“The Presidential Emerging Scholar Grant is a unique affirming grant, which may be bestowed upon a Montana State University undergraduate in recognition of their potential for success as an emerging scholar. Unlike other similarly prestigious awards, selection is not based on academic performance, scholarly research, campus involvement or financial need. Rather, the Presidential Emerging Scholar Grant requires just one simple criterion -- potential.”
My project involved the historical and archaeological site known as Caherconnell outside of Kilfenora, Ireland. I was able to utilize medieval artifacts to help create a further understanding of the site and Gaelic culture. Working with National University Ireland-Galway, I assisted in an archaeological excavation that added context to the already impressive archives. At the end of my two weeks, I had identified 673 bones, excavated as a team, and allowed for the context layer to be confidently identified as an area of strong activity — a kitchen from the 11th century.
This opportunity allowed me to academically advance my studies and interests. I realized how interdisciplinary archaeology digs are, and how history is more than just written sources but include cultural artifacts as well. Without this opportunity, I wouldn’t have been able to gain valuable experience in the field.
Personally, this was the confidence boost I needed. Although I’m (now) sure-footed in my studies, Caherconnell was an excellent way to confirm just how far I’ve come. When I started at Montana State, I was an insecure student coming off a traumatic injury. I hardly recognize that student, and Caherconnell has helped me flourish and develop my academic skills. Thanks to this I feel ready for graduate school, wherever it may be.