NUI Galway Announce 2017 Honorary Degrees Recipients

May 31 2017 Posted: 15:16 IST

Fintan O’Toole, Dr Kristina Johnson, John MacNamara and Professor Jane Grimson 

NUI Galway today (Monday, 15 May) announced the recipients of the University’s 2017 Honorary Degrees. The four individuals to be conferred on Friday, 9 June are The Irish Times journalist, Fintan O’Toole; Engineer and former US Under Secretary for Energy, Dr Kristina Johnson; businessman John McNamara; and first TCD female engineering graduate, Professor Jane Grimson

Speaking on the announcement, NUI Galway President, Dr Jim Browne said:  “NUI Galway is fortunate to be associated with many outstanding honorary graduates throughout its history and those being honoured this year form a particularly distinguished group. Each one has made an outstanding and distinctive contribution to the diverse fields of literature and journalism, business, science and engineering, public administration and philanthropy. NUI Galway is very pleased to be in a position to recognise these exceptional individuals.”

Fintan O'Toole 
Fintan O'Toole is a columnist with The Irish Times and winner of the 2017 European Press Prize for commentary. He is also Leonard L. Milberg visiting lecturer in Irish Letters at Princeton University. 

Born in Dublin in 1958, he has been drama critic of In Dublin magazine, The Sunday Tribune, the New York Daily News, and The Irish Times and Literary Adviser to the Abbey Theatre. He contributes regularly to the New York Review of Books and The Guardian.

His new book on Bernard Shaw will appear in 2017 and Modern Ireland in 100 Artworks, which he edited, has recently been published by the Royal Irish Academy. Other books include A History of Ireland in 100 Objects, Enough is Enough, Ship of Fools,  The Irish Times Book of the 1916 Rising, White Savage: William Johnson and The Invention of America,  Shakespeare is Hard but so is Life;  and A Traitor’s Kiss: The Life of Richard Brinsley Sheridan

Kristina M. Johnson
Dr Kristina Johnson received her B.S., M.S. and PhD in electrical engineering from Stanford University, and is currently the CEO of Cube Hydro Partners.  Prior to Cube Hydro, Dr Johnson was the Under Secretary of the United States Department of Energy.

She has been Provost and Senior Vice-President for Academic Affairs at the Johns Hopkins University, Dean of the Pratt School of Engineering at Duke University, Professor at the University of Colorado at Boulder and was a NATO post-doctoral fellow at Trinity College Dublin.

Dr Johnson’s academic awards include the Dennis Gabor Prize for creativity and innovation in modern optics, the John Fritz Medal (2008), widely considered the highest award in the engineering profession and is a member of the National Academy of Engineering.

She received the Society of Women Engineers Lifetime Achievement Award, the Woman of Vision Award for Leadership by the Anita Borg Institute for Women and Technology (2010), “40 years of Title IX -  40 Women Who Have Made an Impact” by ESPNW.

Recognized for her work in technology transfer and entrepreneurship by the States of Colorado and North Carolina, she received the 2010 Milton Steward Award from the Small Business Technology Council (SBTC) and co-founded ColorLink, Inc., which was sold to RealD, and is responsible for 3D effects in movies such as Avatar, Gravity and 300 others.

Dr Johnson serves on the board of directors of Cisco Systems and AES.

She has published 149 refereed articles and holds 118 U.S. and International patents.  She has received honorary degrees from the University of Alabama at Huntsville, Tufts University, Trinity College, Dublin and McGill University, Montreal, Canada

John MacNamara
John MacNamara was born in Dublin in 1944 and raised from an early age in Birr Co. Offaly. He received his primary education in Birr and boarded in St. Flannan’s College Ennis for his secondary education, completing his Leaving Cert there in 1961.

In 1962 he joined the National Bank, subsequently the Bank of Ireland, serving in different roles in Dublin up to 1982 when he moved to Galway as Regional Manager for Galway and Mayo. In September 1990 he was appointed General Manager West with responsibility for 81 branches over 10 counties. He retired from the Bank in 2001. He holds a BComm and MEconSc from UCD.

John is married to Mary and they have four children and seven grandchildren. Three of John and Mary’s children attended NUI Galway for their undergraduate study, with two receiving postgraduate qualifications.

John joined the Board of Galway University Foundation on its establishment in 1998 at the invitation of the then President of NUI Galway, Dr Patrick F. Fottrell, and has gone on to serve four terms as Chairman. Under his leadership, and with the support of the directors, chief executive and staff of the Foundation, significant philanthropic funds have been raised for the infrastructure of the campus.

