Vicky’s values embodied in new academic award

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At the announcement of the inaugural Vicky Phelan Research Chair in Equality and Access to Education were Prof Veronica Campbell, of the South East Technological University (SETU), Dr Méabh Savage inaugural honorary Chair recipient and Vicky Phelan.

A LECTURER in the School of Humanities at the South East Technological University (SETU) is the first recipient of the Vicky Phelan Chair in Equality and Access to Education which was established to honour the Limerick-based women’s health advocate.

Dr Méabh Savage will receive a research grant for the three year period of the appointment to establish how SETU can widen access to education, with a specific focus on women.

SETU President Designate Prof Veronica Campbell said that “the award embodies the values of the new University and the importance of equal access to education for all. SETU will strive to be a pioneer in the field of access to higher education, with a particular focus on inclusion”.

Dr Savage said it was an honour progress equality-based research in Vicky Phelan’s name. It also brought with it a considerable degree of responsibility, given Vicky’s drive for challenging injustice.

”I hope to elevate an important social justice issue which impacts on the position of asylum seeking and refugee mothers and girls, and in doing so highlight the importance of values of solidarity and relationality to bringing about educational equality.”

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Dr Helen Murphy, Head of the SETU School of Education and Lifelong Learning said the Honorary Research Chair named after “our friend and former colleague Vicky Phelan” aims to embed the values that Vicky stands for with the values of SETU.

“The Honorary Chair aims to create a long lasting link between Vicky, her family and the University.

“The values embodied by Vicky are ones that the SETU community hold dear; strength, courage, determination, resilience, openness, leadership, wisdom and a willingness to put aside one’s own personal considerations for the betterment of society”.