Access and Civic Engagement (ACE)

Dr. Julie Bernard (Currently on Leave until March 2020)

Access and Civic Engagement Manager

Dr Julie Bernard is the manager of the DIT Access and Civic Engagement. In this position she has responsibility for the integration of access and civic engagement with teaching and learning and research and management of a wide range of DIT civic engagement activities, including community-based learning and research; engagement outreach partnerships and activities with education,community and public organisations; access entry routes to promote wider participation in higher education and the management of student support for access students and students with disabilities in DIT. Her research interests include widening participation in higher education, civic engagement and the relationship between research, policy and practice.

Before joining DIT in 2003, Julie was the manager of an adult guidance and employment service in Dublin and has previously worked in education in Germany, Japan and Scotland. Julie has a doctorate in higher education from the University of Sheffield, a postgraduate diploma in career guidance and a BA in English and German from Trinity College, Dublin.




           Access Service

Gráinne Burke

Access Officer

Gráinne is the Manager of the DIT Access Service. [Currently on Maternity Leave]

Gráinne has worked in DIT since January 2005, starting in the Registrations Dept in the College of Business. In February 2006 Gráinne was promoted to the role of Administator in the Access Service. In July 2007, Gráinne was promoted to the role of Post Entry Project Officer in the Access Service. June 2015, Gráinne was promoted to the role of Access Officer, Manager of the Access Service.

Gráinne qualified with a Joint BA Honours Degree in Arts: Geography and Sociology from NUI Maynooth and a Masters qualification: MA in Child, Family and Community Studies from DIT.

Email: Grainne.burke@dit.ie

Tel: 01 402 7606

Mobile: 087 7931277

John Delap   ‌

John Delap is on Career Break from Dublin Institute of Technology from August 2016 - August 2019.

John has been with the DIT Access & Civic Engagement Office since 2007 working with current full time undergraduate students who meet the indicators of an entry route tailored for young people from backgrounds of socio-economic disadvantage.  

John holds a BA in American Culture from Vassar College in New York and an M.Phil in International Peace Studies at Trinity College, Dublin.  

John led on the development of the DIT Access & Civic Engagement Student Leadership Launchpad over a 6-year period.  The Leadership Launchpad is now a student-led experiential learning module open to young people from backgrounds of socio-economic disadvantage, aiming to build leadership development, social networking and nuanced life skills.

Edel Kearney (Edel is currently working with the Careers Service)

Edel joined the DIT Access Service as a pre-entry project officer in 2006. Edel has been responsible for the co-ordination, development and delivery of secondary school entry routes outreach programmes, including the Dublin Inner City Schools Programme and the DIT Access to College Programme, both of which were designed to support young adults in local schools who required high support in making choices about and accessing higher education. 

Qualifications: Edel completed a B.A. in Accounting and Human Resource Management in NCI, followed by a Higher Diploma in Education in UCD. In 2009 she completed a post graduate module in Higher Education Access Equality in Practice (UCD). In 2014 Edel graduated from Trinity College Dublin with a Masters in Education (Guidance and Counselling). Her thesis‌ investigated the provision of guidance to young adults who did not successfully navigate their post school ambitions.

Edel continues to work on the delivery of secondary school entry routes outreach programmes, as well as providing career and educational guidance to young adults and mature students on the DIT Access Foundation Programme and DIT Pre-Access Programme.

Email: Edel.kearney@dit.ie

Tel: 01 402 7605

Mobile: 087 213 2843

Bobby Maher - Access Officer


Bobby has been working in DIT since November 2010, starting as a Project Officer on the Mature student Access Programme. In October 2013 Bobby was promoted to the role of Access Foundation Programme Co-ordinator.  

Bobby qualified with a Joint BA Honours Degree in Arts: History and Politics from UCD and a Masters MA in Early Modern History at UCD.

Email: bobby.maher@dit.ie

Tel: 01 402 7606

Mobile: 087 7931277

Dolores Hill

Project Officer

Dolores has over 30 years administration experience working in DIT in a variety of areas, including School Administrator, the Admissions Office and Assistant to a College Manager

Dolores returned to education as a Mature student and completed a Batchelor of Arts Degree in Community Studies and Master of Arts Degree in Education, Equality and Social Activism from the National University of Ireland, Maynooth. 

