Courtney Walsh

International Experience Country:
Cohort Year:
Home Institution:

University of Pittsburgh | Johnstown

 Courtney Walsh is an undergraduate student at the University of Pittsburgh at Johnstown where she is pursuing a double majors in Political Science and Geography on a Pre-law track.  Following her undergraduate career, she is hopeful to continue her studies in law school.  In school, she is involved in a lot of clubs including treasurer of environmental studies and geography club, and the executive board of the Phi Sigma Sigma sorority.  In her free time, she enjoys volunteering in the community with her sorority sisters as well as beautifying the campus community with the environmental studies club. Beyond these activities, she spends time in the outdoors and watching movies with her friends. Her hobbies include skiing throughout the winter season, she has traveled to New York and Vermont to tackle the mountains of the east. One of her top goals includes traveling in the future to strengthen cultural experiences. Through this experience, she hopes to gain the ability to feel comfortable entering into new cultures.
International Experience Summary:

Courtney Walsh spent four exhilarating and event-filled weeks in the Emerald Isle. Courtney resided in the capital of Ireland, Dublin, where she experienced day-to-day life as an Irish student. Courtney lived in student housing, attended classes for five hours a day each day, and studied in the classroom in Ireland. Courtney took classes in Global Communication and Irish literature. In the global communication class, she learned about many aspects of Irish culture including typically Irish stereotypes such as drinking at pubs, the controversial Catholic versus Protestant feud, and the division between Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland. In her class, Irish Literature, Courtney diligently read many Irish poems and plays by Irish authors. These authors included the famous Irish known authors Oscar Wilde, James Joyce, William Yeats, Seamus Heaney, and many more. In class, Courtney explored the well-known areas in Ireland that were home to these famous Irish poets including commemorative statues, library exhibits, and viewing a play at the famous Abbey Theatre. Throughout her time in Ireland, Courtney continuously took note of the sustainability techniques utilized in and outside of Dublin. Most notably, Courtney observed the massive utilization of public transit, most city-dwellers had not driven vehicles in YEARS! In addition, recycling stations highlighted where each item should be placed. In the outskirts of the city and most near to the bodies of water the areas were clear of litter as the citizens value the views and cleanliness of the areas. Specifically, one of the most notable attractions “Giants Causeway” recently banned large vehicles from crossing over the bridge to prevent air pollution that could impact the view.

Community Engagement Experience Summary:

CEE Title: Reading Globally 

The Community Engagement Event of Courtney Walsh and Alyssa Flowers was an incorporation of Irish and American literature. The experiences abroad for both Courtney and Alyssa broadened their horizons in Irish literature and the literature of diverse people. However, both Vira’s noticed that in their educations in Ireland and in the United States, the curriculum for literature was not diverse within the classroom. The literature they were exposed to was strictly written by white men both abroad and in the United States. They were bothered by this and decided to do research on famous literary artists from Ireland and the United States that could potentially be valuable to their peers. In this investigation, Alyssa and Courtney created thought-provoking PowerPoints that included, Courtney’s focus on the literature of Ireland and how important and valued it is in the country, but how it lacks in offering notability to female artists and people of color. Alyssa’s PowerPoint focused on the core curriculum in the United States and the ways it is like Ireland and lacks diversity. The PowerPoints were embedded with interactive questions and photographs for the audience to view. During the community engagement event, students discussed their experiences with literature in the United States and how their expectation for other countries was that they had expected diversity, however, we learned that was not the case. All in all, the participants at this event benefitted from learning about the ways in which perspectives will broaden by reading work that is diverse.