Who We Are
TA21 Project Managers:
Cliona Hannon (TAP)
Cliona is responsible for the development and implementation of strategic priorities relating to fair access, widening participation and lifelong learning in Trinity College Dublin. A graduate of Trinity College, Ms. Hannon worked in a variety of educational and not-for-profit environments before returning to Trinity to set up an innovative, year-long academic preparatory course for young adults from socio-economically disadvantaged backgrounds. Since then, Trinity’s work in widening participation has expanded enormously and now comprises a continuum of programs for primary school pupils right through to post-graduation. In 2013, 20% of Trinity’s first year cohort is made up of these students and students with a disability. Ms. Hannon has a BA in History & Sociology, an MA in Development Studies and an MBA.
Professor Brendan Tangney (Bridge 21)
Brendan is a Fellow of Trinity College Dublin where he is an Associate Professor in the School of Computer Science & Statistics. He is co-director of Trinity’s Centre for Research in IT in Education (a joint initiative between the School of Education and the School of Computer Science & Statistics). He has held visiting positions in the Universities of Sydney and Kyoto. He is academic director of the Bridge21 project which is working with Irish secondary schools as they move towards adopting a particular model of technology mediated, team based, 21st century learning.
Dr Katriona O’Sullivan
Katriona graduated the foundation course in the Trinity Access Programmes in 2004. She graduated with a BA in Psychology in 2008 from Trinity College Dublin (TCD), where she also completed her PhD in 2012. Her doctoral research focused on experimental research methods in psychology. Katriona worked as a researcher on several projects; she worked on a HRB funded project investigating the cognitive functioning of methadone maintained patients through an fMRI protocol. She also worked on the IMAGEN project; an international research project on the psychological and biological predictors of risk taking behaviour in teenagers. Katriona has held positions in University City Dublin and Dublin Business School lecturing in a range of psychology and research method modules at undergraduate and postgraduate level; she currently lectures on the undergraduate psychology degree in TCD and on the Foundation course in the Trinity Access Programmes.
Dr Rónán Smith
Rónán graduated with a BA in Experimental Physics from Trinity College Dublin in 2009 where he also completed a PhD in 2013. His Doctoral research focused on the production of two dimensional materials such as Graphene for use in green energy applications. He has presented his research at several conferences worldwide, has been published in 9 peer reviewed journals and holds 1 patent. In 2012, Rónán began lecturing in Physics on the Foundation Course for Trinity Access Programmes. In 2013 he began working with primary and secondary schools on the Pathways to STEM programme aimed at increasing interest in maths and science among students from socio-economically disadvantaged backgrounds.
Postgraduate Course Coordinator:
Dr Joseph Roche
Dr Joseph Roche is an astrophysicist at Trinity College Dublin. He has worked at NASA and used the Hubble Space Telescope to observe symbiotic stars. While at Trinity's School of Physics he helped bring the European Space Expo to Dublin and has also served as Education and Learning Manager for Science Gallery Dublin. He is Assistant Professor in STEM Education at Trinity's School of Education and is Course Coordinator for the Postgraduate Certificate in 21st Century Teaching and Learning.
CS/STEM Programme Manager:
Dr Jake Byrne
Jake Rowan Byrne is Bridge21′s Programme Manager of the Google sponsored Computer Science and STEM Teacher Training Programme. Jake was the longest running volunteer mentor with Bridge21 since the programme began in October 2007. During that time, he became heavily involved in the Computer Science workshops, so he has years of experience using the Bridge21 learning models to teach both programming, game design and other digital media projects. Jake is a DCU graduate in Mechatronic Engineering and completed both a Masters in Technology and Learning and a Ph.D. in Trinity College Dublin. He also has experience designing innovative technological solutions for industry and is a named co-inventor on a patent. This new position provides the opportunity for him to pursue his passions for innovation, technology, design thinking and educational reform.
Kevin Sullivan is Bridge21's resident superhero (or so the students like to call him). As Programme Co-ordinator, he puts thems coming through the magical doors of Oriel House through their learning paces, all with a helpful and fun twist. Starting initially as a volunteer mentor, then as assistant, Kevin now leads the Bridge21 student programme, co-ordinating school visits and is ably assisted by the super team of volutneer mentors. His day job is so much fun he refuses to leave. Kevin is a DIT graduate in Applied Sciences and has completed an M.Sc. in Technology and Learning in TCD and has previously worked in the Computer Science and software sectors.
Having Spent the last 20 years years working in the IT industry, Ciarán has recently moved into the educational sector and joined Bridge21 as Programme Manager in early 2012. As a former company director and shareholder of Abacus Systems based in Dublin, his role encompassed a wide range of duties including administration, marketing, training and finance. Ciarán was a volunteer mentor with Bridge21 since Sept 2010. During that time, he took an active lead on many workshop activities, so he certainly knows the ropes of the learning model and programme. He also worked as a substitute teacher in one of our partner schools (CBS Westland Row) for the past two years. In 2011, Ciarán joined Donabate & Portrane Educate Together National School, Board of Management as Chairperson and looks forward to a challenging and rewarding relationship with the school, long into the future. He is also a big baseball fan (one of the few in Ireland) and looks forward every year to following his beloved Red Sox all the way to the World Series. Ciarán is a keen and passionate advocate for radical reform in Irish education. He has completed the M.Sc. in Technology & Learning at Trinity College Dublin.
TA21 Postdoctoral Research Fellow:
Dr Megan Kuster
Megan Kuster is a Postdoctoral Research Fellow working on programme design, implementation and evaluation. She has also worked on using the 21st Century School of Distinction Award as a vehicle to scale the Trinity Access 21 programme nationally. She is a Tutor on the TAP Foundation Course English module and has an HBSc in Biology and an MA in Literature and the Environment. She is a graduate of Trinity College Dublin with a PhD in Postcolonial Environmental Literature (2014).