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Fulbright scholarship takes ASU honors student to Northern Ireland

Thomas "TJ" Radigan
May 24, 2013

Arizona State University student Thomas “TJ” Radigan has landed a prestigious scholarship to study abroad in Ireland, his ancestral homeland.

Radigan, who will enter his sophomore year as a student in the W. P. Carey School of Business and Barrett, The Honors College, has been chosen to participate in the 2013 Fulbright Summer Institute in the United Kingdom. He will spend a month at Queen’s University in Belfast, Northern Ireland studying that country’s political, economic and cultural structures and its relationships within the UK and the rest of the world. The course he will take, titled “Understanding Ireland: Northern Perspectives,” will add a unique view to his economics studies and help him in his future endeavors.

"My first hope is to gain a new understanding of the culture and history of the country of my ethnic origin. My great grandmother emigrated from Ireland, and since I am almost fully Irish, the opportunity to explore the history of my heritage excites me. I also hope to gain a new perspective on cultures outside of the U.S., with a particular eye for the similarities and differences in trade, markets and other economics-related matters,” Radigan said.

“I believe that what people buy and exchange says a lot about who they are, fundamentally, and I am looking forward to having the opportunity to observe the similarities and differences and attempt to link these to cultural causes. Additionally, the leadership and ambassadorial experience associated with the experience will be valuable as I continue to take on leadership roles at ASU, including my upcoming role as a community assistant next semester,” he added. 

Radigan also expects that what he learns will apply to his long term goals.

“I know I want to use my knowledge of economics to contribute to the marketplace. I am currently considering applying to a master’s in economics program upon graduation from ASU, with the hopes of becoming an economist or market analyst for the government or a corporation,” he said.

Participating in the summer institute is the latest in a string of successes for Ratigan.

He is a National Merit Scholar and, while in high school, was involved in drama club and served as president of the math club, as well as unit captain for his school’s "We the People: Citizens and the Constitution" competitive team. He started his own business teaching guitar and piano, achieved the rank of Eagle Scout in the Boy Scouts and graduated with highest honors as an AP Scholar with distinction. At ASU, Radigan is an editor for the Barrett Chronicle magazine and will serve as a residence hall community assistant in fall 2013.

The Fulbright Summer Institute is a program of the U.S.-UK Fulbright Commission, the only bi-lateral, transatlantic scholar program, offering awards and summer programs for study or research in any field at any accredited U.S. or UK university. The commission is part of the Fulbright program conceived by U.S. Sen. J. William Fulbright in the aftermath of World War II to promote leadership, learning and empathy between nations through educational exchange. The commission is partially funded by the Department of Business, Innovation and Skills in the UK and the U.S. Department of State, with additional support from individual and institutional partners.