Key Contributors

Academic Directors

Dr Leo Casey, Director of Learning & Teaching, and Education Programmes, National College of Ireland


Leo has worked at the intersections of learning, technology and business throughout his career. He is Director of Learning & Teaching and Education Programmes at National College of Ireland. His responsibilities mix teaching, research and academic management. Leo’s research interests revolve around socio-cultural theories of learning, skills of teaching, identity and learning in adulthood and teacher professional development. In his past career, Leo produced many educational television programmes and he ran a successful multimedia and e-learning company. He joined NCI in 2007.


Dr Rose Rudnitski, Dean of Education, Mercy College New York


Dr. Rose Rudnitski currently is the Dean of the School of Education at Mercy College, a comprehensive regional university with four campuses in New York: Bronx, Manhattan, Dobbs Ferry (main campus) and Yorktown Heights. Previously, she was Dean of the School of Education at Felician University in New Jersey, and before that, a professor and Associate Dean in the School of Education at the State University of New York (SUNY) at New Paltz. There she held leadership positions as Director of Literacy Programs, Department Chair, Presiding Officer of the Faculty/Staff, University Faculty Senator to the SUNY system, and Ombudsman.

Rose’s research interests include Interdisciplinary teaching and learning, teaching about genocide and intolerance, social justice, and the history of Education, emphasizing the contributions of women. Rose co-authored the National Council of Teachers of English Guidelines for Teaching about Genocide and Intolerance, articles on Patty Smith Hill and Leta Hollingworth, great, unsung women in education, and has studied adolescent views on war and peace.   Rose also plays the organ, is a runner, bee keeper, and avid reader.

Invited Contributors

Bertram (Chip) Bruce, Professor Emeritus in Library & Information Science, University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign

Chip Bruce.png

Professor Bruce’s research goals include contributing to a conception of democratic education, meaning both the development of critical, socially-engaged citizens and of learning environments (formal and informal learning centers, home and work, and online), which are themselves democratic. Aspects of this work include research on community inquiry through collaborative community-based work, inquiry-based learning, drawing especially upon scholarship of the American pragmatists and the history of Progressive Education, and technology-enhanced learning, including research on the affordances and constraints of new media for learning.

He has also had appointments in Computer Science, the College of Education, Bioengineering, the Center for Writing Studies, and the Center for East Asian & Pacific Studies. During 2007-08, he held a Fulbright Distinguished Chair at the National College of Ireland in Dublin.


Mr Tomás Ó Ruairc, Director of the Irish Teaching Council

Tomas O'R.jpg

Tomás Ó Ruairc was appointed Director of the Teaching Council in May 2012.  Previously, Tomás was in a senior position in the Department of Arts, Heritage and Gaeltacht. Prior to that, he was Deputy CEO and Director of Education Services in Foras na Gaeilge. He has considerable experience in the field of education, having served as a member of the NCCA (National Council for Curriculum and Assessment) from 2006 to 2009; Chair of its Languages Committee (Primary) in 2009; and as Head of Irish and Chair of the Academic Council in Froebel College of Education from 2000 to 2005. He was a teacher in Athlone Community College, Co. Westmeath. He has produced syllabus and teaching materials in the area of teaching of Irish to adults for UCD (Diploma in Irish) and Gael Linn. He has presented a number of papers on matters related to teacher professionalism, which can be accessed via this link on


Sugata Mitra, Professor of Educational Technology at the School of Education, Communication and Language Sciences at Newcastle


Prof. Sugata Mitra is Professor and Principal Research Investigator at the School of Education, Communication and Language Sciences at Newcastle University, UK.

He conducted the Hole in the Wall (HIW) experiment, where in the year 1999 a computer was embedded within a wall in an Indian slum at Kalkaji, Delhi and children were allowed to freely use it. The experiment aimed at proving that kids could be taught computers very easily without any formal training. Sugata termed this as Minimally Invasive Education (MIE). The experiment has since been repeated at many places. He is the recipient of many awards from India, the UK, USA and many other countries in the world.

His interests include Children’s Education, Remote Presence, Self-organising systems, Cognitive Systems, Physics and Consciousness.

The Hole in the Wall experiment has left a mark on popular culture. Indian diplomat Vikas Swarup read about Mitra’s experiment and was inspired to write his debut novel that went on to become the Oscar winning movie of 2009 – Slumdog Millionaire.

