Raising Fellows

Pam and Don at the countdown, dotting every i and crossing every t.

Pam and Don at the countdown, aligning all the parts one last time. Attention to detail can make a world of difference.

My loft apartment is buzzing with activity. Fortunately, Prof/Dr Pam Eddy (my former dissertation advisor) arrived just in time to help with a big project.

Last night my flat-mate, Don, was in the final stretch of submitting a grant application for a prestigious fellowship. Don, Pam, and I had all hands on deck.

Winning these prestigious fellowship requires rigor, passion, and attention to detail. It often requires applying multiple years and continually refining one’s approach. The difference between winning and losing often comes down to how much critique an applicant can gather and address (plus more than a pinch of luck!).

All this, Don well knows. And he’s giving it all he’s got.

For more than a decade Don has methodically established a network of contacts across Ireland. He has continually generated new understanding of the issues immigrant children face in coming to Ireland.

With years of preparation under his belt, Don is well poised to research how Nigerian children who have immigrated to Ireland establish a sense of identity — how they come to feel they belong here, how they deal with being different, and what they think it means to be or become Irish, for instance. And, with a spike in immigration to Ireland underway, the time is ripe for Don’s study.

As soon as Pam arrived in town Sunday, we headed out for coffee with a Professor Emerita from William and Mary who is traveling in Ireland, Dr. Dorothy Finnegan.

As soon as Pam arrived in town Sunday, we headed out for coffee with a Professor Emerita from William and Mary who was traveling in Ireland, Dr. Dorothy Finnegan. Dot taught me in a class on Cross-Disciplinary Perspectives and another in Comparative International Education.

What Don learns can potentially help teachers deliver content more effectively in their increasingly-diverse classrooms. It can also help Irish policy makers understand issues that are central in education today.

A couple weeks ago, Don arrived for a three-month stint to collect interview data at a primary school in the nearby district of Tallaght. I had a spare room in my place just the right size for an up-and-coming research fellow.

Don and I first met at one of the 2012 photography events sponsored on my behalf by Fulbright Ireland and the University of Notre Dame’s center in Dublin. I’ve been fascinated by his topic and his emerging findings ever since.

Since his arrival this year, Don and I have convened daily to discuss our research projects. These informal conversations help us both because we are both researching diversity, education, and identity and we are both building qualitative research skills.

Thankfully, I have an excellent mentor in Pam Eddy. And thankfully, she arrived for a visit just in time to help put the final touches on Don’s grant application.

It takes a village, I think they say, to raise a fellow!

A few days before Pam’s arrival, I’d had the chance to publicly thank the team who helped carry my Marie Curie fellowship application across the finish line.  Dr Jennifer Brennan, Jean Cahill, Dr Marek Rebow, and Dr Nancy Stenson went above and beyond for me and my project — editing, polishing, critiquing and lending ideas. I could not have won the EU’s International Incoming Fellowship without them! And the reference letters from Colleen Dube, Dr Mike Murphy, and Dr Pam Eddy helped seal the deal!

I’m grateful that these knowledgable mentors are willing to share their time and energy with emerging researchers like Don and me!

I also presented at last week's seminar for researchers on Bolton Street who are members of CREATE (Contributions to Research in Engineering and Applied Technology Research).

I also presented at last week’s seminar for CREATE (Contributions to Research in Engineering and Applied Technology Research). Our research group is lead by Dr. Brian Bowe.

Closing a Chapter

In preparation for our chapter, Tim Cole updated me on VBCPS's sustainability strategies.

Last month, while working on our chapter, Tim Cole and I discussed VBCPS’s sustainability strategies.

I’m celebrating a moment of success here before I hit the sack for the night.

I just submitted a full draft of a chapter called “Designing School Buildings to Enhance Performance and Learning” for a book called Marketing the Green School: Form, Function, and the Future that will be part of the Advances in Educational Marketing, Administration, and Leadership (AEMAL) Book Series.  To make that project more fun, I enlisted Virginia Beach City Public School’s Director of Sustainability, J. Timothy Cole, as my supporting author.

This chapter provides a way for me to share some of the research I did for my dissertation and to extend my knowledge — I got to learn from Tim’s successes in Virginia Beach.  Tim has helped create 8 LEED-quality school facilities (5 are certified and 3 are in process to become certified). He even helped pilot LEED v1 in the 1990s.

This is the second chapter I have completed in the two months since I’ve been home.  The other chapter is called “Bringing it all Together Through Group Learning.” It is for a Wiley publication called New Directions for HIgher Education. That project was fun because I got to work with the book’s editor, the illustrious Dr. Pamela Eddy.

Since returning home on August 23, I’ve also managed to compile and submit a dossier to my University, submit a grant proposal asking for funding to help  conduct future research, spend a good amount of time with my students, implement some new teaching techniques, and — this week — get my midterm grades in on time and prep to advise students.

Oh, yes, and tonight I also had a lovely dinner with my dad and step-mom, Joyce, who are in town on business!  It was a real treat to spend a few hours with them.  Joyce is the Director of Admissions for the Vet School at Virginia Tech and she is recruiting at Hampton University in the morning.

All this is  pretty typical in the day of a professor… but I will sleep well tonight, knowing that I’m doing the best job I can possibly be doing right now, despite all the odds I’ve stacked against myself.

It is really nice to step back, take a deep breath, and be thankful for work and health and a ray of happiness every now and then.

And now, to sleep.   There’s much more to do in the morning….

