Maree lecturer joint winner of GMIT President’s Award

GMIT have announced that lecturers Celine Curtin, Department of Film & Documentary, and Maree’s Dr John Healy, Department of Computing and Applied Physics, are joint winners of this year’s GMIT President’s Award for Teaching Excellence.

The two GMIT academics were presented with their awards by GMIT President, Dr Fergal Barry, at the annual conferring ceremonies in the Radisson Hotel in Galway recently.Dr John Healy, from Maree, Oranmore, Co Galway, is a lecturer in the Department of Computer Science & Applied Physics.

He joined the GMIT Department of Maths & Computing in 2000, joining from Digital Equipment Corporation where he was a senior software engineer. Head of Department, Dr Sean Duignan, says: “In Dr John Healy’s near 16-year career to date in GMIT, it is clear that he takes an inspirational, stimulating and imaginative approach to teaching and learning, encouraging students to become independent critical thinkers, fully engaged with their subject, and that he brings a high level of awareness of contemporary issues to his teaching.

“To cite just one example; John was central to the roll-out of GitHub for students at the department last year (2014 ). As a consequence, cohorts of students are now submitting assignment and project work via this industry standard code repository. This brings a number of innovations to teaching and learning - in particular, an increased level of authenticity to the practice of coding and software engineering - as well as providing a fair and objective mechanism for assessing group projects,” said Dr Duignan.

“Having shared an office with John for the best part of ten years, I benefited almost every day from his infectious enthusiasm for lecturing, student engagement and the sense of his ‘living’ the curriculum through his actions.

“A natural and open communicator and a voracious consumer of the written word, conversations with John in relation to Computer Science can as easily relate to social and cognitive psychology, theories of learning, ancient history (with respect to the encoding of information ), modern history of computing (particularly the work of Shannon, Von Neuman, and Turing and his contemporaries ), and in the next breath, new and emerging developments in the discipline in very exacting and accurate detail. John is the natural leader of the ‘Community of Practice’ that has emerged among computer science academics at the Institute. His enthusiasm for the discipline, and more importantly his approach to spreading that enthusiasm through his teaching is possibly best described by his students,” he concluded.

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