Page content

Members of the convocation are comprised of University graduates, academic or academic related staff, senior officers of the University and the Chancellor and Pro - Chancellors.

University Staff Members

Professor Paul McKevitt

Paul is Vice-Chair of the University's Convocation Executive Committee, Board Member of the 'Amelia Earhart STEAM Zone' children's registered NI Charity and has contributed to genesis of 'The Imagineering Quarter' in the City of Derry~Londonderry, which backed the City's successful bid for First UK City of Culture 2013. He has previously been Head of the Faculty of Arts Research Graduate School (Pro-Tem) and directed the 23rd International Loebner Prize Contest in Artificial Intelligence (AI) (2013) held, for the first time on the island of Ireland, during CultureTECH 2013.

Paul completed a Master's degree in Education (M.Ed.) at the University of Sheffield, England in 1999, and his Ph.D. (University of Exeter, England, 1991), M.S. (New Mexico State University, New Mexico, USA, 1988) and B.Sc. (Hons.) (University College Dublin, Ireland, 1985) degrees all in Computer Science.

Professor Girijesh Prasad

Girijesh is Professor of intelligent systems in the School of Computing and Intelligent Systems.

He is Director of Northern Ireland Functional Brain Mapping (NIFBM) facility at Intelligent Systems Research Centre, where he leads the Neural Systems and Neuro-technology research team.

Girijesh received a BTech in Electrical Engineering from Regional Engineering College (now NIT) Calicut, India in 1987, an MTech in Computer Science and Technology from University of Roorkee (now IIT Roorkee), India in 1992, and a PhD in Electrical and Electronic Engineering from Queen's University Belfast, UK in 1997.

He is a Chartered Engineer, a Fellow of IET, a Senior Member of IEEE, and a founder member of IEEE Systems, Man, and Cybernetics society's Technical Committee on Brain-Machine Interface Systems.

Girijesh joined Ulster University, as a Lecturer in 1999; he was promoted to Senior Lecturer in 2007, Reader in 2008, and Professor in 2011.  Previously he worked in industry, first as a Digital Systems Engineer and then as a Power Plant Engineer in India, and as a Research Fellow on an EPSRC/industry project at Queen's University Belfast.

His research interests are in intelligent systems, data engineering, brain modelling, brain-computer interfaces and neuro-rehabilitation, assistive technology, and biometrics.  He has published over 210 research papers in journals, edited books, and conference proceedings and his research has attracted over £5M funding from national and international agencies including Invest Northern Ireland, Department of Employment and Learning, RCUK, Leverhulme Trust, Royal Society, UK India Education and Research Initiative, and Irish industry.

Mr John Thompson

After initially graduating from TCD, John was employed in a variety of posts in the public, private and voluntary sector before graduating in LLB Hons (Law and Business) from Ulster University and following professional studies at BPP Law School and Inner Temple, London, he was admitted to the Bar of England & Wales in 2005.

In 2007, he was appointed to the School of Law at Ulster University lecturing in corporate governance, company law and applied business law on undergraduate, postgraduate and professional courses. In 2011, he successfully completed a PGCHEP and was admitted as a Fellow of the Higher Education Academy.  At the University Learning and Teaching Awards, 2014 he was the recipient of first ever ‘Excellence in Innovative Teaching’ Award.

In 2015 he was appointed Course and Subject Director for law at the Magee campus.  He is currently module coordinator for Public Law and Law of Tort on the LLB Courses, Business & Company Law in Ulster Business School combined studies programmes and International Company Law & Governance and on the LLM Commercial Law Programme. In 2016 he was appointed director of the newly established Ulster University Commercial Law Clinic, based on the Magee campus.

A member of Ulster University's Convocation Executive Committee, he currently represents Convocation on the University's Court.

Non-Staff Members

Mrs Mary Campbell (Chairperson)

Having lived all her young life in suburban London Mary Campbell (née Rawles) came to the then NUU for a year in 1969 to study for an MA in Education – she is still here in Northern Ireland.  After her marriage in1973 she volunteered for the Guide Association in different capacities and for Ballymena Festival as well as sitting on various committees at NUU. She undertook a few stints in the classroom over the years but stayed at home while her three sons were growing up. She returned to work in education in 1998 and, after a short time as a home tutor, she settled into working with pupils with special educational needs and later with EAL pupils as well at a high school on the outskirts of Belfast. While there she was asked to sit on the committee of the Northern Ireland Branch of nasen and was Treasurer for four years and President for two. After retiring in 2011 she continued with voluntary work but two years later was asked to go back to work with EAL pupils in another Belfast school – she is still there working three days a week. On her days at home she catches up with Convocation and Festival matters as well as producing resources for her pupils. You would be right to say that she enjoys a challenge! In her spare time she chauffeurs her husband around Scottish country dancing classes and events – yes, she still dances – and spends as many hours as possible reading or with friends.

Professor Pauline Murphy

Pauline graduated from NUI with a first class degree, she also has postgraduate qualifications in Education as well as Guidance and Counselling. In 1990 she received funding from the European Commission and organised a Womens' Opportunities Unit.  She has chaired curriculum committees in partnership with other European countries to design and validate courses from outreach to certificate, diploma, foundation degrees, postgraduate diplomas and masters in professional development for women.