Queen for a Day

Queen of Tarts 2

A visit to the Queen of Tarts in the Dublin’s Temple Bar  is always a treat.

I have fond memories of Dr. Pam Eddy’s most recent visit to Dublin and our stop to see “the Queen” together.

In fact, I sent  a little box of raspberry scones home with Dave a couple of weeks ago… he stopped by Pam and Dave’s on his drive home from the airport to deliver the Queen’s best.

Criminal Courts and First Thursdays in Dublin

Lobby of Ireland's Criminal Court Building, located near Heuston train station.

Lobby of Ireland’s Criminal Court building, located near Heuston train station.

Former Fulbright Pam Eddy and I enjoyed a quick visit to Temple Bar’s First Thursdays events during her February visit.  Throughout most of the year, the galleries and other cultural establishments throughout Temple Bar stay open late (6-8 PM) on the first Thursday night of each month.

Pam and I had time to visit just two galleries because I’d been part of a Fulbright “field trip” to the Criminal Courts of Justice building that started at 5 (as pictured to the left).

It appears that First Thursday is officially dormant during March. This year, it  will re-emerge on Thursday, April 4.

The surprising thing about the many free cultural events offered in Dublin each year is the high level of participation among Dublin residents.  In many other cities, residents ignore such offerings.  That is truly not the case here!

The Temple Bar Cultural Trust website explains:

First Thursdays Dublin is a Temple Bar Cultural Trust initiative that brings together art galleries, cultural and creative spaces on the first Thursday of every month – by sharing the same late-night opening times.

First Thursdays Dublin (FTD) happens on the first Thursday of every month. Opening hours are extended from 6 – 8pm in a number of galleries. Please note: this list changes every month for First Thursdays! It offers you an extra opportunity to visit exhibitions, attend cultural events and experience some light-night culture. It is our way of experiencing a taste of Culture Night on a monthly basis!

Here is the list of the galleries, cultural and creative spaces that are now part of First Thursdays Dublin:

  1. Basic Space
  2. Block T
  3. Centre for Creative Practices
  4. Cow’s Lane Designer Studio
  5. Darc Space
  6. Debbie Paul Studio and Gallery
  7. Design Yard
  8. Designist
  9. Douglas Hyde Gallery
  10. Draiocht, Centre for the Arts
  11. Dublin Civic Trust
  12. Exchange Dublin
  13. Gallery @ No. SIX
  14. Gallery of Photography
  15. Gallery Zozimus
  16. Graphic Studio Gallery
  17. Green on Red Gallery
  18. Hillsboro Fine Art
  19. Jam Art Factory
  20. James Joyce Centre
  21. Kevin Kavanagh Gallery
  22. Little Green Street Gallery
  23. Monster Truck Gallery & Studios
  24. National Gallery of Ireland (open late every Thursday)
  25. National College of Art and Design Gallery
  26. No Grants Gallery
  27. Project 51
  28. Project Arts Centre, Gallery
  29. Olivier Cornet Gallery
  30. Science Gallery
  31. Sol Art Gallery
  32. Talbot Gallery & Studios
  33. Tamp & Stitch
  34. Taylor Galleries
  35. Temple Bar Gallery & Studios
  36. The Copper House Gallery
  37. The Doorway Gallery
  38. The Goethe Institut
  39. The Green Gallery
  40. The Icon Factory
  41. The Joinery
  42. The Keeling Gallery
  43. The LAB
  44. The Little Museum of Dublin
  45. The Market Studios
  46. The Picture Rooms
  47. The Pallas Projects
  48. The White Gallery
  49. White Art Lady

The Impressive National Library of Ireland

You’ll recall that the National Library was on the blog post I made for Kitty Lee.  It was among the things I wanted to see but hadn’t yet.

My recent visitor, Pam Eddy, used to enjoy going there when she was a Fulbright scholar to Ireland in the spring of 2009.  She knew the ropes of getting in and around the place, and that made it easier for me to jump in and enjoy being there.  (I’ll admit I’d been a bit intimidated by the place before going there with her.)

We viewed an exhibition of W. E. B Yeats, stowed our bags in the handy (all glass) lockers, and proceeded into the grand reading hall.  I’ve posted a host of images to show you the grandeur or the hall and the entry procession leading to it.

Around the Dinner Table

We had a ball with my work colleagues Friday night; it is a real treat to be welcomed into someone’s home here and to meet the family!  Pam Eddy and I thoroughly enjoyed ourselves with Mike and Mai Murphy, their boys Sean and Patrick, and the soon-to-wed Brian and Theresa (Hedderman???? or perhaps Bowe????  Only time and a golf tournament will tell for certain).  Regardless of uncertainty on the name front, the meal and the conversation were outstanding!  I so enjoy spending time with the folks at this table.

By the way, Mike and Brian are my Fulbright hosts. Pam and I are Fulbright scholars; she worked as a Fulbright at DIT in 2009 and I have been since August 2012. Lots of brilliant people around the table below… my colleagues’ families are amazingly skilled, talented, and educated, and they are loads of fun to boot.

Dinner at the Murphy home.

Dinner at the Murphy home.

Eating in Church with Pam

Pam and I are managing to have some fun and also get some things accomplished. She’s going to try to write a book chapter or two while she’s here… after she finish grading papers and reviewing dissertation chapters. Whew!

I’m loving my break from grading.  I don’t have to grade papers until May!  This Fulbright scholarship is such an incredible blessing.