PhD Student Roisin Hyde to conduct research, collaborate and teach in the US.


From Suffragettes and Language Tech, to Poisonous Jellyfish

 Ireland-U.S. Education Exchange Supports Innovative Research



Ms Roisin Hyde (middle right) is a Doctoral Research Student at QUB School of Natural & Built Environment. She received her Bachelor of Architecture from UCD and became a Chartered Member of the RIAI. She also holds a Higher Diploma in Computing for DIT. Her current research focuses on the development of a high-performance, low-impact, cement-free geopolymer concrete cladding panel through the use of innovative automated technologies including 3D Laser Scanning, Point Cloud Modelling and 3D Printing. As a Fulbright PhD Research Student in University of North Carolina at Charlotte, she will work with Researchers in the Schools of Architecture, Civil and Environmental Engineering to produce a full-scale prototype panel using local industrial by-product and waste materials.  

Other awardees can be found below

Monday 11th June 2018: An Tánaiste and Minister for Foreign Affairs & Trade,Simon Coveney TD, and Chargé d’affaires of the U.S. Embassy in Ireland, Mr Reece Smyth, are pleased to announce 37 Fulbright Irish Awardees for 2018-2019. Recipients were presented with Awards at a Ceremony in the U.S. Ambassadors Residence, Phoenix Park last week.

Students, academics and professionals from 13 HEIs in Ireland and Europe will go to 33 leading U.S. institutions to study and collaborate with experts in their fields. This year’s Fulbright recipients are from diverse disciplines spanning science, languages, technology, medicine, literature and the arts.

The Fulbright Programme in Ireland has been a key driver in cross-atlantic collaborative research for over 60 years. As a Fulbright-Marine Institute Awardee, NUI Galway PhD student Jasmine Headlam will continue this tradition by furthering cross-institutional collaboration between NUI Galway and the University of Hawaii at Manoa. Dr Yanagihara, Director of the Pacific Cnidaria Research Laboratory, visited NUI Galway as a Fulbright U.S. Specialist in 2016 to explore potentially life-threatening jellyfish. Ms Headlam’s research at the University of Hawaii will investigate the composition of jellyfish venom. 

In the centenary year of women’s suffrage, Oxford PhD student and Trinity College Dublin graduate Maurice Casey will travel to Stanford University to investigate their archival collections of former suffragettes and other border-crossing revolutionaries. As a Fulbright-TechImpact Scholar, Emer Gilmartin of the ADAPT Center TCD, will visit Carnegie Mellon University to develop an automatic language tutor for refugees and migrants. PhD students David Stone from University College Dublin, and Sally McHugh from NUI Galway, will become the first Fulbright-Creative Ireland Museum Fellows, travelling to the Smithsoninan Institute and the Exploratorium respectively. Eight Awardees will travel to U.S. Institutions to teach the Irish language. These are just a few examples of the scope of 2018-2019 Fulbright Awardees.

An Tánaiste and Minister for Foreign Affairs & Trade, Simon Coveney TDsaid: “I am delighted to extend my warmest congratulations to the 37 Irish Fulbright Awardees for 2018 – 2019.  People are at the heart of the extraordinary relationship between Ireland and the United States, and the Fulbright Commission has an unrivalled record in selecting the very best people as Fulbrighters. This year’s Awardees will have the exciting opportunity to study, work, and experience life in the U.S., to forge new relationships, and to represent the best of contemporary Ireland to the United States.  I wish this year’s Awardees every success for their time in the United States.”

Chargé d’affaires Reece Smyth, U.S. Embassy, said: “I warmly congratulate the 2018-2019 cohort of Irish Awardees. The Fulbright Awards are highly competitive, globally recognised, and associated with excellence and prestige. We are proud to have such bright minds embarking on educational and cultural exchanges to the United States, and we look forward to seeing the fruits of their studies and research when they return to Ireland.”

Dr Sarah Ingle, Chair of the Board of the Fulbright Commission in Ireland said: “The high standard and expertise of Fulbright scholar and student award recipients continues to increase after more than 60 years in Ireland.  They are being providing with a great opportunity, but also a responsibility to continue Senator Fulbright’s vision of creating avenues for mutual understanding and sharing of ideas. The Commission has full confidence in the new awardees and wishes them every success in their Fulbright experience." 

