Contributor of the Year Award
On 24 February 2016, Dr Anne Greene was honoured with the PDA Ireland Contributor of the Year award in recognition of her outstanding contribution and long-standing service to the PDA Ireland Chapter. Her actions have greatly advanced the success and strength of the Chapter. Anne’s nomination was unanimously approved by the Chapter Committee and its President, Dr Mike Morris, was delighted to present the award to Anne at a special function in Dublin.
PDA Ireland Chapter Committee Awards Second Level Bursary, Attends Young Scientist Programme
Ireland Chapter PDA Committee decided to set up a number of bursaries at the end of 2015 and this was approved by the membership at the annual general meeting in September 2015. One of these bursaries was for second level students who are participating in the BT Young Scientist of the Year programme. Consequently, schools were contacted and invited those students who were participating in the Young Scientist programme and who were working in the biological/life sciences area to consider submitting their project titles and a short abstract to the adjudicating committee of PDA Ireland Chapter for consideration for this bursary. The adjudicating committee consisted of the President of the Chapter, Dr. J.M. Morris and committee member Dr. Anne Greene.
Thirteen submissions were received most of which were not in the biological/life sciences area unfortunately and none was directly relevant to the work of PDA. Nevertheless, the Committee considered the submissions received and decided that the best project was one submitted by two students from Bandon Grammar School, Co. Cork in the area of mental health literacy levels in the school. The students were Emily Hamilton-Foott and Julie Giblin-Perrott supervised by teacher Moira Flynn. The overview of this project involved investigating the mental health literacy levels of pupils in a mixed-gender rural school and the aim was to try to develop tools to educate pupils better about mental health and understanding of the terminology used for certain common conditions such as depression, eating disorders and anxiety. The topic was well structured and the programme was well planned within the time and resources available to the two students.
Drs. Greene and Morris attended the Young Scientist Exhibition on Thursday 7th January 2016 to meet the girls and to discuss their project with them. A cheque for €200 to help to defray costs was sent to the school by the PDA Chapter Committee. A number of PDA t-shirts were printed and t-shirts were presented to the two winning students. In fact, given the small number of participating schools (13 applicants in total) t-shirts were presented to all of the participants and we did our best to meet with as many of them as possible and give them a t-shirt on the day and wish them all well in the competition. The schools who applied were - Bandon Grammar School, Bandon, Co. Cork, Colaiste An Spioraid Naoimh, Cork, De la Salle College, Waterford and CBS, Roscommon.
We considered that supporting these young scientists in these endeavours was a very worthwhile project and something that would help to spread a positive message about the function of PDA as a voluntary organisation.