The Fulbright Commission announced that Dr Donal Fitzpatrick is the new Fulbright Alumni Ambassador for Dublin City University.
Now the ambassador, Fitzpatrick was a Fulbright awardee in 2000 and spent the year as a postdoc in Florida State University. During the year he spent in the US, he investigated how maps and other diagrammatic data could be made accessible for people who are blind.
“It was one of the most enjoyable years of my academic career. It’s very important for people to realise that a Fulbright award is as much about the cultural experience of living and working in another country, as it is about the research,” he said about his experience as a Fulbright awardee.
For the past two years, the role of the Fulbright ambassador in DCU was held by Dr Karen Devine, a lecturer in the School of Law and Government.
When the Fulbright Commission put out a call for people who would be interested in taking over the ambassador position in DCU, he applied for it and found out he got the position a few weeks ago.
The aim of the Fulbright Ambassador programme is to have a contact on DCU campus to allow students, researchers and lecturers to access guidance on approaching Fulbright applications and to be able to easily engage with the Fulbright network.
“I am really pleased to be in a position to work with Fulbright Ireland to encourage others in DCU to apply for one of the awards, and to have the professional and cultural experiences I did,” said Dr Fitzpatrick.
Every year, Irish citizens are awarded grants by the Fulbright Commission to go over to the US to study, research or teach. They also give grants for Americans to come over to Ireland and do the same.
Dr Fitzpatrick is an Assistant Professor in the School of Computing in DCU. His work has focused on the accessibility for all user interfaces for people with disabilities. Currently he doing research that focuses on Human Computer Interaction, concentrating on the development of software that is accessible for users with and without disabilities.
He has received an Enable award for his contribution to the field of research into Assistive Technology for people with disabilities. He has also received the Chancellor’s Medal, this is DCU’s highest award for outstanding contribution to the scholarly and extracurricular life of the university.
Image credit: DCU