fbpx Skip to content

31 Irish Recipients presented with Fulbright Awards to the US

Pilot year for Fulbright-University of Notre Dame TechImpact Scholar Awards and Fulbright Scholar in Residence to University of Montana

Wednesday, 3 June, 2015: Minister for Diaspora Affairs Jimmy Deenihan T.D. and the US Ambassador to Ireland Kevin O’Malley, officially announced 31 new Irish Fulbright Awardees at an event in Iveagh House yesterday.

Since 1957, the Fulbright Awards are given annually by the Irish and U.S. governments and provide Irish students, scholars, and professionals with the opportunity to study, lecture, and research at top universities and institutions throughout the United States.

Picture Conor McCabe Photography

Minister for Diaspora Affairs Jimmy Deenihan T.D. commented: “The range of specialist knowledge amongst Fulbright Awardees makes them a very strong group of representatives for Ireland.

This year’s awards reflect the rapid global developments in digital technology. Through the Fulbright TechImpact Awards and the Fulbright-University of Notre Dame TechImpact Scholar Awards, six awardees will explore digital advancement in areas including wearable sensing technologies, app development and language-learning resources.

The Fulbright Scholar in Residence award reflects the ever increasing interest in Irish history and culture in the US. This year, one Irish scholar will teach an introductory course in Irish History from the earliest records to the present day at the University of Montana.

Ireland’s recently published Diaspora policy, “Global Irish”, commits to “connecting in an inclusive way with those, of all ages, around the world who are Irish, of Irish descent or have a tangible connection to Ireland, and wish to maintain a connection with Ireland and with each other.”

In this context I very much welcome the fact that 9 institutions across New York, Massachusetts, Connecticut, Pennsylvania, Indiana, Washington DC, North Carolina, Montana and Idaho, will host Fulbright Foreign Language Teaching Assistants from Ireland to teach the Irish language to US students this year. Ireland will also welcome 67 Summer Gaeltacht Awardees from the US to learn the Irish language.”

US Ambassador Kevin O’Malley commented: “Year on year U.S. and Irish Fulbrighters provide a fascinating insight into the direction of global research in a wide variety of fields. This year we have seen a particular increase in research in the areas of health and technology. The Fulbright program provides a unique platform for international scholars to break new ground, to collaborate with other world class researchers and to make a difference.”

The Chair of the Ireland-United States (Fulbright) Commission for Educational Exchange, Professor John Hegarty commented: “We are very thankful to the state agencies that sponsor Fulbright Awards including CRH plc, Enterprise Ireland, the Environmental Protection Agency, the Marine Institute, and Teagasc. We were delighted to welcome SEAI as a new sponsor this year. We would also like to acknowledge the ongoing support of Irish and US higher colleges, the Irish Department or Foreign Affairs & Trade, the US Department of State; and the Department of Arts, Heritage, and the Gaeltacht and the National Lottery who support the Irish Language Awards.”

The next round of applications for Irish Fulbright Awardees will open on Monday, August 31st, 2015. Interested applicants in all disciplines are encouraged to visit the Fulbright Commission’s website, www.fulbright.ie, for more information. All applications for the 2016-2017 academic year will be due on Friday, October 30th, 2015.


For further information, please contact:
Emma Loughney
Fulbright Commission
Emma.loughney@fulbright.ie 086.100.0290 / 01-6607670

Photography from Conor McCabe Photography
info@conormccabe.ie / 085.705.7255


Full List of 2015-2016 Irish Fulbright Awardees:

Dr. John Ahern is dually qualified in Medicine & Dentistry. As a Fulbright Student Awardee, John will collaborate with Harvard University to strengthen human resources for health in developing countries, through the integration of oral health training for primary care health workers. John will focus on the use of HIV-related oral manifestations as clinical markers of disease progression.

Dr. Gareth Bennett is an Assistant Professor in the School of Engineering in Trinity College Dublin. As the Fulbright-CRH Scholar, Dr. Bennett will be hosted in the Department of Aerospace at the University of Notre Dame and will also collaborate with NASA Glenn to research innovative solutions for the reduction of aeronautical environmental noise for a sustainable environment.

Ms AnneMarie Brosnan is a PhD candidate at Mary Immaculate College, University of Limerick. As a Fulbright Student Awardee, Ms. Brosnan will conduct archival research at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, to investigate the growth and development of African American education in North Carolina during the Civil War and Reconstruction era, 1861-1876.

