Dear Alumni and Friends
We hope you and your loved ones remain in good health at this extraordinary time.
Here at UCD, the safety and wellbeing of our students, colleagues, and wider community is our utmost priority as together we face the challenge of containing the spread of COVID-19. Physical classes and tutorials on campus have been suspended and teaching and learning is instead progressing by technological means, including video conferencing, online chat rooms, and podcasts.
At UCD Alumni Relations we remain committed to our vision for the advancement of UCD as a global centre of excellence in education and research. However, despite everyone’s best efforts, it is not business as usual. Rather, we are seeking creative and innovative ways of working together as a remote team and remaining engaged with our friends and supporters as we navigate this new normal. You may continue to reach us by phone at +353 1 7161447 or email at email@example.com.
One of the most effective actions we can take to slow the spread of the virus is to practise social distancing, and so we are not organising in-person meetings at present. We are also working to reschedule a number of our upcoming events.
Now, more than ever, it is vital that we keep open the lines of communication and support one another in solidarity. The constant barrage of worrying news can leave us feeling overwhelmed and anxious, but there is good news too, and cause for hope. As Ireland’s Global University, UCD has a vital role to play in shaping our response to the current crisis nationally and globally, culturally and scientifically. Be assured that our brightest minds are rising to the challenge across all academic disciplines, from medicine, science and engineering to the arts and humanities.
The Presidents of all Irish Universities and Institutes of Technology sent a joint letter to students. We will leave you with their parting words – wise advice for all of us as we find our way through the coming months:
“Be kind to each other and take care of yourselves and each other. Let’s give each other the space to find our way through these challenging times, and the time to find humanity and meaning here too.”
UCD Community Stepping Up To Coronavirus
Through research, innovation and frontline delivery of our healthcare services, UCD academics are at the forefront of the nationwide effort to combat coronavirus
Please join our Virtual Conferring Ceremony tomorrow, Fri 1st May 1400 hrs. First time in School’s 165 year history in line with #COVID19 restrictions. Looking forward to welcoming 228 new docs to the medical profession and to @ucddublin global community https://t.co/AGCNQeHBVh pic.twitter.com/4SxBWSOelw
— UCD Medicine (@UCDMedicine) April 30, 2020
Dr Patrick Wall, Professor of Public Health in UCD, responding to the UK’s coronavirus lockdown with the British public ordered to stay at home.
“In Ireland we have plenty of space…it is possible for people to stay two metres apart.”
— The Tonight Show (@TonightVMTV) March 23, 2020
Dr Cillian De Gascun – a medical virologist, chair of the HSE’s Coronavirus Expert Advisory Group, and Director of the National Virus Reference Laboratory at UCD – on the latest developments around contact tracing and scaling our testing capacity.
— RTÉ News (@rtenews) March 23, 2020
A look inside Ireland’s first remote contact tracing coordination centre located within the UCD O’Brien Centre for Science. With Dr Patrick Wall, Professor of Public Health, and Mary Codd, Associate Professor in UCD School of Public Health, Physiotherapy and Sports Science.
Public health experts have warned that social distancing alone is not enough to stop the transmission of Covid-19. They’re warning that Ireland could end up like Italy if we don’t put more physical space between each other | https://t.co/mhkadRliQc pic.twitter.com/JYkwto3rSF
— RTÉ News (@rtenews) March 22, 2020
The Open Source Ventilator project is the brainchild of Colin Keogh, a 3D printing expert from UCD School of Mechanical and Materials Engineering who has previously appeared on Forbes Magazine’s “30 under 30” ranking of leading innovators, entrepreneurs and leaders. The project is seeking to develop a working ventilator that can be built using 3D printers and off-the-shelf components.
“We want to help solve this global crisis.”
