Meet Our Fellows

The 2023-2024 Global Irish Studies Initiative Fellowship cohort consists of 4 Undergraduates, 3 Master’s candidates, and 1 PhD candidate. Learn about their independent research projects below.

GIS supports undergraduate and graduate Fellows (all Georgetown students) in developing independent research projects (both critical and creative) that explore Irish Studies in a comparative or global context, focusing on Irish history, politics, literature, public health, business, and more. Our aim is to support student academic work on Ireland in whatever form it takes and in whatever discipline or school it takes place.

Learn more about previous cohorts of GIS Fellows and their research projects here.

The competition for 2023-24 Fellows is now closed, but students interested in becoming a Global Irish Studies Fellow for the 2024-25 year should check the application page in Fall of 2024.

If you are a friend of Global Irish Studies and you wish to support our Fellows program, contact Prof. Cóilín Parsons for more information, or go to our Make a Gift page.

2023-24 Fellows

Ainsley Atwood


Ainsley Atwood is a sophomore in the School of Foreign Service studying Culture and Politics, with minors in English and French.  Her research through the Global Irish Studies fellowship will focus on Irish literature written in response to the 2016 Brexit referendum.  She is interested in whether or not there has been an Irish equivalent to the British literary response to Brexit in the years since the referendum.  Part of her focus is considering the impact of Brexit on Ireland’s relationship with the United Kingdom and the potential this brings for Irish reunification.

Alice Blease

Law Student

Alice Blease is an LL.M. student at Georgetown University Law Center from Belfast, Northern Ireland. She graduated from Trinity College Dublin in May 2023 with first class honors in her LL.B. degree and was awarded the George Moore Scholarship to pursue her graduate study at Georgetown. Alice has a particular interest in transitional justice, human rights and international law. As the GIS Sean MacBride Fellow in International Human Rights, Alice will be researching MacBride’s accomplishments and innovations in international human rights law. A Nobel Peace Prize recipient, MacBride was a pioneering advocate who held leadership positions at many international organizations, including the United Nations, the International Commission of Jurists, and Amnesty International (which he co-founded). Alice’s research aims to cast a light on MacBride’s trailblazing work and his impact on the field.

Brendan Hegarty


Brendan is a senior in the School of Foreign Service majoring in Culture and Politics with a focus on the construction of transatlantic identity. He hails from Massachusetts. The Global Irish Studies Fellowship supports his senior thesis research on President Joe Biden’s visit to Ireland in the spring of 2023. The project uses the broader contexts of American and Irish culture in order to analyze the president’s expressions of his own Irish heritage. Overall, he hopes to draw new conclusions on the contemporary politics of Irish American identity on both sides of the Atlantic.

Vicka Heidt


Vicka Heidt is a senior in the College, majoring in Government and Justice and Peace Studies. Her work and research focuses on peacebuilding, ethical global governance, and social justice. With a particular interest in post-conflict reconciliation and women’s rights, she intends to center her Global Irish Studies project on women in post-Agreement Northern Ireland. Fusing her background in international law with prior preliminary scholarship at the University of Oxford, Vicka is eager to examine modes for alternative justice which respond to increasing levels of domestic violence and elevate broader gender equity in Northern Ireland.

Patrick McSweeney (student) smiles into the camera against a backdrop of greenery.

Patrick McSweeney

PhD Candidate

Patrick is a fifth-year PhD Candidate in the Government Department. His dissertation looks at young people in political parties, considering how their different priorities and approaches can lead to intra-party conflict. Most of his work is focused on American parties, especially the Democratic Party. For his project he is examining the role young people have played in the recent electoral successes of Sinn Féin. The party has been able to use progressive politics to attract young voters, a cohort that is frustrated with the traditional alternatives. He will analyze the factors bringing the group to the party as well as the potential intra-party conflict this may create.

Kavita Premkumar


Kavita Premkumar is a second-year MA student with the Department of English at Georgetown University. The 2023-24 Global Irish Studies Research Fellowship supports her thesis research on representations of gender, sexuality and reproduction in modern Indian and Irish literature.

Kartik Ramkumar


Kartik Ramkumar (he/him) is a Master of Public Policy (MPP) student. He is interested in studying how states implement policies to support economic and industrial development in deindustrialized areas. As a GIS fellow, Kartik plans to research how Ireland’s unique state institutions, such as Enterprise Ireland, support economic growth in Ireland, especially outside the greater Dublin area, and achieve social outcomes, such as women’s participation in business. 

Daniel Wolfe


Daniel is a senior in the School of Foreign Service, majoring in Science, Technology and International Affairs (STIA) and minoring in Chinese. Originally from New York City, Daniel maintains strong connections to Ireland through his maternal relatives in Ballycastle, Northern Ireland. His research with the Global Irish Fellowship will examine investment in renewable energy on the island of Ireland through the lens of environmental peacebuilding. The aim of his research is to understand how the shared goals of a clean energy transition and increased energy independence support peaceful relations between Ireland and the United Kingdom. He is incredibly fortunate to be supervised in his research by Dr. Marcus D. King, Professor of the Practice in Environment and International Affairs.