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- Scholar Stories
Hear from and read about previous scholarship recipients and learn about their experiences obtaining a scholarship, award or bursary from UCC, and how it has changed their student life and how invaluable these awards were in enabling them to fully achieve their potential.
Abnoos Mosleh-Shirazi (Medicine) Puttnam Scholar
Cormac Ó Mainnín - George Mitchell Peace Scholar
I had an amazing time!
Elaine McCarthy (BCL Law and Business) recipient of three awards
I was proud to have been awarded a UCC Quercus College Scholarship, the Brian Dillon Memorial Prize, and the Oxford University Press Prize based on my 2018 Law & Business academic results.
I am incredibly honoured to have received such prestigious prizes of such high profile. The awards recognise my development as a UCC student , not only in my academic work, but also in the development of skills and abilities that are the foundation of my personal and professional life. It was a proud moment for me and my family to be recognised for my achievements in UCC, and to be part of such an inspiring community of UCC students and academic staff. I am very grateful to UCC and look forward to staying closely connected to UCC in the future.
Colette Forde Puttnam Scholar
Being selected to participate in the Lord Puttnam Scholarship has been an incredible experience I am still yet to fully integrate. Not only have I been fortunate to be taught by Lord Puttnam, a cinematic legend of our time, but I have witnessed his absolute passion and commitment to filmmaking that prioritises integrity and purpose. This has impacted my future filmmaking, to fully harness its power in influencing social change and compassion. I am also a professional actress and so to have been taught by Lord Puttnam, a real gentleman, the executive producer of one of my favourite childhood movies, Bugsy Malone is quite mind-blowing!
Thank you, from my heart, to Lord Puttnam and Dr Ciara Chambers for this once in a lifetime opportunity.
Hannah Looney, Quercus Sports Scholar 2019
UCC always seemed an obvious choice for me, a beautiful campus with a vibrant college community. I was itching to leave school and get involved. It was also the perfect choice for me to excel in my sporting career, allowing me to train and play with top class college teams and kick start and maintain my Cork career.
I will never forget my first day, filled with excitement and anticipation walking through the main gates. Four years on and I have no regrets and the best decision I’ve made, learning so much about myself and so many memories.
Representing UCC in football and camogie has been one of the greatest highs of my time here. I have made friends for life from all over the country and the memories are countless, including a skiing trip to Andorra! I don’t think I will ever
be in a place in my life again where I am a part of a group all on the same stage of life, living in close proximity, with the same goals and the same problems.
On top of that, I am very fortunate to be studying a course I enjoy and am passionate about and grateful for the help from my peers and lecturers who appreciate the high level of commitment to my sport.
It has been a huge honor of mine to be a part of the Quercus scholarship program and I will forever be grateful to have had the opportunity to be a Quercus scholar. It really gave me a platform to maximize my experience here in UCC.
The benefits to my sporting career have been phenomenal. Quercus recognize my commitment to play dual, both football and camogie and my desire to perform at the highest level. I have had access to top class physio, sports science, world renowned nutritionists and gym programs. Anything I need they are willing to facilitate so much so I almost feel like a professional athlete! Michelle, Elaine and all the gang are always there to support me in any of my sporting endeavors.
Furthermore, the financial and academic assistance has also been outstanding allowing me to fully focus on my studies and sport. As a result, I have really excelled in my studies and enjoy what I do, on top of succeeding with my sport.
Finally, the Quercus program is filled with such amazing talent and inspiring people. It has been a pleasure to get involved with and get to know a wide variety of people, many who have influenced me in one way or another.
Ben Kavanagh, Quercus Creative and Performing Arts Scholar 2019
I cannot be more grateful for what the Quercus scholarship has offered me so far. Having been so torn between choosing music as a full time career or developing my academic abilities in medicine, the scholarship offers me the perfect opportunity to enter into a career I am passionate about, while also continuing to develop my true love of music and singing. The constant support from the Quercus team really enables me to fully immerse myself in my course and college life. Sometimes balancing my creative side with such an academically demanding course can be tough, but the scholarship allows such a smooth transition that it has allowed me to really come out of myself and reach my full potential as a medical student and performer.
There is such a sense of community and family between all the scholars. To have met and be associated with such inspirational people who have achieved so much already in their lives has been a wonderful privilege. I have been given fantastic opportunities to perform around the country thanks to Quercus, and various networking opportunities have allowed me to progress and be recognised on a wider scale as a performer.
Eli Dolliver, Puttnam Scholar 2019
My name is Eli Dolliver, and I am a recent graduate of the Film & Screen Media BA here in UCC. Recently I have been lucky enough to participate in David Puttnam’s scholarship programme, which consisted of a series of lectures conducted by the award winning producer via conference call, as well as a face-to-face meeting in Cork city. David Puttnam has broadened my understanding not only of film, but of art and of the creative practice as a whole. He has educated the puttnam scholars on the real conditions of the filmmaking industry, encompassing areas of film practice completely untouched by any conventional university degree. Together, we wrestled with difficult topics including emerging international film markets, and the implications of rapidly developing technology such as artificial intelligence in the media.
