin O'Callaghan: Calvin is a 2015 Quercus Innovation/Entrepreneurship Scholar. A former pupil of Cólaiste an Phiarsaigh, Glanmire, Calvin went on to study Process and Chemical Engineering in the College of Science, Engineering and Food Science and graduated in 2016. Calvin created, maintained and operated two businesses while attending full-time education, and In 2015 had 1,500 members and circa 5,000 monthly visitors, and was ranked in the top 600,000 websites globally. Both of these online business have now been successfully sold on. Calvin has numerous contacts in the far east and spoke at two international conferences on the topic of 3D printing in the healthcare sector in Bangkok and Cork. While in the Department of Process and Chemical Engineering Calvin, as part of a €3.5 million EU funded project, helped research into new, disposable, biodegradable film for packing goods. He also carried out research into supply chain management with regards to perishable foodstuffs. During his 2014 summer work experience Calvin was awarded 'idea of the quarter' for Bristol Myers Squibb in acknowledgement of his newly designed work permit management system. In 2016 Calvin was awarded the Entrepreneur of the Year merit award and currently works in the pharmaceutical industry as a process automation engineer with Zenith Technologies.

3. Conor Arkins: Conor is a 2015 Quercus Creative and Performing Arts' Scholar. A native of Clare and former pupil of Glenstal Abbey School, Conor studied Arts with Music in the College of Arts, Celtic Studies and Social Sciences. Conor is an Irish traditional musician who plays the piano, fiddle and Irish flute. During his leaving cert year Conor was appointed Music Student of the Year, Senior Prefect, Music Prefect and Choir Captain of the Glenstal Abbey Choir, the latter a role rarely bestowed on a student. Conor holds numberous solo and group All-Ireland fleadh ceol medals. He has toured and taught internationally with many different groups and is also a member of The National Folk Orchestra of Ireland. In the past three years Conor has been involved with many music outreach programmes in the Cork city area, working with many music educators from different disciplines of music. Conor completed a study abroad programme, at the University of Missouri in St. Louis, where he specialised in music theory and composition. 

4. James McGlynn: James is a 2015 Quercus Creative and Performing Arts' Scholar. Formerly a student of CBS Secondary School in Kilkenny, James studied Music in the College of Arts, Celtic Studies and Social Sciences. James is a musician, composer, conductor and writer. In 2014, he founded and began conducting the UCC Orchestra, which now forms an important strand of UCC's rich tapestry of creative and performance based societies. A trumpeter and guitarist, James is an avid composer of his own music, performing and recording regularly with various ensembles and artists around Ireland. As well as his performative pursuits, James is a keen academic and his work has been recognised on local, national and international stages. He has been awarded the UCC College Scholar Award on three consecutive occasions and received an NUI Award for excellence in English. His paper "Evocations of the Occult: Folk Music's role in creating Tension and Unease in The Wicker Man (1973)" was Highly Commended in the 2016 Undergraduate Awards, with 243 participating universities internationally. His recent research interests include film music, performance analysis and narrative music.

5. Jennifer Chadwick: Jennifer is a 2015 Quercus Innovation/Entrepreneurship Scholar. Jennifer previously attended Regina Mundi College Cork before choosing to study Law and Business in UCC. A former director of Focail Iontachta, Jennifer co-founded the company in order to promote and develop literacy and numeracy through the medium of Gaeilge. A keen Gaeilgeoir, Jennifer achieved great success with the company with the product being featured on Dragons' Den, and sold the product both here and abroad. Since joining UCC, Jennifer has co-founded two other companies - "Cork Cares" a social enterprise, and "Pinpoint Innovations", a medical software company based in Limerick. Jennifer volunteers as a Student Entrepreneurship Ambassador, and was the first ever representative for Ireland at the Global Student Entrepreneurship Awards, being the youngest participant in the competition's history. She was the President for UCC's Entrepreneurial and Social Society, and is now their Honourary President and was one of the primary organisers for the inaugural UCC Entrepreneurship Awards. Jennifer is concentrating on developing both entrepreneurship and intrapreneurship during her time in UCC. Jennifer was offered a place on Washington Ireland Project in the Summer of 2018.

6. William Ormond: William is a 2015 Quercus University Scholar. The Waterford man, formerly a student of Mount Sion CBS, studied Arts in the College of Arts, Celtic Studies and Social Sciences. Following his undergraduate qualification William then went on to do the Professional Masters of Education with Maths and Economics as his two subjects. William's outstanding second year UCC examination results helped him to secure the Quercus University Scholarship. He also won the John Busteed Memorial Prize in Economics for his second year results. However, his academic achievements did not plateau there, as he went on to better these results in his final year exams. William has led from the front in both of his chosen subjects; acting as Peer Leader in the Economics Department Peer Assisted Learning Programme and serving as a class representative for his mathematics class. William also enjoys sports and is involved in Mount Sion GAA club, both on the field, as a a player, and off the field, as a coach to the underage teams. William hopes that in the future he will become the kind of teacher that inspires interest and love for mathematics and economics.

