Students in class

2018 recipients

Dr. SuJean ChoiDr. SuJean Choi
Professor of Biomedical Sciences

Dr. SuJean “Susie” Choi, professor of biomedical sciences in the College of Health Sciences, studies the neurocircuitry of feeding behaviors — basically, how our brains make us want to eat and, more specifically, to overeat.

“We know there are many factors that cause people to want to eat,” Choi says. “Aside obviously from hunger, people have other motivations, including habit, boredom and pleasure. These are usually all wrapped up together.”

Choi says that one reason losing weight and regulating diet can be so difficult and confusing is because these multiple motivations are often simultaneously driving their eating habits and engaged all the time.

The goal of her work, and the scope of the research for which she’ll use the Way Klingler Fellowship Award — $50,000 annually for three years — is to learn how separate motivations regulate the need to fuel our bodies versus the desire to eat for reasons like pleasure or habit, which can be potentially unhealthy.

Choi’s lab is looking at natural hunger suppressing compounds in the body that signal the brain to cease hunger cravings and turn on metabolism, and what causes those compounds from losing the ability to properly trigger those signals.

Choi says the specific studies funded by this award are not included in the scope of her current grant but critically complement that work, which is why awards like the Way Klingler fellowship are so important.

“Our grants are awarded for very specific work; we can’t go beyond their parameters,” Choi says. “Sometimes, a small bit of risk can yield large benefits, however, and this award is really important to bridge those small gaps.”


Dr. Timothy McMahonDr. Timothy McMahon
Department of History

Dr. Timothy McMahon’s Way Klingler Fellowship Award will take him half a world away. The associate professor of history, who studies nationalism in Ireland and the British Empire, will travel to archives in Ireland and Britain to access documents available only overseas and then work with Marquette students to analyze the material.

“My research focuses on nationalism and the ways in which people shape
and express national identities. In particular, I have studied these phenomena in Ireland and the British Empire in the 19th and 20th centuries,” McMahon explains. “Here I intend to analyze the emergence of two distinct national identities in Ireland between 1910 and 1930.”

According to McMahon, the ongoing importance of partition in Ireland and elsewhere in the former British Empire, as well as the implications of the Brexit referendum for the border, suggests that a detailed study of identity formation on this frontier has both historical and contemporary resonance.

“I am deeply grateful to the Way Klingler family for its support of my work,” McMahon says. “I am confident that, with their assistance, I will be able to produce a book-length study — the benchmark standard in the field of history — about the impact of the border on Irish identity formation in time to coincide with the centenary of the border in 1921.”

University Honors