Renate Stark

What have you been up to since winning the Undergraduate Awards?
Since winning the Awards I have gone back to working as a nurse in Letterkenny. I have also received the offer to publish a slightly shortened and edited form of my winning essay with the Irish Journal of Applied Social Studies. This is in the editing stages at present. Beside that I have been offered to publish an article about my Undergraduate Thesis (Anthropology) with the Irish Journal of Anthropology. To be offered these two publication opportunities has certainly given me great confidence in my academic work and I am presently thinking of a suitable and interesting subject for an MA. There is a broad spectrum of areas that I would be interested in researching – anthropology is a wide field with many possibilities – but I am beginning to narrow it down and may attempt to combine my professional background with anthropology in some way. I don’t want to rush into this though, and I also need to fill up my finances again before I can even think of any further studies.

What did winning the Undergraduate Awards mean to you? 
Winning the Undergraduate Awards was, more than anything, a personal achievement that has given me a great boost of confidence. As a mature student and with English not being my mother tongue, I have put a lot of work into studying. Receiving this Award was a wonderful recognition for the many nights on the laptop, researching, reading and writing. To be honest, I personally didn’t expect to become a winner, and thus, it was the most exciting surprise – after having finished my degree and after the graduation ceremony – all of a sudden to be contacted with this great news.

What tips do you have for students entering the Undergraduate Awards? 
I think it is important to be very thorough in the research stages, to make sure the sources are peer reviewed and well recognised. However, it is your own critical thinking, what you add to already existing research or how you contest it, that counts. The originality, sometimes maybe even boldness, of an essay or article is what makes it special.

Undergraduate Award Winner in 2010

University: Maynooth University
Category: Social Studies

Famine: a crime against humanity? Or genocide? Death by starvation - Holodomor in Ukraine 1932-1933

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