An Irish engineer is leading a global group of 600-plus experts trying to develop an easy-to-assemble ventilator that could be used in the battle against #coronavirus #Covid-19 pic.twitter.com/5x7wYx6aEh
— RTÉ News (@rtenews) March 21, 2020
Speaking here with presenter Baz Ashmawy, Professor Patrick Mallon (Professor of Microbial Diseases in UCD School of Medicine and a Consultant in Infectious Diseases in St Vincent’s University Hospital in Dublin) gives an update on the current pandemic, and again stresses the importance of social distancing.
The update with Paddy Mallon @HIVTox .Spread the facts “If we get this wrong it’s potentially the biggest disaster to hit this country since it was founded and if we got it right, it’ll be the biggest societal success. #COVID19 #IrelandVsCOVID #coronavirushttps://t.co/P3GcUWhql7
— Baz Ashmawy (@bazashmawy) March 20, 2020
Associate Professor Paul D’Alton is co-director of the MSc in Mindfulness Based Interventions and teaches on a range of undergraduate and postgraduate programs across UCD School of Psychology. He is also Head of Psychology at St Vincent’s University Hospital.
Anxiety is perfectly normal in response to an abnormal situation, says clinical psychologist Dr Paul D’Alton.
Read Dr D’Alton’s tips on how to look after your wellbeing during the coronavirus outbreak here: https://t.co/bEp4X2Fu1y
— Irish Cancer Society (@IrishCancerSoc) March 18, 2020
Professor Mary Horgan, a world-renowned expert in infectious disease and UCD Alumni Award Winner in Health and Agricultural Sciences, has been one of the leading voices on the importance of social distancing in controlling the spread of the pandemic.
“1 person with Covid-19 could infect 400 people over 30 days”-Prof Mary Horgan told @morningireland
We must exercise social distancing- science shows that social distancing is one of the best things that we can do to protect the vulnerable. Listen back. https://t.co/d7XdYRTPSa pic.twitter.com/MSABx1EBsO
— Royal College of Physicians of Ireland (@RCPI_news) March 19, 2020
Due to the cancellation of Agri Aware’s “Farm Walk & Talk 2020” educational series, the Irish agri-food body along with the UCD School of Agriculture and Food Science have gone the extra mile and created a series of videos from UCD Lyons Farm to support students and teachers. More than 1,600 Leaving Cert Agricultural Students from over 60 secondary schools nationwide participated in the ‘Farm Walk and Talk 2020’ which took place in the Teagasc Colleges and Research Farms across Ireland.
Agri Aware and @ucdagfood have come to the rescue of Ag Science students and teachers with our virtual Farm Walk and Talk videos packed with relevant syllabus info filmed at @ucdlyonsfarm recently.https://t.co/rkZUPjQUtr#FarmWalkandTalk2020 #HomeSchooling #Learning #Farming pic.twitter.com/NdfTFHktJb
— Agri Aware (@AgriAware) March 20, 2020
Based within NovaUCD, Akkure’s risk assessment tool aims to give users an idea of their status and the impact the coronavirus could have on their health within 90 seconds.
Akkure, an Irish digital health start-up based in @NovaUCD has launched the ‘COVIDMedBot’, an online personalised risk assessment & guideline tool for use during the COVID-19 pandemic. Read the story at https://t.co/t3BhEh2qj5#Covid_19 #innovation pic.twitter.com/qBKjJ07nKD
— KTI Connect (@KTIconnect) March 20, 2020
UCD COVID-19 Emergency Fund
UCD Foundation has launched an Emergency Fund in support of the ongoing response to Covid-19. With your support we will rise to this challenge. There are five urgent priorities to which a tax-efficient gift of €250 or more could make a real difference:
UCD’s Ongoing Covid-19 Response
UCD is at the forefront of the response to this pandemic. We want to support the selfless dedication of academic staff and students of UCD schools working on the front line to save lives by funding materials costs for making PPE and hand sanitiser on campus, as well as supporting other priorities as they arise. We want to ensure that we all play our part in making a meaningful difference. Your support in this effort is vital. Whatever it takes, we aim to do it.
