Prestigious Fulbright Awards Presented to Trinity Recipients

One academic, three students, and four graduates from Trinity College Dublin are recipients of this year’s Fulbright Awards. They are among the 36 Fulbright Irish Awardees announced recently by Minister Ciarán Cannon T.D. This is the highest number of Awardees from Trinity in recent years. The Fulbright Programme supports remarkable academics, professionals and students from Ireland to go to the USA and collaborate with their U.S. counterparts. Looking to the future, Irish Awardees will shine a light on urgent international research issues from advances in cancer research, to cybersecurity and human rights. They will also represent, share and promote Irish culture, particularly through the Irish language programme. Award recipients are due to travel from September 2020, with a majority going from January 2021.

The Trinity 2020 Fulbright Awardees are:

Mark Berney is a PhD candidate in the School of Chemistry. His PhD research, funded by a grant from the Irish Research Council, focuses on enzymes that repair DNA damage. These enzymes may be involved in acquired resistance to chemotherapy in hard to treat cancers, as well as some genetic diseases. Mark works on developing small molecule inhibitors of these enzymes, as well as chemically modified strands of DNA that can be used as probes to study the enzymes in their natural environment inside cells. As a Fulbright awardee in the University of Chicago, he will conduct further research on biological applications of modified nucleic acids.

Jack Quin is an Irish Research Council postdoctoral fellow in the School of English. His research interests include Irish studies, modernist studies, sculpture and the graphic arts. As a Fulbright Scholar at Glucksman Ireland House, New York University, Dr Quin will research inter-arts collaboration between early 20th century Irish writers and international illustrators situated in New York. The project will draw on archives at the Berg Collection, New York Public Library, the Morgan Library, and the Ernst Holmes Bobst Library at NYU.

Henry (Hal) Duncan is an Assistant Professor/Consultant in Endodontics in Dublin Dental University Hospital. He completed higher training in Guy’s Hospital, London and a PhD in the University of Birmingham in the area of epigenetics and pulpal-regeneration. He is currently the principal supervisor for several clinical and scientifically-trained PhD students, has received several research grants, written 14 book-chapters and edited 2-textbooks and has published widely internationally. His research is focused on developing novel therapeutic solutions, which will improve the diagnosis and outcome of treatment of decayed teeth and the damaged pulp. As a Fulbright-HRB HealthImpact Scholar, he will visit Rutger’s University, New Jersey to investigate potential novel roles for matrix metalloproteinase 13, a tissue-collagenase highly expressed in dental tissue during development and repair processes, with the aim of establishing mutually-beneficial collaborations between the U.S. and Ireland focused on the development of next-generation targeted therapeutic solutions for deep decay and toothache.

Dr Amanda Drury is an Assistant Professor in Nursing at the UCD School of Nursing, Midwifery and Health Systems. She is a registered general nurse, with a clinical background in the areas of radiation and medical oncology. Amanda is an Executive Board Member of the European Oncology Nursing Society. She is a graduate of Trinity College Dublin; she was awarded her PhD in 2018, and held the HRB Research Training Fellowship for Healthcare Professionals between 2014-2018. As a Fulbright-HRB HealthImpact Scholar, Amanda will visit Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Centre, New York. She will continue her research to model the healthcare factors which influence cancer survivors’ quality of life outcomes across various systems of healthcare provision and funding.

Richard Hogan is a systemically trained Family Psychotherapist registered with The Family Therapy Association of Ireland. He is PhD candidate at Trinity, and a schoolteacher and lecturer. He writes every Thursday for the Irish Examiner where he explores mental health issues for teenagers, couples and families. He recently published a book called ‘Parenting the Screenager’. It is a practical guide for parents of the modern child. As a Fulbright Student to Antioch University Seattle, Richard will carry out research in how to promote inclusion in the Irish and American educational system. His research intends to explore the intersection of systemic theory with educational pedagogy with a view to developing a module for the teacher-training programme. Richard is often invited on to programmes such as the Hard Shoulder with Ivan Yates Newstalk, The Today Show RTÉ and Sunday am Virgin Media as an expert in the field of human behaviour where he offers his expertise and strategies on how to over-come teenage mental health issues.

Conor McGlynn is a researcher and public affairs professional working in the intersection of ethics, policy and technology. He received a B.A. in Economics and Philosophy from Trinity and an M.Phil. in Philosophy from the University of Cambridge. He has worked for several years in EU affairs in Brussels, first as a Robert Schuman Trainee at the European Parliament and then as a government relations consultant in the private sector. He most recently spent a year studying in Beijing as a Schwarzman Scholar at Tsinghua University, where he worked on the governance of lethal autonomous weapon systems. As a Fulbright Irish Schuman Awardee, his work will focus on issues around the global governance of emerging technology.

Hugh Fitzgibbon is a graduate of Law and Political Science from Trinity. While at Trinity, Hugh was the Vice President of the Trinity Vincent de Paul Society, Chairperson of the Bram Stoker Paper Readings Club, Secretary of the Central Societies Committee and Finance Officer of the Trinity Social and Political Review, and was awarded the Dean’s Leadership Award for Volunteering. Hugh currently serves as the Vice Chair of the National Youth Committee of the St Vincent de Paul Society and formerly sat on the US Embassy Ireland Young Leaders Council. He recently completed the Final Examinations Part I for entrance to the Law Society of Ireland. Hugh will be attending the University of Pennsylvania to undertake an LLM specialising in human rights law, global security and sustainability. He intends to examine the effects of international security concerns on global human rights regimes and the challenges facing international institutions by virtue of the rising levels of populism and protectionism in Western democracies. Hugh anticipates his year in the US will provide him with the necessary skills and knowledge to forge a career in international human rights law.

Dr Amelia Kelly is an artificial intelligence engineer and scientist specialising in automatic speech recognition of children’s voices. She holds a B.Sc. in Physics and Astronomy from NUI Galway, and M. Phil and Ph.D in Linguistics from Trinity . She is currently Vice President of Speech Technology at SoapBox Labs. As a Fulbright-TechImpact Scholar, Amelia will visit the University of Colorado, Boulder, where she will collaborate on the TalkBack platform, a natural language processing tool designed to help K-12 teachers engage their students in academically productive discourse. Her three-month project, CARNIVAL, will focus on incorporating child speech recognition into the TalkBack platform, to allow for the accurate identification of “talk moves” or specific conversational exchanges in classroom environments. CARNIVAL will be especially impactful in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) subjects, where social contextualisation has shown to increase students’ understanding and test scores, in particular for girls, and other demographics currently in the minority in STEM. Encouraging these students to choose STEM career paths can result in a positive societal effect, injecting much-needed diversity into increasingly homogeneous STEM fields.

The Fulbright Programme in Ireland was established in 1946. It annually awards grants for Irish citizens to study, research, or teach in the U.S. and for Americans to do the same here. Since it reached Ireland in 1957, over 2,500 postgraduate students, scholars, professionals, and teachers across all disciplines have participated in the program between the two countries. The Commission is supported by the U.S. Department of State and the Irish Government’s Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, the Department of Culture Heritage and the Gaeltacht and several Irish and U.S. higher education institutions and organisations. It is also a registered charity.

Minister Ciarán Cannon T.D. said:The role of Fulbright Awardees in driving international research and keeping global channels of communications open is more important than ever. Fulbright has always propelled collaboration between the brightest minds. I wish this year’s Awardees every success for their time in the United States.”

The U.S. Ambassador to Ireland Edward F. Crawford said: “The Fulbright program plays a crucial role in strengthening the unique relationship shared by the United States and Ireland. The durability of Fulbright is especially important during these challenging times.”