7. Cian Gallagher: Cian is 2015 Quercus University Scholar. A former student of Kinsale Community College, Cian, after originally completing an undergraduate degree in Energy Engineering, went on to study Medicine in the College of Medicine and Health. Cian was awarded the Quercus College Scholarship for achieving the highest aggregate mark in the class for first year exams. He was awarded the Wellcome Trust Biomedical Vacation Scholarship for eight weeks paid laboratory research in the APC Microbiome Institute, and once this scholarship was completed was sponsored by the Microbiome Institute to continue the research. Cian was nominated, competed for and was awarded the MacConaill Prize in Anatomy after achieving one of the highest aggregate marks in the anatomy component of both first and second year exams. Cian believes in a holistic and intergrated approach to medicine; incorporating both traditional medical intervention as well as providing support for important patient lifestyle modifications. He intends to broaden his education in areas outside the conventional medical curriculum such as nutrition, exercise and stress management techniques so that, as a doctor, he can provide the best care for his patients.

8. Alan Hayes: Alan is a 2015 Quercus Active Citizenship Scholar. Formerly a pupil of St. Kieran's College in Kilkenny, Alan studied Social Science in the College of Arts, Celtic Studies and Social Sciences. While Alan was still a young boy his family was touched by the tragedy of suicide. Alan is director, co-founder and secretary of the Tomas Hayes Trust, which was set up in 2014 after he and his mother appeared on "The Late Late Show" to tell their story about how suicide had affected their family. While on the Late Late Show Alan performed a song that he had written and composed called Survivor, the procedes of which went on to fund the Trust. Recently Alan and his mother set up a premises called "Teac Tom" which provides free counselling services to adults contemplating suicide or who may have been effected by suicide. They also provide family supports and child play therapy. As Teac Tom is not government funded, Alan has to spend a lot of his time organising fundraising events. Alan was awarded the President's award at St. Kieran's College in Kilkenny. In 2016 he was named a Global Teen Leader with the We are the Family Foundation. Alan's hobbies include singing, playing music, swimming, soccer and running. Alan is a beacon of hope for all who have suffered tragic loss and the most encouraging aspect of all is that his work has just begun.

9. Seafra Guilfoyle: Seafra is a 2015 Quercus Sports' Scholar. Seafra, who attended secondary school at Presentation Brothers College in Cork, studies Economics in the College of Business and Law. It seems only natural that a native of Myrtleville would develop a love for some form of water sport and it was Seafra's excellence in the sport of Sailing that helped him to secure the Quercus Sports' Scholarship. Seafra has been part Irish sailing teams since he was 12 and is part of the ISA Performance Development Programme. Seafra received a silver medal in the Laser Radial Class ISAF Youth World Sailing Championships 2014 in Portugal. In 2015 Europa Cup in Hvar, Croatia, Seafra won 2nd place in the U19 Laser Full-Rig and 3rd place in the U21 Laser Full-Rig. He is also a member of the UCC Sailing Team. Seafra's dream of becoming an Olympic Gold Medalist is steadily moving towards fruition as he is now part of a two man 49er boat crew campaigning for the Tokyo 2020 Olympics.

10. Ann-Christin Bloch: Ann-Christin is a 2015 Quercus Creative and Performing Arts' Scholar. Ann-Christin's devotion and passion for music played a part in her choosing to study Arts with Music in the College of Arts, Celtic Studies and Social Sciences. In Germany Ann-Christin received the highest marks available in her C-Diploma church organ exams. In her capacity as a church organist she was a regular performer at services in Germany and mastered the role of choir conductor in her local community church. Ann-Christin is also a singer, songwriter and producer, and has recently released an album along with her band. Ann-Christin would like to delve more into the indie music scene and gig more with her band in small venues throughout Cork.

11. Kaumal Baig Mirza: Kaumal is a 2015 Quercus Creative and Performing Arts Scholar and is a visual artist. Having attended secondary school at Scoil Mhuire, Kaumal went on to study Dentistry in the College of Medicine and Health. In her first year at college Kaumal decided to take part in the UCC Works Programme where she successfully undertook and completed an internship in the Lewis Glucksman Gallery. This internship awarded Kaumal insight into the lives of artists, their artwork and the gallery itself. In February 2014 one of Kaumal's art pieces was displayed at an exhibition titled 'It's a Beautiful World' in the Jennings Gallery, Brookfield. Kaumal's piece was subsequently sold to a buyer visiting from Trinity College Dublin. Kaumal designed the Dental Protection (a UK and Ireland Insurance Company) logo, and the original drawing for this logo was sold to a consultant in King's Hospital London, where it currently hangs.  Kaumal managed to continually improve her art while mainitaining a high standard in her coursework, as well as participating in clubs and societies and keeping up a part-time job. Kaumal hopes that her art will give people hope, peace and determination.

