Newcastle's Paul O'Dwyer wins panel award at Making an Impact competition

Newcastle's Paul O'Dwyer wins panel award at Making an Impact competition

Newcastle's Paul O’Dwyer is one of the winners of this year’s ‘Making an Impact’ competition.

A self-funded postgraduate researcher in the School of Humanities at Waterford Institute of Technology (WIT), Paul O’Dwyer from Newcastle, is one of the winners of this year’s ‘Making an Impact’ competition organised by the Higher Education Authority (HEA) in conjunction with the Irish Independent.
Two awards of €2,500, sponsored by the Irish Independent, were awarded to two individual winners, one of whom was picked by the panel and the other by second level students in the audience by vote. The final took place at The Helix, Dublin City University, where each researcher had a maximum of ten minutes to make their presentation, followed by a brief question and answer session with an expert panel.
Paul's family which includes his parents John and Marian, brother Niall, sister-in-law Caroline, and aunts, uncles and cousins in Newcastle, Ardfinnan and Goatenbridge are delighted with his achievement. 
Paul's masters is investigating the prevalence of institutional racism in Ireland via Irish workplaces. His communication of this research saw him win the panel’s choice award.
Paul competed against four finalists including a colleague from the School of Humanities, Dayna Killian. Prior to starting out as a researcher at WIT, he completed the Honours Bachelor of Arts in Criminal Justice Studies programme, graduating in October 2015. He received the Humanities Student of the Year award that same year. 
“I don't think words have been invented yet to describe how I feel about being the panel's choice,” Paul said after the event.
“A big shout out to my supervisors Jonathan Culleton and Jennifer O’Mahoney is necessary; I'd be lost without them regarding my research progress. Hopefully the event will start the public conversation towards improving race relations and diversity in Ireland,” he added.
Head of Research, Innovation and Graduate Studies at WIT, Dr. Peter McLoughlin, said WIT is “delighted” with Paul's achievement. “[It’s] a vindication of his commitment to enhance our awareness of institutional racism,  a topic which currently resonates strongly internationally,” Dr. McLoughlin concluded.