Dr Dara FitzGerald, Executive Director of the Fulbright Commission in Ireland said: “This year we have seen a surge in applications and awards across all of our Fulbright award programmes, and we hope to see that trend continue to grow. Cultural and academic exchange between the U.S. and Ireland is alive and well.

We would like to thank our partners, the U.S. Department of State and the U.S. Embassy in Dublin, the Irish Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, and the Department of Culture, Heritage, and the Gaeltacht. We are grateful to have the support of our Irish award sponsors: Enterprise Ireland, the Environmental Protection Agency, the Health Research Board, the Higher Education Authority, the Geological Survey of Ireland, the Marine Institute, National University of Ireland, Teagasc, the National Lottery and such notable U.S. Institutions as the Exploratorium, the Smithsonian and the Harry Ransom Center.

We also have tremendous support from Irish institutions such as University College Cork, University College Dublin, Dublin City University, Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland, National University of Ireland Galway, Maynooth University, University of Limerick, The AMBER and INFANT SFI Centres, and the Hugh Lane Gallery. The impact of their support is momentous, especially in terms of diversity and range of disciplines that enhance the Ireland-U.S. relationship.”


The Fulbright Commission in Ireland
The Fulbright Programme in Ireland was established in 1957 and annually awards grants for Irish citizens to study, research, or teach in the U.S. and for Americans to do the same in Ireland. Since its formation over 2,000 postgraduate students, scholars, professionals, and teachers across all disciplines have participated in the program between the U.S. and Ireland. The Commission is supported by the U.S. Department of State and the Irish Government’s Department of Foreign Affairs. It is also a registered charity.

Full List of 2018-2019 Irish Fulbright Awardees
Dr Paul Bolger
is manager of the Environmental Research Institute at UCC. He holds a PhD in Chemistry and a Master’s in Business Administration, and has worked across academia, industry and government in developing long term research solutions for global sustainability challenges. He is currently Principal Investigator on a number of research projects on climate change and the circular economy. Dr Bolger’s Fulbright scholarship will investigate how interdisciplinary and transdisciplinary research is being utilised at sustainability research institutes at Duke University, Cornell University, Colombia University and Arizona State University to achieve more robust and sustainable research outcomes, and to examine the skills needed by researchers for successful transdisciplinary collaboration.

Mr Maurice Casey is a doctoral candidate in History at Jesus College, University of Oxford. He received his B.A. in English Literature and History from TCD, and an MPhil in Modern European History from the University of Cambridge. His current project focuses on Irish women who navigated the international networks of the radical left from 1916 to 1939. As a Fulbright Student to Stanford University, he will conduct research exploring the archival collections of former suffragettes, international communists, and other border-crossing revolutionaries.

Dr Tanya M. Cassidy is an Assistant Professor in the School of Nursing and Health Sciences at DCU, an affiliated senior researcher with the Department of Anthropology at Maynooth University, and a Visiting Fellow at the University of Central Lancashire in the Maternal and Child Nutrition and Nurture unit, where she held her EU Horizon 2020 Marie Skłodowska Curie Award. As a Fulbright-HRB Health Impact Scholar, she will extend her ethnographic research on the potentiality of mothers’ milk, borders and bioscience at the Department of Anthropology in the MIT.

Professor Mary P. Corcoran is Head of the Department of Sociology, and Associate Dean of the Faculty of Social Science at Maynooth University. As a Fulbright-EPA scholar she will undertake research on how civil society groups in partnership with municipalities act as “change agents” to promote environmental stewardship and sustainability. Professor Corcoran will be based at the Great Hunger Institute, Quinnipiac University.

Dr Michelle Cronin is a senior research fellow at the SFI centre MaREI at UCC where she leads the Marine Ecology Group. The group conducts fundamental and applied research on key marine species across the food web from plankton to top predators, and have internationally recognised and nationally unique expertise in monitoring sensitive marine species, particularly higher predators such as seabirds and marine mammals and their interactions with human activities in the marine environment. As a Fulbright-Marine Institute Scholar, she will undertake research into the feeding ecology of seals and their interactions with fisheries using Stable Isotope and biotelemetry data analyses at the Costa Lab at the University of California Santa Cruz.

