Cheri Stutzman | The Echo
The Irish Studies Programme (ISP) has announced a new focus for fall of 2019: women in leadership.
The Irish Studies Programme is a semester-long study abroad program during which students live in Greystones, Ireland and experience the country through the classes and trips they take throughout the semester. Classes and activities will focus on learning about topics of women in leadership throughout Ireland along with participating in leadership opportunities at the same time.
According to the ISP website, while in Ireland, students stay at a conference center for the Young Women's Christian Association (YWCA). It's an organization that works with women and issues surrounding women's rights
ISP recognized what this organization was doing and the resources they had and decided to see how Taylor's program could be influenced by the YWCA.
"The main thing that sparked this is that potential synergy with the YWCA in Ireland, which has a similar ethos as Taylor in terms of being very much a faith based organization that really does retain that original vision of helping provide these opportunities particularly for women," Jennifer Moeschberger, director of the Irish Studies Programme said.
Part of the program will be to do a conference on the same topic.
Senior Katie Klingstedt, an intern for ISP and a student who did the program for a semester, said she hopes the new focus will help people see what Ireland looks like today. She also wants it to help students be able to get more involved in the community.
"It's going one step further, right," Klingstedt said. "We're actually going show them what's going on and let them . . . have conversations with people who are doing things in Ireland."
Moeschberger stated that the program is not meant to exclude men, rather she would love to see one or two men who would be interested in going.
ISP also hopes that students returning from the trip will get involved in leadership on campus.
They envision a new cabinet under the Global Engagement office where students can be on a cabinet that works with students returning from trips abroad, whether that's study abroad or another trip. They would help those students debrief and process their times abroad.
"I think there's a need around processing and integrating and debriefing global experiences," Moeschberger said.
This cabinet would give students a chance to get that debriefing as well as provide leadership opportunities for students returning from a semester like this one.
Moeschberger also hopes this new focus will help students discover their own potential. She stated that study abroad, in general, provides a lot of opportunities for exploring your own potential.
"I think for the topic of women in leadership the potential to consider your own gifting's and how you want to use those … and developing even some sense of agency or voice or confidence in stepping into the things," Moeschberger said. "I think it creates some time and space to let that kind of percolate."