University of Galway's Athena Swan Champions Network

Athena Swan Champions Network

‌Left to right: Dr. Sandra Galvin, Dr. Katarzyna Goljanek, Dr. Victoria Hogan, Dr. Deirdre Gilpin, Dr. Helen Maher, Dr. Laura Loftus and Aoife Cooke attended the first Athena Swan Champions Network- 1st December 2022 

University of Galway’s Athena Swan Champions meet on a quaterly basis to discuss progress and obstacles arising at School and Unit level in relation to Athena Swan. Items raised during these meetings feed into the discussions of the Athena Swan Institutional Steering Group

The aim of the Athena Swan Champions Network is to facilitate knowledge exchange and support between those involved in Athena Swan activities across the University. The Champions Network consists of the SAT (Self-Assessment Team) Chairs, the Vice Deans for Equality Diversity and Inclusion and the Office of the Vice President for Equality Diversity and Inclusion.

The first meeting of the Athena Swan Champions Network was held 1st of December, 2022, hosted by Dr. Laura Loftus, Gender Equality Programme Manager, and opened by Dr Helen Maher, VP for EDI.

The meeting was then followed with an open-to-all-staff gathering to celebrate the Athena Swan/Gender Equality work to date in the University of Galway. The Chair of Queen's University Belfast's Athena Swan Champions Network, Dr Deirdre Gilpin, was invited as a guest speaker. Dr. Gilpin exchanged great knowledge and experiences about QUB's Champions Network’s journey so far and best practice in terms of Athena Swan. 

The Role of a Champion

Each School in the University of Galway typically has two Swan Co-Champions, appointed from within a School who report directly to their Head of School. Athena Swan Champions are usually the Chair of their local Athena Swan Self-Assessment Teams (SAT) and are members of their Schools’ Senior Management/Executive Boards.

The role of Athena Swan Co-Champion is a significant leadership position and Athena Swan activity is recognised under the contribution criterion for academic promotion. 


This network enables new Champions to make connections with Champions in other schools, facilitates horizontal and vertical exchange of information, enables integration of institutional and school-level actions and fosters synergising of solutions.

Current Athena Swan Champions

Athena Swan Champions School/Unit
Edel Doherty  Cairnes School of Business and Economics  
Padraic De Búrca 
Orla Cullinane Shannon College of Hotel Management
Eoin Daly School of Law
Maeve Duffy School of Engineering 
Mairéad Faherty 
Kishor Das School of Mathematics, Statistics, and Applied Mathematics 
Joshua Maglione
Florence Abram  School of Biological & Chemical Sciences  
Paul Murphy
Miriam Byrne School of Natural Science 
John McCrae School of Computer Science/DSI  
Michael Madden
Edward Curry
Ananya Gupta School of Medicine  
Derek O'Keefe 
Linda Biesty School of Nursing and Midwifery 
Katherine Pigott
Vicky Hogan School of Health Sciences  
Caroline McIntosh
Gerry Molloy School of Psychology  
Eimear Morrissey
Marie Mahon School of Geography, Archaeology and Irish Studies
Bernadine Brady  School of Political Science and Sociology 
Declan Cooghan
Kevin Davison  School of Education
Sarah-Anne Buckley School of English and Creative Arts
Tina Pusse School of Languages, Literatures and Cultures
Emma Hawkins  CMNMHS EDI Manager
AnnMarie Groarke (Interm VD EDI) Vice Dean for EDI CASSCS
Deirdre Curran Vice Dean for EDI CBPPL
Mary Dempsey  Vice Dean for EDI CSE
Kasia Whysall Vice Dean for EDI CMNHS
Helen Maher  VP for EDI 
Laura Loftus  EDI Programme Manager for Gender Equality 
Aoife Cooke  Head of EDI 
Margaret Forde   EDI Data Manager
Niamh Gallagher  EDI Adminstrative Assistant
Owen Warde   EDI Programme Manager for Race Equality