The Irish Voice has honored Lehman Professor Thomas Ihde (Languages and Literatures) for the second year in a row as one of the Top 100 Irish educators in America. Other CUNY honorees include CUNY Graduate Center President Dr. William Kelly and Baruch College Provost James McCarthy.
The newspaper’s Education 100 list features renowned educators and benefactors of Irish Studies programs that have enriched students of all different backgrounds.
Professor Ihde is an associate professor of Irish language and literature at Lehman, the chair of the Department of Languages and Literature, and the director of the CUNY Institute for Irish-American studies. He is a past board member of the American Conference for Irish Studies and past president of the North American Association for Celtic Language Teachers.
Professor Ihde was appointed as the first full-time Irish language professor at CUNY in 2008. He has set up a network of colleges offering Irish language studies to undergraduate students, starting with Bergen Community College in 1995, and is presently coordinating undergraduate Irish-language courses at Lehman, Queens College, Manhattan College, the College of Mount Saint Vincent, and Bergen Community College.
His research interests focus on the acquisition of the Irish language, and through his research he has collected data from both adults acquiring the language and infants being raised bilingually. Although a fluent speaker of English, French, Haitian Creole, and Spanish, he has focused the majority of his work over the past fifteen years on the Irish language.
Ongoing research from his previously funded projects on second-language learning has led to the development of new courses leading to a minor in Irish Language Studies at Lehman and a book with CDs documenting and preserving a local dialect of the Irish language, Cois Fharraige, in West Galway. Newly funded research projects include the creation of a sound atlas of West Galway Irish and a comparative look at the use of signage and the linguistic landscape in the western part of County Galway.
Professor Ihde received a bachelor’s degree from St. Mary’s University and master’s and Ph.D. degrees from Trinity College in Dublin. His grandparents hailed from Counties Galway, Monaghan, and Wicklow.