Dr Aoife De Brún is a Research Fellow at the School of Nursing, Midwifery and Health Systems at University College Dublin. As a Fulbright-HRB HealthImpact Scholar, she will undertake research in collaboration with colleagues at Northwestern University mapping leadership configurations in healthcare teams and explore associations with team performance outcomes and staff engagement.

Ms Rita Donnellan has a BA in Modern Irish and English, an M.A and a Dióploma Iarchéime san Oideachas from NUIG. Since graduating Ms Donnellan has worked as a secondary school teacher and escapes to the Connemara Gaeltacht every summer to work with Irish Colleges. As a Fulbright FLTA, she will teach the Irish language and take courses at Davidson College, North Carolina.

Mr Patrick Egan is one of Ireland's leading tutors and performers of the concertina. His academic interests centre on the benefits of exploring archives of cultural heritage, and in particular the transformational eras of the 1950s and 1960s. His experience extends through degrees in IT, Ethnomusicology and ten years working in the IT industry prior to completing an MPhil in Digital Humanities at Kings College London. Mr Egan is currently a final year PhD researcher in Digital Humanities and music at UCC. His research focuses on digital visualisation of music projects from the Seán Ó Riada Collection, and is co-funded by the IRC. As a Fulbright-TechImpact Scholar, he will research collections of traditional Irish music located at the Library of Congress, to reveal hidden field recordings through digital visualisation and linked open data. 

Ms Elaine Enright is a pharmacist having completed a BPharm at UCC and an MPharm at RCSI. Currently, Elaine is an IRC PhD Scholar based at the APC Microbiome Institute, UCC. Her PhD research investigates the influence of gut bacteria (the microbiota) upon oral drug delivery and efficacy. As a Fulbright Student Awardee to Purdue University, Indiana, Ms Enright will investigate the impact of gut microbial bile acid metabolites on the solubility and absorption of oral dosage formulations.

Ms Michelle Flood is a lecturer in the School of Pharmacy in the RCSI. As a Fulbright HealthImpact Scholar, she will visit the Design Institute for Health at the University of Texas at Austin to undertake a collaboration between Dell Medical School and the College of Fine Arts dedicated to applying creative, human-centered, design-based approaches to define and solve complex health care problems. There she will research how these approaches integrate with health care delivery and health professions education.

Ms Emer Gilmartin is a Researcher at the ADAPT Centre, TCD. Her work focusses on spoken dialogue technology. She has been involved in language provision to refugees since 2003. As a Fulbright-TechImpact Scholar, she will work on the integration of spoken language technology into an automatic language tutor for refugees and migrants. The system will use voice and text to deliver language activities relevant to life in a new country and include virtual interlocutors to provide spoken dialogue practice and tuition through automatic speech recognition and speech synthesis. The curriculum will be based on European Language Portfolios for Migrants Learning the Language of the Host Community created at TCD. The work will be carried out in collaboration with the Language Technologies Institute at Carnegie Mellon University, Pittsburgh.

Judith Harford is Professor of Education at the School of Education, UCD. She is a Fellow of both the Royal Historical Society (London) and the Massachusetts Historical Society (USA) and an International Clinical Practice Fellow of the American Association of Teacher Educators. She was the Ireland Canada University Foundation Flaherty Visiting Professor, 2017-18. As a Fulbright Scholar, she will undertake research into Irish American women teachers and the rise of the Irish American elite in Boston in the period 1880‒1920.

Ms Jasmine Headlam is a doctoral candidate at the School of Natural Sciences, NUIG. Her PhD research focuses on harmful jellyfish species such as the mauve stinger and the lion’s mane jellyfish, which are known to negatively impact coastal industries (e.g. cause large fish mortalities in the salmon aquaculture industry). Her PhD research is funded under the EU’s H2020 CERES Project which is examining how climate change will influence Europe’s most important fish and shellfish resources. As a Fulbright Marine-Institute awardee, Ms Headlam will be mentored in state of the art techniques to investigate the structural and functional characteristics of cnidae and the composition of venom by Fulbright Specialist, Dr Angel Yanagihara, Director of the Pacific Cnidaria Research Laboratory, University of Hawaii at Manoa.

