As the Trinity Education Project enters its final phase, Sheena Brown has been appointed as the new Project Manager.
The appointment came after former manager Fedelma McNamara moved to the Global Relations Office to take up the role of Director of Internationalisation.
In an email statement to The University Times, Brown said she was delighted to have taken on the role and that she was “looking forward to the challenges ahead”.
Before leaving her post, McNamara spoke to The University Times and expressed little concern about leaving the project as it moved into its final implementation stage. She was confident that the project was in a comfortable position and, thanks to the team already at work, ready to execute its aims. She explained that “all of the subgroups have a programme of work to do and they’re on track to do that”.
She was keen to stress that it was only through collaboration and mutual support that the project would be successful: “This won’t happen unless the tutors are supportive, unless the academics are supportive, unless the administrative staff are supportive. So it is a combination, it’s not just one or two individuals, it’s the whole lot”.
Speaking at the time of her departure to The University Times, Vice-Provost and Chief Sponsor of the Trinity Education Project Chris Morash said he was “thrilled for her”.
Prior to taking up her post with the Trinity Education Project, Brown worked in the Secretary’s Office as an Administrative Officer in the Corporate and Legal department.
The Trinity Education Project represents a dramatic reimagination of undergraduate education in Trinity. Seeking to diversify the undergraduate curriculum in Trinity, changes have included a restructuring of the year, the introduction of a Christmas assessment week and mandatory capstone projects.
The project aims to revert the focus to the students and their experiences, both during their time as undergraduates and during life after. Amongst its proposals are the improvement of internship possibilities and facilitating studying abroad, with the hope of attracting more applicants.
Despite being broadly welcomed, there have been some stumbling blocks for the project. Last year, directors of undergraduate teaching and learning voiced concerns for the project and its feasibility, while also identifying the strengths of the project.
Speaking to The University Times last February, Prof Michael Bridge, Director of Undergraduate Teaching and Learning for the School of Chemistry, explained that the project “adds to the potential problems, but might actually add to some of the solutions. So it’s opportunity. So there’s dangers, but there’s opportunities as well”.
In recent weeks, the introduction of the new year structure has also prompted concerns about exam timetables. A feasibility study conducted by the College found that to cope with the vast changes being made to exam periods under the project, it may have to hold exams on Sundays as well as having three exams per day. This could see exams running as late as 9pm.
In a memorandum seen by The University Times, Director of Academic Registry Leona Coady expressed concerns that if extra arrangements to hold exams are not made, “there would not be sufficient capacity to schedule the full examination requirement within the new academic year structure”.