As Director of Womens' Opportunities Pauline received many awards including: Fawcett Society, European Women, Life Changers, Belfast Millennium Women Breaking the Mould. Pauline also founded the Training for Women Network NI a UN linked NGO still based in Belfast that she chaired for six years.

Mrs Anne Rowe

Anne was Chair of Convocation from 2006 to 2010 and is currently President of the University's Alumni Association.  She graduated from Ulster Universite in 1974 with a BA Hons in English and Education. Following several years teaching she took up the post of Careers Information Officer at Queen's University, Belfast before moving to Ulster University in 1995.  She retired from her position as Senior Career Development Adviser in 2011.

Mr Johnny Stewart

Johnny graduated from the School of Communication at Jordanstown with a BSc Honours degree in Communication with Public Relations. He works as a communication professional at Weber Shandwick, providing advice and guidance on media and political engagement. Johnny joined the Committee for NIGAG (Northern Ireland Government Affairs Group).

Mrs Mary Casey

Mary is a triple graduate of Ulster University in International Business, Management Practice and Public Policy, a graduate of Birmingham University in Education Marketing and Harvard University John F Kennedy School of Government in Leadership.  Mary has worked in industry, higher education, public and voluntary sectors in Dublin and the North West region and volunteers her time and skills to Culmore rural border village, Into the West Railway Lobby Group, Western Rail Alliance and is Founder Director of the Amelia Earhart STEAM Zone Charity.

She has been a Board Member of North West Community Network, First Housing Aid Support Services and a Committee Member of the Du Pont Community Panel, Foyle and District Road Safety Committee and founder member of Culmore Residents Association, Foyle West Villages Initiative, Culmore Area Forum and Culmore Women's Handcrafters. Mary is a member of Foyle Civic Trust, Women in Enterprise, Founder Director of Culmore Tourism and Craft Collective, Harvard Ash Center Global Network of Government Innovators, Harvard Club of Ireland and Ulster University Convocation Executive.

Dr Rosemary Peters Gallagher OBE

Rosemary graduated from Ulster in 1980 with a BSc (Hons) in Economics with Accounting.  Following this she trained as a chartered accountant and has been a partner with Moore Stephens NI since 1987.

As Audit Compliance Partner she provides audit and assurance services to a wide range of public and private sector bodies. Rosemary is a Fellow of Chartered Accountants Ireland and a member of the Institute of Directors.  Rosemary served as a Member of the University Council (Governing Body) from 2000 to 2016, assuming the role of Honorary Treasurer for the last 8 years of her tenure.

She has also served as a non-executive director on the Board of Invest Northern Ireland, the Northern Health and Social Services Board and the Cabinet Office Audit and Risk Committee in Whitehall.

Rosemary was awarded the OBE in 2006 for her services to business and the community and more recently was awarded the honorary degree of Doctor of Science from Ulster in 2016 for her services to the university.

Rosemary lives in Portstewart and is married to Sean, also an alumnus of the university.  She is heavily involved with a number of charities.

Mr John O'Neill

John was born in 1965. He is an NHS Biomedical Scientist of over 25 years’ experience, and holds a PG Dip with Commendation and MSc with Distinction, both in Biomedical Sciences, from Ulster University. He has been a member of Convocation Executive since 2011, and is an Emeritus Chair. His work in the NHS greatly motivates his work with Convocation, and he has a special commitment to improving links between the Biomedical Science community in NI and UU, which has provided so many of his fellow professionals to the NHS. John is also a graduate of Devon Preparatory School and The Queen’s University of Belfast, and is also committed to expanding the relationship between the two universities’ Convocations, on behalf of the many like himself who are graduates of both institutions.

Ms Marcella McCann

Marcella is Project Officer for the Ulster University Legal Innovation Centre, a pioneering collaboration between the School of Law and the School of Computing and Intelligent Systems, which promotes and supports innovation in legal services and access to justice.  Having joined the University in 2008, she has worked for the Real Estate Initiative, the Faculty of Art, Design and the Built Environment, and the Vice-Chancellor’s Office as Executive Assistant to the Chief Operating Officer.

Marcella has participated in the 2018-19 Aurora Leadership programme, a development programme for women in the higher education sector, which affords the opportunity to network across universities in the UK and Ireland, and enables pathways to share best practice, insights and experience.  She now leads the Steering group for the Belfast Campus Women’s Network, established to provide support and networking opportunities, both on campus, and across the University.   Before joining the University, Marcella has worked within the NI Civil Service in Belfast, and in the private sector in Belfast and Dublin, within the IT and Event Management sector.

Marcella is a graduate of Ulster University, with a Post Graduate Diploma in Public Administration and Legal Studies, and a BSc (Hons) in Sociology.

Mr Robert Butler

Robert graduated from University of Ulster Coleraine in 1991 with a BSc Honours degree in Banking, Finance & Retail Distribution.  He has worked in various Finance Departments within the Health Service in Northern Ireland since September 1991.  His current role is as an Accountant (C.I.M.A.) in the Health & Social Care Board.  Robert also has a keen interest in local history regarding the First World War.