GALLERY| Longford students honoured for outstanding achievement in AIT

Longford Leader Reporter

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Athlone Institute of Technology’s Department of Social Sciences recently held an honours list ceremony celebrating the academic success of its high achieving students.

Fifty five students, including five from Longford, across four programmes received a cumulative grade point average of 70% - meeting the threshold for the special award which is intended to acknowledge academic excellence throughout the student lifecycle.

Among those receiving commendations were students from the Bachelor of Science (Hons) in Applied Psychology, the Bachelor of Arts (Hons) in Social Care Practice, the Bachelor of Arts in Early Years Care and Education and the Bachelor of Arts in Applied Social Studies.

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The five Longford recipients were; Danielle Downes, Killashee; Maria McLoughlin, Prospect Wood, Longford town; Nicola Fagan; Tony Kilkenny, Ballymahon and Eniola Omotade, Prospect Wood, Longford town.

Dr Oliver Hegarty, who is the Head of Department of Social Sciences at Athlone Institute of Technology, said the honours list was extremely “meaningful to students” and that it encouraged students to excel in their field of study.

“When we first launched the initiative in 2018, it was met with an incredibly positive response from staff and students alike. Those who achieved the award last year said it motivated them to sustain a high level of academic engagement and commitment to their studies to ensure that they met the threshold for this year’s list, while those that fell shy of the award said the honours list was the single biggest motivator to improve academically,” he explained.

This was a sentiment echoed by Dr Don Faller, the institute’s Dean of Faculty of Science and Health, who added that he hoped it would encourage recipients to maintain the same level of commitment to their studies throughout the remainder of their degrees.

Dr Ashling Jackson, a senior lecturer in the Department of Social Sciences, also congratulated the award recipients, calling it a 'significant achievement'.

“The honours list ceremony now forms an integral part of our academic calendar and provides a wonderful opportunity to celebrate student accomplishment throughout the student lifecycle. I wish each student continued success in their studies and career paths,” she said.

Presiding over the ceremony was President of Athlone Institute of Technology, Professor Ciarán Ó Catháin, who commended the 55 high achieving students on their scholarship and encouraged them to consider pursuing postgraduate research upon completion of their undergraduate degrees.

Reaffirming the institute’s commitment to giving its students every possible opportunity to succeed - ultimately ensuring the continued prosperity of the Midlands region – Professor Ó Catháin told attendees that the institute would aid those interested in attaining a Master of Research or a PhD by waiving fees and offering a yearly stipend to help offset living expenses.

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