Patricia O’Lynn is a doctoral student at the School of Social Sciences, Education and Social Work, Queen’s University, Belfast. Her research seeks to better understand young people’s experiences of exclusion from school within the context of Northern Ireland. Patricia seeks to gain authentic and meaningful insight into young people’s ‘lived educational and exclusionary experiences.’ She adopts a qualitative, participatory and rights-respecting approach opting to conduct research with, rather than on, young people of interest.
Patricia is a skilled researcher, political activist, education consultant and experienced chair. She has a demonstrated history of leadership across various sectors and currently sits as a board member to the Chartered Management Institute and school governess to Braidside Integrated Primary. Prior to embarking on doctoral research, Patricia achieved a masters in social science, a degree in law and a diploma in strategic level leadership and management. In recognition of her academic excellence, Patricia was presented with the Sir Tomas Dixon award which funded a recent trip to the USA. It will also enable her to conduct a comparative study on truancy between the jurisdictions of Northern Ireland and New Zealand, a project which will start in 2019. Patricia was also a candidate in the most recent Westminster and Assembly elections and is a former congressional intern to the late Senator John McCain.