CAMDEN — The Department of Childhood Studies at Rutgers–Camden has named Matthew B. Prickett, of Audubon, one of two recipients of its prestigious David K. Sengstack Graduate Fellowship for 2012-13.
The fund supports the best and brightest graduate students as they study childhood while pursuing their doctoral degrees at Rutgers–Camden in the nation’s very first PhD program in this burgeoning scholarly discipline. Stephen Bernardini was also awarded the fellowship.
“Childhood Studies is important to me because children are often overlooked by academics and researchers,” Prickett says. “One of the aspects of the Rutgers–Camden department that’s very innovative is the combination of humanities and social sciences. The multidisciplinary approach has shown me many different ways to study children and has greatly changed the way I look at children's literature.”
As a doctoral student at Rutgers–Camden, Prickett is studying children’s literature, the history of childhood, and children and religion. He said he is focusing his dissertation on the role and importance of children in the religious movements of early 19th century America.
“The fellowship will allow me to do the archive research that’s needed for my dissertation,” Prickett says. “It’s an honor to receive this fellowship because it not only provides the financial support I need to complete my research, but it also provides a kind of moral support by showing me that the Department of Childhood Studies at Rutgers–Camden believes in my work and sees value in the research I want to do.”
Originally from Stuarts Draft, Va., Prickett received his bachelor’s degree in English from Longwood University in Farmville, Va., and his master’s degree in children’s literature from Hollins University in Roanoke, Va.
Prickett has presented his research at several conferences, including the Children’s Literature Association’s annual conference and the Mid-Atlantic Popular/American Culture Conference. He has published articles and book chapters on L. M. Montgomery, C. S. Lewis, and Mary Downing Hahn.
The Sengstack Fellowship was established in 2008 and is awarded to full-time graduate students based upon academic merit and financial need. The Sengstack Foundation seeks to support and nurture issues related to children.
The Department of Childhood Studies at Rutgers–Camden offers bachelor’s, master’s, and PhD programs that put the issues, concepts, and debates surrounding the study of children at the center of its research and teaching missions.
Through a multidisciplinary approach, the Rutgers–Camden childhood studies program aims to situate the study of children and childhood within contemporary cultural and global contexts.
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Media Contact: Ed Moorhouse