Dolores is passionate about access to education for under-represented groups in Higher Education.

Email: Dolores.hill@dit.ie;

Office: 402 7625

Mobile: 087 7983194


Students Learning With Communities (SLWC)


Dr. Catherine Bates

Project Coordinator,  Students Learning With Communities

Catherine has worked in this role since 2008, and managed the Access and Civic Engagement Office for one year during that time. As part of her work she has led DIT’s involvement in 2 European funded projects supporting collaborative research with communities: the EnRRICH project (2015-18) (http://www.livingknowledge.org/projects/enrrich/) and the PERARES project (2010-14) (http://www.livingknowledge.org/projects/perares/). She has also published and presented on DIT’s work in this area, nationally and internationally, often with colleagues in higher education and community organisations (see http://arrow.dit.ie/comlinkart/).

In her previous role Catherine worked for 2 years in the community sector as Adult Education Coordinator in a women’s drug rehabilitation project. Prior to that she worked for 10 years as a lecturer in design history and theory in several Irish Higher Education Institutions, in Dublin and Limerick, and previously worked in the National Gallery of Ireland and the National Museum of Ireland.

Catherine has a PhD in Sociology from University College Dublin, an MA in History of Art and Design from the National College of Art and Design, and a BA (Joint Honours) in Craft Design metalwork and History of Art & Design from the National College of Art and Design.

Email: catherine.bates@dit.ie

Tel: 01 402 7616

Mobile: 087 1262848

Dr. Sinead McCann

Project Officer, Students Learning With Communities

Dr Sinead Mc Cann works as a part time project officer on the programme for Students Learning With Communities. In this role she co-ordinates community based learning and community based research projects across DIT and she supports lecturers, students and communities to do this work.

Alongside this role outside of DIT, Sinead works as artist on community and site specific artistic projects, and has been awarded funding by recognised bodies to do this work.

Sinead has experience working with a wide range of people from various backgrounds on educational and arts based initiatives in higher education, community education, addiction rehabilitation, mental health and various arts contexts, and holds a doctorate in Fine Art from the National College of Art and Design in Dublin.


tel: 402 7617

email: 087 2119089

Engagement Outreach

Riona Fitzgerald

Engagement Outreach Manager

Riona has been working in DIT since 2000. Riona has managed a number of outreach programmes in DIT to include the Dublin Inner-city Schools Computerisation Programme (DISC), The Digital Community Programme and the Computer Learning in Communities Programme (CLiC). Riona was appointed to the role of Engagement Outreach Manager in the Access and Civic Engagement Office in 2015.

Riona's role includes working on a number of engagement outreach activities with particular focus on the Grangegorman Community. The work involves engaging with communities on a range of programmes to include Early Years, Primary Schools, Junior Cycle, Prep. for HE, Pathways Return to Learning, and Lifelong Learning., 

Riona qualified with a BSc. in Education from the University of Limerick in 1997 followed by a MEd.

(Lifelong Learning )  - Open University in 2006, Postgraduate Diploma in Educational Management from Trinity College Dublin in 2007.

email: riona.fitzgerald@dit.ie

phone: 01 4027614

mobile: 0876897059

Ian Roller

Ian Roller is a project coordinator working in Engagement and Outreach.

Ian Roller has been working in area of ICT in education for 25 years. Over this time he has taught video production and computer applications to all age groups from 8 to 80. 

Qualifications: higher certificate in Visual Media, a Diploma in IT and a Teaching Diploma in IT. 

Email: ian.roller@dit.ie

Tel: 01 4027627

Mobile: 087 9396970

Wendy Gannon


Wendy has been working with DIT since August 2005 starting as administrator for The Digital Community Project & DISC Programme. From 2009 Wendy was took on the additional responsibilities in supporting the The Community Links Manager. 

Wendy Gannon is one of the administrators for the DIT Access and Civic Engagement Office. 

Wendy also supports the area of Outreach and Engagement within the office. 

Email: wendy.gannon@dit.ie

Tel. 01 402 7613

Area Based Childhood (ABC)

Marianne Boyle

Project Officer

ABC Programme

Telephone: 402 4251

Email: marianne.boyle@dit.ie

Disability Support Service 

Deirdre Staunton

Head of Disability Support Service

email: deirdre.staunton@dit.ie
phone: (01) 402 7658
mobile: (086) 174 4955