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Queen's University Belfast welcomes specialist Fulbright scholar

05 April 2023

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A New York City-based advisor to government and third sector organisations has received a Fulbright Specialist Award to visit Queen’s University Belfast to undertake a community research project linked to the Belfast Region City Deal.

Janet Corcoran, who was previously Executive Advisor to the President of City University of New York’s LaGuardia Community College, Vice President of Institutional Advancement, and Director of the College’s charitable foundation, will visit Belfast for three weeks (April 24 to May 12) to explore opportunities for engagement and collaboration between the City Deal programme at Queen’s and local communities.

Janet, who specialises in using interdisciplinary and collaborative approaches to find innovative solutions to public policy challenges, will complete a project that aims to exchange knowledge and establish partnerships benefiting participants, institutions, and communities, facilitated by Queen’s Communities and Place (QCAP).

She explained: “My passion for advancing the well-being of LaGuardia’s students and raising awareness of the role community colleges play in fostering upward mobility and a healthy economy were the inspiration for my project at Queen’s.

“I’m interested in how communities can engage with the Belfast Region City Deal’s innovation investment, particularly within the three Innovation Centres Queen’s University is delivering, to drive inclusive outcomes. I’m keen to speak to individuals, communities and organisations who can share knowledge in this area.”

Kara Bailie, Deputy Director Strategic Programmes for Belfast Region City Deal Programme at Queen’s, said: “As a City Deal partner Queen’s has demonstrated its commitment to civic leadership and driving inclusive growth and impact in Northern Ireland.

“The three innovation centres we are delivering in partnership with government and industry in advanced manufacturing, clinical research and secure, connected digital technologies are aimed at helping to harness additional investment, creating new jobs and accelerating economic growth across the region.

“We look forward to seeing Janet’s research which will support us to work effectively with local communities to help achieve the inclusive growth ambitions of the City Deal, ensuring a positive impact on the most deprived communities and driving progress for generations to come.”

Professor Kathy Higgins, QCAP Director, said: “We’re delighted to host Janet. Serving as a key delivery mechanism for Queen’s University Belfast’s strategic commitment to social and civic responsibility and economic prosperity, at QCAP we pride ourselves on the engaged approach we take in our work.

“Hosting a prestigious Fulbright Scholar signals a strong commitment by Queen’s, as a City Deal partner, to authentically achieve inclusivity in the delivery of the BRCD.

“Working with QCAP will enable Janet to access a range of authentic community voices through our gateway role to local communities. We are looking forward to facilitating the consultations to find out what opportunities BRCD can bring for communities in their daily life.”

Janet’s diverse career spans over 30 years in senior executive roles in higher education, non-profit management, and public finance.

She holds a BA in Government from Harvard College, a Master’s in City and Regional Planning from the Harvard Kennedy School, and a Juris Doctorate from Boston College Law School, where she was an Editor of the Boston College Law Review.

The Fulbright Program is the flagship international educational exchange program sponsored by the U.S. government and is designed to build lasting connections between the people of the United States and the people of other countries.

The Fulbright Specialist Program sends US faculty and professionals to serve as expert consultants on curriculum, faculty development, institutional planning, and related subjects at academic institutions abroad for a period of two to six weeks.

Recipients of Fulbright Specialist awards are selected on the basis of academic and professional achievement, demonstrated leadership in their field, and their potential to foster long-term co-operation between institutions in the US and abroad.

Individuals or organisations can contact Janet through

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