Student Voices: Alison Fagan, PhD Candidate, AIT.

Alison Fagan, PhD Candidate, AIT
Alison Fagan, PhD Candidate, AIT

Name: Alison Fagan, PhD Candidate
Department: Dept. of Sport and Health Science
Campus: Athlone Institute of Technology

Having attended AIT for my undergraduate studies (BSc (Hons) in General Nursing), I already had first-hand experience of the excellence in knowledge, innovation and the world-class facilities AIT has to offer; when the opportunity arose to come back to AIT in 2018, it really was a no brainer, and I jumped at the chance to pursue further studies here.

I am currently in the middle of my PhD research which looks at Irish centenarians and their attainment of longevity. Like my peers, I am very lucky to be working with a fantastic team of supervisors whose knowledge and expertise is available to me pretty much on demand. They know how to harness my strengths and nurture my weaknesses so that I can be at my best and this did not change in the last 12 months either as the unchartered waters of the COVID-19 pandemic was navigated. While 2020 undoubtedly presented unique and unprecedented challenges for everyone, AIT rose to the challenge, keeping its students and their learning and development very much as its focus.

“As a TU, we will have the authority to award PhDs in all areas, which as a PhD student I strongly welcome; already in AIT, there is such a diverse array of postgraduate students and research projects underway, to think of the additional contribution to knowledge and expertise that will be gained from this is amazing."

Alison Fagan, PhD Candidate, AIT

We have all learned many life lessons since the outbreak of COVID-19, but one thing in particular that comes to mind for me is the idea of collaboration and how when people come together for a common cause, truly wonderful things that can happen! I feel this concept can be applied also to the union of AIT and LIT in forming the TU. The development of the TU will be amazing for the Midlands, not only academically but also socially and economically.

Across the region, it will increase access to higher education and create new opportunities beyond compare. As a TU, we will have the authority to award PhDs in all areas, which as a PhD student I strongly welcome; already in AIT, there is such a diverse array of postgraduate students and research projects underway, to think of the additional contribution to knowledge and expertise that will be  gained from this is amazing. The future of research is very bright indeed!

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