Athlone native wins Graduate of the Year at Irish Hospitality Institute National Awards

GMIT graduate Veronica Byrne (centre) pictured with (left) Dr Fergal Barry, president of GMIT and (right) Cáit Noone, head of the college of tourism and arts

GMIT graduate Veronica Byrne (centre) pictured with (left) Dr Fergal Barry, president of GMIT and (right) Cáit Noone, head of the college of tourism and arts

Veronica Byrne, a native of Athlone and a graduate of Galway-Mayo Institute of Technology (GMIT ) has won the 2015 Irish Hospitality Institute (IHI ) Graduate of the Year Award, at a recent ceremony held in the Doubletree by Hilton Hotel, Dublin.

The IHI Graduate of the Year award recognises excellence by recent graduates in the tourism and hospitality industry. This national award is presented to a graduate from a hospitality management programme who demonstrates creativity in an academic environment and displays an aptitude for success.

Veronica Byrne, now living in Clare, graduated with a first class honours degree in hotel and catering management in November. Returning to her studies in 2013 after a 20-year gap, Ms Byrne initially completed a Bachelor of Business in hotel management and earned a distinction for her academic efforts.

She won the GMIT Academic Achievement award this year for the highest scoring student in her class, and was chosen to speak at the GMIT conferring ceremony in November. Currently working as an events executive, she is continuing with her studies and is undertaking a master’s degree in adult education and development.

Cáit Noone, head of GMIT college of tourism and arts, said the college is delighted with Veronica’s success: “This accolade reflects Veronica’s talents and hard work while also acknowledging teaching excellence in GMIT’s college of tourism and arts. As a mature student returning to higher education, Veronica was a brilliant leader in her class. Her outstanding work ethic, her dedication to the tourism industry, and her determination and focus made her the perfect role model. I have no doubt she will achieve many great things in her career and we in GMIT will continue to support her.”

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