The second phase of the scholarship is now underway – we are being supported by the programme in producing a short film addressing the important social issue of religious values in Ireland. The scholarship programme has been a wonderful opportunity to meet and work with likeminded young creatives – writers, musicians, filmmakers - that I never would have encountered otherwise. Collaborating with the other scholars has been as valuable to me as any other part of this programme.
David informed and educated us, but most importantly perhaps, he has renewed my faith in the value and importance of storytelling and filmmaking, and reminded me of the massive social influence movies can exert. I am very excited to see where the second half of this programme will take us.
Ciara Cullinane, Quercus Creative and Performing Arts Scholar 2019
Having been so torn between choosing music as a full time career or developing my academic abilities in medicine, the scholarship offers me the perfect opportunity to enter into a career I am passionate about, while also continuing to develop my true love of music and singing. The constant support from the Quercus team really enables me to fully immerse myself in my course and college life. Sometimes balancing my creative side with such an academically demanding course can be tough, but the scholarship allows such a smooth transition that it has allowed me to really come out of myself and reach my full potential as a medical student and performer.
There is such a sense of community and family between all the scholars. To have met and be associated with such inspirational people who have achieved so much already in their lives has been a wonderful privilege. I have been given fantastic opportunities to perform around the country thanks to Quercus, and various networking opportunities have allowed me to progress and be recognised on a wider scale as a performer
Ciara Leonard, Intel Women in Technology Scholar
The introduction of this scholarship provided me and many other budding female engineers and scientists, the ability to confidently breach a male dominated sector and prove that gender does not influence a person's ability to do a specific job. In recent years, there has been a major increase in the uptake of STEM related courses by females and this is projected to continue for the future.
Maire Murphy Puttnam Scholar
It has given me such a boost in confidence, allowed for me to grow in my career field, along with allowing the immense privilege of collaborating with such a talented group of individuals. It has been nothing but a joy to participate in this programme, and I am grateful for the personal and professional growth and knowledge I have gained during this unforgettable experience.
Esha Hourihane Clancy, Intel Women in Technology Scholar
Programmes like this are extremely beneficial in encouraging more women to choose degrees in the STEM fields as well as retaining the women who do. Engineering and computer science degrees have very high dropout rates, so it is of vital importance to support the women in these fields throughout their degrees and careers. Each year Intel holds an award ceremony and networking event where it is possible to meet the other scholarship recipients.
Jessica Militante - Choctaw Scholar
Despite my new master’s degree in Creative Writing, I have a hard time putting into words just how thankful I am for the opportunity this scholarship gave me. Ireland welcomed me with open arms and granted me time to live out dreams that I didn’t even think were possible. I experienced unparalleled levels of growth; as a writer, as a person, and as a descendant of Choctaw and Irish ancestry. This scholarship allowed me to share the beautiful history of our two nations and provided me with the opportunity to continue that history by forming new and lasting connections. Receiving the Choctaw Ireland scholarship is one of the greatest honors of my existence and I am excited to pay it forward in the future.
Brian O Beaglaich, Quercus Sports Scholar 2019
I always intended of going to UCC. I watched UCC play in few games when I was in school and ever since I wanted to win a Sigerson Cup with UCC. The facilities, the people involved and tradition is what makes UCC stand out from the rest. I knew from second level education that I had a keen interest in business and the UCC Commerce International degree provides an excellent environment to learn about many aspects of business and the Irish language.
The Quercus Talented Students Programme has provided me with so much support. It has really helped me to balance both my academic and sporting ambitions. Being part of the Quercus community of students has allowed me to learn from the experiences, successes and challenges of other elite performers which has developed me as a person.
Lucy Kate Creedon, Puttnam Scholar 2019
I have just completed my Final Year of a Bachelor of Arts degree at UCC- I did a Major in English and a minor in the History of Art. I have always possessed a keen interest in both English literature and creative writing. However, it was not until college that this enthusiasm developed to include the visual arts via my History of Art modules, the film modules I selected as part of my English major, and my keen interest in photography.
Last December, I was fortunate enough to be accepted into UCC'S Puttnam Scholarship Programme 2018/2019. As one of six Puttnam Scholars, I have taken part in a series of sessions under the mentorship of Oscar-winning film producer, Lord David Puttnam. Each video conference session, as well as the face-to-face session we attended in Hayfield Manor, granted us with an opportunity delve into various aspects of film and the creative industry with Lord Puttnam himself. Some of the areas covered include directors and directing, documentary filmmaking, and music in film.
Lord Puttnam encouraged a great deal of feedback within the sessions. He tended to recount his experiences as a producer and resulting insights into the film industry to us via a combination of PowerPoint slides, video clips, and storytelling. He then invited each one of us to respond, thus creating a lively and stimulating atmosphere in which original ideas were exchanged and developed. As such, I am truly grateful to have taken part in enlightening conversations with Lord Puttnam on topics such as AI, climate change, the refugee crisis and social media. An activist as well as a creative, Lord Puttnam is deeply engaged with and passionate about each one of these issues. For me, he embodies the productive relationship between the Arts, technology, politics and society.
We are currently in the midst of the second element of the scholarship, the filmmaking project. The six of us are working together as a team in order to produce a short film which deals with a question posed to us by Lord Puttnam: where do we relocate our values in a secular Ireland? Myself, Oisín and Ben have collaborated on the script, and I am very excited to see the words that we have written take shape visually!