Marquette political science professor honored with Way Klingler Sabbatical Award

noelle brigden headshotMILWAUKEE — Dr. Noelle Brigden, associate professor of political science in the Klingler College of Arts and Sciences at Marquette University, is the recipient of the 2021 Way Klingler Sabbatical Award.

The award allows Brigden the opportunity to complete research, which was delayed due to the COVID-19 pandemic, concerning the social imagination of boundaries between street gangs and communities and the lived experience of citizenship in urban El Salvador. The work contributes to the collective understanding of the contemporary Central American refugee crisis.

“I am deeply grateful to receive this award at a critical moment,” Brigden said.

Brigden’s research transcends disciplinary boundaries, drawing inspiration from political science, sociology, anthropology and the humanities. Her work produces eclectic, empirically grounded, transnational scholarship that challenges individuals to think critically about the political tensions between individuals and communities.

One person who nominated Brigden for the award wrote, “Dr. Brigden's work is in the best traditions of Marquette’s mission. We emphasize the desire for publicly engaged research that makes a difference in the lives of individuals and communities. Dr. Brigden’s sabbatical research will continue developing the strong social networks she has built in previous work, and in the service of advancing work in human security.”

They added, “Brigden’s projects will not only contribute to our scholarly understanding of how people navigate violent terrain but will give voice to those whose lives and security are profoundly affected by forces often overlooked in traditional state-focused studies of political science.”

In addition to her research on the implications of urban fragmentation and gang boundaries, Brigden has also explored the survival strategies of undocumented Central American migrants crossing Mexico. Using ethnographic methods, Brigden studies violence on borders, also contributing to conversations about research ethics in the field of international studies.

The Way Klingler Sabbatical Award is nominated annually by the Sabbatical Review Committee. The recipient receives their full salary, plus two additional months of summer pay and $10,000 to fund travel and expenses related to research conducted during the yearlong sabbatical.

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Shelby Williamson

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