Around the World - Mary McKevitt '11

Around the World

Mary McKevitt '11 has combined her love for dance, education, and culture to make the most of her time here at Saint Mary’s. Mary is an education major and is working toward a certificate in special education: mild interventions. She is also an active member of the Education Club, Invisible Children, Best Buddies, and the ND/SMC Irish Dance Team.

Mary learned to Irish dance when she was four years-old and in her first year of college, her sister, Beth McKevitt Knollman ’08, was the president of the ND/SMC Irish Dance Team. Mary joined the team in hopes of practicing her passion for dance and meeting women from both Notre Dame and Saint Mary’s. Irish dance became a big part of Mary’s and her family’s life.

The dance team captains held tryouts to compete in the 2010 Club Ceili Competition at All-Irelands. Along with seven other women, Mary was chosen to represent the team in Ireland. During the month leading up to the competition, the women practiced four to five times a week, but the hard work paid off. The ND/SMC Irish Dance Team won first place in the competition. Following their win, “Everything seemed surreal,” Mary says. “We couldn’t believe we actually made it to Ireland.” And they came away winners. Mary says the competition unified the team, allowing them to share in an incredible experience abroad. 

Mary also had the chance to study abroad in Rome during her sophomore year. She says, “I wanted to experience another culture and step out of my comfort zone.” Rome students take classes in Italian art history, classical archaeology, monument drawing, history of music, mythology, literature, history, international business, journalism, and mythology, among others. They live in the center of the ancient city in the historic Hotel Tiziano. Mary says the experience did much more for her than immerse her in Italian culture. “Studying abroad has allowed me to become more independent and learn more about myself.”

This summer, Mary will participate in the Uganda program and travel to the city of  Kyarusozi, where she will live with the Sisters of the Holy Cross and work in their ministries. She will teach at Moreau Primary School. When she returns in July, Mary will be a camp counselor at Saint Mary’s Fine Arts Camp. With so many experiences under her belt, Mary says the people are what matter most to her. She has developed friendships at home and abroad that will last her lifetime. She adds, “[Saint Mary’s] has helped make me passionate about my field of study, and my professors continue to inspire and encourage me daily.”

—Sarah Sheppard '11