12. Sarah Jameel: Sarah is a 2015 Quercus Active Citizenship Scholar. Sarah is a native of Sri Lanka. Sarah successfully graduated in Biomedical Sciences and International Relations from McGill University in Canada, before she began her study of Dentistry in the College of Medicine and Health at UCC. Sarah's activism was inspired by her first hand experience of the aftermath of the Tsunami on December 26th 2004. She has fundraised for medicine and medical equipment in the East of Sri Lanka and has helped in organising free paediatric health camps for underprivileged children in urban Sri Lanka. At the age of 16 Sarah presented her 'KICK THE BUTT' Project at the World Economic Annual Meeting 2010 in Davros, and to Former UK Prime Minister Gordon Brown at No. 10 Downing Street. The 'KICK THE BUTT' Project is an anti-smoking campaign targeting teen smoking in Sri Lanka. Sarah's activism has won her the title of Global Teen Leader, Global Changemaker and TEDMED Front Line Scholar. She has spoken publicly on numerous world stages including the Just Peace Summit in New York City, the UN World Conference on Youth 2014 in Sri Lanka and the European Youth Parliament 2016 in Ireland. Through the formation of a Medicins Sans Frontieres for dentists Sarah hopes to create reliable and affordable dental care for areas affected by conflict, those areas where smiles are needed most. As Lawrence G. Lovasik wrote 'Nobody needs a smile so much as the ones who have none to give...' Sarah's greatest gift to the world will be the spread of smiles. In March, 2017, the Validation Project listed Sarah as one of the Women Who Will, an online campaign honouring women who will make history across the World.

13. Chris Mintern: Chris is a 2015 Quercus Sports' Scholar. A former pupil of Colaiste Chriost Rí, Chris went on to study Mathematical Science in the College of Science, Engineering and Foods Science and graduated in 2016. Chris is an International elite triathlete. He represented Ireland at the World Junior Championships in 2013, was 2nd in the Junior European Cup 2013 in Athlone, was the National Series U23s winner in 2014 and was the winner of the Lee Swim in 2014. Chris cut his senior international teeth at the European Cup in Istanbul in 2015, and in 2016 he won the feared 'Hell of the West' triathlon, which doubled up as the National Championships. Chris' aim for the future is to represent Ireland in the 2020 Tokyo Olympics. Academically Chris has quite a number of mathematical achievements - he was a winner of the All-Ireland Team Maths Competition 2012, he won the Boole Prize in 2014 for the best talk on a mathematical theme, he volunteered with the UCC Maths Enrichment Programme, and he was a Peer Assisted Learning Tutor for the general science mathematics courses MA1001 and MA1002. 

14. Sam Grace: Sam is a 2015 Quercus Sports' Scholar. Formerly a student of Kilkenny College, Sam studied Sports Studies and Physical Education in the College of Arts, Celtic Studies and Social Sciences. Hailing from Kilkenny, it was only natural that Sam would be a hurling fanatic. He played under U12, U14, U16, Minor and Senior hurling with Tullaroan. He also enjoyed football and he even played U16 County football in 2013 for one season. However, from the age of 13, when he first picked up a hockey stick, it became clear which sport was Sam's true love. Since then Sam has been part of the Ireland U16, U18 and U21 hockey panels. He also captained Leinster at U16 and U18 level, winning the Interprovincials with the latter in 2014. In 2015 and 2016 Sam has represented Munster in U21 hockey. With Sam's help UCC Hockey Team has reached two firsts in the club's history; winning the Munster division 1 league and winning the Peard Cup. Sporting wise Sam's aims are to play Senior Men's International Hockey, getting as many caps for his country as possible. Sam would also like to be a physical education teacher and a hockey coach so that he can impart to others the sporting skills that he has amassed.

15. Alexandra Whelan: Alex is a 2015 Quercus Innovation/Entrepreneurship Scholar. A former pupil of Regina Mundi College, Alex studied Law and French in the College of Business and Law. Alex co-founded her first business, Focail Iontacha, in 2013. Focail Iontacha produces learning resources in the form of games to help improve literacy and numeracy of language-learners, particularly focusing on the Irish Language. In 2015, Focail Iontacha was chosen to represent Ireland in the Global Student Entrepreneurship Awards, held in Washington D.C. Alex hopes to expand Focail Iontacha in the over-seas market, particularly in the East Coast of America. Alex aims to promulgate the use of Irish by tapping into her business experience and contacts to establish a student exchange programme for Irish enthusiasts abroad. She is also interested in pursuing the possibility of producing Focail Iontacha in French, German and/or Chinese. In 2015 Alex was among a group of UCC students who established Cork Cares, a social enterprise which aims to generate a regular income stream for local charities by connecting them with local businesses. The business sells vouchers through the Cork Cares website, with a proportion of each sale going to a local charity.  