Since 1998 the Foundation has raised over €145 million directly from philanthropy, leveraging significant additional matching funds, thus enabling over €200 million of investment for flagship University buildings including the new Sports Centre, Bailey Allen Wing and Cultural Centre, Lifecourse Institute, Biomedical Sciences Building, Alice Perry Engineering Building, Lambe Institute for Translational Research and O’Donoghue Centre for Drama, Theatre and Performance.

Since his retirement John has served on the board of the Western Development Commission and on the Galway Harbour Board. John has also been involved in charitable and social causes and is currently Chairman of Cancer Care West.

Jane Grimson
Professor Jane Grimson was the first woman to graduate with a degree in Engineering from Trinity College following which she obtained her masters and doctorate in Computer Science from the Universities of Toronto and Edinburgh, respectively. She returned to Trinity as a lecturer in 1980 where she also served as Dean of Engineering, Pro-Dean of Research and Vice Provost. Prior to her retirement in 2014, she was seconded as Director of Health Information and then as Acting Chief Executive of the Health Information and Quality Authority.

She has published widely in the field of Health Informatics and was awarded the O’Moore Medal in 2007 for her contribution to the field. Jane is also a Past President of Engineers Ireland, the Irish Academy of Engineering, the Healthcare Informatics Society of Ireland and the Irish Computer Society. She is a Chartered Engineer, a Fellow and Vice President of the Royal Irish Academy and of the Royal Academy of Engineering. She served as Chair of the Irish Research Council for Science, Engineering and Technology, was a member of the Board of Science Foundation Ireland, of the European Research Advisory Board, and of the Executive the European Science Foundation. Jane is currently a member of the Health Research Board and of the Council of the Royal Irish Academy.

Jane has been involved for many years in the initiatives to promote the recruitment, retention and promotion of women in engineering and in academia. She was involved in the establishment of the STEPS programme in Engineers Ireland and WiSER (Women in Science and Engineering Research) at Trinity College) and is an active member of WITS (Women in Science and Technology). She chaired the Gender Equality Task Force at NUI Galway from 2015-2016 and is currently a member of the Advisory Committee on Gender Equality at the University.


Céimithe Oinigh 2017 Fógartha ag OÉ Gaillimh

Fintan O’Toole, an Dr Kristina Johnson, John MacNamara agus an tOllamh Jane Grimson 

D’fhógair OÉ Gaillimh inniu (Dé Luain, 15 Bealtaine) na daoine a mbronnfar Céimeanna Oinigh na hOllscoile 2017 orthu. Bronnfar na céimeanna oinigh Dé hAoine, an 9 Meitheamh ar iriseoir The Irish Times, Fintan O’Toole; Innealtóir agus iar-Fho-Rúnaí Fuinnimh na Stát Aontaithe, an Dr Kristina Johnson; an fear gnó John MacNamara; agus an chéad chéimí innealtóireachta ban i gColáiste na Tríonóide, an tOllamh Jane Grimson.

Ag labhairt dó faoin bhfógra, dúirt Uachtarán OÉ Gaillimh, an Dr Jim Browne:  “Tá an t-ádh le OÉ Gaillimh céimithe oinigh den scoth a bheith aige in imeacht na mblianta agus is cinnte gur grúpa ar leith iad céimithe oinigh na bliana seo. Tá a c(h)ion féin déanta ag gach céimí oinigh daoibh i réimsí éagsúla na litríochta agus na hiriseoireachta, an ghnó, na heolaíochta agus na hinnealtóireachta, an riaracháin phoiblí agus an daonchairdis. Tá an-áthas ar OÉ Gaillimh a bheith in ann aitheantas a thabhairt do na daoine eisceachtúla seo.”

Fintan O'Toole 
Is colúnaí é Fintan O'Toole le The Irish Times agus bhuaigh sé Duais Phreas na hEorpa do thráchtaireacht in 2017. Chomh maith leis sin tá sé ag feidhmiú mar léachtóir ar cuairt Leonard L. Milberg i Litríocht na hÉireann in Ollscoil Princeton. 

Rugadh é i mBaile Átha Cliath in 1958, agus bhí sé ina léirmheastóir drámaíochta leis an iris In Dublin, The Sunday Tribune, an New York Daily News, agus The Irish Times agus bhí sé freisin ina Chomhairleoir Liteartha le hAmharclann na Mainistreach. Scríobhann sé go minic don New York Review of Books agus The Guardian.

