Lower Burrell girl gets chance to study in Northern Ireland
Fitting enough, it wasn't long before St. Patrick's Day that Adrienne Bracken received some exciting news pertaining to the Emerald Isle.
She learned she had received a competitive scholarship to study abroad in Northern Ireland.
“I got the email and I just about fell out of my seat,” said the Lower Burrell resident.
“I was shocked. From what I understand, study-away opportunities – especially ones that have some sort of scholarship or financial aid attached – are hard to get.”
Along with Katelyn Stanley of Kentucky, Bracken is one of two students from Greensburg's Seton Hill University selected to take part in the Irish-American Scholars program, which goes to a small number of students throughout the country each year.
Sponsored by the Association of Presbyterian Colleges and Universities, the United Methodist Church and the Association of Catholic Colleges and Universities, the program selects applicants based upon an essay, references and grade-point average.
Those chosen get the chance to study at one of five Northern Ireland universities.
Bracken, a junior with an English major and a psychology minor, is looking forward to the country's history and beauty.
“I've been told there is a lot of inspiration to be found there,” she said.
Her advisor, Christine Cusick, associate professor of English and composition, describes Bracken as a student who is “humble, incisive and intellectually curious.”
“She cares not just about the aesthetic beauty of literature but also about how the study of literature impacts how we think, imagine and live,” Cusick said. “She will bring humility and intellectual curiosity to her studies abroad, qualities that will empower her to truly learn from her experiences in a new cultural context.”
At Seton Hill, Bracken is involved with “anything with an English focus” on campus. That includes working on the campus newspaper, being a member of the literary magazine staff and president of the English club.
When she attends school in Northern Ireland in fall 2013, she plans to continue being that active while studying English and psychology at the University of Ulster in Coleraine.
Bracken plans to obtain a Ph.D. in English literature and teach at the post-secondary level.
She expects that the chance to study at the University of Ulster will help her to prepare for additional study, especially if she chooses to pursue further education abroad.
Bracken learned of the award in January and applied for it last month.
She found that a new perspective on such opportunities helped give her the motivation to move ahead.
“There always seems to be something holding you back from going ahead and doing what you want to and furthering your education,” she said.
“I thought, ‘What if there wasn't a barrier? What if it turns out you really can go?' ”
“I had to just push through it, and I'm incredibly happy that I did now because everything worked out in my favor.”
Julie E. Martin is a freelance writer for Trib Total Media.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Thirsty pit bull turned on Arnold neighbors
- Large crowd mourns Rayburn woman allegedly killed by escapee
- Alcoa takes 2nd step for exemption in Burrell
- Couple jailed after domestic assault in Gilpin
- Avonmore mayor resigns, replacement sought
- Armstrong D.A.: Jail procedures will be reviewed in light of escape, murder
- West Leechburg credits vigilance with keeping crime at bay
- None hurt in Springdale house fire
- Rainy summer delays paving projects in New Kensington
- Armstrong inmate escapee charged with murdering family matriarch
- Captured Armstrong jail escapee Crissman’s criminal history