On October 22nd, 2017 the Amherst Irish Association presented Senior Monica Caggiano of Peabody, MA with the Inaugural Margaret Maher Award.
The essay contest honors the memory of Margaret Maher, an Irish maid who worked in the Emily Dickinson household. The subject for this year’s competition, which was open to all undergraduate students in Western MA, was Considering Ireland: What Interests Me and Why?
Caggiano’s essay, My First True Love: The Irish Dream, focused on the Gaelic Athletic Association and the structural differences in Irish and American professional sports. Her submission outlines her first trip to Ireland, her impression of their professional sport leagues, and the impact these had on her career aspirations.
Monica and the two other finalists from Mount Holyoke, and Amherst College were asked to present their essays to the Association for the final round of competition. After which, Fionnuala Quinlan, Boston Consul General of Ireland, presented Monica with the grand prize, which includes an all-expenses paid trip to Ireland.
Caggiano is a co-president of the student club Women in Sport Management. She plans to take her trip to Ireland after graduation in May, 2018.