3 May 2016

The Access and Civic Engagement Office held its Annual Volunteering Awards Ceremony on Tuesday 19th April last.  It was held in the beautiful St. Laurence’s Church on the Grangegorman Campus.  The night was a great success and celebrated volunteerism among Access Students, Disability Support Service Students and Access Foundation Programme Students. 


Over 50 DIT ACE students were honoured for their remarkable commitment to supporting ACE work over the past academic year. Students volunteered their time on a number of initiatives and events which included: Access Student Leadership Launchpad; Access Student Forum, Access Peer Mentoring; College Awareness Week; Better Options; Thursday Club and Yearly Tea Party for Local Pensioners; Access Foundation Programme Graduation Ceremony; Enterprise Ireland celebration of donation activity and Access Foundation Shadowing day. The success of these events and activities would not be possible without the commitment of our student volunteers.


Special awards were made to three outstanding Access students on the night.


Rachael Kavanagh completed her Certificate in DT360 and progressed onto Year 3 of DT365/3 and is the Chairperson of the DIT Access Student Forum for 2015/16.  Rachael has chaired the Student Forum, and has organised and held committee meetings, provided helpful feedback to the ACE Staff, and planned and delivered major events.  In 2014-15 Rachael completed the DIT ACE Leadership Launchpad programme, serving as a Peer Mentor for new first year students and leading on several projects.  The Access team thanked Rachael for all the time and work she put in as Chairperson of the Student Forum 2015/16.


Pierre Yimbog is a second year student in Law in DIT Aungier Street. This past year, Pierre served as the Secretary of the DIT Access Student Forum.  Pierre also has served as a member of the Student Leadership Launchpad 2015/16, and was very flexible and full of helpful ideas. He has given the ACE Office a huge amount of time this past year and we are very grateful.  The Access team thanked Pierre and wished him well as he embarks on his new role as DITSU College Officer.


Shannon Middleton is in third year of the Honours Degree in Accounting and Finance.  Shannon served as a member of the DIT ACE Leadership Launchpad during the 2014-15 academic year doing so very ably.  At the end of that year, Shannon was shortlisted for interview and was recruited as the Coordinator of the 2015-16 DIT ACE Leadership Launchpad.  This role has required hundreds of hours of planning and leadership on Shannon's part, which included leading a student team of Access Leaders, ensuring that projects were delivered to deadlines, leading on communications between the ACE office staff and the Student Leader team, partnering with the DIT Foundation and external partners such as Enterprise-Rent-A-Car, and countless other tasks.  She successfully organised the first overnight training session for Access Student Leaders in January 2016.  Her organisation skills were absolutely brilliant and it has been a privilege to see her communication skills develop and grow.  The Access team thanked Shannon, we know she will be an asset to any organisation in the future!


The event was attended by Professor Brian Norton, President of DIT, who described the awards ceremony as “excellent” and really capturing the significance of Access and Civic Engagement work.  Directors and Deans and representatives of all four Colleges in DIT also attended and described the event as “wonderful”. Students were presented with their awards by their College Director. Also in attendance were Dr Julie Bernard, Manager of Access and Civic Engagement Office, Ms Grainne Burke, Access Officer, who acted as Master of Ceremonies and Dr Noel O’Connor who closed the ceremony.     


The Access and Civic Engagement office were delighted to acknowledge the extent of volunteerism of the students.  Their commitment to volunteerism and giving back is an indication of the kinds of leaders these students will be in the future.


Access Foundation Programme Students


College of Engineering and Built Environment Students


Shannon Middleton


Professor Brian Norton and Rachael Kavanagh


Professor Brian Norton and Pierre Yimbog