16. Robert Kerley: Robert is a 2015 Quercus University Scholar. The former pupil of Ardscoil Rís in Limerick completed a Physiology Degree in Trinity College Dublin before coming to UCC to study Graduate Entry Medicine in the College of Medicine and Health. Robert is a previous winner of The Christopher Bell Prize 2013, awarded by the Department of Physiology, Trinity College Dublin having achieved the highest aggregate mark across all modules in his final year. Robert won Best Performance in the Physiology viva voce Examination 2013 based on a project presentation and oral exam on general physiology. He also won the Undergraduate Prize for Physiology 2013, based on his final year dissertation and coursework, and in 2014 had two publications in Frontiers in Neuroscience 2014. Robert was awarded UCC College Scholar 2013 and his outstanding examination results in 2nd year helped him to secure the Quercus University Scholarship. Through his involvement with UCC's Surgical Society Robert has worked on a collaborative research audit to identify variation in outcome of emergency intra-abdominal surgery in Cork University Hospital and Mercy University Hospital. Robert found that working with his peers and the ENT surgeons to improve clinical practice was extremely rewarding and has given him a great deal of confidence while transitioning his research efforts from Physiology to Medicine. 

17. John Power: John (pictured below) is a 2015 Quercus Sports' Scholar. He is absent from the photo because he had to prepare for the All-Ireland hurling final, which took place two days later. John is a former pupil of of St. Kieran's College in Kilkenny and studied Arts in the College of Arts, Celtic Studies and Social Science. Since a young age John has shown distinction in a number of sports including, handball, soccer, football and hurling. However, it was his achievements in the field of hurling that helped to secure the Quercus Sports' Scolarship. John is part of the Kilkenny Senior hurling squad that won the All-Ireland Senior Hurling Championship in 2014 and 2015. John is also an integral part of his club Carrickshock and hopes to help them become Kilkenny senior hurling champions. He also played Fitzgibbon Cup hurling with UCC. John graduated from UCC in October 2016.

Quercus Gala 2015. Back Row, left to right: Alan Hayes, Conor Arkins, Cian Gallagher, Robert Kerley, Aidan Marnane, Seafra Guilfoyle, James McGlynn, Calvin Callaghan, John Power, Same Grace, William Ormonde Front Row, left to right: Ann Christin Bloch, Kaumal Baij Mirza, Alexandra Whelan, Jennifer Chadwick, Chris Mintern, Sarah Jameel.

Quercus Scholars 2014/15

Quercus Scholars 2014/15 from left to right: Back Row-  Liadan Sage,  Ben O'Callaghan,  Ellen Ní Fhlanagáin,  Eanna Clifford,  Clare Keaveny Jimenez,  Ciara O'Connell,  Amy O'Connor, Clodagh Moloney,  Lorcan Hickey,  Roisin Fox,  Jack Casey,  Jacqui Walsh,  Marie Martin,  David Calnan,  Fionn Lyden,  Edmond Morrissey,  Shane O'Donnell,  Conor Dorman,  Joanne O'Riordan,  Mairead Carey,  Aina Hanissa.  George O'Mahony (pictured in Gala photo below) 

1.  Liadán Sage: Liadán is a 2014 Quercus University Scholar. A former pupil of Bandon Grammer School, Liadán studied Arts International (Spanish and German) in the College of Arts, Celtic Studies and Social Sciences. In 2013/2014 Liadán won a Quercus Entrance Scholarship to UCC based on her impressive leaving cert results. In 2014 Liadán received three National University of Ireland (NUI) Awards for Italian, Irish and German and in 2015 was the highest academic achiever in the College of Arts, Celtic Studies and Social Sciences. Liadán spent the 2015/16 academic year in Germany studying in the University of Leipzig. As well as being an exceptional academic achiever Liadán also enjoys music and plays harp, piano and bodhrán, often for events at UCC. Liadán was very socially active in the college and was first year rep for the German Society, is a founding member of the BA International Society and was also active in the Hispanic, Irish, Choral and Trad Societies. Liadán aims to find ways of fusing language, culture and artisitic endeavour in new and creative ways.