Student Hardship Funding
The current pandemic will leave a great number of current and prospective students in urgent need of financial aid. UCD supporters will likely recall our feature on Colin Keogh (pictured) in last year’s donor impact report.
Colin’s story highlights the impact of student support on individuals and their families. But the programme’s real impact is far greater and wide reaching. Colin is currently leading the global Open Source Ventilator initiative in response to Covid-19. This creative effort to allow life-saving ventilators to be produced quickly and easily anywhere in the world using 3D printing has the potential to save tens of thousands of lives.
We cannot afford to lose the potential of UCD students just like Colin, whose impact on the world right at this moment could be transformative.
Pandemic Research Fund
As Ireland’s leading research university, our academic staff are on the frontline leading clinical trials with COVID-19 patients in intensive care, while UCD researchers are manufacturing reagents, developing national contact tracing capability, and investigating new ways to tackle the disease. Our researchers hope to expand Ireland’s testing capacity by developing novel approaches to delivering essential reagents for COVID-19 testing – responding to the collapse of supply chains due to unprecedented international demands. Your financial support for research at UCD will enable us to make a valuable contribution in solving the current crisis as quickly as possible and mitigating for the future.
Adapting our Learning Environment for a Changed World
As they adapt to learning from home, students face challenges like broadband access/signal, lack of privacy or simply not having a laptop or PC. It is vital that such students can still excel remotely. We are working hard to make a host of online supports available to our student body. Here in Belfield, we must also create a new normality that includes enhanced automated access to buildings.
The University has a duty of care to protect the mental health of our students. We recognise that this is now more important than ever. We therefore want to fund a minimum of three additional student advisors and provide on-campus resources to support students who may be affected by the current crisis. Your support is crucial to delivering this.
Click here to find out more and to make a donation.
Helpful Tips & Resources
Tips and other resources to help you manage anxiety, put news reports in perspective and maintain a positive outlook.
The Choral Scholars of UCD
During this difficult time of social distancing, The Choral Scholars bring you ‘Body of the Moon’, a beautiful composition based on the texts of Galileo. As Galileo Galilei reminds us in the texts, we are all connected to each other through our common humanity.
UCD Nature and Biodiversity Colouring Book
Kingfisher, Mallard, Holly Blue, Orange Tip – Want to know more about them? Check out the UCD Nature and Biodiversity colouring book written by UCD Green Campus Coordinators, supported by Estate Services.
Delighted to see our piece published in @siliconrepublic. This pandemic has brought many of us to an abrupt halt and into closer contact with life's more existential questions. It's sometimes reassuring to know we are not alone in struggling with these. https://t.co/vUZYJjf6h1
— Dr Emma Farrell (@emmaefarrell) April 9, 2020
At home with the kids or caring for a loved one? See the ebooks in our Parent & Carer collection. Topics include books on emotions and coping for kids, caring for toddlers, the carer’s bible & more. Loads of great online resources too. See https://t.co/PAqkiF0RFM. 💻❤️ pic.twitter.com/3Oh8eKpDgN
— UCD Library (@UCDLibrary) March 24, 2020
Philosophy can be particularly useful in difficult times like these. #COVID19
— PEriTiA (@PERITIAnews) March 23, 2020
Action for Happiness have put together this brilliant Coping Calendar to help you get through this crazy global crisis and reach out for others. #coronavirusuk #CoronavirusPandemic #copingcalendar #actionforhappiness pic.twitter.com/Ihy5I7jX9Q
— Tin Man (@TinManOnline) March 23, 2020
Bright Sparks #CreativeBursts – created by @sarahwebbishere – are short activities to do at home with your children. In today’s edition, Sarah asks you to identify your spirit animal 🦉 🐕 🐟 and gets you to play with words! https://t.co/aztb4s8iga pic.twitter.com/DXCqlAZDby
— MoLI – Museum of Literature Ireland (@MoLI_Museum) March 16, 2020