THE Waterford Institute of Technology (WIT) has announced the creation of an honorary research chair named after Honorary Fellow of WIT, Vicky Phelan.
The successful applicant will have access to a research grant for the period of the appointment (three years) and will conduct research into how we widen access into education, with a specific focus on women. They will be entitled to use the title ‘The Vicky Phelan Chair in Equality and Access to Education’ for the duration of the bursary.
The announcement comes as the WIT community gathered to acknowledge the work and achievements on International Women’s Day of their former colleague and friend, with the Vicky Phelan Portrait in situ.
Dr Helen Murphy, Head of the School of Education & Lifelong Learning in WIT, said: “We are here today to create a long lasting link between Vicky, her family and the institute. Vicky has not only provided motivation and inspiration to the community of WIT, but also to the women of Ireland and, indeed, to society at large.
“The Vicky Phelan Chair in Equality and Access to Education embeds values that the WIT community hold dear: strength, courage, determination, resilience, openness, leadership, wisdom, the ability to overcome adversity and a willingness to put aside one’s own personal considerations for the betterment of society,” she added.
The Vicky Phelan Chair in Equality and Access to Education will be awarded to a current member of staff in WIT following an internal competitive process.
The WIT community gathered on International Women’s Day to acknowledge Vicky’s work and achievements. WIT staff and students in attendance were joined by members of Vicky’s family, along with Vicky’s lifelong friend David Brennan who purchased the portrait at auction.
The artist, Vincent Devine spoke on the heartfelt story behind the creation of the painting. The aim of the event on WIT’s main campus was to raise funds for two charities close to Vicky’s heart – the Solas Cancer Support Centre in Waterford and the Shona Project. Anyone who wishes to make a donation to either charity can do so at: www.idonate.ie/VickiPhelan PortraitExpoMar22.