I graduated from DBS during 2022, the ceremony having been postponed as a result of the Pandemic until students could attend in person. During my final year, all of my classes being online, I volunteered as a Peer Mentor and took the Leadership Course. I was astonished to be awarded Volunteer Of The Year.
My thesis project had been a multimedia website on environmental journalism. Three topics were required, and I opted to add a fourth for balance. The three main topics, which contained written features, interviews, global conferences coverage, data visualisations, infographics, podcasts, a short film and photography, were nominated for an award in the EPA Award on Environmental Journalism in the SMedias 2021.
I gained a BA with First Class Honours.
Prior to that I had taken on the role of President of the DBS Journalism Society, when the previous President graduated. I had begun publishing blog posts, and promoted the blog Inside DBS to the whole college as a place for any students to gain a first published article.
This blog was entered by me in the Student Media Awards 2021 and won. I gained a handsome Tipperary Crystal trophy. The awards evening was held online. Here’s the story on Inside DBS, which has a photo of me enjoying coffee with the Journalism Society’s Social Media Officer, Loreto Magaña, and a fun video from both of us. A further article was requested by the college for their internal news site.
At the time of my graduation, I had progressed to studying Data Visualisation at postgraduate level, at IADT. This was a one-year course, so during 2022 I graduated from a second college, with a splendid Certificate in this data science topic.
During Spring 2022 I had a second, wonderful win. One of my thesis topics, the optional extra, had been a photojournalism article on how people were enjoying their local parks during Covid-19 lockdowns. I entered this for the SMedias category Journalism Relating to Health, but as it was mainly photojournalism, I had no expectation of winning. Being nominated, however, felt magical, and I attended the ceremony held at the Aviva Stadium, thinking that this would make up for being obliged to miss attendance the previous year.
And then my name was called, and I had won again for DBS.
Here’s the first and second Tipperary Crystal trophies, and both of them keeping company.
College has arrived at a great time in my life and proven a fantastic, enriching and empowering experience. I made friends with like-minded people and enjoyed getting to know many more pleasant folks. I have placed an article with more of my photos on Medium describing my journey, and this article was selected by Medium for further distribution. I’m lucky that I had a wide variety of lecturers, some doing their job and some doing more than their job. I also learnt quite often that if I did not find a way to teach myself something, nobody else was going to teach it to me. But by making more effort, volunteering, and taking further courses, I gained skills, knowledge and valuable experience.
Now I am ready to cover events, especially relating to the natural environment, as they happen. Because I was already a writer, the most important skills I learnt were photography, film making and web development.
Life changed swiftly with the Pandemic, and I’m so glad I had the real-life college experience first. My final year was in tough circumstances – but what else would I have done during lockdowns?
James Joyce was (fictionally*) asked, “What did you do in the Great War?”
He replied, “I wrote Ulysses. What did you do?”
*Tom Stoppard, Travesties (1990).