Foilseofar a leabhar nua faoi Bernard Shaw in 2017 and le déanaí d’fhoilsigh Acadamh Ríoga na hÉireann Modern Ireland in 100 Artworks, atá curtha in eagar aige. I measc a chuid leabhar eile tá A History of Ireland in 100 Objects, Enough is Enough, Ship of Fools,  The Irish Times Book of the 1916 Rising, White Savage: William Johnson agus The Invention of America,  Shakespeare is Hard but so is Life;  agus A Traitor’s Kiss: The Life of Richard Brinsley Sheridan

Kristina M. Johnson
Bhain an Dr Kristina Johnson BS, MS agus PhD amach san innealtóireacht leictreach in Ollscoil Stanford, agus tá sí faoi láthair ina Príomhfheidhmeannach ar Cube Hydro Partners.  Sula ndeachaigh sí chuig Cube Hydro, bhí an Dr Johnson ina Fo-Rúnaí i Roinn Fuinnimh Stáit Aontaithe Mheiriceá.

Bhí sí ina Propast agus ina Leas-Uachtarán Sinsearach do Ghnóthaí Acadúla in Ollscoil Johns Hopkins, bhí sí ina Déan ar Scoil Innealtóireachta Pratt in Ollscoil Duke, bhí sí ina hOllamh in Ollscoil Colorado in Boulder agus bhí sí freisin ina comhalta iardhochtúireachta NATO i gColáiste na Tríonóide, Baile Átha Cliath.

I measc na ngradam acadúil atá bainte amach ag an Dr Johnson tá Duais Dennis Gabor do chruthaitheacht agus nuálaíocht in optaic nua-aimseartha, Bonn John Fritz (2008), a mheastar ar an ngradam is airde i ngairm na hinnealtóireachta agus is comhalta í den Acadamh Náisiúnta Innealtóireachta. 

Bronnadh Gradam Saoil Chumann na nInnealtóirí Ban uirthi, bhronn Institiúid Anita Borg do Mhná agus do Theicneolaíocht Gradam Woman of Vision as Ceannaireacht uirthi (2010), agus bhronn ESPNW “40 years of Title IX - 40 Women Who Have Made an Impact” uirthi.

Fuair sí aitheantas as a cuid oibre in aistriú teicneolaíochta agus fiontraíocht i Stáit Colorado agus North Carolina, bhronn Comhairle Teicneolaíochta na nGnólachtaí Beaga (SBTC) Gradam Milton Steward 2010 uirthi agus chomhbhunaigh sí ColorLink, Inc., a díoladh le RealD, agus atá freagrach as éifeachtaí 3D i scannáin cosúil le Avatar, Gravity agus 300 ceann eile nach iad.

Tá an Dr Johnson ar bhord stiúrthóirí Cisco Systems agus AES.

Tá 149 alt measúnaithe foilsithe aici agus tá 118 paitinn SAM agus Idirnáisiúnta aici.  Bhronn Ollscoil Alabama ag Huntsville, Ollscoil Tufts, Coláiste na Tríonóide, Baile Átha Cliath agus Ollscoil McGill, Montréal, Ceanada céimeanna oinigh uirthi.

John MacNamara
Rugadh John MacNamara i mBaile Átha Cliath sa bhliain 1944 agus is i mBiorra, Co. Uíbh Fhailí a tógadh é ó bhí sé an-óg. Chuaigh sé ar an mbunscoil i mBiorra agus d’fhreastail sé ar mheánscoil chónaitheach i gColáiste Fhlannáin, Inis áit a ndearna sé an Ardteistiméireacht in 1961.

 In 1962 thosaigh sé ag obair leis an mBanc Náisiúnta, Banc na hÉireann mar a tugadh air ina dhiaidh sin, áit a raibh róil éagsúla aige i mBaile Átha Cliath go dtí 1982 nuair a bhog sé go Gaillimh chun feidhmiú mar Bhainisteoir Réigiúnach na Gaillimhe agus Mhaigh Eo. I Meán Fómhair 1990 ceapadh é mar Bhainisteoir Ginearálta an Iarthair agus bhí freagracht air as 81 brainse i mbreis agus deich gcontae. Chuaigh sé ar scor ón mBanc sa bhliain 2001. Tá BComm agus MEconSc aige ón gColáiste Ollscoile, Baile Átha Cliath.

 Tá John pósta le Mary agus tá ceathrar clainne orthu agus seachtar garpháistí. D’fhreastail triúr de ghasúir John agus Mary ar OÉ Gaillimh agus iad i mbun na fochéime, agus bhain beirt acu cáilíochtaí iarchéime amach san Ollscoil.

