Katherine Hilson
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The Institute for Citizens & Scholars has awarded a prestigious Career Enhancement Fellowship to Carthage faculty member Katherine Hilson, which allows the assistant professor of sociology and criminal justice to expand her timely research into Black residents’ relationship with law enforcement in Milwaukee.

In an effort to diversify faculty in the humanities, social sciences, and arts, the institute selects fellows with promising research projects. Selected in a highly competitive application process, Prof. Hilson is one of 16 junior faculty members nationwide to receive the maximum 12-month fellowship.

“This fellowship that Katherine has earned is well-deserved and an honor both for her and Carthage,” says David Timmerman, provost and chief operating officer. “We can all celebrate the opportunity it provides for this important scholarship to progress.”

With funding from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, Prof. Hilson begins the 2021-22 sabbatical in June. Building on her Ph.D. dissertation, “The Milwaukee Moment: Oppression, Policing, and Possibilities,” she plans to devote the time to a book proposal and chapter.

Prof. Hilson admits she’ll miss the classroom during the year away. Calling it an honor to be selected, she’s eager to continue a line of inquiry that a few students advanced through the College’s Summer Undergraduate Research Experience.

“At Carthage, our students are central and teaching is our priority,” she says. “Participating in the SURE program these past two years as a faculty mentor has reignited my passion for research. I miss the creative process and look forward to delving into my research full time.”

Career Enhancement Fellows are given the time and resources to focus on the scholarly research that’s necessary to secure a tenure-track position. Besides the sabbatical, they receive funding for mentoring; research, travel, or publication; and a professional development retreat.

“Not only does the CEF award support faculty of color, but the work that I do specifically brings visibility to Milwaukee’s Black community,” says Prof. Hilson.

Her study reveals the contours of police-community relations and explores Black residents’ ideas to solve the crisis of legitimacy that the Milwaukee Police Department faces in their communities. The book chapter will focus more narrowly on how the law enforcement structure harms Black women who find themselves in domestic disputes.

Congratulations to Prof. Hilson!

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