Celebrating International Women's Day
International Women’s Day has celebrated the economic, political and social achievements of women across the world since 1911. To celebrate International Women's Day 2018 we wanted to highlight a few female Trinity graduates who are forging a path in their disciplines.
After playing Tess Halpin in 160 episodes of RTE’s soap, Fair City, Sabina Brennan left television to attend Trinity as a mature student. She is a psychologist and researcher. Dr Brennan’s research is on understanding dementia risk and protective factors to establish how decline in cognitive function might be prevented or delayed after being inspired by her experiences with her own mum's dementia. Her research was short-listed for the prestigious 2017 US-Ireland Research Innovation Award. She is now working on ways to help underprivileged children bolster their cognitive skills early in life using specially designed colouring and activity books.
Frieda Gormley is co-founder of print-based design store House of Hackney. Gormley grew up in Dublin and Spain and studied law in Trinity. She began her career as a buyer in Dunnes Stores before moving to London to work for Topshop. Frieda, together with her husband, Javvy M Royle founded House of Hackney around a kitchen table in 2011. The company opened its first retail store in 2013 and in 2015, House of Hackney was approached by the William Morris Gallery with the brief to reimagine William Morris for a new generation. The brand is now stocked in partner stores worldwide and its flagship store is in Shoreditch.
Aisling Hassell leads Airbnb’s global customer experience operations, focused on making every element of the guest and host experience on Airbnb a memorable one. She also acts as Site Lead for Airbnb’s European headquarters in Dublin, its largest base outside of the US. She leads two locations with over 450 employees, across growing teams from Customer Experience to Trust & Safety. Aisling joined Airbnb in 2014, after a global career leading customer strategy and experience in technology, communications and software innovators. In her 25-year career, Aisling has been director of global customer experience and web strategy at Sage, Group Head of Customer Experience, Vodafone and VP of Customer Experience at Symantec in the US.
Fionnuala Meehan is currently Vice-President of Global Marketing Solutions EMEA at Google & Head of Google Ireland. Fionnuala joined Google in 2005 and has worked across a variety of roles, from operations through to sales, as the EMEA business continued to grow and scale. Today, as VP of Global Marketing Solutions, she leads a pan-EMEA team which helps hundreds of thousands of small and medium sized businesses to market and sell online - a true engine of economic growth. In addition, Fionnuala is Head of Google Ireland, home to Google’s EMEA headquarters, a diverse innovation hub of over 6,000 people from 70 countries. In December 2016, Fionnuala became the first woman leader appointed to this role. Fionnuala holds a BA in European Studies, History, Politics & Languages from Trinity College Dublin.
Sarah Mortell holds a B.A. in Economics and Political Science and is also a graduate of the BESS Class of 2016. During her time at Trinity, she served as President of The Phil, the world's oldest debating society. Sarah is currently Director of The Forum at Web Summit, a gathering of global decision-makers in Lisbon. Sarah has addressed the Portuguese-US Chamber of Commerce and the Annual Diplomatic Congress of Portugal on the future of technology and governance. Sarah was recently awarded a prestigious 2019 Schwarzman Scholarship at Tsinghua University in Beijing. She was one of 142 Scholars who were selected from over 4,000 applicants.
Nicole Owens recently appeared in the RTE documentary ‘Blues Sisters’ which charts Dublin’s All-Ireland season in 2017 culminating in a 4-11 0-11 victory over Mayo. When she first took up football Owens was the only girl in a group of 50 boys in nursery age-group at St Sylvester’s GAA club. Despite wanting to quit after the first training session at nursery age she persevered to become an All-Ireland winning footballer in 2017. She graduated from Trinity College Dublin with a Sociology and Spanish degree. Nicole is an experience designer at Connector, an award winning open innovation studio, developing strategies and designing experiences for Irish and global brands.
Professor Lorraine O’Driscoll at Trinity’s School of Pharmacy & Pharmaceutical Sciences was awarded almost €4 million Horizon 2020 funding in 2017 for a programme entitled “Training in Extracellular vesicles for benefit in Health and Disease”. In 2012, she was elected to Fellowship in Trinity. At post-doctoral level, she gained experience at the Dana-Farber Harvard Cancer Institute and University of Miami, as well as leading research studies for industry. She has been a Principal Investigator on 5 cancer clinical trials with the All-Ireland Cooperative Oncology Research Group/ Cancer Trials Ireland. Professor O’Driscoll is Strand Leader of the Irish Cancer Society-supported BREAST-PREDICT; Director of H2020-funded TRAIN-EV and Principal Investigator and Chair of the H2020-supported European Network Cooperation in Science and Technology focussed on Exosomes & Microvesicles in Health & Disease which brings together researchers from 27 European countries, 3 US universities, Australia and 7 industry partners. Many of her graduates now hold key roles in industry, academia or clinics.
Louise O' Neill is from Clonakilty, in west Cork and has a BA in English Studies from Trinity and a post-graduate diploma in Fashion Buying from DIT. Having spent a year in New York working for Kate Lanphear, the senior Style Director of ELLE magazine, she returned home to Ireland to write her first novel ‘Only Ever Yours’ which won the inaugural Young Adult Book Prize and the Sunday Independent Newcomer of the Year at the Bord Gais Energy Irish Book Awards in 2014. Louise went on to win the Bord Gáis Energy Book of the Year award for her second book, Asking for It, in 2015 which became one of the best-selling books in Ireland in 2016. Film rights to both novels have been sold. Her third novel, Almost Love, is out now. The Surface Breaks, O’ Neill’s reimagining of the Little Mermaid, will be published in May.
Picture Credit: Anna Groniecka
Trinity Ph.D. candidate in the School of Biochemistry and Immunology Shauna Quinn and her team emerged victorious from a citizen science competition run at the League of European Research Universities (LERU) Doctoral Summer School after proposing ‘Letswakeapp’ – a project that will poll citizen scientists to bank the right alarm tone on an individual basis so as to ensure a good wake-up experience. The project was awarded first prize by a panel of experts that also comprised Secretary General of LERU, Kurt Deketelaere. The prize included seed funding to continue the project, with a pilot study already mooted for Dublin in 2018.
Alice Ryan is Head of Insight and Planning for Global Brands at BBC Worldwide in London. She grew up in Ranelagh before studying Business and French in Trinity followed by a Masters in Economics from the London School of Economics. Alice’s role in the BBC involves understanding and segmenting audiences, working out what they do or don’t like about content and using these insights to create content that appeals to as many people as possible. She has worked on a diverse range of programming including David Attenborough’s Blue Planet II which was the highest rated consolidated TV programme of 2017 in the UK.
Pauline Turley set off for New York after completing a B.A. in Drama and Theatre Studies from Trinity. Originally she planned to spend six months in the U.S. but twenty years later she is the Vice Chair of the Irish Arts Center and based in New York. Pauline focuses on capital fundraising for the Center and, together with Executive Director Aidan Connolly and Honorary Chairs Gabriel Byrne and Liam Neeson and fellow Board Members, has raised more than $58 million to build a new Irish Arts Center. The new Center will break ground in the spring of 2018 and the official opening is anticipated for 2020.