The American Irish corporate Award!
I was so chuffed last night to receive the inaugural 'Cairdeas' (societal impact) award from the American Chamber of Commerce Ireland.
It was presented to me by Mark Gantly, President of the Chamber, in recognition of my activities over many years promoting Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) amongst people of all ages, of all backgrounds, from Galway, across Ireland, Africa and the Middle East.
It was quite emotional to hear testimonials at the event from people such as Emma Meehan of Cisco who told how she was inspired as a pre-teen primary school pupil to pursue a career in technology thanks to workshops and computer equipment we gave to her school class twelve years ago.
As an education & public engagement officer since 2001, I have been so fortunate to have been given opportunities by the Insight Centre for Data Analytics, DERI, Galway Education Centre, SAP, Galway Science and Technology Festival, Medtronic, Galway Atlantaquaria, Coderdojo, and University College Galway to educate and upskill children, teenagers and older peoples in coding, digital media, environmental science, engineering etc so that they could be empowered to improve their lives, their communities and to secure sustainable careers in new web technologies.
I have also being blessed to have being inspired by individual visionaries, collaborators, educationalists, science researchers, business leaders, environmentalists, societal leaders, community activists and role models such as Bernard Kirk, Brian Wall, Mike Turley, Claire Duval, Professor Mathieu D'Aquin, Michael D Higgins, Ciaran Cannon, Chris Coughlan, Jimmy Brown, Marie Mannion, Anne Murray, Batoul HusseinI, Caroline Healy, Ollie Daniels, Karl Sweeney, Simon Lenihan, Patrick McGovern, Carole Raftery, Enda O'Connell, Eoin Jordan, Lol Hardiman, Helen Caird, Niall O'Brolchain, Ihab Salawdeh, Lukasz Porwol, Arek Stasiewicz, Bianca Pereira, Agustín García Pereira, John Breslin, Adegboyega Ojo, Aksana Azava, Ciarán Ó hÓgartaigh, Caroline Cawley, Brian Walsh, Duncan Stewart, John O’Sullivan, Catherine Seale, Ibrahim Khafagy, Julie Cleverdon, Mootketsi Tegere, Martin Serrano, Lorraine Tansey, Colin Lawton, Michel Dugon, Noel Treacy, Aoibheann Bird, Cushla Dromgool Regan, Sarah Knight, Liam Brennan, Muriel Grenon, Noirin Burke, Garry Kendellen, Sheila Greaney, Colette Lavin, Tommy Flaherty, Frank Gavin, Hung Ngo, Kay Synott, Caitriona Carlin, Geische Kindermann, Tom Cuffe, Caroline Stanley, Colin Stanley, Jessamyn Fairfield, Padraic Keirns, Nikunj Sakhrelia, Michael McDonnell, Margaret Douglas, Sabrina Cummins, Fiona O’Donovan, Tiarnan McCusker, Catherine Cunningham, Justine Delaney, Michael Madden, Daniel Raven-Ellison, Edward Skehill, Dick Delaney, Tom Hanley, Laurence Daly, Caitríona Nic Mhuiris, Frank McCurry, Tom Frawley, Liam Ferrie, Pat Moran, Gerry Kilcommins, Tom Hyland, Patrick Collins, Lorraine McIllarth, Rachel Quinlan, Derrick Hambleton, Ann Irwin, Dan Clabby, Martina Finn, Peter Butler, Tina O'Connell, Kate Howard, Martin Brennan, Felicity Gillespie, Michael Tiernan, Douglas Rafter, Mary Kyne, Mags Amond, Thomas O Dúbhda, Mags Amond, Terry Morley, John Power, Niamh Costello, Colm Canny, Micheal O Cinneide, Denis Goggin, Phil James, Nollaig McGuinness, James Harrold, Cllr Frank Fahey, Mark Lohan, Catherine Connolly, Eamon O Cuiv, Elaine O'Riordan, Clare Riordan, Mairead Farrell, Terry O'Flaherty, Diarmuid Keaney, Micheal Keaney, Micheline Sheehy Skeffington, Brian Barrett, Terry McDermott, Siobhan McEvoy, Feargal Timon, Jonathan Hannan, Eoin Gill, Sheila Domegan as well as countless teachers/principals such as Cepta Stephens, Maire Keady Baker, Kate Murray, Nuala Dalton, John Duggan, Martina Tarpey, Leo Hallissey, Ger O'Dowd, Irene Mc Goldrick, Caroline Bond, Finbarr O'Regan, Niall Ó Ceallaigh, Maria Burke, Niall Coll, Teresa O'Dowd, Anne Burke, Mait O Bradaigh, Anne McGrath, Celine McCormick, John Reilly, Frank Keane, Catherine Harrington, Michelle Kerrigan, Catherine Hickey, Davina Daly, Mary Smith, Mary Howley, Colin McCaul, Aoife Winters, Barry Maguire, Mary Dillon, Maire Browne, Pat Keane, Orla Doyle, Martin Faherty, Sean Tuohy, Grainne Dooley... who I have worked with a lot over so many years.
With the world in such a deepening crisis due to climate chaos, biodiversity loss, political instability and rising social inequality, benign technology and science research and its' application is critical in coming up with solutions that can help save the planet and human society from the excesses and narrow-minded greed of much of human civilization.
Furthermore, as Tina O'Connell alludes too, Science and Technology without the Arts, and indeed Heritage and Culture, is incomplete. Which is way I have always practised a holistic approach towards teaching and mentoring.
Photo shows (L-R): Mark Redmond (CEO of the American Chamber of Commerce), Mark Gantly (President of the American Chamber of Commerce), myself and President Ciarán Ó hÓgartaigh (NUI Galway).
Finally a big thank you to my beloved wife Cepta for her endless patience and kindness in allowing me the space over so many decades to spend so many days and nights on work and volunteer assignments. A true angel!