First class honours students highly commended in Undergraduate Awards

Undergraduate Awards students are invited to enter both outstanding academic papers and research, as well as visual arts portfolios

Undergraduate Awards students are invited to enter both outstanding academic papers and research, as well as visual arts portfolios

Two WIT students selected from 6,472 Undergraduate Awards submissions from students in 299 institutions across 47 countries, across 25 categories

A WIT School of Business student and a School of Humanities student have made it into the top 10% of 6,472 entrants from 47 countries in the Undergraduate Awards.

The Undergraduate Awards is an academic awards programme that identifies leading creative thinkers through their undergraduate coursework. This year 6,432 submissions were received from students in 299 institutions across 47 countries, across 25 categories.

Michael D. Higgins, President of Ireland had this to say about these prestigious awards: “The Undergraduate Awards celebrates original, creative thinking among students, and the world’s need for such critical capacity has never been greater."

“It is an immense achievement for undergraduate students to benchmark their work globally. To be recognised for their creativity and innovative approach within their discipline can only propel them to become global thinkers and potential change-makers. We are very appreciative of the support of the global academic community who work closely with The Undergraduate Awards to identify these impressive students," says Dr Brenda Cullen, Executive Director, The Undergraduate Awards.

School of Business

Ryan Cunningham who has been highly commended for two research papers submitted to the Undergraduate Awards, will graduate from WIT with a first class honours Bachelor of Business Studies (Hons) Degree in November. Ryan, who studied the marketing stream of the BBS is currently undertaking an MSc in Strategic PR and Communications Management at the University of Sterling.

He was highly commended in the Business category of Undergraduate Awards 2017 for his dissertation: 'Men's Views Towards Male Role Portrayals in Television Advertising: A Study of Perception Across Two Different Age Groups'. Both the discussion and the literature have been highly commended under separate entries.

A past pupil of De La Salle, he is interested in working within the realm of public relations or advertising – or maybe even to become a lecturer in time. Since graduating from WIT in May, he resides in Scotland where he is studying an MSc in Strategic Public Relations and Communications Management at the University of Stirling.

“I always liked to involve myself with extra-curricular activities while at WIT, assuming a number of committee roles in WIT clubs and societies such as the Business Society where I was the chairperson for some time, but I also took college very seriously, graduating with a First Class Honours in my Business degree.”

Marie O’Dwyer, Stream Leader, BBS (Hons) Marketing Stream and Ryan's final year dissertation supervisor says, “As a highly commended entrant in the Undergraduate Awards, Ryan has been identified as an outstanding academic at an international level. His submissions have been ranked in the top 10% of all submissions in the Business category. As such, his dissertation work has now been identified as among the best undergraduate coursework globally by a panel of academics from universities across the world. This is a fantastic achievement for Ryan and a testament to his hard work and commitment during his time at WIT. I am delighted that Ryan’s high standard of work has been recognised in this award.”

School of Humanities

Pat Coghlan, a mature student who will graduate from the Bachelor of Arts (Hons) degree this November with first class honours, says that to receive this recognition of his work from UA is a huge personal honour. Post 1916 Irish Rising: A Sociological Study of the Complexities; Utilizing Modern Social Theory was the title of his submission. “I totally enjoyed the Arts (Hons) degree, not-withstanding it amounted to a seismic discipline change and challenge. For example, the benefits from studying multi-discipline modules such as Sociology, Theology, Psychology and Philosophy etc., and also applying theories from some of the world’s leading minds, both classical and contemporary to practical examples on the ground cannot be overstated. The learning potential is infinite and very rewarding.”

Pat, who lives in Woodstown and is a past pupil of De La Sall had spent 40 years working as an engineering technician, and became a full-time student after finishing in Teva Pharmaceuticals a number of years ago.

Erin McNamara Cullen, lecturer in Spanish and a member of the Interdisciplinary Seminar team of lecturers in Humanities was the lecturer who encouraged Pat to submit his entry to the awards. She says: "Pat’s contributions on the Interdisciplinary Seminar were always engaging and thought provoking. He has a natural ability to bring together disciplinary perspectives in order to bring about a clearer understanding of the problem confronted. His work is shaped by a wealth of personal experience, as well as a deep desire to learn and to share knowledge. This is a well-deserved acknowledgement of Pat’s genuine effort."

Lecturer in Sociology Tom Boland had this to say about Pat's achievement: "While Pat was interested in everything, from data to methods to theories, he always had his own line, and took a distinctive and independent approach to all his essays. He was as much an interlocuter as a student."

UA assembles academics from around the globe to assess the work received and through a rigorous judging process we find the best, most innovative, and creative undergraduate coursework.

The top 10% of papers in each of the 25 categories are Highly Commended, just one paper from each category is named the UA Global Winner and the top papers from each region is named the Regional Winners.

Related Courses

Bachelor of Arts in  Arts (Hons)
Bachelor of Business (Honours) in  Business (Common Entry)

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