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DkIT Confers 1,422 “resilient” and “adaptable” Class of 2020 in Extraordinary Virtual Ceremonies

22 December 2020

Over 1,400 students were conferred virtually at Dundalk Institute of Technology (DkIT) on Monday 14th and Tuesday 15th December 2020 against the backdrop of the ongoing global pandemic.

DkIT President, Michael Mulvey, PhD, warmly congratulated all graduates and highlighted that he expected ‘great things’ from the class of 2020 given that they had demonstrated an unprecedented level of resilience and adaptability in completing their studies amid the most challenging of circumstances. His comments referenced a a quote by Northern Ireland-born writer, C.S. Lewis who wrote that

“hardship often prepares an ordinary person for an extraordinary destiny.

Mr Mulvey highlighted that participation in college life will have helped the graduates to ‘build’ and ‘shape’ their character. With this new level of self-understanding, he urged them to channel passions to make a positive impact on the world, emphasising that now more than ever,

“our world needs new thinkers, new problem-solvers, new creators and new leaders who can unite others.”

He thanked graduates for their participation in academic review and feedback via class representation, adding that student input

‘strengthens our academic quality enhancement systems and leads to constant innovation and resulting high academic standards.’

During his closing address the President remarked that 2020 was an extraordinary year that has presented unforeseen challenges to our entire community and has had an ‘untold impact on our lives’. He thanked all staff at DkIT for rising to the challenge and noted that they had shown ‘immense creativity and innovation in their response to the pandemic by continuing their teaching, learning and wider supports.’ He also paid particular mention to the ‘valiant’ and ‘courageous efforts’ of the 94 nursing and midwifery graduates who received their awards, many of whom continue to work at the front line of this health emergency. On behalf of the entire institute, he expressed his pride in their commitment to their profession and he thanked them for their continued dedication to caring for our communities.

DkIT Chair of the Governing Body, Paddy Malone attended all ceremonies and delivered his inaugural address. Mr Malone noted that while this year’s online ceremonies were perhaps not what graduates had expected, they were no less of a celebration. On behalf of the entire Governing Body, he congratulated all graduates on their remarkable achievements.

In total, 57 postgraduate awards were conferred by the institute across five online ceremonies, including 52 Taught Masters, two Masters by Research and three Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) awards. Two graduates had their PhD awards conferred via the DCU-DKIT Graduate school which has was first established in 2014. Both Professor Daire Keogh, President of DCU and Professor Lisa Looney, Vice-President Academic Affairs at DCU participated in the ceremonies during which the awards were conferred.

Over 60 graduates received President’s Prizes for Academic Excellence in their respective fields. A number of additional awards were announced including:

  • Veterinary Council of Ireland (VCI) Veterinary Nursing Graduate of the Year Award 2020: awarded to Aisling Gallagher, Bachelor of Science in Veterinary Nursing
  • ABP Food Group Award for Academic Excellence in Agriculture: awarded to Michael Carey, Bachelor of Science (Honours) in Sustainable Agriculture
  • President’s Prize for Enterprising Student of the Year 2020: awarded to David Gernon, Bachelor of Engineering (Honours) in Mechanical Engineering
  • Karl Mernagh Award 2020: awarded to Joao Vitor Silva Ferreira, Bachelor of Business in Business and Technology
  • Social Care Ireland / Irish Association of Social Care Educators (IASCE) Award for Academic Achievement in Social Care 2020: awarded to Gerard Hoey, Bachelor of Arts (Honours) in Social Care

All online ceremonies are available to watch on demand via www.dkit.ie/conferring. The institute has committed to organising an opportunity for the class of 2020 to come together as alumni to celebrate their achievements at a date in the future when health situation allows.

A copy of the speech delivered by DkIT President, Michael Mulvey’s during the 2020 Conferring of Awards is available to view here. 

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