Dr Gavin Kenny is a geologist who specialises in the study of impact craters. Dr Kenny received his Bachelor’s Degree and PhD from TCD before moving to Stockholm, Sweden in 2016. He is currently a Marie Skłodowska-Curie Actions (MSCA) Fellow at the Swedish Museum of Natural History. As a Fulbright-GSI Scholar at the Department of Geosciences at Boise State University, Idaho, he will undertake research into the precise timing of some of Earth’s largest impact cratering events.

Dr Laura Lovejoy is an IRC postdoctoral fellow in the School of English at UCC. As a Fulbright-NUI Scholar to the Department of English, New York University, she will research early twentieth-century literary representations of commercial sex, investigating how novelistic depictions of commercial sex intersect and diverge across geographical and cultural borders.

Dr Patrick Mannion is an Assistant Lecturer in Computing at GMIT. He completed his PhD in Machine Learning at NUI Galway in 2017, which was funded by the Irish Research Council. His research interests include reinforcement learning, multi-agent systems, and multi-objective optimisation. As a Fulbright TechImpact Scholar he will visit the Collaborative Robotics and Intelligent Systems Institute at Oregon State University, where he will work with Professor Kagan Tumer on engineering reward functions to improve coordination in multi-agent systems.

Mr Padraig McGonagle obtained a BA, MA, PGCE and a certificate in bilingual education from Queen’s University Belfast. He is a qualified teacher and has experience of teaching Irish at every level of the education system. He is currently completing his PhD thesis on ‘Éamon de Valera, the Irish language and linguistic nationalism’ at QUB. He wrote a monthly column in the magazine An tUltach from 2011 until 2016 and his essays and poetry have been published in Feasta, An tUltach and Comhar. During his Fulbright FLTA Award he teach the Irish language at Drew University.

Ms Sally McHugh is a doctoral candidate at NUIG. She received her BA in Archaeology and IT and her MA in Digital Media from NUIG. Her current research explores how creative and constructionist computing can be designed and deployed to enhance children’s learning with their local cultural heritage in formal and informal learning environments. As aFulbright-Creative Ireland Museum Fellow to The Exploratorium: The Museum of Science, Art and Human Perception in San Francisco, she will conduct a place-based learning (PBL) project within the Museum’s Fisher Bay Observatory. Her PBL project, ‘A Sense of Place’, carried out with San Francisco youth will focus on their engagement with the ‘local’, encompassing both cultural and natural heritage.

Ms Jill Mc Mahon has a first-class honours degree in Irish & Journalism from DCU, as well as a Masters of Philosophy in Digital Humanities & Culture from TCd. Ms Mc Mahon has worked with Fiontar, DCU in research, terminology and folklore. She also worked with Gaeloideachas, the support organisation to Irish-language primary and secondary schools, and her most recent role was working with Conradh na Gaeilge as Education Officer. She is heavily involved with her Irish-language GAA club, Na Gaeil Óga and plays camogie, and has served as a committee member for the past 2 years. As a Fulbright FLTA, she will teach the Irish language at Elms College, Chicopee, Massachusetts.

Dr Maria Moloney works in the School of Computer Science in UCD and is currently collaborating with the Centre for Cybersecurity and Cybercrime Investigations (CCI) there. Prior to this, she was Head of Research at Escher Group Holdings Plc, the leading software supplier to the postal industry worldwide. She was awarded a Government of Ireland Research Scholarship under the Embark Initiative to pursue her PhD in Information Systems at TCD.  Her research interests lie in the areas of Data Protection, Privacy by Design, Security by Design and Cybersecurity. As a Fulbright TechImpact Scholar, she will study cybercrime and criminal behaviour in online settings in Maryland University.

