Business News

UCC to honour leading graduates

By Business & Finance
18 November 2013
UCC quad

Jim Clarken, CEO Oxfam Ireland, Una Fox, a vice-president at Disney, business leader Leslie Buckley, renowned NYC surgeon Dr Patrick O’ Leary and pioneering dental researcher Prof. Denis O’Mullane will all be honoured by UCC on Friday, November 29th.

Among the recipients of a UCC Alumni Achievement Award (AAA) is one of the most influential women in technology today, Una Fox, who is vice president in retail and ecommerce technology at the Walt Disney Company. Fox graduated with a BA in English and French from UCC in 1989. With over 15 years senior leadership experience at some of the world’s leading brands, including Yahoo!, Dow Jones, Thompson (Financial), Cisco and KPMG, her stellar reputation proceedes her. Originally from Dundalk, Co. Louth and now based in California, she is a member of the advisory board of the influential non-profit US-Ireland Alliance and also a co-founder of CoderDojo LA. She is also a member of the Irish Technology Leaders Group (ITLG).

The second recipient will be familiar to many in the aid sector at home and abroad – Jim Clarken. The Limerick native is CEO of Oxfam Ireland, the respected international development organisation, and is an executive director of Oxfam International. Having left UCC with an MBA in 2002, he jettisoned a considerable business career in 2006 to answer a lifelong calling to work with development agencies. He is also Chair of Dochas, the umbrella organisation for all NGOs in Ireland, and prior to his current role was general manager at Chernobyl Children’s Project International, as well as working with GOAL in Southern Sudan. He is a frequent contributor to political debate and media discussions around development issues.

The third recipient shares the same entrepreneurial streak and drive to give something back. Leslie Buckley is one of Ireland’s most successful business people and is chairman of Independent News & Media. He left UCC with a BSc (Chemistry) in 1967 and an MSC in 1969. Originally from Cork city, he helped manage the start-up of Esat Telecom Group plc and Esat Digifone Limited, and he held the position of COO of Esat Telecom in 1996 and 1997. He established a consultancy business in 1990 and has since been retained on key public and private sector projects. He is also currently the executive chairman of Saon Group and vice chairman of Digicel. In a departure from the business world, Leslie Buckley and his wife Carmel set up the Haven Partnership in 2009, which has had a defining role in responding to the immense crisis that engulfed Haiti in the wake of a 7.0 magnitude earthquake in January 2010. Leslie Buckley will also be honoured at the Cork Chamber of Commerce Dublin Dinner 2013 where he will be named Cork Business Person of the Year for his outstanding contribution to business.

Dr Patrick O’ Leary, the fourth recipient, is one of the most sought after spinal surgeons in the world. Those seeking him out vary from professional athletes to laypersons, travelling from all over the globe. A graduate of medicine from UCC (1968) and originally from Baltimore, West Cork, he has been consistently named one of the best doctors in New York  (‘Best Doctors in New York’, New York Magazine, 2009, 2010, 2011), and is also cited in the Castle Connolly Medical Guide, ‘How To Find The Best Doctors in New York’. He is also included in a select group of physicians named as one of ‘America’s Top Doctors’ (also published by Castle Connolly). A former chief of the Spine Service at the cutting-edge Hospital for Special Surgery (HSS) in Manhattan, New York, Dr O’Leary currently serves as an associate attending spine surgeon at HSS. He also received a lifetime achievement award in 2012 from HSS.

Synonmous with dental research in Ireland, Denis O’Mullane, Emeritus Professor and Consultant, Oral Health Services Research Centre, Cork University Dental School & Hospital, is to receive the Alumnus Award for Voluntary Service to UCC. The Cork native, who received a BDS in 1960 and a PhD in 1971 from UCC, is a pioneer in his area, having established the Oral Health Services Research Centre in 1983 – still the only one of its kind in Ireland. His contribution to the debate around the use of fluroide in drinking water in Ireland is unparalled, with Prof. O’Mullane authoring most of the significant studies examining its impact on dental and public health. Mentor to generations of dentists and researchers, he will also launch a book on the history of the Dental Hospital to mark its Centenary Year on Monday, November 25th in UCC. He has been recognised internationally several times, including the Distinguished Service Award from the International Association for Dental Research, the largest dental research organisation in the world. A keen sportsman, Prof O’Mullane played hurling for Grenagh and for UCC and continues to contribute heavily to that side of life in UCC. He is a vice president of UCC Hurling Club.

The UCC AAAs take place on Friday, November 29th in the Aula Maxima, UCC. The Award is the highest honour UCC can bestow upon a graduate.