Tonye Benson Olatunde

Applied Social Studies

Senior University Tutor

Auxilia, North Campus, Maynooth University
Lower Ground Floor,


Tonye is a Senior University Tutor in the Department of Applied Social Studies at Maynooth University. Tonye lectures, tutors, and coordinates Critical Skills at Maynooth University. She lectures on Social Policy and Equality and supervises research on ethnic minorities and marginalised groups. She facilitates programmes on both undergraduate and master's level programmes. Her research interests include Black Ethnic Minority Children and Young People, and Black Women’s Experiences in Higher Education Institutions.

Tonye joined the department in 2013 after a Master's Degree in Rights and Social Policy from the Department of Applied Social Studies at Maynooth University. Before this degree, Tonye had a Master's Degree in Law and Diplomacy and a Bachelor's Degree in English Language from the University of Jos, Nigeria. Tonye is currently a John and Pat Hume Scholar conducting research for a PhD.

Between 2015 to 2018 Tonye held the position of Assistant Lecturer (Maternity Cover). In this role, she contributed and taught across the department’s programmes in both the Bachelor's and Master’s programmes. Tonye's teaching philosophy and community engagements are guided by the department’s mission "To promote human rights, social justice and equality, nationally and internationally, through excellence and innovation in education, research and public engagement that contribute to the development of the social professions and applied social sciences."

Tonye takes a social justice, critical race and critical feminist theory, and policy analysis approach to her work. Tonye draws on her personal experiences as a Black Migrant Woman, as well as from her professional experiences as a minority faculty member of an Irish Higher Education Institution (HEI) to highlight the importance of progressive social policy in responding to the needs of individuals and communities and creating equity in society.

Tonye’s research interests include exploring the experiences of ethnic minority young people and Social Inclusion and racism in second-level education.

Research Projects

Title Role Description Start date End date Amount
Exploring the experiences of ethnic minority young people - 2021-2023 Research team member
Social Inclusion and Racism in Second Level Education - 2021-2022 Research Assistant

Published Report

Year Publication
2023 Benson-Olatunde, T.,; Devlin, M.,; Farrelly, A.,; Hambakachere, R.,; and Tierney, H. (2023) Looking out for, looking after and looking to each other. National Youth Council of Ireland, .
Certain data included herein are derived from the © Web of Science (2024) of Clarivate. All rights reserved.

Professional Associations

Description Function From / To
Irish Federation of University Teachers (IFUT) Member -
Children's Research Network (CRN) Member -
Child and Youth Participation Special Interest Group (CYPSIG) Member -
Child and Youth Migration Special Interest Group (CYMSIG) Member -

Honors and Awards

Date Title Awarding Body
07/07/2021 John & Pat Hume PhD Scholarship Award Maynooth University


Committee Function From / To
Atlantic Technological University (ATU) Equality, Diversity, and Inclusion (EDI) Subcommittee Member -
Places of Sanctuary Ireland Board Member -
University of Sanctuary Steering Committee Member -

Teaching Interests

Introduction to Social Policy, Part 1 - Perspectives, Themes and Concepts Equality and Inclusion in Theory and Practice Social Policy Dissertation (Supervision) - BSocSc semester 1 & 2 Critical Skills for Social Science 1: Inquiry, Discovery, and Discourse (tutorial) - BSocSc semester 1 Critical Skills for Social Science 2: Ideas, Analysis, and Communication (tutorial) - BSocSc semester 2 The Social Science Context of Practice (Social Policy) - BsocSc (Youth & Community Work)