Two students awarded George J. Mitchell Peace Scholarship to study in Ireland

University of Maine students Madison Riley and Bailey West have been awarded the George J. Mitchell Peace Scholarship for the 2019–2020 academic year and will study in Ireland for a semester as part of the student exchange program.

The competitive merit-based scholarship is made possible by an agreement between Maine and Ireland for a student exchange at the university level. It honors the 1998 Northern Ireland peace accord brokered by Sen. Mitchell between Ireland and the United Kingdom.

The University of Maine System awards one full scholarship or two one-semester scholarships per year which allow students to study at University College Cork in Ireland. This year — for the third time — both winners attend UMaine.

Riley, a double major in history and women’s, gender, and sexuality studies from Williamsport, Maryland, will study in Ireland for the fall 2019 semester. West, a double major in biochemistry and molecular and cellular biology, from Stockton Springs, Maine, will make the trip in spring 2020.

While in Ireland, Riley plans to take advantage of resources on the University College Cork campus, as well as better understand and appreciate the culture.

“I am most looking forward to the local travel in Cork, Ireland and will hopefully take the opportunity to travel to other countries in Europe,” says Riley, who expects to graduate in December 2020. “The University of College Cork is a beautiful campus that I cannot wait to explore, especially the activities and clubs on campus.”

At UMaine, Riley is the secretary for the Feminist Collective and Student Alliance for Sexual Health. She also volunteers at the Women’s Resource Center.

West, a student in the Honors College, is looking forward to courses that will allow her to explore Irish folklore and language while immersing herself in the local culture. She also plans to get involved in groups at the University College Cork, such as the International Students Society.

“I am most looking forward to the relationships I will form with locals in Cork and other international students. I predict that these friendships will be one of the most valuable aspects of my experience,” says West, who expects to graduate in May 2021.

At UMaine, West is a student researcher in the lab of microbiology professor Julie Gosse. She studies toxicological effects of chemicals on the immune system. She also is a teaching assistant for general chemistry and member of the Screamin’ Black Bear Pep Band.

More about the George J. Mitchell Peace Scholarship and other scholarship opportunities are listed on the Office of Major Scholarships website.

Other study abroad opportunities can be found on the Office of International Programs website.

Contact: Elyse Catalina, 581.3747,