McCartney's journey will begin on June 6, when she travels to Inishark, Ireland, in order to learn methods for and experiences related to an excavation.
"Depending on time and travel, I hope to fly to London, England, in July after my course is finished in order to work at the British Library to do further research for my senior thesis," said McCartney, who is taking the Blackfriary course available through the IFR and the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA), through which she will receive class credits in order to complete her archaeology minor for Wittenberg.
"The program provides a diverse array of experiences that is so important to my future in history and archaeology," added McCartney, who will be staying with a host family in Trim, about 45 minutes outside of Dublin, Ireland. "With the Blackfriary program, I not only have the opportunity to have a hands-on experience in excavation, but I am able to learn more about fields in archaeology, which I have not previously had much interaction with. For example, I am looking forward to learning more about bioarcheology and working with the community in which I am excavating."
McCartney learned about the Blackfriary program through Catilin Lobl, 2016 Wittenberg alumna, who attended it a few years ago. After doing further research and meeting with Darlene Brooks Hedstrom, professor of history, department chair and the director of archaeology at Wittenberg, and H. Orth Hirt Professor of History Amy Livingstone, McCartney went through the application process.
"After returning from studying abroad with the Witt in Witt program, the first thing that Hannah said to me is that she absolutely wants to do something with archaeology," Brooks Hedstrom said. "The trip solidified her pursuit of archaeology, and because she had taken my Introduction to Archaeology class, I could direct her to the IFR."
"Hannah is exuberant and enthusiastic about history," Brooks Hedstrom continued. "She has a passion to spread the message of history and point out how interesting and surprising the subject can be. She is very diligent and will thrive in an environment that provides her with so many opportunities. The Blackfriary program is one of the best programs available for someone who wants to learn the field work as well as the public side of archaeology, and it will build on her Witt in Witt experience. The program offers many components, including a little on bioarchaeology, which I can't offer here, and post excavation. The exposure to all sides of archaeology is very important, allowing students to decide what they like best."
McCartney chose this project due to the fact that with this research and travel, she will be able to investigate a time and place that are both very important to her. During her time in Ireland, she will also be able to begin her senior thesis and have the opportunity to conduct research for a topic that fuels her passion.
'" had a great deal of support and assistance from my professors,'" McCartney said. "With their help, I was able to develop a summer research grant proposal for my history senior thesis. I received phenomenal advice from Dr. Livingstone and Dr. Brooks Hedstrom, as well as an amazing recommendation from Dr. Brooks Hedstrom when I was applying to the IFR."
"Wittenberg University has provided me with many experiences that helped me with the application and pursuit of this project," she added. "I am very grateful for the amazing opportunities that I have received in the past three years. I believe that the classes that I have previously taken here will help me with the coursework and experiences that I will have with the Blackfriary program. I feel well prepared for the Blackfriary course, and I cannot wait to begin researching."