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UW-Madison's Wicker Wins Ford Foundation Fellowship

July 29, 2022

UW–Madison’s Paris Wicker has been awarded a prestigious Ford Foundation Dissertation Fellowship. This will allow her to further her research into the well-being of Black and Indigenous college students.

“This is a dream project for me,” says Alex, after working as a nationally accredited counselor and associate dean of students at Lawrence University before exploring “who thrives in higher education and under what conditions.” Wicker decided to


Wicker is a 5th year PhD candidate in the Department of Educational Leadership and Policy Analysis at the School of Education. The paper Wicker is working on is titled “Who Gets to be Well?” Social Her Network Analysis of Black and Indigenous College Happiness”.

According to Wicker, the work will first analyze national survey data to determine how core faculty, advisors, and staff are responding to student well-being before and during the COVID-19 pandemic. It explains that it is a study of a mixed method to judge For the second part of the study, UW he interviews current students at Madison to plan a personal well-being network on campus and people and recovery spaces that support student health.

“I am very excited to explore the concept of well-being from a relationship perspective, with a focus on the experiences of Indigenous and Black students. In a time of concern, my research shifts happiness from an individualistic issue to an organizational responsibility, elevating it as a necessary factor for student success—as important as grades, GPAs, and graduation rates. .”

The winners were officially announced on July 26th. Mr. Wicker is one of his 140 distinguished scholars awarded a fellowship in the 2022 Ford Foundation Fellowship Program competition.

By increasing ethnic and racial diversity, the program increases the diversity of the nation’s undergraduate colleges, maximizes the educational benefits of diversity, and uses diversity as a resource for educational enrichment. We aim to increase the number of professors who can and will use it. of all students. See the Ford Foundation Fellows’ Directory for details of the latest winners.

“I am very passionate about this research and am grateful to the Ford Foundation for seeing the potential of this project and of my future faculty,” says Wicker. “I am still shocked that only 2% of the award is spent on teaching and research. This fellowship has given me additional affirmation, confidence and support for my career. While there are many uncertainties in the thesis and college job market process, this fellowship is a sure sign that I am on the right track. is a signal to keep moving forward.”

For more information on Wicker and her work, visit