The Irish Education 100 gives tribute to those of Irish descent who have proven successful in education, especially at the university level. Farrell currently teaches both undergraduate and graduate courses on early modern and modern British and Irish history. He also serves as past president of the American Conference for Irish Studies.
The recognition came as a surprise to Farrell, but he said the acknowledgement is more of a reflection of the Irish Studies program at NIU.
“It’s a real honor to be recognized alongside so many prominent colleagues in Irish studies,” Farrell said. “I’d be lying if I said I didn’t enjoy the personal recognition, but I do think it also reflects how far we’ve come with Irish Studies at NIU.”
NIU currently has one of the few Ph.D. programs in history that trains Irish historians, as well as two summer study abroad opportunities in Dublin.
“I’d be remiss if I didn’t mention other people who’ve been key to the growth of the Irish Studies program: Jeff Chown in communication and Bob Self and Kathleen Renk in the English Department,” Farrell said. “And frankly, I could not have run last year’s big Irish Studies conference in Chicago without Julie Konczyk in CLAS External Programming.”
Other notable recipients of the Irish Education 100 award include PixarBio CEO Frank Reynolds; Boston College President William P. Leahy; and Anne Sweeney, co-chair of Disney Media and president of Disney-ABC Television Group (honorable mention).