Grace Bradish: Peace scholarship recipient to study engineering at University College Cork
University of Maine sophomore Grace Bradish of Wells, Maine will study engineering in Ireland with a George J. Mitchell Peace Scholarship.
The merit-based scholarship allows recipients to participate in semester-long student exchanges at the University College Cork, providings funds for 12–15 credits of study, housing and meal and airfare stipends. UMaine partnered with UCC to create the scholarship, and it honors the 1998 Northern Ireland peace accord brokered by Sen. Mitchell between Ireland and the United Kingdom.
The award is granted annually to a UMaine student with high academic achievement, leadership skills, commitment to community service and the ability to promote the scholarship to the academic and wider community.
Bradish, an Honors College student studying civil engineering, says she plans to enroll in major-required courses and those that teach her more about Ireland, including possibly one about Gaelic. Learning new tactics and concepts “can only serve to better my understanding of engineering,” Bradish says.
“Studying abroad while studying engineering is interesting because much of engineering is working within the constraints of the environment,” she says. “For example, the U.S. generally has plenty of space for infrastructure while Ireland is generally compacted.”
Bradish’s application was supported by the Office of International Programs, the Office of Major Scholarships, professor of civil engineering Shaleen Jain, faculty members who wrote recommendation letters, and by the selection committee.
“We are very pleased that Grace Bradish was selected as the recipient of this scholarship,” says Orlina Boteva, director of the Office of International Programs. “Grace is very mature and has a genuine eagerness to enhance her intercultural skills and global knowledge by studying abroad in Ireland. She will be a great representative of UMaine at the University College Cork.”
We spoke to Bradish more about the scholarship and experiences at UMaine:
Why motivated you to study abroad?
Study abroad has always been an idea that I played around with, but it wasn’t until I read about the George Mitchell Peace Scholarship in my Honors College newsletter when I really started to consider it seriously. Being my first year at school, I was amazed at all the opportunities UMaine had to offer and was elated to even think that I may be so fortunate to be granted this particular opportunity.
How do you feel about earning the Peace Scholarship?
When telling my sister, Hannah, who also studies at UMaine, of this scholarship, I found that I was unsure of applying for it. She said “what’s the harm of just trying?” So, with that well-put advice, I decided I would regret not trying. I researched the scholarship and George Mitchell himself and became really interested in the history of Ireland, especially the animosity between Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland with the peace accord that this scholarship honors. George Mitchell, a Maine native, was a delegate in the peace talks for the Good Friday Accord and helped bring the parties together. The scholarship represents, above all, the importance of peace through open-mindedness. I am honored that I have been chosen to be a George Mitchell Scholar and am proud that I get to represent Maine at the University College Cork.
Why did you choose to come to UMaine?
The University of Maine has always been the college for me. I knew I would attend and UMaine was the only college I applied to. My uncle, Terry Stillman Bradish, graduated from the University of Maine in 1982 with a degree in electrical engineering. My aunt, Cynthia Bradish, graduated in 1980 with a degree in animal husbandry and met and married my uncle Terry. My other uncle, Dana Bradish, graduated in 1984 with a business administration degree. My father, Jamie Bradish, also attended UMaine before transferring. I am glad to continue our UMaine family tradition.
Describe any research, internships or scholarly pursuits in which you have participated.
This summer I have been participating in my first internship opportunity at BREX Corp. in Kennebunk, Maine.
What extracurricular activities occupy your time?
Beyond school, I enjoy rock climbing and hiking. I am quite new to the rock climbing scene, but I am trying! Living in Maine, I take full advantage of the outdoors. During the weekends at school you can find me and my friends at Acadia National Park.
Have you worked closely with a mentor, professor or role model who made your time at UMaine better?
With COVID this year, I haven’t worked too closely with any mentors/professors, but I look forward to any opportunity in the future. However, with COVID, I still found students at UMaine friendly and willing to foster new relationships. My first week at UMaine I played cards in the common room of Penobscot Hall with people on the second floor. We all had masks and sat apart, but it made me extremely hopeful and happy to still be able to connect with people during the pandemic.
Describe UMaine in one word.
If I were to use one word to explain UMaine it would be friendly.
Everyone I interacted with was friendly and talkative.
UMaine students interested in applying for the George J. Mitchell Peace Scholarship can contact the Office of Major Scholarships at email@example.com. The internal application deadline for study abroad in fall 2022 is early February 2022.
Contact: Marcus Wolf, 207.581.3721; firstname.lastname@example.org