 Chuaigh John ar Bhord Fhondúireacht Ollscoil na Gaillimhe nuair a bunaíodh é in 1998 ar chuireadh ón Uachtarán a bhí ar OÉ Gaillimh ag an am sin, an Dr Patrick F. Fottrell, agus tá ceithre théarma curtha isteach aige mar Chathaoirleach ó shin. Faoina cheannaireacht, agus le tacaíocht ó stiúrthóirí, ó phríomhfheidhmeannach agus ó fhoireann na Fondúireachta, bailíodh cistí daonchairdiúla suntasacha le haghaidh infreastruchtúr an champais.

 Ó 1998 i leith tá breis agus €145 milliún bailithe ag an bhFondúireacht go díreach ó dhaonchairdeas, agus úsáideadh é sin le cómhaoiniú suntasach a aimsiú, rud a chiallaigh go rabhthas in ann níos mó ná €200 milliún a infheistiú i bhfoirgnimh thábhachtacha de chuid na hOllscoile, leithéidí an tIonad Spóirt nua, Sciathán agus Ionad Cultúrtha Bailey Allen, Áras Innealtóireachta Alice Perry, Institiúid Lambe don Taighde Aistritheach agus Ionad Uí Dhonnchadha don Drámaíocht, an Amharclannaíocht agus an Taibhléiriú.

 Ó chuaigh sé ar scor bhí John ag feidhmiú ar bhord Choimisiún Forbartha an Iarthair agus ar Bhord Chalafort na Gaillimhe. Bhí baint ag John freisin le cúinsí carthanachta agus sóisialta agus tá sé ina Chathaoirleach ar Chúram Ailse an Iarthair i láthair na huaire.

Jane Grimson
Ba í an tOllamh Jane Grimson an chéad bhean ar bronnadh céim Innealtóireachta uirthi i gColáiste na Tríonóide, agus ina dhiaidh sin bhain sí máistreacht agus dochtúireacht amach sa Ríomheolaíocht in Ollscoileanna Toronto agus Dhún Éideann, faoi seach. D’fhill sí ar Choláiste na Tríonóide mar léachtóir in 1980 áit a raibh sí ina Déan Innealtóireachta, ina Leas-Déan Taighde agus ina Leas-Phropast. Sula ndeachaigh sí ar scor in 2014, tógadh ar iasacht í óna post agus í ceaptha ina Stiúrthóir Faisnéise Sláinte agus ansin ina Príomhfheidhmeannach Gníomhach leis an Údarás um Fhaisnéis agus Cáilíocht Sláinte.

Tá ábhar go leor foilsithe aici i réimse na Faisnéisíochta Sláinte agus bronnadh Bonn O’Moore uirthi in 2007 as ucht a cuid oibre sa réimse sin. Bhí Jane ina hUachtarán freisin tráth ar Institiúid Innealtóirí na hÉireann, ar Acadamh Innealtóireachta na hÉireann, ar Chumann Faisnéisíochta Sláinte na hÉireann, agus ar Chumann Ríomhaireachta na hÉireann. Is Innealtóir Cairte í, agus is Comhalta agus Leas-Uachtarán í ar Acadamh Ríoga na hÉireann agus ar Acadamh Ríoga na hInnealtóireachta. Bhí sí ina Cathaoirleach ar Chomhairle Taighde na hÉireann um Eolaíocht, Innealtóireacht agus Theicneolaíocht, bhí sí ina ball de Bhord Fhondúireacht Eolaíochta Éireann, de Bhord Comhairleach Taighde na hEorpa, agus bhí sí ina Feidhmeannach ar Fhondúireacht Eolaíochta na hEorpa. Faoi láthair is ball í Jane den Bhord Taighde Sláinte agus de Chomhairle Acadamh Ríoga na hÉireann.

Tá Jane ag obair le blianta ar thionscnaimh chun earcaíocht, coinneáil agus ardú céime na mban san innealtóireacht agus i gcúrsaí léinn a chur chun cinn. Bhí lámh aici i mbunú an chláir STEPS in Institiúid Innealtóirí na hÉireann agus WiSER (Mná i dTaighde Eolaíochta agus Innealtóireachta) i gColáiste na Tríonóide agus is ball gníomhach í de WITS (Mná in Eolaíocht agus Teicneolaíocht). Bhí sí ina Cathaoirleach ar an Tascfhórsa ar Chomhionannas Inscne in OÉ Gaillimh ó 2015-2016 agus tá sí faoi láthair ina ball den Choiste Comhairleach ar Chomhionannas Inscne san Ollscoil.


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