Teaching awards recognise outstanding committment to teaching and learning

Posted on: 08 October 2019

The Dermot McAleese Teaching Awards were presented to teaching assistants in the School of Social Sciences and Philosophy recently, in recognition of their outstanding and inspiring commitment to achieving excellence in teaching and learning.

The recipients from the School’s four disciplines were Dora Tuda of the Economics Department, Samantha Fazekas of the Philosophy Department, Andrea Salvi of the Political Science Department and David Dunne of the Sociology Department.

Now in their eight year, the awards were presented by the Head of the School of Social Sciences and Philosophy, Professor Carol Newman. The awards are named in honour of former Whately Professor of Political Economy, Dermot McAleese and were established thanks to the generosity of graduates of the School who donated to Trinity in recent years. Professor McAleese has provided further generous financial support to sustain these awards for the decades to come.

Teaching awards recognise outstanding committment to teaching and learning

Asst. Prof. Michael Wycherley, Director of Teaching and Learning (Undergraduate), Dora Tuda, Teaching Assistant (Economics), David Dunne, Teaching Assistant (Sociology), Samantha Fazekas, Teaching Assistant (Philosophy), Andrea Salvi, Teaching Assistant (Political Science) and Professor Carol Newman, Head of the School of Social Sciences and Philosophy

The winners were selected through a nomination process which involved assessing their creativity in delivering tutorials; the role of their tutorials in stimulating critical thinking amongst the students; their responsiveness and engagement with students; their organisation and problem-solving skills; and the contribution of tutorials to the overall delivery of the course.

2019 Dermot McAleese Award Winners:

  • Dora Tuda  (Economics) – Dora is the teaching assistant for JS Econometrics module. Her thesis chapters focus on the relationship between labour markets and inequality in European countries. She is mainly interested in the role of labour market institutions in determining individual choices on the labour market and how individual choices shape aggregate variables, such as income distribution and labour supply. Dora’s more general research interests include labour, public economics and inequality.
  • Samantha Fazekas (Philosophy) – Samantha Fazekas is a teaching assistant for History of Philosophy and Central Problems in Philosophy. She is writing a Ph.D. thesis, ‘Kant’s Moral Self and its Relation to Others,’ which seeks to develop an account of the moral self in Kant that is inherently relational. Typically, the moral law is read as an empty, universal formula that merely guarantees the moral worth of our actions. In contrast, her research reads the adherence to the moral law as a condition that sets the subject in relation to others.
  • Andrea Salvi (Political Science) – Andrea is a teaching assistant for the module Research Methods for Political Science. His thesis “Explaining the variation in sub-national diffusion of civil conflict: civilian targeting and reactive violence” focuses on the determinants that cause the spread of violence in space. In particular, he analyses the role of “conflict dynamics” – with particular regards to civilians targeting – using fine-grained geolocated event data and spatial data techniques.
  • David Dunne (Sociology) – David  is a teaching assistant for  the Power State and Social Movements module. The working title of David’s thesis  is ‘Culture, Identity and Counterinsurgency: the human terrain system in Iraq and Afghanistan‘. The research explores the weaponisation of academic knowledge in the conduct of counterinsurgency in Iraq and Afghanistan.. The project was awarded Irish Research Council Government of Ireland Postgraduate Scholarship funding in 2017.


The selection committee was very impressed with the overall standard of nominations and was pleased to also present certificates of achievement to the following nominees who have played an invaluable role in delivering high quality teaching in the School of Social Sciences and Philosophy: Eoin Dignam and Bruno Morando (Economics), Alan Duggan, Miceal Canavan and Kevin Lacourse (Political Science).

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