Lynne Cahill, December 2013.
I returned to Maynooth in 2005 as a mature student studying Anthropology and Sociology. Looking back, I can honestly say my experience at Maynooth University had a profoundly positive impact on all aspects of my life. It’s the one decision that I am most proud of. Once you apply yourself academically and let the knowledge in, you are in the process (whether you realise it or not) of opening yourself up to great personal change and development.
Studying Sociology at Maynooth, you start to see the society around you in a very different light, a different shade to the one you are accustomed to. Understanding key concepts and theories in Sociology has the power to rattle you from the inside and shake all of your beliefs and value systems to the core! So be prepared! I loved the entire experience and found the staff to be approachable and supportive, with regard to some staff members; I would describe them as empowering.
I completed my degree in 2008; I left Maynooth knowing that I had given everything I had to successfully completing my studies. The sense of achievement I experienced has stayed with me to this day and I carry this ambition and drive with me in every position I engage with going forward.
As a direct result of the positive experience with Maynooth, in 2008/09, I went on to complete a Masters in Applied Social Research Methods at TCD. Following my Masters, I spent four years working as a social researcher within third level institutions, and for different agencies within the community and voluntary sectors.
This year I’ve been given the opportunity to lecture with the Sociology Department in Maynooth University. Additionally, I have been awarded a full scholarship by the School of Social Work and Social Policy, Trinity College Dublin. I commenced my doctoral studies in September 2013. My area of research is same sex intimate partner violence. The central aim of this mixed methods study is to document the scope and experience of domestic violence within intimate partner same sex relationships, and to determine the factors associated with domestic violence within the LGBT population in Ireland. Reflecting on my journey so far, it is evident that engaging with education can open up a plethora of possibilities – it all started when I took that first step and enrolled with Maynooth…