In 2017, Atlantic Technological University Donegal was the first university in Ireland to award five students with digital badges in recognition for their voluntary work. Since then, students have been recognised every year for their voluntary contributions.
This annual event was celebrated recently at an awards ceremony on the Letterkenny campus on 26 May. The celebration saw twenty-two students who are members of the ‘Student Ambassador’ programme and ‘International Student Ambassador’ programme 2022/23, receive digital badges in recognition for their voluntary hours contributed to the university throughout the academic year.
Dr Orla Flynn, ATU President, welcomed attendees and highlighted the importance of the work done by the students for the university; “The ambassadors are the front of house for our university, whenever anything happens the first thing you see is our student ambassadors, with a warm welcome and a smile.”
Paul Hannigan, Head of College at ATU Donegal, reflected on the outstanding contributions made by students; “I see the work that these students do on an ongoing basis and it’s fantastic, they go above and beyond, they all contribute in different ways, but you can see it is a team effort and they all work very well together. It is fantastic to see the mix of the international students and local students receiving awards today.”
Dr Orla Flynn and Paul Hannigan presented the student ambassadors with Digital Badges for the academic year 2022/23.
Students that contributed twenty-five hours or more volunteering were Eimear Mc Dermott, Emily Mc Bride, Fionn Lí Mc Monagle, Livia Quicoli, Manna Begum, Michaela Ivan, Saoirse Neary, Kyle Harvey, Emma Deasy and Clara Barrins, all received a bronze award. International student ambassadors Mallikharjuna Rao Sakhamuri and Suriabaanu Rokanatnam received a bronze award for contributing fifty hours.
Silver awards were presented to Isabel Cunningham, Jerry Drumm, Cormac Harte and Niamh Moohan who completed fifty hours of volunteer hours. International student ambassadors Clarence Yu Zhan Chong, Aniket Shrikant Ingole and Vaibhav Rai also received a silver badge for their contribution of more than seventy-five hours of voluntary hours.
Lastly, there were three students who were awarded with a gold badge. Congratulations to Jia Min Tan who contributed seventy-five hours and international student ambassadors, Anoop Akampadath and Ana-Narcisa Pintilie who did incredible work completing over one hundred hours representing ATU over the past academic year.
Jill Murphy, International Manager at ATU Donegal, commented; “We started the international student badge three years ago and every year it goes from strength to strength. When students come from far away, they want to be a part of the bigger student body and these types of programmes give the students the vehicle to connect.”
ATU Alumni and previous recipients of the digital awards, Esther Osiuhwu, Oluwatosin Edunjobi and Fatimah Alao made a return to the campus as guest speakers. Each of the graduates reflected on how beneficial participating in the programme was to them, both during university life and in their chosen career paths.
The ambassador programme provides students with the opportunity to meet friends outside of their chosen programmes, to develop communication and organisational skills amongst many others and most of all to have fun. The digital badges are added to the students LinkedIn profiles to enhance their work experience for CV’s, one of the many advantages of being an ATU student ambassador.