Junior Receives Summer Research Grant from Nanovic Institute at Notre Dame

Gwen O’Brien
Director of Media Relations
Saint Mary's College
(574) 284-4579

April 10, 2014 (Notre Dame, Ind.)— The Nanovic Institute for European Studies at the University of Notre Dame has awarded Saint Mary’s College student Kelly Konya ’15 of Twinsburg, Ohio the Saint Mary’s College Summer Travel and Research Grant. This generous award of $4,600 will allow Konya to conduct independent research for her project titled “Seamus Heaney: A True Cosmopolitan Lad” in Dublin, Ireland this summer.

The Saint Mary’s College Undergraduate Summer Travel and Research Grant provides funding to a Saint Mary’s student wishing to undertake a European Studies research project to aid her in an individual thesis essay, paper, or senior comprehensive. This allows them to access sources of information that are unavailable to them locally.

“The Nanovic Institute has been glad to administer this grant, which brings students from Saint Mary’s into the mix of Notre Dame grant recipients conducting independent research,” said Anthony Monta, associate director of the Nanovic Institute. “The staff of the institute wants to congratulate Kelly on her grant award, and wishes her success as she travels to Ireland for her research.”

Konya is majoring in English writing and English literature. Her project will focus on the works of Seamus Heaney, a major Irish poet and playwright of the 20th century whose works have been featured in numerous U.S. publications. “I became interested in Heaney once I noticed his poetry popping up in The New Yorker, and he seemed like the perfect writer to be the focus of my research,” said Konya. Heaney passed away in August last year.

During her time abroad, Konya will conduct focused research on the Italian and classical influences in two of Heaney’s major poetry compilations and two of his plays. Konya said, “Heaney had a special affection for Italy, so I am hoping to explore his sophisticated works and his identity as a cosmopolitan Irishman.”

Konya will spend the majority of her time consulting manuscripts in the archives of the National Library of Ireland. “I want to uncover how both nations [Ireland and Italy] played a part in his being a citizen of the world, rather than just a citizen of Ireland,” she said. “I hope to prepare a unique thesis that will allow me to hone my research abilities and gain the experience to set my future goals in motion”.

In addition to her time in Dublin, Konya plans to travel to Northern Ireland to visit Queens University Belfast, home of the Seamus Heaney Centre for Poetry. She will also attend the Dalkey Book Festival, an annual literary celebration featuring world-class authors of all different genres.

“Studying Heaney in his native Ireland is an opportunity of a lifetime, and I couldn't be more honored and grateful to undertake this project,” said Konya. “I am so thankful to the Nanovic Institute for this opportunity and cannot wait to embark.”

Konya serves as the Saint Mary's College editor at The Observer, the student-run newspaper for the University of Notre Dame and Saint Mary's College.

About Saint Mary’s College: Saint Mary’s College, Notre Dame, Ind., is a four-year, Catholic, residential, women’s liberal arts college offering five bachelor’s degrees and more than 30 major areas of study, such as business, nursing, art, chemistry, and social work. The College’s single-gender environment has been proven, in study after study, to foster confidence, ethical leadership, and strong academic success. Saint Mary's College ranks 76 among the 248 “Best National Liberal Arts Colleges” for 2014 published by U.S. News and World Report. Founded in 1844 by the Sisters of the Holy Cross, Saint Mary’s College’s mission is to educate women and prepare them for postgraduate success whether it’s a first job, graduate school, or postgraduate service.