Natasha Sharma Alumni Relations Manager Development and Alumni Relations, Victoria Denoon, Vice-President Queen’s Graduates’ Association, Eimear O’Rourke Student of the Year 2023, and Shannon Ellis Senior Talent Acquisition Consultant Allstate NI.
Eimear O’Rourke has been announced as the 2023 Allstate NI Queen’s Student of the Year, joining a prestigious list of Queen’s University students who have been similarly recognised for their outstanding achievements.
Eimear has been recognised as this year’s winner for her dedication and commitment to expanding her knowledge through allergy research and public engagement, and through using her own personal experience of allergy to improve the lives of staff and students at Queen’s. Eimear has also been recognised for her various leadership roles within allergy research and the wider Queen’s community.
Eimear’s journey with Queen’s began in 2016, when she studied Human Biology, graduating in 2019 with First Class Honours. Driven by her own personal experience of living with allergy and a desire to make a positive impact in patient’s lives (as well as contributing to allergy research), Eimear decided to return to Queen’s University in 2021 to study Medicine.
Her work extended to featuring on a 2021 Television Documentary on allergy, aiming to increase awareness of allergies in Ireland and educating the public on the daily challenges faced by those living with severe allergy. Featuring on this documentary marked the beginning of Eimear’s journey in advocating for allergy and allergy research.
Since then, she joined the European Allergy Youth Parliament, where she had the opportunity to speak at the European Parliament and advocate for policies to support individuals with allergies. Eimear was also selected to join the Healthcare Leadership Academy, where she set up Ireland’s first Public and Patient Involvement Group to contribute to allergy research.
Eimear is currently an Allergy Ambassador at Queen’s University, where she authored Queen’s first allergy policy. Her role entails raising awareness of allergy and providing support to staff and students who are managing their allergies here at Queen’s.
Eimear is a well-rounded student, who is involved in various aspects of university life. Her former role as Project Lead at Enactus Belfast, provided the opportunity to use her entrepreneurial skills to work on meaningful community projects in Northern Ireland. Eimear is the Chairperson of
Comhairle na NÓg (Child and Youth Council, Ireland) and she has been involved with fundraising for Queen’s Ladies GAA.
On receiving the award, Eimear said: “It’s such a privilege to have been chosen for this award, especially in Queen’s University, where I’ve met so many driven and hardworking students from many different disciplines that are having a significant impact in their field.”
Victoria Denoon, Vice-President of Queen’s Graduates’ Association, commended Eimear on her achievements. She said: “Driven by what she identified as a clear research need, Eimear has proved herself to be a true role model for her fellow students. Her outstanding leadership and commitment to Queen’s staff and students through advocating for allergy and allergy research has given us all something to aspire to.”
Shannon Ellis, Senior Talent Acquisition Consultant at Allstate NI, added: “Eimear, the dedication and commitment that you have shown in expanding your knowledge through allergy research and public engagement makes you such a deserving Student of the Year. On behalf of everyone at Allstate Northern Ireland, thank you and congratulations”.