Christine Kinealy, a professor of history and the director of Ireland's Great Hunger Institute at Quinnipiac University, is to be inducted into the Irish America Hall of Fame on March 12 at the Metropolitan Club in New York City.

Kinealy and nine other Irish-American leaders will be honored for their achievements and contribution to American society and their commitment for preserving Irish heritage.

"It is a great honor to walk in the footsteps of so many eminent Irish-Americans," said Kinealy, who was nominated as an Irish America Top 100 educator in December. "The work I have done in Irish history has only been possible through the support of my children, Siobhán and Ciarán, the encouragement of my friends and the intellectual curiosity of my students. Collectively, they have contributed to my getting this incredible recognition."

Kinealy is a world-renowned authority on Ireland’s Great Hunger. In August, she was appointed the professor of history and Irish studies at Quinnipiac University. She also serves as director of Ireland’s Great Hunger Institute at the university and is responsible for developing an undergraduate Irish studies program at the school.

"When, as a college student, I first became interested in studying the Irish Famine, there were few books or monuments dedicated to this unique tragedy," Kinealy told The Hartford Courant. "Now, largely due to the tenacity of Quinnipiac President John Lahey, the Great Hunger is achieving its rightful place in Irish and Irish-American history. I am delighted that, as founding director of the Great Hunger Institute, I can continue to contribute to keeping the memory of the Great Hunger alive."

Other inductees into the Hall of Fame include Chris Matthews, host of MSNBC's "Hardball;" Maryland Gov. Martin O'Malley and Bill O'Reilly, host of the Fox News Channel's "The O'Reilly Factor."

Said Patricia Harty, co-founder and editor of Irish America magazine: “Our distinguished honorees, while making significant contributions to American life, continue to take pride in their Irish heritage and promote the land of their ancestors. We are delighted to honor such a diverse group of Irish-Americans."

The Hall of Fame is located at the Dunbrody Famine Ship and National Emigration Centre in New Ross, Co. Wexford, Ireland.