Press Release for Tuesday, May 23, 2006

UNF Professors Receive Reilly Fellowships in Irish Studies

Contact: Joanna Norris, Assistant Director
Department of Media Relations and Events
(904) 620-2102

Two University of North Florida professors were named as the 2006 recipients of the John Francis Reilly Fellowships for Curriculum Development in Irish Studies. Drs. Jason Mauro and Jeff Will were awarded $4,000 and a plaque in recognition of their selection in a university-wide competition among faculty.

“It is a great step forward for Irish Studies to be expanding its curriculum in these two directions—sociology and film—at once,” said Richard Bizot, UNF English professor and coordinator for Irish Studies. “I believe that Irish Studies will have achieved critical mass, with enough courses in enough disciplines for the University to offer a minor in Irish Studies.”

Mauro, an English professor, will use the funds to design a new course at UNF in Irish film. The course will focus on contemporary films that explore the experience of the Irish in Ireland’s urban centers and in cities where they have immigrated, such as Liverpool, Boston, New York and San Francisco. A St. Augustine resident, Mauro has been a UNF professor since 1993. He received his doctorate and master’s in English from the University of Connecticut. He has received numerous honors, including the UNF Honors Professorship in 2004.

A sociology professor, Will plans to develop a new Irish studies course in the sociology of Irish sectarianism. The primary focus of this course will be to examine how socio-economic variables, religion and the presence of an occupying force impact the institutions and group behaviors in Northern Ireland.

Will, a Jacksonville Beach resident, has also been a professor at UNF since 1993. He obtained his doctorate and master’s degree in sociology from the University of Massachusetts. Will was the recipient of the UNF Student’s Choice Outstanding Professor award in 2002 and is the author of “The Deserving Poor.”

The Fellowships have enabled Irish Studies at UNF to grow from offering courses in one academic department to seven: English, History, Political Science, Art History, Curriculum and Instruction, Nursing and Sociology. The John Francis Reilly Fellowships for Curriculum Development in Irish Studies were created in 1996 with a grant from the Schultz Foundation, in memory of the Irish-born father of Nancy Reilly Schultz of Jacksonville.