Toni entered university as a mature student in 1994. Between 1994 and 1997 she undertook a BA in Humanities at St Patrick’s College, Drumcondra. In 1997 she commenced an MA in Communication and Cultural Studies at Dublin City University, graduating with first class honours in 1999. In October 1999 Toni was commissioned by AONTAS (the National Association for Adult Education in Ireland) to conduct a qualitative study of barriers to male participation in education. The Department of Education and Science funded this project and the research report entitled Men on the Move: An Exploration of Barriers to Male Participation in Education and Training Initiatives in Ireland was published by AONTAS in 2000.
In 2001 Toni became a Government of Ireland Scholar when the Irish Research Council for the Humanities and Social Sciences awarded her a three-year scholarship to conduct her PhD at St Patrick’s College, Drumcondra. During her studies, Toni conducted An Evaluation of the Impact of Programmes funded by the Education Equality Initiative on Men’s Development in the Ballymun area (2003) for the Department of Education and Science. Toni’s qualitative doctoral study entitled An Exploration of the Links between Male Identity and the Development of the Field of Men’s Community Education in Ireland was completed in 2004 and she was awarded her doctorate in 2005. Based on her doctoral work, Toni authored a chapter in Downes, P. & Gilligan, A.L. (eds), Beyond Educational Disadvantage (2007), published by the Institute of Public Administration, Dublin.
Areas of Interest
Toni is interested in the field of men’s studies, that is, the study of the masculine gender and gender relations conducted from the male perspective. Since the 1970s, male scholars have gradually been developing this field of study in the United States, Australia and the United Kingdom – the task of building such a body of scholarship in Ireland has yet to be commenced. While much theorising on gender has been articulated by feminist scholarship, contributions from male scholars has brought an added dimension to academic inquiry in this area that is serving to enhance understandings of the workings of gender in society. Up to May 2008 Toni lectured on her doctoral topic and on qualitative research methodologies on BA, MA, M.Ed and Ed.D courses at St. Patrick’s College, Drumcondra.
In 2011 Toni took on the role of independent academic consultant with QDATRAINING Ltd