Carlow University sophomore Jocelyn Inlay, a resident of the City of Pittsburgh’s Lincoln Place neighborhood, has been selected for the Irish American Scholars program, and will spend the 2013-2014 academic year at Queens University Belfast in Northern Ireland.
“I’m really excited to be in the capital of Northern Ireland,” says Inlay, whose tuition for next academic year will be waived by Queens University, a reward for being selected as an Irish American Scholar. “I think the experience will make me grow in so many ways.”
Inlay, who has a double major at Carlow in political science and communication for advocacy, is eager to spend her junior year abroad.
“I’m interested in public policy and how to create change through the political system,” she says. “I want to volunteer to learn hands-on how public policy works in Northern Ireland.”
With the help of Carlow faculty, Inlay, who will depart the U.S. in mid-September and stay until the end of the academic year in June, has already begun to explore the offerings at Queens University.
“We have reviewed the course listings in politics and international affairs, and are excited by the many ways her studies in Belfast would contribute to her academic development,” says Allyson Lowe, PhD, the chair of the political science department at Carlow and one of the faculty members who wrote a letter of recommendation for Inlay. “There is significant local interest in the Pittsburgh area in conflict resolution, and we are pleased to see her have an opportunity to pursue conflict resolution in the Northern Ireland context, as just one of many possible areas of study.”
Inlay also received a letter of recommendation from Jessica Friedrichs, MSW, MPA, the coordinator of the service-learning program and a faculty member in the social work program.
“Jocelyn has both a natural curiosity about the world around her and the drive to make a difference in that world,” says Friedrichs. “This is a perfect combination as she brings an intellectual approach to exploring the challenges we face in society, as well as the energy of activism, service, and political action in her daily life.”
The Irish American Scholars program, which is run by the Association of Catholic Colleges and Universities, is highly competitive and receives a large number of applicants each year. To apply, a student must first be nominated by their home school. An applying student must also maintain at least a 3.2 GPA, write an essay, and have two letters of recommendation.
Five Northern Ireland universities accept American students for one or two semesters as a thank you for Study USA, the opposite program that sends Northern Ireland students to universities in the United States.
For her part, Inlay is eagerly anticipating spending the upcoming academic year abroad.
“I’ve never been to another country before, so I’m looking forward to this,” says Inlay.