Seminar on Social and Ethical Responsibility of Third Level Colleges towards Community Engagement across the Life Spectrum

Seminar on Social and Ethical Responsibility of Third Level Colleges towards Community Engagement across the Life Spectrum

  • 09:00am - 16:00pm

Thursday 17th May 2018

Venue: X103, Main Campus, Engineering




9:00 – 9:15



9:20 – 9:30


Professor Ciarán Ó Catháin

President, Athlone Institute of Technology

9:30 – 10:15

Opening Address

The Value of Community Engagement to Older People and its Benefits to Society

Aine Brady, CEO Third Age Ireland

10:15 – 11:00

Community Engagement: Values in Action

Dr Rhonda Wynne, UCD in the Community

Ms Bernadette Quillinan, University of Limerick

11:00 – 11:30


11:30 – 12:15

Ethics in International Volunteering

Mr Colm Ashe, Volunteer Program Manager, Uganda Programme

12:15 – 12:45

Community Health Research and Ethics

Dr Una Fallon, Specialist in Public Health Medicine, HSE

12:45 – 13:15

Migration and Community Engagement

Ms Theresa Ryan, Access Officer, AIT College Sanctuary

13:15 – 13:45

Discussion panel with questions & answer session

Dr Mary McDonnell-Naughton

Chair, AIT Research Ethics Committee




Ms Aine Brady – The Value of Community Engagement to Older People and its Benefits to Society

CEO of Third Age Ireland

Aine Brady is CEO of Third Age a not-for-profit organisation committed to the promotion of the value of older people and their contribution to society. Established over 30 years ago, Third Age has a range of volunteer-led national and international services devoted to the social inclusion of older people. Headquartered in Summerhill, Co Meath, Third Age also has a programme of services and activities for local people.

A former teacher, Aine Brady served as Minister of State for Older People, overseeing the government publication of the National Positive Ageing Strategy, outlining Ireland’s vision for ageing and older people. Her work in Third Age has continued this commitment to older people. The Third Age philosophy is one of social inclusion and each of its national and regional programmes works in innovative ways to foster the inclusion of vulnerable older people through the delivery of socially useful programmes by trained older people. This use of older volunteers in peer led programmes is unique to Third Age.

Mr Colm Ashe - Ethics in International Volunteering

Volunteer Program Manager, Uganda Programme

Colm graduated from NUIG with a degree in commerce, and subsequent masters in marketing in 2009. He worked for a number of years in the fields marketing and recruitment, before a passion for international development issues drove him back to university- this time to undertake a masters in Development and International Relations in UCD.

Since them Colm worked in Comhlámh - the Irish agency for development workers and volunteers, and is now a volunteer programme manager at Nurture Africa. Nurture Africa is an Irish NGO working in Uganda in the areas of healthcare, education, sustainable livelihoods and child protection. His work with Nurture Africa enables him to promote ethically responsible international volunteering in Ireland, and manage large groups of volunteers whilst on placement in Uganda.

Dr Rhonda Wynne - Community Engagement: Values in ActionUCD in the Community

Dr Rhonda Wynne works at University College Dublin (UCD), where she has been involved in a variety of capacities creating links between the university and the community. Currently, she works in UCD in the Community, a new unit which aims to build community links, develop community based learning, promote engaged research, and encourage student volunteering. Prior to this, Rhonda was responsible for developing the UCD Lifelong Learning programme, where she established a number of university cultural partnerships with museums, galleries and libraries in Dublin city and county. Her doctoral thesis examined how the civic role of universities is understood and practiced, and she draws on this work to represent UCD on Campus Engage, the Irish national network to promote civic and community engagement in higher education.

Dr Bernie Quillinan – Community Engagement: Values in Action

University of Limerick

Dr Bernie Quillinan is a senior lecturer in the Department of Nursing and Midwifery, University of Limerick (UL). She is also module leader for the UL Practicum module for International students and is currently ULs representative on the Irish National Campus Engage Steering Group. Bernie sits on the Irish National Engaged Learning Work Group, and was on the core development team and lead facilitator for the National Science Foundation Ireland /Campus Engage STEM Participate Programme (2015-2017) on Community Engaged Learning.

Professionally, Bernie is registered as a mental health, general nurse, and has worked as a nurse lecturer for over 30 years. She has extensive experience in clinical nurse practice, nursing management and education, in the Health Service Sector in Ireland and the U.K. Her early management experience includes Course Director for undergraduate nursing programmes and later, Head of the Nursing and Midwifery Department in the University of Limerick from 2004-2010. Over the last 30 years, Bernie has played a key role in the development and advancement of cross partnership working in nursing and health related education in Ireland. She is the founding course director for the University community partnership, national award winning programme, ‘Diploma in Community Wellness, Leadership and life skills (CWELL)’ programme.

Ms Theresa Ryan -Migration and Community Engagement

Access Officer, AIT College Sanctuary

Theresa studied Analytical Chemistry and worked in the Pharmaceutical industry as a Chemist for 15 years. She took a career break, studied Psychology and came to work in AIT as Health Promotion Officer. During her time in this role she completed a Masters in Health Promotion.

Theresa currently works as the Access Officer in Athlone Institute of Technology. In this role she works with lower socioeconomic groups, mature students, and people with disabilities, Travellers and migrants. Her work focuses on managing various projects which are aimed at encouraging and supporting access to third level education. Theresa returned to study once again, this time completing a Post Graduate Diploma in Adult Career Guidance and Counselling.

She was a member of the team in AIT which has engaged with migrants, the residents of our local Direct Provision centre in particular. This work resulted to the college being designated a college of Sanctuary.

Do you have questions about Seminar on Social and Ethical Responsibility of Third Level Colleges towards Community Engagement across the Life Spectrum? Contact Athlone Institute of Technology

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