2.  Ben O'Callaghan: Ben is a 2014 Quercus Creative and Performing Arts Scholar. He is a former student of Presentation Brothers College and he studied Arts with Music in the College of Arts, Celtic Studies and Social Sciences. Ben has placed highly in a number of Battle of the Bands competitions in 2008, 2009 and 2010. He is very much focused on digital music production and composition and has made a name for himself in the electronic dance music market. Ben markets himself under the Arkadium Brand and is signed to eight international labels in the music industry, including SampleStar, Function Loops and FoxSamples. His contracts with these labels are for both full original productions and sample packs which are used by other music producers across the globe. Ben's grasp and understanding of modern electronic music, coupled with his dedication, will see him have a bright future in the music industry.

3.  Ellen Ní Fhlanagáin: Ellen is a 2014 Quercus University Scholar. Ellen, who attended secondary school in Cólaiste an Phiarsaigh, Glanmire, chose to study Law and French in the College of Business and Law. Ellen was second year representative of the UCC Law Society and the Intervarsity Convener for the UCC Philosophical society. Ellen is an experienced debater and demonstrated this with both societies, and has judged at the European Debating Championships in Croatia. During her third year she studied abroad in Strasbourg, focusing on French legal philosophy and international law. She also interned with Irish MEP Deirdre Clune in the European Parliament. Ellen speaks French and Irish and dabbles in Italian and Japanese. Her research interests includes Criminology, Human Rights and Feminism.

4. Eanna Clifford: Eanna is a 2014 Quercus University Scholar. A former pupil of Christian Brothers College, Eanna chose to study Graduate Entry Medicine. Before studying medicine Eanna worked as a physiotherapist and believes that this has helped him develop as a person and has given him a holistic view of healthcare. He was awarded the Graduate Entry to Medicine First Year Prize 2012/2013 and was nominated for the Henry Hutchinson Stewart Scholarship in Pharmacology in 2013. Eanna's outstanding examination results in second year Graduate Entry Medicine helped to secure the Quercus University Scholarship. His long term goal is to work in Paediatrics and he has worked on a number of neonatal studies including the BiHive Study in CUMH, studying neonatal brain injury. Eanna plans to continue to develop his research skills during his studies and beyond. He believes that medical education by no means ends after graduation, and he intends to carry his current work ethic and commitment to learning into his clincal career, building on everything he has learned during his time in UCC. Eanna graduated from UCC in the summer of 2016.

5.  Clare Keaveny Jimenez: Clare is a 2014 Quercus Innovation/Entrepreneurship Scholar. She is a former student of Scoil Mhuire and studied Medicine in the College of Medicine and Health. Her passion for exploring new ideas began in secondary school when she combined her love of playing the violin and the global need for renewable energy. Clare, as a member of Cork Youth Orchestra, was always intrigued by the energy produced by the pressing of musicians' fingers on the instrument fingerboards. Curious to establish whether this effect could be leveraged in some way to positively impact on the global energy problem, Clare began work on "The Energy of an Orchestra - from notes to volts". Using piezoelectric technology Clare harvested enough energy, generated by the musicians playing, to satisfy the lighting requirements of an entire orchestral rehearsal. For this project she was awarded the Overall Prize at CIT Scifest 2012 and also gained international recognition when she was invited to Berlin's "Long Night of Science". Clare proceeded to develop her idea and presented it at the Scifest@Intel National Final, where she was awarded the Excellence in STEM Award, and was selected as a finalist at the 2014 BT Young Scientist Exhibition 2014. Clare hopes to specialise in anaesthetics where both her passion for patient welfare and her compassionate nature will help to guide her patients through their most unnerving hours. Since her first year in college she was involved in new research into innovative anaesthetic techniques with the Department of Anaesthesia of Cork University Hospital, here she has contributed much data which has informed clinical practice change. She has presented her research at various national conferences. During summer 2016, Clare was accepted to a clinical elective in San Francisco where she worked in leading medical centres with anaesthetic and surgical practices at the forefront of medical innovation. Clare is involved in ongoing research in CUH and UCC ASSERT Centre and was the Chairperson for UCC Friends of Doctors Without Borders Society.

6.  Ciara O'Connell: Ciara is a 2014 Quercus Sports' Scholar. A former pupil of Mount Mercy College, Ciara is studied Nutritional Sciences in the College of Science, Engineering and Food Science. Ciara plays soccer and has numerous sporting nominations and achievements to her name: she was nominated for the Bus Éireann Women's National League' Young Player of the Year; was given the role of vice-captain of the Irish U19s; received player of the match against Serbia, Austria and the Netherlands at U19 international level; and helped Wilton FC to WFAI Intermediate cup victory. Ciara was selected as part of the Team Ireland Women's Football squad for the World University Games 2015 in Gwangju, South Korea. Ciara was a great asset to the UCC soccer team at Intervarsity competitions and college matches. As captain Ciara proved to be both compassionate and empathic and this translated to her dealings with people in general and not just her team-mates.