Mr Ben Moore is a final year B.E. Mechanical Engineering student and Ad Astra Scholar at UCD. His current work focuses on the development and testing of the Attitude Determination & Control System for the first Irish satellite, EIRSAT-1. As a Fulbright Student he will pursue a Master of Science degree in Aeronautics & Astronautics at Stanford University. He will direct the focus of his studies and conduct research into satellite design and control.  

Ms Lisa Murphy is a PhD Candidate at UCC and completed her Bachelor’s degree in Applied Psychology there. Her current research focuses on the role of future-oriented thinking in health-related decision-making and behaviour. As a Fulbright student, Ms Murphy will visit the Department of Psychology at the University of Illinois, Chicago to conduct research on the neural network that supports our ability to think about the future.

Ms Orla O’Connor completed a Bachelor of Education at Mary Immaculate College, Limerick in 2012. She has a keen interest in Irish medium education & second language acquisition, and currently teaches in Gaelscoil Dhroichead na Banndan, Cork. Ms O’Connor is this year’s Fulbright Foreign Language Teaching Assistant to Idaho State University.

Dr Cormac O’Brien is Assistant Professor of Anglo-Irish Drama in the School of English, Drama, and Film at UCD, where he lectures in drama, gender and sexuality, and queer studies. He further specialises in medical humanities, interrogating representations and histories of HIV and AIDS in western cultures. Based at the USC in Columbia SC for his Fulbright Award, Dr O’Brien will conduct research into the hidden histories of Irish gay men whom, due to the illegality of homosexuality in Ireland until 1993, emigrated to the USA and subsequently contracted HIV. He will explore how these men became involved in HIV activism and community care in the USA during the AIDS ‘crisis years’ of 1981-1996. He will also investigate the ways in which, upon their return to Ireland, the models of care these men learned in the USA had impact on Irish HIV healthcare policies.

Mr Shane O’Donnell is pursuing a PhD in microbiology at UCC. He has previously received a BSc in Genetics at UCC. His current research focuses on the effect the genus Lactobacillus has on human health through its impact on the gut microbiota. As a Fulbright Student to Harvard University, he will conduct a trial analyzing the impact Lactobacillus casei has on the microbiome. Specifically he will look at the role of L. casei in ameliorating symptoms associated with IBS, utilizing a transgene mouse model capable of maintaining an ideal Omega3 Omega 6 ratio.

Dr Rachel O’Dwyer is a research fellow in CONNECT, the SFI Research Centre for Future Networks and Communications at TCD. Her research focuses on emerging markets at the intersection of digital money and digital networks. Dr O’Dwyer has a background in Fine Art and continues to be involved in work that bridges art, engineering and technology. She is the leader of the Dublin Art and Technology Association and a member of the Orthogonal Research Methods Group in Trinity, which focuses on building creative strategies at the intersection of technology and the arts. As a Fulbright-TechImpact Scholar to University of California, she will focus on how blockchain technologies are transforming the creative and cultural industries.

Dr Cian O’Leary is a Pharmaceutics Lecturer in the School of Pharmacy and a Principal Investigator in the Tissue Engineering Research Group at the RCSI. As a Fulbright-NUI Scholar in the Dept. of Bioengineering at University of California, San Diego, he will undertake research to develop tissue-engineered in vitro models of breast cancer metastasis with the objective to address critical bottlenecks in the discovery of novel anticancer therapeutics.

Dr Kerron Ó Luain graduated from NUIG with a BA in Irish and History and an MA in history, and completed a PhD in history with Queens University Belfast. His thesis addressed popular Catholic mentalities between the Young Ireland Rising of 1848 and the Fenian Rising of 1867. Dr Ó Luain is heavily involved in campaigning for Irish language rights and teaches Irish to adult learners within the community. Recently, he gave evidence before a joint committee in Leinster House on the new Irish Language Act and he will soon be acting as historical consultant for a TG4 documentary on the Fenians. During his Fulbright FLTA Award he teach the Irish language at Villanova University.

