Trinity Students Prevail at 2012 Undergraduate Awards
Nov 19, 2012
Four Trinity College Dublin students received the Ernest Walton Gold Medal for excellence and innovation at the undergraduate level from President Michael D. Higgins at the 2012 Undergraduate Awards Ceremony.
The Undergraduate Awards programme was founded in 2008 by two Trinity graduates, Oisin Hanrahan and Paddy Cosgrove, as an initiative to inspire, support and celebrate high potential undergraduate students and their innovative research. Open to undergraduate students across Europe, North America, Asia and Australia, entrants are invited to submit essays/projects completed as part of their coursework and present fresh ideas and new arguments.
Eleanor Friel, Sorcha Ni Lideadha, Conor Leahy and Huw Duffy, winners of the 2012 Undergraduate Awards
This year there were 2,890 submissions to the Undergraduate Awards programme. In addition to the four winners, Trinity secured the highest number of highly commended entrants in this year’s awards programme with 33 students receiving this honour.
The Trinity winners:
Conor Leahy won the award for English Literature for his work on ‘Power, conduct and fortune in the alliterative Morte Arthure’, which was described as ‘a virtuoso performance’ by the judging panel.
Eleanor Friel won the award for International Relations & Politics for her essay on contemporary civil conflicts in Sub-Saharan Africa, which was praised for its ‘sophisticated’ analysis of ‘quite complex theories’.
Sorcha Ní Lideadha won the award for Modern Cultural Studies for her work on ‘Branding Dublin’, which was described as ‘an original and innovative essay that makes a genuine contribution to the field of Irish architecture’.
Huw Duffy, a former auditor of the College Historical Society, won the award for Philosophical Studies & Theology for his essay on ‘Faultless disagreement (in a manner of speaking)’. The judging panel praised the ‘lucidity of presentation, originality of ideas and subtlety of analysis that make it a genuine contribution to the debate’.
A fifth winner, Neasa O’Callaghan, who won the award in Ancient and Classical Studies for work submitted while she was an undergraduate student at NUI Galway, is now a postgraduate student at Trinity on the M.Phil. in Irish Writing.
Congratulating the students on their success, the Senior Lecturer/Dean of Undergraduate Studies, Dr Patrick Geoghegan said: “These awards recognise and reward the enormous hard work and intellectual energy of our students, but they also remind us of the incredible commitment of our teaching staff who inspire and support such excellence. As President Higgins rightly noted, these awards ‘celebrate original, creative thinking among students and the need for such critical capacity in our universities has never been greater’. At Trinity we have a strong, research-inspired curriculum and it enables us to work together to help all our students reach their potential”.
This year the gold medal was named after Ernest Thomas Sinton Walton (1903-95), the Trinity-educated physicist who remains Ireland’s only Nobel prize winner in Science.
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