Helen Miney

 Helen Miney
Mentor: Dr. Sheryl Kroen
Center for European Studies
"My interest in research evolved out of a series of projects I had completed for Dr. Kroen's classes. Each project, discussion, and paper addressed a smaller part of a larger research question regarding the evolution of national identity. The issues that I am exploring in my University Scholars project are questions that are being currently being debated on a national and international scale as our world becomes more interconnected. Through my research I hope to gain a better understanding of these issues and contribute to this debate, which is shaping our views of the nation and of identity."


History; International Studies



Research Interests

  • Cultural History
  • Migration
  • National Identity

Academic Awards

  • UF University Scholars Program
  • National Merit Scholar
  • Dean's List
  • Florida Bright Futures


  • Phi Sigma Pi
  • Phi Kappa Phi
  • Golden Key International Honour Society


  • Samuel Proctor Oral History Program
  • Alpata Journal of History Editorial Board
  • Streetlight at Shands Hospital

Hobbies and Interests

  • Travel
  • Literature
  • Food
  • Film

Research Description

Ireland Reaching Out: An Exploration of New Irish Strategies to Combat Economic Disaster by Redefining the Nation
As of 2011, it is estimated that the Irish Diaspora, which consists of Irish emigrants and their descendants, contains approximately 70 million people worldwide. Between the settlement of America in 1620 and the establishment of the Irish Free State in 1921 approximately seven million Irish nationals emigrated from Ireland to North America alone, not to mention the hundreds of thousands who traveled elsewhere. Waves of emigration have served as indicators of the economic and social conditions in Ireland, often aligning with major political events. Mass emigrations have defined Irish history and culture, from the tragedy of an Gorta Mór, the Great Famine, to the “America wakes” held during the twentieth century. As Robert Lynd noted in Social Life in Ireland, “the Irish emigrant is not the personification of national adventure, but of something that has the appearance of national doom.” National doom appeared to be on the horizon in the wake of the economic crONE.UF of 2008, but since then the Irish government and other social actors have attempted to combat catastrophe by harnessing the power of the Irish Diaspora. This project is an examination of the innovative projects that have been established in the past five years that take advantage of the huge population of Irish emigrants and their descendants. I will not only illustrate the fact that these projects created new economic opportunities for Ireland, but I will also argue that they have contributed to a redefined concept of the nation and of national identity in Ireland. I will compare these Irish projects to initiatives in other nations and cultural groups to explain how nationalism is evolving in light of new technological changes and economic globalization.