Our Team – Experience, Expertise & Excellence
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 36 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
Dr Karen Finnerty
Karen is currently operating within the Strategic Planning dept of St. Michael's House.
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.
ASSISTANT COLLEGE 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.
HEAD OF QUALITY AND ACADEMIC AFFAIRS
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.
PROGRAMME DIRECTOR – MANAGEMENT COURSES
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
PROGRAMME DIRECTOR – SOCIAL CARE DEGREE
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
PROGRAMME DIRECTOR OF CPD & SHORT PROGRAMMES
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
PLACEMENT COORDINATOR – SOCIAL CARE
Tracy has been with the College since 2004. Over the past seventeen 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. Currently Tracy is the placement co-ordinator for the social care degree.
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
- group facilitation
- adult and community education
- supporting adults returning to education
BA SOCIAL CARE TUTOR / ONLINE DEVELOPER
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
BA SOCIAL CARE TUTOR
Eimear joined the Open Training College as a Course Tutor in 2023. Before this she worked as an Associate Tutor with students on the Batchelor of Arts in Social Care course. She held the position of Social Care Leader in a training centre for young adult school leavers with an intellectual disability for 9 years. She has more than 25 years’ experience in the Social Care field.
Her areas of interest include:
• Lifelong learning
• Adult education
• Training and Education
• Student centred learning
Eimear holds a MSc in Training and Education Management (Leadership) from DCU and is registered with the Irish Teaching Council to teach Social and Behavioural Sciences.
CORPORATE SERVICES MANAGER
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. He leads the promotional endeavours of the College each year, recruiting new students across all the courses. He oversees the administration department of the College. He is also the OTC liaison in contact with the St. Michael’s House Finance Department and is responsible for all Health and Safety aspects of the OTC.
Before starting 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 spent the previous decade working in a fast-paced publishing and procurement environment in the United States.
Conor graduated with a B.Sc. (Mgmt) Degree from Trinity College, Dublin and holds an M.B.A. degree from Loyola College, Maryland, USA.
Louise is College 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.
Linda has been with the College since early 2021 when she joined the OTC Admin team as an Admissions Coordinator. She works across OTC's various core courses in Social Care and Management. Previously, she gained extensive admin experience from numerous positions within the third level sector in Ireland over a 15 year period.
Linda has a BA in Business Administration from Shenyang City University in Shenyang, China.
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 Education, Training and Development Department.
APPLICATIONS COORDINATOR - CPD Courses
Nicola has been with the College since October 2022. She joined the OTC admin team as an Admissions Coordinator for our CPD applications. She has obtained a wealth of experience in customer service and administration through her 16 years in the retail sector of pharmacy, 10 years of which were as a qualified pharmaceutical technician.
Nicola holds a Diploma in Nursery Nursing and a Pharmaceutical Technician Diploma.
The OTC collaborates with a range of associate tutors – experts in their field within our sector. We are happy to introduce you to some of them here:
(Please note this page is currently under development so check in soon for updates as more Tutors are introduced!)