Instructors / Teagascóirí
Dublin. He has taught Irish in Dublin, at St Thomas University in Fredericton, Canada, and at various
workshops across Canada. He has presented his research at conferences in Ireland, Europe, and North
America. Dean has recently published an article in the Antigonish Review and has some more scholarly
articles forthcoming. He is currently a Ph.D. student in his second year at Concordia University, in
Montreal Canada, where he has received Concordia’s International Award of Excellence and an Irish
Studies Graduate Award. His research focus is Irish language literature.
Minnesota for 27 years. For many of those years, Steve was chair of the department. While at Gustavus,
he taught courses in Irish theatre and history, theatre design, stagecraft, and arts management. Steve
has designed for over 150 theatre productions. He lived in Dublin in the early 1990s while doing
research on the Abbey Theatre. Steve has led 10 college study abroad tours to Ireland and visited the
island many more times. He has a BA and MFA in theatre, and a Ph.D. in higher education policy. From
2006 to 2016 Steve served as Senior Vice President and Academic Dean at Simpson College in Indianola, Iowa.
Jeanine has been an active participant in the Twin Cities art community for over 20 years. She works under the moniker Nest and Tessellate to create magical folk art informed by her Celtic, Scandi and Slavic roots. She attended the College of Visual Arts in St. Paul and holds an MFA in Ecological Architecture from Vesper College. Her practice explores magical symbols, pattern language and seasonal crafts derived from historic folkways. She seeks to connect with ancestral art forms, reimagine traditional folk charms and build relationships within the community around these interests. Symbols charged with intention have been used for millennia as agents of healing and protection on textiles, buildings and household tools. Gathering precedents from around the Midwest and beyond; she hopes to draw parallels between diverse sources, identify shared meanings and with help from collaborators, develop new visual lexicons reflective of current needs. The goal of this work is to create a magical folk art for our time.
Mary McCormick teaches the Irish Novel at Celtic Junction, including past classes on novels by Colum McCann, Edna O’Brien, Maria Edgeworth, and Sally Rooney. She writes articles on these novels for the CJAC Arts Review. She has lived in England and toured Ireland three times, and has taken writing classes for the past ten years. Mary spent her career in international business law, including as Asia Pacific Counsel for Honeywell, Inc. and as International Counsel for Cray Research, Inc. She was an international arbitrator for the American Arbitration Association. She taught International Contracts at the University of Minnesota Law School, and Legal Aspects of International Business at Metropolitan State University.
Shelagh Geraghty Mullen is passionate about Ireland, everything about it. She has traveled to that glorious country numerous times, her last trip being for a culinary program at the Dublin Cookery School. Upon her return, she now fancies herself the Irish Chef of Minnesota. Shelagh holds cooking classes in her home kitchen and teaches private/corporate events and cooking demonstrations at Irish Fair Minnesota. Shelagh’s goal is to debunk the myths about Irish food. It is not all fish n’ chips or boiled meals (although still a common occurrence). The surrounding sea, the lush, green land, and a long growing season provide products in abundance. There has been a real Renaissance in Irish food and cooking, and Shelagh wants to share it all with you.
Dr. Patrick O'Donnell
Dr. Patrick O’Donnell, editor/contributing writer, is a full-time English faculty member at Normandale Community College. The founder of the Saint Paul Irish Arts Week (since 2016), a comprehensive ten-day program in April/May, he is primarily Director of Education at Celtic Junction Arts Center where he coordinates classes and also teaches American, British, and Irish Gothic tales, Irish-American short stories, Irish literature, literary history, and mythology. He co-edited the eighteen-author anthology, The Harp and the Loon: Literary Bridges between Ireland and Minnesota.
Otto Anthony Paier Jr.
A native of Massachusetts, Otto has a life-long interest in architecture. His childhood hero was Frank Lloyd Wright and his favorite childhood toy was his large collection of American Bricks building blocks. After obtaining a degree in Architectural Engineering from Wentworth College in Boston, he then attended the University of Miami where he enrolled in “every architectural history course offered by the university” and received his professional degree in architecture (BArch). Otto then went on to earn an MA in Educational Leadership from Barry University.
In addition to researching architectural history, traveling, gardening, and painting, Otto's other passion is genealogy. Otto is pleased to be able to share his passion for Architectural History with others at the Irish College of Minnesota.
Ryan Quinn is a graduate of the University of Minnesota, holding a Bachelor's degree in English Literature and Cultural Studies. While currently working in the field of logistics, Ryan enjoys his studies as an independent scholar into realms of literature such as fantasy, folklore, and myth, paying particular attention to how these stories remain relevant today. Coming from an Irish family background he is interested in the influence Irish and other Celtic stories have had on modern literature. This will be his first teaching opportunity, and he hopes to continue on this path by attending graduate school in the near future.
Matthew Wright has a BA in history from St. Olaf College, an MA in Japan Studies from the University of Washington, and studied for a Ph.D. in Asian Languages and Cultures at UCLA. He has taught history and politics at the University of Washington, UCLA, St. Andrew's School in Delaware, and Mounds Park Academy. He is currently teaching adult academic enrichment courses at various sites around the Twin Cities. The modern history of Ireland in all of its complexity has been one of his enduring fascinations. He is particularly interested in northern and southern nationalisms, communalism, church-state relations, imperialism and colonialism, the maintenance and invention of traditions, national division and unification, cosmopolitanism and uniqueness, and diasporic and victimhood nationalisms. He is committed to bringing college-level education to the greater community outside of traditional school settings.
Instructors not offering classes at this time.
Carrie Finnigan uses a playful approach in painting, printmaking and drawing of abstracted representations of human figures and nature. Growing up in close proximity to forests and water, she developed an affinity with the outdoors and was fascinated by the human - natural environment conflict. This youthful interest was formally developed in a B.A. in Fine Art and a B.S. in Art Education. She delved into artistic practice, honing her preference for using color and line to express emotion. In each of her works a portion is purposefully left undone to “let the light in.” This engages the imagination of the viewer, providing an opportunity for pause, realization, and a reflection of self.
David and Suzanne Rhees
Bundle & Go is the duo of David and Suzanne Rhees, two mainstays of the Twin Cities traditional music scene. They play an eclectic mix of dance tunes, listening pieces, and songs from the isles of the North Atlantic, Canada, the U.S., and beyond. Their instruments are equally diverse and include flute, whistles, button accordion, fiddle, guitar, mandolin, harmonica, ukulele and feet. They have performed with numerous other groups (see below) and have taught seminars and workshops for the Irish Fair of Minnesota, the Irish Music and Dance Association, the Minnesota Old-Time and Bluegrass Association, the Minnesota State Fiddler’s Association, and the Celtic Junction Arts Center. Their specialty is exploring the multiethnic origins of Celtic music and how it was “creolized” in wonderful ways as it mingled with the cultures of African, Indigenous, and other peoples in North America.