Mercyhurst readies for first overseas term in Dungarvan, Ireland

Twenty-six students and six professors from Mercyhurst College will travel to Erie’s Irish Sister City of Dungarvan, Ireland, to establish a temporary satellite campus there this spring.



A delegation of Irish dignitaries flanks a new sign
welcoming Mercyhurst College to Dungarvan. 


The ‘Hurst delegation arrives in Ireland March 5 and leaves for home May 13. In between, they’ll choose from a number of courses taught by Mercyhurst professors – including Political Theory with Dr. Michael Federici; British Literature Survey and Irish Literary Heritage, team-taught by Dr. Joanne McGurk and Dr. Brian Reed; Cross Cultural Symbology with Keiko Miller; and Applied Ethics with Dr. James Snyder. In addition, all the students will enroll in an Irish Culture Seminar taught by local faculty, including lessons in the Irish language.

Dungarvan was a natural destination for Mercyhurst’s first overseas term. For more than 20 years, the college has maintained a special relationship with St. Augustine’s College in Dungarvan, granting scholarships to many of its graduates. One of those scholarships went to John Deasy ’90, now a town deputy for Waterford, who helped organize this year’s visit.

Dr. Heidi Hosey, an English professor and director of international education who’ll also be on site during the program, visited Dungarvan in November to firm up arrangements. She told the Town Council, “Dungarvan is the perfect size and location to provide some of our students with their first taste of Europe.”

The group will live at the Park Hotel and take classes in Dungarvan’s Town Hall Theatre and Old Market House Arts Center. Long weekends will allow the students to explore Ireland and Europe, including planned visits to Dublin and West Ireland and an excursion to Paris beginning on Easter Sunday.

The group is a microcosm of the Mercyhurst community. The participants – chosen from more than 100 applicants through a competitive process – include 22 juniors, four seniors and one sophomore with an average GPA of 3.8. There are majors from Intelligence Studies, English, Archaeology/Anthropology, History, Political Science, Philosophy, Education and Business.

The students include: Jillian Barrile, Katherine Clark, Elizabeth Contrella, Calvin Corso, Emily Cranston, Caileen Farrell, Monica Gehring, Elizabeth Anna Geist, Raymond Horton, Sarah Hricko, Megan Hull, Cherie Jackson, Melissa Kirwin, Elizabeth Kostrencic, Melissa Lee, Erin Lewis, Andrew Mayher, Elizabeth McNamara, Taylor Nickel, Lindsey Overdorff, Melia Stanek, Caitlin Toner, Erin Wallenhorst, Joseph Weidenboerner, David Williams    and Daniel Zook.

Among the most active students on campus, they include 10 Egan scholars, three resident assistants, nine varsity athletes, four student representatives in college governance, two leaders in campus green initiatives, three college ambassadors, and 10 percent of the college’s English majors.

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