Instructors / Teagascóirí
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.
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.
Mary McCormick spent her career in international business law, beginning at the law firm of
Baker and McKenzie. She was in-house counsel for seventeen years, divided evenly between
stints as Asia Pacific Counsel for Honeywell, Inc. (computer and controls divisions), and
International Counsel for Cray Research, Inc. (supercomputer manufacturer). Thereafter, she
had a private solo practice and served as an international arbitrator for the American Arbitration
Association. She taught International Contracts for five years at the University of Minnesota
Law School and Legal Aspects of International Business for three years at Metropolitan State
University. She has lived in England and toured Ireland three times. She has been taking
writing classes for the past ten years.
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.
Instructors not offering classes at this time.
Brianna is the founder of Seek United, an organization dedicated to helping people thrive. Through her Live Better wellness workshop series, online courses, and forthcoming book, she’s dedicated to teaching people how to increase stress resiliency and live a happier, healthier lives. A self-proclaimed research enthusiast, Brianna takes complex insights from health, psychology, financial and organizational experts and turns them into practical, actionable steps. A passionate speaker, panelist, and workshop host, Brianna has a Graduate Diploma in International Development from University College Dublin. She’s a certified master recycler and composter, yoga instructor, and meditation coach. In her free time, she loves spending as much time as possible in the great outdoors and sharing tasty, homemade meals with friends and family. Learn more at www.seekunited.org
Brenda is an award-winning teacher and author whose passion is helping others express
themselves through writing.
In her workshops and book Story by Story: 15 Projects to Write Your Family Legacy, she
helps even reluctant writers quickly and easily capture their stories. She teaches at RootsTech, the world's largest genealogy conference, the Loft Literary Center in Minneapolis, the Madeline Island School of the Arts, and at schools, libraries, and historical societies.
She holds an MS in journalism from Boston University and a PhD from the University of Minnesota's Department of Writing Studies. She is the founder of voicedlife.com.
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.
Patsy is an award-winning NPR-Featured songwriter. He supplied the driving guitar rhythms on Celtic/World Music diva Eileen Ivers' last European tour and frequently collaborates with many giants of the Celtic/World music scene - Paddy Keenan. Cathie Ryan among them. Patsy's songwriting reflects a strong interest in Roots Americana as well as Jazz influences. Paysy has critically-acclaimed solo albums under his belt and also hosts guitar workshops all over the country.
Thomas Dillon Redshaw
Thomas Dillon Redshaw retired from the St. Thomas faculty in 2012. Redshaw received his MA in Anglo-Irish literature from University College, Dublin, and a doctorate in English from New York University. Redshaw is a fellow of the Institute of Irish Studies at Queen’s University, Belfast. Before becoming the first editor of New Hibernia Review, Redshaw had a long association with the journal Éire-Ireland . Redshaw’s research and publications have focused on mid-century and contemporary Irish poetry, especially John Montague. He is currently writing a book on the history of the Liam Miller’s Dolmen Press, an Irish fine press founded in 1951.
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.
Dr. Reini-Grandell received her PhD in English literature from the University of Minnesota and is the author of Approaching the Gate, winner of the 2015 Northeastern Minnesota Book Award for Poetry, and the forthcoming Wild Verge. She researches world mythology and oral poetry traditions and has studied folksong at the Sommelo Ethno Music Festival in Kuhmo, Finland. An alum of the Colrain Poetry Manuscript Conference and the Sewanee Writers Conference, she has received grants for her work from the Minnesota State Arts Board and the Finlandia Foundation. She is a professor of English at Normandale Community College.