Tipperary students receive Waterford Institute of Technology President’s Scholarships

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Tipperary students are among the 2017 recipients of the Waterford Institute of Technology (WIT) President’s Scholarship programme.

Emly first year student Louise McGrath, who is studying BA (Hons) Culinary Arts, and Burncourt BSc (Hons) in Agricultural Science student James Conway were recognised at an awards ceremony recently.

The scholarship scheme, which had its first cohort in 2016, encourages and rewards young people who show a capacity to shape a better society.

Each year, five exceptional undergraduate students are awarded scholarships with a total value of up to €12,000. Each President’s Scholar receives an annual bursary of €2,000 per year of study along with €500 per semester.

The President’s Scholarship programme had sought applications from individuals with attributes such as being creative, innovators, leaders and people who make significant contributions to community life. 

In her scholarship application, Louise McGrath outlined how she had the potential to shape future society. “In my application I showed how I had developed and succeeded in many different cooking competitions throughout my school years and the passion I had for cooking and that I used the passion I had for cooking in many different ways to help society like raising money for local charities like the Hospice and our local clubs by holding cake sales, and how my trip to Lourdes helped the society we are in today. I used my cooking skills to hold events to bring the community together,” the daughter of Mary and John McGrath said.

Louise applied for the President’s Scholarship when she discovered her achievements fitted the criteria. “I love the course I am studying in WIT as I can study what I am passionate about and fulfil a career in this line,” she continued.

Louise’s dreams for the future include becoming a successful chef and creating a good society around her passion with food. She hopes to open her own café in the long term.

Louise McGrath is studying BA (Hons) Culinary Arts at WIT. 

James Conway also outlined his potential to shape future society. “My previous understanding of a ‘scholarship’ was for academic overachievement or paranormal athletic powers but I said I’d give it a go as I was very interested in attending WIT. “Now, I was always diligent at the books in CBS [Secondary School, Mitchelstown] and also gave a good account of myself at school, club and county level GAA, but where I felt I carved a niche in society was through my contribution at local GAA youth referee/coaching roles and community volunteering which earned me a President’s Gaisce Bronze medal,” the son of Jim and Edel Conway said.

At broader societal level, James has submitted opinion to the Oireachtas Committee White Paper Consultation on geo-political issues. “I’ve also an interest in geo-political issues and won a coveted place on a student deputation to Israel in 2017 to observe and be educated about daily life in Israel so I could advocate and inform others of my finding,” James continued.

James also explained why he applied for the President’s Scholarship. “I read on the WIT website that the scholarship was new and innovative, which aimed to support individuals and allowing them to further their potential. I was already very interested in studying Ag. Science Level 8 in WIT, which is a university level institution in my locality, and attaining the scholarship would open interesting doors and offset expenses, so I gave it a good shot.

“What I now like about Ag. Science is the comradery among the lads on the course and how we support each other through the steep learning curve of third level life - both on campus and off,” he added.

First year student James’ dreams for the future include travel and postgraduate study.

Burncourt's James Conway is studying BSc (Hons) in Agricultural Science at WIT. 

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