Alumni Spotlight: Erin Donovan


Erin is a 30 year old, non-traditional undergraduate student attending Ball State University in Muncie, Indiana, and set to graduate May 2015. For the past four years of her undergrad, Erin has helped her fellow students tutoring math for Ivy Tech Community College. She has also been employed by the Applied Anthropology Lab at Ball State University for the past two years, gaining invaluable experience and fostering her passion for archaeology.

Tell us about an experience you had that you could not have had at home.

Erin: The best thing I did while abroad was to conquer fears. During our stay at Spike Island, most of the students went kayaking on the open water in Cork Harbor. The first two times a large group went, I declined out of fear; fear of the open water and fear of the unknown.

One of the last few days of the field school, three of my fellows were going out and prompted me to go with them. In a split second, I agreed and I am so glad I did. I worked through my fear and experienced the peace and the beauty that could be found out on the water.

What made this experience unique and special?

Erin: What made this experience unique and special more than anything was the people I shared it with. Everyone was so amazing and we all shared in this grand adventure together. I can honestly say that I have never become so close with so many people in so short a time. I will neither forget my time in Ireland, nor the amazing people I shared the experience with.

Do you feel you got a chance to see the city from a local's perspective?

Erin: By being immersed in a field school that was half international students and half Irish students, I definitely feel as though I was afforded the opportunity to see my surroundings from the viewpoint of the Irish. We had opportunities to hang out off the island and see the area in the way in which our Irish friends saw it.

Do you think your program changed you as a person?

Erin: This program without a doubt changed me as an individual, as I have grown so much from this experience. I had never had the opportunity to go outside the United States of America before this, hardly outside of the Midwest, to be honest. But, being able to see more of the world outside of the familiar and experience another culture.