PhD student Benny Witkovsky wins MAGS Distinguished Thesis Award

Benny Witkovsky
Benny Witkovsky

Sociology PhD student Benny Witkovsky has been selected as a Midwestern Association of Graduate Schools (MAGS) Distinguished Thesis Award winner for 2021 in the Social and Behavioral Sciences category for his thesis, “The Local Periphery: Small Cities and The Politics of Exclusion.”

MAGS Distinguished Thesis Awards recognize and reward distinguished scholarship and research at the master’s level.

Benny Witkovsky is a doctoral student in Sociology at the University of Wisconsin–Madison. He received his BA from Vassar College in 2012 and completed his MS in Sociology at UW in 2019. Focusing on political life in one small city in Wisconsin, Benny’s master’s thesis examines how recent partisan swings build on longstanding patterns of inequality and exclusion in local government. His dissertation, currently in progress, expands this research, deploying ethnographic and historical methods to explore how nonpartisan local politics and partisan state and federal politics interact in small cities across Wisconsin. Other research projects include an examination of the politics of prison proliferation in rural America with the Justice Lab at UW, a study of elder activists in rural Wisconsin, and an analysis of the growing political divide between adjacent rural and urban communities. Additionally, Benny has worked as an evaluator on community based research projects with the Madison Police Department and the Legacy Community Alliance for Health.

Bio and photo courtesy of Benny Witkovsky via MAGS