He is a PHD in Physics credited with more that 25 inventions in the area of cognitive science and educational technology. He was conferred the prestigious Dewang Mehta Award from the Government of India for Innovation in Information Technology in the year 2003. Amongst many other awards, he was awarded the 1 million dollar TED Prize in 2013.

Starting with molecular orbital computation in the 1970s, Mitra discovered that the structure of organic molecules determine their function more than the constituent atoms.

After a Ph.D. in Solid State Physics from the IIT, Delhi, he went on to research energy storage systems, first at the Centre for Energy Studies in the IIT and then at the Technische Universität, Vienna, Austria. This resulted in a new design for Zinc-Chlorine batteries.

His interests in the flow of electricity through biological systems, a consequence of his Ph.D. research on exciton dissociation in organic semiconductors, led on to a seminally speculative paper on why the human sense organs are located where they are.

His interest in computer networking led him towards the emerging systems in printing in the 1980s. He set up India’s first local area network based newspaper publishing system in 1984 and went on to predict the desktop publishing industry. This in turn led to the invention of LAN based database publishing and he created the “Yellow Pages” industry in India and Bangladesh.

His interest in the human mind once again led him into the areas of learning and memory and he was amongst the first in the world to show that simulated neural networks can help decipher the mechanisms of Alzheimer’s disease.

He was amongst the first people in the world to invent Voluntary Perception Recording (a continuously variable voting machine) and a hyperlinked computing environment, several years ahead of the Internet.

Professor Mitra’s work at NIIT created the first curricula and pedagogy for that organisation, followed by years of research on learning styles, learning devices, several of them now patented, multimedia and new methods of learning. Culminating and, perhaps, towering over his previous work, are his “hole in the wall” experiments with children’s learning. Since 1999, he has convincingly demonstrated that groups of children, irrespective of who or where they are, can learn to use computers and the Internet on their own using public computers in open spaces such as roads and playgrounds. He brought these results to England in 2006 and invented Self Organised Learning Environments, now in use throughout the world. In 2009, he created the Granny Cloud, of teachers who interact with children over the Internet.

In 2013, he was awarded the first $1 million TED prize, to put his educational ideas together to create seven laboratories called ‘Schools in the Cloud’. Here he is studying learning as emergent phenomena in an educational self organising system.

Since the 1970s, Professor Mitra’s publications and work has resulted in training and development of perhaps a million young Indians, amongst them some of the poorest children in the world. The resultant changes in the lives of people and the economy of the country can only be guessed at.


Professor Nóirín Hayes, Trinity College Dublin 

Noirin Hayes.jpgProfessor Nóirín Hayes is Visiting Professor at the School of Education, Trinity College Dublin and Professor Emerita, Dublin Institute of Technology. Her specialist field is early childhood development and education, curriculum and pedagogy and children’s rights. She is the author and co-author of a number of books, reports and research articles on early childhood education, practice and policy including Introducing Bronfenbrenner: A Guide for Practitioners and Student in Early Years Education [2017: Routledge] and Early Years Practice: Getting it Right from the Start (2013: Gill and Macmillan). She has served on a number of national and international advisory groups, is a founder member of the Children’s Rights Alliance and an Honorary Member of OMEP


Suzanne Nolan (EdD, MA, H.Dip, BA), Senior Support Tutor, City of Dublin Education and Training Board

Dr. Nolan is a proactive and passionate educator with 16 years experience in the education and training environment. Her professional motivation is focused on the transformative ability of education to create positive social change. Dr Nolan’s research has primarily focused on the exploration of recognition and respect in the teaching and learning environment and its impact upon adult learners. In 2015 she continued her interest in respect research through the founding of Living Respect, a non profit organisation created to explore and cultivate the practice of respect. She is currently Senior Support Tutor with the CDETB and has worked within this organisation in inner city Dublin communities since 2005. Dr. Nolan has been a Director with Developing Alternative Values (DAV), a non-profit education and training organisation for adults with intellectual disabilities, funded by the HSE, since 2012.


