Celebrations to Mark 50th Anniversary of Political Science Department
Sep 05, 2013
A gathering of political science graduates took place to mark the 50th Anniversary of Trinity College Dublin’s Political Science Department during the Trinity College Alumni Weekend recently.
The varied programme of events to mark this important milestone included an alumni roundtable session where graduates reflected on their time at Trinity and how it shaped their lives. Alumni panellists included Senator Averil Power, Fianna Fáil Seanad Spokesperson on Education and Skills; Kingsley Aikins, founder and CEO of Diaspora Matters, Sara Morris, Head of Public Affairs at National Transport Authority and Ed Mulhall, former Managing Director of News and Current Affairs at RTÉ.
Over the past five decades, graduates from the Political Science Department have gone on to distinguish themselves in all walks of life, in areas such as business, the arts, education, politics, and other forms of public service. Founded in 1960 under Professor Basil Chubb, the department produced its first graduates in 1963 – a year in which US President John F. Kennedy visited Ireland and The Beatles performed in Dublin.
Pictured at the 50th Anniversary of the Political Science Department celebrations were Ed Mulhall, former Managing Director of News and Current Affairs at RTÉ; Sara Morris, Head of Public Affairs at National Transport Authority; Senator Averil Power, Fianna Fáil Seanad Spokesperson on Education and Skills; Professor Michael Marsh, Professor of Comparative Political Behaviour and Kingsley Aikins, founder and CEO of Diaspora Matters
Speaking about the event, Professor Michael Marsh, Professor of Comparative Political Behaviour, who chaired the roundtable session commented: “It was wonderful to have such distinguished graduates participate as panellists in the Alumni Roundtable session. Speakers spoke with great passion about their time at Trinity and the positive impact it had on their lives and their very varied career paths. I particularly enjoyed hearing our former students’ personal stories and their thoughts on what it was like to study political science during a time of great change in the Irish political landscape."
Professor Gail McElroy, Professor in Social Science and Head of the Department, added: “We were delighted that the event appealed to such a range of graduates and that people travelled not only from within Ireland but also from the UK and as far afield as Toronto. It was fantastic that graduates from 1963 all the way through to 2011 could attend. It really was a great opportunity for people to re-connect with College and share memories with their fellow graduates, as well as hearing about new developments and plans for Political Science in Trinity.”
Based in the School of Social Sciences and Philosophy, the Department of Political Science is one of the top Political Science departments in the world. In the 2013 QS Subject Rankings for 'Politics and International Studies', Trinity College Dublin was rated number 31 in the world, number 8 in Europe, and number 1 in Ireland. It is a vibrant, outward-looking department that combines intensive research activity with the strongest commitment to high quality undergraduate and postgraduate teaching.
Alumni Roundtable Speakers
Kingsley Aikins (B.A. 1974 Mod Economics and Politics) is the founder of Diaspora Matters and has a lifetime of involvement in the sector. Prior to this he worked for the Irish Trade Board, IDA Ireland and spent 21 years with The Ireland Funds. In 2008 he was awarded a CBE for his work on British-Irish relations. During his time in College he played rugby for Trinity, represented Leinster at rugby and was a Knight of the Campanile.
Sara Morris (B.A. 1989 Business, Economics and Social Studies, Political Science) is the Head of Public Affairs at the National Transport Authority (NTA). Prior to joining the NTA she worked in a number of public relations and corporate affairs roles including the position of Director of Press Relations for the Progressive Democrats. Sara also served as a Board Member at World Vision for eight years. While she was in Trinity she was Editor of Trinity News, Ireland's oldest student newspaper.
Ed Mulhall (B.A. 1978 Business, Economics and Social Studies, Political Science and Economics) is former Managing Director of the RTÉ News and Current Affairs Division. Prior to this he held a range of roles at the National Public Service Broadcaster. During his career in RTÉ he produced or edited all the major news and current affairs programmes and was centrally involved in the coverage of every General Election since 1981. He was Editor of Trinity News during his time in Trinity.
Averil Power (B.A. 2000 Business, Economics and Social Studies, Political Science and Business) was elected to the 24th Seanad in April 2011 on the Industrial and Commercial Panel. As the Fianna Fáil Seanad Spokesperson on Education and Skills, she has consistently highlighted the need to prioritise education as an investment in our future. While she was in Trinity, she was elected to the positions of President and Education Officer in the Students' Union.
Details of other notable political science alumni are available on the Political Science website.
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