7.  Amy O' Connor: Amy is a 2014 Quercus Sports' Scholar. Amy attended St. Vincent's Secondary School and is studying Pharmacy in the College of Medicine and Health. Amy has played Gaelic Football with Cork, Camogie with Cork and Soccer with Ireland. She has played over 50 times for the Irish Soccer Team through various age groups and was part of the 2014 side which reached the European Championships semi-final, scoring four goals during the qualifying campaign. This team was also named FAI team of the year in 2015. Amy captained the Irish Schools team in 2010. In 2015 Amy was recognized with a Special Achievement award at the Evening Echo Ladies Sports Star Awards. She currently plays camogie with the Cork Senior Camogie team and has won three all Ireland Senior medals. She has been named on the Third Level Colleges Soccer Team of the Year in 2015 and 2017 and was also named as a Third Level Camogie Colleges All Star in 2016. Amy was selected as the overall winner of the Littlewoods Camogie Style of Play award in 2017 and was named on the RTE Sunday Game Camogie team of the Year in  2017. She was an ambassador for the camogie association as part of their #raisethebar campaign and was also an ambassador for their 'our game, your game' campaign in 2016.

8.  Clodagh Moloney: Clodagh is a 2014 Quercus Sports' Scholar. A former student of Crescent College Comprehensive in Limerick, Clodagh studied Speech and Language Therapy in the College of Medicine and Health. Clodagh plays hockey to a very high standard. She has played in three Women's Division 1 Munster Senior Cup Finals in 2011, 2012 and 2013, and has been victorious in all off these. She captained Munster U16s in the 2011/2012 season and captained Munster U18s in the 2013/2014 season. She was also the vice-captain of the Irish International U16s team for the European Championship in Valencia, Spain, in July 2012. Clodagh also played hockey with the UCC hockey team. 

9.  Lorcan Hickey: Lorcan is a 2014 Quercus Active Citizenship Scholar. Lorcan attended secondary school at Christian Brothers College and studied Biological and Chemical Sciences in the College of Science, Engineering and Food Science. When he was in his second year at UCC Lorcan was selected to join the Air Corp and fulfil a lifetime ambition to learn to fly. As an active citizenship scholar Lorcan had already proven his dedication to the protection of people as a member of the Kinsale R.N.L.I crew and as a Cork County Council Beach Lifeguard. 

10.  Roisin Fox: Roisin is a 2014 Quercus Active Citizenship Scholar. A former pupil of Regina Mundi College, Roisin chose to study Food Marketing and Entrepreneruship in the College of Science, Engineering and Food Science. Roisin is a co-founder of the nationwide Cycle Against Suicide campaign and holds the position of Student Leader Ambassador and Social Media Executive to date. Roisin also acted as co-founder and chief organiser of the Cycle Against Suicide Leaders' Congress, held in the RDS in January 2014. Roisin is very proud of the effort which saw over 4,000 students fill the RDS and receive an education on the awareness and importance of positive mental  health. She was a vigorous mental health advocate in UCC and held the postion of UCC Students' Union Suicide and Mental Health Awareness Officer for the 2015/2016 year.

11.  Jack Casey: Jack is a 2014 Quercus Sports' Scholar. Formerly a student of Christian Brothers College, Jack studied Arts in the College of Arts, Celtic Studies and Social Sciences, His subjects were Sociology and Psychology. Jack has rowed for Ireland on a number of occasions including the Coupe de la Jeunese and the Junior World Rowing Championships. He also proudly wore the UCC colours when he rows for the UCC rowing team. In 2016 Jack won the U23s indoor rowing championship and was selected for the Irish men's quad to compete at the U23s World Rowing Championships in Rotherdam, where they placed 12th in the world.

12.  Jacqui Walsh: Jacqui is a 2014 Active Citizenship Scholar. A former pupil of Davis College in Mallow, Jacqui studied Arts (International) in the College of Arts, Celtic Studies and Social Sciences. Jacqui was involved with the establishment of the National Missing Persons Day (NMPD), an annual day, each December, that highlights the importance of mainitaining hope when loved ones are missing. Jacqui presented the campaign idea to President, Michael D Higgins in Áras an Uachtarán, and proposed planting an oak tree in the President's garden as a symbol of enduring hope for the families of the missing. Jacqui helped to organise and launch the 'Forget me Not' Calendar which raised proceeds to fund searches for missing persons. For Jacqui it is important that the families have ownership of this campaign and control of NMPD strategy lies in the hands of the families involved. Jacqui is resilient, passionate and has an enduring spirit and she will no doubt be a guilding light for many families in their times of greatest need.

