Presentations were made to two CASTel retirees at the recent CASTeL AGM (and acknowledgement of another, Maurice O’ Reilly, in abstentia). Warm testimonials were given to honour the legacies of the contributions of Dr Odilla Finlayson and Dr Therese Dooley to CASTeL (pictured above with CASTeL director Dr Cliona Murphy). Excerpts from some of the testimony, lead by Dr Murphy, are given below.

Odilla Finlayson

“Odilla has made a huge contribution a myriad of CASTeL activities from the very beginning, in fact Odilla was one of the founding members of CASTeL. Odilla has extensive expertise and an absolute passion for chemistry and science education.  Over her career Odilla has supported and inspired so many people in her path including the numerous students she selected and trained as part of the Irish Olympiad teams, her undergraduate students, her colleagues and of course the many PhD students she has supervised many of whom are here today. 

“From the first day I saw her bring liquid nitrogen into T101 back in 2007, I knew this was a woman who had an unparalleled enthusiasm for chemistry and who truly cared about her students’ education. I’m so incredibly proud to have had Odilla as my my PhD supervisor. There was no better woman to “just play devil’s advocate here” and without her influence I wouldn’t be half as good at questioning or poking holes in things!”

As a colleague what sticks out for me is Odilla’s steadfast divergent thinking, not one to just accept things or go along with systems that are in place, she constantly looks to shake things up and approach things from a different perspective or lens.  As a friend, I will miss her. She is great fun, always has a kind smile and personable”

Therese Dooley

“Over the course of her career Therese has generously shared her expertise and passion with so many different people from primary school children, to students in initial teacher education, her colleagues and fellow educators and practising teachers. In particular she has supported and inspired many masters and PHD students over her career

Therese has a wonderful philosophical mind and has a remarkable ability to consider viewpoints and scenarios from multiple perspectives.  She is an extremely thoughtful colleague, has a great sense of humour and is always very generous with her time.”

“It’s very rare to have a meeting with Therese where we don’t have a coffee or a laugh regardless of how close the deadline is (or how far we are past it!). It is a real shame that Zoom has gotten in the way of the chocolate treats that she often brought us back from her travels. It’s also very rare to have a meeting with Therese and not learn something new or find a new way to look at things” 

“ a few words to describe Therese  … warm, approachable, deep thinking, clear thinking, critical thinker”

“When I think of Therese I think of calm and a fabulous sense of perspective. When everyone else is scurrying around to get things done she pauses to remind us that the work will get done and the pressure will pass by. As a supervisor she had an incredible ability to tell you a hundred things you needed to work on while still leaving you feeling like a genius who was producing the best piece of research in the country”. 

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