Samuel Finnerty

Post-Graduate Student in Cognitive Science
Belfield, Dublin.
Single Honours of Anthropology
Masters of Anthropology and Development

When awarded a scholarship from the Combating Diseases and Poverty Consortium which allowed me to conduct research into AIDS related stigma and discrimination in Tanzania as part of my Masters in Anthropology and Development.

Awarded a research scholarship by the Combating Diseases and Poverty Consortium
Member of the Anthropology Society

The atmosphere and the warmth of the university is second to none and its location in the small town of Maynooth is rather special. Also it has the only Anthropology Department in the Republic of Ireland, with a dedicated and experienced staff, where I was lucky enough to have studied in for five years. 

My critical thinking and research skills have stood to me. I was challenged to think critically and argue my point effectively. Being able to appraise my own thinking and engage in academic analysis of my own and other societies and cultures has been really beneficial to me. This was a truly useful skill-set to have when I worked as the Development Manager with a small educational non-profit working in Cambodia and India for more than two years. Now these skills have enabled me to carve out my own path academically leading to a place on a cognitive science post-graduate program in UCD which I plan to follow up with interdisciplinary research at a doctoral level.

Go with the course that you love as opposed to what is seen as the sensible choice. You'll be happier for it and will find a career that matches your character and your interests. 

Following my submission of my Masters thesis 'Kunyanyapaa na Ukimwi: AIDS related stigma and discrimination in Tanzania' I found voluntary work with a small educational non-profit organisation. The SCOOP Foundation is a voluntary run organisation that lends support, through skilled volunteer advocacy and education work and the building of educational facilities, to a small number of educational initiatives in Cambodia and India. I stepped in as the Development Manager and along with the Volunteer Manager Claudia Tormey, built the development team establishing a well informed and well trained robust team of people to tackle the issues that SCOOP concerned itself with. The team worked in Ireland and Cambodia and India to raise awareness of the issues facing poor communities near Phnom Penh in Cambodia, Varanasi in India and Kerala in India, as well as provide skilled long-term officers to work in partnership with the communities to improve their living situations and their educational opportunities. After more than two years of working with SCOOP I stepped back so that I could focus on research questions that arose from the earlier work conducted during my Masters in Anthropology. Now I am a masters student in the cognitive science program at UCD where I plan to work on a number of projects that will lead to interdisciplinary research at a doctoral level and beyond. 

The establishment of the development team with SCOOP and recognition of our progress by Comhlamh who made us signatories of their code of good conduct.
The completion of my Masters thesis 'Kunyanyapaa na Ukimwi: AIDS related stigma in Tanzania' which earned a first-class honours.
Acceptance into the cognitive science program in UCD.