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Achievements of Limerick Graduates & Current Students Celebrated at MIC Ceremony of Recognition  

MIC Ceremony of Recognition – Professor Eugene Wall, president of Mary Immaculate College speaking during the virtual ceremony

Achievements of Limerick Graduates & Current Students Celebrated at MIC Ceremony of Recognition  

A virtual Ceremony of Recognition took place at Mary Immaculate College (MIC) on Friday, March 26 whereby the academic and other notable achievements of over 2,000 graduates and students were celebrated. Due to COVID-19 restrictions, the annual three-day conferring ceremonies, which usually take place in October, had to be cancelled and in its place, students were conferred in absentia allowing them to receive their parchments for employment and career progression purposes.  

Students from across 31 counties throughout Ireland, as well international students from Brazil, Mexico, Morocco, Poland, India, China and the United States, graduated from almost 40 different undergraduate and postgraduate programmes, including 19 graduates who were conferred with doctoral awards. Over 150 graduates and current students of the College also received awards and scholarships in recognition of their academic and sporting achievements.  

MIC Ceremony of Recognition

MIC graduates Colin Moran and Keith O Riain pictured above

Speaking at the virtual Ceremony of Recognition, Professor Eugene Wall, President of MIC, said, “While the social restrictions around COVID-19 may have prohibited us from celebrating in a proper and time-honoured way, it will not thwart our efforts to recognise your remarkable achievements, accomplishing what you have against the backdrop of a global pandemic. You met a litany of challenges during your course of study here at MIC, more so than any other preceding graduating class, but you successfully and bravely overcame them, displaying a determination and strength of character that will serve you well throughout your life.”  

He added, “This pandemic has demonstrated that things can be done differently, that we are resilient, that we can and will adjust to new ways of life, in particular new ways of communicating, learning and teaching. The knowledge and skills you have acquired both during your time as a student here with us, but also during this pandemic, will stand the test of time and enable you to continue learning throughout your lifetime.  

It is with great pride that, on behalf of the entire MIC community, I congratulate you, the Class of 2020, on reaching this tremendous milestone under such adverse conditions. We are so very proud of you all.”  

Of the over 2,000 students who graduated, 19 hailed from Brazil and are the first cohort to graduate from MIC’s Graduate Diploma in Mentoring and Leadership in Schools (International) programme. The students came to study at MIC as part of a three-year joint scholarship scheme between MIC and the Brazilian Government Scholarship Agency, CAPES. Seven of the students have continued their studies at MIC and are now undertaking a masters in mentoring and leadership at the College.  

In another first for the College, almost 100 students from Mexico graduated following completion of the San Patricios Teacher Education programme, which was delivered by the College in partnership with the Department of Education and Skills, the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, the Irish Embassy in Mexico, and the Mexican Ministry of Education. The programme was designed to empower student teachers with the requisite knowledge, understanding, skills and dispositions to enable children in Mexico to confidently meet the demands of the 21st century.  

Also included in those who were acknowledged at the ceremony were 72 students from MIC Thurles as being the first

cohort to enter MIC Thurles in 2016 following the incorporation of St Patrick’s College by MIC earlier the same year.  

Included in those who received awards and scholarships were Bachelor of Arts graduate Keith Ó Riain who received

MIC Ceremony of Recognition

MIC graduates Sarah Reynolds and Monika Culhane pictured above

the Award for Outstanding Achievement, as well as two academic awards from the Faculty of Arts for achieving the highest results in Gaeilge and History. Keith, a native of Crecora in Co. Limerick was the Global Winner in the History category of the 2020 Global Undergraduate Awards and was one of 25 students worldwide to receive this prestigious award, which recognises the undergraduate research of some of the world’s brightest students. His work was chosen from over 4,000 submissions from across the globe following a rigorous and lengthy judging process led by over 400 expert academics worldwide. Keith was also recently awarded a Departmental Assistantship with MIC’s Roinn na Gaeilge and is continuing his research into eighteenth-century Gaelic Irish poetry as he pursues a research masters under the supervision of Dr Breandán Ó Cróínín, Head of Roinn na Gaeilge at MIC.  

Eight College Medals were presented to graduates who achieved first place in their programme of study, including Sarah Reynolds from Kilfinane, Co. Limerick, a graduate of the BA in Contemporary and Applied Theatre Studies programme MIC Ceremony of Recognition MIC Ceremony of Recognition

Other awards included the Saint Bonaventure Trust Prize, which was awarded to Colin Moran from Gouldavoher, Limerick city who achieved first place in Theology and Religious Studies. Bachelor of Arts graduate Colin also received an award from the Faculty of Arts for achieving the highest results in Theology and Religious Studies.  

In addition, a number of awards were presented to MIC graduates for academic excellence including Bachelor of Arts graduate Darren While from Broadford, Co. Limerick who was awarded for excellence in mathematics and Bachelor of Education graduate Niamh Mulcahy from Fedamore, Co. Limerick who was awarded for excellence in social, personal and health education.  

Monika Culhane from Askeaton, Co. Limerick, a graduate of the LINC programme, received the award for Best

Regional LINC Portfolio Awards in the Tipperary region.  

Current students at the College were also presented with awards in recognition of their academic and sporting achievements, including over 50 first-year students who were presented with Entrance Scholarships, valued at €2,000 each, based on results obtained in the 2020 Leaving Certificate.  

Third-year Bachelor of Education student Cathal Flannery from Lisnagry, Co. Limerick received the John Hayden Memorial Award in recognition of his significant contribution to society through his volunteering with the Irish Red Cross, particularly during Ireland’s first national lockdown.  

Six current students of the College were awarded the Saint Bonaventure Trust Prize, including Michael O’Doherty from Edward St., Limerick city and Mary Campbell from Cappamore, Co. Limerick.  

Postgraduate research student Asmae Ourkiya from Rosbrien in Limerick city received the MIC Doctoral Studentship, while Edmond Gubbins from Bruff, Co. Limerick and Miranda Mateus De Souza from Ballinacurra Road, Limerick city were each awarded scholarships under the Irish Research Council’s Government of Ireland programme.  

Finally, first-year student Sophie Hennessy from Carrigkerry, Co. Limerick received the Rachel Kenneally Memorial Award, a bursary funded by Munster LGFA in honour of MIC graduate, Rachel Kenneally, who sadly passed away in 2018 at the age of 26.  

Congratulating all the award recipients, Professor Wall said, “Individually and collectively, all of the students whom we honour here today embody our College’s mission – ultimately to make the world a better place through our ideas, our innovations and our engagement.”  

Bringing the virtual ceremony to an end Professor Wall imparted the following advice to the graduates and awardees, “Be open to the possibility and to the idea that deviating from an obvious path can lead you to a place you might never have considered but which could offer you immense satisfaction and reward.”  

The virtual Ceremony of Recognition may be viewed HERE

For more stories on Mary Immaculate College go HERE 

Richard is a presenter, producer, songwriter and actor. He was named the Limerick Person of the Year (2011) and won an online award at the Metro Éireann Media and Multicultural Awards (2011) for promoting multi-culturalism online. Richard says that the ilovelimerick.com concept is very much a community driven project that aims to document life in Limerick. So, that in 20 years time people can look back and remember the events that were making the headlines.

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