13.  Marie Martin: Marie is a 2014 Innovation/Entrepreneurship Scholar. Hailing from Kerry and a former pupil of Pobalscoil Chorca Dhuibhne in Dingle, Marie studied Commerce in the College of Business and Law. Marie created a product called 'Safe Scrub Sprayer' which encouraged health and safety in agriculture. Marie pitched this idea at the Young Entrepreneur Programme Awards in May 2011 to over 1,000 attendees and claimed the overall prize as Young Entrepreneur of the Year. She was one of the winners of TV3's Every Job Counts ran by the Minister of Children and Youth Affairs and won Most Enterprising Student 2013 in the Kerry Enterprise Competition. In 2016 Marie was announced as the winner of the Irish Student Entrepreneurial Forum in Croke Park, and won UCC Entrepreneur of the Year award. Marie's future plans for 'Safe Scrub Sprayer' involve more intensively tapping into the UK, European and American Markets and hopefully going global.

14.  David Calnan: David is a 2014 Innovation/Entrepreneurship Scholar. A former pupil of Coláiste an Spioraid Naoimh, David studied Commerce in the College of Business and Law. He began organising underage, alcohol free, music gigs in Cork in June 2011. These gigs ran monthly and included a 4-month long Battle of the Bands competition with corporate sponsorship. David was commissioned by Cork City Council, in August 2012, to run a series of gigs in the City Hall to provide teenagers with affordable, non-alcoholic, entertainment at weekends. David and his business partner secured an almost 5 year lease on the Kino in Washington Street and successfully navigated the certification and licensing laws to open a multi-purpose arts venue and cafe on the site. David was one of a group of UCC students who established Cork Cares, an social exterprise which aims to generate a regular income stream for local charities by connecting them with local businesses. The business sells vouchers through the Cork Cares website, with a profit of each sale going to a local charity. 

15.  Fionn Lyden: Fionn is a 2014 Quercus Sports' Scholar. Fionn is a former student of Schull Community College and studied Civil Engineering in the College of Science, Engineering and Food Science. Fionn received his Quercus Sports' Scholarship because of his excellence as a sailor. He has been ISA All Ireland Junior Helmsman Champion, Europa Cup (Senior) Laser Radial champion and he competed in the Laser (Senior) Radial World Championships where he was 6th in the U21s, 8th in the Europeans and 10th in the worlds. He competed in the Copa Brazil De Vela in Rio and also competed at the Vallerta Laser Stardard Men's Championship 2016 in Mexico. Fionn loyal to both crew and college, and through his will and determination will succeed both inside and outside the boat. 

16.  Edmond Morrissey: Edmond is a 2014 Quercus University Scholar. Formerly a pupil of High School CBS in Clonmel, Edmond chose to study Medicine in the College of Medicine and Health. Edmond received several academic awards during his Undergraduate study. He was awarded a UCC Entrance Scholarship, a Quercus College Scholarship (College of Medicine and Health), the Charles medal for Anatomy, the MacConaill prize for Anatomy, the Edward Gurr prize for Histology, the John Smith Book prize, the Clinical Pharmacology prize (British Pharmacoligical Society), the Henry Hutchinson Stewart prize for Pathology (NUI), second place Henry Hutchineson Stewart prize for Anatomy (NUI), and was nominated for the Henry Hutchinson Stewart prizes in Biochemistry, Physiology, Microbiology, Pharmacology and Anaesthetics (NUI). In addition to his academic interests he was also heavily involved in societies in UCC. He was a committee member and finance officer for UCC friends of MSF and Education rep for UCC medical society. In the summer of 2016 he was one of 24 UCC students who raised €119,000 as part of UCC's Surgeon Noonan Society. As part of his involvement with UCC's Surgeon Noonan Society he volunteered for four weeks in St. Luke's Missionary Hospital in rural Zambia. He is also interested in sport and was a competitive member of Clonmel Rowing Club during secondary school.

17:  Shane O' Donnell: Shane is a 2014 Quercus Sports' Scholar. Shane is from Clare and he graduated from the College of Science, Engineering and Food Science, where he studied Genetics, in 2016. Shane was a member of the Clare U15s, U16s, U18S and U21s Hurling teams and he is now a permanent member of the Clare Senior Hurling team. He has two U21 All-Ireland medals. In one of his most memorable performances Shane scored 3 goals and 3 points in the All-Ireland Hurling Final (Replay) in front of 82,000 spectators in Croke Park. Clare not only went on to win that All-Ireland, against Cork, but Shane also went on to become Man of the Match. Shane is now a PhD student.

18.  Conor Dorman: Conor is a 2014 Quercus Sports' Scholar. He is a former student of Coláiste an Spioraid Naoimh, and he graduated from the College of Science, Enginnering and Food Science in 2016 where he studied Energy Engineering. Conor was captain of the U21s Cork Football team for the 2014 season and became a Cork Senior panellist in 2014. He also played Sigerson Cup Football with UCC and was named man of the match when UCC won the Sigerson Cup final in 2014. 

