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Semester in Ireland Helps Shape Senior’s View of Labor Relations

Louisa Heywood '19

Louisa Heywood ‘19, who this month received the Clete Daniel Memorial Medal honoring outstanding academic achievement in the ILR/UCD Semester in Dublin Program, is one of nearly 150 students who have been through the program since it began in 2007.

Medal recipients of the medal have achieved the top GPA of all ILR students in the three required classes -- European Industrial Relations, Multinationals and Irish History  -- and are selected by the faculty and university counsel of the Quinn School of Business and University College Dublin, said Brigid Beachler, managing director of ILR Off-Campus Credit Programs.

The award was established by University College Dublin faculty to honor ILR Professor Clete Daniel as founder of the ILR/UCD Semester in Dublin Program and for his commitment to international education.

Heywood received the highest GPA of the ILR student who participated in the program during the 2018 fall semester. She is one of approximately 150 students who have participated in the program since its founding in 2007. In addition to learning about labor relations in a new environment, she also made time to experience local culture.

This week in an interview, Heywood discussed her educational experiences in Dublin and in Ithaca, and about what’s to come after graduation:

“Academically, I have always been interested in labor and employment law and have long hoped to someday attend law school. Within ILR, the thing I value most is the excellent professors and my strong relationships with some of them. There’s nothing I love more than spending time in office hours talking about professors’ current research projects and curiosities. While ILR courses in Ithaca have been an excellent comprehensive survey of labor relations and the institutional context of the United States, my understanding of the role of work in the international context was limited before Dublin.”

“In Dublin, the ILR students had an enormous advantage in our courses because of our deep foundational knowledge in labor relations, human resources and the workings of unions. Living in Dublin, we built on this to gain tremendous knowledge about the European context of labor and employment relations, which is often comprised of a much more robust set of institutional facilitators of union and workers’ rights as well as a much larger union density. This means that, within the European Union, unions and labor have a prominent voice in all matters of legislation and governance.”

“Being away from Ithaca made me appreciate the ILR School even more, because my ILR professors authored papers we were assigned to read in each of our classes. It underscored that ILR is a leading program with global influence. Worldwide, ILR faculty are so important to labor relations and human resources scholarship.”

“Outside of academics, I am very involved in journalism at Cornell as co-president of Big Red Sports Network. Because of my time in Dublin, I was asked to write an article about my experience for UCD’s newspaper, the ‘University Observer,’ which was a fun and honorable experience. It meant I could apply my journalistic interest to an entirely new and foreign publication.”

“Dublin largely informed my work back in Ithaca following my semester there.”

“I am just beginning two research projects that correlate to my time there. First, I am starting on a research project with a few ILR professors in collaboration with one of my professors in Dublin, Professor Bill Roche. It is exciting to learn from a leading conflict scholar in a large lecture in Dublin only to later collaborate on a research project. Second, I am starting a research project that will examine a recent labor movement that occurred at Google largely during my time in Dublin. Google’s Europe, Middle East and Africa headquarters are in Dublin, and we got a chance to tour those offices while there. Partly because of that close connection with concurrent labor movements in Dublin, I am continuing study of that topic. One of the most excellent professors in Dublin, Professor John Geary, really instilled the importance of employee voice at work, which really resonated with me and motivated my second research project in a major way.”

 “The semester in Dublin stands out as particularly formative and perspective building.  By offering ILR courses in a European context, University College Dublin provided a European dimension to our understanding of labor movements and governance, as well as labor’s relationship with business. I have brought back to the States what I learned in the Dublin program, and probably will continue to do so the rest of my life. For these reasons, I was so honored to be given the Clete Daniel award.”

“The semester in Dublin stands out as particularly formative and perspective building.  By offering ILR courses in a European context, University College Dublin provided a European dimension to our understanding of labor movements and governance, as well as labor’s relationship with business. I have brought back to the States what I learned in the Dublin program, and probably will continue to do so the rest of my life. For these reasons, I was so honored to be given the Clete Daniel award.”

 “After graduation, anything that would take me back to live in Dublin would be very attractive. Growing up in Seattle, I have worked for and always been intensely interested in the tech industry. Dublin is the tech hub of Europe for all the company brands I see in Seattle: Microsoft, Facebook, Google and Apple’s Europe, Middle East and Africa headquarters are in Dublin. My ideal job would be working with employee relations or mediation and arbitration, for this type of company.”

Learn more about the Dublin program here.

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