Maynooth University student Shirley Howe has been named as the regional winner for the island of Ireland by the Global Undergraduate Awards in their ‘Social Sciences: Anthropology and Cultural Studies’ category. She has received this award for her essay titled ‘Inishbofin Island: A Changing Environment, A Changing Community’.
The Global Undergraduate Awards (UA), founded in 2008, is the world’s largest academic awards programme with over 100 affiliated institutions of higher education. Under the patronage of President Michael D. Higgins, UA identifies leading creative thinkers and problem-solvers through their undergraduate coursework. All submissions are judged anonymously by an international academic panel of 400+ expert judges from some of the world’s leading academic institutions.
Shirley, a graduate of anthropology and geography at Maynooth, drew on her interdisciplinary skills and passion for both subjects, to complete her essay as part of her capstone Geography project. Her work also detailed insights from ethnographic research she undertook on Inishbofin island as part of her Anthropology undergraduate thesis (under the supervision of Dr Steve Coleman) to understand if and how climate and environmental change is impacting on the lived experiences of the island community.
Shirley is now furthering these research interests by pursuing a doctoral degree in Geography and Anthropology at Maynooth University, for which she has been awarded an Irish Research Council postgraduate scholarship. Her doctoral project is titled ‘Of land and ocean: Culture and climate on Ireland’s islands’, supervised by Dr Conor Murphy (Dept. of Geography/ICARUS) and Dr Chandana Mathur (Dept. of Anthropology).