The President’s Award for Engagement is designed to celebrate the engagement of staff and students in the life of the wider community. It recognises outstanding contributions by staff and students to the engagement mission of DCU. Engagement is defined widely to embrace civic engagement, public engagement, sustainability engagement and student engagement. Due to COVID-19 restrictions, the 2020 ceremony took place via Zoom.
This year the BRS were thrilled to be nominated for the Student category based on our mission to increase the amount of volunteering, fundraising and well-being activities carried out during the year. We’d like to say a huge thank you to past and current committee members, as well as everyone who attended one of our events. We wouldn’t have been able to increase the societies engagement without you all!
We were delighted to see previous committee member (2018-19) John Noone take home the award for the incredible amount of work he has done throughout his time at DCU! Huge congratulations!
As part of the nomination process, we were excited to receive some testimonials from those we have worked closely with this year.
Michael Clear, Project Leader of Aisling Project: “Aisling Project is an afterschool project in Ballymun working with children and young people from the age of 7-16+. We target those children and young people who are most in need of support when the school day is finished. Our commitment is to provide a safe and secure place for those children to develop and prosper. We provide a welcoming environment where every child is treated as a First Class Citizen. Aisling Project receives referrals from School Principals, Social Workers, Community Organisations as well as Parents/Guardians. Aisling Project has been working with the Biological Research Society at DCU for the last number of years. We are delighted to be collaborating with BRS as they bring so much to our children. Their enthusiasm, knowledge and expertise shows our children what they can aspire to in their own lives. Our children are talented, intelligent and wonderful and everyone in the Aisling Project is delighted to work with BRS on an on-going basis. The sessions they run are fun, educational and colourful showing that learning really can be fun.”
Shoni Tavendale, Programme Manager at Barretstown: “The science-based activity evening held at our Brothers and Sisters camp by the BRS was an excellent addition to our camp programme which was thoroughly enjoyed by campers, staff and volunteers alike. All Barretstown activities follow the therapeutic recreation model which allows children living with serious illness and their siblings to challenge themselves and then to achieve success through these challenges. This paired with opportunity to reflect on these successes allows our campers to discover new positive things about themselves.
The expertise and knowledge of the BRS allowed our campers to partake in activities they would not necessarily otherwise have been exposed to. By providing adequate amounts of both ‘challenge’ and ‘fun’ our campers were able to build their confidence, self-esteem and resilience through participating in a science themed programme. Many campers left having learnt something new with many also having a new found appreciation for science. With increased knowledge and confidence, the programme also allowed our campers to believe in their capabilities to pursue opportunities in this area in the future. This paired with the fundraising efforts of the BRS has allowed more campers to experience camp, and the transformative powers the programme can have.”
Anne Parle-McDermott, Head of the School of Biotechnology, DCU: “Supporting research students through one of the most challenging, rewarding but sometimes stressful experiences of their lives has been a key priority for the BRS over the last 12 months. As current PhD students themselves, they have a very good understanding of what actions would be of real benefit to support a positive mental health environment; what impressed me most is the number of ideas and initiatives that transformed into a series of tangible events that were beneficial to so many students across the School and beyond. Calling out the need to take time for well-being has released the pressure that so many students feel during their PhD and I can’t commend the BRS enough for leading out on this.”
Check out all the nominees and winners at DCU-Presidents-Awards-for-Engagement-2020