Mr Donncha Ó Murchú was raised through Irish in Dublin. He plays hurling for the local club, Kilmacud Crokes and attended Coláiste Eoin. He was recently awarded a degree in History and Irish from UCD. As a Fulbright Foreign Language Teaching Assistant, he will teach the Irish language and take classes at the University of Montana.

Mr Fergal O’Shaughnessy is a pharmacist and PhD candidate at the Rotunda Hospital, Dublin and SPHeRE programme at the Division of Population Health Sciences, RCSI. He is a graduate of RCSI and TCD, and he holds a position of honorary clinical lecturer at the School of Pharmacy, RCSI. As a Fulbright Student to Columbia University Medical Center, New York, Mr O’Shaughnessy will work with leading experts in Obstetrics to develop methods to identify women who are at risk of developing potentially life-threatening blood clots after childbirth.

Mr Art Ó Súilleabháin has been a Primary School Teacher for 23 years. He has been a teacher in Eachléim & Corr na Móna and Hibernia College trainee teachers. He was also Director of the Mayo Education Centre which has responsibility for organising and designing courses for Primary and Post Primary teachers. As a Fulbright FLTA, he will teach the Irish language at Catholic University of America, DC.

Dr Olga Piskareva is a Principle Investigator studying a childhood cancer called neuroblastoma at the Department of Molecular and Cellular Therapeutics in the RCSI. Her work aims to identify and target weaknesses in the way neuroblastoma cells spread to disrupt the metastatic process. As a Fulbright-HRB HealthImpact Scholar, Dr Piskavera will visit the Department of Cell Biology at Johns Hopkins University to examine new methods to monitor and capture this process in real time. Upon returning to Ireland, she will continue her work developing new models in neuroblastoma pathogenesis and establishing a translational childhood cancer research programme in Ireland.

Mr John Prendergast spent the last two years as an Ireland Canada University Foundation Scholar, lecturing Irish language in Saint Mary’s University, Halifax, Nova Scotia. Prior to this, he was awarded a MA in Welsh and Celtic Studies from Cardiff University and was conferred with a BCL (Law and Irish) degree from UCC. Mr Prendergast’s research interests include linguistic justice and language rights. He has instructed Gaeilge courses at various different levels in Canada, Wales, the USA, and in Ireland. During his Fulbright FLTA Award he will teach Irish at the University of Notre Dame.

Professor Michel Schellekens (PhD CMU) is an associate professor at the department of Computer Science of UCC. As a Fulbright Scholar, he will undertake research into algorithmic design automation at Stanford in collaboration with Stanford’s Computer Science theory group. This work aims to lay groundwork for an ``expert-in-a-box” assisting with automated software development. Michel manages the Legacy Project ``Conversations on George Boole” (UCC Impact Award, 2016) including interviews with experts at Berkeley, MIT, Stanford and NASA’s Kennedy Space Centre on the legacy of George Boole, UCC’s first mathematics professor, inventor of Boolean Algebra. Professor Schellekens directed the research center CEOL as a twofold SFI-PI (2003 - 2014). He is a DAAD and Marie Curie Fellow alumni and author of a Springer book on algorithm analysis.

Mr David Stone is a second-year Government of IRC doctoral scholar at the School of Archaeology, UCD. He received his BA in Archaeology from UCD and a MSt in Archaeology from the University of Oxford. His research focuses on the study of archaeobotanical material from excavations in Azerbaijan dating to the 6th–15th centuries. As a Fulbright-Creative Ireland Museum Fellowship student, he will conduct research at the Department of Anthropology, Smithsonian Institution, Washington DC. Mr Stone will draw upon techniques used in leading international museums for the curation and digital archiving of archaeobotanical remains, which will enable him to address current and pressing issues in archaeological practice in both Ireland and Azerbaijan.

Ms Alix Whelan is a PhD candidate in TCD where she has previously completed a B.A.I. and M.A.I. in Biomedical Engineering. Alix was awarded an IRC Scholarship for her PhD studies, which focuses on the development of bioprosthetic heart valves. As a Fulbright- Enterprise Ireland Awardee, Ms Whelan will continue her research in developing a computational model which can enable improved bioprosthetic valve designs, in collaboration with the University of Texas, at Austin.

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