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Our Team – Experience, Expertise & Excellence

LEARNING TOGETHER

18/11/2017, Open Training College, Conferring Ceremony, RDS, Dublin. (Picture: Lafayette Photography)

 

Our staff team combines expertise in adult education with deep sectoral experience and a passionate commitment to delivering excellence in everything we do.

They are supported by more than 20 nationally recognised, subject matter experts and associate tutors who work with us to:

  • Support students in their studies and the process of applying what they learn to their practice
  • Provide leading edge insight

Average No. of Years in Sector

Front Line Experience:
years
Delivering Training & Education:
years

Dr Karen Finnerty

COLLEGE DIRECTOR

Dr Karen Finnerty, College Director of the Open Training College

Karen has been Director of the College since 1999. Prior to that, she spent 15 years in the USA and Ireland working in a number of roles encompassing education and training, management development and services for people with disability. Her areas of interest include:

  • Quality in third level education
  • Life-long learning
  • Adult education

She is former editor of Frontline magazine and sits on a number of national working groups/committees devoted to education and social care.

Karen  is a graduate of Trinity College Dublin, IMI and DCU. She recently received her Doctorate in Social Studies from the University of Leicester.

Raymond Watson

ASSISTANT COLLEGE DIRECTOR

Management Course Director

Raymond has been with the College since 2002 and is currently our Assistant College Director.

Before assuming this role Raymond pioneered the online model and supports for the College. Previous to this he spent 10 years serving as the Course Director of the Social Care degree programme. Before joining the college, Raymond managed a residential setting for Menni Services, St. John of Gods. He has also worked with the Callan Institute and St. Annes, Roscrea in Ireland. He began his career working as part of a behavioural support team in London.

His areas of interest include:

  • Positive behavioural supports for people labelled with challenging behaviour
  • Person centred planning
  • Online learning for adult learners
  • Communities of practice

Raymond has been involved in many projects while at the College including work with Health Action Overseas in Romania, Rosequal; and supporting and educating a variety of Irish services in person centred planning. In addition, he sits on the Board of Health Action Overseas; StepIN and the Online Learning Groups for the National Federation of Voluntary Bodies, and HECA.

Raymond holds a MSc in Lifelong Learning/eLearning from Ulster University.

Ronnie Harrison

HEAD OF QUALITY AND ACADEMIC AFFAIRS

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Ronnie heads up our Quality (Assurance and Enhancement) and Academic Affairs functions. Before joining the College, he had worked in the education sector for over 20 years, as a teacher, trainer and lecturer. These roles developed into his becoming a department, programme and quality manager. In recent years, Ronnie’s roles have focused on quality assurance and programme development, implementation, validation and review, in addition to institutional review and accreditation. He sees the quality function as primarily supporting:

  • Student-centred learning
  • Optimisation of learning outcomes
  • Professional pedagogical development
  • Teaching and learning
  • Continuous quality improvement

Ronnie has worked extensively on internal and external educational consultancy projects in Ireland, the rest of Europe, the Middle East and Far East. He holds a B.A. from DCU and an M.Phil. from TCD. He is currently undertaking a Doctorate in Education (EdD) on “Access and barriers to 3rd level entry”, at Queen’s University, Belfast.

Brendan Collins

COURSE DIRECTOR – MANAGEMENT COURSES

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Brendan is Course Director of our Management Programmes. Before joining the College in 1999 Brendan worked for Enable Ireland (formerly Cerebral Palsy Ireland) for many years in first line positions culminating in his developing and leading the Community Development Programme for adult service users in Dublin. During this time he was also a member of the first cohort of students of the OTC’s management courses.

Apart from his work with the Open Training College, Brendan has developed and managed a range of projects based in human service organisations dealing with topics ranging from quality assurance to change management. He has also facilitated and supported a large amount of adult learners in a number of institutes of learning. Brendan has also worked with Health Action Overseas in Romania and is currently a Board Member of HAO.

Apart from his OTC management qualification, Brendan also holds a BA (Hons) in Training and Education from NUIG and a Diploma in Community Development from UCC. Brendan is currently completing an MA in International Development with Kimmage Development Studies Centre.

Dr Noelín Fox

COURSE DIRECTOR – SOCIAL CARE DEGREE

Noelín Fox, Course Director

Noelín is Course Director of our Social Care degree courses. She started in this role in June 2016. Prior to that she worked in disability services in Ireland for many years both in service development and in service management. Noelín is a graduate of University College Dublin and the University of Limerick. She completed her PhD with the Centre for Disability Law and Policy in the National University of Ireland, Galway in 2013.

