27 May 2022

Catholic University in Kildare finds its latest student ambassadors following nationwide campaign

Pic: Supplied

Pic: Supplied

A Roman-Catholic University in County Kildare has announced that it has finally found its student ambassadors following a search that took place across the country.

Following a university-wide recruitment process, St Patrick’s Pontifical University (SPPU) in Maynooth has appointed a team of Student Ambassadors, specially selected from a broad range of backgrounds and experiences.

Speaking on the importance of Student Ambassadors, SPPU said in a statement: "The Ambassadors will be a vital link for incoming students, assisting with orientation activities, providing campus tours and being on hand with advice and recommendations on how best to transition from second level into life at university."

"The Student Ambassadors will also assist at university events throughout the year passing on their firsthand experiences of life at St Patrick’s," SPPU added.

This year’s inaugural Ambassadors include: Alex Balfe-Vicic from Carlow, Aoife Ryan from Westmeath, Aoife Ward and Shauna Murphy from Meath, Colm McGoldrick from Mayo, Luka Pranciliauskas from Wexford, Mark-Paul Behan Clarke from Wicklow and Niamh Palmer from Cork.

Mr McGoldrick, a theology student, said about his chosen field: "A degree in theology will provide you with a range of transferable skills that will greatly enhance your future employability and career prospects."

"Theology students garner advanced communication skills, and they are adept at critical analysis and problem solving, thus enabling them to approach the future with an open and questioning mind.

“The St Patrick’s graduate is discerning and socially engaged; their knowledge and appropriation of their theological studies empowers them to make a unique and invaluable contribution in their future careers," he added.

Theology and Arts student Ms Balfe-Vicic also commented that she believes her experience of relocating for third level studies can lend itself to her peers: "After searching available courses I found the course for me, a degree in Theology and Arts."

She elaborated: "With smaller class sizes, approachable staff, friendly classmates and a beautiful campus I quickly found myself a second home here in Maynooth from Carlow."

"As a Student Ambassador, I hope to share my experience with others who might be studying further away from home, and I also want to promote the wide range of subject options available within the Faculty."

St Patrick's Pontifical University was officially established as the Royal College of St Patrick by the Maynooth College Act in 1795. 

Thomas Pelham, the Chief Secretary for Ireland, introduced a Bill for the foundation of a Catholic college, and this was enacted by Parliament.

The University was opened to train 500 Catholic priests every year, and at one point in time, it was the largest seminary in the world.

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