Jan P. Hammond, Ed.D. Associate Professor Emerita, State University of New York and Associate Professor, Long Island University Dept. of Educational Leadership and Administration

Jan Hammond.jpgDr. Jan Hammond, associate professor, is a member of the Department of Educational Leadership and Administration for the College of Education, Information, and Technology (CEIT) at Long Island University (2010-present).  She serves on the CEIT Interdisciplinary Doctoral Executive Committee and is the Assessment Coordinator for the doctoral program.  From 1999-2010, Jan served as chair and internship coordinator for the Department of Educational Administration at the State University of New York at New Paltz, where she earned Associate Professor Emerita and still continue to teach online for the department.  With nearly 45 years giving service as an educator, Jan has taught middle school math and English, and has held several public school administrative positions, including high school music director, principal, and assistant superintendent for business. A frequent presenter at the state and national levels, Jan is past president of the Collegial Association for Developing Educational Administrators (CADEA), the state organization that serves to advance educational administration preparation programs. She has also held the office of president for New York State Association of Supervision and Curriculum Development and affiliate for national (ASCD) as well as president of New York State Association of Women Administrators (NYSAWA).  She was appointed to the New York State Education Department’s Board of Regents Professional Standards and Practices Board (2008-2014).  Jan has received several honorary awards, including a Fulbright to Ireland and New York State Educator of the Year. Her educational research expands from Europe to India, Singapore, China, and Japan. Her recent book, The Mentor (2014), highlights in story form best theories and practices for school leaders.

Jan earned her Bachelor of Arts degree from the State University of New York, her Master of Science degree in Music from Western Connecticut State University, and her Certificate of Advanced Study from Southern Connecticut State University.  In 1992, she earned her Doctor of Education degree (Ed.D.) from Teachers’ College, Columbia University.


Raghavan Parthasarthy, Ph.D. Professor, Bus. Policy & Strategy, Baruch College, City University of New York & Principal Partner, Strategy Consulting Group

Raghavan Parthasarthy.jpgDr. Raghavan Parthasarthy is Professor of Business Policy and Strategic Management at the graduate school of business, City University of New York. He received his Ph.D. in Business Policy and Strategy from the same university in 1991. His dissertation was chosen for excellence in its contribution to the field of Strategic Management and he was awarded the best doctoral dissertation prize.

Besides Ph.D,, Dr. Parthasarthy holds M.A. (Econ and, M.B.A. (Management) degrees.

Dr. Parthasarthy’s research has appeared in top-tier scholarly journals such as The Academy of Management Review, Strategic Management Journal, Advances in High Technology Management, Journal of Engineering and High Technology Management, and Unesco Inderscience International Journal of Vehicle Design

Dr. Parthasarthy has authored one textbook and five monographs on Strategic Management. He is a columnist for Business Line and his articles on Economics, Business, and Government have frequently appeared in professional journals and periodicals.

Besides teaching and scholarly writing, Dr. Parthasarthy provides consultancy services to Fortune 500 firms and government organizations in areas of business strategy and resource management. He is a senior partner at Strategy Consulting Group (SCG) in which capacity he has advised AT&T, Ford Motor Co., BSNL (India), Chennai Telephones (India), Punjab Agro Industries Corp (India), and the State Government of Punjab.

Dr. Parthasarthy has conducted educational seminars and workshops for executives and has been an invited-speaker at chambers of commerce and trade associations.

Faculty Contributors

Dr Laura Costelloe, Education Programmes, National College of Ireland

Laura-Costelloe.jpgDr. Laura Costelloe works as a Lecturer in Learning and Teaching at National College of Ireland, having previously held positions at the University of Limerick and the Université d’Avignon, France. She lectures on undergraduate and postgraduate modules in the areas of education, teaching, learning, assessment and research methods. She is Programme Director for the newly introduced BA (Hons) in Adult and Workforce Education and was a key member of the programme development team. Prior to taking up the post in National College of Ireland, she completed an Irish Research Council funded PhD at the University of Limerick in the area of Applied Linguistics and Media Studies and also holds a Masters in French Language and Literature from the University of Oxford (St. Hugh’s College). Her research interests include learning, teaching and assessment practices at Higher Education, discourses on learning and teaching and the analysis of media discourses in both Irish and French contexts.


Dr Meera Oke, Education Programmes, National College of Ireland

Meera (3).jpg

Dr. Meera Oke currently is the Programme Director in Early Childhood Education at NCI’s Learning Teaching Department, Dublin, Ireland. She has a doctoral degree in Human Development with a focus on Child Development from Mumbai, India. Her international experience involves a synthesis of academic research, teaching, programme development and practical experience with children in different circumstances.  Her key areas of interest and work are in learning and development in the Early Years, adolescence; play and adoption outcomes.