Noelín’s areas of interest include:

  • Human Rights and Equality
  • Independent Living and Supported Living
  • Deinstitutionalisation – individualised services

Claire Hopkins

DIRECTOR OF CPD & SHORT PROGRAMMES

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Claire is director of our CPD and short programmes. Since joining the College in 2003, she has worked as a tutor, programme developer, workshop facilitator and co-ordinator on a range of our Applied Social Care, Supported Employment, Training and Development and Level 5 programmes.

She has also worked with teenagers and adults with disabilities for four years as a job coach and community facilitator. Her particular area of interests are:

  • Adult & community education
  • Programme/Curriculum development & instruction
  • Person centred planning
  • Group facilitation
  • Supported employment

Claire completed her M.Ed in Adult and Community Education in 2010 with NUI, Maynooth.

Dr Tracy Warner

COURSE TUTOR – SOCIAL CARE

18/11/2017, Open Training College, Conferring Ceremony, RDS, Dublin. (Picture: Lafayette Photography)

Tracy has been with the College since 2004. Over the past thirteen years, Tracy has worked as a coordinator, tutor, assessor, workshop facilitator and course and content developer on both the Level 7 and Level 8 Applied Social Care programmes, and the Level 5 Certificate in Intellectual Disability Practice. Tracy completed her PhD with the Department of Sociology in the National University of Ireland, Maynooth in 2008.

Tracy’s main areas of interest are:

  • Inclusion and equality
  • prejudice, labeling, stereotyping and marginalization
  • research
  • group facilitation
  • adult and community education
  • supporting adults returning to education

Niav McEvoy

COORDINATOR YEAR 1 BA SOCIAL CARE/ONLINE DEVELOPER

Niav McEvoy

Niav joined the college team in September 2008 as tutor on the social care degree programme and Level 5 courses. Prior to joining the College Niav worked in disability services with older adults. Niav’s current role in the College is Coordinator of Year 1 of the BA in Social Care, and Online Course Developer with the elearning team.

Niav is a past student of the College having completed both the Level 7 and Level 8 Social Care courses; in addition to these qualifications, she also holds an MSc in Applied eLearning (DIT) and is currently pursuing a PhD in Education (Trinity College Dublin).

Niav’s areas of interest include:

  • Inclusive education
  • Adult education
  • Transition planning
  • Person centred planning

Conor Murray

CORPORATE SERVICES MANAGER

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Conor is our Corporate Services Manager and is responsible for building partnerships with industry groups and experts.  He also manages 3rd party services that promote the College and support the student body.

Before assuming this role in 2008, he headed up our administration department and helped coordinate the expansion of our student numbers.

Prior to joining the College  in 2005, he worked in publishing and procurement in the United States.

Conor graduated with a B.Sc. (Mgmt) Degree from Trinity College and holds an M.B.A. degree from Loyola College, Maryland, USA.

Judy Kavanagh

COLLEGE ADMINISTRATOR

Judy 2016

Judy has been College Administrator with the OTC since 1999. She has a wide range of responsibilities which include dealing with student fees and student continuing registration. Her main role currently is in-house publisher with responsibility for the development and layout of 41 modules over all the courses.

Judy originally graduated from Trinity College in 1979 with a BSS and returned to study Office Administration in 1997 at the College of Further Education.

Louise Littlefield

ADMINISTRATIVE ASSISTANT

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Louise is an Administrator and has been with the College since 2014. She started with the College as Assessments Coordinator and at present her areas of responsibility include supporting the Head of eLearning in the delivery of online courses, providing administrative support to the Director of Short Programmes and the Manager of Academic Affairs.

Louise recently completed a BA Honours in English and History with UCD and hopes to commence postgraduate studies in the near future.

Jeanette Weikel

ADMINISTRATOR

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Jeanette recently joined the college in 2019. Her main tasks are the administrative support to the Course Director of Short Programmes and providing general student support.

Having graduated from the Berlitz Language Institute in Frankfurt, Germany in 2002, with an Associates Business Degree in German and English, Jeanette started working in Marketing. She moved to Ireland in 2006 and in 2012 graduated from the National College of Ireland with a BA of Arts in Human Resources Management, after which she worked as HR Advisor in the private sector. Jeanette is currently working towards a National Diploma in Photography at the Photography Academy of Ireland.

Viv Menzies

COMMUNICATIONS COORDINATOR

Viv-Menzies

Viv joined the OTC Admin team in 2009. Viv has gained experience in various sectors, inc. education (Language Centre of Ireland) and marketing (Javelin Advertising and Marketing) for 13 years. In addition to her Euro Secretary qualification, she holds a Diploma in Marketing from the Marketing Institute of Ireland, and, more recently a Post Grad in Digital Marketing from the Digital Marketing Institute (2015).

As well as general support to the Admin, team, Viv is responsible for Student Surveys, content management on the College website and other external websites. She also supports the Corporate Services Manager in the areas of student enquiries and the production of OTC course brochures and promotional materials. She shares her time with St. Michael’s House Staff Training and Development Department.

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