Ms. Louise Brangan is currently undertaking a PhD in criminology at the University of Edinburgh. As a Fulbright Student Awardee she will be researching the comparative influence of political culture on punishment while at the Center for the Study of Law and Society, University of California, Berkeley.

Dr. Aine Butler is a psychiatrist who is currently working as a post-doctoral fellow at the Institute of Psychiatry, Psychology and Neuroscience at Kings College London in the area of Old Age Psychiatry. She will travel to Boston to take part in a research project with the Department of Health Care Policy at Harvard University exploring specialization in nursing home care, focusing on the area of mental health service provision to those with dementia and later life mental health illness.

Ms. Mary Carey is a part-time Walsh Fellow with Teagasc and a Ph.D. candidate at University College Dublin. Mary is also an economist with the Irish Government Economic and Evaluation Service. Mary will research the impact of agri-businesses on the rural economy while at the University of Missouri.

Dr. Susan Crawford is a Lecturer in Sports Studies and Physical Education, School of Education at University College Cork. As a Fulbright TechImpact Scholar, Susan will focus on the use of Mobile Digital Technology to address Fundamental Movement Skill Development for individuals with autism, at the University of San Francisco.

Dr. Ann Devitt is an Assistant Professor in the School of Education in Trinity College Dublin working in the area of language and literacy. As a Fulbright TechImpact Scholar at the University of California Berkeley, Ann will investigate the semantic distributional properties of language which optimise second language acquisition.

Mr. Ronan Doherty is a Web designer and developer and is in his final stages of his Ph.D. in Nua-Ghaeilge (Modern Irish) at Maynooth University. As a Fulbright-University of Notre Dame TechImpact Scholar, he will research aspects of user interface design in language learning applications with a view to producing an open-source tool that will facilitate the rapid development of interactive learning resources.

Ms. Síle Dolan graduated from NUIG in 2014 with a degree in Irish and French. She completed a Masters in Scríobh agus Cumarsáid na Gaeilge (Writing and Communication of Irish) in University College Dublin in 2014-15 where she has also been working as a tutor. She will be a Fulbright Foreign Language Teaching Assistant at Elms College, Chicopee, MA.

Mr. Anthony Duffy completed a B.A. in Irish Language and Literature at the University of Ulster, Coleraine in 2012. He is currently completing a PGCE in Irish-Medium Education from St. Mary’s University College, Belfast. He will be a Fulbright Foreign Language Teaching Assistant at Drew University and New York University.

Dr. David Fleming is a historian of eighteenth-century Ireland and lectures at the University of Limerick. As a Fulbright Scholar in Residence at the University of Montana, Dr. Fleming will deliver master classes in Irish history to students undertaking its Irish Studies programme, as well as encouraging collaboration between students and academics from Montana and Ireland.

Prof. Pamela Gallagher is a Fulbright Scholar Awardee from Dublin City University. At Johns Hopkins University, Pamela will conduct research investigating the efficacy of an innovative web based self-management intervention to improve health and well being following limb loss.

Dr. Luke Geever is a Senior Research Fellow at Athlone Institute of Technology, leading one of Ireland’s largest polymer research groups. As the Fulbright-Enterprise Ireland Scholar at Harvard Medical School and the Mayo Clinic, Luke will undertake collaborative research with world leading experts while exploring the Clinical Applications of Novel Biomedical Polymers.

Mr. Kevin Leahy is a PhD candidate at University College Cork. As a Fulbright Awardee at the University of California, Berkeley, Kevin will be investigating the application of data analytics and statistical methods to improve the performance of wind turbines. His award is sponsored by Fulbright, the National University of Ireland and the Sustainable Energy Authority of Ireland.

Ms. Emma Lowry has been a secondary school teacher in Dublin’s Gaelcholáiste Reachrann for 7 years. Emma has a Degree in Irish from University College Dublin and the DIO (dip) and Master’s in Language Education from National University of Ireland Galway. Emma will be a Fulbright Foreign Language Teaching Assistant at the University of Montana.

Mr. Ciaran McFadden is a PhD candidate in Maynooth University School of Business, and a Fulbright-National University of Ireland Awardee. He will be based in the Williams Institute on Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity Law and Public Policy, at UCLA Law School. His research is on the careers and workplace experiences of the transgender community.

