Scotland and Ireland 2005 Student Bios

Leslie Bledsoe

Leslie BledsoeAt a very young age I dreamed of seeing the world--dreamed of being born a princess in some remote exciting country that I had learned about in history classes. I would stare spellbound at a map and realize how minute West Virginia was compared to the grandiose world waiting to be explored. As I matured and thought about what direction my life would take upon graduation from high school, I imagined myself in various fields of study that could take me to the places I had only dreamed about working on a cruise ship, serving as a flight attendant, or taking trips to Europe as a prominent businesswoman on my private jet! Upon finding the flier about the "Roads to Appalachia through Scotland, Ireland and Wales", I began to see the possibilities of those "silly" childhood dreams becoming a reality through the West Virginia Folklife Center. This was my chance and I wanted to seize it!

I am currently a Junior at Fairmont State University planning on graduating with a business degree in accounting. I've always enjoyed working with numbers, so this should be a good job for me. I grew up in a small town called Rivesville and moved to Fairmont during high school. I was an employee of The Cracker Barrel in Fairmont for 3 years and am currently working as a typist for Your Bulletin Board across from Wal-Mart. I have an older sister who graduated in 2003 from FSC and is an English/Literature teacher here in WV and a younger brother who will be graduating from high school this May. Makes me feel like I'm getting old! I think this trip would be extremely exciting, but even more, the many things I would see and learn would continue with me and be a nonexpendable investment in my future, both as a person and a businesswoman.

"The world is a book and those who do not travel read only one page."

--City of God, 413-426--

Terrie  Ann Boyce

Terri BoyceMy name is Terri Ann Boyce and I am a Senior at Fairmont State, I am majoring in both Secondary English Education and Library Media. I am very excited about the trip. This will be my first experience out of our country. I enjoy reading and sewing. I believe to understand literature student, need to know about the culture behind it.




Michael Hayes

Mike HayesMy name is Michael Jeffery Hayes and I was born on June 19, 1983 in Morgantown, WV. I have lived all my short life in Farmington, WV in Marion County, and I am a 2001 graduate of North Marion High School.  I have been a student at Fairmont State University since 2001 where I am a student of History and Folklore.  In that time I have been blessed to meet many great friends and also many great teachers.  I also have been blessed to have met my wonderful and beautiful fiancé Miranda Webber also during my time at Fairmont State University.
  Miranda and I are both very excited to be traveling to Scotland and Ireland together this summer on the Roads to Appalachia tour with our fellow students, Gear-up teachers, and members of the community. I hope on this tour to broaden my historical and cultural knowledge of the British Isles and of the Scotch-Irish.  During this recent semester I was delighted to have been involved in the Study Tour class which every student was required to take I feel that the course has prepared me for further academic endeavors in Scotland and Ireland.  When I return from the trip I hope to present my knowledge to the community as a student ambassador and in turn this will help broaden the college and communities knowledge of the Scotch-Irish and British Isles history and culture.  Plus, I think it will just be amazing to see another country and another culture, and so I can not wait to embark on this great Adventure.

Caren McCormick

Caren McCormickI am currently a student at FSU, and recently graduated with my associates degree in Business. I am continuing my education in Business Education and hope to one day have my MBA (masters in business administration). I was recently engaged on March 17 to a wonderful man who is very supportive in all that I do. We have set the date for April 7, 2006 so that is one thing I am looking forward to in the new year! I have two adorable nephews whom I try to spend as much time with as possible and one on the way. My fiancee recently became an uncle for the first time on May 29th and has a beautiful niece so I too will soon have a niece and I am looking forward to it. I have two sisters and one brother, one of which lives in California so i don't get to see her much and the others live around here. I work on the FSU campus and enjoy what i do. I am a member of St. Paul UMC and I am looking forward to participating in bible school after I return from Scotland and Ireland.
A little bit of background, I come from an Irish background and am very proud of my last name and the history behind it. My family is from the Eastern Panhandle of West Virginia, but I was born in Virginia. My family has moved around a lot but enjoyed every minute of it and I believe it has made our family stronger. When I was six I moved to Utah with my family and did most of my growing up there enjoying the mountains and the deserts. When I was a sophomore in high school we moved to Fairmont and I graduated in 2002 from FSHS.
A few of my hobbies include, scrap booking, swimming, watching soccer games, anything involving horses any chance I get to be around horses I take it, camping, four-wheeling, and anything having to do with my family I enjoy.
My favorite saying, "If you live life afraid of Death, your not living life!" and I try my best to live up to it.

