Provost Professional Staff Awards

Dining Hall, Trinity College

15 July 2019

Thank you, Geraldine1, and good afternoon, everyone

It’s my pleasure to welcome you to the Provost Professional Staff Awards, which recognise the contribution of exceptional professional staff, including all administrative, technical and support staff.

The awards were inaugurated in 2016 to create a formal process to acknowledge outstanding contributions. They’re our opportunity to celebrate professional staff whose hard work, creativity and dedication are a key element in the success of the university. The awards allow us to capture and promote enhancement initiatives that make a decisive difference to the whole university, but which may not always be known or recognised beyond the local area particular unit or department.

These awards are part of Trinity’s approach to recognising staff, which began with the Provost Teaching Awards in 2001, to recognise exceptional educators, and now include the Global Engagement Awards inaugurated in 2015 to recognise staff making exceptional contributions to global education, cultural understanding and global experiences. 

I’m delighted that our university has put in place these formal means to recognise staff. 3,400 people work in Trinity and over half are professional staff doing vital work. It goes without saying that there would be no Trinity College without our professional and support staff. 

Our current Strategic Plan states (I quote) that

Trinity’s position as a university of global consequence will only continue to be secured by academic, administrative, and support staff capable of delivering our mission”.

The Provost Professional Staff Awards recognise those who have performed exceptionally to help us deliver our mission.

We have created three categories of award:

This is presented to an individual or team demonstrating exceptional service and commitment to the University and our visitors.

This is presented to an individual who demonstrates outstanding leadership skills that have a positive impact on a team; and

This is presented to an individual who delivers outstanding service to the Trinity Community.

As you know, staff are invited to nominate colleagues. The nomination process is fairly lengthy and rigorous, involving a form and a letter of support, which then goes to a selection committee, consisting of myself, the Dean of Students, the Presidents of the SU and of the Graduates Students Union, representatives of our academic and professional staff, and an external reviewer, Dr Claire Bohan from DCU.

It’s necessary that the process be rigorous and comprehensive. I know that the process of nominating and writing letters of support involves further commitment in an already full workload so I really appreciate the response:

  • We’ve received 119 nominations for 304 people – some of the nominations are for teams.
  • 450 people wrote letters of support.
  • Nominations came from academics, students and professional staff on behalf of all levels of professional staff in all of the faculties and divisions in Trinity.
  • There were nominations from 18 schools and across all areas.

I’m delighted that so many people are engaging with these awards. The level of response shows that people value these awards and are happy to have this means of recognising colleagues who care for the future of Trinity and perform exceptionally.

I’d like to thank those involved in organising, particularly Louise Power and Lorraine Sheils from the Learning and Development team.

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Now let’s turn to the nominations, shortlists and winners in the three categories. As I’ve said, there are 119 nominations, so I’m afraid we don’t have time to read out all the names – although all nominees, individuals and teams, will receive a certificate.

There are 37 shortlisted across the three categories and nine winners. We invite all the shortlisted to come and receive a framed certificate and the winners to receive their award.

In the first category, Enhancing the Trinity Experience Award, we have 39 nominations, 12 shortlisted and four winners.

The 12 shortlisted are, in alphabetical order,

Academic Registry Student Case Team

Anatomy CTO Donor Programme

Botany Technical Team

Business Intelligence Team

Stephanie Coull

Anne-Maire Diffley

Jessica Eustace-Cook

Martin McAndrew

Martina Mullin

Lorraine Norton

Eimear Rouine

Science Course Office

I congratulate all. To be nominated is a significant achievement and a mark of your colleagues’ respect; to be shortlisted is a recognition of really exceptional work.

The four winners are:

Anatomy CTO Donor Programme

Anne-Maire Diffley, Library Services

Martin McAndrew, Senior Tutor’s Office

Martina Mullin, Health Promotion Officer

The second category is the Individual Leadership Award. Here there were 11 nominees, all of them shortlisted:

Lorraine Byrne

Colette Ding

Bernadette Gavagan

Carol Heeney

Lisa Keane

Rosie King

Carlos Mandolesi

Mona Pigott

Richard Twohig

Aine Wade

Declan Weldon

I congratulate and thank all of you for your wonderful work. I invite the two winners to receive their award:

Lisa Keane, Trinity Access Programme

Aine Wade, School of Medicine

The third category is the Outstanding Colleague Award. Here there were a remarkable 69 nominations, of which fourteen were shortlisted:

Sinead Browne

Shane Doggett

Robbie Gallagher

Pamela Hennessy

Maura Horan

Catherine Kelly

Oonagh, Kinsman

Marie-Pierre Lavergne

Kieran Lewis

Ann Matthews

Louise Power

Philomena Smith

David Sullivan

Liza Toye


My congratulations to you all. The three winners are:

Sinead Browne, Provost’s Office

Kieran Lewis, Disability Service

David Sullivan, Genetics Department

And my thanks to all of you who took the time and trouble to nominate colleagues. I hope that the process of nomination served to reinforce your appreciation of the importance of the work you do.

Speaking on behalf of the Selection Committee, we have found it most rewarding to be apprised of the many initiatives on-going in the university, which enable us all to deliver on our great mission. And it’s inspiring to be able to recognise you here this afternoon.

Thank you.

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1 Geraldine Ruane, Chief Operating Officer