Tipperary student aiming to make an impact in national final

Tipperary student aiming to make an impact in national final

Pictured at WIT's College Street campus is Newcastle's Paul O'Dwyer, finalist in the upcoming Making an Impact competition.

A Newcastle student is amongst five finalists in this year’s ‘Making an Impact’ competition organised by the Higher Education Authority in conjunction with the Irish Independent.

WIT postgraduate researcher at the Department of Applied Arts, Paul O’Dwyer, will have a maximum of ten minutes to make his presentation at The Helix, Dublin City University, on Wednesday 16 November.

Paul’s entry is titled ‘Institutional Racism in the Irish Workplace’ and is entirely self-funded. His presentation will be followed by a brief question and answer session with an expert panel.

“My masters is investigating the prevalence of institutional racism in Ireland via Irish workplaces. To do this, I am using a mixed methods approach to my research; a large scale case analysis of complaints brought before the Workplace Relations Commission (formerly the Equality Tribunal and other organisations) and the Labour Court, and participant interviews of Commission staff and legal professionals identified through the case analysis. This original research will be paired with a review of literature that aims to chart the development of institutional racism in general and in Ireland specifically, as well as the various factors that are connected to institutional racism,” CBS High School Clonmel graduate Paul explains.

Two awards of €2,500, sponsored by the Irish Independent, will be awarded to two individual winners, one of whom will be picked by the panel and the other by second level students in the audience by vote. There were over 200 entries from higher education institutions across Ireland and the finalists will be charged with effectively communicating their research to a lay audience.

Vice-president for Research, Innovation and Graduate Studies at WIT, Dr. Peter McLoughlin, says WIT is “extremely proud” of Paul reaching the final.

Prior to starting out as a researcher at WIT, Paul completed the three year BA (Hons) in Criminal Justice Studies, graduating in October 2015. He received the Humanities Student of the Year award in 2015, and hopes to go on to do further study in sociology and ethics and work as a lecturer/consultant.

Paul’s family, including his parents John and Marian, brother Niall, sister-in-law Caroline, and extended family of aunts, uncles and cousins in Newcastle, Ardfinnan and Goatenbridge, will be cheering him on come November 16.