Andrea McDaniel

Andrea McDanielMy twin sister and I were born on January 9, 1985. I was unfortunate enough to be born second becoming the youngest of my parents five children.  This notion of dominance was taken to heart by my twin sister whose seven minute head start in life has in her mind as to who does the ordering and who does the listening (This my be a bit of an exaggeration).  Despite my position of servitude I have managed to find time to enjoy some of my favorite things is life including: animals (especially dogs), and reading (everything from Harry Potter to Jane Austin).    One thing I am particularly interested in is travel but I have had very few opportunities to travel and mainly satisfy my desire to experience exotic place by reading surprisingly. I have always been interested in the British Isles for many reasons their history, their culture, and my heritage (McDaniel).  The opportunity to travel to Ireland and Scotland and experience their culture first hand is a wonderful opportunity.

Ashley McDaniel

Ashley McDaniel







John Piscitelli

John PiscitelliMy name is John Piscitelli. I entered Fairmont State College in the fall of 1975, and now 30 years later, I will finally graduate with my four year Board of Regents degree. Actually, I did graduate in 1979 with a two-year degree in Commercial Art and Graphic Design, but I have been pursuing my 4-year degree on and off ever since.
     I have been employed as the photographer at Fairmont State in 1983 and have one of the best jobs you can ever imagine. I work with some of the greatest faculty and staff around. Working with the students keeps me feeling young. And as I approach the half century mark, that's definitely a plus.  In 2003, I decided to actively purse my degree. When Dr. Judy Byers learned of this she enthusiastically convinced me to get a Folklife Studies certificate, which I did. The last two years have been very exciting, and for this I must thank Dr. Byers and Mr. Noel Tenny. They have made the excess stress well worth it.
   This trip to Ireland and Scotland will be the pot of gold at the end...beginning of my rainbow.

Jason Pitzer

Jason Pitzer







Michelle Robertson

Michelle Robinson My name is Michelle Robertson and I grew up in Meyersdale, Pennsylvania. After graduating from high school I knew I wanted to go to college, but still wanted to live close to my home and family. This is why I chose Fairmont State, which is only an hour away. I am currently a junior at Fairmont State pursuing an Associate Degree in General Business. I will be graduating in December, 2005, and after that I will go on to complete a Bachelors Degree. Don't ask me what I want to do after that. I just know I want to be in sales and something to do with traveling.
    When I first find out about the "Roads to the Appalachia" course I was very excited. I've always wanted to go to Scotland and Ireland. I am proud of my last name where I come from. Robertson is a Scottish name, and I've always known this from the stories my Grandpa told me when I was little. This is going to be the one most wonderful experiences I will ever have.

Miranda Webber

Miranda WebberI grew up in Pennsboro, WV, a small town at one hour southwest of Fairmont. I attended high school at Ritchie County High School.  While there I was a member of the marching band and the track team.  I have held a part time job since I was a junior in high school.  I love to shop and spend time with my fiancé and my family.  I came to Fairmont State in the Fall of 2001.  While being a student here I was also a member of the Lady Falcons Cross Country Team.  That experience was one of the greatest during my years here at Fairmont State.  I met my fiancé Michael during my freshman year in a computer class.  We love to travel with each other.  We have been to places like Boston Massachusetts, Cumberland Maryland, and several unique places here in West Virginia.  I am also a huge beanie baby collector.  I have around 300 beanie babies between my home and my parents home.  I hope someday to have a family, a nice home, and a job that I enjoy doing.  The one thing that I really look forward to is the day when Michael and I get married and I get to have a puppy.  I am gratefully that Michael and I will get to experience this unique trip together.  I am sure that it will be one of the greatest experiences that I will every have.