MSU Leadership Series

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The MSU Leadership Series wants to inspire leadership and encourage minority, oppressed and under-represented groups to run for positions of leadership.

Diversity has never been stronger across Irish campuses. However, research has shown that this diversity isn't reflected in the type of student who runs for leadership positions.

What MSU and the world needs are more people from different backgrounds to bring their experiences and student story to the decision tables. 

That is why we are running this Leadership Series. Each episode will focus on a different theme and demographics. This is your chance to hear from inspiring leaders, ask some questions and consider the next step of your leadership journey.

Please come along and get inspired by an impressive panel of leaders.

Episode 1: Student Representation Leaders.

1pm. Tuesday, 11th February.
Your Space, MSU Student Centre

Hear MSUs current Executive Team share their stories about how they got involved in student representation. Ask them some questions about what it's like to be a full-time student leader. With nominations for the MSU Elections opening on Wednesday, this is a great chance to get the inside information!

In Conversation: Katie Deegan (MSU President); Michael Butler (MSU Vice President, Education); Ciarán Watts (MSU Vice President, Welfare & Equality); Paul Kenny (MSU Vice President, Clubs Societies & Student Engagement)

Episode 2: Women In Leadership.

1pm. Wednesday, 12th February.
Your Space, MSU Student Centre

Episode 2 will showcase the stories of 3 women who have embodied leadership in their respective fields.
In Conversation:

Vicki Phelan (Author & Women's Health Advocate)
Following wrongly reported test results as part of the national cervical screening programme, Vicki took the decision to make public her experience and expose the screening programme and the healthcare system to much-needed examination. In her steadfast refusal to be silenced, Vicky Phelan has surrendered her anonymity and has become a national voice for the voiceless. In doing so, she has given immeasurable service to this country.

Síona Cahill (Activist, Feminist & Shortlisted ‘Women in Youth Activism’)
After completing her studies at Maynooth University Síona served two terms as Maynooth University’s Students’ Union's Vice President for Welfare & Equality. She then went on to serve as President and CEO of the Union of Students in Ireland, an organisation representing over 374,000 students across the island of Ireland. Most recently Síona was shortlisted for the 2019 Women of Europe Awards in the Women in Youth Activism category.

Katie Deegan (MSU President)
Katie was heavily involved in both the Students' Union and Societies during her studies at Maynooth. She then went on to serve for a year as Vice President, Education for Maynooth Students' Union and is the current President after her election last year. Katie made this Series a part of her manifesto in order to encourage more students to consider positions of leadership.

Episode 3: People of Colour & Ethnic Minorities in Leadership.

1pm. Monday, 17th February.
Your Space, MSU Student Centre

In Conversation:

Dr. Ebun Joseph? (Author & Diversity Advocate)
Dr Ebun Joseph is the module coordinator in UCD of the first Black Studies module in Ireland. She lectures on race, migration, social policy and equality. She is a career-development specialist, author and chairperson of the African Scholars Association Ireland (AfSAI). She is a citizen of both Nigeria and Ireland, and has lived in Ireland for more than 17 years.

Kathleen Cunningham (Student Teacher)
After leaving home at 15, Kathleen spent 9 years travelling around Australia learning about Aboriginal Indigenous culture. She became aware of similarities in how our own Irish Traveller people experience similar issues as the Aboriginal Australians with a disruption to culture and communities, displacement and substance issues. Currently studying to become a teacher, Kathleen hopes to steer young people in disadvantage towards third-level education and a better quality of life.

Leon Diop (Student Leadership Advocate)
Leon will be well known to many on-campus after serving 2 terms as President of MSU. This position was the culmination of Leon holding many representative roles across the Union. Since leaving Maynooth Leon has been working in Higher Education with responsibility for furthering student engagement.

Episode 4: LGBTQIA+ in Leadership.

1pm. Tuesday, 18th February.
Your Space, MSU Student Centre

In Conversation:

Noah Halpin (Transgender & Non-binary Advocate)
Founder of This is Me Ireland, an organisation working to improve access and standards in healthcare provided to transgender and non-binary people in Ireland..

Robbie Lawlor (LGBTQIA+ Advocate)
Sex Educator, HIV Activist and Co-Founder of Access to Medications Ireland, a movement standing up for making medicines accessible & affordable.

Jenny Finlay? (LGBTQIA+ Advocate) Current Maynooth University student &President of MU Pride Society.

Episode 5: People of Colour & Ethnic Minorities in Leadership.

1pm. Wednesday, 19th February.
Your Space, MSU Student Centre

In Conversation:

Kerrie Leonard? (Paralympian)
Following a farm accident that left her wheelchair-bound at the age of 6, Kerrie dedicated her life to her passion for archery, competing in the Paralympics in Rio in 2016..

Mark Smith? (Actor)
Actor and Theatre Practitioner, Mark is well-known on campus for his work with the Students’ Union and is always willing to speak candidly about Down Syndrome..

Adam Kane? (Disability advocate)
Disability campaigner and President of Carlow College Students’ Union..



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