From dolls to dinosaurs for Craanford's Patricia
Early love of history has blossomed into promising career
UCD student Patricia Kenny (25) from Craanford has been awarded the Fulbright research award and will be taking part in a cultural exchange programme to the USA from early next year.
Patricia is a former student of St Patrick's National School Craanford as well as Coláiste Bhríde Carnew, and she is looking forward to researching the use of fossils in prehistoric native American communities during her trip to Washington DC.
'I've loved archaeology for as long as I can remember. I remember seeing my dad Dermot watching a programme about dinosaurs when I was about five or six, I was playing with dolls at the time. I soon forgot about the dolls and became much more interested in history and the past,' said Patricia.
Patricia explained that her father, a Roche from Tara Hill used to tell her about ring forts and stories about fairies on his lands, and what action to take around going in to certain fields.
'He sparked my imagination and in school I developed my interest in Irish and European history. I still love the mystery of archaeology, I feel like I'm a detective of the past when I piece together remains to form a story about people from that time,' she said.
Patricia received a BSc degree in archaeology and geology in 2015, and this fuelled an interest in how past communities perceived and explained their natural landscape.
She pursued this passion in an masters in archaeology, and she is now based in Dublin as a second year PhD candidate at UCD.
Patricia said that her PhD is going well, and that she is on field study and her current research study is funded by a scholarship from the Irish Research Council, while the Fulbright award is sponsored by Creative Ireland.
'The award and visit to archaeological collections from the Smithsonian Institution in Washington will add to the interpretive section of my PhD and it'll enrich my findings. Career wise it'll help me also, as I'd like to work at a university combined with public outreach, focusing on projects that create local reach groups, and get people involved in projects that take a local aspect,' she said.
Patricia said that she loves coming home to Craanford as they have a big family there, including her two sisters and one brother, that she is very close to.