Martha Brandes is the Head of Access Operations at the Maynooth University Access Programme (MAP). With over 17 years of experience in various roles, Martha is a leader dedicated to transforming educational opportunities for students from underrepresented groups. As a seasoned manager, Martha excels in driving projects and inspiring teams to exceed expectations. Her deep understanding of the challenges faced by students from underrepresented groups fuels her passion for creating equal opportunities. Leveraging her expertise in educational disadvantage, she brings operational and strategic direction to the programme and consistently devises innovative strategies to foster student success and participation.
Martha's commitment to widening participation extends beyond the university. She actively builds partnerships and engages in cross-sector collaboration, resulting in innovative programmes that redefine who goes to college. Noteworthy examples include the Think About Teaching initiative, aimed at diversifying initial teacher education, and the groundbreaking Mountjoy Maynooth University Prison Partnership, Ireland's first prison university partnership.
With a strong foundation in Political Science from the University of Minnesota and a Professional Diploma in Equity & Higher Education from University College Dublin, Martha combines academic knowledge with practical experience.