Education news

Fulbright Irish Awardees to conduct research and teach in the US

Padraig McGonagle and Roisin Hyde

STUDENTS, academics and professionals from 13 higher education institutions in Ireland and Europe are to travel to the US to collaborate with experts in their fields.

Tánaiste Simon Coveney announced 37 Fulbright Irish Awardees for 2018/2019 - including three from Queen's University Belfast.

The Fulbright Programme in Ireland was established in 1957 and annually awards grants for Irish citizens to study, research, or teach in the US and for Americans to do the same in Ireland.

Fulbright recipients are from diverse disciplines spanning science, languages, technology, medicine, literature and the arts.

The programme in Ireland has been a key driver in cross-Atlantic collaborative research for more than 60 years.

Padraig McGonagle from Derry will be teaching Irish at Drew University in New Jersey.

His greatest interests are the Irish language and history, and he has studied both of these subjects since he began attending Queen's in 2009. He has since obtained a BA, MA, PGCE and a certificate in bilingual education.

A qualified teacher, he has experience of teaching Irish at every level of the education system. He is completing his PhD thesis on Éamon de Valera, the Irish language and linguistic nationalism at Queen's.

Roisin Hyde from Queen's will travel to the University of North Carolina at Charlotte.

A Doctoral Research Student at QUB School of Natural & Built Environment, her research focuses on the development of a high-performance, low-impact, cement-free geopolymer concrete cladding panel through the use of innovative automated technologies including 3D Laser Scanning, Point Cloud Modelling and 3D Printing.

As a Fulbright PhD research student in UNCC, she will work with researchers in the Schools of Architecture, Civil and Environmental Engineering to produce a full-scale prototype panel using local industrial by-product and waste materials.

Dr Kerron Ó Luain will also be teaching Irish and taking classes at Villanova University near Philadelphia.

He has completed a PhD in history at Queen's. His thesis addressed popular Catholic mentalities between the Young Ireland Rising of 1848 and the Fenian Rising of 1867.

Dr Ó Luain is involved in campaigning for Irish language rights and teaches Irish to adult learners within the community.

Elsewhere, Jasmine Headlam from NUI Galway will investigate the composition of jellyfish venom at the University of Hawaii, while in the centenary year of women's suffrage, Trinity College Dublin graduate Maurice Casey will travel to Stanford University to investigate archival collections of former suffragettes and other border-crossing revolutionaries.

Mr Coveney said people were at the heart of the extraordinary relationship between Ireland and the US.

"The Fulbright Commission has an unrivalled record in selecting the very best people as Fulbrighters," he said.

"This year's awardees will have the exciting opportunity to study, work, and experience life in the US, to forge new relationships, and to represent the best of contemporary Ireland to the United States."

:: The next round of applications for Fulbright Irish Awards will open on August 31. Interested applicants can visit www.fulbright.ie for more information.

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