Athens, Ohio – Each year, Ohio University’s Graduate College funds up to five Named Fellowships, and this year, the Claude Kantner Graduate Fellowship was awarded to Courtney Hook. The fellowships are awarded through a competitive nomination process. Each award provides a fellowship of $15,000, plus a full-tuition scholarship for fall and spring semesters.
For Hook, the Kantner Fellowship will take the place of a graduate teaching position she would have held during the 2020-21 academic year.
“I am most looking forward to the gift of time that this Fellowship affords me,” Hook said. “While I will definitely miss being in the classroom, I’m grateful to be able to focus solely on my dissertation during my fourth and final year at Ohio University.”
A native of Long Beach, California, Hook is a doctoral student in the School of Communication Studies in the Scripps College of Communication. She earned her bachelor of arts degree in communication studies from Western Washington University and her master of arts degree in communication studies from San Diego State University.
Hook said her project, titled “Expanding Understandings of Involuntary Membership and Organizational (Dis)Engagement: A Dialectical Analysis of Prisoners’ Constructions of Rehabilitation,” reflects her deep commitment to research that addresses inequities and promotes social justice among understudied and underserved communities. She said she is committed to ensuring her research reaches beyond the realm of academia and into the hands of those who are directly affected.
Hook wrote in her project plan that she hopes her research will improve the quality of life for prisoners during their sentences and after release, with her ultimate goal being to find a way to change rehabilitation communication to improve prisoners’ ability to “leave prison and stay out.”
Dr. Brittany Peterson, associate professor in the School of Communication Studies and the director of eLearning for the Scripps College of Communication, is Hook’s thesis advisor.
“I am so incredibly proud of my advisee, Courtney Hook,” Peterson said. “Her dissertation project on exploring the communicative construction of rehabilitation in women's prisons will not only contribute to novel theory development within our discipline, it will also will change lives.”
Hook said the Fellowship will enable her to spend more consecutive time in the prison which will allow her to build stronger relations and collect more meaningful data to understand how incarcerated individuals talk about and engage in rehabilitation opportunities.