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Dr. Kemp Mabry
Ireland trip beneficial to students
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    Dr. Howard Keeley, his wife, Jessica, and their children, Fielding and Mary Georgia, recently returned from a 20-day trip to Ireland. Dr. Keeley, who is director of GSU’s Center for Irish Studies, is a native of Dublin, Ireland.
    While in Ireland, in addition to a Christmas visit with family, Dr. Keeley was able to make arrangements with the University of Limerick, a regional university with a student body similar to that at GSU. Under these arrangements, GSU students will be able to study for a regular semester or during the summer at the University of Limerick. Accompanying Dr. Keeley for the business portion of his trip was Dr. Jane Rhoades-Hudak, the dean of GSU’s College of Liberal Arts and Social Sciences.
    I have asked Dr. Keeley to give us his report on the arrangements made with the University of Limerick. He writes:
    “Thanks to the outstanding support we receive from the community in Statesboro and Bulloch County, our Center for Irish Studies continues to grow and strengthen. Part of my vision for the Center is to establish a relationship with an Irish university so that our students can study in Ireland. The Board of Regents has challenged all institutions in the University System of Georgia to make quality study-abroad opportunities available to the young people of our state. I’m proud that GSU’s Center for Irish Studies is taking a lead in this regard, with particular help from Dean Rhoades-Hudak and Dr. Nancy Shumaker (director of the Center for International Studies).
    “There are many compelling reasons for selecting the University of Limerick as our partner, not the least of which is my belief that our students will feel welcome and, thus, be productive there. With around 11,000 students, the University of Limerick resembles GSU in important ways: it began life as a teachers’ college; it serves a large rural hinterland; and it’s on the cutting edge as regards information technology.
    “Located next door to the Irish National Technology Park, the University’s beautiful, modern campus sits on the banks of the storied River Shannon, not far from the historic town of Limerick. High-quality student accommodation abounds throughout the campus. In addition, there’s a superb range of extracurricular activities, in part because the university boasts the most advanced sports complex on the island of Ireland. Fast rail links connect Limerick to the cosmopolitan cities of Cork and Dublin, but Limerick’s also the gateway to some of Europe’s most breathtaking countryside, full of ancient monuments and castles.
    “Our GSU students will be able to spend an entire semester — fall, spring or summer — at the University of Limerick, living and studying alongside their Irish peers. A typical student will take four courses, chosen from an extensive array of exciting, relevant options. Among the selection will be courses that reflect Ireland’s modern status as earth’s “most global” economy. However, Ireland’s traditional culture is also available. The University of Limerick houses, for example, the Irish World Academy of Music and Dance, as well as Ireland’s national self-portrait and watercolor collections.
    “Drs. Rhoades-Hudak and Shumaker agree with me that this partnership with University of  Limerick is a highly significant step forward for our Center for Irish Studies, which Dr. Frederick K. Sanders and others founded just over a decade ago. We should all celebrate this new addition to our program, for the people of this community have nurtured and sustained the Center throughout its existence.”
    Given that some 35 million of us can trace our ancestry back to the Emerald Isle, it is heartening to see that GSU will now be providing this opportunity to the younger generation. As a longtime member of the board of the Center for Irish Studies, I am proud of how far we have come.
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