Dr. Denise McGrath is a lecturer in Exercise Science at University College Dublin. As a Fulbright TechImpact Scholar, Denise will travel to the Wyss Institute for Biologically Inspired Engineering at Harvard to explore innovative wearable technology solutions that will enable people with Parkinson’s to overcome the debilitating unpredictability of the disease.

Ms. Gillian Murphy is a PhD candidate in Applied Psychology in University College Cork. While on her Fulbright-National University of Ireland Award at Albert Einstein College of Medicine – New York, Gillian will undertake experimental neuroimaging research on selective attention in expert and novice drivers.

Ms. Siobhán Murray currently works as a primary school teacher in Gaelscoil Uí Ríordáin, Cork and is a traditional music teacher with Comhaltas Ceoltóirí Éireann. She holds a Masters in Education from University College Cork. Siobhán will be a Fulbright Foreign Language Teaching Assistant at Villanova University, Philadelphia.

Ms. Méabh Ní Choileáin studied Applied Communications at NUI Galway and is a recent graduate of St. Patrick’s College, where she qualified as a primary teacher. She currently works as Children’s and Education Editorial Assistant for Penguin Books, London. Méabh will be a Fulbright Foreign Language Teaching Assistant at the Catholic University of America, Washington D.C.

Dr. Mairéad Nic Giolla Mhichíl is a Lecturer in Information Technology in Fiontar and an Associate Dean for Teaching and Learning in Dublin City University. As a Fulbright TechImpact Scholar, Mairéad will research user experiences in MOOCs with the Center for the Study of Languages and Cultures at the University of Notre Dame.

Mr. Séamus O’Sullivan completed a B.A. in English and Modern Irish in National University of Ireland Galway in 2013 and went on to complete an M.A. in Modern Irish at University College Cork in 2014. During his B.A. he completed a year-long apprenticeship in creative writing funded by Foras na Gaeilge. He will be the first Fulbright Foreign Language Teaching Assistant at Idaho State University.

Dr. Francesco Pilla is an Assistant Professor in Civil Engineering at Trinity College Dublin. His research focuses on understanding complex environmental phenomena to pre-empt the impacts resulting from the interactions between human population and the environment. Sponsored by the Environmental Protection Agency, Dr. Pilla’s Fulbright Tech Impact project focuses on sensing the cyclists’ health risk related to environmental pollution, spatial constraints and interactions with other road users.

Mr. Fergal Rafferty completed a B.Ed in 2013 and is currently an M.A. candidate in Irish Medium Education at St. Mary’s University College, Belfast while also working as a primary school teacher in the city. He will be the first FLTA at Davidson County Community College, North Carolina.

Dr. Deirdre Raftery is a historian of education at University College Dublin, and a Fellow of the Royal Historical Society. As a Fulbright Scholar, she will be at Boston College, working on her tenth book publication, a monograph which examines the contribution of Irish-born nuns to American Education, in the period 1840-1940.

Mr. Ruairi Robertson is currently a PhD student in Nutrition and Microbiology in University College Cork. As a Teagasc/ Marine-Institute Fulbright Awardee, Ruairi will carry out research at Harvard University examining the role of dietary omega-3 fats on intestinal and brain health.

Ms. Niamh Rodgers graduated from St Mary’s University College, Belfast, in 2014 and has spent the last year teaching in Bunscoil Mhuire agus Phádraig, Downpatrick. She will be a Fulbright Foreign Language Teaching Assistant at University of Connecticut.

Mr. Jonathan Ruane is a Technology Entrepreneur and a Lecturer at University College Dublin. As the Fulbright-CRH Student Awardee, Jonathan will undertake a Sloan Fellowship at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology focusing on Innovation and Global Leadership.

Dr. Gerard Wall is a lecturer in Microbiology and the Centre for Research in Medical Devices at National University of Ireland Galway. While based at the University of Wyoming as the Fulbright-Marine Institute Scholar, he will develop handheld detection devices for use in environmental monitoring and pathogen detection.

Mr. John Woods is an MA candidate in Modern Irish at University College Dublin. He will be a Foreign Language Teaching Assistant at the University of Notre Dame.

Skip to content