Ruth Costigan is a founding member of the Law College at the University. She has made a huge contribution to the student experience at College and University level. She was the person who first recognised the need for coordinated academic support for students with disabilities. She established and fulfilled this role in the college – the first academic disability liaison officer in the University. This was identified as good practice and spread across campus.
Ruth reformed the Personal Tutoring system in the Law College, which was again identified as good practice and adopted as University policy and was also taken up by another law school.
Ruth was awarded the first ever teaching prize given by the University (the Distinguished Teaching Award in 2002). She was subsequently awarded the Excellence in Learning and Teaching prize twice, and was also consistently nominated in the years in between, when she was not eligible to receive the award. In 2015, Ruth was given the Vice Chancellor’s award for excellence in teaching.
Ruth has always worked tirelessly for the student experience, long before it became a recognised and valued concept. Ruth's extensive knowledge of the law and student experience led her to be invited by Graduate Entry Medicine to sit on their Progress and Professionalism Committee, a role that is not remunerated but she does voluntarily due to her own professionalism.
Ruth’s research has been nationally and internationally cited in courts and by law reform bodies and academics. She has also been cited in Parliamentary research papers. She can claim to have played a small part in changing the law in several areas. But the biggest measure of success for Ruth is the feedback she gets from students about the difference she has made to them. She inspires students and colleagues to believe in themselves and to reach their potential.