19.  Joanne O'Riordan: Joanne is a 2014 Quercus Active Citizenship Scholar. A former pupil of Millstreet Community School, Joanne studied Criminology in the College of Arts, Celtic Studies and Social Sciences. Joanne is a motivational speaker, going around to schools, functions and events she speaks vehemently on various topics but most specifically on how not to let anything, including disability, get in the way of rights and dreams. Joanne has used technology to enhance both her education and to aid in her wider social environment. Joanne has spoken at the UN headquarters in New York City, where she made an inspirational call to women to become more involved in technology as a career.  Joanne impressed global leaders, EU commissioners, ambassadors and secretary-generals alike, so much so that there were queues of dignitaries requesting to speak with her afterwards. In 2012 she won Young Person of the Year and in 2015 she was named as Junior Chamber International (JCI) Outstanding Young Person of the Year. In 2016 Joanne marshalled the St. Patrick's Day parade in Dublin. Joanne leads the way for those who feel they have no voice, and shows everybody, no matter what their obsticles, that their dreams are not beyond reach. 

20.   Mairéad Carey: Mairead is a 2014 Quercus Creative and Performing Arts Scholar. Mairéad, a former pupil of Mercy Heights in Skibbereen, graduated from the College of Arts, Celtic Studies and Social Science in 2015 with a first class honours BA degree in Irish and Music. She recently completed a Master's degree in Ethnomusicology in which she received first class honours. Mairéad is an Irish traditional musician and composer who plays the fiddle, tin whistle, piano, and flute. She has won numerous prizes at Fleadh Cheoil na hÉireann, among them three All-Ireland titles, including the Senior All-Ireland Flute Slow Airs title in 2014. In 2013, she was elected as chairperson of the UCC Traditional Music Society. She began her undergraduate career with an Entrance Scholarship for achieving over 600 points in her leaving certificate, and went on to achieve the title of University College Scholar of the Year in Arts/Music (First Year) in 2013, the title of College Scholar in 2014 and 2015, was Highly Commended in the Undergraduate Awards, won the UCC Comhaltas Ceoltóirí Éireann award and then won her Quercus Creative and Performing Arts Scholarship. She is currently working with Music Generation, Tradtime and Comhaltas as a music tutor. She is a beautiful musician and her playing brings joy and inspiration to all who listen.

21.  Aina Hanissa: Aina is a 2014 Quercus Creative and Performing Arts Scholar. A former pupil of Regina Mundi College, Aina studied Law (International) in the College of Business and Law. Aina went on a study abroad year to Canada as a component of her degree. Aina studies piano at the Royal Irish Academy of Music in Dublin with Dr. John O'Connor and Dr. Therese Fahy. Apart from piano, she also studies harpsDuring her time at UCC, Aina was heavily involved in debating with UCC Law Society, winning the Helsinki Open in 2016. Aina also participated at the Harvard World Model United Nations as a delegate in March 2017.

22.  George O'Mahony: George (pictured below) is a 2014 Quercus University Scholar. A former student of Coachford College, George chose to study Electrical and Electronic Engineering in the College of Science, Engineering and Food Science. As well as being a University Scholar George, who received maximum points in his leaving certificate, was also an Entrance Scholar. George is academically gifted and received first class honours in all four years of college. He received his Quercus University Scholarship for his outstanding second year results. George was part of the team that won the 2014 UCC Biomedical Design Award, otherwise known as the Burke Cup. He received the Cork Region of Engineers Ireland Award and the Cork Electronic Industry Association (CEIA) award for being the top graduate in Electrical and Electronic Engineering 2015. George graduated number one in his class and was Graduate of the Year in the College of Science, Engineering and Food Science 2015. He started his PhD in Electrical and Electronic Engineering in January 2017. Academia is not the only thing that quantifies George's life, he also enjoys sports and has many trophies with Muskerry RFC, most notably the Munster Junior League Division 2 title in 2013 and the All-Ireland Junior Cup in 2015.

Quercus Gala 2014. Back Row, left to right: Eanna Clifford, Ellen Ní Fhlanagáin, Edmond Morrissey, Conor Dorman, George O'Mahony, Fionn Leyden.  Middle Row, left to right: Liadán Sage, Ben O'Callaghan, Clodagh Moloney, Ciara O'Connell, Lorcan Hickey, Clare Keaveny Jimenez, Shane O'Donnell, Jack Casey.  Front Row, left to right: Mairead Carey, Marie Martin, Aina Hanissa, Joanne O'Riordan, David Calnan, Jacqui Walsh, Roisin Fox, Amy O'Connor.


Quercus Talented Students' Programme

G31, The Hub,