independent

Monday 22 July 2019

Wexford lecturer wins excellence award

Professor Willie Donnelly, WIT President; award recipient Dr Hazel Farrell, Programme Leader of the BA (Hons) Music programme in WIT, and Dr Helen Murphy, Head of the School of Lifelong Learning and Education at WIT
Professor Willie Donnelly, WIT President; award recipient Dr Hazel Farrell, Programme Leader of the BA (Hons) Music programme in WIT, and Dr Helen Murphy, Head of the School of Lifelong Learning and Education at WIT

Brendan Keane

a lecturer from Newbawn has been presented with a prestigious award in recognition of her work in the area of music education.

Dr Hazel Farrell, who is programme leader of the BA (Hons) Music programme in Waterford Institute of Technology, was presented with the 2019 Teaching Excellence Award by the institute's president, Professor Willie Donnelly.

In winning the award Dr Farrell had to demonstrate excellence in a number of areas including engagement with students in addition to continuously working on her own professional development.

A daughter of Brendan and the late Anne Farrell, she is originally from Waterford but is now living in Newbawn.

She completed her undergraduate music degree in WRTC (Waterford Regional Technical College) the predecessor to WIT, and she was the first student ever to be awarded an MA in music research from the college - having studied under renowned composer and organist Dr Eric Sweeney.

Following the award of a scholarship, Dr Farrell went on to complete a PhD in Mary Immaculate College, University of Limerick.

She has lectured at WIT for 26 years and is passionate about creating engaging and accessible learning experiences for her students.

She is also very active in the area of technology enhanced learning, particularly within the context of creative disciplines.

In presenting her with her award Prof Donnelly noted: 'She also co-ordinates annual events such as Try Music and the Leaving Cert Music Day in WIT.'

Dr Farrell said she was honoured to receive the award: 'I am humbled and honoured to receive such a prestigious award. I am just one part of an amazing team and I would like to sincerely thank my colleagues for their ongoing support.'

She also acknowledged 'the great work' her colleagues do in creating a positive learning environment for students.

Dr Helen Murphy, Head of the School of Lifelong Learning and Education at WIT chaired the Teaching Excellence Award committee and described Dr Farrell as 'an innovator who has developed her own unique approach to teaching and learning'.

'She has demonstrated through her teaching an ability to move beyond the traditional classroom and engage with technology in a way that opens up access to learning to a whole new student cohort,' said Dr Murphy.

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