Skip to main content

Christens wins national early career award

December 13, 2012 By Doris Green

Brian D. Christens, assistant professor of human ecology in the Department of Interdisciplinary Studies and associate faculty director for research at the Center for Nonprofits, has received the 2012 Michele Alexander Early Career Award for scholarship and service.

Photo: Brian Christens


The award, from the Society for the Psychological Study of Social Issues, recognizes early career excellence in scholarship related to the psychological study of social issues, as well as in professional and/or community service.

“This is a significant award that can help launch a successful career of scholarship, engagement, and service,” says Soyeon Shim, dean of the School of Human Ecology. “I’m especially pleased that it was given to a talented faculty member in the school, because his work on participation and empowerment in community and organizational settings embodies the human ecology goals of community-based research and engagement.”

Christens joined the UW–Madison faculty in 2009. He has played key roles in the creation and implementation of the new Human Ecology Ph.D. program option in Civil Society & Community Research.

His research has been featured in the American Journal of Community Psychology, Community Development Journal, Health Education & Behavior, and the Journal of Social Issues, among others. In addition, Christens is engaged in community-based research, including a partnership with a community and youth organizing effort in Madison, and several statewide initiatives to support and evaluate community-driven health promotion.